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 Post subject: Lifespan of Inflatables
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 5:12 am 
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Hello all. I'm a day or two from pulling the trigger on the i11s. This comes after searching for about a year for the perfect personal watercraft for my needs. I've read all the info I can find about these Hobie inflatables and just really have one final question. (for now harhar) Has anybody had a Hobie inflatable (any model) for a few years with no serious degradation issues? I realize these are relatively new to the market.....

I plan to keep it indoors in a heated environment and maintain it very well.

My fishing buddy wants one too. He got so excited when I showed these to him that he's likely to pull the trigger before I actually do!

So, do they hold up well?


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 11:16 am 
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Location: Jaco, Costa Rica
If you do a search online there are a couple reviews from different folks. One used one as their secondary exploration boat on their sailboat trips and for camping. Although they loved it, they talk about having to fix leaks at different times and would suggest a hard shell kayak instead.
I would agree. As attractive as these inflatables look. A light Hobie kayak like the Revolution 11 in my mind is still the way to go. Far more versatile and safe for rougher conditions. The only time I would consider an inflatable a solution would be for air travel to far away destinations. But even then it would be a pain to travel with all the necessary equipment for fishing. So not much of a solution in my mind, better to find a rental.
I guess if you don't have the space for a hard shell kayak to store. Or you have absolutely no way to access a location by carrying a hard shell in special circumstances. Then you would might find the inflatable the solution. I'm looking for someone to tell me otherwise???
I love this photo of a Revo 11 being transported in the back of a car.

Image

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Tandem Island- 2013
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 12:54 pm 
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Roytoy wrote:
Has anybody had a Hobie inflatable (any model) for a few years with no serious degradation issues?

/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=57491 sez "very good" after 8 years

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My Hobie i12s... sailboat in a suitcase!


Last edited by daft on Fri May 20, 2016 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 2:25 pm 
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CR Yaker wrote:
I guess if you don't have the space for a hard shell kayak to store. Or you have absolutely no way to access a location by carrying a hard shell in special circumstances. Then you would might find the inflatable the solution. I'm looking for someone to tell me otherwise???
I love this photo of a Revo 11 being transported in the back of a car.

You can get hard shell modular take-apart kayaks and SUPs that will let you close that trunk and park more safely, like at a motel. I have one but don't even use it anymore. The manufacturer just sent me a "2 for price of one" offer to clear out old stock, and I wasn't tempted. Hard shells seem like soul-less but practical tools to me even tho I have built 2 out of wood. Can't sprawl at random all over them, but typically channeled to sit just so. Inflatos have an amusing lively feel in waves with bob and a hint of flex... well, granted the high freeboard can push you around in strong winds, but the i11s doesn't have freeboard.

I bet those mirage drive hardshell's give awesome performance, but without storage room for one I can't ethically take a test drive for comparison. Millions of us have traded off storage space for an econo high rise on the water. Thru our little rickety elevator I carry a slew of inflatable SUPs, kayaks, and even multi passenger dedicated sailboats like a 14' inflato catamaran that scares me with it's sporty power. I guess inflatos give me sort of an anti-hero rush, like when being scorned in the early days of paragliding by hang gliders. Show the skeptical curmudgeons what unlikely things can be done without rigidity. Having fun although not always looking cool or efficient to amused onlookers.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 3:21 pm 
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Thanks for the responses. I do have a garage, and I have a 19 foot Champion bass boat in it. The thing that attracts me to the i11s is that I also have a 1991 Honda CRX that gets 50 mpg. I thought it would be neat to go harvest a basket of bluegills on a thimble full of gas. I used to do bass tournaments and that sport will put you in the poorhouse real quick. I just think it would be fun to catch fish on the cheap once in a while. After the initial expense of the Hobie, that is.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 1:08 pm 
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Well, I'm going to sit in a Revolution 11 tonight. I guess it would be light enough to put on top of my Tahoe. I think its 57 lbs without the drive in it.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 9:46 pm 
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Here is a hazard that calls for a hard shell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvnx4M293oU

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 9:04 pm 
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CR Yaker wrote:
If you do a search online there are a couple reviews from different folks. One used one as their secondary exploration boat on their sailboat trips and for camping. Although they loved it, they talk about having to fix leaks at different times and would suggest a hard shell kayak instead.
I would agree.

You must be referring to this toxic old review http://roadslesstraveled.us/hobie-i14t-kayak-review/ that seems loaded with red flags about issues that are either obsolete or of their own making. Here is the comment you refer to, which was based on storing it constantly exposed in Mexico:

Quote:
For tropical cruisers spending more than one season in the tropics, I would recommend taking a long look at a hard shell tandem Hobie rather then the inflatable.

