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Chris Grech

Chris Grech is the Product Editor for Allcoast Media. products@noreast.com

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October 28, 2016

Hobie Kayak MirageDrive 180 Forward-Reverse System

by Chris Grech

Hobie's bioengineered MirageDrive propulsion system for kayaks was revolutionary in its inception in 1997 and has been evolving ever since. Now comes the biggest evolution – so far. Introducing the patent-pending Hobie MirageDrive 180 forward-reverse propulsion system that will be integrated into all 2017 model year Mirage kayaks.

Weighing in at under eight pounds, the MirageDrive 180 produces full power in both directions and offers unprecedented maneuverability. The user can pull one of two shift cables to direct propulsion 180 degrees almost instantly from forward to reverse and back again.

Imagine the possibilities: backing fish out of cover; safely fishing closer to obstructions; or fishing downstream while holding in current. Hands-free propulsion in any direction means better control: to cast, to present baits, and to concentrate on landing bigger fish. And then pictures can be snapped or cold beverage enjoyed on the way back in without ever stopping.

There are two shifters, one marked in green for forward and a longer one in red for reverse, making them easy to identify. Pulling the appropriate cable pivots both MirageDrive fins 180 degrees, reversing the direction of the power output.

Although the forward-reverse capability is the most noticeable improvement to this new generation of the time-tested MirageDrive, it's not the only significant advancement. The new fins are even more durable, with high strength nylon on the leading and trailing edges. Adjusting fin resistance has also been improved via an easy-access knob. The fin shape, altered to allow the fins to rotate from forward to reverse, provides the same efficient power as past models of ST Fins and ST Turbo fins respectively.

Can the MirageDrive 180 go shallow? Absolutely. Use partial pedal strokes to "flutter" the fins or push one crank arm forward so that both fins automatically fold up flat against the bottom of the hull. This same wing-like action excels for dodging obstacles, shedding weeds and gliding through the water with minimal resistance. It also facilitates landing on the beach or at the boat ramp. The MirageDrive 180 installs in seconds thanks to the Click and Go Mounting System, which also makes removing a snap.

The two shift cables are composed of braided Spectra line connected to high strength, snag-free nylon handles. They tuck into a Bungee retainer when not needed.

The MirageDrive 180 will be standard with all 2017 model year Mirage kayaks, including the legendary Outback and award-winning Pro Anglers. 2017 model year kayaks are slated to begin shipping in October 2016. The MirageDrive 180 is retrofitable to existing MirageDrive kayaks and is expected to be available as a stand-alone accessory by mid-year 2017.

Check out the video links below!

Price : TBD
www.hobiecat.com
YOUTUBE - Hobie MirageDrive 180° - Full Power Reverse
YOUTUBE - Hobie Mirage Drive 180



Comments (2)

ndogg wrote 4 months ago

Great write up. I think the ability to reverse the drive without having to take it out and flip it is going to be really nice for back-bouncing on rivers this winter.


Chris Grech wrote 3 months ago

Thanks for the feedback ndogg. Good luck on the rivers!


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