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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:16 am
Posts: 9
Location: Mobile, Alabama
I've got about 20hrs on it now and while I like it for it's purpose it does have some issues.

Contrary to what I'd been told by the dealer and read the drive masts are indeed very easy to bend if you're going at any speed other than drifting and strike anything solid. This makes using the yak in streams or tight river bends very dodgy... sure you can feather stroke the drive but that's little solace if you've got several miles of stream to get through as it makes for a very very long frustrating day.

The PA needs the turbo fins due to it's bulk and weight.... but these are much longer than the standard ones which only exacerbates the problems it has in shallow water and of course with the added leverage of the longer masts they're much easier to bend.

The rudder.... is "gritty" and stiff no matter how you adjust it and the yak requires constant rudder correction even in no wind, no current dead flat calm conditions.... my wife's OK Scrambler tracks better than this yak with no rudder. Further I have to stretch a little to get to the rudder handle... if not for having to make constant minor corrections this wouldn't be near the issue that it is.

The owner's manual needs serious improvemnt. There should be much more illustrated information about the mirage drive and rudder adjustments and field repairs. Paddling this yak is both difficult and undomfortable.

The seat.... no way to move the seat forward or aft. I'm of average height at 5' 9" (30" inseam) and have to adjust the pedals all the way in which still makes it a stretch to get a full stroke.

The slightly reclined positon is "ok" for peddling but horrid if you have to paddle the boat.

Noise... with every full stroke of the pedals the fins "thump" the bottom of the hull which creates a loud thumping sound which is sure to send every fish within a couple hundred yards scurrying for cover.

The paddle that comes with the boat is way too short for a boat this wide.

The front hatch cover is still "loose" even with the bungees in place. I can see this as being a issue with any water coming over the bow allowing intrusion.

This is a dedicated fishing yak and that's exactly why I bought it. It's stable, has a ton of room for storage and once underway the speed is very respectable. The design of the yak for fishing is well thought out with the above caveats. those that bother me the most are the rudder, noise of the drive slapping the hull at full stroke and the seat position. seat positon wouldn't be as much of an issue if I didn't use the boat in shallows the pretty much preclude the use of the turbo finned mirage for a good bit of my fishing.

I hope they address these issues in the future as otherwise it would be perfect.

For the kind of fishing I do (shallow water, creeks and streams mostly) it's not the ideal boat. I likely should have bought the outback (which is what I went to buy) or even the revolution but let the dealer talk me into the PA so that's on me.

Were I always fishing or traveling in 2.5 - 3ft water or deeper the mast bending problem obviously would not exist but the noise at full stroke (my third biggest issue next to the mast bending issues and rudder) is not acceptable. flats fish spook very easily and everyone knows how sound travels through water.... this thing is very very noisey.

I have "trained" myself to not quite fully stroke the pedals but how much thrust am I losing that way?

Maybe I'll be able to find a local guy that want's a PA and work out a trade on a outback or revo with him.

For deeper water with the rudder, and hull slap from the drive corrected (seat doesn't become much of an issue if you dont' have to use the paddle) it's as near perfect as i could imagine.

PS: yes I've read through all the PA rudder threads and nothing has made it any better. I believe it's simply a bad design and the dealer admits that eveyone he's sold one too has complained about the rudder, the masts bending easily, the nonadjustable seat and the paddle being too short. he's only sold 10 of them (all he's gotten) but says I'm only the second to complain about the drive slapping the hull.... maybe it doesn't bother the other guys...


Last edited by kaferhaus on Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:28 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Fairhope, Al.
Bro, did you demo this kayak before you bought it? Seems like you would have noticed these problems before you did and bought the Revo or Outback instead. That's why the dealers offer demo's in the first place. Oh , that's right, you bought it used, not from a dealer ( I've seen your other posts).

There is no way your local dealer would have put you in that kayak. I'm 5'10 and it's borderline too big for me. My properly fitted Revolution has no "knocking" issues at full pedal stroke and it flies with the mid size turbo's.

