What seems strange is that the Outback 12 is marketed as a fishing kayak and yet omits the Pro Angle 12 hatch. So one buys an Outback and has to spend another $100 for the hatch kit. Add in the $143 for the Hobie Mirage Performance kit with the turbo fins and larger rudder and the boat is ready to go. Just don't understand why these items are not standard equipment for this type of boat that is designed specifically for fishing.
It appears that Hobie's product marketing people want to maximize the differences between the 12 foot Outback and the 12 foot Pro Angler boats as much as possible, and this I can understand. It does make for a less pleasant experience for the person buying an Outback when they have to buy all these add on items to complete the boat.
Hobie with the 2015 Outback made a number of nice to have improvements with the higher rear cockpit floor and the new seat, but failed to fix the two aspects that did need improving, the round hatch and the shape of the hull at the bow entry point where there is all the water slapping.
Ah, but Wintersun, what about the anglers that don't want the square hatch? I can get into the round hatch without throwing both legs over the side of the kayak, not sure I would be able to do the same with the rectangular hatch. Similarly, if you are an inshore or shallow-water user you may have no need for the full turbo fins and sailing rudder.
See, you don't have to
get any of these options. The beauty of the Outback is you have all these choices
and that makes the kayak appealing to a wider range of users. That's not just good marketing, that's good customer service. The weight difference and stand-ability put the PA12 in a different class even without these add-on items you mention.
I will however agree, vehemently, about the outdated bow design especially since they demonstrated with the SPORT that they know how to fix the issue!