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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:36 pm 
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Posts: 1047
Location: Ontario, Canada
Picked up my brand new, just out of the packaging (but previous model year) 2011 Hobie Oasis today.

What a boat!!

We've owned a Revolution, and an Adventure Island in the past, but there were quite a few little changes that I noticed on this Oasis that I really like.

Overall the size of the boat was very nice. To fit two people comfortably in a boat that is only 13 inches longer than a Revolution, and the same width as an Outback, is quite impressive. You would think that it would be a boat full of compromises, but it isn't.

By contrast, the top side of my old Adventure had a lot of wasted space. The nose of that boat was very long, but had just a single hatch. In that sense, the Oasis is sort of the "anti-Adventure" There simply is no wasted space at all on the top side of this boat. Every foot of this boat is functional.

So let's start with some of the changes that I noticed right off the top.

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I love the way the drive wells are now much deeper in the boat. My Adventure (Island) and Revolution were much shallower meaning that as the boat was weighted down, more and more of the footwell area would take on water. The first time that I saw this design feature was on the Tandem Island. It's nice to see that they are carrying it over into the Oasis. It should translate to a drier area by your feet.

Second, I noticed the larger handles for each passenger

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There was nothing particularly wrong with the old molded in handle on our last two boats, but these are more comfortable to grip, and they seem to be a nice safety feature if you're swimming outside of the boat. Being able to wrap your hand around the entire handle should help in getting back into the boat, or even just hanging on to the boat while swimming beside it. Not a big thing, but certainly something that visually stands out as being new.

The last big thing that I noticed was the standard "sailing rudder"

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Our Revolution had the standard small rudder, but my Adventure Island had the larger sailing rudder. I love the difference in control and feel that this larger rudder gives. It's not an expensive upgrade, and is one that I would have done anyways, but it's great to see that Hobie went ahead and did it for me. If you haven't tried the larger rudder, it's worth spending the few bucks it costs to upgrade.

I also noticed that it's mounted a little bit differently and has a different style rudder pin.

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I'm not sure of the benefits of this different mounting position, or the new pin, but I'd be glad to hear from anyone who know.

Other observations. I love that this boat comes with 3 Twist and Seal hatches in addition to the 4th hatch at the very front of the boat. I lost a pair of gloves in my Adventure that I never realized were in there for weeks. It was just too difficult to reach where they were. This boat seems to allow plenty of access front to back.

I really liked the fact that either seating position has full control of the rudder. Not just steering, but up/down control as well. Giving either position full control really adds to the versatility of the boat. I also noticed a significant improvement in the effort required to use the up/down lines from both seating positions. They are much easier to use than either my old Revolution, or Adventure Island.

In the past, I've been a huge proponent of the Turbo fins. As far as performance, they're unbeatable. However I stayed with the standard fins on this boat for a couple of reasons. First, we can always upgrade later. But second, I like the durability of these fins. The Turbo's do stick out a long way, and because the masts on the turbo's don't reach the bottom of the fin, it is possible to puncture the tip of the mast through the 3/4 mark of the fin. It's repairable, and I've never had to replace the turbo fins, but the shorter fins with the firm rubber, and masts that go to the end strike me as a slight bit more durable. Seeing as I intend to take a number of people out on this boat who would never usually have the opportunity to use a Mirage drive boat, I like the standard fins.

Half the fun of kayaking is going to shallow areas that other boats can't get to. The standard fins give just a little bit more clearance to go to those places before needing to flutter the fins. Speed is less of an issue for us this time because we have 2 people pedalling, and we'll never run away from the other, as can often happen when using two separate kayaks.

And now for the "issues" that I have with the boat.

The first is a design issue. With the Oasis being a tandem, I can see myself pulling the front drive quite regularly. It won't fit into the front hatch, and therefore always has to sit on the top of the boat. It's a small thing, but the drives do sink, and it would be nice to put them inside the boat. We bought a drive leash to ensure that we don't have a problem.

The other thing that I found is a VERY minor thing that is specific to my boat, and not the Oasis in general. The rear rod holder cap won't sit in place no matter what I try. A small thing, and not one that bothers me, but worth mentioning.

