After having sold and serviced Hobie Mirage pedal kayaks for well over a decade, we've seen a few common issues that misinformed people can run into. It's for this reason that second hand buyers are most likely to encounter mountains that would otherwise barely even register as a molehill. In other words, yes – you're far more likely to run into issues if you buy a second Hobie and no, that doesn't necessarily mean there was anything wrong with it when you bought it. What it means is that unless you are aware of a few key points of information, there's a fair possibility you're going to learn a lesson or two the hard way. It would be remiss of us to not provide the information you need below, so without further ado, lets get this show on the road.

SLH have been selling Hobie kayaks since 2004, so we've been around the block a few times. In that time we've read, heard & watched a lot of misconceptions get passed around as gospel among the ill-informed. Admittedly, after all this time we're growing kind of weary of it, which is why we made this clip. Here's the facts on the 5 most commonly bandied around misconceptions on Hobie kayak hulls.

Hobie kayak fish finder instalaltion

SLH have been installing fish finders onto kayaks ever since installing fish finders onto kayaks became a thing and we've learned a thing or two along the way. Read on for a summary of everything you need to know about installing a fish finder to your kayak: power supplies and mounting equipment, installation methods and optional accessories

If you're looking for ideas on how you might go about fitting out your Compass for kayak fishing, Hobie have created a number of instructional videos on some of the more popular upgrades that have commonly been performed on the Hobie Mirage Compass kayak. Included are guides on hatch upgrades, fish finder installs, rod holders, mesh pockets, turbo fin upgrades, PowerPole & H-Bar installs.

Hobie have created a series of videos to guide you through the process of mounting the various Lowrance Transducer types into the new Guardian transducer scupper system. Tutorials demonstrate installations for Splitshot, Tripleshot and Totalscan transducers

The following information was provided to us from Hobie on how best to look after the new Hobie Eclipse Paddleboards

Every Hobie Eclipse board is master-crafted. The ACX construction – Advanced Composite Epoxy – gleams with a high gloss finish and beautiful graphics. Like all hand-crafted products, each board is unique. The differences from one to the next are small. We think of the variations as character and personality. Similar to a new sports car or one of Hobie’s high-performance Apex RAW 4R racing boards, the beauty of the Mirage Eclipse board will last longer with proper care. To preserve the high-gloss finish, avoid bumping into rocks, gravel, docks or other objects.

If you've bought yourself a second hand Hobie kayak, and or had one delivered without the benefit of a proper introduction to it, we highly recommend you peruse the Quickstart videos listed in this article. Within you'll find quick start guides on the Hobie paddle series, Mirage pedal series, Pro Anglers, Islands and inflatable kayaks. 

Like all Hobie kayaks, the Adventure and Tandem Island sailing kayaks are hardy boats. As with any boat, however performance is always going to be optimal if the craft is in tip-top condition. A well maintained boat is also much less likely to suffer from inadvertant breakages and failure. Island trimaran pedal and sail powered kayaks require a bit more care and attention than the other models in Hobie's fleet due partly because of the added components and appendages, but also because they are often used in rougher conditions. And because Islands are often used in more challenging circumstances, the need for them to be in optimal operational condition is increased. 

In this video guide Hobie demonstrate the basics on installing a Fish Finder (Elite 5 Chirp in this example) into a Lowrance Ready Hobie Mirage Kayak using a Fish Finder Install Kit 3 and RAM Fish Finder Mount 

RAM Mount representative John Jackson provides a brief introduction and demonstration of the RAM rod holder range

There's not a whole lot of maintenance required to keep the transducer scupper performing as intended, however it is a good idea to flush out the scupper frequently.

Looser fins help the MirageDrive operate more easily. This is considered to be the best setting for the majority of users. Additional tension can be added by the user to tune-in their desired resistance or cadence. The looser setting is easier and generates better cruising speed in most situations. The ends of the thread are flattened and will cause friction to keep the nuts from backing off the threads. Loosen the nut until you reach this location and feel resistance, as demonstrated in the image below.

We have received many questions from curious customers who want to know if they can fit the new CT Vantage seat (introduced in 2015 models) into earlier model Hobie kayak hulls. We regret to inform you that no, this cannot be done, as the hull had to be remolded to suit.

HobieCat's resident fishing evangelist Morgan Promnitz demonstrates how to go about installing a Micro Power Pole to a Pro Angler fishing kayak

When it comes to loading kayaks onto roof racks we've got quite a few tricks up our sleeve. There is no single silver bullet solution when it comes to car-topping - different kayak model & car model types as well as various roof rack arrangements command a need for various loading options. In this video we demonstrate a bunch of different loading systems.

In the videos below Hobie's kayak fishing guru Morgan demonstrates the Lowrance Ready transducer and fish finder installation system. The first clip introduces the system in brief and the second clip goes into more detail into how it all works. 

Lowrance X4 Pro sounder

When it comes to installing a fish finder into a fishing kayak, for all sorts of reasons it makes sense to do it in such a way that ensures that the internal wiring is sitting up as high as possible. The idea, of course, is that the higher the wiring the further clear it will be of any bilge that might inadvertently make its way inside the kayak. This is all especially true for the uneducated or lazier among our kayak angler ranks who tend to leave water in their hulls even when in storage (hint: if this is you, you're doing it wrong). It is particularly important to make sure that any wiring connections have as much clearance as possible to avoid contamination that might otherwise lead to power failure.

