Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hobie Island Adventure Trimaran

Those who have plenty of money and don’t mind parting with it, may consider buying a Hobie Island Adventure Trimaran. She’s a 16’ production, sit-on-top, lightweight sailing and paddling canoe fitted with retractable floats; she is also equipped with a Hobie Mirage pedal Drive unit and rudder system. Her dimensions are similar to the CLC Mill Creek 6.5 trimaran featured in yesterday’s Blog, but she differs considerably in construction and features. The Mill Creek is usually built by amateurs, either from a plywood kit or from raw materials, whereas the Hobie Island Adventure Trimaran is a plastic, factory produced canoe, made through the process of injection moulding.

The Hobie Island Adventure has several features lacking in the CLC Mill Creek 6.5, the most notable difference is her retractable floats, which enable her crew to bring the canoe alongside a pontoon and step ashore. Unless the owner of the Mill Creek modifies her by installing a Hobie Mirage Drive, as did Kellan Hatch, the only secondary means of propulsion is a paddle. Sail is the primary means of propulsion for both boats, but the crew of the Hobie can very easily reef his sail, simply by pulling a line. That is a tremendous advantage over the Mill Creek 6.5, unless the builder incorporates an equivalent system. Pedalling the Mirage Drive unit is not as taxing as paddling with a single or double-bladed paddle, and it is far more efficient. In light winds her crew can power-sail the trimaran, and if she stalls when tacking, a few rotations of the pedals will bring her round. A very unusual, but useful feature is her ‘Twist and Stow’ rudder, which stows on the aft deck, where it is less likely to be damaged, especially when landing on a beach. She also has a dagger board for good windward performance. Fishermen can used her built-in slots for stowing their rods, and her crew can keep a flask handy in the special recession moulded into the hull for that purpose. There’s also provision for a double wheel buggy that slots into the hull for making portages easy.

The big drawback of the Hobie Island Adventure Trimaran is exposure. Her crew is subjected to spray and douching by the odd wave as the boat makes to windward when there is a bit of sting in it. Dry storage is another problem, which is not the case with the Mill Creek 6.5, since she has ample dry space below her decks. I would imagine there is not much difference in overall speed between them, but I fancy the cheaper plywood canoe would be the more comfortable and protective vessel. For use in cold climes the crew of the Hobie would need to wear high quality protective clothing to minimize the effects of hypothermia, but the Mill Creek’s crew may get away with wearing a standard anorak as he sits comfortably in the cockpit fitted with a spray cover. The Hobie wins hands down, when it comes to maintenance, which amounts to the occasional polish. As to making a choice, the potential owner has to weigh the matter carefully. In my case the choice would be determined by how much money I would have available at the time, because if I had sufficient I would buy the Hobie, mainly because of her retractable floats which makes getting in and out of her easy and cuts down the amount of time required for preparing the trimaran prior to having a sail.


There are several outlets offering Hobie Adventure Island Trimarans both in the US and the UK. Just Google for them, but you’ll find they’ll cost in the region of £3,000 in the UK and the equivalent in dollars in the US.

Hobie Sport Dimensions

Length: 16' 0" / 4.88 m |
Width (Amas Extended): 112 " / 2.84 m
Width (Amas Retracted): 42 " / 1.06 m
Weight: 115 lbs. / 52.12 kg
Capacity: 350 lbs. / 159 kg
Sail Area : 57.5 sq. ft. / 5.34 sq. m
Mast Height: 15' 2" / 4.62 m


Cheltenham Canoes

Cornwall Canoes

Hobie Kayaking

Video basic features

Video Hobie Adventure Island

1 comment:

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