Cutting-Edge Watercrafts

These cutting-edge hybrid, tandem, and ultra-portable boats make it easy to hit the water.

    Photo: Photo by Inga Hendrickson

Sport-Utility Boat: Hobie's Mirage Tandem Island.
BEST FOR: MIXED CONDITIONS
Call it the love child of a sea kayak and a sail-powered catamaran. Or just call it fun. Hobie's two-person Mirage Tandem Island is a couple of feet longer and has a larger sail than the solo model released four years ago, but it's still roof-rackable and Lego-simple to assemble. It's also easy on lubbers: If you misread the wind and flub a tack—or was that a jibe?—you can pedal into place with the flipperlike propulsion system, which provides enough kick to let you explore even when there's no wind at all. Hell, you can even paddle if you're in the mood. Or surf it, like we did off the SoCal coast, which is a lot more fun. With those outriggers, it's nearly impossible to flip. 18'6", 89-lb hull, 190 lbs fully rigged; $4,699; hobiecat.com

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