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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:21 pm
Posts: 8
I've read a good bit of praise on here for the Outback. I've owned one for about 3 weeks now, and unfortunately my experience has not been as good. :( First of all, I'm not an advanced kayaker but have been a casual kayaker for about 15 years now - first on ponds and slow-moving rivers and now on coastal marshes, backwaters and rivers. I am not an ocean kayaker. The Outback is the 5th kayak I've owned, counting a couple that are/were my wife's kayak and which I've paddled quite a bit. I sold a Maui and a Mirage Classic in order to buy the Outback, and I dearly loved both of them. My perspective after 3 weeks -

If your only kayaking interest is fishing, the Outback is probably a good platform. If you're also into recreational paddling, even casually, the best way I can describe the Outback with a paddle is like trying to row a concrete block down the highway. Hobie doesn't make any claims to the contrary, so there's definitely no false advertising involved. If you're considering this boat, I strongly recommend insisting on a test drive. I did not, and that was a seriously dumb mistake on my part. I should have known better.

Secondary stability is probably fine, but primary stability sucks. That really surprised me, given the profile of this boat. It's possible I'm not sufficently loading it, but I'm 5'8"/170#, and the Sport did not offer me the space I wanted. This may just be a personal problem because I haven't seen anyone else complaining about it, but after the stability of the Maui and the Classic, I expected more.

At least with my boat, getting the pedal drive in place and locked down while in the water is all but impossible. Sitting on a stand, I'm able to force it into position, but in the water it takes more strength and agility than I possess. Once again, doing this was a breeze with my Classic, so it was a real shock. I've taken it back to the dealer regarding this issue, but his assistance amounted to trying a different pedal mechanism (it was worse), filing away some plastic on the inside of the "U" of the locking knobs, and telling me to "keep working at it". I'm not certain, but I guess that "working at it" means going to the gym and working out.

Bottom line, I fell in love with this kayak from the website, this forum, and the showroom. I should have done more homework where it counts, but that was my mistake. I'm still a fan of Hobie, but not this particular boat. If you're considering the Outback, I recommend proceeding carefully.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:55 pm
Posts: 113
Location: Saint Albans Bay, Vermont
Sorry to hear that you are disappointed about your boat. It is really hard to get a feel for a yak until you actually test drive one. I know that is impossible with many dealers (including my own) but it always helps. I do find it curious that you are having trouble with your drive. It should be relatively easy to install from in the boat. At least mine just drops in.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:34 pm 
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whitpet wrote:
If your only kayaking interest is fishing, the Outback is probably a good platform.
You forgot photography.

Quote:
the best way I can describe the Outback with a paddle is like trying to row a concrete block down the highway.
Very good description. Having owned 4 previous kayaks, you should have known that a 34" wide, 12' long kayak is not going to be easy to paddle.

Quote:
[but primary stability sucks.]
That is hard to believe considering I can stand in my Outback, turn around, scoot from one end to the other, and then turn around and scoot back. I have never tipped the kayak over and the only time I slipped into the water, the kayak remained upright. You're not going to find many kayaks as stable, and as fast as the Outback.

Quote:
Sitting on a stand, I'm able to force it into position
Ten seconds is all I need to put it in and lock it down. If you are forcing, then there is a problem. If your dealer is not helping, email Hobie.

Quote:
If you're considering the Outback, I recommend proceeding carefully.
Any kayak purchased should be researched, then tested. I've had problems with my kayak and Hobie took care of them.

Sorry you have had a bad experience with the Outback.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:03 am 
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Rnykster - Thanks for your feedback. You're absolutely right, I should have known better. :oops: I was swayed in part by what I wanted it to be, and in part by the all the glowing postings on here. My purpose in posting was simply to say to potential buyers that there is another perspective to this kayak.

We've obviously had different experiences with the stability, and I'm sure you have a lot more experience with it than I do. I live in the SC lowcountry, and did a good bit of nature photography from my Mirage Classic. It will take me quite awhile before I'm comfortable taking a quality camera out in this boat.

