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Reviews for Mirage Kayak by Hobie Cat Company


Rated: 8.88/10 Based On: 17 Reviews

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07-27-2013
Submitted by: cjSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     Inflatable Hobie was very nice in lakes, but not ez to pedal in the ocean and creeks with debris...Nice option for those who do not have storage or transportation for a hard shell kayak... folds up easily and deflates very easy... also gives you cross training fun with leg and arm work
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10-01-2012
Submitted by: ACSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Excellent boat. I will never own anything else. I have had it 10 years. Weekly use. Someone said difficult to get in shallow water... You just pop the fins out and paddle it into 3" water. Same as any other kayak. It turns on a dime, I have had no complaints at all other than the newer versions have better accessories than mine!
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05-20-2008
Submitted by: roninSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought my Mirage in July 1998, *best money I have ever spent.*
I live on a tidal river in Jax. FL. so I deal with tides and headwinds. I also have muck at lowest tide and cannot launch easily until I have at least 6" of water, but if I am coming in during a lower tide, I come in at full speed, pull the drive and lift the rudder just before it grounds, get out and pull it the rest of the way in. It is the fastest human powered boat on my river and I have had powerboat users come up to me and say "what motor do you have in it"

The problems as I see it are:
drive cables break due to acute angle of mounting (Hobie corrected it in newer models)
Fins are too small (Hobie now has 3 sizes),
Scupper hole under seat acts as a funnel to shoot water up if you sit down too quickly (may not be a problem for small or light people, but at 6', 225lb and bad knees it means a wet butt. In cold weather I tape it before launching.)
Coaming needs to be taller and have a reverse angle to sluice water away. Boat takes on about a liter of water an hour, after 3 hours it begins to be a problem and also means you need to dry bag anything you put in the hull.
It needs foam or something to support the area in directly in front of the seat.
The Drive could use multiple pedal mounting points further down the shaft for different lengths of stroke.
And if I could have my "druthers" it would be lighter and easier to lift.

That said it is still a fantastic machine. At almost 10 years old it still performs and looks great. I have peddled it into headwinds, fast incoming tides, rain and 6" chop, it gets exciting to see light and air through the bottom of the drive hole. When I broke a drive cable, I was 2 miles from home with a 12 knot headwind and incoming tide. I pulled up and secured the drive and to paddle it home just like a regular kayaker... took me twice as long.

