I am a Hobie AI and TI owner in Portland Oregon who is looking for chances to rent/borrow/trade boats for exploring waters in other areas. I have had nice rental experiences on several occasions in St. Thomas, Key Largo, Houston Texas (Galveston Bay) with dealers who have rental stock.
We have also sailed for years with Kayaking Bob Conlon in Kihei on Maui, and here in the NW USA. Our efforts to find or rent boats in Sydney AUS were not successful, mostly due to bad timing with AI AUS owners' own travel plans.
Currently I am wanting to explore Newport Bay, CA. I have a place to stay there on the water and could shore launch. THere are three dealers in the area, one has demo stock, but they cite insurance classification reasons as preventing them from renting boats, even to Hobie Island Club members.
So I am interested to find two boats down there. I can work with owners to guarantee repair or replacement costs. If it matters I can make my own boats available for a similar arrangement up here. I am a lawyer and helped Kayaking Bob come up with a legal release a couple of years ago that covers everything, including whales and all manner of misadventures.
My AI/TI experience includes lots of use and experimentation including some big water experiences with Kayaking Bob near Molokini, Oregon coast surf launching of an AI with Lifeguard backup (don't try it), using a TI and then an AI as my "rental vehicle" in the USVI, camping with my sons in Florida Bay Wilderness with 3 AIs, racing an AI central hull in a 9.5 mile open kayak race (pulled up the rudder [too much drag], pedaled and paddled to accelerate during turns-won that race. I have also had some interesting experiences such as breaking a Mirage drive mast while offshore and removing that flappingflipper and pedaling in with one-worked fine. I use a 47' houseboat "mothership" to tether the boats up here, and round out my boat life with 2 insanely fast HOnda turbo jetskis. My primary time on the water is as a year round rower in Fluidesign and Echo Ace race singles, a Hudson Double, Alden 19 and Echo open water shell. I organize and participate in what will be two open water races on the Mississippi River September 21-22,2013, the Quincy5miler and Bear Creek Grunt (15 mi.).
It is 1000 miles to drive down to Newport Bay with my trailered boats and that is just too far. It is unfortunate that there are so few rental boats available. However, individual owners, particularly Hobie Island Club members, may be able to team up on sharing the boats that are out there. I would be interested to help others in that effort. There are a number of places I would like to explore with an AI/TI so if there are other owners who would be open to such an arrangement please post.
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm Posts: 1947 Location: Maui, Hawaii
I can attest that Ray is very daring and a little crazy (my kind of crazy), but has the skills and expertise to back it all up!
His first time in my then brand new TI, when the wind cranked up over 20 knots 3 to 4 miles offshore creating 7 foot wind waves from one direction and 3 foot short swell from the other, he was zipping around cutting the top 3 feet off of many 10 foot combined waves, and leaving me in the dust! He'd circle back to check on me every few minutes then rip back ahead. I hit 12.3mph in my AI while he was going much faster. We even passed a waterspout.
I bought a GoPro camera after that day because I missed so many good shots, being too busy keeping my boat under control. Here's a short video when it calmed down enough to free up one hand to record it.
He definitely fully checked out my TI, and returned it unscathed. Lots of fun!
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:55 am Posts: 25 Location: Riverside, S. California, USA
Ray I own an AI and a TI an hour's drive from Newport Beach. I might be open to some arrangement providing you use (though I sail often). We can discuss it. Kirk Visscher (aka beebrain) email@example.com.