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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:03 pm 
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I wanted to find out if two AIs could be rented or borrowed in NZ because the combination of mirage drive and sail provides an excellent platform for exploring from the water. I guess I have gotten good enough at packing up and reassembling that it is no big deal to take the boats out, trailer or stow and then put back into the water. For US $3000 the boats cost less than an outboard motor. My daily fuel costs when we took the boats on a five day 150 mi. sail from Key Largo to Key West consisted of lots of drinks and carbohydrates. I suspect that most folks would find the boats to be a low cost way to have decent boat performance in a wide variety of conditions and the mirage drive provides adequate power to move along at several miles per hour even when there is no wind. Here in Oregon if I am going to explore someplace I stow a bike on the ama and ride it back to my car at the end of the day, then go get the boat. This works pretty well in fresh water and would be ok in salt with a beater bike and lots of rinsing and lubing of the chain, brakes and drive train. If the boats are not available in NZ I bet I could buy a couple boats in Australia and have them shipped over to NZ, then sail em with a for sale sign mounted on the hull and have both sold by the time I leave because as was noted above when motor boaters see the boats being used they realize what an excellent and healthy alternative (improvement) they provide to short motor powered trips in calm water. If anyone has any thoughts on whether this sort of plan makes sense, costs of shipping, and locating a good dealer please let me know by posting on or off list. Thanks,


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:07 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
Ray, the Hobie site lists a dealer in Auckland NZ: http://www.boatbits.co.nz/index.html
There is no mention of AI's on their website, but they might be able to quote on getting a couple for you. When you're finished with them, you could ship them to the UK and sell them to the long-suffering English, probably at a vast profit :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:31 pm 
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Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
chrisj wrote:
Ray, the Hobie site lists a dealer in Auckland NZ: http://www.boatbits.co.nz/index.html
There is no mention of AI's on their website, but they might be able to quote on getting a couple for you. When you're finished with them, you could ship them to the UK and sell them to the long-suffering English, probably at a vast profit :)

Ray & ChrisJ - it would be interesting to know why the dealer doesn't appear to keep them. Pirate & I bought our AIs off a dealer in Canberra who also sells all the Hobie Catamaran range - so I don't see any obvious reason why the NZ dealer wouldn't/couldn't stock them :roll: I would think it would be cheaper to buy them from the NZ dealer rather than freight them across from OZ.
The dealer may be prepared to start stocking them if he knows he's got two definite sales - and possibly buy them back and keep them as demonstrators. The fact that you will be providing the first visible presence in NZ will act as free advertising from which he is likely to benefit. We introduced the AI to our region - Gippsland Lakes - and there was an immediate and noticeable high level of interest in them, which resulted in several more being ordered as a direct result. There's something to talk to the NZ dealer about Ray. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:53 am 
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Old topic revisited with new information.

The NZ dealer is now called The Water Shed and they stock (or at least list) a very good range. Price listed for AI is NZ$6750. Website is just being redesigned but is nzwatershed.co.nz

Hobie kayaks are still rare here - there is a thriving local boat industry of all types and sizes, including sailing kayaks, but no Mirage drives of course.

Soon to take delivery of my i14t, happy to consider future travel swaps with owners of other hobies elsewhere in the world.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:59 am 
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I went to AU in March 2010. We never saw an AI or TI in the Sydney area and were unable to meet up with our listmates in AU. We did get to ride with the tough Aussie bike racers and met some very talented rowers who go out into Sydney harbor.
However, I have a TI and AI in Portland Oregon and a trailer that holds both.
I am happy to make my boats available to visiting experienced AI/TI folks and would like to know if there are others out there who would be similarly open to swapping boat usage. I have sailed with Kayaking Bob Conlon in Maui on several occasions, Florida Bay (including camping with my two sons with three AIs on the little island campgrounds), and a couple of trips to St. THomas and St. John where my only "vehicle" was an AI or TI.
I like to sail in the Columbia River and have explored it over the last few years.
I have also raced the AI against Kayaks and Canoe go fast foiks. I use the center hull, pull the rudder up, use turbo fins and steer by paddling like hell. I am a bike racer and can beat most boats but with that heavy AI it is a real workout. The last time I raced it was 9.5 miles. I could not keep up with wave skis but beat everything else. It was a small field but demonstrates the worth of the mirage drive and pulling that rudder drag out of the water to steer by accelerating. I row a racing shell and it is faster but alot trickier to keep upright. In any kind of chop I think the Hobie could be faster.
I also have a Fluidesign carbon single, Echo Ace Racer, Echo Touring SIngle Shell, an ALden 18 and a Hudson Rowing Double. THese boats are stored in various levels of dishevelment on a 47' Kenner Sewanee houseboat/barge/mother ship that has electric power (Minnkota 101 pound thrust trolling motor as a bow thruster), hand made junk sail hung on a school flagpole mast, two 8 hp outboards and am working on a tow rig to get my two turbo charged Honda aquatrax to pull the whole mess without cavitating themselves into oblivion.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Location: Auckland NZ
This thread is well-old now but in answer to some of the points made there is a NZ dealer of Hobies - Watershed, Barry's Point Road, North Shore City, Auckland www.watershed.co.nz. They carry the full range of Hobies.

