Over the past few weeks we have been reviewing corrective measures for Hobie Mirage Tandem Islands experiencing rudder problems. Some users have had rudders “kick up” making steering difficult; others have experienced loose gudgeon screws, and some have had worn or broken steering lines.
Though we don’t like hearing about these types of issues on any of our products, we appreciate the honest feedback from our dealers, consumers, and those users who participate in our forums so we can better understand the situation and react appropriately. In this notice we hope to inform you of the steps we are taking to resolve these issues in the short-term and in the weeks and months to come.
Is My Boat Affected?
This notice applies to all Tandem Islands. The corrective measures discussed in the next section may have already been installed on boats delivered to customers after September 1st, 2010. A length of Bungee® cord is attached to the rudder mount of boats that have already been retrofitted.
To correct or prevent problems with steering, we have a two-phase plan in mind. Our initial plan is to send all owners of the affected models a retrofit kit (free of charge) that can be installed on their rudder system. This will resolve or prevent the problems mentioned above and allow the user to safely operate their boat until we can complete the second phase of our plan, the development of a new rudder system.
The kit will be available and distribution will begin in the next few weeks. It is designed to be easily installed by dealers or consumers. A video will be added to this web page which will show how to install the kit and how to properly use the rudder system with it in place.
The retrofit kit will include several corrective or preventative items that must be installed on the rudder system to ensure proper function.
- Shock cord kit for positive rudder hold-down (some rudders do not stay locked down)
- Replacement gudgeon screws and Loctite (some bolts were too short / some came loose)
- Replacement drum bolt (some have been found with a burr that can damage or cut the left control line)
- Replacement line segment (replaces damaged or cut left control line)
- Replacement rudder pin (aligns the down control line over the pin’s center line to prevent hard left steering due to down-line tension)
Update: Please click here to watch the instruction video covering kit installation.
How we will distribute this kit
A kit will be sent directly to any affected owner who submits (or has submitted) a warranty registration to Hobie Cat Company (Warranty Registration Form), Hobie Cat Australasia (email@example.com), Hobie Cat Europe (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Hobie Kayak Europe (email@example.com).
We will make every effort to contact all other owners through our network of dealers.
For the long-term, we are developing a completely new rudder system specifically designed for the Tandem Island and Adventure Island. The new rudder system will be fully functional without the short-term additions provided in the retrofit kit. Our engineers have already begun testing several new systems, and we anticipate finishing the process in the coming months. Once the new system is available, it will be provided to all 2010 and 2011 Tandem Island owners to replace the existing Twist and Stow rudder system.
I want to personally apologize for any inconvenience if you experienced rudder difficulties on your Tandem Island. We take this very seriously and we strive to make all Hobie products of the highest quality. We will make this right, and we will do it as quickly as we can.
President, Hobie Cat Company