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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:00 pm 
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Greetings!

I was going to start this thread "Good news and bad news...."

The good news: the wife is in support of us getting kayaks together -- and she really likes the Mirage drive.

The bad news: I don't think we can afford a kayak for her (she likes the Revolution), a complete AI for myself, and the $500 bucks or so that we'll be spending on Thule racks, J-cradles, etc.

My current plan has been modified a bit: get both my wife and myself outfitted on Hobie kayaks (an Adventure model for myself), and enjoy the kayaks over the summer together. When the fall season arrives, it will start getting colder and my wife will be less eager to go out on the water. The winds will typically pick up a bit as well. Then, funds permitting, I was thinking I could transform my Adventure into a complete AI. According to my local dealer, this is entirely possible, but I cannot find anything in writing (in the Hobie literature) that establishes the existence of the "conversion kit" that my dealer mentioned. According to the prices quoted to me by my local dealer, it really isn't any more expensive to do this in the long run. In other words: the AI is $1500 dollars more than the Adventure, and the conversion kit costs $1500. I would feel more comfortable about this whole idea if i could confirm that this kit is available from Hobie. Thus my questions:

1. Does Hobie offer an Adventure-to-AI conversion kit?

2. Is this conversion pretty straightforward?

3. Assuming I begin with a 2008 Adventure, is there any down-side to the final product in doing this? In other words, when I complete the conversion, will I have a full-fledged AI, or will there be some compromises made in going this route?

4. Does anyone know of a MSRP list from Hobie? The folks at my local dealership seem to be "ball-parking" the prices just a bit, and I am not clear if people typically pay "sticker" or if -- like buying a car -- this is a "negotiation" type of transaction.

Any thoughts or insights are appreciated.

Paul


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:30 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Aloha Dan, on the Big Island of Hawaii upgraded his adventure not long ago, an could answer all your questions, but he won't me available for about a month as he's traveling. I do know it's a lot more expensive than just buying the full AI, but should end up just as complete when done. If I was to go that route, I'd think about buying a used Adventure (not the first year, it can't be upgraded) to save some of the difference. Or, If you're sure you'd be upgrading in the fall, see about some way of financing the difference and get it now.

Any way you do it, the Adventure is a great kayak and the AI is fantastic!

Kayaking Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:45 pm 
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Paultergeist wrote:
1. Does Hobie offer an Adventure-to-AI conversion kit?


Yes... From the Book of Knowledge (actually the "Web of..." - I'm at home so I had to do a remote login to find the info).

99503001 ISLAND CONVERSION KIT - PAPAYA 1,549.00 EA
99504001 ISLAND CONVERSION KIT-HIBISCUS 1,549.00 EA
99505001 ISLAND CONVERSION KIT - DUNE 1,549.00 EA
99600001 INSTALL TOOLS - MAST HOLE SAW 25.00 EA

For those people wanting to add just the Amas...

99403001 ISLAND AMA KIT - PAPAYA 899.00 EA
99404001 ISLAND AMA KIT - HIBISCUS 899.00 EA
99405001 ISLAND AMA KIT - DUNE 899.00 EA

Quote:
2. Is this conversion pretty straightforward?


I've never done it. I think probably the biggest pucker factor will be drilling the front of the yak for the mast receiver. The inserts for the crossbars are already molding into the yak. Everything else is part of the kit (except the hole saw).

I'm not positive that the Island kit includes the larger rudder blade.

Quote:
3. Assuming I begin with a 2008 Adventure, is there any down-side to the final product in doing this? In other words, when I complete the conversion, will I have a full-fledged AI, or will there be some compromises made in going this route?


Well... I think the serial number will denote an Adventure, not an Island. But Hobie may use the same code after CCM for both models. I've not noticed.

I think the biggest compromises will be your time and money.

Quote:
4. Does anyone know of a MSRP list from Hobie? The folks at my local dealership seem to be "ball-parking" the prices just a bit, and I am not clear if people typically pay "sticker" or if -- like buying a car -- this is a "negotiation" type of transaction.


Hobie is pretty strict about price advertising.

A dealer can sell at whatever price he wants. But he can not advertise anything other than MSRP... (cough, cough...) Even when he may have some previous model years that he wants to advertise at what was then the current MSRP. Only the current MSRP is acceptable for advertising, even if the product is brand new, 3 years old and retailed for $200 less. :roll:

The '08 Adventurer is $1799. The '08 Island is $3199.

If all those prices are right (and I pulled them from Hobie, so they should be), then the hit for doing it in stages is only about $150.

Brian C


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:44 pm 
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Location: Florida
Won't you have to buy the sailing rudder and the daggar board in addition to the Island Conversion Kit? Those come included when you but the Factory built Island.

I think if you want an Island you are far better off getting an Island rather than doing it is stages as a "tool time" project.

I know money can be a real factor with expensive toys - but I love both of our Islands. One for me - one for wife.

Hey, treat yourself - You deserve It! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:33 pm 
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Yakaholic wrote:
Won't you have to buy the sailing rudder and the daggar board in addition to the Island Conversion Kit? Those come included when you but the Factory built Island.


