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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:18 am 
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Hi folks, first post here. It's a goto get my first Yak which would be used primarily for fishing lakes (Tahoe mostly) here in California. Perhaps a bit of surf. I've researched done the forums, the utubes on everything. My almost :? final decision was a Revo 11. The weight (car top), and platform is what i wanted. Then i saw utube on the Hobie inflatables (is12) and starting questioning my choice. The inflatable 12 hobie, seems pretty darn good, stable in the water. I don't need a lightning fast boat, but trolling speeds with the mirage drive is a must. I know the inflatable is capable of a good trolling speed. I love the idea of being able to fold it up and throw it in the back of the car, instead of on top with straps, etc. etc.

I've touched and seen the Revo 11, but have called around to the various Kayak shops in the SF Bay area here to be able to actually hands on an Inflatable. Better yet, DEMO one. I am totally striking out on this and would love to be able to see one up close and personal.

Anyone know of anywhere in the Bay area where this might be possible?

Anyone have a bad experience with hooks on or in their inflatable?

How are these in higher winds and chop, and waves if you have to come back in from the lake and you're out 3 miles or so?

Any ideas or help is totally appreciated. I also want to thank all of you that have taken the time and helped educate me on kayaks. All info is good even if you don't use it, thanks Dave "beachpotato" :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:14 am 
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I've owned & fished from an i12s for 2 years. IMO if you have the vehicle to transport & place to store a rotomold boat I'd get a Revo or an Outback.

Believe me, you don't just "throw" an i12s anywhere. They weigh as much as a plastic boat & take as much room in the trunk as a dead body. It takes at least as long to unpack/pack, inflate/deflate, rig/unrig an inflatable as it does to unrack/rack & rig/unrig a rotomold boat.

Your rigging options for an inflatable, especially for fishing, are VERY limited unless you devote a lot of time & creativity to it. See all those cool accessories in the Hobie catalog? Many don't fit or work with the inflatables. Want a livewell? A beach cart? A track system? A simple way to mount a transducer? Even a flag? Sorry - figure it out for yourself.

The inflatables are really mean't for casual, infrequent use by people with limited storage & transportation capacity. They aren't very flexible (no pun intended) or adaptable outside of the very limited range of options Hobie offers.

If stability is a concern, did you look at an Outback? Only about a foot longer than the Revo 11 & about as stable as an i12s.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:14 am 
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Thanks Gas Yakker, good info. Have not looked at the Oasis yet although i do believe it's heavier than the Revo 11. But i'll check it out. I have an SUV and understand the weight would be similar to the rotomold but plenty of room in the back for the inflatable. Storing around the house would be a bit of a problem to solve for the rotomold. Garage is full already, if it's (plastic) something i can cover and hang outside under the eaves of the garage (separate from the house), then that would be a possibility.

A big consideration is tricking out your boat as you say. have you glued on rod holders, do you have fish finder for the is12 and if so how do you rig it and the transducer?

A milk crate could hold Flag, Light, gear etc., possible for a floating livebait station instead of live baitwell, looked at those.

No question once on the water the rotomold would move much better. If i can want to keep it simple :lol: , As Duke Wayne once said, "That'll be the day"!

Rod holder(s), fish finder, place for gear(milk crate).

Thanks for your thoughts and ideas, i'll check out the other plastic. OH one more thing....did you ever stick your is12 with a treble hook? What happened.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:56 am 
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Location: Columbia, MD
Check out the Outback - not the Oasis, or both:)

No, I've never stuck a hook in my boat. PVC is pretty tough, but sharp enough & hard enough and it will go through. If it's someplace you can reach you can probably put some duct tape on as a quick fix. It will ruin your day however. I'd get to shore ASAP to permanently repair.

That's another thing in favor of rotomold boats. I wouldn't venture more than a couple hundred yards offshore in an inflatable. If you have a serious leak you don't really have any secondary floatation like pool noodles or styrofoam inside the hull. Your coming back on whatever of the 3 cells is still inflated - or swimming.

