If you've recently purchased a Hobie pedal kayak (especially true of earlier models that did not have alignment pins built into the spine) it is 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 or the outhaul block it attaches to. This can result in the fin separating right off it's mast. Best case scenario this will hinder pedaling performance, could result in the fin separating right off it's mast and potentially it difficult to remove the drive if the spine gets wedged into it. If you get it completely wrong you might even lose the Miragedrive should you also find a way to capsize the kayak. Therefore it is critical for beginners to take a moment to insure that this right before jumping in and pedaling away.
Below is an image that demonstrates the correct alignment for installing a MirageDrive:
Below is an image that demonstrates the incorrect alignment:
The crux of it is that the MirageDrive must be inserted parallel to the hull and not at an odd angle, as shown in the images above. The tutorial includes a few handy tips to make sure it goes in correctly.
Newer models feature a guidepost built into the drive and a groove molded into the hull that help to make alignment simpler. Just feed the guide post into the molded groove and insertion should be straight forward. For those of you with previous year model kayaks, another handy tip for inserting a Miragedrive at the correct angle is demonstrated in the following images:
Line up the front of the spine (as pointed out in the image above) with the front edge of the MirageDrive well lip (as pointed out in the image below):
With the Miragedrive lowered into the well with the front edge of the spine positioned directly next to the front edge of the lip of the well (practically touching) you should then be able to push the drive securely into place, as pictured below:
You should hear the Miragedrive lock into place with an audible click. Take a moment to ensure that the drive is locked into place. If all looks right, jump in and away you go. It won't take long before this becomes second nature to you. However, if you are ever generous enough to lend your kayak to someone who has never used a Hobie before, take the time to explain how to correctly install the Miragedrive before letting them use it, or otherwise do it for them if possible.