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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:49 pm 
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I really enjoy reading through this forum, have gotten a ton of great info so thanks all for that! I think this might be my first post, if not it's been a long time as I had to re register.
Anyhow, I'll do my best to keep this short while adding my thoughts on the new compass model and some possibly relevant background. I'm an older guy (60ish) who's not nearly as agile as I used to be, (and a tad overweight as well). I have a pretty extensive canoeing background, at least a dozen or more boundary waters trips and quite a few river trips. But I've been wanting to try Hobie's pedal kayaks for such a long time. Luckily, I found a rental place nearby who have a great selection of boats. A couple weeks ago I took my 8 year old son out on a Hobbie Oasis - we had a blast with no issues other than a bit of a struggle for me getting in and out, (off of a dock).
So today I wanted to treat my 14 year old to a similar trip. I rented a Revo 13 for him and a Compass for myself thinking we might switch after a bit to try them each out and compare. I had my usual struggles getting in so wasn't able to pay much attention to the instruction my son was getting as he got into the Revo 13. Anyhow, the guy wanted me to pull the rudder up, I don't know why and I really wasn't thinking but I did so and as we started out I couldn't steer, ha ha. I know it's my fault but when they send you off, wouldn't you think they'd want you to rig the boat ready to go? I had to get my paddle out to avoid hitting a dock which presented issue number 1. As I've read on here elsewhere it is pretty difficult to strap the paddle back in place, I had to fumble around 3 or 4 times before I could get my fingers out without popping it back off.
So, after getting the rudder issue figured out we were on our way. Unfortunately, not much longer my son started having rudder issues as well, turns out they did have his rudder down but he didn't know how to "lock it" so it kept kicking back up. I gave a look but it's different from what I had seen on the Oasis, I couldn't even see where to lock it, (Later inspection shows it's at the bottom of the net pouch- go figure). So, between all the struggling and moving around my seat back "popped" and the seat would not support my weight. I must have spent 15 minutes trying to figure it out, but what happened was the little eyelet had actually broken - you couldn't really see it looking at it and I was able to restrap the seat strap but as soon as any weight it would twist and pop.... argh! So that was my big issue #2. Interestingly before that happened I thought the seat was quite comfy but afterwards I had to paddle back as I couldn't pedal without a backstop.
So, we both limped back in, it was a pretty disappointing day. My older son is semi autistic which might have added to some of the problem or that he didn't know about the rudder lock but I think next time we'll have it figured out. However, I don't think I'll be renting a Compass again, I think that seat strap is a weak link, and a fatal one at that as far as pedaling goes and not having the reverse and all. Thinking I might try the Revo 13 myself or perhaps I should go with a more stable Outback or they even have the PA's, maybe that would be a more comfortable ride for me?
Ha ha, afterwards I was ready to go back to canoes, not much to break on those!!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:05 am 
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Sounds like you both should have been given better instructions on usage of the rudder. Its not as self explaining as you would hope.
New Compass owner here and yes, first time its easy to forget to have rudder up during launch and beaching and then bring it down to steer.

On the seat issue the attachment on Hobie actually looks very solid, hard to believe it broke off? Should not happen.
No fun trying to use Hobie drive without seat backrest.

The paddle strap is non functional I agree.... I immediately bought a yakattack paddle holder and installed into existing track to have easy access to it without fumbling with the line to hold paddle. That's not well designed in my eyes. But I hear many never even use paddles. But given standard drive is non reverse drive I use paddle for adjustments and stay away from rocks.

I love mine this far.... had it out 5 times only though.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:24 pm 
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Thanks for the compassionate understanding RosevilleHobie, yeah it was a pretty frustrating trip for us. I do believe we'll have the rudders in order next time out, it's just the Oasis I had tried previously had a different lock than the Revo and looking at it out on the lake - I honestly just didn't see it for my son. I do agree they probably could have been a bit more descriptive before launch, or at a minimum made sure they were in proper position before we left - again it's an off dock launch, so no depth worries. Anyhow I will definitely take the blame for the one on the compass, I just wasn't thinking at the time and for some reason thought I was setting it up to be ready to go, not thinking I was locking it "up" ha ha.
Anyway, it's all well and good and I would honestly like the compass save the one big seat issue. The paddle strap is definitely an issue, but I would think easy enough to fix, and oh yeah, I wasn't wild about the bottle holder either - I think my bottle of water spent more time rolling around on the deck than in the holder, but again, that would be an easy fix with a retainer of some sort glued or screwed in.
But that seat issue would be a deal breaker for me, honestly I don't even want to rent one again.
What broke was the black ring or eyelet that protrudes from the side of the hull (inside - where the strap is supposed to be fastened too). The guy at the shop was apologetic and said he'd get it fixed right away - in fact he even had a spare or two right there in the shop, but ... it's just a plastic eyelet that is pressed into the hull (I think? vs threaded) I mean if it failed once I just don't have confidence in it anymore unless it could be proven to have been defective. I would think at a minimum they should be metal, I'd have more faith in that, but not a small and thin plastic eyelet - just not strong enough for a 230lb or so guy like me.
The funny thing is I thought the seat was actually quite comfortable - I've read a few posts by folks who didn't care for the seat, but I thought it was nice until that piece broke.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:29 pm 
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Wanted to point out a simple observation, not that it will really help anyone, but here goes. Interestingly, on the Oasis and I think any other Hobie Kayak with the twist and stow rudder, (Outback, Revo etc.), the rudder needs to be locked in the down position. On the Compass, you need to lock it in the up position but as far as I know, not in the down position? I think this is correct but I'm not positive.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:29 am 
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The Compass rudder does not need to be locked into position. It only locks in when up.

