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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
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Location: Escondido
I can understand your disappointment in not being able to get something that is otherwise available. What is it that you think the ARC 180 does that the straight 180 doesn't do? It looks cool and makes it easier to change pedal positions and that's it. Most users don't change pedal positions unless the Drive is shared, and performance isn't affected at all. I'm sure Hobie would like to have more ARCs available to sell -- that's how they make their money -- but there is apparently some manufacturing limitations with at least one of the components. Expanding production isn't always a simple matter with regard to capacity and quality control.

If you know Hobie, you know they are continually improving their equipment. That's a good thing -- otherwise we'd probably still be using the original Mirage Drive. The MD 180 is a 5th generation Drive and there have been dozens of improvements along the way. The nice thing for the customers is Hobie upgraded the 180 from V-1 to V-2 at no charge. That speaks a lot about how the company views its customers.

Regarding "better designs and technologies for much less", what are you referring to? I'd be interested as well. 8)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:38 am
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What can’t you understand? In the past couple of years Hobie has gone from assisting its customers to be able to upgrade, rather than making them purchase a new product each and every time they make a new design. This was a perk for Hobie kayak owners (getting upgraded fins, upgrading drives, etc). The capabilities of upgrading rather than purchasing a newer boat or drive every year made me purchase a Hobie (guess I came to the party late). Fact: 2017 Hobie stopped the capability to upgrading the 2016 Mirage Drive to the, which was new then, 2017 180 drive (would not issue parts, holding up sales that Hobie could have profited from, Why?) so that owners couldn’t upgrade. Now, they are not allowing the purchase of the ARC drive. Is Hobie feeling the competition so much from other designers that they have to make their customer pay dearly for each and every new design. What’s next? Hobie’s been in business how long? That they’ll let a part hold up sales? Could it be the difference in prices due to tariff changes might be affecting their ability to negotiate or get product? And, as for replacing the the faulty drives at their cost, why shouldn’t they? Placing product in the hands of the consumer to test drive (panic to get out a reverse drive out) a new design to see how it works, is wrong. Not to mention every New Hobie owner sitting on the shore waiting for their repaired drives. As for the design of the ARC drive, you can read the issues of crank arms that Hobie wasn’t addressing and an owner had to step up to do the redesign. So enters the new ARC drive. Did they make it to sell the 2018 Hobie Pro Angler? I think not. What company in their right mind would redesign what works in two years in three years, hell, five years? If you look at the design you can see they went with a tubular design over the old square design. Why? In most engineering circles you’ll see rounded surfaces can withstand more strain than square. I’m a true believer of this theory and do believe it may be a better product. Only time can tell. Now other boat designs. Let’s start with the Bonafide design, or let’s say the Feelfree Dorado, or maybe the Coosa FD, or how about the Nucanoe? These are just a few of the companies that are selling kayaks that are pocketing monies from what Hobie use to have as a majority of the market. So taking away the capability to upgrade diminishes the value of my purchase. It only leaves us to sell and purchase maybe another manufactures boat. Leaving Hobie without a sale. Selling my boat to someone that may have bought a new boat, and me buying a new designers boat, and giving him capital to sell more. Hobie looses both ways. What Hobie should do is go back to assisting it’s owners with being able to upgrade (like a printer, you’re always going to be buying those damn ink cartridges) and keep that in mind when redesigning. Most of all I’d like to see Hobie do a great hull design so that I could move all my accessories from my boat to the new shell some day (rails, rudder, seat, etc. think of the boat in a modular way). It would be a win win for all parties. Don’t get me wrong I love my Hobie, but the astronomical prices ($600 lawn chair) are getting out of hand and the turn over of new products leaving you a gasp that you didn’t wait a month for something you didn’t know was coming, is getting really old.

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Last edited by oldmaninthelake on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:12 pm 
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Location: Escondido
oldmaninthelake wrote:
What can’t you understand?
The only thing I don't understand is how you mis-read the first line of my post. I like the ARC crank arms -- they look good and it's very easy to change pedal positions. Having tried them and compared them with the straight version, I can assure you there is no difference in the operation between the two. That's not entirely true -- the ARCs have about one inch back sweep which adjusts your pedal position slightly. I agree with you that they are probably stronger (no reports of any breaking so far), but I am pretty sure you won't accidentally break your current crank arms any time soon -- all the 180s and GTs have upgraded crank arms -- it takes talent to break one. Of course, nothing is defect-free. BTW, you do realize your Drive IS upgradable -- as soon as the parts dept. can get some.

My main purpose in posting was to suggest possible alternatives to the theory that Hobie is deliberately trying to "upsell" their customers in order to get the latest goodies. There may be some legitimate reasons for the supply shortage. In any event, since your crank arms provide you with the same service as the unavailable ARCS, It just seems perhaps premature to sell your Hobies and buy one of the other pedaling products for that reason.

Speaking of which, I looked at the other companies you mentioned and can see there is a lot of competition. You might be interested to know there were a slew of pedaling options even when Hobie launched the Mirage Drive -- Sea Cycle, Wave Walker, Cadence, Water Bike, Hydro Bike, Hydro Cycle to name a few. I've owned a couple. Hobie has always operated in a competitive environment. They were one of the smaller kayak manufacturers when they started. Constant product innovation and taking care of their customers have been key to their success. I suspect they haven't lost sight of that.

You may or may not know that Hobie is one of the few kayak manufacturers that has a dedicated engineering department. Their job is to find ways to make Hobies better, stronger, lighter, more durable, easier to use, etc. If Hobie makes a product change, it isn't necessarily because it had been defective. This is done continually, and often without announcements, especially for the small improvements such as stronger crank arms, stronger drums, more durable mesh pockets, new bungee hook design, etc. etc. 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:38 am
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Thanks, but It wasn’t mis-read. It’s strange that Hobie has dried up in the parts department. We maybe seeing the end of the Pro Angler altogether. This usually happens when a drastic change is about to happen. Minolta did the same thing, ran out of parts, wouldnt repair or replace items not under warranty. Then sold out to Sony. Maybe the Pro Angler will be the (Add Name Here) Water Rover. Also you suggesting the watercrafts you mentioned is far from competitors in this classifications of water craft. Although I could see myself on a Sea Cycle. My doctor would love it!

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