Submitted: 02-28-2006 by JRC
>Newest in the Hobie line, the Adventure is the longest (16 feet) and narrowest (27.5") of the Hobie kayak line. Hull weight is listed at 60 lb. It comes equipped with Mirage pedal drive, hand-operated rudder, seat, paddle, pitot tube speedometer, daggerboard well, three hatches, two built-in rod holders, a large on-deck storage area and some other miscellaneous equipment. Optional equipment includes sailing kit, daggerboard, larger rudder and more. There is a fishing version -- essentially the same thing but in different colors and some fishing accessories (cooler, anchor, etc).
With a newly designed hull and lower seating position, the initial and secondary stability are both excellent. The seat, with two mounting positions and an adjustable back -- is comfortable. Handling on the water feels more refined, compared with the Hobie Classic and Tandem. It is faster than it feels and very quiet in chop with almost no hull slap. Tracking while paddling is good. Storage is everythere and easily accessable on or below deck. With a 350 lb. capacity, one can load it up quite a bit. Bungee cords abound for keeping everything secure.
In rough or choppy conditions, one can expect to get a little wet, but there is noticably less bow spray than the other Hobie kayaks.
My favorite feature is the Adventure's ability to quietly slice through chop and swells upwind.
The only negative I found was the large turning radius and weak rudder response with the original rudder. The optional larger rudder corrects this condition very nicely and is highly recommended.
There are a lot of nice touches such as drink holders (2), rod holders (2) (although positioned behind the seat), mesh pockets (2) and a detachable pouch (for personal effects) on the back of the seat.
I won't elaborate on the many benefits of the outstanding Mirage pedal drive since they have been well reported elsewhere, but I should mention that it has evolved over time. It is about a pound lighter than earlier models and now has a really neat quick and easy pedal adjustment system for different leg lengths. There is a larger "turbo drive" fin kit coming out this Spring that really adds a new dimension and will adapt to all the existing drives (got to test drive one last Nov.and am on the waiting list. it gets a 10+!)
I like to take pictures, and can approach wildlife with little motion, no noise and hands on the camera with this kayak.
Of the three Hobie kayaks I've had, this is easily the most versatile, fastest and most capable. Beyond that, it imparts a feeling of oneness with the water that is hard to describe. It's definitely my favorite.