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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 2:44 pm 
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Not Sure of the Hobie Revolution Prupulsion Mechanism: I paddle many north Florida rivers and lakes. They are usually darker water and can have logs and snags. (Suwannee River, Withalacochee, Aucilla,) Currently I paddle using a Re-Vision sit on top that has an UN-retractable scag. It is a surf and rescue kayak. I seem to have no problems with that scag. I am wondering if the Hobie Revolution will suit my needs? I do worry about the propulsion mechanism. Also, if I must switch to paddling instead of pedaling due to underwater obstacals, how quickly can that happen? Can I do that IN the kayak? Thanks, Rose :?


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 5:46 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I can't tell you about the waters in Florida where you live, but I'll take a stab at some of your other questions.

One of the best things about the propulsion system which is called the "Mirage Drive" is that in an instant, you can collapse the fins up against the hull. This means that if there are obstacles in the water, or if you are temporarily unsure, you just separate the pedals, (push one all the way forward) and then the fins will be up against the hull as in the diagram below:
Image

You can also pop the drive completely out of the kayak in a matter of seconds. It clicks into place like a seatbelt, and to remove it, you click two levers and up it comes. It's that simple. You will want to avoid hitting logs or rocks with it, but you don't usually have to remove the drive for those types of obstacles.

As far as switching to paddling... that doesn't take any time at all. You can simply grab your paddle, and you're switched to paddling. By pushing one fin forward, you end up with the fins against the hull and you're done.

The one thing that we do, when we are beaching the kayak, is we pop the drive out before we take it into the beach. This prevents us from ever having any damage to the drive system. Others leave it in, but we're extra careful. You will need the paddle to back up if you get in any tight places, and because it sits securely on the edge of the boat, it's easy to keep it with you.

I hope that helps a little bit. The one thing that I'll add. If you're moving from your Re-Vision to the Hobie Revolution with Mirage drive, you'll almost never go back to paddling. The Mirage drive is THAT good!

My wife usually uses the Revolution, and I use a traditional sea kayak. I'm in decent shape, (much better then my wife who is in average shape) If we race, she is very close to the same speed as me. This, despite the fact that I have better fitness, a more efficiently designed boat, and a lighter boat.

Here is the information on the Mirage Drive from the Hobie website:
http://www.hobiecat.com/kayaking/miragedrive.html

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 5:02 am 
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For the most part, your worries are unfounded. Nothing wrong with the thinking process though, it's important. There are many, just how many, no one could tell you.... Mirage drives plying the Florida waters. Look for "used" Hobies. You'll find few. That should tell you something. If you're in questionable waters, proceed with caution. Shouldn't cause any serious damage. If you're 'balls to the wall' cruising and hit something, you're probably going to bend a mast or tear a fin. But you'll still get home. Paddling the Revo is straight forward as mentioned. Don't forget that you can still maneuver with a single fin. Also sail. Very versatile craft. I've got the Outback and PA. Little less enjoyable to paddle but it can certainly be done. I hope you get the boat you're looking at and come back in a month or so and tell us how darn bad you wish you'd done it sooner.... it's not like we haven't heard it before. Good luck. :D

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 2:12 pm 
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Two people responded to my questions/ concerns with the Revolution's propultion mechanism and paddling in dark rivers. Thank you for your time. I am leaning toward the Revolution based on both those responses. What you said is so what I wanted to hear too! Any suggestions on what north Florida Hobie dealer will treat me well? :D


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 6:44 pm 
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We had used our kayaks many times in the ocean, bays, and lakes and they seemed at home in all. And then I decided to use them on the Etowah river above Lake Allatoona. This 10 mile gentle downstream run destroyed two Mirage drives. There were many many shallow spots with light current pushing the kayaks over rocks and logs. We should have just removed the Mirage drives and left them out until we were through the first 5 miles. But I kept thinking we were out of the shallows or at least were in a long stretch of deep water so left them in and feathered them against the hull over the shallows. We also put many deep scratches in the bottom of the hulls. I would not recommend using these kayaks on shallow rivers with any current. If you do, lash the Mirage drives, stow the rudder, use the paddles, and plan on getting out and dragging the kayak over shallows. This is a stretch of river I would not hesitate to use an aluminum canoe on but I will not be returning my Outfitters to it.

Peter


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 11:14 pm 
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Suwannee River Rose wrote:
Not Sure of the Hobie Revolution Prupulsion Mechanism: I paddle many north Florida rivers and lakes. They are usually darker water and can have logs and snags. (Suwannee River, Withalacochee, Aucilla,) Currently I paddle using a Re-Vision sit on top that has an UN-retractable scag. It is a surf and rescue kayak. I seem to have no problems with that scag. I am wondering if the Hobie Revolution will suit my needs? I do worry about the propulsion mechanism. Also, if I must switch to paddling instead of pedaling due to underwater obstacals, how quickly can that happen? Can I do that IN the kayak? Thanks, Rose :?
If you pedal blindly in dark waters that you have never been in before, especially near the edges of the shore, you will likely end up damaging the Mirage Drive Unit eventually. An accidental bump into a submerged log may bend the rod and rip the rubber fin. Rods can be straightened out in a vice later on. Methods to fix ripped fins have been devised which you can find in this forum. You may want to carry a spare fin and rod with a few tools like needle nose pliers and vice grip pliers to aid in on the spot replacement of a damaged fin. If the rod is bent enough, you will not be able to pedal the drive unit without repairing it first. You can always revert to paddling to the takeout and fixing the problems at home later on. If you're looking for a nearby Hobie dealer, the Hobie website has a Dealer Locator option. When using the pedal drive unit on a kayak trip, try to stay in the middle of creeks and rivers or where the deeper water is, which may not be easy to detect in places you have never been before. When I want to go along the shore, I always put the rudder up and pop out the drive unit. Removing the drive unit only takes about 5 seconds.


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