How to Service a Hobie Miragedrive

If you’ve maintained your Miragedrive with reasonable regularity you shouldn’t need to have your Miragedrive serviced as often as you may otherwise imagine. 

However if you use your Hobie kayak a lot, even if you do have a respectable maintenance regime it’s not a bad idea to have your Miragedrive serviced every couple of years. Extremely heavy users might consider a yearly service. A full service includes disassembling of all major components, cleaning, inspecting, replacing individual parts as required, re-lubricating and tuning. And Hobie kayak dealer worth their salt will be able to do this for you, though most people would have no problems doing it themselves, providing they know what steps to take.

Servicing the Glide Tech Miragedrive Video by SLH

Hobie GT Miragedrive Service Guide

Miragedrive 180 Disassembly / Reassembly Video by Hobie

Working on the MirageDrive 180

Miragedrive GT / 180 Maintenance and Tuning Video by Hobie

Hobie MirageDrive GT and 180 Maintenance & Tuning

Servicing the Version 2 Classic Miragedrive

The image below shows which tools and lubricants you’ll need to perform a full service: 7/16th spanner, 1/8th hex key, long-nose pliers, phillips head screw-driver, hammer, can of Inox and marine grade grease (version 1 drives will require a long-nose multi-grip plier as well).


Below are the basic steps involved in performing a Miragedrive service (the steps are much the same for standard or turbo fin equipped drives). The information provided in this page will also be useful to anyone who might need to replace a chain, cable, sprocket, drum or spine.

Miragedrive v2

Step 1: Remove fins. Start by removing the fins from their masts. Do this by removing the split ring from the retaining pin, pushing the pin out and sliding the fin from the mast. Do this with both fins.

Un do nuts

Step 2: Remove chain and idler cable nuts on one side of the drive. Do this by using a 7/16th spanner (version 1 drives will require the use of long-nose multigrips to grip the swage as you undo the nut). Note: In most cases you would only need to remove the nuts from one side of the drive (it doesn’t matter which on version 2 drives. On version 1 drives, undo all nuts on the side that has a nut securing one end of the idler cable). You would generally only need to remove nuts from both sides of the drive if you were planning to replace the chains. Ridiculously pedantic users might want to completely remove chains and soak them in Inox for several hours).

Chains undone

Step 3: Remove drums from the drum shaft. With the chains and idler cable nuts removed it’ll look much like the example as shown above. Now you can simply remove the drums by sliding them off the drum shaft, as demonstrated in the images below.

Remove drums

Drums removed

Step 4: Undo the sprocket shaft set screw. You’ll need to do this in order to remove the sprockets and sprocket shaft from the spine.

Un do set screws

Step 5: Remove the sprocket shaft. With the sprocket shaft set screw removed you should now be able to remove the sprocket shaft and sprockets. Do this by using the hammer to tap a screw-driver head into one end of the sprocket shaft.

remove shaft

As the sprocket shaft protrudes from the other end of the spine you could use pliers to grip and pull it out completely.

Removing shaft

With the sprocket shaft removed the sprockets are now free.


Step 6: Clean the sprocket and drum shafts. These are likely to be covered in yucky old grease that is probably impregnated with dirt and sand. Clean this off using a spray of inox and wiping them down with a clean rag, until they look like this:


Step 7: Clean the inside of the sprockets and drums. These will also be smothered with a thin layer of gritty grease. Clean this out by squirting some inox inside and then pushing a small clean piece of rag through them (using a screw driver) to push the muck out.

clean sprockets

clean drum

Step 8: Re-grease sprockets and drums. Push a healthy glob of marine grade grease inside the rear end of the sprockets. Then do the same to the inside of the drums.

grease sprocket

Grease drum

Now that you’ve greased up the internals of the shafts and sprockets you’re ready to start putting it back together. Start by putting the sprockets back into place on the spine, inserting the sprocket shaft in from the rear. You might want to use a hammer to tap it into place. The only precaution you need to be aware of is that the shaft must go in correctly aligned. In the centre of the shaft is a small flat section – this is where the set screw secures the shaft in place. When the shaft is inserted the flat section must be facing upwards so that when the set screw is put into place it screws down onto the flat section. Take care to ensure that this happens when you install the shaft.

insert shaft

Once the sprockets are in place the rest is pretty much smooth sailing. Follow the steps as listed below and you can’t go wrong:

  • Place the drums back onto the drum shaft
  • Reconnect the front chain, then the idler cable, and then the rear chain. Adjust tension appropriately and then give them a good spray of Inox is you haven’t already done so.
  • Place the fins back onto the masts and secure them in place
  • You’re done!