My dealer doesn't reccomend any Mirage drive kayaks for paddling in log strewn, murky water. Common sense says that a quarter inch shaft is going to bend if you hit it with 250-300 pounds (combined weight of peddler and kayak). I've hit pilings and logs with mine with no problems because I take it easy when I know there are obstructions around.

Sounds like you just bought the wrong boat. No reason to dis the PA because you made a mistake.

You didn't buy the Scambler from the dealer either. Did you demo it? No, Academy doesn't offer demos. Guess you just got lucky with it.

No reason to dump on the dealer either. You apparently burned up some of their time them went to a big box store to save money. Who is going to take care of warranty issues ? You'll probably expect the local dealer too take care of you even though you've done nothing for them but take up thier time and discredit them. If you don't support them, why should they support you ?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:16 am
Posts: 9
Location: Mobile, Alabama
I didn't "dis" anyone. The dealer knew I was looking at a used PA, I was up front about it and they proceeded to tell me how wonderfull it was....

What I should have done was done even more research than I did (which was quite a bit) and search for "problems" that people were having instead of merely "reviews". The reviews were all good and were I "reviewing" it for anything other than skinny water fishing I'd certainly give it higher marks.

Now I took it out again today in Mississippi sound after repairing the drive. I changed the PFD I was wearing to one with more material in the lower back area which allowed me to sit a little further forward and was able to adjust the drive to the number 2 position. This was much more comfortable and didn't put near as much strain on my knees. A side benefit is the only way I could make it "knock" was to really extend my leg so that stopped the knocking sound for the most part.

Nothing wrong with being "loyal" or even "buds" with the local dealer which I assume you are. They are very good folks and I like them. Having said that they also lost a sale on several Venus kayaks... they offered a $25 discount on a multi boat purchase... their price on the identical boat was $700 and Academy had them on sale for $399.00.... I realize that they cannot compete with Academy on prices and stay in business but that was a difference that only a fool would pay. You could nearly buy 2 at Academy for the price of 1 boat at their place. Money isnt' falling off of trees at my house.

They've gotten a share of my boating money and will no doubt get more but I'm not giving anyone an extra $300 just because they're "good folks".

Did I ask or say anything about warranty?

Stick up for your buds (who don't need it.... I happen to like them very much)but say nothing about the issues with the yak, that was really constructive. And as you don't own one it might be difficult for you to relate to the issues it has.

I do not "dislike" the boat but I'd have to agree with you that I may have bought the wrong boat, that'd be my fault. I wanted a boat I could do a bit of everything with but especially fish skinny water. My wife likes to fish but mostly just see the sights. that'd mean spending time in the upper delta amongst the creeks and streams. I disgussed this at the dealer and nary an eyebrow was raised with them knowing full well I knew nothing about yaks or the mirage drive. is that their "fault" absolutely not. But again you'd think that with them having the knowledge which they surely do they may have raised a red flag...

I got a great deal price wise on the PA, could have gotten a much better deal dollar wise on a 2008 Outback and while that may have not solved the "bending masts" issues other that it having shorter ones it likely wouldn't have the other issues that bother me about the PA. Maybe Hobie will come up with a real "fix" for the rudder issue which after today is my biggest issue with it.

By the way the water was great in the sound today as was the fishing.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:29 am
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I am 6'3" so I don't have any problems with the seat or pedals. I don't remember the fins slapping the hull but I don't fully stroke the pedal either when I am fishing. I do find the rudder is sensitive and gritty, plus it turns easier to one side than the other, probably an adjustment needed. I also fish out of a 15" MX510 Gregor aluminum boat and it has its shortcomings in a few areas too. no boat or yak is perfect but I am willing to put up with a few quirks to enjoy the PA or my Gregor as they are.
I did bend both masts on my first trip out on the PA but it was my fault. the water was choppy and the sky was cloudy so I could not see the boulders lurking right under the surface of the water and ending up bending both masts at about a 40 degree angle. I simply removed the masts, straightened them and replaced one torn fin. I also bought spare masts and fins for the next time it happens, I also carry a set of tools in case I have to do a repair while on a trip, don't want to have to paddle that beast for long!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Escondido
There are some simple fixes for a couple of your problems.

