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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:19 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Mark:
Kayaking is one of those things that people either take to or they don't, I have seen many people buying expensive setups, then end up only using them twice before moving on to something else (these are the same people who buy all the treadmills for exercise, then use them twice ( LOL)), good intentions, but once they figure out it's a lot of work they fall by the wayside I guess. That's one of the reasons there is a kayak or two sitting in every other yard around here (good intentions).
When we moved to Florida (we live right near the water) we started out renting kayaks, and got a feel for what it's all about, and when out several times on rentals until we were pretty sure this is a hobby that we really enjoy and wanted to continue pursuing for both exercise and just enjoying the outdoors. We used to have powerboats, but really can no longer afford to own them, let alone put massive quantities for fuel into them (a fill up at the marina can be over $200 bucks).
We are literally out there on the water every single weekend, and really enjoy kayaking (and later on sailing). On our Revolutions and Oasis we had the sail kit always on board strapped to the side of the boat, and if there was any breath of wind we would have it up in a heartbeat, even when we were going on long narrow river excursions. Our favorite Hobie single kayak has always been the revolution. I understand the new revolution 11 is also very good though I have not driven one.
I think the path nearly all of us kayakers have taken over the years is pretty much the same, we start out on paddle kayaks, then progress to mirage drive kayaks (once we figure out how awesome they are), then in our case we bought the sail kits for our kayaks trying to extend our range. So we got more interested in sailing, or to put it another way we found it quite useful to be able to sail our kayaks on top of using them for everything else we were already doing. The sail kit greatly extends your range (keep in mind the keys and the gulf coast are huge). When the Tandem Island came out, this was perfect for us, because the kayak itself (without the sails and AMA's) is actually the best kayak we have ever owned, it's faster, we can load it down with gear, and as a tandem it really isn't much heavier than most other Tandems out there (all those tandem kayaks are big and heavy). Keep in mind we had already been kayaking every weekend for many years by then, and had already pretty much settled on the fact that we actually prefer to tandem kayak vs each having our own single kayak, this took many years to discover and hone in on our actual preference.
When we started out on Hobie kayaks we were already avid kayakers, and I researched for almost a year on this forum and other forums before actually purchasing our first Hobies. The local dealer in Sarasota (those people are awesome) have monthly 'demo days' at the lake right near our Sarasota house, were we went and tried out I think pretty much every kayak they had available (all brands), several times actually before deciding on the Revo, and the Oasis as our choices (the Island line of boats did not exist yet) My opinion after exhaustive research was that Hobie kayaks are the best thing on the market ( I still feel this way), the Mirage drive system still has no equal out there (12 or so years after it's initial release), you would think if there was a better idea out there someone would have brought it out by now, it has truly revolutionized the industry in my opinion, and brought the joy of kayaking to a whole new class of people (my wife and I are not exactly the Olympic athlete type of people LOL) yet we have no qualms about setting off on a full day adventure where we might have to pedal for 10-15 hours one day then get up and do it again the very next day ( I know for a fact we could not do that with a paddle yak, I know we have tried it and failed miserably).
I think kayaking is a lifestyle choice that people make and enjoy as a pastime and hobby, I'm not sure it's important which Hobie you start out with, as they are all good, just pick which one you think will fulfill what you think you want to do (which always evolves over time). One saving grace is the resale value on all Hobie kayaks is stronger than pretty much anything out there, that's what we did when we purchased our Tandem Island, we simply traded the Oasis in for it. The dealer had the Oasis sold within a week, it actually worked out great because someone who might not be able to afford a brand new boat was able to get a nice Oasis.
So in the end any choice you make is a good one. I highly recommend you get the sail kit for whichever Mirage Hobie you end up with, in 8 years we have never gone out without a sail kit strapped to the side of our Hobies (true story).
Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:29 pm 
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Bob,

