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 Post subject: Mirage drive hull leaks
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:12 pm 
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I own three Hobie Outback kayaks. It appears that the older models that I have, 2005 and 2008, have an older designed mirage drive hull area than that of the newer models. I have had to bring my kayak back to the dealer three times because of leaks in the very front of the mirage drive "hole". It appears that inside the newer models of this same kayak that the hull has been beefed up substantially. My questions is why because of the age of my kayak am I forced to pay the difference between my model and the replacement hull. I would think that the $4,300.00 that I have paid should come with a little better replacement warranty. The dealer has replaced one hull twice, second time with a $300.00 payment, and a second hull once. If the oldest hull now breaks due to a design flaw what will my replacement options be. I am also now being told by the dealer that all the repairs that they attempted did not work. I would hope that a famous company like Hobie would back their products forever. Especially the non-moving parts such as the hull. I mean its not like I dropped it or ran it into a rock. The cracks are from everyday use.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:32 pm 
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2008 models would be the same as current... and still within the original 2 years warranty period. Are we are talking the 2005 that has been replaced? We have an informal internal policy to extend the 100% warranty for a longer period on drive well failure issues. Once beyond that extended period... Pro-rated costs are a way of extending the warranty coverage from the original two years offered upon your purchase... we could just say no, but prefer to do more than that. Pro-rated costs take into account the value-of-the-use of the kayak. Tire warranty is done this way. They use the thread depth as a guide and charge for the used tread. Impossible to do on a boat, so using an age system is the only way to do it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:42 pm 
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The last posting had an error. The two older models are a 2005 and 2006. Why the internal informal process? This is a design flaw. It has been fixed in newer models. It was not just an overall design revamp. These were not $200.00 cheap kayaks. The attitude that you could just say no is uncalled for and unprofessional. This is not something that happened because of abuse, this is clearly Hobies' fault. As I said, I had to pay another $300.00 for the replacement. How about Hobie repairing them for free? Sad to see a large company not take responsibility. I guess I'll take the dealers advice and put them on Graigs list.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:47 am 
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Its is not a design flaw. It is an issue with inconsistent process due to either material or molding. This issue came up years after the design was in production... It falls under warranty.

Quote:
The attitude that you could just say no is uncalled for and unprofessional.


I believe you have misinterpreted the point. I was saying that we are standing behind the product far beyond what is required by warranty standards in industry. This is a positive statement... not negative.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:50 am 
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Matt,
You can't please everyone.
I feel that Hobie has gone the extra mile to address issues...small and large.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:04 pm 
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Matt,

So you are telling me that my 2005 and 2006 kayaks are still under valid warranty and my dealer should take them back and replace them at a pro-rated cost? That is not what they are telling me and they called Hobie when I brought the last one in. So bottom line what am I supposed to do with $3,000 worth of broken kayak?

Ok, so it is not a design flaw, its a production flaw. Still not my fault. Just please tell me what I am supposed to do. I was just asking for help.

Dr. SteelheadCatcher, if I needed your opinion, and yes its your opinion, I would ask for it. My problem is spending over $4,000 on three kayaks and two have broken already, one of them twice. I could understand if I dropped them off my trailer and was crying that I wanted them replaced, that your comment could be considered valid. However, when I get conflicting stories and think that I am stuck with two broken kayaks I do tend to take it to heart. I work hard for my money and take care of everything I own. I am not part of the disposable society.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:35 pm 
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Matt and all posters,

Just wanted to say one more thing. I have owned these kayaks for quite a while. I have recommended them to everyone I talk to that is looking for a great kayak. The mirage drive as a whole is a great product, especially for fisherman or people with shoulder problems that cannot paddle for extended periods of time. I am not badmouthing the product. I just feel that since these cracks are occuring through a flaw in either design or production not through abuse by the customer/owner that regardless of age they should be covered. If these older kayaks can be returned then I will be completely satisfied and will once again recommend them to everyone that asks me what I think. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:48 am 
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cracked hull wrote:
regardless of age they should be covered


