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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 8
Well, I'm relatively new to kayaking...have a wilderness systems Tarpon 120. Went to my local yak dealer and learned about Hobie and the Mirage drive...wow...interesting.

Now, I'm getting a Hobie :) Here's my problem...I'm guessing it might even sound familiar to a few of you...

I'm interested in both the Mirage drive and adding a sail...I think I'd love the sailing aspect. But I also like paddling (which will be a requirement in some of the really skinny water I often venture into). Sounded easy...get a Revo and a sail, and I'm all set. Well, I'm thinking I'd like the sail part and maybe the Adventure is a better way to go, maybe a bit faster and I could get the dagger board some day if needed, plus the 16 foot yak would be substantially different from my 12 foot Tarpon. Plus I could upgrade to the AI.

Well, I plan to get the bigger rudder, and the turbo fins...and of course the sail...and the dagger board if I get the Adventure...so...sigh...why not just get the AI and be done with it...

And thats how it goes..from Revo to AI...a few hundred dollars at a time...

The AI adds other issues...storage, transport...just overall logistically tougher.

So here's my question:

1) Is the AI, when used as just a kayak, still good? Or is it crippled by the rigging bars?

2) How is the Adventure to upgrade to the AI? Is it easy to do? Is the end result exactly the same as an AI?

3) How easy is it to convert the AI to just "kayak" mode and back to AI mode?

4) I know people have done an AI on a car top carrier, but for all intents, is it really just best in the long term to have a trailer?

5) What should I do????

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 7:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1241
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Jefflins:
I can only speak from personal experience here, and what works well for us. we discovered Hobie back in 2007 when we moved back to florida and were looking for Kayaks. Even though the Hobies are a little more expensive, the value of what you are getting is unmatched. We bought a revolution and an Oasis. We bought the sailing setup for both kayaks and roof top carriers for our Yukon Denali vehicle, We have a camper trailer and need the hitch for when we travel (we travel alot) so a kayak trailer is not an option for us. We are out on the water (mostly salt water) every weekend year round and just love it. Last year we traded in the Oasis for a Tandem Island and really like the TI (we needed the two seats). When we are not sailing we kayak up rivers, it turns out the TI is much faster and more stable than the oasis was as just a kayak. Of course the TI is 3 ft longer than the Oasis was, and about 25 lbs heavier (hull only) but I have no more difficulty getting the TI on the roof than I did the Oasis (every weekend) and I'm not a big guy or anything special ( I'm in my 60's) and always load and unload alone. We are also avid scuba divers and often dive from our TI in open ocean, I have carried my wife and I, 2-4 scuba tanks, picnic, beer, etc in several coolers out on the boat many times both here and down in the Keys and have had an absolute blast every time we are out. With the trampoline options installed you can easily carry 3 full size adults, or 2 adults, and two kids (max 600 lbs capacity) and everyone has fun. As soon as crab season starts we will look like the guys on deadliest catch hauling 10 or 15 crab traps strapped to the trampolines every weekend. Cost comparison is pretty easy from what we had before Sea Ray $60k, storage $300/mo, gas $100/mo, maint $2000/yr. Verses TI $5k, gas $3/yr, storage $0, maint $100/yr. Plus we have way more fun on the TI than we ever had on the Sea Ray. I have friends with AI's and they are just as fun as the TI if you only need the 1 seat. I'm not trying to sell you on a boat or a lifestyle this is just our experience, and what worked well for us. I have well over 700 miles on my TI now (bought in April/May 2010), and it is a great boat, plus Hobie as a company is in a class all by themselves as far as support and service go.
Bob


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 11:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:43 am
Posts: 430
Location: Long Island NY
We (Wife and I) first bought an OutBack Sport along with the sail (but no outriggers) to go with a generic sit on top kayak we've had for years so we could both get on the water together. Loved the Mirage drive but was a bit disappointed with the sailing characteristics ... and I've loved sailing small craft since a very young age. I found this site and started reading about the AI and was instantly in love ... last year I purchased a used AI and it was worth every penny I spent.

