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Old 12-01-2016, 10:00 AM   #1
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Kayaks as dinghy....foot pedal vs paddling ?

How do the Hobie type foot pedal moving fins w/rudder, kayaks compare to conventional paddling type ? Sales guy was talking like the foot pedal way more effcient, can go much further without getting tired. Speed about the same ? How do you control the rudder if both feet engaged....a hand line ?

I presume to "come about" more quickly, you still use a paddle ?
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:25 AM   #2
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Can't speak for all of them but the one I looked at had a hand lever on the left side. I believe it was an Old Town Predator PD or PDL or something. It was twice as much as my hand paddle Predator.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:32 AM   #3
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Can't speak for all of them but the one I looked at had a hand lever on the left side. I believe it was an Old Town Predator PD or PDL or something. It was twice as much as my hand paddle Predator.
Yes, they can get expensive compared to conventional.... $2,500 to $3,500....which is why I am so curious if you really can go much further with less body strain.... and the speed aspect.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:36 AM   #4
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Yes, they can get expensive compared to conventional.... $2,500 to $3,500....which is why I am so curious if you really can go much further with less body strain.... and the speed aspect.
If I recall, for about the same amount, you could get the Predator with a center mounted Minkota electric motor. Much better deal IMHO.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:36 AM   #5
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The Hobie finn drive is cute but achieves little if any advantage.

Dinghies go ashore and the fin drive system will be a very unwelcome burden making a landing on a beach. And nobody likes a heavy kayak. Put another way the lighter a kayak the more it gets used. Our Kayaks are heavy .. we use them seldom.

A normal paddle is far superior as long as you have a spare paddle and know how to use it. Re-entry skills after a capsize is 98% a must too. Murray is the Kayaker here and may have better input re the Hobbie.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:42 AM   #6
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Kayaks as dinghy....foot pedal vs paddling ?

Timely thread. My dentist and I are good friends and he's been an avid kayaker for years. Last week after my cleaning he showed me pictures on his iPhone of his new Hobie 'yak. After two individual week long camping trips with his kids he's sold on the fin style. Even though they are 2-3 times the cost he'll eventually replace all his old yaks with Hobie fin drives.

Btw Eric, I mentioned the grounding to him and he assured me it's not a problem at all as he grounded his several times per day intentionally.
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Old 12-01-2016, 11:26 AM   #7
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Btw Eric, I mentioned the grounding to him and he assured me it's not a problem at all as he grounded his several times per day intentionally.
Yes, the fins are quite flexible, plus you can just yank the pedals with fins attached out before going ashore and using the paddle the rest of the way.
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Old 12-01-2016, 11:45 AM   #8
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If I recall, for about the same amount, you could get the Predator with a center mounted Minkota electric motor. Much better deal IMHO.
Interesting...didn't know about that one. Does it come with a battery and how long could one "cruise" flat out in calm water before the (most common size/type) battery get's too weak ?
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Old 12-01-2016, 01:18 PM   #9
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Have you used one (Hobie) on a tour in St Croix earlier this summer and they are awesome. They have a rudder you control by hand. Upside is that they are great for fishing (free hands). Downsides are they are expensive and very heavy (need two people to get one up onto an SUV). At least one of the kayak renters near Topsail rent them out, worth a try.
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Old 12-01-2016, 01:33 PM   #10
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Interesting...didn't know about that one. Does it come with a battery and how long could one "cruise" flat out in calm water before the (most common size/type) battery get's too weak ?
They come with a battery box but I think you have to buy the battery extra.

The Minn Kota is basically a trolling motor for fishing. I read once about how far you could go on a battery charge but forgotten it. I do recall it is like bigger boats, the slower you go the longer it lasts and further it will take you. The Old Town Predator is marketed as a fishing kayak but I liked it because it was wide and stable. It is a slow moving kayak and wasn't designed for speed. There are a lot of similar kayak designs from competitors that use the Minn Kota electric motor and Hobie probably has one. The Old Town web site says the list price of the Predator MK which is the Minn Kota version is $2995.
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Old 12-01-2016, 02:20 PM   #11
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Gabe here. I used to competitively spearfish for fun. The competitions were often kayak only. The advantage of the pedal drives was very clear. They were about 50% faster. Those guys took off like a rocket at the start!

