I tried a Hobie Mirage Outfitter from AKC. The Kayak does give a sense of freedom to be able to operate hands free, it is very stable with lots of space and a great fishing machine. The Mirage drive was easy to master with adjustments for different leg lengths.
Now to the Cons:
The Kayak does have hull slap. The hull slap and the extra width that makes it so stable also makes it move slow especially in choppy conditions. My average speed over the two hours I paddled was 3.1 mph with standard paddles. The notion that the Pedal mechanism is easier to paddle is very subjective. So rent one and try before you buy.
My advice is to not plunk $3K into this machine and find it does not work. The issue with the pedal system is there is too much of stress on the Knees when compared to Bike pedaling. So Prolonged use of the Pedal system could cause problems with the Knee (again personal opinion). From that point of view, it is a no-go for me. I liked all the features of the Kayak, but the kind of stress on the Knee makes me shy away from this Kayak. I would rather have my knees and use them for another occasion like walking and running and biking than spend it all on pedaling the Mirage Drive.I bought a Mirage "Outfitter" from Backyardboats & Jay recommended the extend-o-truck for transporting. I can easily - with Hobie "sand wheels" & addition of 2 hard 'neoprene trailer rollers (one mounted on extend-o- truck;one in truck bed) and a nose bumper mounted behind cab - load & unload this by myself.
I am a 47 yr old woman :)
This Hurdle out of the way, I made my maiden voyage on Bayou St John in New Orleans.
This Kayak is awesome! I pedaled fast, maneuvered beautifully! I plan to buy another single seat Sport for every day. I had such fun! next time I'll bring along the sail & try it out :)