I'll try and help out a little here, and I have had some seat time in various Hobies, including the new PA12.
1. It is not recommended to try and beach or land your Hobie with the drive still installed. You cannot predict how waves will behave approaching shore nor anticipate the underlying natural elements hidden from view. It is best to pull the drive and just coast in with the waves if possible or use the included paddle. I typically get a few good pedal pushes in then pull it with 10' to go towards shore and just drift in.
2. Re-entry into any kayak, including the Pro Angler is a combination of factors including: your physical abilities to re-enter, the wave and current action, how much gear you have on, and which part of the PA are you trying to enter from. From my perspective, it might be easier as a diver to re-enter from the rear into the rear tank well using the rear carry handle or at least unload your tanks and whatnot there, then using the gunwales walk yourself to the front and use the load handle to assist you. As always, you should practice in shallow water until you are comfortable and head out into deeper water. Try refreshing your abilities using this as a primer:
3. The fit of each individual is not based upon height. It is a function of what your respective inseams are. Keep in mind that the distance of the backrest in a normal upright position to the rear opening on the Mirage Drive is approximately 32" on the PA12. Depending upon your inseam and which drive position you use will dictate whether your wife can use a PA12. If not a Revolution 11 or Outback Sport might be a viable alternative.
4. The numbness some have experienced in recumbent style motions is typically not experienced with PA owners, since you are actually elevated relative to you pedaling position. For myself, I use an inflatable doughnut ring in my Revolution 13, but you could use the new comfort pad as an alternative. Most people do not need anything in the PAs. I imagine the new Vantage seating will help offset some of the risk of this occurring, since you can adjust the leg height to fit each person.
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm Posts: 1437 Location: High Point, NC
Are you saying the mirage drive has different drive positions to help adjust for leg length?
Absolutely! In fact, those positions are numbered right on the drive, so two persons of different leg lengths can quickly switch to the same kayak and with two simple and quick "clicks" have just the right distance to the Mirage Drive pedals.
Yes sir. Positions are numbered 0-7with 0 being the closest setting and 7 being the farthest away. The key is each person's inseam length. Anyone with an inseam less than 30" is going to have a little challenge reaching the pedals even in the 0 position. Make sure you test the fit before you buy.
While it is probably best to pull the drive before beaching, if one pedal is left in the forward position the fins will lie flat against the hull and it can be beached this way. There is also a bungee included that can be hooked to the boat and pedal to insure it stays in the correct position. Hope this helps.
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:41 pm Posts: 178 Location: Lake Park, GA
Just to piggyback here. If you get a PA14 (2012 or older), you can add the sliding seat mod that a lot of us have installed and that allows the seat to slide forward quite a ways. I don't have exact numbers in front of me, but mine does slide over the cutting board hatch several inches.
So that could be a consideration for the person with the smaller inseam length. Great points made above.
_________________ Steve Stubbs USAF (retired)
2012 Pro Angler - Dune 2012 Revolution 11 - Papaya