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Submitted: 12-16-2005 by pwilding
We have a Hobie Mirage Tandem and are very pleased with it. The hull is very solid and shows no deformation on Thule kayak roof rack supports.
We have used it in large lakes (10 miles across), rivers and on a protected Pacific bay, Tomales Bay. It is very stable and handles up to 3 ft wind induced breaking swell, (as large as we have found so far), and steep power boat wakes with no problem, punching through the wave crest as the momentum of the kayak, with no ‘between power stroke time’, is high. We always leave groups of touring kayaks behind as the drive moves us at hull speed with little effort. A longer version Tandem , maybe 20-22 ft, like the single ‘Mirage Adventure’ would just be incredibly fast and with more length and buoyancy in the bow, than the Tandem, would be really stable in big waves.
The hull speed of the 14.5 ft Tandem is 5.1 knots, 5.9 mph, the 16 ft Adventure is 5.4 knots, 6.2 mph. A 22 ft version would make 7.25 mph. There is a rumor that larger ‘wings’ may be available to generate more power and a planing version of the hull would be really interesting. The current wings are small enough that they can be run all day without feeling it, especially if you ride bikes a little. The wings simply fold under the hull in shallow water, but weeds do collect around them. In weedy waters, simply pull the wing/crank unit up on deck and paddle with very shallow strokes. There is no reverse gear so paddles are important!
In warm water you can just jump out to cool off and then climb back in with no bracing, or the need for the crew partner to hang out. In cold Pacific water, a shortie wet suit is plenty as the legs are kept warm by exercising. Riding a bike through melted salt/snow water sprayed up from the road is much colder. The below deck storage is good for day touring, but for multi day equipment, larger hatches are needed, as in the Adventure.
Overall, a great all round day machine for lakes, large rivers and the ocean. Good comfort and safety.
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