So what SOTs are faster on a length-for-length basis?
Certainly there are faster kayaks -- surf skis, longer SIKS, outriggers. But Hobie doesn't make anything in those categories. So I presume you guys are referring to other Sit-on-Top kayaks.
Uh oh!! Roadrunner doesn't like what I've said!
I think that you may have taken some of what I said out of context, and I also think that I should fill in what I've already mentioned, with some greater context.
I think, to be fair, I don't compare a Hobie kayak with other Sit On Top kayaks, although I can see why others would. I tend to compare the Hobie's on a Dollar-for-Dollar comparison instead of a length-for-length basis as you suggest.
On a dollar for dollar basis, you can get a pretty nice, sleek, sea kayak like I used to have before I became addicted to Hobies. My previous post mentions that "top-speed" isn't the best, and I stand by that. On a dollar for dollar basis, I'm confident that the hull design of my former sea kayak would allow a faster top speed than any of the Hobie's that I've owned.
Having said that, if I had to choose a boat to win a race, it would be my old Adventure. Getting maximum speed out of a traditional, sleek sea-kayak, involves proper form. That's tough to maintain as you get tired. The Hobie's allow you to maintain peak efficient form indefinitely because the pedals require virtually no skill to operate.
I've read your reviews, Roadrunner. I think you agree with me. You've talked about Sprint speed versus average speed over an hour. Hobie's excel in the high average speed in your tests, but their sprint speed is somewhat limited (although still VERY good)
It's not that Hobie's are slow. In fact, it was their speed that first attracted me to them. But Rotomolded hulls are heavy, and the Mirage Drive line of kayaks that we can choose from today are all limited in their top speed by the hull design. For pure top speed, the hull would be shaped differently, but as with any kayak, there is a balance of performance, stability, and other factors that are weighed into the design equation.
When you factor in stability alone, there is nothing that is as stable as the Mirage Drive line of boats that can even come close to the speed. They're the best kayaks on the water, in my opinion. But they're not the fastest when it comes to top speed.