On Sunday my friend and I had the chance to test peddle the first New Hobie PA 12 in Toronto, Canada at Fogh Marine's Demo day. We both put it through its paces and we both have our own opinions about this new PA.
At first glance you can't help but notice the 12's best feature, the seat.
This seat includes lumbar support, the ability to raise and lower the seat, Armrest with adjustment included for you to recline the back rest and also to tilt the seat pan the seat pan also flips up so you can stand more in the centre of the boat.
Rudder Controls on both sides
By far this is the most comfortable seat I have ever sat in a kayak, the only thing that the seat does not do is slide back and forth. One problem I found to be a bit of a pain was when the seat was is the high position and you decide to switch it to the low position there is a bunch of adjustments that have to be made to make it comfortable to peddle including adjusting the length if your mirage drive peddles. One other thing I wasn't to fond of was the distance I had to reach over the arm rest to the rudder control, in the raised position was a little too far to reach for my liking. But with that being said the best feature of the seat is the fact that it pops out and can be used for a beach chair.
Getting this boat out on the water was a blast and performance of the PA 12 is pretty good. With it being 25 pounds lighter and 2 feet shorter this boat is much faster, easier to man handle and the turning radius is a lot tighter than the PA 14. Peddling with the seat in the raised position I found the boat to be less stable for my liking, while doing quick turns the boat does get fairly low to the water and can cause an issue for some people ( just ask Jason LOL).
High Speed Turn
Jason after he turtle's the new PA
One thing with the New PA 12 is that it is a totally different boat than it Bigger brother the PA 14. Each boat has Pros and cons but will address different needs for different anglers and seeing them side by side there is a huge difference in the looks and size of the 2.
Pros of New PA 12
Seat is built for sear comfort
Weight of the 12 is 25 pounds lighter
2 foot shorter and around 4 inches narrower for easier handling
Transducer ready for Lowrance FF
Fast and easy to handle
Less stability over the PA 14 for obvious reasons
Less of storage space ( 4 rod holder Vs 6) Front hatch 2/3 the size
Price, Same as a PA 14
These are 2 awesome boats and it is going to come down to wants and needs when you are deciding between these 2 boats. After peddling the 2 and considering the water I fish in the PA 14 is a better boat for me, while I would love to have the 12's seat I prefer the performance and stability of the longer boat JMO.