"People don't want to pay their dues to do their sports anymore," observes Frank Perkins, owner of Time Out Sport & Ski in Mount Pleasant, while looking at the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island "sail/yak."
Yes, that's a sail/yak: a hybrid of a sailboat, an outrigger kayak and pedal boat.
Perkins says with confidence that you don't have to know how to sail a sailboat or be an experienced kayaker to use this watercraft, which Hobie started shipping to retailers in December.
"If you can drive a car, you can sail this boat," says Perkins. "Hobie is starting to gear boats with simplicity and family in mind. This boat is easy to rig and easy to sail."
The sail/yak, which costs $3,000, features a 16-foot-long, sit-on-top kayak; a boomless, roller-furling sail rig; two retractable outriggers; pedals for alternative or extra propulsion; daggerboard and rudder; fishing reel holders; and lots of storage space. In all, it weighs a manageable 115 pounds.
Because you can pedal it and the outriggers can be folded next to the kayak, Perkins says the sail/yak can be put in at a boat landing or tidal creek and pedaled toward open water.
He envisions locals using it as a way to get to fun getaways such as Bull's, Capers and Morris islands, in part, because it's easy to pull the sail/yak right up on the beach.
"I plan to use one to kingfish near the jetties this summer," says Perkins.
He says word is getting out on the watercraft, noting it was one of the hottest new items at a major industry trade show in Las Vegas last fall.
After a fairly recent Men's Journal article featured an adventure trip where surfers used the sail/yak to get around, two different men placed orders and paid in full even before Time Out had the watercraft.