Hopefully, locking down the pedal drive was resolved this weekend. We backed way off on the locking knob bolts. They're very loose now, but at least I can get the drive in place and locked. I'm not sure it's the right answer, but it's the only way I've been able to use the drive.

Glad to know you're pleased with your Outback.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:32 pm
Posts: 230
Location: Out There
Hello there-I sure like my Hobie Quest and when people ask me which Hobie they should buy, I always ask; "Do you want to pedal or paddle?". Coming from a surfing background, I want to paddle. No rudder, just a fast, stable kayak, no options necessary. If you want a pedal kayak, get a Mirage model kayak. If you want to paddle, get a paddle kayak, like the Quest.
Most of the guys I kayak with that have Hobies, have pedal models like the Outback or Adventure. Truthfully, I hardly ever see these guys use a paddle, they even look at me like I missed the boat(missed the kayak, I guess). I know these dudes have all owned traditional paddle kayaks before the got the Mirage drive. They don't seem to be disturbed by the fact they aren't paddling anymore.
If I had a Quest and a Mirage model(I'd LOVE to have an Adventure for my trips out in the Pacific), I might have a real problem deciding which one to use. If I had a Mirage version, sooner or later, I'd probably leave the paddle at home.
Give the Outback a chance. It may take a little change in the way you look at kayaking. After a couple sessions, you may forget the paddle.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 4:04 pm 
Hello,

I had some similar observations when my outback arrived.

After several uses (and a bit of lithium grease) the mirage drive has become relatively easy to install and remove.

The outback can rock slightly from side to side if its not carrying a large enough load.

I hope things get sorted for you.

Regards Shaun


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:04 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
On the Adventure the Mirage Drive slips in much easier if you first align it up centered in the drive, then tip it slightly foward as you lower it into the well.

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 Post subject: Tight fit?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
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Location: Oceanside, California
Tight fit? We have been making a few changes to help hole the drive tighter. Usually a little extra trimming fore or aft in the well makes the drive fit right in if it was too tight. Best to work it all out on land before you hit the water.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:21 pm
Posts: 8
Matt, thanks for the reply. The problem is not fore and aft. The metal locking pins on the pedal mechanism hit the back of the "u" opening in the locking knobs. At the dealer's suggestion, I have backed way off on the locking knob bolts. I still have to apply downward force to spread the locking knobs apart enough to allow the metal pins to drop in place. This keeps me from getting much friction when I close the locking knobs, but it's the only way the drive will go into position. :(


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:49 am
Posts: 176
I had trouble seating the drive system on the water until I discovered that a "slight" tipping forward before dropping it in place allowed it to drop right in. Getting my grubby little fingers to twist lock the nuts was another matter. I solved that by using a piece of pvc, with a couple keyway slots cut in it for a "socket" if you will. Used bandsaw and cut out slots about 5/16 inch deep, just wide enough to accept the width of the thumb twist knob on the locks. Puts the leverage up at a height away from all the encumberances of the drive and hull mold. Piece of pool noodle makes it a floater, leash it maybe. I haven't. As far as beind disappointed.... no, I researched it. Drove the wife nuts with the "arguements with myself"..... but It does as I expected. Third trip was 10 miles round trip. I got back first only because I could keep up a faster pace after a fairly long trip. Fast?? No. Fun, you bet. I've gotten fairly sloppy in moving around in the cockpit. Svelt 215 lbs of flexibility, dexterity and fluid movements..... right!! Stayed on top so far. I like it. Hope you give it a chance for what it is. 8)

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Yakkingaway
Portsmouth, VA


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:48 pm 
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Whitpet says...."The problem is not fore and aft. The metal locking pins on the pedal mechanism hit the back of the "u" opening in the locking knobs.".... yes, that's exactly what I was seeing when I was having trouble. Again, tilt the drive in towards the front.... drop the back in last... kinda gently slam it in place... it'll actually move forward a little.. Don't know if it's mold issues or what, but the drive sitting in the rear of the U-slot is what I was suffering also. Try it on a couple of sawhorses before getting back in the water. Or along side a dock. Good luck. :wink:

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