Trip Report: Galveston Bay Lunch Sail

Reposted from the TexasIslandClub.com Forum. Trip report comes from Club Captain Steve Mullins, AKA Crazy Yak, who took a fun trip along the Texas coast just south east of Houston in a pair of Hobie sailing kayaks.

Sporty SailingMy family and I met up with Bob and Kathleen and sailed from Kemah to San Leon. After launching at the Kemah boat ramp our destination was Bubba’s Shrimp Palace (http://www.bubbasshrimppalace.com).

The weather conditions, sailing, and food was excellent. We beached our sailing kayaks inside the protected dock in front of the restaurant.

Short video shortly after leaving Kemah:

Our total distance sailed was 16 miles and took only 2 hours with a max speed of 9.2kn / 10.5 mph. With water temps in the mid-50′s the proper exposure protection was required; waders with dry paddle jackets did the trick and we almost stayed dry. On the return we sailed against whitecaps with a crosswind, definitely sporty conditions! Reefing the sail to about 50% made for a smoother and drier ride.

Storing Your Hobie Kayak

One way of storing your Hobie Kayak.
One way of storing your Hobie Kayak.

Original content reposted from the HobieCat Forum.

Kayak storage isn’t often given much thought, but doing it improperly can lead to permanent damage. Matt Miller, Director of Parts & Accessory Sales at Hobie Cat USA, shares tips and techniques for properly storing your Hobie Kayak.

Important: When storing your Hobie Kayak, do NOT hang your kayak from the bow and stern handles. These handles are designed for carrying the kayak, not for hanging for long periods of time. The plastic will slowly stretch over time and possibly even eventually fail which will create a hole. When storing your Hobie kayak, it is important to be sure that it is well supported.

Storing your Hobie Kayak on the ground or on a rack

One technique for storing your Hobie kayak is by putting it upside down and resting on its two crossbars. The rails of the kayak are very stiff and can support the weight easily. Padded crossbars will reduce the chance of any scratches or marks on the rails. If you must store it right side up, use cradles or something that is shaped to the contour of the hull. If the kayak is resting right side up with little to no support, the entire weight of the kayak may rest on one point on the bottom and possibly cause a flat area to develop. We do offer custom molded cradles for the Adventure Island and the Pro Angler.

Storing your Hobie Kayak with hanging racks or straps

If you plan on hanging your kayak from a ceiling, a minimum of one inch webbed strapping should be used to spread the load of the kayak over more area. Using rope to support it may leave dents in the rails, especially in the heavier kayaks. Best if stored upside down with the strap loads on the stiff cockpit rails.

Removing dents after improperly storing your Hobie Kayak

If you do see a dent or flat area from improper storage, you can remove it fairly easily. For minor dents, put the kayak in the sun with the dent up. The plastic will soften slightly and the plastic will return to its original shape. For more severe dents, pour near boiling hot water over a towel on the dent and pressurize the hull. The air pressure will push on the softened plastic, returning it to its original shape. A great way to put air pressure in your hull is to direct a shop vacs exhaust flow into the opened drain plug. Do not force more than a pound or two of pressure into the hull without the possibility of the pressure easily escaping. Pressure in the hull can cause damage.

So how do you store your Hobie Kayak? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

Sailing with the Hobie Adventure Island

Woody in a Hobie Adventure Island before deploying the sail

I had never sailed anything yet but it has been something I have yearned to do. So, for my birthday I decided to take out the Hobie Adventure Island and fulfill this lifelong goal. After only have been shown once how to rig the kayak up with the sail, akas and amas, I set out to Galveston’s West Bay. I was a little scared, but was too excited to not want to try the kayak at its full capability. So I started the day off with just the akas and amas locked into place next to the yak and the 16 foot sail strapped onto one of the sides.

My fishing buddies, each on a Hobie Pro Angler 12, and I pedaled out north against the wind in search of a good area holding reds and trout. As expected from past experience, the wind does nothing to ruin your kayaking trip when you are using Mirage Drives. We reached a nice flat to drift across so I dropped my drift chute and stood up to begin casting. The stability was unmatched due to the amas and made it easy to turn and cast in any direction. After a few hours of no bites I decided it was time to do what I set out to do, sail. The sail is so light that it isn’t an issue setting it up out in the water even with 10+ mph winds and choppy water. In a couple of minutes I was fully rigged and ready to sail.

Got the sail up!

As soon as I pulled the rope and fully extended the sail it caught the wind and the kayak lunged off at full speed. All fear was gone and I felt like a kid again. I was surprised at how much speed it picked up and even more so at how maneuverable it was. When I felt I was going too fast or simply wanted to stop, I just released the rope from the cleat and would immediately lose any propulsion due to the wind and glide to an effortless halt. Having the sail made it easy to quickly position myself anywhere I wanted to start casting then 3 seconds later have the drift chute in the water and the sail rolled up nicely thanks to the awesome pulley system on the Adventure Island. Fighting the fish on the kayak was easy until I got the slot sized red near the boat and it realized it didn’t want to be landed and took off under the kayak. My mistake was fighting the fish standing up while having the amas fully extended. I later hooked on to a flounder and fortunately had corrected the amas to be up against the kayak rather than fully out and that made landing him a lot easier.  It was nice not having to paddle or pedal back to the launch point after everyone decided to call it a day. It even gave me time to fish the nearby docks and land the only keeper size fish between the three of us fishing that day, winning the competition we had going on. Birthday boy wins it!

