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 Post subject: Quest Hull Leak
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:54 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:29 pm
Posts: 4
I recently noticed that my Quest was coming back from fishing with water in the hull. I gave the hull a visible inspection but couldn't locate a hole. I filled the hull with water until I found the locaiton of the leak. The hull is leaking from from the keel/skeg at the stern of the boat. It appears that a half-shere shaped piece of material was removed (perhaps it was never there?) and a small hole has formed in that sphere (so small I can't actually see it). The half-sphere is about the size of a dime. I use my kayak to fish on a regular basis, but I do make an effort not to drag it over surfaces I think may damage it (I always found the material to be softer than the Heritage Redfish we also have). I can't imagine how a piece of material this size could have been removed from the bottom of my boat without a weakness in the material. I don't recall my exact purchase date, but my hull is a few months beyond my 2 year warranty. I've enjoyed the boat very much and have always encouraged other members of our club to purchase Hobies, but if this is what I have to look forward to, I may need to rethink the advise I give to people. I've contacted Hobie via the website asking for recommendations on repair.

In the meantime, could you share with me your best method of repair so that I can confidently get back on the water? (The speckle trout are biting like mad on the coast!) And if anyone else has a Quest out there, can you check to see if the indention on the keel is something that was always there?

Thanks!

Mel

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 Post subject: Re: Quest Hull Leak
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 8:41 am 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 8978
Location: Oceanside, California
The keel has been ground off by repeated dragging. Best not to drag a boat (especially with pronounced keel), but use a cart when ever possible. If you must drag the boat, lift from the rear handle so the broader bow surface disperses the load and wear point over a MUCH larger area.

We have welding gear shown in the catalog. The kit comes with a selection of colors. You can order extra sand color welding rod at no extra charge.

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Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Quest Hull Leak
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 9:01 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:29 pm
Posts: 4
mmiller wrote:
The keel has been ground off by repeated dragging. Best not to drag a boat (especially with pronounced keel), but use a cart when ever possible. If you must drag the boat, lift from the rear handle so the broader bow surface disperses the load and wear point over a MUCH larger area.

We have welding gear shown in the catalog. The kit comes with a selection of colors. You can order extra sand color welding rod at no extra charge.


I seldom drag this boat on any surface other than grass. My launch points are usually within feet of my truck and most of the time the substrate is mud that I can hardly stand in (no less cause damage to a boat on). The only time this boat contacts a hard surface is the 4 feet I have to push it as it crosses the shore onto water (dock launches aren't an option around here). Conversely, I have a used Heritage Redfish 14 that has been drug all over creation on any surface imaginable and has little to no wear anywhere (and certainly doesn't leak). If I'm supposed to carry this boat on a pillow everywhere I go, it's of little use to me in Coastal Louisiana where conditions vary considerably and a boat is going to experience some wear no matter how much you baby it (especially if you're fishing with it). The keel has a significant amount of material everywhere except where the material experienced an obvious failure (or was never there to begin with).

I appreciate your suggestion for the fix, but I believe you should review your interpersonal skills and perhaps temper your accusations. As a representative of Hobie and this board, you are certainly not enticing me to do business with you again.


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 Post subject: Re: Quest Hull Leak
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 10:51 am 
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Location: Oceanside, California
Sorry you feel I was too blunt in my response. This is not accusation... Just observation using the photo you have supplied. This is clear to me from the photo, as it shows the flattened area from wear. I can not tell you when and where, but very likely over an extended period of time. The hole is where the material is thinned to the point of failure.

Each boat has its own characteristics. The Quest has a particularly pronounced keel which, if dragged, will wear in this fashion more quickly that a rounded wider bottom.

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Matt Miller
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Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Quest Hull Leak
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:08 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:29 pm
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mmiller wrote:
Sorry you feel I was too blunt in my response. This is quite clear from the photo, as it shows the flattened area from wear. I can not tell you when and where, but very likely over an extended period of time. The hole is where the material is thinned to the point of failure.


