Does this mean the Sport is quicker than the Outback?
No. Here's an overall rundown:
In general, longer/narrower is faster, with length usually being the dominate determinant. Shorter is more maneuverable, usually easier to transport and store.
Hobie makes 3 different series of hard shell Mirage Drive kayaks.
1. Adventure/Revolution 13/Revolution 11/Oasis (tandem). These are usually faster, quieter, easier to paddle, easier to operate against wind and chop.
2. Outback/Sport/Outfitter (tandem). These are slab-sided to accommodate the fishing trays, usually have better initial stability (more stable feel), extra rod holders; more working surfaces. Can be noisy with hull slap, especially in chop, harder to paddle.
3. Pro Angler 14/Pro Angler 12 (not out yet). Designed for fishing, easy to stand, lots of accommodation for rod and tackle storage. Speeds comparable to the Outback. Heavy but fun.
Excluding the PAs, here are some of the individual characteristics.Sport:
lightest, easiest to load and store, great maneuverability. Compact, but good little fisherman. One of our prior members, apalach (pics shown here), loved his Sport for fishing. Look him up (search feature) for excellent pics and tips! Sport is the slowest, smallest capacity of the Hobie hard shells, but can "fast" cruise at about 4.5 MPH (for reference) Revolution 11:
Almost as light, maneuverable, easy to store and transport as the Sport. Quiet, efficient (has a sweet spot (easy cruising) at about 4 to 4.5 MPH). Runs well against wind and chop. Fun, responsive boat and newest current model. Like other models, has room to add ram mounts, etc. Cockpit larger than Sport, but slightly smaller than others -- plenty of room for most. Reference fast cruise at about 4.75 MPH.Outback:
Like the Sport in design, but larger, heavier. Lots of room, very solid boat. Standard size cockpit. Very good turning. A little slap happy in chop. Reference speed about same as Revo 11, but without the sweet spot.Revolution 13:
Probably the best all around boat, good for fishing, cruising, sailing. Reasonably quiet, good in wind and chop, good turning, standard cockpit, plenty of room and capacity. Good choice for ocean launching. Good fast cruise speed at about 5.1.Adventure:
King of speed, smoothest ride, quietest, best in rough weather, open water. Slightly larger cockpit than others. Has daggerboard option for sailing and can convert to Adventure Island trimaran. Relatively poor turning but very good tracking. Fastest Hobie kayak, Reference speed about 5.4 MPH.Oasis and Outfitter
share characteristics of their families. Longer Oasis has good speed, bow hatch vs. Outfitter. Both very stable, have tons of load capacity. Reference speeds about 5.0 MPH and 4.7 MPH.
Another choice for you might be the Pro Angler 12, but no reviews or test rides yet.
Aside from the boats, there are 3 important accessories. 1. Large rudder (if not equipped) improves handling
, maneuverability on all models, especially at very low speeds. Low cost makes this a great choice. 2. Turbo fins for performance
. These add speed, torque, efficiency for greater range. Not quite as torquey but better priced are ST fins. 3. Cart, not inexpensive, but indispensable for launching and handling.
Note "reference" times are with Turbo fins, and are for relative comparisons only. Actual speeds vary greatly depending on conditions, individual differences, etc. etc.
Looking at your priorities, types of use, water, weather, fishing style, range, etc, each of the boats has its advantages. Thankfully, Hobie has lots of choices!