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Reviews for Quest 13 Kayak by Hobie Cat Company


Rated: 8.1/10 Based On: 10 Reviews


Quest 13 Kayak by Hobie Cat Company

Length: 13' 0" - Width: 28.50" - Starting at: $1179.00
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09-01-2014
Submitted by: RSPSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have paddled many different types and brands of kayaks. The Quest 13 is well-made. The bow hatch is easy to access and roomy. The molded-in side handles are convenient for loading moving the kayak on land. I am not a fan of the rope-and-toggle style bow and stern handles, but they get the job done. The foot rests are unique.

I like the way the kayak "feels" on the water and it paddles well. The Quest 13 lacks the glide of my WS Tarpon 140, so I gave it a "9".

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04-03-2014
Submitted by: GPISend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Have always liked the Hobie brand since my days on a Hobie 16 Cat. Just purchased a new Quest 13 after cutting my teeth on a Wilderness Ride 13.5. Some immediate observations after several hours out on a variety of water. Two most important are... I have a dry seat ! and the yak can be placed on top of my Rav4 alone. I am over 6' and 230 lbs. I quickly learned to plug the scuppers closest to my seat to ensure a dry ride. The handles on the bow and stern are flimsy and could be designed to be more sturdy. The hatches are great and DRY !. I traded out the original seat for a rather high fishing model and glad I did... real comfort on long trips.

The Quest 13 tracks reasonably well but does require concentration to stay online. I intentionally did not get the rudder (At the suggestion of the dealer) to learn the proper handling and paddling skills first. Good Choice !

Finally, I really purchased the Quest at a good price and after selling my Wilderness on Craig's I would tell my friends to buy a Quest. I did water test both the 11 & 13 and both were great. My size dictated the 13 made more sense. I remain a loyal Hobie fan !!! Good design, good price, great dealers...

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07-06-2011
Submitted by: BLSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great boat. Coming from an Ocean Kayak Scrambler was a huge upgrade. Got it new, on sale and very happy. Much drier than many of its competition and handled very well. Nice on wake and easy to get around in. If you want a nice boat, then you need to get Hobie. Somewhat inexpensive over its Hobie brothers and all around a great boat. This is my first Hobie and I will not go with another. Was out for hours today and it was comfortable, and held it own on the idiots speeding by in the no wake zones. Very very happy with this boat
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10-16-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I have used my Quest a couple of dozen times and now know the kayak pretty well. I would not buy another Quest if I had it to do over (Customer Service).
    Pros:
  1. Tracks pretty well when not windy.
  2. Workmanship is ok but could be a whole lot better. A lot of flaws in the hull.
  3. The side compartments are very useful for holding map, lotion, pliers, etc.
  4. The 8" hatch is terrific with an easy open latch.
  5. The molded in paddle holders are handy but a little hard to strap paddle down
  6. The paddle that comes with the boat is great quality and I see no need replace.
  7. The forward hatch is huge and great for storing bulky items.
  8. Hobie has been a first class company for 40 years but their customer service really sucks.
    Cons:
  1. Wish it was 10 pounds lighter.
  2. Need a rudder to track in any wind.
  3. Needs better hand grips to lift comfortably
  4. The hand grips on the bow and stern are attached with a small line. I like the straps used on the Tarpon series much better.
  5. Like may of these sit-on-tops there is too much water on the cockpit, Hobie doesn't give you enough scuppers.
  6. Last, Hobie sold me a 2009 model, but checking the serial number it was a 2008. After many lies by the dealer (central Florida Panhandle) and Hobie, they agreed to exchange. I had to drive another 240 miles at my expense to exchange.

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09-23-2008
Submitted by: Kstorm64Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought my Quest used, it is an earlier version. I tested this and a WS Rage, I found the rage to be a faster boat, but it was not as comfortable nor did it hold nearly as much. While kayaking on the Brazos river in Texas with a friend I ended up hanging up on a strainer, I got tossed (my fault not the boats). I watched in horror as my boat was hung up and the river was pounding on it. It didn't flex, or give way. My buddy rammed it with his and it popped free. No worse for wear. I was impressed and several people have told me stories about boats buckling under the pressure a river can place on a hull.