Well stated as I do have a treadmill and have logged well over 1000 miles on it. Got a Fitbit activity monitor Dec 10 of last year and have over 750 miles on it. So usually when I get something it is because I researched it, liked it and used it. But your point is well taken. My main use for a kayak is using the Mirage Drive for some exercise as my leg muscles are probably the strongest ones on my body from all the hill walking I do. My main problem is that I am a member of a team. A two person team who after 30 years of wedded bliss still mange to do activities together. Therefore, I really think I know what I want but getting her on board is not so easy. Her main concern is we get something that sits on its pretty trailer under the deck all year and we use it 3 or 4 times. My dreams of going to local lakes and exploring coves and picnicking on the tramps is all make believe as far as she is concerned. Consequently I am going to rent a few times if I can find any places that rent TI's.

We are going whitewater tomorrow morning, out to Dana Point for a TI demo the end of the month and then up to a local lake with the owner of the local Hobie dealership for another TI demo. Since he doesn't rent out the TI I will have to talk him into it if I can. If successful and the wife enjoys herself enough I may end up buying a TI if not ...... I could end up with a Revo 11 and let her rent something when she wants to accompany me. LOL


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:14 am 
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Mark, I haven't commented yet because I've been just enjoying reading the different thoughts brought up in this thread :)

I tried to get my wife into the kayaking, but after one trip with me in my Revo11 and her in my Outback, she got seasick, so the future of purchasing a tandem looks like something I won't need to explore :oops:

I enjoy having two kayaks for being able to bring my dad or the occasional friend fishing with me. When you are fishing, you tend to want more distance to stay away from your buddy's hooks or to cover more ground err water I mean. I know you've stated that cruising is the primary purpose, but I just thought I would pitch in some thoughts regarding fishing (which these kayaks facilitate so well!).

The Revo 11 and Sport are the easiest to lift above the head and load on the top of an SUV, but then again I am half your age (no disrespect intended, you're probably fitter than me anyway) and you've stated that this is not a necessity. I'm 5'7" and fit in both of those models well (even at 210lbs). My dad, who is 5'11" 180lbs, was cramped in the Sport, and ok in the Revo11. He fit in the Revo13 much better. The Outback is even better for offshore since its so stable (the reason I bought it). Fitting an Outback and a Revo on the roof of my Mazda CX5 requires either 2 sets of J-racks OR one set of J-racks for the Revo and the Outback is carried upside down (gunnels on the crossbars); I opted for the latter configuration. If you get two Revo11s then you could just pad your crossbars and carry both upside down, side by side. If you proceed with a tandem, you only need one set of cradles and you've gotten some good advice on that from Stobbo and Fusioneng.

Bob is right about the sail kit, get it regardless of which model you end up with.
Good luck with the demos and kayak shopping!
-Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:14 am 
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Thanks for the input Chris and happy you are enjoying the thread. I have not considered fishing options ... yet because my wife doesn't fish and we manage to do a lot of things together. We are very compatible and friends often say we seem to be made for each other. But having said that she has a hard time imagining some things without experiencing them. She also is of English descent and prone to sunburn so that also plays a factor in how much time we spend on the water. Furthermore, our Oasis and Revo 13 demo was around noon and hot as the dickens (until I dunked us). Add all those things together and I can certainly emphasize with her. But I hope that the TI demos change her mind and open up a whole new activity for us to participate. I'd even consider some shade options. I don't even know if it is possible to kayak on a lake later in the day in the shade along the shore?

Going to a lake and sailing into a cove and meeting other people, going down a river and maybe experiencing class I, II rapids and then an occasional trip to the Gulf and sailing with a pod of dolphins are all possibilities that I have imagined. She seems to think I am dreaming, has concerns about pulling a trailer, loading, unloading, etc that will lead to us not using it. Hence, asking for everyone's advice about getting the "right kayak" that we would use and have fun with. Thanks again to all that have chimed in on this thread as your advice is greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:54 pm 
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I have had numerous sailboats and kayaks and above all else the faster and easier it was to decide at the last minute to go and get out on the water the more the boats got used. We had a 85 lb tandem and sold it due to its weight going on and off the roof racks. Also the longer boat meant that any wind gust exercised more leverage on the hull, and it took more space to store.

