Jacques, your post was thoughtful and, to me, had new information, so I wanted to reply. Sorry about the delay.
I can't understand where you are coming from - we have never charge someone $1100 for a 3 year old hull out of warranty (I know that this poster who started the thread is claiming that we did, but it was a 5 year old boat - and he wasn't the original owner - and you have to add frieght and tax - so maybe it got to that point, or maybe his dealer added handling fees, I don't know - we have tried a few times now to know who Mr Bill is - who his dealer is, and he has never gotten back to us to explain this thread - and so it goes, it just continues and grows every day) the fact is we do use a pro-rated cost scale on boats that fall outside of warranty... this is on a case-by-case basis, but in order to pay $1100 it would need to be about a 7 year old kayak (and a 2nd owner). (keep in mind I am not including freight or taxes so maybe that's a difference?)
This is the first that I have heard the $1100 number disputed or, in fact, any of what you wrote here. The concept of a pro-rated cost scale for replacing older boats with defects is appealing. I understand that you state later in your post that you aren't acting as a company spokesman, and I suspect Hobie doesn't document this because they don't want to be bound by it. I appreciate the company's preference for flexibility and the ability to apply such a policy on a case-by-case basis, but if Hobie is going to spend the money providing the support, they might as well get the credit for doing it, especially if it could swing a sale. This policy certainly would matter to me.
I think that you are delaying a purchase until someone tells you that you will never have a problem, and you will never have to pay something to replace a hull when or if that something does happen. (that just isn't possible, so I think your expectations are unrealistic) We do want to earn your business, and I am 100% confident that you would absolutely love a new Revo... nothing else on the market compares to a Mirage - if you are still paddling, you are missing out on the Mirage experience big time.
I think your statement here is unfair and borderline offensive. What I was, and still am, looking for is Hobie to take responsibility for certain major failures of boats beyond the stated warranty period. In fact, just one type of irreparable and catastrophic failure that seems to occur with enough frequency to be troubling. As I wrote in my other posts, I have no problem at all with paying for repairs on other small parts that are wear items. The only data I had suggested that people who buy a used boat and then have a problem beyond the two year warranty period were forced to basically pay full price for a replacement hull.
The percentage of warranty is way less than any industry standard - but as is the nature of forums, you only hear about the issues - that is normal - we don't try and shy away from defects in kayaks - it happens...it isn't a design flaw as you try to point out - rather there are numerous factors that you aren't considering.
I will take your word on percentage of warranty relative to industry standards, but the rest is a question of semantics. I will stand by my opinion that the failures in the drive wells are a design flaw. I believe we all agree that there are hulls that crack there. I also believe we agree that certain pedaling techniques and other conditions create stresses that will make a hull more likely to crack. It sounds like one of those other conditions is that the more powerful the fin, the greater the stress and more likely a crack will form. Hobie has tried various updates over the past few years to strengthen this area and solve the problem. Clearly, someone thinks a better design is out there waiting to be found. Hobie won't find it by magic. Hard to tell if a problem with as many variables is fixed until it has field use, so there is no blame to be placed for updates that don't solve the problem. If there are other factors that aren't being considered, you would be better served to spell them out than to just make an assumption of ignorance.
And a warranty is just that - it is to protect the purchaser from a manufacturing defect down the line - most defect will show up early in the boats life, hence the 2 year stated warranty - for 95% of people that's all they need, but on occasion there could be a problem which develop much later on, and for that reason we go beyond. Look around at any other product made - try and find a company that does more than we do.
I'm fairly confident that you will probably reply back to my post - and you might even not be happy with my reply, and might even take it wrong or get mad - but believe me when I say that we are all working here to make the best products we can. Designers - sales staff - factory employees - and us office jockeys - we all love Hobie - I personally have been on some type of Hobie product long before I worked here (30 years of Hobie use - 12 years here working at the company) - so I know that the people here at Hobie Cat Co Oceanside CA. all care a lot about the brand. We are people who try our best day in, and day out. This particular thread is going nowhere quick, and I would like to see it die on the vine - it isn't accomplishing anything.
We do monitor the forums and reply when we need to - but my belief is that this is a 'User' forum, and we just let most things just slide on by - I am not a company spokesman - and I don't want my opinion here to be taken in any other way than it being my personal opinion that this entire thread is just getting silly.
We have never charged someone anything that wasn't fair - and our stated warranty get's extended double triple the written time frame - that is well beyond what any other manufacturer would ever offer it's customers.
There is no doubt that the employees at Hobie care. There is no doubt that there are reports of Hobie going beyond the letter of the warranty. Unfortunately, it isn't predictable that Hobie will do this for any customer at any time. From things read elsewhere, it seems that some dealers are better connected than others in terms of getting such service for their customers. Maybe that's at Hobie's end, or maybe it's at the dealer end. Either way, there's a perception that all customers and dealers aren't equal. That's good for the dealers that can claim a better ability to get customers taken care of, but not for Hobie or for other dealers.
As far as what Hobie charges, they charge what they charge. They feel it is fair. Does the buyer? At least the guy who started this thread didn't think it was fair. Admittedly, this is now a questionable reference point, but "fair" is subjective. Some would consider it fair to charge full price for a hull that is a few days out of warranty. Others would disagree.
RoadRunner is an awesome Hobie ambassador for us as well, and I think most everyone on this forum will agree to that - I think that you should read what he said again, and re-think your response to him.
I appreciate your perspective based upon history, but I will stand by my interpretation of his post and response. Some people have a chip on their shoulders with regard to this problem or any criticism of the Hobie product. If they want to be a positive brand ambassador, then they need to find a way to respond to such issues with kindness rather than animosity.
This thread should be ended now - but something tells me it will continue on and on - but the reality is that Hobie Warranty goes above and beyond to help customers who have an issue, and we always try our best to resolve them quickly and fairly.
I appreciate this perspective.
As a side note, the post from airstream13013 has me thinking. It sounds like there could be a list of things to do / not to do in order to minimize the chance of a problem. I have heard cracks blamed on things like the larger fins, high acceleration rates, too long a pedal stroke, and mis-aligned drive insertion. Are there other things to be avoided?