Hobie kayaks tend to be very expensive over here because of the exchange rate but there is an ever-increasing number of owners (personally I have owned 6 Hobies over the years - or is it 7 - and currently have AI and A).
There are also a number of local kayak manufacturers and olympic kayaking heroes - which leads to a bit of a culture that locally-made is best.

Because of only one Auckland-based dealer I am sure that Hobies are most common in the upper North Island but I do know that there are some as far south as Wellington.

I am not aware of anywhere that rents Hobies in New Zealand - but I am always open to offers (PM me).

There is huge community of kayakers in NZ as the conditions really lend themselves to kayaking. And fishing is a way of life here so unsurprisingly there are many kayak fishers. Fishing here can be incredible - Snapper, Bluecod, Kingfish (yellow-tail), Tuna, Shark, Trout, Hapuka/Bass (i.e. Groper) but you may need to relearn how it is done here compared to other places.

There are strict recreational fishing regulations regarding species, size limit and catch numbers - these vary between regions and are enforced both on and off water; falling foul will land you with a hefty fine so it is wise to know what the regs are.

The west coast of both islands, facing the Tasman Sea which is 2/3 the width of the Atlantic & the prevailing winds is subject to big swells and is therefore a mecca for surfing so kayaking tends to be more common on the east coasts and on the inland lakes & rivers.

East coast of North Island is fantastic for kayaking, fishing, kayak sailing and cruising - there are many beautiful, sheltered sandy bays with rocky headlands, offshore islands and campsites - all the way from Coromandel Peninsula all the way up to the tippy top plus the East Cape region. Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay are vast beaches with frequent surf. Offshore islands like White Island (volcano), Great Barrier, Little Barrier are well known for big fish but you have to get there first.

Inland lakes of the central North Island are huge (in the case of Lake Taupo) and can be windy. They are the home of some very large trout.

Cook Strait (between N & S Islands) is wide and frequently very windy and rough - not to be underestimated under any circumstances.

North of the South Island you have the Marlborough Sounds - fjords without the huge snow-capped peaks of other fjord-lands (Many campsites, good cruising & fishing) plus the Abel Tasman Coast (a beautiful 3-day there-and-back coastal walking track across beaches and headlands with huts & campsites which is frequently undertaken on kayak - many padlle-kayak rental outlets).

Inland lakes and rivers abound in the rest of South Island culminating in Fjordland and Doubtful and Milford Sounds - for wilderness (kayaking) experiences extraordinaire - just beware of the distances if you are thinking of driving!

Risks for kayakers include changeable weather conditions and the remoteness of some areas in terms of access and support.

Best time of year January-May.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:49 am 
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I travel to NZ very often and there is a hobie dealer there...the water shed near auckland. A hobie tandum island sells for $9000 NZ. very expensive. I am shipping mine to NZ from NH. Lots of good sailing in NZ...beautiful country!!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Having spent 3 months living in New Caledonia many years ago, I dream of being able to sail around Pacific Islands in my TI, a match made in Heaven!

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:16 pm 
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john_hackett1 wrote:
I travel to NZ very often and there is a hobie dealer there...the water shed near auckland. A hobie tandum island sells for $9000 NZ. very expensive. I am shipping mine to NZ from NH. Lots of good sailing in NZ...beautiful country!!


I live in Auckland and try to get out most weekends on my TI during summer.

NZ Kayak forum is a good place to go to get local information about launch spots
http://www.kayakfishingnz.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=51

My favourite camp ground for being Tandem Island friendly is Papa Aroha. Boat ramp 50 meters from tent!
http://www.papaaroha.co.nz/index_papaaroha.htm
I currently have the following dates booked:
20is to 22nd September
17th to 20th October
8th to 10th October
26th December to 15th January


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:22 pm 
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Picking up a new TI thursday and heading to Bland Bay for some sailing. Have a TI in New Hampshire and absolutely love it but NZ is really a sailors dream and can't wait to get out on the water with the breeze we have here. Will be lots of fun.


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