Author Topic: Hobie Adventure Island  (Read 3317 times)

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Offline hoc

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Hobie Adventure Island
« on: June 06, 2012, 03:15:44 pm »
Well now that I've sorted my knee problems out and am sticking with the Island, I thought it would be a good time to post a review.

The Hobie adventure island is the only hybrid kayak/trimaran that I know of, and is the most interesting kayak fishing platform I’ve ever seen. I’ve been fishing with it for about a year now, and think I’ve put in enough time to have worked out all the nuances. I’ll split this review up into three parts, as – in my opinion – this boat functions in three distinct modes. Kayak, Outrigger, and Trimaran.


At the core of the Adventure Island is the Hobie Adventure kayak, their longest and fastest mirage-drive kayak, at 16′ long and 27.5″ wide. The Adventure is quite a joy to pedal compared to the other two forms this boat can take. It’s got a very low-profile stern, which combined with its long, sleek hull make it a very straight tracking, fast ride. I usually use it in this configuration when fishing small lakes and rivers, sometimes forgoing the mirage drive altogether and just paddling when it’s too shallow. I would be completely content using the boat in this manner all the time, the only real downside to this is that the adventure island has the internal mast bracing, as well as the two metal akas that are semi-permenant fixtures on the boat. These bring the kayak’s hull-only weight up to around 85lbs, and that is without the mirage drive, so you won’t be car topping this unless you are reasonably fit.

The storage on the kayak is pretty standard as far as cubic space below the hull, but the great feature that stands out with these Hobies is the twist-n-seal hatch. There is one between your legs for quick access while on the water, and one in the stern for storing extra gear for longer trips. In addition to these there is a standard, large bow hatch for camping gear, coolers, etc. To get the most out of these hatches you really should be using the Hobie Gear Bucket. This is a plastic bucket with dividers like a tackle box, that fits in either of the twist-n-seal hatches and is perfect for keeping food, sunscreen, tackle or anything else dry and close at hand. I use one bucket in each of the hatches, with my at-hand items in the centre hatch, and safety items in the stern hatch (spare rudder pins, throw line, etc). There are also two mesh pockets along the mid-gunnel as well, which can be used to hold things that you don’t mind getting wet.


This is my favourite configuration overall. Using the kayak with one of the outriggers (amas) “polynesian-style”. This is even better if you have one of the trampolines as well, because it gives you a huge working area to put rods, a paddle, fish, bait, you can even stand on it. The other benefit of this configuration is it gives you high stability with only a slight detriment to speed. This allows you to go into bigger seas without worrying too much about a capsize, and also adds to the comfort of staying in the kayak for long periods of time, as you can shift around easily to give your legs/butt a break. I will use this setup when fishing the ocean on calm, low-wind days when I will be on the water for at least a few hours. The extra set-up time needed to add the outrigger is enough that you want to make sure you aren’t bothering with it for a 30 minute trip.


Fully rigged this thing is a serious boat, capable of some serious speed if you have the winds for it. You can get up past 10 knots when the wind is right, and you can get to fishing grounds in a few minutes that normally take the better part of an hour. This has its advantages and disadvantages though, depending on what kind of fish you are targeting. For me, most of my ocean fishing is done on the bottom with bait, with very little trolling for pelagics, so I rarely have lines in the water when I sail. For those who do target higher in the water column, you can sail around all day having a blast with the added benefit of catching fish while you do it, I wish that was the case for me as well but its not. For fishing bottom you need to sail to your location, then reef the sail and start fishing. The outriggers sometimes can get in the way, as on any day that its worth sailing, that also means there will be some chop to the seas, and drifting and jigging isn’t always ideal in these waters. If its going to be really windy I’ll forego fishing altogether and just sail, which I hate to admit, is often more fun than fishing. The other downside to being fully rigged, is the amount of time it takes to get on the water. Depending on where you launch it can be a real pain in the ass. For me, I launch at a wharf usually and this means assembling the kayak in the water, which takes a long time. If you have a ramp or beach to launch from, it is MUCH easier. You can assemble the whole rig at your car on your cart, then wheel it down into the water, the two different launching methods are like night and day really.

Overall this is a great kayak fishing platform. It gives you a rock solid mirage drive kayak, with the option to stabilize poly-style with one outrigger for big water and standing, and on the days its too windy to fish you have an awesome sailing dinghy to mix things up.

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