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. ft. Because Saturday was so windy, I did feel like I had to do a bit more work, like adjusting to direction, furling and opening the sail back up, but that would be normal for the AI too. All in all the TI just felt like a much bigger beast – which technically, it is.

What I did love about the 2012 TI is that the daggerboard is built into the bottom hull area and the control for that is on the right side of your arm rest.  You can easily pull up to unlock it and push it forward to place the daggerboard down and do the opposite to retract it back in. In the wind, I noticed that, with the daggerboard in the down position, the the tracking was great! I thought that was very cool because I never sailed my AI with the daggerboard in. Compared to the TI, I had always thought deploying the AI’s daggerboard was kind of a hassle.

Later, I had the opportunity to sail on the TI again, this time with a full grown adult.  Despite a combined weight of nearly 400 lbs. between the two of us, the kayak floated extremely well. It was as if I did not have another person on it – it stayed up and very buoyant.  I later learned that the weight limit on the TI is 600 lbs. One other thing I noticed is that even when there was no wind, we made good time peddling the mirage drive (which was fitted with Turbo Fins).  We soon made a nice wake behind us and did not even break a sweat. One other cool note on the TI, is that the back seating area stays almost perfectly dry.  Even in windy conditions the front seating area will get most of the wet spray, so this could be a very dry ride if you’re going solo and sitting in the back seat.

Here are the obvious differences between the AI and TI. The lengths of the TI is 18′ 6″ compared to the AI which is 16’. The width of the AI is 27.5″ while the TI is 30” – the hull is much bigger in radius which is why it’s so buoyant. The height of the mast on the TI is 18’ while it is 15’ 2” on the AI. The capacity of the AI is 350 lbs versus the TI, which has a capacity of 600 lbs.

Overall I enjoyed the TI very much. It makes for a very great tandem experience and I am sure it will be a very good fishing platform a friend and myself.

Daniel Pham
Hobie Pro Staffer (ACK Houston Store) & Hobie Adventure Islanders Co-Owner
Visit Daniels Blog here.