We certainly are covering these well beyond the "official" warranty coverage on the product, so pretty much what you are suggesting, but at some point we have to take into account the value of the period-of-use. That is the prorated part. As I mentioned, this is simple in a tire. You measure the tread depth. Regardless of the defect... that is what they do. You have used the product and received a value to the point of replacement.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:27 am 
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Matt,

I understand the fact that you work for Hobie and need to eep your job. Your company has created a product that is defective. You have stated that! It dosen't matter how old the kayak is as the age does not reflect the use of a product. The constant reference to tires tells me you really don't understand the issue. A non-wearing product such as the hull of a kayak cannot be compared to a tire. Tires are designed to wear. Unless you leave your kayak in a moving stream forever, erosion is the only issue that you would need to worry about. Hobie has not meet their obligation as a multi-million dollar company to the end user. Money is always an issue. I am sorry that you have created a defective product and won't back it up. As an Architect, I have to stand by designs/ for life. I guess Hobie feels different. There is no need to reply to this post and I don't think it will even be posted. I will never recommend this kayak to anyone ever again. I knew this was a waste of time from the start.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:20 pm 
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O.M.G., Matt I think that Mr. Cracked Hull is just one of those people who refuses to accept any other opinion except his own. as with anything of design, hindsight is a wonderful thing and leads to changes in design, usually for the better.
Hobies warranty and after sales service is second to none and the fact that you talk about contributing anything beyond the statutory warranty is proof of that. Mr Cracked Hull claims that he will not recommend the hobie product to his friends is unfortunate for them, because of him they won't know what their missing. I wonder if Mr Cracked hull has forgotten the time he hit a submerged object with the fins down, causing extra stress to the hull. Oh no, that would never happen.
I suppose in the perfect world you would never require to pay for a wheel alignment on your car, after all that shoud be perfect when the car is made. As a Architech I wonder if he would have designed the word trade center differently, now that he knows it might be targeted by a jet aircraft? Why don't you just get your kayak repaired, as others may have done & go enjoy, instead of trying to display your contempt for others.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:14 pm 
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It is not as simple as getting it repaired. Any crack below the waterline is very difficult to repair successfully.
CH raises a valid point in that the hull is not a moving part. Although, ironically, I think it is because the plastic is moving (flexing with each pedal stroke) that occasionally problems occur.
I agree with CH in that the tyre analogy is not a good one to use. Tyres wear out. A kayak hull should not.
Wouldn't a better analogy be to liken the hull to a bicycle frame? Most bike makers offer a lifetime warranty on the frame. However if you do experience a cracked frame you will not get it for free. There is always a cost. Google 'bike frame warranty' and you will see the costs involved.
I don't regard the Hobie hull as faulty but drivewell failures do occur. My 08 AI suffered a drivewell ledge crack after about a year of use. I promptly received an 09 hull as a replacement (with all of the improvements) and at no cost to me.
Hobies warranty is second to none and they certainly stand by their product. It is transferrable (bike frames aren't), includes a 2 year moving parts warranty (only 1 year on bikes) and more often than not extended well beyond the warranty period.
I think it is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect a free replacement 4 or 5 years down the track. If my '10 TI suffers a drivewell failure in 4 or 5 years time and all it cost me was $300 for a replacement hull that included all of the updated improvements I won't be complaining. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:09 am 
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Apparently my issue with the kayak is not the only time these cracks have happend. As anyone knows when a product is first manufactured, tests are performed on the item. Car manufacturers don't just build a car and start selling it. They go through years of tests. Yes, I know cars are recalled all the time, Toyota recently, but they will fix it for free. I had a recall on my 1996 Jeep that they were still willing to fix 9 years later because they, Jeep, made a mistake. Maybe it is my dealer that is causing this issue. They told me they can't fix the hull as they have tried in the past. They also tell me that it is $100.00 per year pro-rating. If you have a 2005 kayak do the math. Why should I have to pay almost half the cost of a new kayak for Hobie's mistake?

