Fishing is not one of my interests but a new kayak has caught my imagination and surprised me as its pedal technology has not been on my radar before. It looks to be a great platform for wildlife spotting or just having fun on the water.
Plus, there’s a great range of features to learn about, even if never to be used, and it looks superb. Need it? No. Want it? Yes. Or, on research and reflection, the Mirage Adventure Island looks perfect for a very different outdoor adventure next summer.
Building on the successful launch of the Mirage Passport 10.5 earlier this year, Hobie has introduced the new Mirage Passport 12 for 2020 — a longer, larger and more fishing-centric Passport. Powered by the original MirageDrive Classic with ST Fins, this ‘highly manageable 12-foot pedal kayak takes kayakers where they want to go with ease and world-class Hobie performance’.
Jason Kardas, director of engineering product management for Hobie, said, “The Passport 12 is an expansion of the simplicity, ease, and versatility we created in the original Passport 10.5. As it was with our introduction of the Passport 10.5, the ultimate goal of the Passport 12 is to be able to bring the premium experience that Hobie’s MirageDrive technology has delivered for more than 20 years to a broader audience than ever before. The Passport 12 does that while offering more room for fun and even more fishing-specific features at an attainable price point.”
Those features begin with the ‘legendary MirageDrive performance for hands-free propulsion and smooth and efficient cruising through the water’. Rudder Control provides intuitive fingertip steering of the rudder that easily deploys and stows.
When sitting, anglers have a Suspended Mesh Aluminum Frame Seat that’s lightweight and comfortable. Angler-friendly ergonomics continue with an EVA Padded Standing Platform on the re-designed cockpit. The boat is H-Bar-ready, with two forward recesses that provide precise placement for simple H-Bar setup.
The Hobie engineering team also built in loads of storage options, including an 8-inch Twist and Seal Hatch directly in front of the seat for ample and secure in-hull storage. The bow offers a generous cavity with Bungee® and optional Twist and Seal Hatch for below-deck storage.
In front of the seat, both right and left, are two recesses with Bungee closures to keep tackle boxes or other items close at hand. Two built-in rod caddies keep rods within easy reach just behind the seat.
It comes complete with Accessory H-Track Mounts for infinite mounting options for phone, action camera or similar items. A Forward Accessory Mount stands ready to accept the Hobie Mirage Sail Kit or Bimini Sunshade.
It’s also fully electronics-ready, with a handy transducer cavity and mounting plate, making it easy for anglers to add their favoured sonar/GPS. Additionally, Passport 12 is equipped with a recessed mounting pad to quickly install a Power-Pole® anchor system.
Easy to transport and store, every Passport 12 comes complete with an aluminium two-piece paddle to negotiate beaches and rocky inlets and has carry handles at the bow and stern.