I had a couple of racing skiffs and then a keeled boat with a slip. With the boat in the slip I could drive to the marina at 65 MPH and take a duffel to the boat and in less than 30 minutes I was out on San Francisco Bay sailing along. I went out a great deal more on the boat at the slip as it was so much easier to do at the last minute and 90% of my time was spent actually sailing.

With our two Revo 13's we have boats with a hull weight of 70 lbs. which is in the middle of the pack as sit on top kayaks go. They are presently being used on two roof racks on top of my truck and the cross bard are a full 7 feet above the ground. This makes for greater difficult getting them up on the racks and a lot more effort to tie them down with the straps.

With my inflatables that I used for scuba diving it was very convenient to load almost everything inside before I left the house and then at the launch area to put in everything else. Then all that was needed was to launch the boat and park the truck and trailer and go. With the two kayaks I have been thinking about the actual mechanics of unloading the two boats and putting each on a trolley and loading it with gear and then taking it to the launch area and then reversing the process at the end of the peddle/sail.

This is where a trailer adds a lot of convenience as I can have the boats ready to go in the water, back down the trailer and slip off both kayaks. Park the truck and trailer and put on the PFD's and we can get in the two kayaks and be off in minutes. On the return the two boats can slide onto the trailer and be pulled from the water in a couple minutes, strapped down in the parking lot in another 5 minutes, and head back home. At the home end all I need to do is unfasten the straps and flip the boats upside down. I can choose to leave the paddles and masts and sails inside the truck for the next time we go.

There are places where I cannot take a trailer so the roof rack is an option. But for launching at boat ramps at harbors and lakes the trailer is a great alternative.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:45 pm 
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Thanks for your input wintersun. Wow sailing on SF Bay must have been awesome with the strong currents. From your experience do you think the guys who escaped from Alcatraz in a homemade raft could have made it?

I tried to look at a "topping" solution because my wife felt pulling a trailer was ... I don't know what ... but she just didn't want one. However, due to the advice gleaned here I would now consider a trailer solution in most situations regarding a tandem or an island or even two Revo 13's. Kinda thinking of a Malone with 12" tires. One point that has come up repeatedly is "if it is too hard to load - transport- unload I'm probably not going to be going out as much and my wife's prediction comes true. Even though I applaud the guys who can car top a tandem or island a trailer option seems so much easier for me.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:25 am 
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Location: Phoenix, Az
The 11 is easier to handle of course and is sporty and fun.

_________________
1 Revo 11
3 Revo 13s
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:15 pm 
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Wow, went whitewater (class I, II rapids) Cartecay River Kayaking. Had the flip over skirt drill which was a first for me and was amazed at having the presence of mind to grab the skirt loop and escape from an overturned kayak. Did not like all the paddling and am feeling the sore shoulders already. After the oasis and Revo demos I really missed the rudder. Floating forward, backward and sideways was not fun. Also managed to get lodged against a few rocks ending up in my flipping, escaping from my skirt and then chasing down my kayak and paddle. Sorry whitewater aficionados but I did not enjoy the experience at all. Part of the problem was an ill fitting seat in my kayak that not only gave me a back ache but may have caused some instability issues that may have led to my flipping. Seems that since I had no back support I tended to lean back thus causing my flipping. Dunno. Was amazed at how the sit on top kayaks managed to go through the worst rapids with no flips. A TI is looking better and better every day.

Going to cancel on the Dana Point TI demo at the end of the month because I will probably never use it in an ocean but my wife is going out to stay with friends and to try it. Instead I will schedule a TI demo in the Gulf (Panama City) and which would be my secondary sailing venue. My lake demo should be next week as it would be my primary TI venue.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:41 am 
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My wife and I have a 2009 Oasis, and we love it when it is in the water.

Carrying a yak in the bed of a pickup makes the loading and unloading a lot easier.