I broke both seat clips on mine, but have not experienced issues after several outings with the replacements. These were identified as an issue on the first releases, but certainly the replacement I received from my Hobie dealer is an improvement.

The seat is comfortable on extended trips. I think a more raised position would be slightly better for a long-legged person such as myself, but I have no issues on thw water for 5-6 hours and my back is not great. For some reason, my back actually feels BETTER after being on the kayak for a few hours. Weird!

Anyway, I hope you have a better experience if you go out again. My trip with the broken seat really made me question the Compass, but I have discovered it is an awesome kayak.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:58 am 
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Thanks for the reply and well wishes roastman. Next time I will be quite a bit more prepared and I do expect it will be much better :)
Sorry your seat clips broke as well, though I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. As you say, it must have been an early issue, if the new eyelets are stouter it would change my view on the Compass dramatically.
Yeah, the seat was a funny thing for me too. I had read a few reviews where a lot of people didn't seem to like it much but honestly, it was very comfortable to me, until it broke of course.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:48 am 
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The seat pad-eye issue that the OP I think is referring to was a very early production boat – that insert pulled out because it wasn’t installed correctly in that early demo model. (they are threaded not pressed), and the issue was a result of fittings being installed without the correct threads being tapped first. With a new tap, and fresh fittings - these issues were resolved at the dealer level for a handful of early production Compasses, and now even those early re-worked boats are holding up perfect too. Just as a reference, this is the same system we used in every one of our kayaks for nearly a decade with seat back strap attachments, and we still do on all of our paddle kayak line with the exception of the Quests because they have Vantage chairs now (in 2015 we switched to the Vantage CT chair in Mirage kayak models and those clip onto a bar and the side straps are actually tethered to the seat bottoms not the hulls), so it's a tried and tested design.This isn’t an issue in production – you can have 100% confidence in the Compass.

Another thing to note – we ship our seats with the kayaks in two parts – they need to be assembled by the dealer / end user – so in order for the seat halves to bolt together the tension straps for the seatback mesh are left loose. Once the seat pivot bolts are installed it is important that those straps get tensioned. I’ve heard from other users and dealers that had less than glowing reviews about the comfort of the seat – but when I explain about properly tensioning of those straps – they try it again and are amazed at the difference.

I have heard the negative feedback about the cup holder being too shallow and certain water bottle falling over, we are looking at an accessory retainer that will be a simple upgrade, it's just shock-cord mounted across that cup holder area.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:15 pm 
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Actually have just recently purchased a new compass in January and the first out in it the seat attachment failed and i had to paddle 2 miles back to launch. I tired numerous times to screw it back in during the trip back in but it just kept pulling out with any pressure put on it. Interestingly enough my dealer did not seem to be aware of any issues with them and not sure they even knew how to fix them even though I informed them of some initial issues like such on early models. They put in a screw in pad eye gave it back to me and told me to try it again and if it doesn't work will have to contact Hobie. I unfortunately have not had a chance to get it back out and put it under pressure again but certainly don't wish for it to fail again. Luckily the Compass paddles pretty good.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:08 pm 
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Mr. B wrote:
Actually have just recently purchased a new compass in January and the first out in it the seat attachment failed and i had to paddle 2 miles back to launch. I tired numerous times to screw it back in during the trip back in but it just kept pulling out with any pressure put on it. Interestingly enough my dealer did not seem to be aware of any issues with them and not sure they even knew how to fix them even though I informed them of some initial issues like such on early models. They put in a screw in pad eye gave it back to me and told me to try it again and if it doesn't work will have to contact Hobie.
It is my understanding that the problem was caused by a faulty thread cutter. If true, a new standard pad-eye will not fix the problem. I recommend asking the dealer if this is a special corrective pad-eye. If not, the dealer should contact Hobie for proper corrective action -- before sending you out in the water again! If not, sit in the boat, pressing back against the seat and see if it holds up before going out. 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:30 am 
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The warranty department would send the new threaded eye and a tap to properly thread the hole. This was a problem due to a worn tap when we started up a new assembly line for Compass.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:04 pm 
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Mr. B wrote:
I unfortunately have not had a chance to get it back out and put it under pressure again but certainly don't wish for it to fail again. Luckily the Compass paddles pretty good.


Agree with Mr B, it's not a pleasant thing to have fail and yes, the compass does paddle pretty darned well. Strangely with the boat I rented, it wasn't that the padeye pulled out - the ring portion of the padeye actually broke and I assume it is plastic but I'm not certain. Seems a metal one would be more desirable.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:53 pm 
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The plastic eyes have been standard for many years on other Hobie kayaks and have not been known to fail. I suspect previous damage may have happened or the seat was improperly installed on the boat. Some dealers have set the seats in the floor rather than on the 4 pedestals. This could cause unusual loading to the strap system... as the designed geometry is exceeded.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Thanks for the response mmiller. Yep, as I mentioned it was a rental boat so hard to say what it might have endured before. They had a spare one in their shop so I imagine it was a quick fix for them. Just kind of sucks when it happens to you out on the water :) But, as mentioned before it is a very nice paddling boat as well.
It's funny, while out on the water I couldn't really position myself easily to take a good look, but all looked well and I kept trying to snap back in. Even when I got back to the dock I didn't see it at first, I mean the ring would reposition itself, where you couldn't see it was split. Anyhow, I still like the boat a lot, especially if that was just a one off and the paddle keeper could be reconfigured a bit and sounds easy enough to improve the cup holder. Those were my only gripes, otherwise the hull shape seems super and as I mentioned, I actually found the seat quite comfortable, (until the padeye of course).


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