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Topic: Hobie PA12 review  (Read 3333 times)

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Zee

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Now that I've had some good time riding and fishing the PA12 I was hoping to share some of my experiences.

First, I've ridden the PA14 on a few occasions and I wasn't too impressed with what I wanted to fish it in. It was really big and hard to handle and in the water just didn't quite have the speed I was looking for. There was a lot of space but didn't really feel like I needed all that real estate. Don't get me wrong, If I were a full on Basscar fan, it would be my ride but I don't hit the poison water often enough to get one. When I got my eyes on the PA12 when in development I was intrigued.

I'd only gotten some photos to look over and from the looks of it, it was close to the same deal. When I got the low down and the specs came through things looked more interesting. All the good things of the PA in a package that was easier to handle and most likely a more efficient pedaler. Then I got a test run.

Right out of the gate my first impression was how fast it was. Yes, it was nearly as stable as the 14 and to be expected but the speed (or better yet it's pedaling efficiency) that really got me excited. When I got it into current it was blasting along almost as good as the Adventure. Then in a later model I got to see how the hatches were, built in, Fishfinder trans was implemented and rod holders were laid out. This really got me stoked and couldn't wait to fish it. On my first few hours I was pretty impressed. You sit pretty high in the PA12 and you'd figure it would be tippy but the hull balances it out well. The bow is exactly what I'd like to see on all Hobies and blasts up and out of waves instead of through them. My Hobie brothers know of what I speak. The big rudder and turning radius also make this boat a pleasure in big water. It is more than enough for saltwater and having a 1' turning radius is really helpful around kelp etc.. And finally the seat is just really, well... ridiculous is all I can come up with. Obviously no wet butt but extremely comfortable. We fished from 5am to 3pm and no fatigue. You really gotta try it to appreciate the comfort.

When I brought it to the ORC I finally fished it with some other Hobie regulars and was impressed with how it measured up with the others. I was fishing with Ron (PelagicPedaler) and Jeff (Rawkfish) and never felt like I was dragging butt. In fact, Jeff in his Revo and I had a quick 50 yard dash and came out pretty much even. All those out there know how much current was in the water that day the PA12 handled it like a real Hobie kayak. That was pretty much all I needed to make this a regular in my quiver.

The few things I see the PA12 not doing well are surf launches and portaging over tough terrain. The PA12 is also still really wide and you can't just sling it over your shoulder and shimmy down dirt, rock, drift wood strewn hill with ease. While it still is harder to handle than a kayak it's positives definitely weigh it all out. It's a great little fishing boat and see it being used heavily in the future.

By all means, take it for a test pedal and find out for yourself! Would love to hear some other feedback and answer any questions.

Thanks for the pics Jeff!


« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 09:17:52 PM by Zee »
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Rory

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IslandHoppa

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Bridgeman

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Zee...you've got me thinking and hoping I didn't make a mistake in buying my PA 14.  As a newbie to the sport, my biggest concern was stability on the open water.  While I will use my 14 in some lakes, I plan on putting in most of my time in the Sound and Coastal waters.  I can definitely see the portability and speed issues compared to say a Revo or Outback. I think I can live with that…

Did you get a chance to drive the 14 in open water?

You mentioned seeing the difficulty of surf launches with the 12. Do you mean portability or blasting through the waves?

I wish I would have read this / talked with you before my recent purchase.  I have an older (1999) Mirage Classic that someone gave me and have had it out and was not comfortable with the instability as a newbie.  I fear I would have did more than my share of swimming with a platform like the earlier Classics.

Bottom Line Question:  Will the PA 14 make a good open water fishing yak?

Thanks for putting up with my questions.  ;D


OlySpec

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Bridgeman...

As a PA 14 owner, I will say that it is a great open water kayak.  I have surf launched, did 22.5 hours on the ocean at ORC, had it on lakes and the sound.  I have not found a condition that it cannot handle.  I don't have the experience on other yaks due to my weight, but can tell you that I love my PA. 

