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 Post subject: Stability of the PA 14
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:14 pm 
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Have you ever felt like you were getting close to tipping your PA over or worse, have you tipped your PA over?
The story about the Striper fisherman dumping his PA got me to thinking...........I have never felt like I was going to tip or fall out of my PA 14.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Nope... next time out before you load up go out in the shallows empty and try and flip it over. It's possible but not easy. I weigh 170 and was able to stand with one foot on the edge and one foot in the area of the mirage drive and rocked back and forth and was only able to bring the water level to within a couple inches of going over the edge of the PA.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:04 pm 
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Not familiar with this particular story...

But having the H-bar on my rig…I feel if you were to grab it off to the side while losing balance…the PA would tip pretty easily.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:49 pm 
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joeyb,
You've touched on something here which I've feared from the get go. I feel that the H-bar will provide a false sense of security to those who do not use it with caution. It is a giant lever. I hesitated to post anything because I do not wish to bad mouth or cost Hobie any sales of this item. With that said.... I hope posting this will be beneficial to others and will provide a heads up for those who might otherwise be unaware of such a possibility.

Thanks for bringing it up!

Be safe out there everybody and I'm glad this recent event turned out to have a happy ending.

GR8 Laker


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:53 pm 
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I've had my PA 14 out in 1' waves....standing up and have never felt unstable. I'm pretty agile and sure-footed though! I've come close a couple times to tripping on something and almost going over-board....but that was my own fault! I don't own the front lean bar and really don't want one! The lean bar looks like it would likely get in the way when casting and fighting fish. Now that someone mentions it...it may actually help tip the PA over if someone grabs onto it when caught off balance? I would much rather get wet than have my kayak tip over with all my gear! I'm going to do a test similar to the post mentioned above once the water and air temperatures warm up here in Colo to see if I can tip mine over. Also practice how to get back in and turn it back over in deep water. I know I'll feel a lot more confident trying this out and knowing exactly what to do if I do tip over!

Next to my Dave Scadden 11' pontoon my PA 14 is the most stable platform I've owned for stablity. My buddy has a Hobie Outfitter and his doesn't seem as stable as my PA 14...plus he gets a little wet from wave splash. The sides on the Outfitter aren't quite as tall and it's a couple inches narrower. The cargo area on the front of the PA also prevents wave splash from coming over the front. He also found out the Outfitter's front comes out of the water when only 1 guy is siting in the back seat of the kayak. He has to add weight in the front when 1 guy is in his outfitter.

Unfortunately I had a BAD experience in a narrow, kevlar canoe about 1 week ago in a 33 degree lake! I could tell when I first got in it that it was super timpsy. Sure enough my buddy and I went in the drink and it was not fun! Luckily I always wear my life jacket. My buddy had on a CO2 powered lifejacket and it just about strangled him around the neck. It went off when he went in the lake but it was not pleasant getting strangled and trying to swim. I myself wouldn't trust my life on a CO2 powered lifejacket and I'm pretty sure he's going to convert back over to a regular life jacket. I thought I would add these comments since I have experience with going in the drink and also life jackets!

Another word of caution is to have most (if not all) your gear attached to something. Luckily we only lost 1 rod/reel in the lake because we had everything attached!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:29 am 
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My balance is a bit shot due to too many spins and aerobatics as a jet instructor, so I'm not (yet) comfortable standing up in my PA. In time, maybe.

But I'm also of the opinion that the H-bar would making tipping more likely. Get a little off balance, grab it - and that's all it would take.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:32 am 
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I have watched alot of videos and you really have to work really hard to tip the PA14 over. That other thread, One I couldnt even understand what he was saying. Two he must have had alot of weight in the PA and a wave must hit at the same time. I dont know.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:01 am 
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I haven't even come close to tipping my PA14 and I'm all over that thing literally. I stand up and fish in swift currents and streams as I drift, turn around, sit on the front hatch, climb over my seat and stretch out on the back deck, etc. Now, I'm surprised I haven't fallen out, but tip?? Not even close.


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 4:29 am 
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Location: Virginia - Pro Angler 14 owner since Feb 2010
Luckiliy, I have only managed to dump myself out of my PA once. I was only in 2 feet of water trying to help a guy fishing from shore free a lure in a tree branch about 15 feet from the bank. Being new to my PA, I made the rookie move of grabbing the tree branch as I was floating by and leaning a little too far over the side. The combination of momemtum and weight shift dumped me right in. My PA tipped pretty far, but didn't flip. Thankfully, most everything was stowed. That said, I did test the waterproof capabilities of my Humminbird portable fish finder as it went to the bottom. It still works today.

