Note: This is the second in a two part series. Here's the link to part I: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=30980
Just when you think you have the perfect boat (and right after you get it all customized), Hobie comes along with the next edition. If you think the former Oasis is versatile, wait till you see what the 2011 version can do!General characteristics:
The new hull has a finer bow, broader stern and less rocker. consequently it runs quieter, drier and with less pounding. Speed is in the same ballpark, with the 2011 Oasis appearing to be a tad faster (I'll have better information soon). Handling and rudder control are responsive and very similar to previous models.
Longer cockpits are a welcome addition. Dual rudder controls are huge, allowing either partner to operate the boat without having to switch seats. The solo versatility is also very cool. Side mounted cockpit handles are well positioned and comfortable to grip.
Here are some side by side pics of the two boats running together. The '10 pictured here pushes much more water with the bow (both boats are sitting about equally in the water here):
Looking at the stern profiles, the lower rudder mount on the '10 is not as clean but the broader '11 pulls more stern wake:Stability:
This boat was built for stability. Whether Hobie intended this or not, the flat decks open up some new possibilities: While I'm not suggesting that anyone stand up in their kayak, the Pro Angler might see some competition here!
Need a little more stability for unseen wakes or mischievous partners? A broom handle inserted in the sail mast hole makes a great steady stick. (I'm sure Hobie doesn't endorse this one!)
Caution: If attempting to stand solo, make sure you're leashed to the boat. If you fall overboard, even light winds will carry it away quickly!Tandem pedaling:
This front passenger is getting her first Hobie ride -- her grin says it all!
The boat accelerates well without much stern squat:
Here's a profile view showing access to the rod holders from the rear cockpit:Solo pedaling:
What happens when your partner doesn't feel like kayaking? Do you sit at home or find something else to do? Not necessary at all! The new Oasis has excellent solo manners from either cockpit -- the secret is in proper ballasting.
Starting from the traditional rear seat, here is an unballasted profile: The bow is subject to windage, stability is slightly reduced (no big deal) and the shorter water line length limits speed.
Ballasting with 55 lbs. in the bow regains a very credible profile and decent performance.
Here's a cockpit view:
Next, lets go to the front seat. Without ballast the nose is a little heavy and the rudder is somewhat on the high side, but not too bad!
Adding 30 lb. in the cargo well balances the boat nicely.
Here's the view from the boat:Some general comments about turning:
The boat tends to pivot about the fins (when down). Soloing from the rear, steering is quick with the bow cutting in and stern swinging out mildly. From the front seat (again fins down), the stern swings wide, steering is not quite as quick. Tandem, the turn starts out slower; as momentum builds the turn accelerates. The boat spins quickest with rear fins down, front fins up. Fins-up turns are slower in all cases. Nevertheless, both Oases have a nice turn radius with the large rudder (standard since 2010).Sailing:
If you're expecting a competitive sailer here, you'll be disappointed. Under sail power alone, the Oasis is probably best described as leisurely, with good stability for a sailing kayak and good rudder control. Add some easy pedaling to the sail and you can scoot around pretty well, in any direction, with or without wind. Criticisms:
As skua said, this boat pretty much addressed the few shortcomings of the previous Oasis model. The only things that come to mind are 1) the front forward bungee screws sit in a drainage channel and appear to be unsealed through hull installations. I noticed when hosing off the boat this was a minor source of leakage into the hull. A little silicon should take care of it.
2) If paddling from the rear seat your hands might rub against the grips, depending on your stroke style.Summary:
What can I say to sum this up except to warn you that this boat can be addictive! Too late for me though. With clean lines, efficiently used space, tons of features, loads of versatility, gobs of capacity and delightful manners, I've fallen under its spell.