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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:50 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 8:49 pm
Posts: 3
We've had our i14t for about a year. We've upgraded the rudder to the sailing version and got turbo fins. With a few trips under our belt we set out with dry bags, wetsuits, and friends into the North Pacific.

The Broken Group Islands are in Pacific Rim National Park, North of Victoria BC. The summer weather here is usually in the high 50's to low 70's. Water temps are in the 50's. Fog can last for days and sunny days result in gales in the outer channels and >3' swells that shear and white cap. Camping is usually on the beach or in old growth forests in sheltered bays and meandering channels. It is a tour kayaker's paradise. It's probably in the top 10 places in the world to tour kayak. Go.

We did this adventure in mid August as the two summer months bring the most dependable weather. Our friends rented a big tandem boat from a nearby lodge and joined us on an epic adventure where we really tested the i14t as a touring boat.

Morning we usually calm and cloudy but the mid day sun caused the winds in the exposed channels to pick up. Thank goodness for the Hobie's self bailing design; we had water coming in on all sides but the boat handled everything with ease and grace, although in these conditions thin wetsuits on sit-on-top kayaks are a good idea. We find the inflatable design inherently stable and capable, although it gives you pause to be around the barnacle and mussel covered cliffs and landing sites, it's a bit disconcerting being relatively isolated with an inflatable (although I must admit the boat itself has never given me cause for concern, but I wonder if the rigid tandems offer more durability and cargo space while maintaining the inflatable's stability and seaworthiness? Anyone care to comment?).

All in all, the Hobie performed like a champ, we were able to bring 5 days worth of food and clothing, a tent, two sleeping bags, AND about 8 gallons of fresh water. Granted we could of used a larger rear cargo area, like the i12t has, but with careful planning we were not lacking for space. The cart, which we always use during landings, and the hand pump required additional adhesive mounting points, and we noticed space under the occupants knees accommodate a 20L dry bag without interfering with peddling.

We encountered many different human powered boats on this trip but time and time again people (and seals and sea lions) gravitated to our setup, impressed with the simplicity and the technology. People were impressed that a 14 foot boat can be such a serious performer and offer such utility.

If it wasn't for the hands free nature of the mirage drive these pictures would be a lot more difficult to take... ... p_Is..html

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