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04-19-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I just got this boat several weeks ago. After reading all the stuff here about how hard it is to load, how hard it is to steer, how wet you get, yada, yada, ya. It is # 1 a sit on top kayak, you're gonna get wet, at least in my experience, the person in front with choppy water. It is hard to get on and off a roof top, but again, reference what it is, a sit on top tandem kayak that is "heavy", just get over it! As far as the sensitive steering, I have had no problem as this boat is very hands off. We opted for the turbo drives and cruising at 5 mph is easy with little effort, 4mph all day. We got the sail too and that makes things very nice, giving great breaks. Fishing is optimal due to cruising speed is great trolling speed. Not into trolling live or artificial baits, then anchor down, drop something on the bottom to drown and sit and read a book till the rod bends. Lots of storage, spaces everywhere to store inside or stowed with bungee. I eluded the loading by getting a small utility trailer and mounted roof top "J" bars on it and off wee go! a 3 foot lift is all that is required and I can do it all alone while the wife applies sunscreen and such! Great boat, killer workout and I'll have fresh fish more often with the old girl!
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11-16-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I used this boat several times and would never buy my own. It is ideal for fishing and speed, however it is nowhere near as stable as my sit in kayak and it is impossible to take into shallow water, where some of the best fishing is. The pedals get caught up in vegetation (sea and turtle grasses) and on obstacles on the rivers. Maybe it would be better suited outside of Florida, but still, does not receive a very good review from me.
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12-23-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife and I bought a Mirage and a Maui about 3 years ago for use on Tampa Bay. I can safely say that this is without a doubt the fastest SOT on the market. With just a little effort peddling you will leave other kayaks in your wake. It is stable, handles very well and paddles easily also. It is a little heavy for a single person to load onto a cartop carrier but it is something you can do. The only problem is the rudder assembly. I have had to replace the rudder lift lever 2x (both replaced by Hobie with no problems) and the lift lines have a tendency to hang up making it necessary to get off the yak, open the rear hatch, unscrew the access hatch and reach in up to 30 inches to locate and straighten the lines. While this does not happen often it is an issue in colder weather when I would prefer to stay dry or if the bottom is anything but firm and sandy. Overall I am very pleased with the Mirage and recommend that anyone looking for a SOT take a test paddle or peddle on one.
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08-05-2004
Submitted by: MickJetBlueSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife and I had opportunity to paddle/crank a pair of Mirages for a couple of days, thanks to relatives. The Mirage is an immaculate craft with superb paddling/cranking capabilities. Even the featherlite Hobie kayak paddle is the ultimate in use. The Mirage is the apex of enhancement in paddling craft. 10 out of 10, even though it is slightly heavy for carrying around. mickjetblue
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05-11-2004
Submitted by: PhilipSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have had a Hobie Mirage since 1999. I have totally enjoyed it and find it to be essentially well built. I did have what appeared to be a minor problem with one of the pedal cam locks which broke in half. Unfortunately, the stainless bolt that held it in place was cross threaded into the brass anchor embedded in the hull. In the process of trying to back out the bolt, the entire anchor started to move and there was absolutely no way to get the bolt out to make the very simple repair. As a result, I had to pay for an entirely new hull! The kayak was still under warrranty. I cannot say that this was a very satisfactory outcome and I would probably not buy another Hobie product again. Their customer service was hardly sympathetic and I did not cross thread this bolt since I never had the need to remove it until the cam cracked. Glad to see all the other reviewers have had better luck with their Hobie product.
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04-06-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I found my hobie mirage,yes found it after hurricane georges blew through the fl keys. in a mangrove creek casting for bait I noticed a white object way back up the way but it basically inacessable ,and I did'nt pay it much mind.2 years later I happened to be there on a full moon tide baitcasting again but there was enough water to push fairly close in.relizing it was a kayak I pulled it out, half covered with gooseneck barnacles and moss it didn't look like much but being a packrat I took it home. It cleaned up great! had a slight crack in the nose and across the top of the seat where it was upside down all those years so I put plastic epoxy in it and the repairs are still holding, I showed it to a friend of mine who worked on watersports boat and he ask if the peddles had been with it. I had seen some flippers attached to a bike in the mud so back to the mangroves.a little corrisonX and we had them working. Then my wife tried it,,can't get it back,built her a cart for it and it she uses it at least 2 a week in summer. Now for the review ,they are tough! hurricane georges blew 120 steady and this yak was easily 2 miles from nearest land and 30 yards back in the mangroves, cleaned up great, you leave something for two years in saltwater and expose the other end to the tropical sun and bird droppings it doesn't last.She doesnt really use the peddles often since a lot of paddling is shallow here,thing is pretty fast though with or without the peddles. I think the seat is too high but she has a shorter torso so it fits her well. the forward hatch is easy to acess and holds a fair amount of stuff .the rear hatch could be much bigger but this an older model kayak ,access to it is fairly easy if your'e smaller framed,but I have a hard time turning around .This is an older model though. and so am I.The paddle rest is a nice feature. I would like to see the drain plug located on the topside of the hull instead of the back. the cam controls for the rudder system require a lot of attention for use and their placement can make getting on and off in deeper water inconvienent.I removed the rudder system and she didn't miss it at all I was impressed with this yak,and being a commercial fisherman all my life not much impresses me.
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03-11-2002
Submitted by: RogerSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my Mirage back in 1999 as an excercise device and use the boat an average of twice a week. I put a lot of miles on this boat. I upgraded to the newer dual density fin drive system after about a year - Hobie mis-drilled the holes for the tension cables on early drives and replaced it for free! I had to upgrade the rudder lift as the handle is not heavy enough for high usage levels and it began to fail. I also had to replace one of the "cam" knobs that hold the drive in place. Regardless, I am truly amazed at how durable everything is considering the amount of use. The hull is not the most efficient but is pretty stable (to a point) and I have perfected the art of getting in and out in deep water (hint: detatch the seat strap on the side you are getting in on - which should be on the left [no control lever] side). I am an avid diver and ease of getting in and out is essential. This boat, like most sit on top's, is not good for swift water. I have been ejected many times due to the high center of gravity also the hull "rocker" does not lend itself to quick manuvers. Storage is poor and I would like to see a revised rear waterproof hatch that would give access to the full area behind the seat. If you want to camp, plan on putting eyelets on the front deck to bungee waterproof bags.

