What part broke and what is about to break? You do have a paddle dontcha? I'll loan you a Mirage Drive if that is all it is. No excuses now...
It isn't an excuse - it is an executive decision. The sprocket split in two at the mast insertion point. I've got three cables on my old drive that are questionable and the idler cable on the new drive looks ready to pop. Even if I swap out all the cables, I still have to worry about the sprockets falling apart when using the Turbo flippers. If I get a crack in the hull near the pedal unit, I'm sunk. Worry, worry, worry.
It is time for me to take a hiatus from the Outback because I'm not going to sink any more money into it right now. It just cost me over a hundred bucks to replace two pedals on a relatively new drive unit. These are cheap plastic pedals with no bearings. For a hundred bucks I can almost buy a pair of SPD titanium clipless pedals that have sealed bearings.
Clipless would be a nice option but Hobie chose to downgrade their pedal system instead of upgrading it - now we can't even change out the pedals. The old drive units had steel flipper masts connecting to steel sprockets. Hobie chose to downgrade some of the components to plastic which are now failing when using the Turbos. The older units were much easier to pedal then the newer units (using the same flipper). Maybe one day there will be some higher end component options.
I'd rather sell my Outback and get a new Outback. Trouble is, I tried a new Outback and hull mound in front of the seat gets in the way of my leg motion. My hamstrings pound the hull because my long legs need a long stroke, so for me, even the hull design has gone from good to worse.
When is Hobie going to put bulkheads in their kayaks? We all know how quick kayaks sink without bulkheads. When is Hobie going to strengthen the design of the mirage drive? Many factors will determine when I take kayaking with the Outback serious again.
Only two trips this year and I've already had two breakdowns - my spirit has been broken. Hobie can probably breathe a sigh of relief because there won't be many messages from me for a while after this.
I appreciate the offer Apalach. It is quite apparent to me that there is no way for me to use the Outback as a means of aerobic conditioning - it won't hold up to weekend trips much less 5 times a week use. I'm going back to running for aerobics and paddle kayaks for the upper body.