Best fish of the day!

At first I thought the sail would be bothersome for casting and fishing since I would have a rope running overhead all the way to the back, but after the full day of fishing I had no issues with it. Going back to my Hobie Outback after using the Adventure Island will be difficult. I’m getting myself a Hobie sail for the Outback to make the transition back a little more bearable.

Woody @ACK Houston

Comparing Hobie’s Tandem and Adventure Islands by Daniel Pham

I had the pleasure of testing out the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island (TI) during the ACK demo days back in September. While I was testing the TI out on the lake, I could not help but compare it to the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island (AI) which I had paddled/sailed before. I have to say that operating the TI on the water was very similar to the AI. The TI sail mast area is 90 sq. ft. compared to the AI sail area, which is 57.5 sq. Continue reading Comparing Hobie’s Tandem and Adventure Islands by Daniel Pham

Hobie Adventure Island TANDEM Fun

Hobie Mirage Island TandemThe Hobie Tandem Island has been out for a bit now, but I hadn’t had a chance to play with one until our Demo Day event since we can’t seem to keep them in stock! I’ve been on the Hobie Solo Island several different times in varying conditions and always loved it, but the only downside was that you were out there by yourself and this experience should really be shared! You can always outfit the solo with the trampoline set and take a friend with you, but it’s just not the same as the experience with the new Hobie Island Adventure Tandem.

My fiance and I were blown away at how AWESOME this new boat is.  Per usual, Hobie made the kayak very comfortable and user friendly **No sailing experience necessary.**  You can control the sail and rudder from either seating location, so if one person needs to take a break to dig in the cooler for a tasty adult beverage, you don’t need to roll everything up. The sail is controlled with 2 lines, a furler line to roll the sail up, and another line to adjust the trim of the sail. The rudder is just as easy with pull cords for the up down lines and a new upgraded larger steering handle. We took turns with the controls and eventually ended up with my fiance controlling the rudder and me controlling the sail. After tooling around for a bit, we decided we should let someone else give her a try since I could see the drool on the shore from out in the water.

I have been sailing with my dad since I was young and find the Tandem Island is a great compromise for those not wanting to invest in a full on sail boat and still have the versatility of a kayak. One of the greatest things about the Tandem Island (and the solo Island for that matter) is that it’s so easy to put together and take apart. From a distance it looks like it might take about an 30 minutes to an hour to set up, but in reality, it’s 5 – 10 minutes. The sail is light-weight and easy to stand up and click into the secured mast receiver and the AMA arms attach to the outrigger and kayak body with untold ease.

With that said, it’s also a great boat to take out without the sail and AMAs attached. Hobie has also made most of the accessories that are available for the Solo Island Adventure work for the Tandem Island as well, such as the trampoline sets and trailer cradles. This is a perfect couples/family activity boat and you can even go it solo easily, or bring along a furry friend! After our wedding, I know exactly what my next big purchase will be!

As always happy paddling, peddling, sailing or whatever the case may be!

Kate Wilder
ACK Customer Service

New Hobie Island Tandem Kayak

Hobie Mirage Island Adventure Kayak

I’m a sailor.  Before my 7 year old son John was born I owned and raced a 23 foot class boat at our local yacht club.  As a pilot I appreciate the wind and its effect on a vessel.   I also like the sense of freedom  I get listening to a crisp sail crackle when the wind fills it.

So when our local rep set up two Hobie Mirage Adventure Island kayaks with Hobie MirageDrive and a sail at our 2010 Demo Day I was quick to grab a PFD and hit the water.

My cheeks hurt from smiling.  If you’ve ever driven a go-cart, you know how 30 miles an hour, three inches off the ground seems like 70!  Well, the Hobie Island Adventure gives you that same sensation.  Pick a point in the distance, trim the main sail and the acceleration is inspiring.

The only problem was there was no one there to hear my hoots and I immediately thought, “Wow, Hobie really needs a Mirage Adventure Island Tandem so the fun can be shared.  That would rock.”

Well the Hobie Mirage Island Tandem is finally here!   These beautiful 18’- 6” kayaks sit like ICBM missiles in our warehouse, big beautiful fun factories.  And so far it appears that others share my enthusiasm as the boats continue to move out the door to new happy owners.

Here is what I appreciated about the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island Kayak.

Hobie MirageDrive – Learning to dock a sailboat takes practice, navigating to the right spot and dropping the sail with enough speed to make it in not crash the beach/dock is an art.  Not so with the Hobie MirageDrive…you simply release the sail while on the water and it furls (rolls up) around the mast and you pedal your way home.

Furling sail – the ability to get the sail out of the way quickly removes much of the intimidation from learning to sail.  Too much wind?  Release the sail and enjoy the day using your muscles.

Did I say MirageDrive? – I’ve spent some long hours sitting in the afternoon doldrums waiting for enough breeze to get a sailboat back home.  Being able to cruise at 3 – 5 miles an hour under MirageDrive is really a nice backup to a breeze.

Tacking – learning to turn a sailboat takes some practice but since the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island kayaks have the drive system, a few leg pumps and even the worst tack can look graceful.

Kick-up center board – I’ve taco-ed a center board or two in shallow water before.  The Hobie centerboard solves that problem by folding up when it hits the ground.

Fun – Whether you pull the trimaran kit off, grab a paddle and go for a traditional kayak outing or fully rig it for some high speed action, the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island Single and Hobie Mirage Adventure Island Tandem are first class tickets out of life’s doldrums.