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 Post subject: Looking for input
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:25 am 
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Hi all, first post. Looks like a friendly place with a lot of great information. I am looking for some input on an upcoming purchase. I realize a purchase is a personal decision, but I am hoping your input will help me make a good choice.

First some background: We plan to full time travel soon in a Class A Motor Home towing a Jeep Liberty. No home base for a while and limited storage. We definitely want to be able to get on the water to fish, float, sight see and just have fun. Our travels will take us to streams, rivers, lakes and the ocean. So we need a really flexible platform that doesn't take up a lot of room.

I am leaning strongly towards the Hobie inflatable kayaks with the Mirage drive. They seem to best fit our needs.

Does this seem like a good choice for our needs as described?

Plan to buy two. What length(s) should we consider?

Our next step is to go try a few out. This involves a couple hour drive. I want to do as much research as possible before we make the drive.

Thanks in advance for any input.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:27 pm
Posts: 568
Welcome aboard!
I'm partial to the Revo11 as an easy to carry all rounder, but this depends on the size of the user/s. Smaller users can get away with the Sport model, which is also quite capable.
I've never tried the inflatables, so can't comment on that, sorry.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:31 pm 
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Location: Oceanside, California
Moved you to the inflatable forum for more i series replies.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:12 pm
Posts: 184
Location: Columbia, MD
I'm speaking as an i12S owner since 2010.

I love my boat, but I'd still prefer a rotomolded boat, probably an Outback. They just perform better & allow more flexibility in rigging. I made my decision to buy the i12S based on two factors at the time: no suitable vehicle to transport a rotomold boat (small sedan I did NOT want to cartoop the boat on) & no suitable place to store one (I live in a townhouse with no garage & no easy access to the basement or back).

Without going into specific kayak models, I think either the inflatables or rotomolded boats will serve you well on the waters you plan to use them on. Obviously smaller equals lighter & less room to store, but don't make size the main factor. Kayaks are like clothes. You won't be comfortable in one unless it fits you right. Stability is also a big comfort factor depending on use & experience level.

It seems like your decision is really based on storage & ease of transport. If you don't want to mess with cartopping the boat(s) on either the Motor home or Jeep then you want the inflatables. They will however take up a good chunk of space. Bear in mind that it's not just the boat bag you have to store, but also the seats, paddles, mirage drives, carts, pumps, PFDs, etc. Some of these can be consolidated into the boat bag, some not. You have similar issues with rotomolded boats, but they have below deck storage which allows you to store many accessories in the boat itself. If you end up wanting to store the boat bags on top of the motor home or Jeep, then I'd just as soon put a rotomold boat up there IMO. Bear in mind that your gas mileage will take a hit if you cartop plastic boat(s). Maybe not so much if they're on the Jeep drafting the motor home.

Demo as many inflatable & rotomold models as you can and make sure to see the size of the inflatables in their bags. A good dealer should let you try out cartopping the boats, if you're game.

Others in the forum have multiple boats & can weigh-in better on transport & storage issues.

Good luck & enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:21 pm 
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Good info. The problem with a hard body is that with full time travel the kayaks will have to be strapped to our daily driver all the time or left outside in various camping situations. I fear that both options would invite problems.

Bag size will be an issue for sure. I have the cargo area in the jeep as well as some room in the MH bays. Definitely plan try out the kayaks and check out bag size before the purchase. Just doing homework. It's a couple hour drive to a decent shop.

plan to buy two. One for wife and one for me. I was thinking that different sizes might give me more flexibility when I go out without wife, which will happen often. Do you find there are times the i9 or i14 might be handy to have?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:39 am 
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We don't full-time yet, but we will be. We also have a Class A and a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Previously we had a Dodge Durango. And with 2 kids, I bought 2 i12s and 2 i9s kayaks. The i9s is definitely easier to deal with then the i12s. So unless you need the storage of the i12s, then I would get 2 i9s. Especially since we were putting a couple on the roof rack of the Durango. We also had a Hobie Getaway, but that doesn't work with a motorhome and car.

Since then, because I wanted to sail, I sold the Getaway and bought a Tandem Island. This stays on top of the Jeep while traveling. The main problem is that it doesn't carry the 4 of us.