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One design feature that I thought I might miss, but now realize won't be an issue is the rear on-deck storage area. The Revolution and Adventure have very large recessed areas covered by a zig-zag bungee cords. These are perfect to stick large dry bags on when you go for a solo camping trip. The Oasis has a similar area, but it is much smaller. It's still quite useful, but I thought that it might be a little too small to fit my largest dry bags. That's when I realized that if I was ever to use this kayak in a solo camping trip, I would have the entire front section to use as an on-deck storage area. The fact is that for two people to camp from this boat, you need to pack smart. But for one person to camp, I've actually got 200 lbs more capacity (if I load the boat evenly) than I had in the 16 foot long Adventure Island. I also have far more on-deck storage by simply removing the front drive and seat, and using that area as storage. To solo the Oasis, you would want a little bit of ballast anyways. So as a solo camping boat, this could work quite well! In fact, it could be one of the best boats in the Hobie line-up for taking gear with you.

Finally. One thing that I just figured out, that I'm not sure if I could do on either the Adventure or the Revolution. The clip that holds the Mirage Drive fins locked to the bottom of the boat always seems to be in the way. I never knew where to put it when it wasn't in use, and sometimes found it to be annoying as it sat underneath my legs. Well, on the Oasis, in both seating positions, you can tuck it up the drain in the mesh pockets! Perfect!! Out of the way, but still readily accessible.

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I'll update this post after I've used the boat for a weekend on the water. If the weather co-operates, I should be able to do that this weekend.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:06 pm 
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Thank you for your impressions on the Oasis. I'm considering one also & was wondering how you feel it handles & balances with just one person?? Or is it really made for 2 only? Not sure If I should go with one Oasis or 2 pro anglers... Have you tried it in a river?? Thank you in advance!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:40 am 
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Location: Phoenix, Az
Good read..thanks

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Congratulations on the purchase, great review - looking forward to some trip reports.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:02 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Stilly wrote:
Thank you for your impressions on the Oasis. I'm considering one also & was wondering how you feel it handles & balances with just one person?? Or is it really made for 2 only? Not sure If I should go with one Oasis or 2 pro anglers... Have you tried it in a river?? Thank you in advance!


This is the first Hobie that I bought without trying it out. I'm going to be trying it on the water for the first time this weekend. At that point, I'll be able to give you my opinions.

One of the forum users, named Roadrunner has written two excellent reviews on the Oasis when it first came out. Roadrunner is thorough and trustworthy in his analysis, so his opinions are always excellent ones to follow.

Here is his "on the water" review:
http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=30997&hilit=2011+oasis

As far as buying the Oasis over two Pro Anglers. That's a personal decision. I don't fish, but I have to admit, I find the Pro Anglers to be VERY interesting boats. The new 12 in particular is a boat that I quite like with a new seat that looks exceptionally comfortable. They're the better fishing boats. But having said that, the rest of the Hobie line-up are still very good for fishing.

The Oasis is nice because you only need to load one boat on the car or trailer, for two people. As far as using it solo. Roadrunner talks about that, and explains how it's best to use a little bit of ballast in the empty seating position. (A dry bag full of water should do) but his review should help send you down the path to getting the answers you're looking for.

I'll update this post after I've tried it out, and I do intend to try it out solo this weekend as well as in tandem.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:36 am 
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I have not been in an Oasis, but you said that both seats have the rudder up and down control and the steering too? What not sit in the front seat and not have to use the ballist system? Just wondering without actually being in view of the real thing. Thanks for a reply.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Thinwater skinner wrote:
I have not been in an Oasis, but you said that both seats have the rudder up and down control and the steering too? What not sit in the front seat and not have to use the ballist system? Just wondering without actually being in view of the real thing. Thanks for a reply.


That's certainly something that I will try. As I mentioned to "Stilly" I have not tried the boat out before I bought it.

From looking at the boat, and sitting in it, the rear seat offers a wider, and larger area for my feet, so to me that seemed like the "main" seat. The front of the boat narrows significantly at my feet, so to me, it would make sense to sit in the widest section of the boat for stability. I wonder how far the rudder may rise out if I'm in the front (with no ballast)

But certainly having full control from both seats will allow me to make decisions like that. If the front seat works well, I can see using it for a solo camping trip, with some camping gear in the back. While using the back seat would be best for taking my young daughter out, and still allow me to keep an eye on her.

