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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:05 pm 
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I apologize if this has been covered before. I did a quick search and didn't see anything so I thought I'd post. I've got a 2012 PA12 and have been using it quite a bit. Overall I love it. But one thing that continually bothers me is the tracking.

The issue isn't so much steering "sensitivity", more that it won't go straight unless your hand is on the tiller constantly making micro-adjustments. This is quite different than my experience with other hobie kayaks (outback and adventure). On those, you can commute without needing to have your hand on the tiller every moment. For those of us that make long commutes to fishing spots, this is a real pain. On the other hobies I can tie a leader, eat a granola bar, paw thru tackle...pretty much do anything you want and still be pedaling in a straight line (with only the occasional adjustment).

I realize this is a very different vessel than the outback or the adventure, but I also am not the only one complaining about this. Attempting to retie a leader while traveling is basically impossible - you look like a drunk person trying to pedal a hobie! I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a defect, but it's a very un-hobie-like flaw. Needing to have your hand on the tiller at all times while moving is a real pain. Yes, I've already tried tightening the rudder lines. It's bigger than that.

Is there an official or unofficial fix for this? Again, it's not so much a sensitivity issue so I'm not sure the steering drum replacement is really gonna solve it. But I'd try it if there's been success with solving this issue. What about a longer rudder? I saw this:

http://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/f4 ... od-132780/

Looks very interesting. Any help appreciated.

Thanks,
Rory


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:27 am 
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The 12 already has the latest steering drum.

I would look and tensioning the steering lines. Loose lines can cause what you experienced. Heavy loads forward also cause issues.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:49 am 
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Have to agree that there is a trackiing/steering problem with the PA 12. Yes, I have done all the adjustments/etc. and find that you must continually make corrections as compared to the Outback and the Revo.

The other issue is that if you are riding with the current or wind at your back, the PA 12 will swing sideways. I suspect this is because of the wide rear end of this vessel. The other thing that contributes to this is the pivoting effect of the drive fins. If your not using the drive, keep the fins close to the hull.

I have also found that even in calm waters at slow speed, it is difficult to turn the PA without generating a higher rate of speed than required for the Outback or Revo. Fishing in small marsh creeks, I just don't have room enough to generate enough speed/distance to get it turned without ending up with the bow lodged in the bank/grass.

I would suspect that a larger rudder would help in correcting this problem. However, due to the design of the rudder being tucked against the hull, this isn't a very good option.

Don't get me wrong... I really enjoy fishing from my PA. I just get real frustrated having to fight this.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:25 am 
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I stop short of calling it a flaw. I consider it one of the characteristics of any boat where the rudder is under and forward of the stern rather than right off the very end of the stern. The only "cure" would be to redesign the boat so that the rudder is located further or all the way aft. Or, the use of a much larger rudder. Either way, you will gain something in one aspect, but lose something in another.

I don't like to assume what any person's experience with a boat is. All I can offer is that after 3 years of fishing out of the PA, I hardly notice any tracking issues. Not saying they're not there, just that I have become accustomed to them and don't have any trouble nor give a second thought to piloting the PA where ever I want it to go. You might feel the same way after a few more trips, or maybe not. But on the chance that you've only made a few trips in the PA thus far, I'd hang on and see how you feel about it after a season. The boat's characteristics aren't going to change, but your ability to handle and adjust to them might. Maybe.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:11 pm 
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Tom, I have over 60+ trips on the PA 12. Each trip is probably 6+ hours. Most of that time is on the move as I am not a bait soaker :D I keep telling myself that I will get use to it, but it just doesn't seem to get any better :x

My experience with the Outback had been entirely different on the steering/tracking. I realize that this is a different type vessel and I shouldn't expect it to handle the same as the Outback.

The waters that I fish have strong currents with over 7' change in tides. Lots of water gets pushed on the incoming and the outgoing. I'm sure that this greatly impacts the handling of the PA that others may not encounter.

Agree that the rudder set-up is probably the cause of the handling problems. While a bigger rudder, set further back, would probably solve this problem, this is something that is not fixable with the current configuration. I would hope that Hobie would simply take note of this issue and consider modifications on future models.

Any boat is like a good woman. While you may love it/her to death, there are some things that drive you crazy :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:10 pm 
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I just walked in the door from a fishing trip on my PA12. I understand what you say about the tracking but never realized it until now. I never had another kayak before this one and have nothing to compare it to.

