HOBIE MIRAGE TANDEM ISLAND
The Hobie Mirage Tandem Island is truly pushing the definitions enjoyment out on the water on small craft, being neither pure sailboat nor paddle powered.
Not only does it have enough sail area to comfortably break seven knots, Hobie’s patented Mirage 180 drive system uses your most powerful muscles to paddle – your legs, meaning you can paddle faster and for longer in these typically beamy types of ‘sit-on-top’ kayaks. This tandem also, unusually, performs just as well in solo mode with all controls being accessible from both seating positions.
It doesn’t take much imagination to think of the numerous scenarios the Tandem Island would excel in, but one of the more enjoyable discoveries I found was the ability to paddle through the tack, something that catamaran sailors will appreciate in particular.
The set-up time from go to whoa is also impressive, as Hobie has paid close attention to the assembly detail meaning you can be in the water in less than 20 minutes from arriving at the carpark. The weight (84kg) and length (2.9m) of this kayak will really test your roof rack, so make sure it’s rated for the load and don’t underestimate the effort to get it on and off your roof. You may be well advised to invest in either a trailer or roof-mounting system.
There are more moving parts and potential points of failure which for some will mean they will be cautious about giving up their catamaran or sea kayak, but this is a small consideration, especially given the inherent redundancy offered in this hybrid design.