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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:00 am 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:02 am
Posts: 1
Just got my PA 14 a few weeks ago – the boat is well built, stainless steel hardware most places with locking nuts. Noticed that most hardware was thru-bolted with nuts and the seat had good threaded inserts in the plastic – all very good. The fit and manufacturing of the hardware is proper. Not sure about the longevity of the tie-warped structural foam columns in the hull. Most foam materials compression set after time, so we’ll see. The bow and stern handles appear sturdy and easy to grasp. There is some excessive flash and a little miss-alignment at where the rotational molding tooling mold halves come together. Could be tool wear, out-of-flatness at the tooling mating area and/or weak alignment features between the molds – it’s OK though.

The Mirage drive is innovative and efficient however I suspect easy to break if one is not careful in shallow water or strikes an underwater obstruction. The snap in/out retainer system for the drive is superb. The adjust pedal locations is well thought out and easy to position.

In my view there is a fundamental fit, form and function problem with seat and center storage access cover. The cover cannot be opened without contacting the seat and some maneuvering of the cover is required to fully open the cover. If one leaves the seat-down position retraining snap strap out and forward, the center cover will not open at all.

This is my first modification to make the boat “right” I bought 1” square aluminum tube (6061 – T6 I think) from Ace hardware and longer Stainless screws to get 1.5 D and 2 D fastener thread engagement into the seat. I cut the square tube equal in length to the existing seat rectangular tubing and match drilled the clearance holes.

This modification raises the seat minimally and gets proper clearance between the seat and the center storage cover. I’m an average sized man (185#) so the shift up of my CG is negligible. I think one could get away with raising the seat ¾” or even 1/2 “ to get the cover clear of the seat. This is an easy fix (Do you read these comments Hobie Designers and Engineers?).

I bought the sail kit and for what one pays for the sail and mast I think a furling kit should come with it. For about $40 retail in hardware I got a really slick clip in and out furling system.

I also bought the Hobie cart as well – Did I really pay almost $200 for this cart? The cart keeper pin is pressed into the plastic end-cap – well originally it was and has already fallen out. I’ll buy a universal or make one myself when the cart fully breaks.

Ok, a bunch of positives and some negatives I do think the boat is a good paddle free fishing platform and most features one will like. So go get one…


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 2072
Location: High Point, NC
Many of us have simply re-drilled the seat to seat frame mounting holes to move the seat back about an inch. That allows the center hatch cover to easily clear and open.

The Mirage Drive unit is tougher than you suspect. Of course you can damage it if you hit something while moving full speed ahead, but minor bumps and knocks against underwater obstructions while making only a mile or two an hour usually doesn't cause any harm. And what can be damage is generally easily fixed, sometimes right on the water.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:57 pm
Posts: 60
Location: Bluegrass Region of Central KY
I'd love to see your furling solution. I just bought the sail kit and was researching the various mods folks have done on their Hobie's. Can you share it with us?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:57 am 
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Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:33 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Virginia - Pro Angler 14 owner since Feb 2010
Another option many of us have used is adding a sliding bracket to the Hobie seat. This elevates the seat a couple of inches and allows the seat to move fore and aft. This offers a number of benefits for improved access to the center storage and the seat retainer nuts under the seats, seat positioning for pedaling and standing, and storage capacity under the seat. I really like this mod.

http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=78&t=33849

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