Submitted: 05-20-2008 by ronin
I bought my Mirage in July 1998, *best money I have ever spent.*
I live on a tidal river in Jax. FL. so I deal with tides and headwinds. I also have muck at lowest tide and cannot launch easily until I have at least 6" of water, but if I am coming in during a lower tide, I come in at full speed, pull the drive and lift the rudder just before it grounds, get out and pull it the rest of the way in.
It is the fastest human powered boat on my river and I have had powerboat users come up to me and say "what motor do you have in it"
The problems as I see it are:
drive cables break due to acute angle of mounting (Hobie corrected it in newer models)
Fins are too small (Hobie now has 3 sizes),
Scupper hole under seat acts as a funnel to shoot water up if you sit down too quickly (may not be a problem for small or light people, but at 6', 225lb and bad knees it means a wet butt. In cold weather I tape it before launching.)
Coaming needs to be taller and have a reverse angle to sluice water away. Boat takes on about a liter of water an hour, after 3 hours it begins to be a problem and also means you need to dry bag anything you put in the hull.
It needs foam or something to support the area in directly in front of the seat.
The Drive could use multiple pedal mounting points further down the shaft for different lengths of stroke.
And if I could have my "druthers" it would be lighter and easier to lift.
That said it is still a fantastic machine. At almost 10 years old it still performs and looks great. I have peddled it into headwinds, fast incoming tides, rain and 6" chop, it gets exciting to see light and air through the bottom of the drive hole. When I broke a drive cable, I was 2 miles from home with a 12 knot headwind and incoming tide. I pulled up and secured the drive and to paddle it home just like a regular kayaker... took me twice as long.