Hobie Adventure Island / Mirage Adventure

 

Hobie Adventure Island / Mirage Adventure

I have never done a kayak review to date, no specific reason but after using 3 models of the Hobie Mirage Drive Kayak Fleet, I will now share my experiences and observations of these Kayaks which make good Fishing Platforms. I will start with the Kayak that I first purchase back in 2007 the Adventure Island.  In the fall 2008 I started using it more as a Kayak and started fishing out of it.  The Mirage Series of Kayaks from Hobie use the unique Mirage Drive which allows you to propel your kayak by pedaling very much like an incumbent Bike.

Adventure Island

Fast, fun and versatile, the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island gives you options.

Unbolt the akas and amas and you have a super-quick, super-fun kayak; attach the new Aka II die-cast crossbars and ama side floats, step the sailing rig and you have a stable sailing craft whose seafaring heritage stretches back to the South Pacific. A roller-furling, vertically battened mainsail makes reducing sail a snap, and the MirageDrive provides power when the wind is light or when you’re kayaking. A daggerboard prevents lateral slip, an upgraded rudder and rudder assembly provides plenty of helm control in a breeze and the amas easily fold parallel against the hull to simplify negotiating tight spots or docking. – Hobiecat Website

adventure-island-studio-3-4-golden-papaya-shadowed_1

Crew: 1

  • Length: 16′ / 4.88 m

  • Beam w/ Amas Out: 9′ 4″ / 2.84 m

  • Beam w/ Amas Folded In: 42″ / 1.06 m

  • Capacity: 350 lbs / 159 kg

  • Fitted Hull Weight: 86.5 lbs / 39.24 kg

  • Fully Rigged Weight: 115 lbs / 52.16 kg

  • Mast Length: 15′ 2″ / 4.62 m

  • Sail Area: 57.5 sq ft / 5.34 sq m

  • Hull Construction: Rotomolded Polyethylene

I originally purchased the Adventure Island as a recreation craft to sail and also utilize as a Kayak when the winds weren’t blowing. My original goal was to build a stitch and glue kayak which I had bought and purchased a kit from Water’s Dancing in Edmonton, Alberta, in the fall of 2006. Working hard I finished most of the construction and had the fiberglass to apply which would take about 50% of the hours to complete the project. The Spring was coming and I wasn’t finishing the Stitch and Glue Kayak as fast as I had wanted and while reading a paddling magazine had come across a large add showing the Hobie Mirage Drive Kayaks. Back in 2007 no one had heard of Hobie,and the nearest dealer was Toronto and Gravenhurst, Ontario where I stopped to see one on the way home from a vacation in Northern Ontario. I saw that there was a demo day scheduled a few weeks later. On a Saturday morning and after a 10 hour round trip, I was the owner of a Hobie Adventure Island.

Sailing the AI

My 1st experiences sailing in the AI was on Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie. If you haven’t sailed before, no worries as the AI is very easy to learn from. I can’t give you any benchmarks for speed since I didn’t have a GPS at that time and you can find all kinds of speed reports from other AI reviews. I tested the AI in rough conditions on Lake Erie where I operated it in some brisk winds and 6′ waves. Having waves breaking in your face and being completely swamped was a thrill while at the same time feeling very stable in those conditions. The combination of the Mirage Drive with the sail helped you through tacks when sailing against the wind. Other than my 1st year with the AI, I haven’t sailed it since after taking up fishing in 2008. This past winter I have rigged it up for Sail Fishing and I am looking forward to getting out on the big lakes with it for Salmon and Trout fishing.

Mirage Adventure

A long waterline, a tidy beam and the ability to quickly cover ground typify the Hobie Adventure experience.

 

This long, lean touring kayak allows you to fly through the water, and its deck’s carefully positioned features, such as molded-in drink holders and mesh-covered stowage pockets, ensure a comfortable ride. New-model-year upgrades, such as a new rudder control and better lifting handles (compliments of the Tandem Island) make the boat even more of a pleasure to use, both on and off the water. The Adventure’s speed, range, ample storage space and ease-of-use will open up a new world of touring possibilities. – Hobiecat  Website
Montreal River

 

Specifications

  • Crew: 1

  • Length: 16′ / 4.88 m

  • Width: 27.5″ / .7 m

  • Capacity: 350 lbs / 159 kg

  • Fitted Hull Weight: 75.5 lbs / 34.25 kg

  • Fully Rigged Weight: 88.8 lbs / 40.28 kg

  • Hull Construction: Rotomolded Polyethylene

As a kayak the Adventure was stable compared to the sea kayaks which were my only experience on the water prior to owning the Hobie. The Mirage Drive was very easy to peddle for hours without getting tired. I compare it to taking a walk, which is about equal for the amount of energy needed to move the kayak at a moderate pace. My 1st couple years I used the standard fins and I only realized afterwards in comparison to the Turbo Fins how there wasn’t much resistance when peddling slow and the only way I can describe it would be to compare to riding a bike in 1st gear. With the Turbo fins you had resistance with any peddling effort, which made for a more enjoyable ride.

 

The Adventure has a fair amount of storage available but it would be nice if Hobie came out with a liner like they have for the Pro Anglers and now the Revolutions. You could put things inside the hatch and not have to worry about it rolling into the kayak and not being able to reach it while on the water. As an alternative you could use a dry bag and tie it up in order to reach it when needed.

 Stability

 Stability is good in most conditions, it took a storm on Lake Erie with 50 mph winds and 6’+ waves to knock me over, though I can say getting the kayak back upright and climbing in under the same conditions took about 30 seconds, considering I had never practised, I thought that it was an easy task to accomplish. I would be more comfortable in a storm in the Adventure than most powerboats under 20′ in length. At least I know that if I do capsize or turtle as the recognized term amongst Kayak Anglers has become, that I can get back in quickly.

 The main body of water I fish is Lake St. Clair which is a shallow lake with an average depth between 7 to 9 feet of water. When the wind kicks up the waves are close together and anything over 2 feet make it difficult to fish in the Adventure. Compared to Lake Erie which have waves further apart, fishing in 3′  waves is achievable. Now if you aren’t fishing and can guide the kayak through the waves, you can handle rougher conditions.

Transporting

WheelCartsA  WheelCartsB

Transporting the Adventure is either done on top of your vehicle or with a trailer. At 16′  it is too long to slip into that back of a pickup safely. Considered heavy at over 70lbs for lifting over your head, companies like Thule have systems for lifting your kayak onto your vehicle. I will leave that for another subject. Hobie also offers a whole range of different types of wheels that will help you to get your kayak from your vehicle to the water. I highly suggest getting a Hobie specific wheel cart, since they fit inside of the scupper holes in all of their kayaks, which make it quick and easy to use compared to the kayak carts that you have to strap to your kayak.

Fishing in The Mirage Adventure

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Other than the stability issue in rough, short, choppy wave conditions that I mentioned earlier, the Adventure is an excellent fishing platform. As the fastest of Hobie’s line of Mirage Drive Kayaks it is great for open water fishing on large lakes and rivers. I have used down riggers, trolled 3 lines, and casted heavy gear for Muskie from the Adventure without compromising stability.

I hope to expand on using the Adventure Island for fishing this season.  Getting out further in Lake Erie, and Lake St. Clair, and able to handle rougher conditions will hopefully give me a larger window of fishing opportunities.

 

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