I have a Honda Ridgeline, the dealer put a rack on top for our new Oasis. That didn't work, as we felt like we trying to put a 14'6" very wide/hard to handle and heavy board on top of the racks. I'm 75 with a bad knee and a bad rotator cuff, and my bride is a little younger with a bad wrist and shoulder with pins in it and a bad hip. The racks didn't work for us. We are very limited to how high we can raise our hands even with a minimal weight.

We got a Malone trailer which handles the Oasis very well and is great for storing it between trips. The only problem is some launch areas are very tight re turning/maneuvering areas with steep launch pads. The Ridgeline is like backing up a tank with minimal if any rear vision, and backing up a trailer is not a fun thing.

We go on short local trips putting the Oasis, bow first, in the truck bed with a metal load extender and a net extender to secure the Oasis. It is easier to get on and off the bed and to secure it instead backing up the trailer in tight areas. We only have to hoist the Oasis up a little over 3', with one of us on each side to do a minimal lift up and over the tail gate. Then to push it up into a corner of the pickup bed. We use the kayak cords with the hook pullies to pull it up snug to the back of the cab. Then, we secure the cords in the front of the bed. Next, we use the net load extender to secure the middle and stern of the yak. The final and simple step is to lift up the stern a couple of inches over the metal bed extender after we put it into the trailer hitch and secure it with another strap.

We will try putting the yak in stern first into the truck bed. Then, after backing up to close to the water, we can drag/lift and drop the bow into the river/lake at the launch site, push it forward into the water for a few feet as we remove the yak from the truck bed. Then, my wife can hold the bow line to secure the yak until I park the pickup and return for the launch.

Our Oasis only has one steering knob, and that is in the back of the yak, where I sit. If we had two steering knobs, I would disable the one in front to eliminate any cross actions. Now, we have no problem with my wife in front without a steering knob.

We don't sail our Oasis, however a lot of posters do. Get yourself a Hobie sail and a sailing rudder and a set of AMAs to prevent keeling over if you want to sail.

_________________
2009 Oasis
2012 Freedom Hawk Pathfinder


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:35 pm 
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Thanks for the input Grampa Spey, an Oasis is probably still in the picture and I would definitely use amas on it to sail. I saw a video of a guy out sailing without them and when he tried to turn he got dumped in the water. He then righted himself and got dumped again. Not fun in my book and I would think could get tiring. That is probably why I am leaning toward the TI as the amas seem to keep the kayak pretty stable and will accept the tramps.

My main attraction to the TI is using the tramps especially when the front seat starts getting swamped with water. I figure my wife could just slide over on one of the tramps and just enjoy the ride. Also using them when in a quiet cove to lay or stretch out on would be nice. Found out the lake demo TI does not have the tramps installed. Therefore, am second guessing not going out for the ocean demo in Dana Point. Also, based on all the fun she had yesterday on the river, my wife just advised today that all kayak options are now on the table including a trailer option as long as I was driving when towing. I think she is coming around to the many ways we would be able to enjoy a "versatile" kayak. She even suggested getting a Hobie Evolve Torqeedo Motor Kit for emergencies. Now just finding the right kayak for us!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:49 pm 
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Mark the Shark wrote:
Thanks for the input Grampa Spey, an Oasis is probably still in the picture and I would definitely use amas on it to sail. I saw a video of a guy out sailing without them and when he tried to turn he got dumped in the water. He then righted himself and got dumped again. Not fun in my book and I would think could get tiring.


Haha that was me! :oops:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:13 pm 
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Jcanracer,

That video was simply amazing especially the way you timed the excellent music to your dunking. I was afraid you were not going to make it back up because you were looking pretty tired. Was it a sudden wind shift or just coming around that flipped you? Nonetheless it made me a believer in having amas. Thanks for posting your video! Guys like me can learn something from it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:18 am 
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Thanks Mark, it was really due to my inexperience with sail power.
One should always try to turn INTO the wind and not the other way, especially if the mainsheet hasn't been sufficiently loosened. The sail filled unexpectedly and without amas (or a clue what was going on) there was sufficient force to tip me over. Lesson learnt, and it was a good refresher on kayak re-entry on the water.

