Hobie Forums

i9 or i12
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Author:  MRK [ Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  i9 or i12

Hi Everyone from Melbourne Australia
Visited my local Hobie distributor today - great service - very helpful.
Can someone please give me some advice whether to purchase i9 or i12. I currently own an Adventure which I want to sell and purchase an inflatable - because of space restrictions and travelling convienience.
I am 200 lbs - 6 foot - want to add the sail kit.
Any advice would be appreciated

Author:  Roadrunner [ Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: i9 or i12

Hi MRK and welcome to the forum.

This depends on your needs and priorities. Your height and weight are not a concern for either one.

The i-9 is like a little pocket rocket. It's loads of fun, handles nicely, travels lighter and smaller than the i-12 and does all the same things. You can stand, take a nap, sail, paddle and pedal.

The i-12, on the other hand, has a huge cargo bay and is ideal for transporting and carrying gear like scuba tanks, passengers, groceries etc. It makes a great rescue vehicle or expedition craft. It's a little faster than the i-9 but compared with your Adventure, you'll find both are quite a bit slower.

They both have a 36" beam and excellent stability, but the i-9 tapers toward the bow and has no forward compartment (not that it is very usable). Both have good power and directional control against the wind and chop though. Both are very stable sailers.

As with all Hobies, I like the large rudder and Turbofins with either, not only for better handling and performance, but both are essential for sailing IMO. 8)

PS Both have quite a bit of weather helm sailing and benefit from raking the mast forward, especially the i-9. Since the inflatable masts are stayed, it's easy to accomplish.

Author:  Thinwater skinner [ Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: i9 or i12

Since the inflatable masts are stayed, it's easy to accomplish.

What does "masts are stayed" mean? You guessed it I am not a sailor.

Author:  Roadrunner [ Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: i9 or i12

No doubt, sailors invented their own language out of months of boredom at sea. There are always at least two terms for everything, three commands and four spellings. As soon as you learn one you're still in the dark.

The mast supports the sail. Most Hobie kayak masts simply drop in a small tube and are free standing. With the inflatables this is not feasible so the mast base steps (or rests) in a shallow pocket with nothing to hold it up. So it is supported by three lines or stays, forming a triangle. The one in front is called the fore stay, but the side stays are more commonly known as shrouds. Most sailboats use stays and shrouds to support the mast. You can see them in action below:


Leaning or raking the mast forward (as illustrated here) changes the balance of the boat and reduces weather helm. This helps keep the boat from heading up into the wind on its own initiative and improves rudder control. The un-stayed Hobie masts are not able to do that.

In case you're wondering, Hobie's inflatable sail kits are not interchangeable with the regular kayak sail kits because of the built in stays and slightly different mast lengths. 8)

Author:  gunnstein [ Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: i9 or i12

Roadrunner wrote:
As with all Hobies, I like the large rudder and Turbofins with either, not only for better handling and performance, but both are essential for sailing IMO.

Hi, I'm considering an inflatable or non-inflatable for pedaling and sailing. Thanks for the pictures and info. I'm concerned about the idea of attaching a rigid pedal setup to an inflatable - won't the flexing steal a lot of the pedaling power, and cause wear where the stresses are transferred from the pedals to the hull? Won't the large Turbofins with their increased required torque make the problem worse? It seems you have tried both inflatables and rigids, it'd be great to hear your opinion on this.

(From what I've seen here the Hobie company provides great support for their products - but as I'm living far from any dealer it is a hassle to access that support.)

Author:  Roadrunner [ Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: i9 or i12

That's a good question. The "drivewell" for the inflatables is made of one piece rigid nylon. This is bonded top and bottom to the hull as shown here (you can see its footprint on the bottom of the hull -- the holes are where the cart legs insert):
This piece does not flex at all and is well supported both top and bottom.

Inside, the air chambers are structurally laced to keep their shape, even if not fully inflated. When I borrowed the i14T I was screwing around while waiting for my tandem partner, and just for fun let the air out of both sides to see just how rigid the boat really was. As you can see here, there is virtually no sag and I am still pedaling away with only the center chamber inflated!

When pedaling (I always use Turbos) there is a small amount of heave just behind the well, but no slop. There was no power robbing mushiness, side to side sway, twisting or harmful effects that I noticed. Remember, this material is designed to fold, so any small movement is no big deal. It isn't even noticeable unless you're looking for it. I don't think it's anything to be concerned about. Dissipation of energy? Keeping in mind that these are not exactly racing hulls, I would say insignificant. There is plenty of power to spare -- here's a pic of my daughter and I running upstream on the Salt River in an i14, towing this exhausted paddler while he takes a break:

Hardshell vs. inflatable: They both have their strong points. I like to go fast, so the Adventure is my all time favorite boat. For traveling though, inflatables are the only way to go. They're also superior for storage in limited space and for just throwing it inside your car, truck or van and forgetting about all the racks and overhead loading. Even with my compact extended cab truck they lock inside right in behind the front seat. Shown here are the i9 and i12 stowed behind the passenger seat:

Pedal, paddle or sail with an inflatable -- amazing! 8)

Author:  gunnstein [ Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: i9 or i12

Great feedback, thanks a lot for your time! This is very useful.

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