As just a kayak, although heavier, it glides through the water much easier than the OutBack or other kayak and as a sailing craft its just pure fun.

Quote:
1) Is the AI, when used as just a kayak, still good? Or is it crippled by the rigging bars?
not crippled as far as Im concerned - sure there's extra weight but Im not entering any competitions any time soon. You'll never know the sailing stuff is there once on the water

Quote:
2) How is the Adventure to upgrade to the AI? Is it easy to do? Is the end result exactly the same as an AI?
Only know what I've read here on the boards and everyone's advice was to just get the AI if you are thinking you will go that way later on

Quote:
3) How easy is it to convert the AI to just "kayak" mode and back to AI mode?
Simple - just leave alot of crap at home :mrgreen: Aka's, Ama's, Sail, and dagger board stay home and you are there

Quote:
4) I know people have done an AI on a car top carrier, but for all intents, is it really just best in the long term to have a trailer?
After designing and welding up a custom roof rack for my SUV (nothing offered aftermarket for my vehicle) and purchasing 2 sets of Thule's Hullivator's and using them last year ... Im currrently looking for a used JetSki trailer to convert. While in function rooftopping works fine, It has beat my truck up a bit, and I mostly put in where there isn't any fresh water for a rinse before loading ... meaning my ride gets a nice saltwater / sand bath every useage. Last year I happened to meet another AI owner at out on the water who used the same launch site and we came in together. While I was portaging first the Ama's, then the sail, then the Aka's and dagger board, then the paddles / peddles, then the gear bag and cooler, and then finally humping my AI across the 75' of sand on the cart ... he simply folded in the Aka's, put his whole rig on the cart and did it in one trip ... and skipped the saltwater / sand bath on his ride.

Even if I get a trailer, I'll keep the rooftop option as I've gone away several times with it and travelling that way is much easier (and cheaper toll wise) than dragging a trailer.

Here's an ineresting aside though - I have a classic car I trailer to several events a year, Car + Trailer = 6500 lbs dragging behind me and I was averaging 13.5- 14 mpg on-highway driving.

Driving like this

Image

I could only get a best of 12 mpg on extended highway driving !! I was shocked how badly the rooftop stuff affected mileage (truck avg's 20-21mpg unloaded on the highway)

Quote:
5) What should I do????


BUY AN AI !!! Life is too short to live without one 8)

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Alan W.
'07 Hobie Adventure Island #1
'07 Hobie Adventure Island #2 Golden Papaya AI LadyJane
'06? Hobie Outback SUV


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1564
Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
Ditto. Just bite the bullet and get one. I know there is the initial outlay cost but if you get a 2nd hand AI, in real terms, it will only cost you between $100 to $200 per year depreciation. A new one possibly $400-$500 per year for the 1st 2 years. Of course that may change from country to country but that is generally the way it goes down this way.

Hey PassWind, I think we should start a topic 'Car Topping - Bad Fuel Consumption' or similar. I thought it must have been just me cause nobody has ever mentioned it before I don't think.
Mine's crap.

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Don't take life too seriously................it ain't permanent.


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:11 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Houston / Clear Lake, Texas USA
Sold......
If I hadn't already ordered a TI last Saturday, I would of after the great reply's.
Moejay


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:07 pm
Posts: 1047
Location: Ontario, Canada
If you've got the money, buy the AI.

It works GREAT as a stand alone kayak. I use mine like this all the time. It takes just a couple of minutes to convert it from kayak to sailboat, and it takes almost no skill to do it. It's easy to sail, it's safe, and it's a LOT of fun. Converting an Adventure to an AI is fine, but it will cost you more, and it's still not factory built, so you're running just a little bit more margin of error in getting everything right.

As far as car topping, there are all kinds of people, including myself who do this all the time. You'll find a technique that works best for you and your vehicle on how to get it up there and secure, but it's really not that hard once you get used to it.

