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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:14 pm 
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I mainly canoe on Missouri rivers and don't really fish much (actually at all--for now). But I was at a Hobie dealer looking for a Stand up Paddle Board for my fiancee and I noticed all the Hobie kayaks--I don't like kayaking much in "standard" kayaks b/c I do multi-day float trips and have too much gear--they are also typically uncomfortable as I am 5'11 and 200lbs (and not flexible). Naturally I saw the Pro Angler 12/14 and could help but say, "holy sh##" this thing is awesome. But I have some serious reservations since Missouri rivers have rocky bottoms, jammed up bottlenecks, tight turns, and fun rapids/ledges that need to be navigated accurately depending on water flow. That said, how is the maneuverability of this boat? How effected will the "fins" be due to rocky bottoms of these rivers--sometimes we have to drag. How much propulsion will I get from the peddles/drive shaft? I'm concerned b/c I haven't noticed any of these on these rivers and I'm wondering how functional they are for the Eleven Point, Current, Jacks Fork, Big Piney, etc (if you are familiar with Missouri waterways). Inflatable versus non? other Hobie kayak options? Any help/guidance/suggestions would be truly appreciated!!

Thanks everyone.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
3hounds :
Your situation is very similar to ours, in as I don't fish at all, but we really like to do river excursions. I spent most of my life in the Illinois Wisconsin area and spent many summers on the Mississippi river when I was younger (I'm in my 60's). We now live in Florida and live just a couple miles from the gulf near Tampa Bay. We used to have a Sea Ray Power boat but sold it because dry storage down here is very expensive (about $350/month), and a new Sea Ray will set you back around 60k, as well as a large fortune in maintainance (because of the salt water), and of course fuel which is currently $4.50 a gallon at Marinas. Power boating has become pretty much unaffordable for the average family.
We love the water and after selling the powerboat we took up kayaking. Currently we can do everything we used to be able to do on our powerboat (except water ski of course), with zero ongoing costs (we store the kayaks in our garage), and there is virtually no costly maint required on kayaks.
We started out with an Oasis Tandem kayak, and a Revolution Kayak. We also have a camper and for many years traveled all over the country with kayaks on the roof pulling the trailer around the country. We wore out 2 Yukon Denali SUV's with our kayaks on board, traveling all over stopping pretty much anywhere we could find water, and are now on our third Denali. We've had our kayaks in most of the major rivers around the country, and score of smaller ones (the smaller ones are the most fun btw). One of our favorite things to do is running mild class 2 rapids, we have ran many. To be perfectly honest I simply can't imagine anyone trying to run class 2 rapids in a Pro Angler 'ever'.
Now all of our kids are grown and gone, and gas is so expensive, we don't travel nearly as much as we used to. We mostly stay in Florida now. One big deal about Florida is pretty much every body of fresh water is full of alligators. Me being Canadian, I am petrified by alligators, and won't go in any water that has them. My wife is native Floridian, and grew up with the crazy things, and has no fear of them. We mostly stick with salt water these days (no gators) except a few spring fed rivers up north of us with no gators.
When we started out I would always take the Oasis, and my wife on her Revolution (which is much faster than the Oasis and she would literally drive circles around me when I was solo). If we had any kids along they would ride with me on the tandem. After a while my wife much preferred going tandem wherever we went out so the revo stayed at home unused. About 3-4 yrs ago we ended up trading in the Oasis for a Tandem Island. As a kayak (without the sails and AMA's) the TI is much faster and more stable than our Oasis was with a lot more storage and capacity. With the tramps and AMA's on we often have 3-4 people on the TI going out and doing everything on the water we used to do with our powerboats and jetski's. We are out on the water every single weekend all year round, and are having the time of our lives enjoying our Hobies. Our main pastimes these days is sailing, scuba diving, and island hopping down in the keys.
I would look at either an Oasis or a Tandem Island if it were me.
Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:27 am 
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Since I am a newbie, I have stck to river running in my revo 13. I have hit rocks with the mirage drive....really makes a person pucker.the fin masts will bend, so I bend them back. I know they will eventually break, but they are replacable. The fins will also get nicks and rips. Again replacable. I have gone through 6" deep water, but the drive sometimes takes a hard hit. I got my revo in june and still havent broken any drive parts. I am 300 pounds so the drive can take some abuse. I have logged probably200 hours on it with no issues. As far as propulsion, I have gone 100kms in 14 hours. The trip in a canoe would be up to 20 hours. Be prepared for the rudder to bottom out on rocks which can cause minor grief as it sometimes turns at inopportune times