Slapping the hull: You simply have the pedals adjusted too close. Just put them forward another notch until you can't smack them into the hull. This goes for any Hobie Mirage Drive kayak. You will not loose power; your shorter stroke is compensated by your faster cadence. Since your legs are less bent you will find you also have more power and less fatigue.

Non adjustable seat: The seat can't go forward without covering the center hatch. Yet it is so large, I use a boat cushion on the back (which is adjustable BTW) as shown below.
Image
I use the i-comfort seat (seen in the pic) as well, but you can ignore that.

An additional benefit to the seat-back cushion is that the pedaling position improves yet again by moving forward another notch, giving a little better leverage with the pedals.

The Drive is not designed to withstand submerged structures, period. Pull the Drive and paddle or pole. There shouldn't be a problem. You can adjust your paddle technique to accommodate the high gunwales by swinging your pivot point. I don't believe a longer paddle will really solve your problem as well as a technique change, but you can experiment.

I agree the rudder is extremely sensitive. There is a lag time also, which makes it even more challenging (a tendency to over-correct). You will learn to anticipate it's actions. If your rudder system is properly adjusted it should be easy to operate and stay exactly where you put it. Take the time to learn how to center it and adjust the tension to get the results you want. Shown below is a track of about 4.5 miles that I ran with the PA while adjusting the rudder only once (doing a 180 at the dam at bottom). The boat lean-steers reasonably well and that's how I maneuvered. I admit this is not practical, but mention it here only to demonstrate that the rudder has sufficient authority to stabilize the boat's direction and can be mastered.
Image

This boat is a little different than you are probably used to. Learn to use it to your advantage and it will serve you well! 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:16 am
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Location: Mobile, Alabama
Quote:
There are some simple fixes for a couple of your problems "snip"


Thank you Roadrunner!

That's exactly the kind of help I was expecting and hoping for (instead of the tongue lashing I got from one of my neighbors right here in Bama).

I'll give those suggestions a go immediately.

The track you posted is very impressive as well.

I think one of the things that "got me" was the manual saying that it was unusual to bend a mast....

Guys have to realize that I'm a confessed "newbie" and assuming that I should have "known this or known that" maybe isn't quite right. I appreciate any and all constructive comments.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:42 am
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I have to wonder why you would consider a pedal yak for streams and rivers if they are shallow .... :?: .....At any rate , I am 5'10" and pedal a P.A. ... I have a 29" inseam .... I have the P.A. pedals set on position 4 and I have no slap at all ...The noise you are hearing will go away once you have your sitting position adjusted properly.....You can adjust the back to sit up closer , and move your pedals back a notch ...This will give you a full stroke ...If that doesn't work , the cusion idea is a good one ..... It has also taken me a while to get accustomed to the rudder and the lag time , and especially the lack of tracking ...I'm not thrilled about always having to keep my hand on the control ....I have however found that if you deal with the rudder control as Roadrunner has suggested , and do more leaning , it will help ...When making your rudder adjustments , move the control only a tiny bit !!...It saves a lot of back and forth engergy ....Roadrunners suggestions are really good ones !!.... If shallow waters are all you are fishing or traveling thru, I would look to get a different yak ...Know the strengths and the weaknesses of the yak you are riding in for the waters you are going to be in ...You should have no trouble selling it if you bought it for a good price ...I'm sorry it's not working out for you .....Jim

PS...I'm not sure WHAT paddle would work well for this yak/boat ....I'm sure though that it would be longer than the one supplied ....


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:16 am
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Location: Mobile, Alabama
Thanks Synthnut.

I've since talked to several other PA owners here and they all have the same problem with the rudder and none of them are happy about it.

I cured the "slapping" by moving the pedals back a notch to where I can't quite get a full stroke. It actually made it easier to peddle as the angle changed a bit.

And no I do't just fish "stumpy creeks" LOL but I like to fish shallow water a good bit. Perhaps I was just surprised that the masts bent at such a very slow speed and it really didn't feel like much of an impact at all... just a "bump". It has been raining here a lot and the creeks were full of run off = muddy water.