I too, find that I am constantly make small adjustments on the steering knob. It seems that if I take my hand off the knob I never stay the course and it does not make any difference what direction I am headed (left, right, or straight). I am used to fishing a full sized bass boat with a foot control trolling motor and I wish I had the ability to steer with my knee or somthing like that. The reason I was originally attracted to the PA is that I have my hands free to fish while my feet are working. More often than not I find I have to stop the boat so I can free my hand to fish. I have gotten used to this but would be happier if I did not have to have my hand on the steering so much. I do not believe adjusting the steering is needed or necessary, that is just the way the PA works.

I also agree the PA makes SHARP turn when you want to do that while under way. Sometimes it has caught me off guard and I felt I would tip over but so far I never did. I also agree that sometimes I need to pedal a few times before the boa reacts to a hard turned rudder. I can usually get it to start to turn hard withing the distance of the length of the boat but in the first few feet it giveds you the impression that it is not going to turn.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:32 pm 
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I was thinking that it could be due to the fact that there's virtually no keel. The boat is for the most part flat on the bottom. That's why I think a longer rudder might actually do the trick. I've attempted to sign up for that pensacolafishingforum.com site to see if the guy who fitted his own custom rudder had any success...but it keeps saying I'm spam.

I also wonder if a removeable skag like the adventure has for sailing might help. Wouldn't help shallow water anglers but it would help west coast folks who, like I said, travel a ways to get to fishing grounds (that are generally deeper water).

I actually have 2 PA12s. One in WA state and one in FL. I can say without reservation that it is far better suited to FL fishing. I think it was designed with the flats fisherman in mind. For that, it's great. But I'm beginning to regret my decision to purchase one in WA because of this tracking issue. It could be more than just an annoyance in wind and chop (and not even big chop) - it makes the kayak less safe. But again, I really don't think that they had the west coast saltwater anglet in mind when they designed this boat.

Actually now that I think about it, I recall an unsafe situation in Florida last summer when I hooked a tarpon in the gulf while fishing on my PA. Naturally, a 100lb tarpon is going to take you for a ride. But the PA wanted to veer left and right, and I really had a hard time trying to hold onto that fish AND steer at the same time. Couple of times I almost got swung to the side and tipped. It happens very fast. Of course, there are alot of unsafe things about hooking such a large fish on a kayak, but I've hooked oversize fish on the outback and adventure and didn't find the steering to be a real risk. But again, they probably didn't design this boat with the big-water tarpon angler in mind.

Maybe the shine is wearing off and I'm coming to the realization that this boat may have more specific applications than what I am subjecting it to.

Having said that, I still would like some word from hobie on the issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:53 pm 
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are these "issues" specific to the PA12 or are people with the PA14's experiencing the tracking anomalies?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:13 pm 
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I can only speak for the PA 12.

I mention the following earlier but think it needs to be repeated:

When drifting your PA 12 without use of the mirage drive, be sure that you have the fins folded up close to the hull. Otherwise, they will act as a pivot and cause the vessel to turn/pivot.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:24 am 
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It's the design and shape of the hull.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:35 am 
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islandspeed2001 wrote:
I would hope that Hobie would simply take note of this issue and consider modifications on future models.


The reason the rudder is forward and under is to limit the chance of catching a fishing line on it. The entire outline is to limit snags. Free board is capacity and drier. Wide is stable... these are all design decisions to make the experience better, but have some consequences as well.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:05 pm 
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the_tall_man wrote:
I apologize if this has been covered before. I did a quick search and didn't see anything so I thought I'd post. I've got a 2012 PA12 and have been using it quite a bit. Overall I love it. But one thing that continually bothers me is the tracking.


The main problem here is you want a kayak and you have a Pro Angler. The angler was built for fishing and not kayaking. It will not handle like you think you want it to. BUT as stated before... After use while fishing you will adjust to it. 60 trips should be enough, but for some it might take longer... But you do not have a kayak. Good Luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:46 pm 
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Thinwater skinner wrote:
the_tall_man wrote:
I apologize if this has been covered before. I did a quick search and didn't see anything so I thought I'd post. I've got a 2012 PA12 and have been using it quite a bit. Overall I love it. But one thing that continually bothers me is the tracking.


The main problem here is you want a kayak and you have a Pro Angler. The angler was built for fishing and not kayaking. It will not handle like you think you want it to. BUT as stated before... After use while fishing you will adjust to it. 60 trips should be enough, but for some it might take longer... But you do not have a kayak. Good Luck.


Kayak or not, I don't think it's unreasonable to want your vessel to hold a relatively straight line.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:00 pm 
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the_tall_man AMEN TO THAT! :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:17 pm 
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In thousands of years of seafaring history, it has yet to be done. Too much going on, wind, waves, ballast, trim, etc., etc. Boats do not go straight. They go where the elements push them.


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