Quality: everything seems well made and holds together well. One of the nice thing about Hobies is the availability of spare parts, I go to my local Hobie Dealer and can replace things as needed. My old inner cargo nets were sun worn and needed replacing, they had them in stock and it was easy to replace. My local shop gave me an older style 8" hatch and I mounted in the stern where the Hobie logo is. Now I have an extra hatch for what ever. For fishing this has a huge rear area that will hold two milk crates with room to spare. My Kayak came with the rudder system and I find with the rudder she tracks well, with out it she tends not to. This boat was designed for fishing so the hull tends to be flat. I have gone over every Elkhorn Slough outside of Santa Cruz, CA and never ran aground in 4 inches of water. They claim you can stand in this but I have never tried that. It is very easy to get in and out of.

I give her a 9, the only draw back, it came with pre-molded hand grip in the hull, which I found uncomfortable and not very usable for any great distance, have since added a set of the normal handles on and that fixed the problem, and I understand they now come that way. I have used it a lot, and can say it is a good purchase and if you look at used Hobie prices they hold their value as well.

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01-31-2008
Submitted by: OntarioNeilSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I purchased my Hobie Quest in mid-summer '07. In my area my options were really limited, and a demo was not possible so it was a bit of a gamble.
One thing to look at when comparing the Quest to other models is what they come with. There were much less inexpensive yaks out their, but by the time you add all the standard gear that comes with the Quest they are comparable in price, the paddle, seat and hatches are included, and the seat is definitely not a cheapie.

As far as the basics this kayak has you pretty much covered, a top notch quality hull with a flat finish on top and smooth on the bottom, and the following goodies:

  1. a big, easy-to-access, water tight front hatch - if you're on the water and you want to access the hatch, you'll have to get used to shimmying forward on the yak with your feet dangling over the side, this is the only way to do it with good stability, it's really simple to open with one hand, no straps to wrestle, just a single bungie.
  2. 8" water tight round hatch - excellent hatch, easy to access while sitting, holds a hobie dry bag or plastic trays or just gives access to hull storage.
  3. side pockets with mesh retainers - perfect for pliers, lip grabbers or even a spare bottle of water, and even packs of plastic bait, love these things.
  4. deluxe seat - the seat is really well padded, some say it's much better than the '06 model seat, however I think the older model was a little taller at the back, if you are approaching 6 feet tall, you might find it a little short. Handy pocket in the back, I keep keys and wallet etc. here, it's not waterproof so I keep my wallet and cell in a ziploc.
  5. drink holder ...will fit some pretty big beverage containers, or a small container in some sort of individual cooler
  6. an area for rigging stuff between the legs with a tray - plenty of space here for various mounts, and a tray for a small tackle box. Only thing I find with the mount location, if you don't mount to the front it makes for a long reach.
  7. rod holders - these are kind of loose and shallow, so just make sure you keep your rod leashed. I haven't had a rod pop out yet, but then again I rarely use them for trolling, more as holders. ok for bigger rods
  8. foot pedals - easy to adjust, can be adapted to control a rudder, if your under 6 feet you'll probably have a couple recesses in front of the pedals to keep stuff, I often have a bottle of water or a small bait container up their.
  9. behind seat recessed storage area - this area is huge, my 7 year old can sit back their comfortably. You could easily stash a crate and a couple dry bags back their. Combined with the front storage I'm sure you could carry a weekend's worth of necessity type camping gear.