The only time I don't like it is when I have a long beach pull back up after a day of fishing.  It is very heavy......again.....very heavy.  Slow...hmm....yeah a bit, but I am not out for speed.  I was able to get north of Depoe and hang in the 3kt currents with the rest of them, it just took me longer to get up there.

I would love to check out the 12 sometime though to see how it feels after owning the 14.
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Zee

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Zee...you've got me thinking and hoping I didn't make a mistake in buying my PA 14.  As a newbie to the sport, my biggest concern was stability on the open water.  While I will use my 14 in some lakes, I plan on putting in most of my time in the Sound and Coastal waters.  I can definitely see the portability and speed issues compared to say a Revo or Outback. I think I can live with that…

Did you get a chance to drive the 14 in open water?

You mentioned seeing the difficulty of surf launches with the 12. Do you mean portability or blasting through the waves?

I wish I would have read this / talked with you before my recent purchase.  I have an older (1999) Mirage Classic that someone gave me and have had it out and was not comfortable with the instability as a newbie.  I fear I would have did more than my share of swimming with a platform like the earlier Classics.

Bottom Line Question:  Will the PA 14 make a good open water fishing yak?

Thanks for putting up with my questions.  ;D
No worries BM. I lent my PA12 to a dealer so won't have it for a bit but when it comes back I'll let you know and we could meet for a spin out there. Until then, just for giggles, you might want to test pedal the 12 at a dealer. If you end up liking it I'm sure someone out there would love to buy a 14. On that, like Olyspec said, it is not a bad boat. It was just a little off my liking. I had the 14 in the sound a few times and it definitely works. Just a little too much boat than I wad looking for. Real men like OS can handle it no worries! ;)

About surf launches I see the paddling a difficult part of the PA series. They're so wide and you sit so high that it becomes a challenge. Can it be done? Yep. Check out YouTube. Would it be the one I choose to surf launch. Probably not. I've become one of those "right tool for the job" kind of kayak fisherman over the years.

So to answer your question about the 14 being a good open water boat, only you can decide. OS rocked it like a champ and he gave a great review. Give it some time and you'll know for sure.
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Zee

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OlySpec

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I absolutely believe that this boat will be destined for non-surf launches after I lose enough to get into a Revo comfortably; however, for Depoe, Westport marina, and others with very little surf, I love having the deck space, stability, rod storage, etc...
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Rory

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Yeah!! Pics of the rigging yet??

Not yet. Still waiting for this BS storm to abate. Gonna rig it up tonite in hopes of doing some inshore tomorrow. Suuuuper stoked.


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Zee,
was wondering about the seat height when i saw you in earlier pictures on it. there's not a lower position at all?


Zee

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Zee,
was wondering about the seat height when i saw you in earlier pictures on it. there's not a lower position at all?

There are 2 positions and that was the low one.
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micahgee

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Bridgeman...

As a PA 14 owner, I will say that it is a great open water kayak. I have surf launched, did 22.5 hours on the ocean at ORC, had it on lakes and the sound.  I have not found a condition that it cannot handle.  I don't have the experience on other yaks due to my weight, but can tell you that I love my PA. 


Where have you surf launched? I wouldn't classify half moon bay at Westport as a surf launch considering there are not multiple rows of breakers to punch through. Have you launched your PA in unprotected (ie not half moon bay) surf?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 07:19:56 PM by micahgee »
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OlySpec

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Went back to S. Ocean shores and played.  Wasn't big, but got the hang of mounting, paddling, clipping in.....  Sure, it was not PC or anything, but I am confident the PA will make PC on a nice day easily.  I will be doing Hobuck later in the year and hopefully the group will have a surf play day coming up soon to do some PA surf video :)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 07:28:52 PM by OlySpec »
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micahgee

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Is that inside of the sunken jetty or the open pacific?
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OlySpec

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inside the sunken jetty.....Yeah, still not the same as rolling up on the beach and going for it I guess. 
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