Thanks for your excellent review of the Revo 11.
Your review and Chaz's postings and Revo 11 postings on You Tube, have made me to re think the Revo 11.
Besides not being able to find a Dealer to sell me a Revo 11 without a mirage, seat, paddle, cassette and other gear I have doubled with our Oasis, the getting wet and sometimes lack of stability kept me from buying a Revo 11.
First of all the wet situation. That becomes a mute point by wearing my Kokatat Kayak pants or any of my many fly fishing waders.
Chaz's postings of his Revo 11 with the AMAs basically neutralizes the stability issue.
My need for most of my local waters, rivers/ and lakes is a lightweight yak that can be easily put into the bed of my Ridgeline and secured with or without a bed extender and unloaded at the launch site. Then loaded back onto the bed and off to home at the end of the yakking.
My FH Pathfinder is very stable and once I get the battery loaded, the engine loaded and other gear loaded, I have had a workout. My wife and son's joke that I don't need to take it to the water for a workout, just loading and unloading it and the gear into the truck is a good workout.
A Revo 11 with the AMAs, we use with our Oasis, would avoid all of the loading and unloading. It should work well with my FH standup paddle in shallow water areas after reading Chaz's postings.
Last but not least, I wouldn't have to worry about running out of battery power with a Mirage. I get about 3 hours with my two batteries and my Bass Yak Pathfinder, and with my bad shoulders, I have to be constantly aware of the power left in those two batteries.
Now I need to find a dealer to sell me a 2012 Revo at a good price without the Mirage, Oar, seat, cassette and other standard gear.
Below are the links to the Kokatat Tempest Pants w/ socks and the great posts reviewing the Revo 11: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=43660
Chaz’s Revo 11 rigged for fishing: viewtopic.php?f=26&t=44136http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPPW8Ont ... e=youtu.be
Then Chaz’s very interesting You Tube re standing in the Revo 11:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4HnsR_0 ... ure=relmfu
Chaz’s self rescue with an overturned Revo 11:viewtopic.php?f=11&t=44138
Not recommened but another You Tube with a Revo 11 and AMAs:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wI-Iivv ... re=related
Seeing as I havent seen many reviews of the Revolution 11 with the exception of the excellent and technical review by RoadRunner I thought Id offer some thoughts on my new Revolution 11 which I purchased in April of this year and have now used extensively (atleast 40 excursions) for nearly four months. In short I cannot say enough good things about this latest offering from Hobie though I am admittedly a first time Hobie owner who has not used other Hobie models except on a few occasions.
Before the 11 came out I was going back and forth as to whether to purchase the Outback or the Revolution 13. It was important for me to find a kayak which was easily transportable both from car to the water line and from house to place of entry. For me personally I felt that the Revolution 13 was a little more kayak than I needed in the length department and the Outback was a little heavier and wider than I preferred. Then as luck would have it, just as I was making my deliberations, I heard of the new Revo 11 and felt it was exactly the size and specs I was looking for.
Fast forward to the past four months.......I could not possibly be happier with this kayak with only one (for me) very minor exception.
I find the Revo 11 to be very easy to handle in portage. I wanted a kayak that was easy in and easy out, a kayak that I wasnt going to have to spend alot of time loading and unloading and porting to the water line and I find the Revo 11 a piece of cake to transport. Its shorter length, narrow width, and lighter weight allow me to slide it right into the back of my station wagon with room to spare for other gear and I cartop it rarely which is a huge convencience for me. I can get the Revo 11 in and out of my car and to the water so quickly that it feels almost effortless. I find with ease of transport (cart also a must have) comes a desire to use the kayak more often, a very important consideration when choosing a kayak which I sometimes feel people do not consider enough.
I have pedaled this kayak in all manner of different salt water conditions here on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and I have yet to be dissapointed as to the variety of conditions that the Revo 11 can handle. I find the ride to be exceptionally quiet with mimimal hull slap and feel it slices through the water with ease. Ive used this kayak in strong currents, choppy waters, in bays and inlets, deep ocean waters and have spent a considerable amount of time 'surfing' it in the surf zone, and I personally think it handles beautifully under many different conditions. The Revo 11 feels especially nimble with a very small turning radius which makes for a very pleasurable experience in the surf zone.
In the surf zone, where the boat is 'awash' with water and often finds itself rolled 'over' the Revo 11 took in a little more water into the hull than I expected. After some sleuthing I found that the point of entry was the front hatch and the two round hatches are almost completely water proof. After a little jerryrigging with a rubber mat I was able to cut a strip of rubber to act as an additional seal for the front hatch and it works perfectly. I can now take the Revo 11 into the surf zone for an hour or more with little water accumulation in the hull.
I found the Revo 11 to be surprisingly stable after reading some reviews that it felt a little 'tippy' to some. RoadRunners description that it has excellent secondary stability with a reliable tipping point was spot on. I never feel unstable in this kayak and when the boat rolls to a point where its going to actually tip over (such as in the surf) I can feel exactly where that tipping point is and how far from it (or close to it!) I am. When the Revo 11 leans from side to side you can feel it wanting to 'lean' back to its starting position which leads to a feeling of stability. This may be the case with all Hobie models but my understanding is that the hull design on the Revo 11 has some new features not found in the other Hobie models and I wonder if this can account for the Revo 11 feeling especialy stable to me. It is in my opinion a very stable kayak.
