Nifty new kayaks

Our most recent acquisition for fun on the water is a pair of Hobie Revolution 11 kayaks. The Mirage drive is the appealing feature for us. Pedaling instead of paddling. Having both hands free is great for me. I like to take photographs of things while I kayak around.

As luck would have it, Hobiecat Northwest, the Seattle Hobie dealer is about 300 feet from our slip. Dan was very helpful getting what we needed. We looked at both the Hobie Revolution 11 and the Sport. At 9’7″ the Sport was a better fit on the boat, but just not as much fun to use. For me, it felt pretty small. The 11 is actually 11’6″ and kinda big on our our boat, but faster and more fun to peddle around.

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Here is Kim’s first opportunity to take the new kayak out for a spin on the lake. She really appreciated me following her around in the dinghy and shooting video of her. You can see her enthusiasm in the video. My apologies for the generally high quality production value and editing excellence.

The hard part was finding where to stow the kayaks. I would have preferred to have some sort of rack on the top of the aft cabin. The kayaks would be easy to deploy and retrieve. But upon consideration, that just wasn’t going to work. They would stick out too far aft and be in the way all the time. So up on the flybridge railing was the only choice.

It turns out it’s kinda hard (at least it was for me) to find somewhere to get the kayak racks. They are pretty much custom made. The first company I contacted answered the phone with “we are busy into July” before they even knew what I was looking for. After talking with them and sending them an email with details and photos, there was no further response from them. Even with the promise of more work in the near future, I never heard back from them. I sent several emails to other companies that also went unanswered.

But … Brian Taylor at Selene Yacht Service on Westlake responded promptly. They are just down the way from us. He said he had a great stainless fabrication guy that could provide exactly what we needed. Not only that, but I could have the racks in a week.

So he called to say the racks were ready to go. I could come pick them up after hours if I wanted to. He would not even charge me for the racks until I had installed them and confirmed they were going to work for us. Perfect. I picked the racks up after they were closed and had them installed in less than thirty minutes. All that was needed was an Allen wrench.

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Remember! Brian Taylor at Selene Yacht Service. He seems to understand customer service better than some of his competitors. I have more stainless work that needs to be done and Brian will get the work.

Here are the racks installed on the railings. They swivel out of the way when not in use.

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I thought those rails sticking out might restrict headroom on deck. That’s one of the reasons I would have preferred the aft cabin. But it is not the issue I though it might be. Often times it works out that way.

I made some straps out of 5/16″ elastic cord to hold the kayaks in place. I doubt there is much chance that they would come out, but just to be sure. That was also easy. My kind of project.

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And all done! Sweet.

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That’s about all there was to it. For once it was a simple and easy project — after I found someone willing to help with the racks (that’s Brian Taylor at Selene Yacht Service). A word of warning. The racks were not inexpensive. But they are well made and exactly what we needed. No point looking back. Time to take a kayak out for a spin.

4 thoughts on “Nifty new kayaks

    • I did indeed. Or at least I looked at them online. I found a number of references to them. From my recollection they were all positive. I did have a couple of issues that led us to another choice. First, and foremost, we have 7/8″ rails. They do not appear to make them in that size. Second, I like the ability to swing the racks out of the way when not in use. In our case, the kayaks are above the deck. I thought a hinged design might be handy. That may or may not prove to be true. Last, nobody had them in stock. As is typical of many things I do, we purchased the kayaks before we had a place to stow them on the boat. With guests coming, we were under the gun to come up with a solution quickly. These were available in our timeframe. The Garhauer racks are certainly less expensive. It’s entirely possible that they would have worked just fine for us if we could get them in our rail size and timeframe.

  1. The racks worked perfectly. More importantly, the Kayaks were a lot of fun and really easy to use!

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