On Wednesday, 13th January I posted an article at this Blog giving details of the Hobie Island Adventure Trimaran. (See Link below.) From the general tenor of my article I was pretty enthusiastic about the lightweight, single-seat, sit-on-top kayak that can be transformed into a sailing trimaran. I particularly liked the retractable amas that allowed easy access for the crew, to or from pontoons, quays and jetties. I also liked the patented ‘twist and stow’ rudder. Likewise I thought the unique Hobie Mirage pedal drive system was a great, because it could be used independently, or in conjunction with the sail. (This ingenious, extractible piece of equipment utilizes fins similar to those of a fish for propelling the vessel through the water.) The rig was pretty cool too, since reefing can be carried out almost instantaneously with little effort, simply by pulling a line attached to a furling drum.
Well, according to popular demand, Hobie Cat are about to release the Tandem version of the Hobie Island Adventure Trimaran. Although similar in appearance, the two boats are different. The Tandem, as the name implies, has room for a crew of two, but she is a longer and heavier trimaran, incorporating features of the smaller boat. With a heavier payload, she has more sail area and more storage capacity, but attention will need to be paid to trimming her correctly, by balancing crew weight with cruising gear to ensure she sits on her designed waterline.
Two of them
In my opinion, both boats are best transported on purpose-built trailers. Indeed, the Tandem at 190 lbs could make car-topping difficult. Some might say it was bad enough car-topping with the 115 lbs Adventure Island. The difficulty of handling the Tandem off a beach during a bit of a blow was clearly demonstrated in a video taken during the WaterTribe Ultimate Challenge Race, 2010. Single-handing the Tandem if she ends up on the mud could be very awkward, as was explained in another video filmed during the Ultimate Challenge Race. (See my Youtube Playlist link below.)
So far, I have not seen a price quoted by any of the dealers, but here in the UK, a new Hobie Island Adventure Trimaran with the basic gear will set you back £3,175.00. My guess is that the Hobie Mirage Tandem Trimaran may be almost double the price.
If you are seeking thrills and speeds, both boats will do you well. For adventure expedition type situations, particularly in shallow waters, she should be pretty good, but not so good for situations where large breaking waves may be encountered. The disadvantage of both Hobie Trimarans mentioned above is exposure for the crew, even if they are well equipped with the appropriate clothing. For day sailing in sunny climes in semi-protected water, I think they would be great fun. Because the Tandem can be steered by either crew, she would make an ideal boat for tuition. She’s almost large enough to warrant a mooring and almost too big for launching on a regular basis for day sailing, which makes her an in-between boat.
P.S. I forgot to mention that both trimarans can be equipped with the latest electric propeller drive, supplied by Hobie Cat, the ‘eVolve’.
Statistics of the Hobie Mirage Tandem Trimaran
Length Overall: 18' 6" / 5.64 m
Ama Length: 13' 4" / 4.06 m
Width W/ Amas Out: 10' / 3.05 m
Width W/ Amas Folded in: 4' / 1.22 m
Width (hull only): 30" / 0.76 m
Mast Height: 18' / 5.49 m
Sail Area : 90 sq. ft. / 8.4 m2
MirageDrive Weight x2: 6.6 lbs / 3 kg
Rigged Weight: 190 lbs. / 86.18 kg
Capacity: 600 lbs. / 272 kg
My Article about the Hobie Island Adventure Trimaran
My Hobie Mirage Tandem Trimaran YouTube Playlist
Features of Hobie Trimarans