There's lots of discovery to be done with this boat! I'm looking forward to it!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Augaug, congratulations on your new Oasis! I'm sure you're going to be pleased with it as you discover its amazing versatility.

Thinwater skinner wrote:
What not sit in the front seat and not have to use the ballist system?
As a matter of practicality, most of us use the front seat for solo work locally. The boat runs faster, the cockpit (although narrower) is longer and the view is better. The back seat is definitely better for sailing though and (in augaug's case) with little children aboard. Having that option is part of what makes this boat so cool! 8)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:58 pm 
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Location: Portland, Oregon
I used to sit in the rear seat when I was fishing, and put some ballast up front. The rear cockpit is a little bigger, and I liked to use the front for laying my rod when I paddled, or laying my paddle when I was fishing. (I find I use the paddle a lot for tight maneuvering when bass fishing.) However, I recently tried a surf launch to go out and fish for ling cod. No way could I get through the surf while I was in the rear. The bow kept getting pushed to the side by waves, and I ended up rolling. When I switched to the front cockpit, I was able to get through the surf pretty easily. Landing through the surf was OK, I got dumped right at the end when my bow went completely under, but that happens to guys in Revos and Outbacks, too. Anyway, the balance from the front is much better than from the rear.

I also found that having the big cockpit behind me was helpful. It is much bigger than the rear deck, and was able to easily put my crate and fish back there, and keep the center of gravity lower, too. I was also able to utilize the front hatch. I think I will now be soloing from the front from now on.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:26 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I just got back from a weekend away. I wasn't able to get out on the Oasis as much as I would have liked, but I did get out enough to update this post.

Here are my quick thoughts.

Soloing from the front seat is definitely best. I didn't need any ballast to feel very comfortable. When soloing from the rear, there bow was out of the water and would slap on every wave. It wasn't as efficient, and in fact was quite obvious that the boat was nowhere near optimal weight distribution.

The steering is a bit different from this position because your body tends to be the pivot point and in this case, that makes the rear of the boat really swing around with the rudder. When riding tandem the pivot point moves back and the turning circle is a little bit different. Also, heading straight into large waves while riding solo is a good way to get wet. The nose dives much more with one person than with two.

Tandem, this boat is fantastic. It sits well in the water, and seems to be a very dry boat in the waves. The tall sides certainly help with that, but the hull design does an excellent job of splashing waves away from the boat. It's extremely stable, and very confidence inspiring. Everyone who tried the boat loved it.

I read somewhere that the rudder up/down lines have been redesigned to ensure that half of the effort is now needed to move the rudder up or down. This was obvious. It was fool-proof to put the rudder up and down, and a child could do it without any difficulties.

When we went with two people, we always had the heavier person in the back. (mostly because I was the heavier person and I wanted my guests to have a better view than the back of my head)

When the passenger was closer to my weight, the boat performed as expected. When the difference between my weight and the front passenger was greater, the bow would rise just a little bit out of the water creating some minor bow slap over waves. We haven't tried putting the heavier person in front, but I can see that working in certain situations, to get peak efficiency.

Finally. The room in both cockpits is excellent. The rear cockpit has tremendous width and length and was very comfortable. You could easily take your feet off of the pedals and stretch out. The front cockpit has less width, but the stretch out room was nearly identical.

I'd like to take the boat on a longer trip, as most of my time on the water this past weekend was no more than a half hour trip at a time, but I'll get the chance to do that soon.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:35 pm 
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New poster, old kayaker.

Because my Oasis tandem doesn't have the front rudder controls, I've never had the pleasure of seeing if it controls solo better from the front.

However, I've never had trouble controlling it from the back either, and I've been using it exclusively in the ocean.

What I have noticed is that I can turn tighter with no one in the front, especially when I lean into it.

I used to put a cement block in the front well on choppy days to keep the front down a bit. Since that's where my soulmate normally sat, I wrote her name on the cement block with a paint marker in her honor, ...and she's never let me forget it. Word to the wise.


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