Submitted: 08-14-2005 by BIRDZONE
My wife and I rented a Mirage Tandem today since we are considering adding a tandem kayak. We wanted to try the Mirage 'Hydro-Sail' system due to its reputation for being fast.
The kayak can definitely move quickly when peddled hard and fast, but not without considerable effort. The hull itself seems large and slow, so it's more of a production to move than a normal kayak.
We are used to sit-in kayaks and the Hobie is a sit-on-top. We couldn't feel the connection with the water that we are accustomed to with sit-in style boats. It was more like a faster, narrower peddle boat found on city lakes. The 'Hydro Sails' also cannot be used when the water gets shallow (18"+/-). Not a problem in some areas, but shallow water is a common problem in many of the lakes, rivers and tidal areas we frequent.
Paddling the Mirage is not really a way to get anywhere. The paddles are for backing and slow, tight maneuvering. The boat just wasn't built to be paddled (the rudder is controlled by hand and it IS NEEDED).
I guess what I'm saying is that it is shaped like a kayak, but is much different in practice.
Lastly, when we put it on our truck which is equipped with the Thule 'Glide 'N Set' racks, the bottom of the hull appeared soft and deformed a lot under its own weight (hull weight only).