To maintain top working condition and appearance of your Hobie miragedrive it is always a good idea to take care of it. Fortunately, this is really very simple to do. This is a basic guide on overall Hobie kayak well-being. Click here to see the full service guide on the Miragedrive
Rinse the mechanism after each use to remove sand, seaweed, saltwater and any other water particles - this is the most important part of keeping your miragedrive in top working order and should be done after each use, especially if used in saltwater.
Rinsing: Secondary to rinsing thoroughly after each use is lubrication. It's a good idea to lubricate various parts of the miragedrive regularly, especially if it is used often. How often you do this may depend somewhat on which lubricant you use. All the usual suspects work: machine oil, WD40, Inox, Lanox, etc. (At Maclean Outdoors we have found Lanox to be the longest lasting of all of these, performing its job admirably and doing so a little more environmentally friendly.)
Lubrication: Of most importance are the stainless steel components - remember that 'stainless' means exactly what it says: 'stain - less'. To prevent surface rust from appearing these parts need to be lubricated. Pay special attention to nuts, bolts, cables, chains & threads. If you notice any inadvertent squeaking when the drive is used, spray some Lanox onto the cables where they wrap around the drums.
Josh has written an in-depth guide to servicing a Hobie miragedrive that goes into greater detail on Miragedrive maintenance.
Tension points: There are a few adjustable tension points on your miragedrive that need to be inspected from time to time and occasionally adjusted. The most obvious of these are the chain and cable adjustment points. To adjust these as required you'll need a 7/16 (or equivalent) spanner for the current 'V2' drive as well as a pair of needle-nose vice grips for the 'V1' drive. To tighten a loose chain or cable, use the spanner to tighten or loosen the nut (while keeping the cable swedge from twisting with the vice grips on the V1 drive).
Notes on chain/cable tension: If a chain requires, say, 2 full turns on one nut, it's better to just do one full turn on the nut at each end of the chain. This will insure that drive fins aren't tightened out of balance. It is normal for the front chain and cable to be a little tighter than the rear. For smooth operation the drive should operate freely with little or no friction resistance.
Grub screws: V1 and V2 miragecrives contain grub screws that hold certain components into correct position. These should be checked for integrity every few months (or less for casual users), or before any lengthy trip in remote areas. On all drive versions there are set screws at the idler pulley and centre of the sprocket shaft. You'll need a 9/64 allen wrench to tighten these into place. Do not tighten too tightly - they only need to be 'thumb' tight.
V1 drives also have a grub screw holding miragefin masts into place. To inspect these, remove the fins from the drive and check to make sure the mast set screws aren't working loose. This is a fairly important check to make. Again, tighten by feel, but over-do it.
The above-mention points are the most critical points for inspection on the Hobie Miragedrive. There is some further information on other details at the Hobie community forums on the following topics:
- Miragedrive adjustment
- Miragedrive Version 2 Drum upgrade
- Miragedrive sprocket replacement
The Twist 'n stow rudder is a reliable component of the Hobie mirage kayaks, although some maintenance may be required from time to time. The most commonly experienced issue is a minor one: the rudder will not move up or down smoothly. The most common fix for this problem is to adjust the tension of the drum bolt. If the rudder feels difficult to move up or down, check the tension of this bolt. Loosen this bolt by just a small turn (try a 1/4 of a turn) and then check to see how it performs, making minor adjustments to suit.
Further hints and tips on twist 'n stow rudder adjustments can be found at the Hobie community forums.
There isn't a lot of information you need to know to keep your Hobie 2-piece paddle working properly. The key thing to remember is that if you leave the paddle connected in storage habitually, your 2-piece paddle will probably eventually become a 1-piece paddle. Particles of sand, dirt and salt can work their way into the connector section and unless pulled apart, exposed and cleaned off (Armour all, Inox or lanox is ideal for this) it can and probably will eventually cause the connection to seize up. Like anything used in salt water, it should be rinsed off thoroughly after each use as well.
That's pretty much all you need to know about paddle maintenance. Keep in mind, however, that it's a paddle and not a stake out pole, or a lever to be used to push off from.