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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y'all. If you read my last thread you know I'm getting geared up for snapper season. Last year was my first season in a Hobie. A PA14. I have a 12 and a 14. I used to fish offshore in a Perception Striker 11.5, but got peddles after a shoulder injury. I first bought the PA12 and an older Outback as a package. After bass fishing out of both I sold the Outback to buy the PA14. After another bass fishing trial I rigged out the 14 for offshore. Mainly because I can use the (now insulated) front hatch for storing my catch. Well season finally rolls around and every time I get ALL THE WAY down there the surf is 2-4 and south wind. Needless to say I was very disappointed in how it handled the surf and waves. Not to mention the back breaking chore of getting it across the sand. Now I'm considering selling or trading the 14 to get a '15 or newer Outback. But I would love some input before I make a mistake.
Thanks
Sorry for getting long winded
 

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I got rid of my 2015 PA14 for that same reason. It was a workout getting it across the sand to the surf. When I was launching out of navarre 9/10 kayaks out there were outbacks since they were lighter, more narrow, and cut through the surf easily compared to the wider pro angler. I haven't decided to get a new outback yet though since I'm looking for a twin powered cc for heavier fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
You just have to decide whats more important to you, standing and storage, or ease of portage. Neither are going to be good in a real 2-4ft surf and you are crazy if you try! But there is a big difference from 2 footers to 4 footers.
Yeah that was the over the course of 3 trips of a 200 mile one way commute. It was 2's then 2-3's the last trip was 3-4's. And yes I was stupid for trying! After logging nearly 1000 miles behind the wheel, no telling how much money on this rigged out Hobie, and not a single snapper to show for it I was extremely aggravated and made some bad safety decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's why I made that last thread about somewhere to fish in the bay when the gulf is too rough. It's hard to time good weather and surf from over 200 miles away. Not to mention my very limited day off work.
 

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Don't know if you are going to find a kayak that is going to help you with 4 ft. breaking surf. I'm pretty sure you won't find it easy getting out.

As far as portage of the PA14 across the beach, I don't find it to be that difficult. I've got the larger Hobie. plug in cart with the 12" diameter 7" footprint tires. Each tire is rated for 121 lbs. Key, for me, is plugging into the center scupper holes. Plugging into the rear scuppers will work you to death. Go with a partner and don't overload your boat. Once you are out, you are good but you have to act fast with the paddle. You can't be fooling around trying to get the drive in, etc.

Spend more time with the weather forecasts and less time getting rolled up in the surf.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Okay let's forget that I said 4 footers cause that ain't happening again anyway. Next time I'm down there if it's more than 2's I'll be in the bay.

Spend more time with the weather forecasts and less time getting rolled up in the surf.
Yeah I try but you have to reserve somewhere to stay months in advance unless you wanna stay in a roach coach motel or sleep two nights in a pickup truck. Plus our days off are delt by rank and I have to speak for those a month in advance also. So watching the weather ain't much of an option. When my planned trip rolls around it's either "Ehhh maybe that won't be too bad,let's go see what it looks like in person" or "Dang that's gonna be rough; call and pay the cancellation fee for the hotel; call the chief and see if I can possibly change my day off". You smell what I'm steppin in?
 

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I understand your situation more than most for I make a 250 mile run from Birmingham, AL. The biggest advantage for me on the PA vs Outback is storage and stability. Two of the things you want most of you are an out of towner. Storage because you can't go home and grab what you forgot, and stability so you can enjoy yourself while on limited time. PA 14 a little work equals a lot o fun!
 

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Navarre has a live beach cam, I know that the weather can change drastically very quickly but It doesnt hurt to have another tool in the decision making process.
 

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When I was purchasing my first Hobie, I was back and forth. I wanted the PA EXTREMELY bad. It looks bad ass, has a ton of storage, able to stand with ease, it was the ultimate rig in my mind. What I was failing to recognize was the pure size and weight of this boat.

When I went and tested both I was able to handle both myself. As you know, moving the PA anywhere without the tires its like dragging a dead body down the sand, forget picking it up by yourself to car top lol. The Outback on the other hand is significantly lighter and much easier to handle with a single person. I can grab the side handles on my Outback and car top it and unload it. If I decide at the last minute I want to hit the water, quick and easy to load. No trailer to load and hook up or anything like that.

From a cockpit stand point, we all know the PA has more "room" but at the same time the Outback isn't cramped (6'2" 250lbs). I have plenty of room to function while on the water. Standing up is easy as well on a calm day. Anytime i'm on the flats, I will stand up and use myself as a sail and just adjust the rudder as needed. The Outback lacks a rect hatch like the PA but that is easily fixed. When in the high position I can store 3 plano boxes under my seat.

Pushing through the surf in the Outback is an ease since getting it up to speed is quick and easy once the drive has been dropped in. "knock on wood" but I have been caught sideways once or twice and have been able to peddle out of a sticky situation, could the PA do that.. maybe... With the sailing rudder my Outback turns like a speed boat... PA is more like an aircraft carrier lol.

The addition of the vantage seat to the Outback swayed me as well. I was done getting my butt wet and having a stiff back. When Hobie added the vantage seat to the Outback it became a no brainer.

I love the Outback, it is an all purpose boat. Able to get into skinny water, tight places and get out of them. Fast enough to get where I want in a hurry (haven't added turbo fins yet). Easy to load and unload in a moments notice. I honestly haven't found anything on the boat that I dislike yet.

Hope this helps!
 

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My buddy and I usually hit Opal Beach, the pavilion area after Navarre Beach condos end ( to the West). If the Gulf is too rough, usually the sound is flat, or vice versa. On the sound side uou run into a few locals, and boaters love to anchor in the middle of everything, but some pretty solid fishing, and ease of getting to either side of the water - the sound side has a boardwalk!!
 
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