    I bought mine with the Fisherman kit, which came with a few extras;

  10. a tackle bag with 3 x 8" round tackle boxes - this thing is great, I have a tray setup for each type of fishing that I do. The bag came with a leash so I hook it to a seat strap and keep it in a crate behind the seat, works well.
  11. a paddle leash - this is the coil retracting type, I find it a bit heavy and the spring is too strong, it adds a fair amount of weight to the paddle feel, I'd prefer something lighter and less bulky, I realize loosing a paddle is not much of an option, but the paddle does float, and I can keep a spare pack paddle in the huge hatch.
  12. a deluxe buggy with inflatable quick connect wheels - this thing is almost awesome, first thing I do is set the yak on the buggy after I unload it off the car, then I gear up and wheel it down to the water and right into the water, then I just lift up on the back and the buggy drops out, it can then be stored either upside down in the rear scuppers or in the hatch. My only peeve is with trying to get the buggy back under the yak when heading in, for some reason I just can't do the reverse. I usually end up tying everything down, partially unloading then tipping the yak to get the buggy back on. Otherwise this buggy makes for really light effort even over sand and rocks.
I'm 5'11" 215lbs and I find with about 30lbs of gear it sits perfect in the water and paddles nice, it's quick with little paddle effort. It's great in chop under 2' and handles boat wake quite well. I got out about a dozen times and have not tipped yet, however one of the first things I did after purchase was take it into the shallows and played around with it to determine it's limits and proper ways to move around in it to ensure stability. I do find I get about 1" of water in the foot wells, so I do use scupper plugs. The only time I got a wet butt was when I sat side saddle for a while without plugs and some of the water drained into the seat area. I have loaded this kayak with ~340lbs and it still paddled well although it did sit a couple inches lower in the water.

Why a 8 out of 10 rating? The boat itself was a little wetter than I anticipated, sure if I was lighter it would probably be fine, but with a 350lb capacity I expected a little drier, not a biggie tho I can use scupper plugs, however if I could have demo'd it first I might have gone with a drier option. The tracking isn't great, I knew that when I bought it, it's not an issue when slow paddling, but if your trying to carry some speed and cover some distance it's a PITA, I will be putting the rudder on soon. The accessories, getting the buggy back on after a day on the water can be a pita, the seat could be a little higher, and the rod leash could be better.

The part I really like about the issues is they can all be corrected and I can make this work, I'll be paddling this for many years to come.

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12-04-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought my Quest in October of this year and have used it twice. The first time was a short ocean excursion followed by quick trip over to the ICW for an inshore paddle. The second trip was a 4 hour paddle up the southwest fork of the Loxahatchee river in Jupiter, FL. The boat is fast compared to my previous kayak, an Ocean Kayak Malibu 2. It also is a very comfortable albeit wet ride. The bow tends to slice through boat wake instead of climb over the top so water tends to enter the boat over the fore deck. I found that if I hit the wake at an angle and slow down less water comes in. In calm water or small chop the boat does manage to stay fairly dry with the scupper holes plugged. The boat is not self-bailing like my Malibu so a sponge comes in handy. I found the seat to be very comfortable. The hatches are well designed and easy to access even when on the water. The compartments stay dry. The tracking is managable, but not great. A rudder or skeg would be helpful. I think this kayak will fit my needs for fishing and cruising the waters in my area. I'd give it a 9 if the tracking were better.
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05-22-2006
Submitted by: BilllSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Just back from a 6 hour paddle up the Silver River (Ocala, FL) into Silver Springs to dodge glass bottom boats and back. This is a fast boat. Oddly I didn't have the rudder and thought the boat tracked very well. In fact it doesn't like to turn. Found it very easy to fall into a rythmn and stroke away. Fast current on an angle will try to grab you, but directly into it is not a problem. I LOVE the wheels!! What a great invention!! Made lanching a breeze. Just loaded boat by my car wheeled it down to the river - stored the wheels in front hatch and off I went. Coming out of the water was super easy. Was nice to do it all in one trip.

My only beef is the footwell stays wet, but you can ride your feet higher on the footrests to compensate.

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07-08-2005
Submitted by: SaintSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I purchased the Quest approximately 4 weeks ago. I will use the kayak solely for fishing. I have been out on 8 different occasions and have to say I am very pleased with this boat.