Not having seen an Island upgrade kit, I'm not positive. But I think it comes with the daggerboard.

Matt?

Brian C


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:31 pm 
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Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fl
Decisions, decisions. If it was me I'd take the hit and buy the '08 AI complete and sell the Adventure you have and still get the wife a Revo.

Anyone know if Hobie will recognize his warranty on the Adventure if he does the step by step transformation to an AI?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:59 pm 
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Location: Escondido
Paul, congratulations on your upcoming Hobies! My advise may be a little different. I recommend consideration of the Adventure / Revo combination for the following reasons:

As you stated, it's the only option within your budget for now. In addition to your racks, you're going to want a few accessories you may or may not have thought about -- one or two carts ($70 ea), at least one set of Turbofins (probably two if your wife likes to pedal) between the two of you ($80 ea) At least one large sailing rudder ($23) for the Adventure (which you can transfer to the Revo when you get the AI kit later), and perhaps a standard sail kit ($290) if you like to sail (both boats are fun little sailors in their own right, though they don't compare with the AI). This can go on either boat now and transfer to the Revo later if your wife likes to sail or you can sell it -- they're pretty popular.

Since you and your wife are expecting to be kayaking together you won't have much occasion to use that AI for awhile. If you had it, you may be frustrated at not using something you paid for or she's be frustrated at having you speed off!

Since the Adventure is faster than the Revo, you may end up swapping boats to "equalize" the pace, after which she may fall in love with the Adventure. If so, you can sell the Revo later and get the AI instead of upgrading yours. Either way, this keeps all options open.

The '06 Adventure cannot be converted to the AI, but the '07 can. Both models are similar between '07 and '08 with two notable exceptions. 1) the newest '08 Mirage Drives have some nice improvements that are worth having, especially if you like pedaling. 2) The '08 Adventure / AI comes with a new rudder up / down system. Both of these items can be retrofitted later (no cost on the rudder system for the AI or conversion) if there is a price advantage for buying last year's boats.

Look up Aloha Dan's posts about installing the kit. It shouldn't be too difficult. I'm sure there is a template for cutting the hole and the large cup flange will cover any minor deviations. Everything else pretty much bolts together (I think).

Get a couple of quotes on a package deal both ways after you decide on your accessories. You can frequently do better by purchasing everything at once. If that's not feasible, you might try to get a commitment price on some accessories later (including the conversion kit). 8)


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 Post subject: Thanks.....
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:41 am 
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Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I truly do appreciate the feedback.

I wish that my economic circumstances were such that the money was not a factor, but that is not the case, so I am trying to think it all through carefully.

I consider myself fortunate that my wife is open to the kayak idea. Originally, she only wanted "us" to get a tandem, which limited some of the places I might have wanted to go "solo," and of course that blew the AI idea out the window. At the urging of the local Hobie dealer, my wife tried a "Sport" and an "Adventure" -- both with Mirage drives -- and she decided -- after a half hour or so of getting comfortable on the water by herself -- that she wanted her OWN kayak (as opposed to the tandem).

She felt the Adventure was "too long" (note that she was in a marina mostly) and I convinced her that the shorter Sport would make it hard for her to keep up with me, thus leading us to a sort of "Goldilocks" moment where she saw the Revolution and felt it was the "right" size for her. (She has yet to actually test drive the Revolution, but it was such a "pretty" shade of red....). All of this is a bit of a digression -- for which I apologize -- but I am starting to wonder: "What IF someday she DOES want to sail?" She has never expressed interest in harnessing wind power before, but all that might change if she watches me scoot past her in an AI.

I guess right now I am trying to decide if there a compelling reason to really "push" her toward the Adventure so that -- like myself -- we would have two kayaks that could be upgraded to AIs? Then again, maybe I should just embrace "success" as defined by the fact that at least the wife wants a kayak herself, and just get her the Revolution for the time present. I guess we can always trade it in for an AI someday IF she ever decides that she wants to sail.

I hate to sound like an indecisive whiner, but I hate buyer's remorse, and I want to get this purchase decision just right. Two kayaks with all the fixin's, the requisite roof rack, and a bit of necessary garage remodeling is putting this project easily into 6-7K range. I am just trying to think this through as carefully as I can.

My sincere thank for all the responses.

Paul


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:53 am 
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Location: Escondido
The Revo is really a great all-around boat -- decent speed, excellent maneuverability, a good little sailor. Your wife can upgrade to a sail with Sidekicks later if she wants to, so it would be like a mini-AI. With your AI sail reefed, you can still sail together if she gets into that (or you can put her in the AI and challenge yourself!). So it's not a dead-end at all. I got to spend some time in the Revolution and had a blast! Here are some impressions...

... a test drive on a Revo when they first came out:
http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewt ... ution+test

... the Revo sailing:
http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewt ... ution+sail

... a comparison between the Revolution and the Adventure:
http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewt ... ution+sail

It's also advantageous to have 2 different boats -- it's nice to have a choice and fun to swap. Apalach, one of our venerable posters, has an Outback and his wife has a Sport -- he ends up taking his wife's Sport out fishing whenever she doesn't go so he gets the benefits of both models! 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:26 pm 
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Location: Florida
Paul

I started out buying only one Island while my wife used the Sport that we had previously purchased. She felt intimidated by the idea of sailing - all those lines, daggar board etc.. After a few outings where I was in the Island and she was in the Sport I had to keep sailing in circles to allow her too "keep up". Obviously, that curtailed my ability to sail any distance as long as she was in the Sport.