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.

Pedalling the MirageDrive for optimal performance

Avoid the temptation to pedal the cranks all the way to the end. You will know that you're doing it wrong if you hear and feel a heavy click at the end of a pedal stroke, and or you hear and feel the fins hitting the underside of the hull. You do not need to maintain a full length pedal stroke to achieve efficient pedalling. In fact it is more efficient to keep the fins moving back and forth without extending the fins to their limit.

Before pedalling off it is a good idea to take a moment to make sure that you have set the pedal length position appropriately for your leg length. Leg length adjustments are made by locating the length adjustment pin into whichever setting hole provides a comfortable pedal stroke for the user. 

If you've recently purchased a Hobie pedal kayak - brand new or otherwise - it is well worth knowing how to insert it into the drive well correctly. If you do it incorrectly it is possible to damage the rear fin and maybe even tear it right off it's mast, not to mention that pedaling will be difficult at best and performance will be severely hindered. In a worse case scenario it may also make it difficult to remove the drive. Therefore it is critical to take a moment to insure you have this right before jumping in and pedaling away.

Maintaining your Hobie MirageDrive is a pretty simple affair and not much effort is involved in keeping it performing smoothly and reliably. The only tools you're likely to need to perform most basic maintenance procedures is a 7/16th spanner (or long-nose pliers) and a 1/8th hex key. 

Maintain Miragedrive

It is normal for a little bit of water to get inside the hull on any sit-on top kayak (there are various ways this can occur, explained below) and this is nothing to be worried about. However if there are large amounts of water getting into the hull further investigation and action is necessary.

With just a little effort you can reduce the impact of scratches and with further effort you can usually get rid of them completely

Hobie kayak hull scratch

Field repair Miragedrive

Sooner or later you're probably going to pedal into something. Don't worry - we all do it eventually. Chances are high that if and when this happens little to no damage will be done and everything will keep on working as if nothing ever happened. But if you're pedaling hard and moving quickly and slam into a rock, reef or stump, there's a good chance the mast that the fin slides onto will bend. Fear not - this is normal - it's meant to bend so that nothing else breaks. The drive will still function OK if the bend is not too severe. If it is, fortunately it's really not all that difficult to bend back into place. You could even do it without getting out of your kayak if you had to.

Maintaining Hobie Twist & Stow hatches for optimal performance is a matter of cleaning and lubrication. The Twist & Seal hatches on Hobie kayaks will last longer and perform their task a lot better if properly maintained, which is pretty simple to accomplish.

Hobie kayak twist seal hatch 8 inch

Answer: There are several ways you can go about smoothing out a ding in your Hobie kayak

If you have found an inadvertent dint or ding in the hull of your kayak don't panic. Firstly it's probably not going to effect the performance of the boat and secondly, there's every chance you'll be able to fix it like new without too much effort. We've got a few suggestions on how to go about doing it.

Stiff twist action on the up and down rudder controls is usually very simple to address. If you're having problems pulling the twist and stow rudder up and down on your Hobie kayak, first check to make sure you're not trying to pull on the rudder 'up' line when the 'down' line is cleated in (which will make pulling it up near impossible). If the up and down movement of the rudder is stiff and difficult to operate with the up/down lines, the chances are high that your rudder drum bolt has worked itself tight. 

Hobie twist and stow rudder

Hobie kayak wheel carts and dolly types for specific models and usage scenarios

Hobie make a variety of wheelcarts and dollys available for their kayaks, all of them well suited to specific kayak models and usage scenarios. The wheelcarts are a simple 'plug-in' style cart that are used by plugging the frame posts into the scuppers. All Hobie kayaks are compatible with plug in carts, though some models won't work well with the lightest (and cheapest) 'standard' cart.

All About the Hobie MirageDrive Pedal System

Hobie Miragedrive Information

Hobie's Pedal-powered propulsion system, otherwise known as the MirageDrive, is a unique device that is a bit of an enigma to many, largely because there's really nothing else like it. Fortunately not only is it incredibly robust, it's also relatively easy to use, maintain and service. This FAQ's linked below are intended to provide in-depth information in all of these areas. They are intensive in content, both text and images.

Instructional video tutorial on how to install the Turbo Fin kit on your Hobie MirageDrive pedal system. Morgan shows you how and why to upgrade the OEM fins to the longer ST Turbo fins.

Hobie Tech Youtube channel have provided a brief but informative video that demonstrates how to go about installing a horizontal rod holder kit onto a Hobie kayak

This informative video from Hobie runs through the accessories that are supplied with Hobie Miragedrive kayaks as well as a guide on how to go about using them. Worth watching for anyone purchasing an early model (pre 2015) second hand Hobie kayak 

Introductory video on getting the most from your new Hobie kayak. Worthwhile reading if you're new to the Hobie kayak club and especially helpful if you bought your kayak second hand and didn't get a proper introduction to your yak

SLH Guide to Hobie's Best Fishing Kayaks

*Note: this article was written in 2014, so is more relevant to Hobie kayaks built before 2015. We've archived this information here for users looking for resources on older models


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