I've spent much more time rigging than actually fishing. You either go the "Hobie approved" route of gluing on accessory holders or figure a way to mount everything on removable platforms like crates or sideboards.

Transducers either go on a side arm, suction cup, or the rudder. No way to mount inside the boat I've ever seen.

Consider your garage ceiling for a rotomold boat. Takes no floor or wall space & you can probably rig something that drops right onto/lifts right off of a roof rack.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:04 am 
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Okay another huge good point about the popping and swimming thing :oops:. Unfortunately the roof of the garage is also a no go for lack of space. That's why i have to figure perhaps covering and hanging under the eaves. Thanks again and i will post (my choice :? ) when i give them my hard earned $$$

Any other thougths and ideas are always welcome by all, Thanks again Gasyakker :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:15 am 
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Location: Columbia, MD
A couple last thoughts.

The inflatables are a very wet ride compared to rotomold boats. Be prepared for swamp butt unless you plan to wear waders.

I'd be pretty fearless about buying a Revo or Outback. They hold value well & I don't think you'd have trouble reselling if you change your mind. This is not a money back guarantee from me however:).

Good luck on whatever you decide!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:44 am 
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Dang, another good point :o , thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:18 am 
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If you develop a leak it's likely to be in 1 chamber not all 3 at the same time so you will have 2 chambers to keep you afloat. I've gone to cast and hooked the boat hard a few times by mistake and the hook hasn't gone thru (got a nasty backlash is all). These are tough boats, not toys. I did have a failure of one of the scuppers once, and the water leaked into the bilge compartment. I was completely oblivious to it when it occurred as I was anchored in heavy wind/current while tossing a frog to the mats; until I pulled up the anchor and started to peddle. I realized I was heavier and I think I realized I was lower in the water, but chaulked it up to the heavy winds, choppy water, and being tired. At first I thought it was just me, and exhaustion as it was the end of a long day and I was peddling into the wind. I made it to shore and went to lift the boat onto my shoulder to carry it up to the truck, and couldn't. It was too heavy. I thought I must be getting to old, and then I felt it slosh around and noticed water streaming out the hole in the scupper. I opened the valve and rolled the boat over so the water in the bilge could empty out until finally I could lift it into the truck. The point is, the boat stayed afloat even with the bilge being full with so much water that I couldn't lift it. Of course, Hobie exchanged the boat immediately. I dont know what caused the failure, but the dealer suspects I may have folded the boat on the scupper over the winter. You're not going to have these kinds of problems with a hard-shell, but the inflatables are still worth it for me. I've had a crate mate in the back to hold rods and gear, and scotty mounts glued to the side for additional rod holders, a fish finder and a cup holder up front. I've attached an anchor trolley, and have the the transducer mounted to the rudder (not the best location, but it suits my purposes just fine) and simply kept the battery in a dry bag in the crate. There's no place to hide the wires, but I've glued line holders along the length and run the wires thru them to hold them down and out of the way. All this on the i9. My butt does get wet, but I'm very heavy. My wife and kids never seem to get as wet, and have on occasion come back without being wet at all. If I got down to my desirable weight I dont think I'd have a problem. Anyway, it's not a huge issue you get wet in any boat - you are afterall on the water - most folks wear quick dry sports pants or shorts while kayak fishing anyway. Now I have four i9's, one for me and one each for the wife and kids and they all fit nicely stacked in one small corner of the basement. I also have a PA 12 for those longer days on the water, or for cartopper tourneys, etc where I can stand up in it much easier to fish or stretch the legs or give the butt a break without having to go to shore. That one boat takes up 4x the space as the four i9's together. Rigging and setup time is about the same. Inflation/deflation time is like 3-5 minutes, even for my kids, with those pumps with the huge lungs.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:28 am 
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Location: KY Lake
Don't know where you can see/demo one. We ordered and received an inflatable (tho not a Hobie) and set it up. Nice boat. Then we saw the Outback. Wow, what a difference. We packed up the inflatable. THAT was easier said than done! Returned the inflatable and bought the Outback. That was 5 years ago. We still love the Outback. We've made small mods to suit our changing wants/needs over the years.