Tracking: I've heard rumors of this boat not tracking well. I purchased the yak with the rudder system and have had no issues with its ability to track. Furthermore, with the rudder system, I was surprised with its ability to maintain a straight line.

Hatches: The front hatch, despite its likeness to a toilet bowl, is awesome. It is easily accessed and can fit a cow striper in the hull with no problem. The 8" hatch in the cockpit is nice, but I do agree with the previous review in the fact that it needs a bag system to get the maximum utilization.

Rod Holders: The cockpit offers up a flat section (just above the cup holder) between the leg rests that can be used for a front position rod holder (Scotty). The two molded in rod holders behind the seat are fairly shallow and would trust them in rough water. Two PVC pipes will do the trick to ensure you don't lose any gear.

Performance: I have no problem getting the boat up to 5mph with a little extra effort. Speed is sufficient. The hull slaps a little in rough water, but it really doesn't pose any problems. Stability of the boat is great.

Miscellaneous: The side compartments, with the mesh cover, are a great idea. I used it to store various tools, such as; lip gripper, pliers, knife, etc. This is a great idea and wish it was utilized in other yaks. The weight of the yak is tolerable for loading and unloading the yak off the roof of my truck. It's not Pungo light, but itís certainly not Fish N dive heavy.

All in all, I love this boat. There is a sense of safety due to its stability and the comfort is unmatched as compared to other boats I have demo'd. I have fished long hours without the slightest soreness in the back or legs caused by poor layout. Fishing from this yak is easy and provides great storage capabilities. A little pricey, but I'd buy it again if I had to do it all over again.

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07-04-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought my quest about 6 weeks ago. Tried in Lake Mendocino first and noticed it did not track very well. I thought it may have been the wind. So I chalked it off to the wind and paddled it for about an hour. I mostly dive off my yak and found it extremely easy to get off and on. It was stable enough to stand in and dive off, not a beautiful swan dive though. I like the front hatch and had an extra strap riveted on as I thought the bungee was insufficient. I really like the molded in pockets with the mesh net. I always have little things that I like access to when I am out playing and I found them a great asset.

My next trip with the Quest was out in the ocean off the coast of Mendocino. It took some effort getting through the surf, but with persistence I made it with only moderate heavy breathing. Once out in the ocean I again noticed my yak didn't track. Again I thought it was the wind but started having some doubts. I spent most of my paddling time concentrating on going in a straight line. If you like spinning around in random circles gawking at mother natures amazing beauty then by this kayak without a rudder. You will absolutely love it!

At one point I swapped yaks with my buddy. He has a Tarpon 120. It tracked very well without a rudder. I found his Tarpon way uncomfortable, but trackable. So I got back into mine and new I needed a rudder.

So now I have a rudder on my Quest and I absolutely love this kayak. I have rated it an 8 out of ten because I am pissed off about not getting a rudder when I bought the boat. That was just stupid and the sales people didn't educate me to this. Perhaps they did not know since it is so new to the kayak market.

That being said, this kayak is great. If you want a pretty fast yak that is probably the most comfortable SOT today, buy a Quest. The rudder system kicks ass and is very user friendly and intuitive. The adjustable foot rests are one of the points that sold me on this model. They are adjustable enough for me to get a tight, yet controlled fit... I feel as if I am in a Porsche 911.

The hatches are big and friendly. I ended up with some water inside, so I configured another secret bungee system and this seemed to help. The 8" nut hatch needs a bag inside so items stay easily accessed. What I really love is the HUGE tank well on the back. Room for two air tanks, or abalone gear, or milk crates, or bait boxes, or whatever. The more stuff I can get onto my yak the happier I am!

I paid about $1200 for the yak, seat, paddle, rudder, anchor, some extra straps, and of course... Uncle Sam.

If you did not read this whole review, DO NOT BUY THE QUEST WITHOUT A RUDDER!!!

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