I'll echo the "heavy" and "expensive" comments of others but - compared to our mother ships, they're not too bad! haha
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Old 12-01-2016, 02:46 PM   #12
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Those of you that like the Hobbie may like;

frontrower.com

Also go faster than a kayak but use a canoe or similar hull. The Front Rower also has the capability to power singularly w either feet/legs or hands/arms .. or both. I had one and it's an engineering marvel.
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Old 12-01-2016, 02:57 PM   #13
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Yes, the fins are quite flexible, plus you can just yank the pedals with fins attached out before going ashore and using the paddle the rest of the way.
Sorry, but the fins are not flexible. The trailing edge is, but the leading edge has a stainless steel rod in that can be bent if something is hit.

As for going ashore, you can remove the Mirage Drives as you stated, but it's easier to simply put one pedal forward. When you do that, the fins fold up next to the hull (it can be locked there as well).

Yes, you can go farther and faster. And, if you prefer paddling, then paddle!

Sorry Eric, but the Hobies have many advantages over traditional kayaks, many that have already been mentioned.

However, what may be the most important advantage not mentioned yet, is that women love them as they're so easy! That's a big plus in my book. It has to be fun for them as well!

And Eric, I'll also put it another way as you say, the funner a kayak is, the more it will get used. You need to try one before you say a normal paddle one is far superior. You just may like it.

And, as mentioned already, the only disadvantage is the price and weight.
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Old 12-01-2016, 03:09 PM   #14
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We have two Hobie kayaks (Revoultion 11) on our boat. They are just about the best thing we have added to the boat. We use them all the time. The pedals are very efficient. We "cruise" at around 2.5 knots pedalling casually. They are indeed on the expensive side. I think we paid $2100 each. Ours weigh about 55 pounds. It takes both of us to get them in and out of the racks.
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Old 12-01-2016, 03:43 PM   #15
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Another similar system, take less storage space:

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Old 12-01-2016, 04:01 PM   #16
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Another similar system, take less storage space:

eat your heart out RT
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:12 PM   #17
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...yet another option...


I adapted the rigger from my sliding seat rowboat to work on a SUP. Works pretty good too! Weighs a lot less than my wood rowboat, is fast and stable too. This one is an inflatable, easy to stow and move around.

I got less than a boat buck into it as I already had the rigger, seat, oars. Just had to bend up some new spreaders to hold the oarlocks and adapt that to the rigger frame.

Good exercise too when I wanna move out, works me out top to bottom without beating up my joints or back. And I don't have to wear it like a kayak or stand up like a millennial!
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:21 PM   #18
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Hobie has a new inflatable kayak with the fin drive, advantage being easy storage when not in use by deflating it. I was looking to save weight as my two 15' ocean kayaks (sit on tops) are around 65 lbs each and it's getting harder every year to load and unload from the cabin roof... They are short, and can be used as either a paddle kayak or with the fin drive, have a little lawn chair type seat that mounts to keep your butt dry. I think they call it the Adventure, coming out this year and around $2000. I will be wanting to try one out.

FYI the fins on the drive on the Hobies lift up against the bottom of the hull when you push both pedals forward at the same time for beaching. At least according to their video...
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:42 PM   #19
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OK,
May here think the Hobbie is better.
How so? Only thing I can see is that they are faster.
Comming from group of hull speed boaters that seems odd.
I think a regular kayak makes 2.5 knots w a middle of road paddler.
Why all that money and extra weight for slight speed only?
It's cuter and cooler so it's better? Is that what I'm hearing?

Come to think of it the Hobbie could be considerably faster in a headwind as the returning kayak blade against the wind is .. a drag.
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:46 PM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. bp. Re: post #16. I didn't realize this was a competition. I look upon Mr. L_t's contribution as adding to the discussion. I appreciate a kindred spirit.
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