Let's talk fishing - this is the ULTIMATE fishing rig. I made a dual rod holder that fits under the seat (ez in/out) and can troll the hot spots with ease. I can cast with a rod in one hand, troll two in my holder, steer with my other hand and peddle all at once!! This ability confounds my "paddle only" friends who are fighting with trying to paddle and hold a single rod at the same time. I also rigged up a battery powered sonar rig (again ez in/out) to do depth checks for "holes".

No boat does it all - the Mirage does more than most and with the dual power - upper body (paddling)/lower body (peddling) capability you can get a great workout and out endure any paddle only boat. The dual power option allows me to stay up with and beat kayak buddies 10 - 20 years younger than me - especially on long trips. I find it amazing that there are not more of these out there! These boats are not cheap, but as a frugal buyer, I can honestly say no purchase I have ever made has yielded the return on investment of the Mirage. I wish Hobie would make an upgraded model (Kevlar?) so I could justify buying a new one. I honestly liked the boat so much I bought a Hobie Cat as well.

One last thing - there are four (4) other "must haves" for kayakers (IMHO) they are: 1) Thermarest "camp pad". I tried all kinds of foam, pads, seats, gel's etc. and this little pad is the ultimate seat (regardless of price) and it can be had for less than $20., it even beats that thick black air kayak seat (and doesn't screw up your center of gravity - it is THIN) - be stupid, don't get one! 2) Sony "sports" SRF-87 pendant radio - I have bought at least a dozen small radio's all and this one beats them all and is perfect for kayaking - best of all it "plays for days" on a single AAA battery - try it you will like it. 3) Ortlieb "Boxit" (HB Mobil EBox) waterproof cell phone case - don't waste your money on other cases this is the one (I have others). It is not cheap but it allows you to use your phone while in the case (GoreTex membrane) and really is waterproof (I have dropped mine in the water many times - even held it under with no leaks) add to that several "attachment" options (belt clip, lanyard etc.) and you have safe cell phone communication while on the water and 4) last is the Zeiss miniquick 5x10 moncular (with lanyard option). Great Zeiss optics and lifetime guarantee if it gets dunked. I actually bought the top of the line 10x25 but for most folks the miniquick is great (at 1/3 the price).