As far as fuel mileage. When I used to take my Revolution, and my AI (with ama's and sail) on the roof of my Civic, I actually got better mileage then I did when I had just two mountain bikes on the roof. Yes your mileage is hurt, but I guess it depends on the vehicle on how much it's affected. But time and time again, I would get worse mileage with bikes on the roof then I did with boats. That really surprised me.

If you buy the AI, and don't like roof topping it, you could always add a trailer later. The Adventure Island is ALL about options. I use my AI non-stop, and the Revolution, which does get used often, is never out as often as the AI. Versatility means more time on the water!

Finally, if you like paddling, the AI isn't the best boat for that. None of the Hobie boats are great paddlers, but the Mirage drive is AWESOME, you'll have just as much fun with that as you would with any paddle.

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 5:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1860
Location: South Florida
Jefflins,

Everyone here has given you good advice--if you think you might go w/ an AI later on, do it now if possible.

Regarding car-topping, in addition to "dinging" you car from time to time, there is another basic problem if you use your boat in salt-water. Car-topping will likely turn your car into a pile of rust after a few years. I've done it to one car (I car-topped sea kayaks for years), probably 2 cars (one Ford Bronco, one Toyota 4-Runner.) The salt-water drains off your boat onto your car, and that inevitably leads to serious rusting all over the car body.

My trailer is a former powerboat trailer that I converted to a sea kayak trailer, and now a sea kayak/AI trailer. It is not a light-weight trailer. Pulling it on an 800-mile trip a week ago at expressway speeds (75 mph), I got 16 mpg compared to my usual 19 mph. This is my trailer w/ our 2 AIs.
Image

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 6:08 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Ah! Salt water! Very good point. We don't have that problem here. We have winter's where they salt the roads, so our cars deteriorate anyways! But if you're using it in salt water, that's a good thing to keep in mind.

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 10:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:38 am
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Thanks everybody for such great responses! And curse you...curse you all :)

Now I have to figure out how to pay for this...I could stop feeding the kids, but I suspect that could lead to issues...not paying the mortgage would work, but only for a little while...*sigh*

Oh, and now I have a new issue: AI or tandem AI...I guess if I go AI I could get another down the road...and the tandem really gets to be tight with regard to the storage (garage) and I think really requires a trailer.

This is a great forum..thanks for your feedback!


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Just don't try one...

then, reason will go out the window and you'll even be going through the couch cushions looking for lost change to pay for it. :o

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http://KayakingBob.com - - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2012 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:38 am
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It's pretty amazing to me just how high the satisfaction rate of these products are...I've read nothing but rave reviews (here, and other places on the web) about the mirage drive and the AIs as well...a lot of love out there for these things.


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 1782
Location: Calga NSW, Australia
They're actually not that expensive in the long term. As Slaughter points out, they retain their resale value amazingly well. On top of that, if you resist the temptation to buy lots of accessories (GPS, Marine radio, waterproof camera etc, etc), you get many days of entertainment for virtually zilch. Compare that with the cost of going to the movies, or bowling, or to a football game, or whatever. Also, the Mirage drive is an excellent aerobic workout machine - at least the equal of those expensive step machines and lots more fun.
The above are all excellent arguments for convincing your spouse of the need to buy one, if that is your next barrier. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:32 pm
Posts: 86
Location: tampa, fl
Chekika,
Keith,

Nice new boat to your fleet. Is that going to be the one you sail or the better half sails? I was thinking you were moving to the TI but I guess not. Give me some everglades dates for next winter so I can schedule them in.

Charlie


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 10:44 am 
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Posts: 1860
Location: South Florida
Charlie,

I'M using the new boat! Since Nancy treats her boat more delicately (w/ more sensitivity), it performs great for her. But, I felt I needed the new rudder. When it became available at the EC, I felt it was time to upgrade. I think it is a great move.

Yeah, definitely looking forwarded to our "relaxed" everglades trip. Planning on sometime in January again--comfortable temperatures.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:39 pm 
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Location: Texas
Just got home from an awesome sail on my TI. We love the heck out of our TI. Figure out how to get one - and you will not regret it one bit.

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