Montedane: Extra stress to the hull should have been taken into account in the original design. You have rotational forces that need to be accounted for as well as the linear ones. I am not stating that the design is flawed anymore because Matt admitted that it was a production error. Any Industrial Engineer worth his weight would tell you that and my best friend just happens to be one. The reference to the World Trade Center was uncalled for. I lost a freind in that tragedy. If you must know we will be building it differently because we now need to account for the fact that there are poeple in the world that are just not right.

This is my last posting. Please don't reply to this anymore. I know that I am beating a dead horse. I will either try to repair the kayaks or sell them.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:21 pm 
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CH,
If you are going to try a repair, Scotchweld DP8010 or Loctite 3030 are the only epoxies to use:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=15388&p=84041
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=12695&p=70744


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:02 pm 
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Stringy,

Thank you for your input. I will consult my freind, industrial engineer, to see what I need to do. I have worked in fibreglass and concrete before so this is a brand new medium. The older ones are not cracked yet so selling them is still a good option. Yours has been the only positive opinion yet. Thank you for being human.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:40 pm 
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cracked hull wrote:
I would hope that a famous company like Hobie would back their products forever. Especially the non-moving parts such as the hull. I mean its not like I dropped it or ran it into a rock. The cracks are from everyday use.
Cracked, I sympathize with your disappointment at not getting Hobie to agree to free boats for life -- I was hoping they would say yes so we could all get in on that deal as well. Unfortunately when we agree to buy a product with a 2 year warranty, getting any more than that has got to be a pretty good deal, as you obviously know. Well, no harm in trying.

cracked hull wrote:
Dr. SteelheadCatcher, if I needed your opinion, and yes its your opinion, I would ask for it.
You do realize that posting your rant on a public forum automatically invites other opinions, right? You kinda have to accept what you get and consider that these opinionators might have something to consider after all, even if you don't find it flattering.

cracked hull wrote:
Matt,I understand the fact that you work for Hobie and need to eep your job. Your company has created a product that is defective. You have stated that! It dosen't matter how old the kayak is as the age does not reflect the use of a product. The constant reference to tires tells me you really don't understand the issue. A non-wearing product such as the hull of a kayak cannot be compared to a tire.
While I'm no expert in such matters, I do believe Matt is trying trying to explain to you in terms you can understand that drivewells do wear out, even if you can't see the wear. When you think about 60 cycles per minute or about 7200 strokes per hour at an average 100 psi per stroke, that adds up to a lot of stress over a half million cycles or so -- well, you can do the math. Just as erosion turns mountains into molehills eventually, pedaling flexes and cracks Polyethylene over time. As an Architect, surely you of all people should be able to understand this concept. If you want a lifetime warranty get a paddle and be prepared to pay shipping and handling charges in most cases (provided your warranty claim is accepted).

cracked hull wrote:
As anyone knows when a product is first manufactured, tests are performed on the item. Extra stress to the hull should have been taken into account in the original design.
A little ignorance (or a convenient memory) goes a long way. You may remember that your Outbacks came out before Turbofins were introduced. At that point, there was no real issue with cracking drivewells during the previous 9 years of Mirage Drives. The smaller standard fins were not capable of generating anywhere near the same forces or speeds. Your implication is that Hobie should have designed their equipment for an accessory that didn't exist. That's a high standard indeed!

cracked hull wrote:
The attitude that you could just say no is uncalled for and unprofessional.
So if I have this right, you're calling Matt Miller unprofessional even though his company has already extended significant benefits to you beyond their contracted obligation? That's a pretty cheap shot.

What sounds unprofessional to me sir (or madam) is your expressed willingness to sell a leaky and "non-repairable" boat to some unsuspecting person, whose safety may be compromised, not to mention his waste of money. Let me suggest a more responsible approach of taking Hobie up on their very generous replacement offer, thereby getting this broken boat off the market and likely making a much higher profit as well. So when you never recommend Hobie again at least some of us won't be concerned that you may have risked someone elses safety and well being for a few bucks.

If all you wanted was help, perhaps you'll remember to ask for it next time -- at the beginning. Any unflattering responses you got were exactly what you solicited. That's just my opinion. :roll:


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