The keel on this boat was flat when it was new (it was not pointed or V'd). I've included a picture I found on the internet below of a brand new Hobie. I admit the keel shows some wear, but that is from normal frequent use over 2+ years. It's actually worn so little that the edges are still rounded toward the bottom (as it was when I purchased the kayak new). If it was simplky wear that caused the hole, then that entire indentation would be a hole. This is not the case. What you see in the picture is an indentation that goes down a half inch through solid plastic and is a half-sphere shape and solid even at its deepest point. For a smooth void like that to be created by striking (or rubbing) a foreign object, I would have to be going fast enough to defy the laws of physics (this boat doesn't even have a Mirage Drive). Within this void a very small hole exist that is causing the leak (so small I can't even see it). I was told by a fellow club member that it appears to be a void in the rotomold.

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 Post subject: Re: Quest Hull Leak
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:38 am 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
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Location: Oceanside, California
The "divit / hole" is very typical of the wear I described. As it becomes thin in a spot, the material flexes away from the surface it is rubbing against. This becomes a divit and then finally fails. This is the same for a Fiberglass Cat like the Hobie 16... the keels are sharp and wear to the point that the same issue shows. The more rounded Hobie 18, 17 and others wear over a broad surface and does not rub clear throuh as quickly.

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Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Quest Hull Leak
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Escondido
mellandry wrote:
I've enjoyed the boat very much and have always encouraged other members of our club to purchase Hobies, but if this is what I have to look forward to, I may need to rethink the advise I give to people.
Mel

mellandry wrote:
(to Matt Miller) As a representative of Hobie and this board, you are certainly not enticing me to do business with you again.

Mel, I'm not sure I would want to take advise from someone whose opinion about his boat hinges on the style of answer he gets over a pin hole! Perhaps you have some other agenda I don't understand.

Nevertheless, here are a couple of ways you can fix that pinhole and perhaps improve your frame of mind.

1. Plastic welding: If you have a solder gun (or similar), you can melt some matching welding rod (which "not enticing" Matt Miller has offered to make available to you at no charge). Best to practice on a scrap first. Here's a small sample hole being filled:
Image

Carefully heat the area where you want to deposit the plastic then melt the rod into it.
Image

Sand or file the surplus off and it should look almost as good as new.
Image

2. Epoxy: The only good bonding epoxy I've found is 3M ScotchWeld DP 8010, available from several industrial suppliers. It's not quite as easy to work with as most epoxies, but if you're fairly handy it's not that bad; and it's the only one that I know of with excellent bonding strength on PE. There are some other epoxies that don't bond as well to polyethylene but may work well enough (on a non structural application) if you rough up the area with sand paper and clean thoroughly with alcohol. West Systems G-Flex claims to work with this application but I haven't found it's adhesiveness any better than most other epoxies. If you have something sitting around it might be worth a try.

You can further protect your skeg with a variety of replaceable tapes if interested. Good luck with your patch job. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Quest Hull Leak
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 6:30 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:29 pm
Posts: 4
Roadrunner wrote:
Mel, I'm not sure I would want to take advise from someone whose opinion about his boat hinges on the style of answer he gets over a pin hole! Perhaps you have some other agenda I don't understand.


Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question. I think the style of answer I get is the most important thing one can use to assess the value of customer service and a company. I'd rather have a boat riddled with holes from a company that gives me accurate, timely customer service that addresses the problem in a tone that emphasizes the value of the customer. If the detailed, useful response you gave in your post had been the first response I received from a Hobie employee, I would have been very satisfied and the thread would have ended there. I have no agenda, I just feel that the tone that was taken was not an appropriate way to treat a any customer. Perhaps I am "soft" or just used to the type of service one receives in a small town in the south, but either way I think my customer service expectations are warranted.

Matt and I have worked out a solution via email that I am satisfied with and I appreciate his assistance.


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 Post subject: Re: Quest Hull Leak
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 9:41 am 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 8978
Location: Oceanside, California
Thanks roadrunner for the technique information on welding.

I apologize to "mellandry" for my incomplete answer the first time around, but as is the case with these forums... many users on these forums have valuable input. I answer with the information I have and know other users will fill in with their own personal expertise.

I have since found this information on welding plastic online: http://www.urethanesupply.com/step3b.php

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Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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