My best rec would be to consider which boat you will want 5 years from now. Which boat is capable of meeting changing needs? Believe me, once you get out there on ANY boat, you'll be coming up with ideas that will make your time on the water even more enjoyable and you'll want a boat than can handle your unique mods.

Whatever you decide, good luck and enjoy! Great fun!

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SailHo Kentucky
2 AIs - Pro Angler 14 - Outback


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:42 am 
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Thanks so much for the additional info to both Stevelibs and sailhoky! All adding to the Pro and Con list of inflatable vs hard. Stevelibs I figured i'd have a crate, and you're right most of the time this will be used in good weather. Wet butt and shorts are a standard when i surf fish so shouldn't be an issue in warm weather. I definitely would do the crate thing. Maybe the transducer on a side/drop mount attached to the crate?

Stevelibs, no problems with the rod holder etc coming unglued? I'm picturing in my mind a 15 pound lake mackinaw :D , (of course i picture that all the time i've just never caught one :oops: ) ripping that rod holder glued on, right off the boat!

And Sailhoky something to ponder, what about a few years down the road?

I did find a place in Santa Cruz, Ca that does have a is9 inflatable that i will be able to demo, should check that out this week.

Thanks again for the input. Beachpotato.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:54 pm 
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I cant imagine the glue bond coming apart if done properly. I've fished, and pulled and lifted the boat by the rod holders with some pretty good loads and they've held up. I had a couple eyelets that weren't completely bonded at the factory, and an edge lifted. I couldn't even pull those off - the plastic eyelet started to deform when pulling - they held so strong it was easier to put a dab of glue in the offending areas with a toothpick and weight it down. They don't lift, or budge one bit. You could easily test it by glueing an eyelet to a patch and try to pull it to failure. My guess is your gonna be surprised by how strong the attachment really is - but beyond my experience above, I really couldn't say. As for the over the side transducer, I tried the mad frog liberator transducer arm over the side. It was ok, but I tried the rudder mount and liked it better.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Hey thanks SteveLIBS, sounds good, i know that that glueing stuff on inflatables, i.e. zodiac type boats is not new so that's probably a minor worry. One other question if i may. As an inflatable have you had it out in good winds and chop? I'll be using it quite a bit on Lake Tahoe. Big lake, late morning winds and chop. Was wondering if the inflatable had a problem getting blown around the water in the wind? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:51 pm 
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Yes, great question, it does get blown around a bit. After using it for several years and then buying a sport though I didn't find it a big deal - in fact, I got rid of the sport as I didn't find an appreciable difference for what I used it for.

I've been to Tahoe several times when I lived out that way; and think the inflatable might be a bit of a challenge on those windy days. But I'm guessing that would be the case for me no matter what the Kayak. I could be wrong, it's been a long time, but I would think there's a kayak/Hobie dealer around Tahoe that would let you demo on there?

Again, it's not for everyone - but for me, I can pack away four i9s in much less space than one PA12 and, with the proper preparation, my wife and kids can still get their i9's setup and on the water in the same amount of time as me and my PA 12.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:45 am 
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Thanks SteveLIBS, again good info. Interesting that the way i read the specs the i- s12 weighs a bit more than the revo 11. Probably due to a slightly larger profile than the revo 11 it may catch more wind. It actually weighs a bit more than the revo11. Gotta love Tahoe. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:55 pm 
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Location: Columbia, MD
The i12s handles wind okay. I don't think I've dealt with more than 15 mph or so though. Chop can get a little bouncy.

The inflatables don't really have what I'd call a keel like the Revo or Outback do. They're more like flat bottom jon boats with a center "chine". They track well in calm conditions with good forward momentum, but they just don't cut into the water like a Revo or Outback will when things get rougher.


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