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
3hounds:
There are many different types of boats out there for different purposes. There is the recreational kayak/canoe market for occasional recreational use, then there is a another class of canoes/kayaks for the hard core expedition type people. A good example of expedition type canoes can be found here ( http://www.krugercanoes.com/Products.html ). Every year there is a 340 mile race down the Missouri river called the MR340 ( http://rivermiles.com/mr340/). And down here in Florida there is another one called the EC challenge (http://www.watertribe.org). If you go to those web sites you can see what types of boats are typically used and what is popular in the expedition world (if that's your thing). I have been following the Watertribe for a long time now, and think they are a great bunch of people.
I have read about on this forum of several people who have done the Mississippi in Hobie Oasis boats. There is another guy and his wife on this forum who did the Murray river in Australia (about 1400 miles) in their Oasis.
As a former expedition canoe guy myself (now I'm a sailing kayak expedition type guy lol), running the Mississippi ( I spent most of my life in that area) is on my bucket list. The only boat my wife and I would choose for such a trip would be the Hobie Tandem Island. One thing about the Mirage boats that you will discover is these types of boats will extend your comfortable range exponentially. Both of us can pedal 10 hrs, then get up the next day and do it again. You use a different much stronger muscle group pedaling, and any of these boats paddle similar to any other kayak or canoe, so you can alternate between two different muscle groups, which is huge when on multiday excursions.

BTW, longer boats are always faster, because of the physics of how water and propulsion works, regardless of the boat type.

When in very shallow or rocky water you simply pull the mirage drives and paddle just like any other kayak or canoe. When the water gets deep enough to pedal, you put the mirage drives back in and pedal, at much greater speed, and 1/3 the effort (in our opinion). When wind is available all of our boats are equipped with sails so when the conditions are right we sail when we can. The sails on these boats are extremely simple to operate, and no sailing experience is necessary (most people learn how to sail these things in a few minutes, "really simple, and no previous sailing experience is necessary"). If not using the sails you just stow them on the side of the boat (that's what we do). If you search " Tandem Island" on Youtube you can see thousands of videos of people with their Tandem Islands using them for just about anything you can imagine. They are truly the SUV of the industry and todays most popular multi use family boat, if this is what you are looking for. My opinion is the Hobie Oasis is a very good choice also, we owned one for many years and used the heck out of it. The Hobie Revolution is like a Ferrari sports car (we have had a couple Revo's), very fast and nimble, and also a great boat. I'm not knocking any of Hobies models, they are all good, but all have different purposes for different people, I have heard that the PA is the ultimate fishing machine for lake fishing, bar none, for those people that fish (I only underwater spear fish myself, "up close and personal with the fish LOL"), so others will need to clue you in on the PA's capabilities, as well as some of the other Hobie models like the Outback, Outfitter, Sport, etc, etc. Basically anything Hobie is the best you can get anywhere on the market, you will have to experience and realize this yourself once you join the 'Hobie way of life'. You have no idea what your getting yourself into here, until you take the plunge like the rest of us did. ( LOL)
Hope this helps
Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:04 am 
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Thank you! So...I guess it sounds like PA wouldn't be the best fit for my adventures. That said, I'm leaning towards one person instead of 2--do you know which model has the largest capacity for gear (Adventure? Revo 13?) out of all the other options? Also, I'm still interested in the inflatables due to the portability (i.e. taking on a plane). I think the Kruger canoes are out of my price range...I assume the inflatables have ability to add a sail? I'm not sure how I'd use the sail, but maybe down the road that would come into play. Since these rivers are very narrow, I don't see how the island versions would work...any more info/guidance is GREATLY appreciated!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
3hounds:
The adventure is the single seat version of the TI, and is also a great boat, it has more storage and weight capacity than the Revolution 13, and can later be expanded into an Adventure Island if you ever want to expand into something for even bigger adventures. When we use our TI's on river excursions we leave the AMA's and the big sail system at home (we mostly only use the AMA's and big sails in big water (like the ocean) and only use the TI in kayak mode. We use the AMA's and big sails on huge trips with a lot of equipment storage needs like scuba diving with a bunch of tanks, or camping trips.

The small Hobie kayak sail can be used on any of Hobies Mirage kayaks (even the inflatables). My only reason for mentioning the Oasis or the TI is they are larger boats with huge weight and storage capacities great for multi-day camping excursions whether using them single or Tandem, both are just as easy to use either as a single or dual passenger. With the advantage being just in case you want to bring someone along, at least to me that's more fun.

I have talked to several people with the inflatables, and everyone likes them, they are actually pretty durable and in my opinion would be a good choice also. We have talked about getting a tandem inflatable ourselves (for when we have kids/grand kids along). The Inflatables also have the mirage drives, and sailing options, but I'm uncertain about their storage capacity, someone else will need to chime in on inflatables and other available models.

Most of the dealers have monthly demo days where you can go and try out all the different types of boats available. That's what we did, and after talking to the experts at great lengths and trying out several models we decided on the boats that fit our particular needs the best. As you know everyone has different needs and goals as to what they want their boat to do. It's best to take your time kick the tires on a few, and talk to other people especially in the same area. We are now in Florida and our needs and expectations differ from yours I'm sure.

I'm not knocking the PA in any way, I wouldn't discount the PA based on what I have said. I haven't ridden or tried out a PA, and am hoping others will give you The PA's virtues. Who knows it could be a perfect fit for your needs, I have only outlined what we have first hand experience with.
Hope this helps
Bob


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