The puff of wind hits and the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island's leeward ama chisels into the water, its efficient, square-topped mainsail immediately translating increased wind speed into extra boat speed. The Tandem Island's two-piece carbon-fiber rig minimizes weight aloft—thus stiffening the ride—and both cockpits are fitted with steerage and sail-handling controls, allowing sailors of all abilities to share the experience. Best yet, the Tandem Island is equipped with enough hatches and on-deck stowage for multi-day escapes.This is Hobie's ultimate blue water hunter, capable of marlin-teasing trolling speeds.
Now outfitted with dual MirageDrive 180s with new Kick-Up Fin Technology.
Read and submit reviews for the Mirage® Tandem Island.
My wife has two bad knees from too many skiing accidents. We tried this kayak at a demonstration. That was the first night she was able to sleep without pain in her knees. We purchased this used kayak in 2015. Since then we have taken it to many lakes in northern California. Placing and removing this 95 pound beast on and off the truck is not an easy chore. Once the kayak is on the water it is GREAT. I refer to it as a tug boat it is so stable and powerful. I purchased longer fins for one of the mirage drives which really provides much greater power. When camping I often get up early to get on the water before sunrise. I have no problem using a cart to roll the kayak to and from the water by myself. Once on the water the kayak glides along with just one person in the back. The ability to peddle while holding a sandwich in one hand and a beverage in the other is quite convenient. The only reason I didn't give this kayak five stars is the weight. I will likely buy another one if this one is ever damaged beyond repair.
I love this boat. Yes, boat. Can't even get the other kayakers from the kayak club to call it a kayak, lol. It gets looks and compliments everywhere it goes. I tell folks "it's the Swiss Army Knife of kayaks." Everything it does, it does well. I use mine primarily for sailing and fishing, and was Initially surprised at how easy it "peddles" through the water for a "kayak" that weighs about 250#, even when solo, which is how I take it out 95% of the time. Ramp launch/ recovery takes about 15 minutes. Beach/ surf/ shoreline launch and recovery about 45 minutes but that is breaking it down into pieces which doesn't have to be done with some of the bigger dollies. There is nothing that comes close to the versatility of this thing, and with aftermarket trampolines that stretch over the outriggers, there's plenty of room for extra passengers, fishing and even camping gear. It loves fair and foul weather. My favorite sailing is in 15-25 mph winds with 2-4' waves- really puts the boat through its paces and it eats it like candy. Though I've heard some have, I've never taken it out in single hull mode. Always with the outriggers and sail though sometimes the sail starts out strapped to the outriggers. It turns surprisingly well if you concentrate the fin sweeps at the centerline. I have found it can make about a 20' diameter circle- not bad for an 18' kayak.
We purchased our Red Hibiscus 2016 Tandem Island a little over a year ago, in mid 2017. My wife and I are the primary users, and we are mid 50's. As others have pointed out, it is a bit expensive, and we waited until we located a year end model at a Hobie dealer located on our way to the beach. Our first experiences were in Wolf Bay, in Orange Beach, AL. I already had experience surf launching large (Jackson Kayak Kracken 13.5) and knew better than to attempt surf launches until I was really confortable with the kayak.
Prior to owning the TI, we had never sailed. The learning curve has been easy, but I started slowly, and have sailed conservatively as the skills build. We have sailed the kayak in Lake Lanier, GA and in Wolf Bay, Orange Beach, AL for the past year and truly love the kayak. We intend to sail a little in the Gulf a little this year, and camp if we have opportunity.
We intended to also use the TI as a tandem sit on top kayak, but every time we have opportunity to get on the water, we prefer to sail it. The options of paddling, pedaling and sailing right out of the box produce an extremely flexible system where I don't worry about light winds and calm - we can always pedal. In fact, we pedal as we sail in ligh winds quite often and enjoy the exercise.
We have experienced no major issues with the TI. We have experienced a broken rudder pin that after researching I attribute to my loading and unloading onto the ladder track on my truck. If I am not careful, the rudder (and rudder pin) are stressed quite a bit as I load and unload the kayak.
We take a waterproof speaker and play music as we sail - it just doesn't get any better!
The sail rig is great for when you have wind, and it comes with outriggers to keep you upright. A 25 mile trip is quite easy in this boat.
As a kayak, without the sail rig and outriggers, it is still a fun boat. It has a bit of freeboard, so bring the sail rig on windy days.
With the sail rig, it's nice and stable, and will perform as expected, speedy a little leg effort on the Mirage drive with the sail out and you can get a long way. It is great for island hoping in coastal waters, a 25 mile trek is not a big deal.
Without the sail rig, it's a heavy, long boat. It will haul a lot, and, again, Hobie's Mirage drive make it really easy to get around, 6 to 10 miles are no sweat.
Without the Mirage drive and rudder and a little breeze, and shallow water, it gets weather cocked like crazy and starts to become what you would expect of a 18' 6" boat with lots of freeboard, just like a canoe.
What I really like about the TI (Hobie Tandem Island) is the support from Hobie. They have a great set of forums to post questions, modifications, repairs, etc.
It's a great boat, especially because you can take someone out for a ride with you.
That said, I still love my wood 17' Chesapeake from CLC, I just don't want to ever have to choose just one boat.