We've had a Hobie i14t inflatable
for a year now. And we use it, a lot. Yesterday in fact. This is a 14 ft. long inflatable, with two Mirage drives, two paddles, and a sail kit. The Mirage drives are fantastic. Basically, we can do about 4 knots all day without getting tired. Your arms and hands stay free. self bailing scuppers, steerable rudder
, sit on top.
We have bounced off of maybe a thousand barnacles
. I was washing
the sand off it last night and cannot see even a mark from that. When you hit a barnacle ( or anything else) it just momentarily dents in, and then rebounds. Does your Caribe inflatable sink when you hit a barnacle? no. We have also hit rocks, and coral reefs
with it. Same thing. Bounces off and keeps going. I doubt I could take a barnacle and cut a hole in it if I tried. Its tough. (This is not
the same thin vinyl stuff inflatable dolls and pool toys are made of.)
We have not put it on board another boat yet, but it rolls up into a manageable package and comes with it's own soft transport case with wheels like a carry on. It weighs 65 lbs, has a 700 lb carrying capacity ( two people a dog and a cooler don't faze it) and is so stable due to the inflatable tube construction that one person can stand up on it. Same thing that makes an RIB
Since it comes folded, in a cardboard carton, it's no problem for a Hobie dealer to UPS you one. That's how ours got from Florida
to the Turks and Caicos
. I can pump it up by hand with the pump that came with it in about three to five minutes, no sweat. Being flexible, it would be no big deal to 'snake' it down below around corners uninflated,and store it on one of the unused bunks. The Hobie quality is superb. And the dealer we bought ours from in Florida
has been fantastic to deal with. No hassles on international shipping
. I ordered the wrong model number turbo fin kits for it and they shipped what I ordered. When we found out they were the wrong kits, the dealer said they should have caught my mistake, and sent us two of the right kits no charge. $ 170 worth of hardware
and another $100 in shipping
. Can give you their number if you want, they will ship to Canada
. But you will save on shipping if you just find a closer one.
We fully plan to take it on our Gemini
, whenever we find one to buy. Soon I hope. Will still have a dinghy
, for transporting more than two people or provisioning
, but the Hobie would do a lot of that, too. the bow is sealed with a waterproof hatch
and comes with a drybag.