Sailing a Hobie Kayak

Do you find yourself on the hunt for a used Hobie sailing kayak? Consider yourself fortunate! It’s not every day that you come across a deal like that on Craigslist. Hobie sailing kayaks are a rare find, and used options can be hard to come by. Opting for a pre-owned kayak is an excellent way to save some cash. Keep an eye out on websites like Kijiji, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace, and set up alerts to stay in the loop.

Alternatively, keep an eye out for dealer demo days, kayak trade shows, and symposiums, where you might score a lightly-used Hobie sailing kayak or sailing kit at a discounted price. These events often showcase floor models of Hobie sailing kayaks and sailing kits for sale. It’s a fantastic opportunity to not only try out the kayak before making a purchase but also engage in discussions about design aspects with industry experts and connect with other Hobie owners.

Before you dive in and make an offer on any used boat, take a moment to consider the following factors:

Research and Select

Ensure that the used kayak you are eyeing meets your paddling preferences. Prioritize researching the specific model to determine if it truly fits your needs. Take into account the type of water you plan to paddle on. While Hobie sailing kayaks are seaworthy, keep in mind that you’ll need sheltered launch and landing spots. If your intention is to primarily paddle with a traditional kayak paddle, you may want to explore more conventional recreational sit-on-top or sit-inside kayaks.

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Visual Inspection

Pay attention to the details. Conduct a thorough visual inspection of the used Hobie sailing kayak. Look out for any obvious damage to the hull (bottom), deck (top), and outfitting (seat, backrest, foot pegs, etc.). Scratches are typically not problematic, but be cautious of deep gouges that penetrate more than an eighth of an inch (3 mm) into the plastic. Additionally, be wary of noticeable warping in the hull.

Rig and Sails

Hobie sailing kayaks consist of various moving parts. Start by verifying that all the parts of the sails and rigging are present and in good working condition. Ideally, set up the sailing rig before committing to a purchase. Replacing ropes and bungees is relatively simple, but finding replacement parts for specific Hobie sailing kayak hardware might be challenging and require specialized tools and skills. Keep in mind that Hobie sailing kayaks also employ a pedal-drive propulsion system, which involves complex mechanisms. Make sure the pedals, drive shafts, and fins are in good working condition, operating smoothly without any deformities or corrosion.

Storage History

Try to gather information about how the kayak was stored. Kayaks that were exposed to the elements for extended periods may have experienced fading due to UV radiation. This not only weakens the kayak’s structure but can also degrade the foot pedal mechanism. Damage caused by excessive snow loading or precipitation is also a possibility. Pay particular attention to the sails, as they are susceptible to UV degradation.

Kayak Sail Kits

For those looking at used Hobie kayak sail kits, closely inspect all parts to ensure they are in good working condition. Pay special attention to fasteners, ropes, and the integrity of the mast. It’s crucial to verify that the Hobie kayak sail is compatible with your specific Hobie kayak model.

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On-The-Water Test

Taking the kayak out for a test on the water is the ultimate way to determine if the Hobie sailing kayak is the right fit for you in terms of performance, handling, comfort, and fit.

Limited Selection

Keep in mind that Hobie sailing kayaks are niche boats, and the selection, especially for used models, can be very limited. If you’re looking for immediate options, you may need to take a chance on a purchase or explore the possibility of buying a new model.

For more insights on what to consider when purchasing a used kayak, be sure to check out our article on How To Buy A Used Kayak. With a bit of research, careful inspection, and a test run, you’ll be well on your way to sailing the Hobie kayak of your dreams!