Seems like so long ago that I made this blog post regarding ordering our Hobie Mirage inflatable kayaks. They have been sitting in the garage at home awaiting sea duty! These are the travel cases they come in. In a post a few days ago you saw me lifting them up to the FB deck with the davit.
I secured them here for the trip over to Liberty Bay. And today is the day we get these in the water for the first time.
Here is the first one partially inflated. It takes 6-8 minutes of pumping to complete the job. Everything is so well engineered on these. The inflation valves are awesome, there's a position where they are one way, i.e. you can push air in but it can't come out.
At the Hampton Rendezvous I asked one of the other owners if he used his davit to lower the kayaks into the water, and he said he carries them down the stairs. Hmmm.
Also you can that in this state it looks more like a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) and indeed that is one of the configurations. It wasn't "too bad" getting it downstairs like this.
For the second one I installed the seat while up on the FB deck and then made a hokey bridle for lowering. This was way better. That hole you see up front is where the pedal assembly is inserted. If you want to use it as a SUP, you leave the seat off and then there's a plastic "plug" for the hole.
Fully rigged and in the water. These are so stable, and the seating position is great for entry & exit off the swim step. We did fine for our first time and I'm sure we'll make the process even more foolproof.
A short video from the seating position. Deb really enjoyed the ride and stability. I didn't show it in the video, but you steer with a hand controlled rudder.,
I used the davit to return them to the boat deck and in the process of moving them around hurt my shoulder a bit (recurring rotator cuff problems). I have been thinking about storing/deployment since then and have a few ideas. We'll play this out in upcoming blog posts.