If you have purchased a new 2017 Hobie Kayak from us or anyone else you will want to read this. This addresses any kayaks shipped to dealers before November 1 2016. So even if you end up buying a Hobie Kayak in July, this could impact your kayak. In a nutshell, if your drive is feeling slugish or is just not working as well as expected this applies to you. Please read:
Hobie Cat Dealer Bulletin
Proper Fin Adjustment For Hobie® MirageDrive® 180
We have discovered that our factory has over-tightened the fin adjuster knobs on MirageDrive 180s delivered in the past few weeks.
In this condition the fins are not able to properly “travel” from side to side. The performance and feel of the drives will be sluggish as well. While we try to allow users to fine tune the drives as a feature… over tensioning the fins is problematic. This can also lead to damage of the traveler slot in the “boom” fitting.
We will be building drives in the loosest setting from now forward. We request that dealers and users do the same adjustments by following the instructions on page 12, item 2 of the manual to “loosen” the fins as highlighted below. The fins must be able to travel easily from side to side.
To properly adjust the MD180 fin tension, turn the adjuster knob until the stainless lock nut nearly touches the embedded brass nut. That would be the loosest fin setting.
Mirage Kayak Manual – MD-180
MirageDrive Mast Bend / Proper Straightening
When a MirageDrive mast contacts the bottom or other obstruction it is possible to bend the mast. Proper technique for straightening the mast will avoid further damage to the drive.
Once a mast is bent, you can straighten it again, in most cases. To straighten a mast, first remove the fin. This is a MUST, due to possible damage to the fin and/or outhaul block fittings. If you over-bend the mast forward, you can place significant load on the aft attachment point of the fin and damage can be caused.
To remove a MD180 fin, use a pair of pliers to hold the stainless nut located at the bottom end of the adjuster screw. Turn the adjuster knob as shown in the diagram below. Once the nut is removed you can continue to turn the knob until the entire screw is released from the fin.
For older version MirageDrive fins, remove the clevis pin and ring.
Once the fin is removed, one option is to bend it forward while the drive is installed in the MirageDrive well. Position the hull on its side or upside-down. This will hold the drive securely while you leverage the mast back into proper position.
Another option and easier… if you have a vise… is to clamp the bent mast into the vise and by pulling on the drive for leverage, bend it back into position.
Re-install the fin.
MirageDrive 180 Parts Guide
These parts will be available for repair of damaged drives, but we still will not be selling complete drives until next spring or summer.
Turbo fin upgrade kits also continue to be on hold until drive production is fully up-to-speed.