I found storage space to be plenty adequate for my needs though the rear hatch does not seem fully accessible due to the rudder lines running close to the edges of the rear hatch. This may be the case with all Hobies though Im not sure of this. The front hatch has plenty of storage area for my needs though the Front hatch on the Revo 13 and Outback appear to offer considerably more storage space. The cockpit might feel a touch small and snug for a few but suits me just fine. At six feet I find myself locking the Mirage drive in the "5" leg length position (7 being the longest) and feel that the cockpit could comfortably provide a pedal stroke for a person up to say 6'3". Anyone taller might start to feel that the cockpit does not provide enough length for comfortable peddling though I did read one review from someone 6'4" who felt there was enough cockpit length for him to find a comfortable stroke. Ive read a few reviews that suggested the cockpit length might not be suitable for anyone over six feet in height. I personally disagree with that assesment.
I fish off my Revo 11 and for me personally it has enough storage space to get all my gear on board (though I am a light traveller when it comes to fishing). I like the Mesh trays provided on each side of the gunrails more than I thought I would and found that they can hold items in the tray even when turned onto the rails. Items stay in the tray and I regularly put items in the trays that I never remove and stay put they do even when turning it over onto its rails. I even keep items in the trays in the surf (sunglasses for example) and find items stay put even after multiple rolls. Surprisingly I found, even when storing multiple fishing lures and plugs in the mesh trays that the hooks rarely get snagged in the mesh which was something I didnt expect and was a pleasant surprise.
A great little detail are the side carry handles. Perfectly designed, exceptionally comfortable, and I use them often for stability in very choppy conditions and for grabbing a hold of the kayak in the surf zone if I am about to roll, for turning the kayak on its side to slide cart into scupper holes etc. I grab them much more often than I thought I would and am now grateful that theyre 'on board'.
My only caveat with the Revo 11 and this is just one persons opinion from someone who has not ridden other Hobies is that it offers a slightly wetter ride than I expected. Water can come over the rails or from the bow with a minimul amount of chop depending on wind, current conditions, angle of boat to chop etc (Im a light 150 lbs and carry little gear of any significant weight FYI). My previous kayak was a smaller 10 foot SOT which offered a surprisingly drier ride at only 1 inch wider than the Revo 11. Because the bow is shorter than the Revo 13 or Adventure but maintains the same narrow profile I think water more easily enters the cockpit from the bow when moving through choppy waters where the bow occassionally lowers itself into a wave. I think its personally a very worthy trade off. The narrow (but shorter) bow profile allows the Revo 11 to move through chop and waves easily, probably very similiarly to the Revo 13 and Adventure, but because the bow is shorter a bit more water can enter the cockpit from the bow than from the Revo 13 or the Adventure is my guess. For me personally its not much of an issue. When the weathers warm I dont mind getting a little wet and in the spring and fall with cooler air and water temperatures I wear rain paints which keep my bottom half fully dry. For others it might be something to consider though personally I would tell just about anyone not to let it deter them from a Revo 11. Wetness of ride is a matter of perception to a significant extent and also dependent on the conditions one is kayaking in. I kayak in saltwater conditions that are often choppy. Sit On Tops (no great insight here) offer a wetter ride than Sit In Kayaks as we all know. Again, one persons opinion only, others may feel very differently about how 'wet' a ride the Revo 11 offers. For me, though I found it a 'wetter' ride than my previous SOT its nothing more than a very small inconvenience at best.
My only other caveat which would apply to all Hobies is that Im not a fan of the seat and hope that Hobie comes up with an upgraded design in time. The seat doesnt suit my body no matter how many different positions I try and Ive got a contusion on the small of my back to prove it. Others may find the seat perfectly comfortable.
I dont want to give the impression that the Revo 11 which is so adept in so many conditions is a kayak that can handle exceptionally choppy seas. If someone is going to do serious touring or fishing in 'ocean' conditions in sometimes formidable weather then the Revo 11, as capable as I find it to be wouldnt be quite up to those kinds of challenges in my opinion. Though I did recently take it for a spin in 20-30 knot winds with 4-6 foot occassionally breaking seas and it handled the conditions admirably, I think the Revo 13 and the Adventure atleast would handle those conditions considerably better.
In conclusion, I couldnt be happier with my new Revo 11. Its light, plenty fast with ST Fins, nimble, stable, turns on a dime, offers a quiet ride and handles well in many different water conditions. Ive never felt that I purchased a boat which was 'too small' which was an original concern of mine. Part of my enthusiasm has to do with the fact that Im simply a new Hobie owner who is elated to have the good fortune to pedal a Hobie kayak. Many of the positive attributes I equate with the Revo 11 Im sure apply to other Hobie Models as well and as someone who has not used other Hobie models extensively I cant really compare the Revo 11 with other models. Roadrunner and others have done an admirable job of offering comparisons of the Revo 11 to other models. I would likely be very happy with any of the Hobie models. Theyre all great boats. But I couldnt be happier with Revo 11 and I find that it suits my needs perfectly.
Cheers and Happy Pedaling,