Hobie Forums

1st Gen Mirage / Drive Question
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Author:  EdIsMe [ Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:35 am ]
Post subject:  1st Gen Mirage / Drive Question

Hi everyone!

First post and glad to be part of the Hobie club! I have a 1st generation (I think 2001, purchased from a neighbor) Mirage that I'll be taking on a bit of a different adventure this weekend. I'm looking at a group paddle doing ~8 miles downstream with average water depth of approx 1', flowing conditions, with lots of obstructions and possibly some whitewater. I won't be able to use the pedal drive for most of the trip, if at all, without risk of damage. So... could anyone offer any advice that could help? I'm a relatively new paddler, but have done paddles (and pedals) up to about 10 miles in calm conditions.

Also, should I look into something to plug the hole where the mirage drive would be? I'm thinking I could fab something up out of a wood dowel, spray foam, and a plastic straw to fill in the hole (temporarily) without losing the scupper function... but would that be necessary? Would it buy me any speed to keep up?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. I have a 14' SIK on order that would be more suited to this sort of outing, but won't be receiving it until mid-October.

Author:  mmiller [ Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1st Gen Mirage / Drive Question

You can paddle this down stream. Without the rudder deployed too. Maybe not track great, but no different than many white water boats. Then when deep enough and can pedal... you will do well.

Author:  plfinch [ Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1st Gen Mirage / Drive Question

Shortly after buying a pair of Outfitters years ago, and still unfamiliar with them, we took them down a river very much as you describe. And promptly bent drive masts, tore drive fins, and put some gashes in the bottom leading edge of the rudder. I was overconfident in my ability to spot shallows and obstructions in time to pull the drives and rudder. Complicating this is the fact that once you are in shallow water you cannot easily remove the drives as the fins must first be pointing down, and any river current is most active in the shallows stressing the drives further.

We did the same river a year later, now much wiser, with no damage other than a few new scrapes on the hull bottom. This time the drives were kept out and the rudder left up unless there was an obviously long stretch of slow and deeper water. Hobie includes “scupper plugs” and “mirage cassette plugs” with new kayaks (at least they did for our Outfitters and Oasis) and these are available for purchase separately as accessories.

Not sure which kayak you have. Ours are all tandems. On rivers we use a regular double paddle in front and a single paddle with the tee-handle in back to facilitate quick turns and use as a hand-held rudder.


Author:  EdIsMe [ Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1st Gen Mirage / Drive Question

Thank you plfinch and mmiller for your replies.

I think it's a bit too late now for me to get one of those cassette plugs before Saturday, but I found elsewhere people have had good success using cellophane tape to seal off the drive well for less drag when paddling. There's really no stretch of the portion of river we're doing that will be deep enough (consistently) for the pedals, so I'll just leave them home this time.

I'm really looking forward to it.

Also, this section of river is almost entirely a continuous section of switchbacks so I don't think I'll really be too worried about tracking. The extra maneuverability might help!

This is what it'll look like:


Author:  EdIsMe [ Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1st Gen Mirage / Drive Question

Just wanted to update!

The difficulty level was much lower than I had been led to believe. Water was (relatively) deep for this section of river and the obstacles were mostly strainers and submerged limbs that were easily crossed without the pedals in place. I ended up leaving the cassette well alone, untaped, and I noticed a small bit of drag when accelerating past high-current areas, but was fine overall.

Tracking was a little bit of an issue in some areas, but solved by deploying the rudder and then pulling it back up when a sharp turn was required. The Hobie was a fair bit more maneuverable than the other boats in the group, which left me some time to practice my sweep strokes and pivot turns in between obstacles. Thank you to those that read this post and even more thanks to those who replied! :mrgreen:

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