I finally convinced her to try sailing. I sat in the back trunk area while she sat in the drivers seat so I could 'show her the ropes'. She loved it!. On the next trip I had her solo the Island - while I struggled to keep up in the Sport - gasp!. She loved it even more and decided that it was indeed easy and fun. It was settled. Got a second Island. Mine is red - her's is yellow.

After a more than a year of sailing we both still enjoy it. My wife is now a very accomplished sailor & my equal. We can sail for hours. In a nice downwind sail we can easily carry on conversations as the 2 kayaks glide only a few feet apart. Pack a picknick lunch for 2 and set out for 20 - 30 mile trips on the water.

Of course for no wind or use in a river you have 2 Adventure Kayaks and you leave the sails and akas/amas at home.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:51 pm 
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Thanks for sharing these thoughts and experiences, guys.

I hope to have my wife test-drive both the Revo and the Adventure once more -- and then -- whatever kayak she points to as the one she wants will be the one we get for her. I will go on record as saying, however, that I would not be at all surprised if I end up in a similar situation as Yakaholic, and end up buying my wife a complete AI a year from now!

That being the case, I have a feeling that my credit card may soon get abused to the tune of a Revo and an Adventure. This still leaves some uncertainly in my mind as to the issues associated with converting the Adventure to the AI. It's too bad for me that Aloha Dan is out of touch right now.

Does anyone know if I can call Hobie directly for technical support on this question?

Thanks very much again.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:04 pm
Posts: 617
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Just got back.

The conversion isn't that hard. Just be careful and take your time.

Getting the mast hole correct is the main thing.

I used a Dremel.

Most important thing is getting the hole centered. I strongly recommend you use a compass of some sort (I used a rigid wood drawing tool with adjustable points).

Before removing the old 7/8" mast receiver and hole plug, plug in the plug. That makes it easier to center your compass, and draw your new hole..

Hobie did have some problems shipping the kits regarding some hull parts, like the ball braces.

I think Matt has solved these, but be sure and go through all the parts when you open your package. Use page 29 in the parts catalog to make sure you get everything.

When converted you have a true AI. In fact you will have the new mast step system, the new paddle holder, etc the original AI lacked.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:27 pm 
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Hey Paul,
I feel your pain. As RR said, the Revo, like all Mirage Drive yaks (including the Sport), have a built-in mast step and are ready to sail right out of the wrappings. However, my advice would be to not push it in deciding which boat to get your wife. If you are convinced that the AI is our boat of choice, then go for it the first year. However, several different models might fit your wife at this stage. Is there any way you can rent the various models for your wife to try before she makes up her mind, and when she finally decides, then get her a boat the second year. Although getting two boats at the same time sounds very cool and romantic right now, she may find that her original "first" choice has changed after trying out several different models.

Another possibility is to look for some used boats. You don't mention where you are located, so I don't know what the likelihood of finding 1 or 2 used boats might be in your neck of the woods. Problem with that idea is that used Hobies are often few and far between anyway, so this idea may not be very realistic.

Anyhow, good luck and keep us posted as to how it all sorts out. And don't hesitate to come back online to toss out some other ideas, should they occur to you. Getting a new yak (or two) is never an easy decision, and there are lots of folks here who will be more than willing to give you the benefit of their experience.
Best of luck,
Dick

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Last edited by Apalach on Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:40 pm 
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Most dealers will rent the AI for 50$ a day. It may take a couple of rents to get the full advantage of use. The sailing will sell you... As soon as you get the hang of car topping loading / unloading. The $ spent up to 200.00 can be applied to the purshase of the AI or any other kayak at the store. My wife still likes to paddle...and I do sail circles around.. as her straight line to our lunch / day camp is often just as fast. So thats my story of several kayaks in the garage....Rent untill your smitten with desire for the sail and spray of the warm summer water. Your better half can rent a few times as well..This will take up several weekends as you have to schedule in advance... show up ready to load...Secure well to your new roof rack which will run 500$ after all the tie straps. The hullavator is a needed item.... add that later as you can...and still the loading will require team work..it will be the entire package that becomes the hobbie enjoyed by both. The end of the day on the water will give you both a good work out.. paddling / peddling / swimming / loading / unloading.. then returning the kayaks the next morning. This water hobbie will continue to require $... for gas to the lakes where the best afternoon winds are.. ect: Well thats more than 2 cents worth...If you guys end up liking the AI.. you may still purshase several brands that are fast and light to tide you over.. and way less in price. I often use trolling motors mounted to wildnerness and hobie.. travel up wind or current.... day camp.. sail then motor back as the wind often shifts to the opposite direction..Sailing is best across wind.. You may feel your options are limited..keep reading these post and the internet in general.. rent.. and by years end you will make the right choices for your family. I have a garage full of small boats.
If I had rented first we might have two less...


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