Don't let it dissuade you from getting a sail or practicing re-entry techniques!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:33 pm 
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Mark the Shark wrote:
Thanks for the input Grampa Spey, an Oasis is probably still in the picture and I would definitely use amas on it to sail. I saw a video of a guy out sailing without them and when he tried to turn he got dumped in the water. He then righted himself and got dumped again. Not fun in my book and I would think could get tiring. That is probably why I am leaning toward the TI as the amas seem to keep the kayak pretty stable and will accept the tramps.

My main attraction to the TI is using the tramps especially when the front seat starts getting swamped with water. I figure my wife could just slide over on one of the tramps and just enjoy the ride. Also using them when in a quiet cove to lay or stretch out on would be nice. Found out the lake demo TI does not have the tramps installed. Therefore, am second guessing not going out for the ocean demo in Dana Point. Also, based on all the fun she had yesterday on the river, my wife just advised today that all kayak options are now on the table including a trailer option as long as I was driving when towing. I think she is coming around to the many ways we would be able to enjoy a "versatile" kayak. She even suggested getting a Hobie Evolve Torqeedo Motor Kit for emergencies. Now just finding the right kayak for us!


The link below is an excellent link for the TI's and what you can tote on the tramps, including surf boards or SUP boards.

http://surf.transworld.net/1000129687/f ... ing-kayak/

Two quick not so good eye witness accounts of TI's trying to be launched in somewhat heavy surf and winds quartering the beach launch areas:

1. At Avila Beach by the hotels and park. A family tried twice to launch their TI's and got broached and capsized. By the end of their second unplanned trip, they were cold, wet, miserable and gave up.
2. The next day a couple of miles up the shoreline. A guy by himself tried to launch his TI in the surf. The TI got turned over and broke off an AMA. He was lucky as he got flipped and hit on his head by the breached TI. He got a bad cut over his eyes and forehead. My wife and I pulled him out the water and she did some beach first aid. I went back out to help retrieve his TI with a couple of other guys and brought it in after we got some lines on it and could pull it in. One good swimmer retrieved his broke off AMA.

The good launch/TI trip. A couple weeks ago we were at Bodega Bay, Doran Beach Park, on the protected south side beach. There were several yaks on the beach. They had been wheeled their yaks to the beach over 100 yards of sand. These yakkers were joined by a TI. That couple had launched their TI off the ramp on the Coast Guard side, sailed out the cove and set out crab traps that were on the tramps. Then, they sailed paddled over to the beach to join their friends on the leeward shore.

My wife talked to them, and was told that they only launch from a launch site. They will come to shore to join other yakkers for some fun and time on the beach. Then. their friends can help them launch to return if there are waves and wind. Their friends helped them.

We watched them launch, go out and retrieve their crab traps, and then put up their sail to sail back into the harbor and their launch site.

My wife on her return said the TI seemed very nice, but we were too old to have one.

_________________
2009 Oasis
2012 Freedom Hawk Pathfinder


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:38 am 
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Yeah I have seen in a video where some flip in a TI while trying to surf with them. That is got to be hard on the mast I would imagine. Do not plan on doing anything in the surf. Mainly just going to the many lakes around Atlanta. I found out a little known fact that there are supposedly no "natural lakes" in Georgia. All are man made.

Well the wife is waffling again about handling the sun out on the water (looking into a bimini to use without the sail) and again about having a trailer. I got so upset last night I told he I was never going to buy a TI because if I did I would probably be using it myself.

Questions that came up last night. How many times a year would we need to use it to make it a worthwhile purchase? How often would we need/want to pull a trailer a couple of hundred miles in order to get a different experience? How does one tolerate being out in the sun on the water for long periods while sailing? What would be our "sailing season" and "non-sailing" season ie too cold to sail.

I am so frustrated I am ready to throw in the towel.


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