Most Recent Reviews
Just a follow-up on my June 2006 review. We have two…
We have two Hullavator's on our truck and two heavy Prijon Kayaks. Over two years and they have never missed a beat. Never had a latch or locking problem. They click into the down position and stay down until I release them with the handles. I have been able to handle heavy boats with relative ease and couldn't be much happier. The suggestion mentioned by one of the other users cured the whistle issue.
You must be careful of the rack if you have a plastic boat and handle it yourself. Ours are about 60 pounds and unless you are very careful of the rack, I wouldn't go with anything heavier.
The Hullavator's do what they are supposed to do, you just have to learn to let them help raise and lower the kayak. It takes a little getting used to, so don't panic or be hasty. One area I would like to see improved is a faster tie-down of the kayak to the Hullavator cradle bars. They are also heavy, so you will want to unhook and remove the Hullavator's before removing the rack system. It's actually quite easy. Another advantage of the Hullavator system is that it is easy to drop a boat down to access the cockpit, install covers, or clean the boat.
After our next outing, I'll report back if we have any more problems.
Quality is first class, no frills. The paddle is light, has good catch, power, release and great feel. Blade size is perfect for my paddling cadence and the length is right. Pat also made a Full Tour Carbon Signature paddle for my wife and she loves it - from the first time she used it, she says it "feels like a natural extension of my (her) arms".
Very reasonably priced. If you call Pat, be patient. It's a one man shop. When he does talk to you, he will pay attention and guide you through your options. He really knows paddles.
The Good - The paddle is fairly light and with synthetic cork handlebar tape, it is comfortable to use. It is three pieces, so it can be tucked away easily.
The Not So Good - It isn't very strong, so you need to be careful with it. The lock buttons can be lost easily - they are not captured in the paddle shaft very well...this could really be a problem. The blade shape is not too sophisticated and it is nearly impossible to paddle cleanly with this paddle - you will be pulling air under with most strokes and making a bunch of noise. The paddle doesn't have much catch, so aggressive paddling gets really sloppy and wastes a lot of energy. It isn't good enough to accept its weaknesses, nor strong enough for going where it get rough.
Steve tries hard to please with this paddle, but I just don't think it is worth it.
The kayak can definitely move quickly when peddled hard and fast, but not without considerable effort. The hull itself seems large and slow, so it's more of a production to move than a normal kayak.
We are used to sit-in kayaks and the Hobie is a sit-on-top. We couldn't feel the connection with the water that we are accustomed to with sit-in style boats. It was more like a faster, narrower peddle boat found on city lakes. The 'Hydro Sails' also cannot be used when the water gets shallow (18"+/-). Not a problem in some areas, but shallow water is a common problem in many of the lakes, rivers and tidal areas we frequent.
Paddling the Mirage is not really a way to get anywhere. The paddles are for backing and slow, tight maneuvering. The boat just wasn't built to be paddled (the rudder is controlled by hand and it IS NEEDED).
I guess what I'm saying is that it is shaped like a kayak, but is much different in practice.
Lastly, when we put it on our truck which is equipped with the Thule 'Glide 'N Set' racks, the bottom of the hull appeared soft and deformed a lot under its own weight (hull weight only).