It's a great fishing platform... the layout is perfect... but still it may not be the yak/boat for me. I may try to find someone with a Outback that looking to "move up" and work a trade with them. I think the Outback or Revo would paddle better for those times the wife wants to go up in the delta and just spend the day cruising the creeks and bayous. It's gonna be that or I'll end up with a different Yak just for that.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:32 pm 
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If you're going to continue with the pedals , go with a Revo ....The Revo does not have the real estate to mount things as easily as the Outback , but it's longer , glides better, is faster , and in a pinch or for someone like you who likes to paddle down "stumpy ole creeks " :wink: , you will appreciate how much better the Revo paddles when you can't pedal ..... I might even STILL get a Revo since there are places where the P.A. is not comfortable going as you have found out already ...Good Luck , Jim


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:36 pm 
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Location: Mobile, Alabama
synthnut wrote:
If you're going to continue with the pedals , go with a Revo ....The Revo does not have the real estate to mount things as easily as the Outback , but it's longer , glides better, is faster , and in a pinch or for someone like you who likes to paddle down "stumpy ole creeks " :wink: , you will appreciate how much better the Revo paddles when you can't pedal ..... I might even STILL get a Revo since there are places where the P.A. is not comfortable going as you have found out already ...Good Luck , Jim


What timing! I water tested one (revo) this afternoon it was a used 2008 model that the owner says has been in the water 4 or 5 times since he bought it and looked it. It's much faster than the PA and easier to pedal (has the turbo fins installed but also has the original fins and masts). And it's not bad to paddle, rudder works great and the boat tracks well, light years ahead of the PA in that dept. Limited fishing platform compared to the outback or PA as you mentioned. I think he's a little high on his asking price but if we can come to an agreement I'll likely buy it for use up on the delta and just keep the PA for everywhere else. The extra 1mph is nice but won't make up for the PA's "fishability"

Bought a sail kit today so the good news is it'll work on both of them. I'm sure the PA won't be the fastest sailing yak but it sure should be fun anyway. Hopefully I'll find out tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:15 am 
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after I bought a PA I wanted another Hobie for my son, we tried an OB and a Revo (we had already rented a Sport several times and we did not like it due to being tippy and too cramped). we felt the Revo was faster but the OB was more stable so we bought a 09 OB. bought a sail kit with it also but have not had time to use the OB in the water yet. the Revo felt like it had less side to side room too, my hips were just about on the gunwales (I am 6'3" and 205 and my son is 6'1" and 180 lbs.)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Location: Australia
Quote:
Bro, did you demo this kayak before you bought it?


First thought I had as well.

Quote:
I have "trained" myself to not quite fully stroke the pedals but how much thrust am I losing that way?


In my experience, what you lose in thrust, you gain in fin oscilation, which in my opinion, is better for acceleration.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Location: Mobile, Alabama
Well I'm keeping the PA, in fact I bought a sail for it. the sail is a hoot and the yak sails well on any kind of a reach. Upwind is poor as it is with all the revos save the AI. But pedal it a bit and the sail still helps a bit into the wind.

I've had the PA up to 5.5mph (speed over the bottom) many times. Although the rig can't handle much wind a 10-15mph breeze moves it along just fine. And the harder the wind the better it acts and the closer you can point into the wind. tacking is very easy.... I've read where folks have trouble tacking the other mirage yaks without pedalling but the PA does so effortlessly in all but the lightest breezes.

Rudder control is obviously still an issue, the yak constantly wants to weather vane but a little body english and light rudder control helps a good deal. the weight and width equals very little heel even in the 15mph winds. I think Hobie suggests 10mph as max but I have no idea why. Even in 15mph winds there's very little stress on the rig if you're trimming it correctly. In fact I think it could handle another 50% increase in sail area easily in those winds.

I've already caught a good many fish out of it and that's what it excells at So long as the water is around 2ft deep this is a very good fishing platform. A better rudder control would make it the perfect fishing yak for those conditions.

I bought a Hobie Quest for the real skinny water and "stumpy creeks" that I'll be picking up in a day or two from the dealer. (having a rudder installed).


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