I say "toxic review" because feigns enthusiasm while listing supposed problem after problem. I can almost understand you "agreeing" with this damning-with-faint-praise, except it is the opposite of my brief Hobie inflato experience (maybe still 18 months more than you). They did remind me of a drawback of hardshell in often being more tippy... my last long hardshell trip riding wavetops lengthwise like a tightrope drove my lower back crazy with the adjustments every second.

Anyway, they have the old i14 design with a bow hatch compartment with similar complaints about leaks in this forum. I believe Hobie phased that compartment out in 2014 for that reason, although my 2015 i12 has an apperently similar design which gives me joy and no problems yet. The only other hull failures they reported were D ring anchors peeling off in the tropical heat (they didn't say how long it was sun exposed before fashioning a cover). Actually I worry about that here in the subtropics, but haven't encountered it yet.

They complain about the old seat design which I agree with, but that is history. They complain about the bag sturdiness and bulkiness, which I don't find at all. My possibly newer design bag has no wheel or durability problem after a lot of miles being it's only transportation... rarely in a vehicle. They fold the yak all wrong, lumping the high stern almost on top of the high bow instead of crossing them like even the 2012-2014 manual shows. Maybe it is from a pre-2012 world where possibly no folding directions were made yet and that led to distorting the bow compartment into leaks?

I found that review linked to in a new for-sale ad here quoted below, with again a claim of excellent condition after 5 years. I could also find that review in a google search which had umpteen rave reviews of Hobie inflatables, but granted they were generally only first impressions.

pyoung129 wrote:
I have the yellow Mirage 2011 i14T Inflatable Tandem with Sail, bought new in 2011. It is in excellent condition with no leak;

My 2015 Hobie with accessories so far looks almost new under the dirt (no ability to rinse) except for some side-grinding from launching/retrieving along a gritty concrete wall. My first inflato was a specially ruggedized SUP with about double thickness material... horribly heavy and stiff to deal with for no benefits, other than addressing false durability stereotypes of this naive buyer.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:30 am 
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2 - 2009 i9s that have never had a puncture or leak. Take care of them and they will take care of you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:26 am 
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The i11 is a durable product, however here's some tips for prolonging the life of your iSeries kayak:

* Store in a cool/dry place. Storing in extreme heat and/or high humidity conditions may cause the seams to delaminate.
* Clean surfaces of saltwater and sand before storage.
* Deflate before storage.
* Apply UV Hobie UV Protectant:
Image

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:08 am 
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HStrech wrote:
The i11 is a durable product, however here's some tips for prolonging the life of your iSeries kayak:
* Apply UV Hobie UV Protectant:


How often would one apply the UV protectant?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:36 am 
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Applying UV protectant once monthly is a good rule of thumb.

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Associate Product Manager - Fishing Accessories
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:33 am 
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So, in my case it was 4 seasons. I live in ct. The seam around the well detached, and a big seam under the hobie emblem went the same day. I have pictures posted under " catastrophic seam failure" . Having said that, it was a great kayak while it lasted. Cheers, brianc


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:27 am 
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Location: Oregon Coast
Brianc wrote:
So, in my case it was 4 seasons. I live in ct. The seam around the well detached, and a big seam under the hobie emblem went the same day. I have pictures posted under " catastrophic seam failure" . Having said that, it was a great kayak while it lasted. Cheers, brianc


just to clarify, "4 seasons" means 4 years as you reported buying the boat new in 2012 and having the seam failure in 2016. I'm not sure what model you have but based on the pictures the construction around the drive well doesn't look anything like that of my i11s.

i11s hull bottom at drive well:
Image

cheers, roger

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:11 pm 
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Hi roger, No, my kayak does not look like yours. It is an i12, and it has been fished heavily. I have a friend who bought the identical kayak, on the same day. His is still pretty too, takes it out a few times a year. Hobie has my kayak, there is no dispute over provenance. If you take a knife and open open up the bottom, you will find a 3/8 inch seam that holds the floor to the well. They are all built like that. On the same day that went, the big seam under the hobie decal went. So, in talking to hobie i have learned that moisture is not good for inflatables. And taking it out in the sun is bad too. I try to keep it dry, but i love the water, what to do?. Having said all that, it was a great kayak. Incredibly stable in rough water. saw more sunsets than anyone deserves. The kayak has had other problems, but My feeling was that these kayaks are an experiment we all participating in. That 3/8 inch seam is a huge design flaw that severely limits the life of that boat. Cheers, brian


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