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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:32 pm 
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Location: Omaha, Nebraska
As I had mentioned in another string, my Outback hull had cracked once again in the same location (just forward of the drive well at a little white plug). This same crack has happened to 3 hulls already. It seems to happen every two years.

Covered by Hobie's 2-year warranty (by less than a month in all cases), Hobie had been great at providing a free replacement hull twice now. This time though, Hobie is going to charge $496 for the hull. And shipping is $175. At $671, Hobie is probably still cutting me a break (am guessing a hull costs closer to $1100 maybe?).

My question, though, is what am I doing wrong to get such a short hull life?

1. I'm a 270 pound 60 year-old. I kayak local lakes, and once in a great while, an occasional river (I store my drive topside when river paddling to be sure it does not get hung on obstacles).

2. I'm guessing I average 2 outing a week, each about a 2-3 hours float.

3. Nebraska is usually good for about 7 months of kayaking per year.

3. The boat is trailered, has never been dropped, and has never hit rocky shores.

4. I had indeed hit a fair amount of underwater things in my first yak. But now I'm a seasoned pedaler and can pretty much guess where underwater danger lurks, so I slow down. Want proof? I bent just one fin rod last year (an underwater log), and the result was a 10 degree bend in the rod ...hardly catastrophic.

5. I am a strong pedaler, but my pedal drive is 6-years old. In order to preserve it, I don't speed around as often as I used to. However, the drive is Turbo Fin equipped.

I'm at a loss as to what's causing these hull failures. Surly, I am not abusing my hulls, at least in ways I can detect. So why did this last hull crack JUST like the other ones? And has Hobie re-engineered this crack area within the last 2 years? Or am I fated to run through yet another hull 2 years from now.

Thoughts appreciated...

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:51 pm 
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No way to explain why you would see three, but that is more common than than I can explain by sheer coincidence. There is likely are user difference. Bracing against the pedals when fishing or pushing yourself back into the seat? Like to pedal hard with Turbos? Hard to say. Something is fatiguing the material more than is seen on other peoples boats.

In any case, yes we have continued to improve the product through design, process and material changes. We have an extensive material qualification testing program that is more refined in the past few years. We were previously at the mercy of the plastics suppliers. No longer the case.

So... a new boat is a better boat for sure.

As far as the charge... I take it we are still covering you based on your original purchase? That makes some sense. We are talking 2006 original purchase? 2008 and 2010 replacements? I can tell you this... the tire or auto industry wouldn't cover issues like we do. You get past the first warranty period... you're done.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Thanks. You're absolutely right about the warranty. I regard Hobie as on par with Apple. And I appreciate that.

Still, can't nail down why my boats fail so consistently. I do have turbos, and I can pedal strongly. But, as mentioned before, I had been easing-up over the last few years to preserve my old drive.

When I push back into my seat, I tend to just lift my butt with arms and swing back, so am not using pedals to brace in that case. And I don't fish, so top-side movement is minimal. And I also store very little that weighs much in the boat (no fish live-wells, equipment, etc.)

However, I do brace my feet a fair amount when I paddle. I brace my right foot against the bracing ribs within the boat. However, I brace my left foot by extending it while keeping it in the pedal (to keep the drive retracted. Could that possibly be a major cause for stress the hull?

The pressure, in that case, seems too consistent, and fairly light, compared to the back & forth stress of pedaling, to effect a hull enough to fail. Besides, the crack is initially on the hull's bottom surface, not in the pedal well notch. Only as it grows and breaches that little plug does the crack invade the notch. Mmmm.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:01 pm 
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As I have been active in another thread regarding hull failures, I will make a quick post here. It seems this is very fair treatment by Hobie to replace these hulls and a reasonable charge for this replacement under the circumstances.

I have little doubt that there is something about the way you use the boat that differs from most. I have seen a few reports of people cracking their second or third hulls, so it definitely appears that there is something about particular individual habits that relates to problems. If I were Hobie, I would want to mount a camera on your boat and review the footage to see if they can identify anything in the way you drive. I would also guess that you're among the top 10% in total float time averaging in the vicinity of 300 hours per year.

Also, I know that the most recent drives have an extra guide pin on them, not sure what it is called, to ensure that you insert it straight. It could also provide some additional support, again, I don't really know. You might investigate a drive upgrade to see if there's something that might alleviate pressure in design improvements there.