With the additional height that comes from the seat slider I added since then, leaning too far over the side is something I'm even more careful about today. That couple extra inches of height definitely changed the center of gravity and made the PA feel a more tippy when seated and leaning to the side.

jims wrote:
Another word of caution is to have most (if not all) your gear attached to something. Luckily we only lost 1 rod/reel in the lake because we had everything attached!


I actually lost a rod in the Rappahannock River when I knocked it out of my rod holder while frantically trying to pull in my drift shute to keep it from disappearing under a pile of snags in swift current. Thnankfully, it was an old spinning combo I'd been wanting to replace. I hated to lose the rod, but the reel was junk. At first, I thought I lost a brand new combo that was not cheap, and I was pretty angry. This experience opened my eyes to the need to better protect my tackle investments and brought me to thinking about leashes or floats for my rods. Based on recommendations from this thread http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=40728 , I bought some of the 8" foam floats for my rods and have been using them the last few outings. I was worried they would throw off the rod balance or get in the way, but neither concern has been a problem at all. I haven't actually tested them to see if they work, as I don't want to submerge one of my good rigs unecessarily, but I'm going to sacrifice an old rod and reel on my next outing to see how they function.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:18 am 
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As mentioned above floats or a leash is a great idea for rods! I bought a pack of 3 foam floats at Basspro for around $10. The vecro stays that come with them sometimes get in the way but other than that they are cheap insurance in case your rod/reel go into the drink! I also put them on my $500 fly rod w/$250 fly reel and they work great on a flyrod as well. Unfortunately my buddies rod mentioned above that went into the lake didn't have one attached.


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:31 pm 
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The PA is very stable and in my opinion most could easily stand and fish out of it. You will likely loose your balance and fall out of the boat before it tips. I often stand and pole the shallows in my PA. I just bend over and lift the fish out of the water while still standing. I am 5'9" 205 and I think the PA is perfect for all fishing applications.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:10 pm 
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I have tipped twice. Both times it was in breaking surf with a strong onshore or sideshore breeze on Lake Michigan. Surfing in on 2-3 ft breakers requires staying absolutely perpendicular to the waves. The wind makes this more challenging. Pulling up the Mirage Drive when getting shallow only requires 5 seconds, but that is plenty of time to get spun a little sideways to the waves, and then you have to paddle like mad to get back on track or else it's all over. The waves will roll you over from below unless you are very quick to do the counter-intuitive extreme lean into the wave face and hope to just get badly trashed rather than flipped. And yes, once flipped the front tub can take on a lot of water very quickly, even when bungeed down tight. I'm sure that our offshore / BTB salt brothers can chime in with similar stories.


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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Jim_MI, I would be curious to hear more details about your spills on L. Mich. I will be heading there this coming fall and want to be prepared! Was it difficult "beaching" your PA after it over turned? Would you suggest wearing waterproof clothes of any kind in case there is a spill in late Nov/Dec?

Since the front storage compartment tends to fill w/water is there anything that could prevent this or would it be a good idea to add foam or something else to allow it to float better? I imagine your PA would be impossible to turn back over if the front compartment has taken on much water?


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 2:03 pm 
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jims - The water on Lk MI is certainly warmer in the fall than the spring, and much of my Sept and early Oct salmon fishing is done without benefit of my drysuit. So watch the water & air temp reports and use your judgement. That said, if you are going to be fishing Lake Michigan more than occasionally, then a drysuit will tremendously lengthen your fishing season. Using my drysuit I routinely fish late Nov or early Dec, and start up again at first ice -out the next spring. If you just need a drysuit for a week or two this fall, consider rental from The Kayak Academy in WA - very good people to work with. http://www.kayakacademy.com/pages/store ... ysuit.html

Wiping out on your way in on Lk MI will occur in shallow water, usually 4 ft or less, so this is not real dangerous. In my case, I just flipped the PA over, gathered all my loose stuff, and walked it back in with the bow facing into the surf. Flipping was not too difficult with water in the tub, but I suspect that cockpit control is significantly diminished once you get all that weight in the front. My front tub was probably 1/3 - 1/2 full when I got onshore.

There were several mods posted on this forum last year or the year before describing ways for better waterproofing the front hatch seal. The best I recall used a wider gasket material, but provided specifics on where you could get it.


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 5:10 pm 
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jims wrote:
As mentioned above floats or a leash is a great idea for rods! I bought a pack of 3 foam floats at Basspro for around $10. The vecro stays that come with them sometimes get in the way


I would recommend using zip ties instead of the velcro ties. I used them and they very seldom get in the way... Try it you will like it. OH, yea, use the really small narrow ones.


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