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09-14-2001
Submitted by: Jim D.Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've used the Mirage in the Gulf (Siesta Key) and on our small lake. It is a FUN boat and extremely fast for the effort. It is also WET - very small waves will splash in your face if they are from any quarter. The hand operated rudder is difficult to use when paddling because it is so responsive and requires a lot of attention.
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06-13-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Hobie Mirage tandem kayak is our third kayak. My wife and I bought it because of the pedals -- to get a lower body workout while kayaking. We love this kayak. It's heavy but it doesn't matter because we live on the beach and only have to carry it a few feet to the water. The North Shore of Oahu, where we live, is surf-less in the summertime and ideal for ocean kayaking. I have taken the kayak solo into a school of dolphins, who stuck around to see what the strange beast was up to. (The pedals power flippers underneath the hull which the Hobie literature says resemble penguin wings, but to me they look like green sea turtle flippers.) My wife and I regularly visit the turtles off Haleiwa harbor. They, too, seem curious about the craft and come right up next to us to check us out. My only caution: be careful not to get hung up on a reef or rocks. We did once and actually bent the rods on the flipper mechanism. I straightened them back out, but ever since then we've been very protective of these machines. The Mirage is not real common in Hawaii yet, so we get a lot of attention from other kayakers and people on the beach.
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05-31-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have a 14' tandem Mirage with 2 pedal drive units (1- fore and 1- aft position). After the second time on the water, I found that the boat is difficult to load and unload from the top of my truck shell with even two people (It weights approx. 70 lbs w/o the drive units installed). You wouldn't want to hand carry the boat very far either. After have saying that, once I had it in it's natural environment, it was all worth it! The kayak is very fast via pedalling and the rudder is highly responsive. With the pedals in the maximum spread apart position will allow the craft to navigate in water as shallow as 12" deep for exploring. The seat was extremely comfortable during hours of operation. The pedaling drive units are very easly installed and removed by hand- no tools req'd. It handled quite well in windy conditions with white cap waves, I found this boat a blast! Once I figure out how to manuver the 14' Mirage on land and on top of truck, it will be even more enjoyable.
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04-09-2001
Submitted by: JMSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just got the kayak in January and in March spent a full week and a half using the kayak on the intracoastal waterway and in and around Hilton Head Island. The boat is quick. I'm a cyclist, and with a nice steady leisurely pace, you can maintain 4 mph. (GPS) The boat handles quite well, is fairly stable, and although I was in and out of sawgrass, weeds, and all that, never managed to get the fin mechanism stuck anywhere. I did as much as 5 hours of continuous travel each day. There are 5 different positions to set peddle travel (usually only 2 will suit a particular individual, but it allows for all sizes of peddlers). The boat never failed to turn heads, especially other kayakers.
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10-28-2000
Submitted by: DaleSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     It's quite the clever boat. We stuffed the front hatch with bedrolls and the back hatch with food and cruised into the Great Dismal Swamp. Sweet Becky hogged the Mirage. I got the Summersong canoe with the tent and drybags. The canals and Lake Drummond are perfect for the Hobie, and all quiet water boats. The lake so perfectly mirrored the sky that the boats seemed air-borne. Away from shore, we disturbed some large fish (maybe gar), while pedalling silently. Had the fish jumped up rather than sculling down, Becky might have tested the stability of the Mirage. So, due in part to the wisdom of the fish, she never got wet. We learned about the boat. Carry your leatherman swiss army tool. If you ding a fin on a cypress knee, pull the cotterpin and turn it around. And: you can't really paddle and pedal at the same time. The pedals move you so fast that the paddle has nothing to do. But keep at least a single end paddle for a reverse gear (and gar defense). And: the pedals really do fit backwards. For the adventurous among you, pedal/paddle into Drummond on the night of a full moon. Perhaps you will see the ghost of an Indian princess carrying a firefly lantern.
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05-04-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I own 8 kayaks and live on a non-navigable river and this boat fits my needs well. I bought it to give non-impact exercise to my arthritic knees and I always feel looser and more flexible after peddling hard. You can match the length of your "kick" to the stiffness of your knees and always be able to lenghten your stroke as you loosen up. The speed is remarkable upriver even in a rain swollen current. I give this kayak a 10 rating for its innovation alone. Hobie Alter has done it again!
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03-23-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     If you want a fun kayak that can go fast this one is great. It is the only peddle kayak on the market that I know of. Hobie has done a great job with the design of the kayak and the engineering of the rudder and peddle systems. The hatch behind the seat will not leak but the front hatch will leak a little. This is nothing to worry about though. I have used it for weekend camping trips and had a great time. While on one trip I towed two other fully loaded kayaks. I did not work any harder doing that than I did when I was just by myself. If you get tired of peddling you can always paddle or if you want a work out you can do both. Like I said this boat is loaded with fun.
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