If they are sending you a hull from the factory, they might also be able to examine and reinforce the stress area on your particular hull before it ships. I'm not sure if there's anything that can be done, but it sounds like you'd make a great tester for any further improvements in this area.

Good luck with your next hull!

-bob


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:31 am 
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Location: Amelia Island, FL
Could the way you transport or store your Outback be a contributor to the problem?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Location: Danbury CT
Does this look familiar :

Image
cracks by pgerhardt62, on Flickr

I discovered these cracks at the front of the drive well on my outback today! Sent an email to my dealer (The Boatlocker in Westport CT) about it. We'll see what happens, but I wanted to let you know that you are not the only one.

I also switched to turbo fins. I live on Candlewood lake in CT, I am retired, and I am out (weather permitting) for 1-2 hours every morning. So I guess I am also a "heavy use" case. Interesting?

We also have an Oasis (crack free), so I'll still be on the water every morning while this gets resolved. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:06 pm 
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Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Na na na na naaa na. My crack is straighter!

Kidding aside, be aware that with a little more use, your small crack will most likely grow longer and wider. Mine was hairline and 1/2 inch. It widened and grew to an inch in just a few paddles. Keep a hand pump at ready if you take it out again. Guerrilla Tape, carefully applied to outside AND inside of hull, will slow (not stop) a leak. I also highly suggest that you do NOT do big water with such a crack.

For those that asked, I trailer my boat and use Hully Rollers on my latest hull. Used J-bars on the other hulls, so it's unlikely that's the problem. In winter the boats were all stored on two slings on the garage ceiling. Doesn't look like that would stress the hull in a manner that would cause such a crack.

BTW, Hobie and I came to an agreement regarding hull replacement costs. Thanks Hobie.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:37 am 
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Location: Danbury CT
I don't think transporting your Hobie has anything to do with the cracks. Since I live on the lake my Hobies sit upside down on my dock when not in use. No transporting, but still cracks. Heavy use with turbo fins may be the common link.

BTW Does anyone know if a hull replacement is just the plastic shell and you have to transfer over your rudder assembly, lines and handle, or does it come with the rudder assembly installed?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:21 pm 
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My last hull came with everything that was normally permanently attached to the hull, with the possible exception of the rudder blade. So the tiller, rudder lines, rudder holder, bungies and hatches were included with the new hull.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:14 pm 
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I noticed this area is solid while the area around the plug is flexable. wouldn`t it be less likely to crack if it was one piece(no plug)? Does the hull ever crack under the sail ? Sometimes simple solutions come from simple minds. :D


Last edited by oldyaker on Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:22 pm 
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Location: Danbury CT
Thomas wrote:
My last hull came with everything that was normally permanently attached to the hull, with the possible exception of the rudder blade. So the tiller, rudder lines, rudder holder, bungies and hatches were included with the new hull.


Thanks for the info. I just have to remember to remove my sailing rudder before I swap.

BTW my dealer said he submitted my warrantee claim Friday. So let's hope Hobie is kind to me. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:43 pm 
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Just noticed my Outback is cracked in the same place. Wondered why the hull was taking on so much water last couple trips out.

For what it's worth, I also use Turbo fins and might be considered a "heavy" user - out 2-4 times per week for an hour or so of hard pedaling. The yak is garage stored on a rack (on its side) and not transported for over a year.

This problem was preceded earlier this summer by a tendency for one side of the drive to pop violently out of the latches. Not sure if the problems are related or not...

I take it this is not repairable and I should contact my dealer?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:16 pm 
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If it's in the right (or shall I say wrong) place, there is apparently just too much stress in that area for a repair to last long. As far as your drive popping out violently, I don't remember that having happened to me.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:04 am 
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Thanks - based on that, it doesn't look repairable, but I've posted a photo in case someone has a different opinion. This is the forward end of the Mirage drive well on a 2009 Outback.

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:24 am 
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Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Yep, that's the usual "unfixable" crack problem.

Regarding your drive popping out problem: Are you using an older drive in newer click mounts? Old drives need to have their "axle" rod replaced to mount properly and securely into the newer click mounts. Look at your drive. If the axle rod's ends are rounded, you'll need to replace with newer axle rods with a chamfered edge.

I'm sure someone on this forum has posted how to do this. And it's not hard to replace (you don't have to take apart the whole drive) if you know the secret.

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