David


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:12 pm
Posts: 184
Location: Columbia, MD
With a bad back & bad right leg there are MANY times I wish I had a smaller, lighter boat! I bought the i12S specifically for fishing (I have no interest in sailing or recreational kayaking) and need the extra weight capacity & storage area over what the i9S has. I also feel the 12' boat is more at home in bigger waters, but people whale watch & marlin fish in i9S, so to each their own!

Boat weight & size become bigger issues as you get older & things start to ache & break down.

I have no personal experience with tandems, but if you think the i12S is big then the i14T is a bear. This is all anectodal on my part, but people seem to either love or hate tandems. If you use them with two people they're fun, solo they can be a pain. You probably don't want to fish out of one with two people onboard unless you like crossed lines & hooked bodies. With the exception of the cart & pump you also have twice the number of accessories to store, so you may as well just have two smaller boats IMO. Again, there's people on the forum who own them & have better info to offer than me.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:35 am
Posts: 97
My 1st Hobie was an i12. Nice hatch, but I never used it. Other than a small cooler bag for a few beverages and snacks that I throw in the space behind me, I only use 1 or 2 rods and a small bag of plastics and other assorted lures and terminal tackle most of the time. I down-sized after the 1st year to the i9. Much better for me as I didn't need all that wasted space and it was easier to manage/carry and put away - the i12 was a bit more heavy and awkward to carry due to the weight of the front hatch I think; but once on wheels either the i9 or i12 are a breeze to cart long distances if you have to. I've used both the i9 and i12 to fish both salt and fresh, both local and when traveling or at camp, and both are nice but I still prefer the i9. My wife and 2 kids caught on shortly after me, and now I have 4 i9's for the whole family. All accessorized with cup holders, rod holders, mine with a fishfinder and anchor trolley though I hardly use them anymore, and fat rudders. I couldn't resist and got myself a PA12 when it came out and I like that a lot as well but nothing beats the practicality and portability of the i9 IMHO. I also had a sport at one time, but still circled back to the i9 as it was still the better choice for me. Anyway, hope this helps. The best advice is to go find a dealer that will let you try them out on the water and try packing and unpacking and inflating and deflating to get a feel for the process. It only takes me 5 minutes to inflate per boat, and maybe another 5 to pack/unpack, but we make it a competition and the kids can do it faster.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:12 pm
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Location: Columbia, MD
One other interesting point about the i9S is I think it's the only "junior" mirage kayak where the cockpit length (measured here as maximum distance from the center of the mirage well to the fully extended seat back) is the same as it's bigger brother, the i12S in this case. The Revo 11 & Sport have shorter cockpits than the Revo 13 & Outback, respectively I believe. May make a difference in comfort & versatility for multiple & larger users.

I don't consider tandems to be related to any specific kayak model line. They're just freaks :).

Not 100% sure of this, so again maybe someone with multiple boats can verify.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:35 am
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I didn't know that but I do find the i9 comfortable and I'm 6' and ~250 lbs and fish very full days without issue. I didn't notice a 'comfort' difference between the i9 and i12, but did feel cramped in the sport compared to the i9 for some reason - what you pointed out may explain that. As for the PA12, there's no comparison....I think I could live it that for days LOL.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:12 pm
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Location: Columbia, MD
Yeah. I think the next PA model is going to feature a below deck cabin with a "Vantage Cot." Then you can get REALLY comfortable :).


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for input
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:59 am
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archer520 wrote:
Good info. The problem with a hard body is that with full time travel the kayaks will have to be strapped to our daily driver all the time or left outside in various camping situations. I fear that both options would invite problems.

Bag size will be an issue for sure. I have the cargo area in the jeep as well as some room in the MH bays. Definitely plan try out the kayaks and check out bag size before the purchase. Just doing homework. It's a couple hour drive to a decent shop.

plan to buy two. One for wife and one for me. I was thinking that different sizes might give me more flexibility when I go out without wife, which will happen often. Do you find there are times the i9 or i14 might be handy to have?


I would recommend buying the i14T first. then both could yak together. The i14T will be a good yak for solo also.. So you would kill two birds with one yak. The bag dimensions may be found on the hobie website in the description.

It is always a good idea to demo your choices first. If the dealer won't make a comitment to deom over the phone then call another dealer until you find one who will help you get on the water. Maybe someone in the area has the yaks you want to demo and let you try it out with them if a dealer is to far away.

Good Luck with you decision...


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