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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:04 pm
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I've been kayaking a couple years and recently tried out a friends Hobie Revolution 13. I am sold on the Mirage drive, but the closest Hobie kayak dealer is several hundred miles away. I have decided to buy online. I've never bought anything like this online and am wondering how Austin Kayak, Kayak Shed, Amazon, etc. buyers have fared with their online purchases.

1) How are the boats packaged to prevent freight damage?  Do they box or crate them? If freight damage does occur, do I battle it out with the trucking company or does store handle everything?

2) What if something is amiss, like hull dents, scratches or worse like a broken rudder? If there is something like a factory problem, how is that handled? Do I send the entire boat back?

I would appreciate hearing from others who have purchased their Hobies online from any of these or other dealers and have had problems.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:13 am 
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I've never ordered a kayak online, but just wanted to say I've ordered many things from Austin Kayak. Their prices can't be beat & their service is very good. I've also ordered a zillion things from Amazon & have never been disappointed. Both places have a great reputation & I'm sure want to keep it that way. Sometimes, when you shop at Amazon, you aren't actually buying from Amazon, so check the sellers reviews before you buy. Anyone associated with Amazon has to be very reliable. The only problems I've had ordering this way is that sometimes, it takes a little longer than Amazon's lightening speed shipping. I wouldn't hesitate ordering from either Amazon or Austin. Austin also delivers very quickly. You can phone Austin directly and ask them any questions you might have, such as packing, etc. I would also do the same if ordering from one of Amazon's sellers. Check to see if they have contact information.

Ps: I have a Hobie Revolution & love it. Unfortunately, I can't load it myself -- it's too long & heavy for me (back problems & I'm just a girl), so I have to sell it and buy the smaller Sport. I've looked into ramps & rollers, but nothing I've found is going to lift it off the ground for me. So sad, because it's a gorgeous kayak. Don't know how you guys get them on the rooftops!

Good luck & happy kayaking,

Janet


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:36 am
Posts: 171
Location: NW Arkansas
They are double wrapped in bubblewrap. The rudder a d bow are quadrouple bubble wraped. Call your closest dealer and ask about drop shipping.
Freight damage is the freight carriers problem.
You will like your choice.
Jim

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 2096
Location: High Point, NC
I've ended up buying most of my Hobies online (local dealer doesn't stock much) and can only report good things. Even bought a Tandem Island and it arrived in good shape.

In fact, your biggest concern and trouble will be unpacking the boat from the half ton of cardboard and bubble wrap! The boats are pretty tough and unless the trucking company runs a forklift through it or stacks a heavy pallet on top of it, they seem to arrive unscathed.

Damage or warranty claims have to go through the dealer, which in most cases seem willing and able to quickly take care of things.

For the record, I have bought Hobies from both Austin Kayak and Appomatox River Company and have nothing but good things to say about either.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1442
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
gaspasser :
This is just my opinion, but even if the local hobie dealer is a few hrs drive away, it would be worth buying thru them. You pay the same price for Hobie Kayaks wherever you buy them from, and the dealers are the front line for after purchase support and will typically go to bat for you if you have any problems of any kind. I know the Hobie dealer I go to (Economy Tackle in Sarasota Florida) really goes out of their way to support the product. One example, the weld broke on my scupper cart recently, instead of having to mail the cart somewhere for evaluation and exchange (which could have taken weeks), they just took my old cart and gave me a new one. They even mounted the wheels on it and made sure everything was working correctly.
I don't know if every dealer does this but since I bought my kayak from them, I get a 10% discount on any accessories. You will likely need PFD's anchors, scupper carts, rod holders, etc, etc, etc. once you establish a relationship with them and they know you by name, they are just a phone call away for any questions or problems to give you expert advise. Another example I can give is on one of our older kayaks the rudder lines came loose, I called them and they described exactly what I needed to do to adjust them, I was able to fix it my self with their excellent instructions, they concluded the call with hey if you can't get it to work or have any problems just bring it down, we'll fix for you, I've taken a couple of the boats in for little things, and they always fix me right up. Even if they are not close by building a relationship is good in my opinion. Another big deal for us was when we got our first Hobies, we purchased the roof racks from them as well, they installed the roof racks, insured the kayaks were secure for our drive down to our other house in Key West which is a 300 mile drive, we directly left from their shop for our trip (we've actually done that about 4 times now ( we've owned 7 or 8 Hobies now over the years).
I'm sure they could work out a drop shipment directly to your house, but it were me, I would just take a drive down there when it arrives, have them set it all up and assemble everything for you, they will assist you in assuring that you have a safe carrying system, and you can pick up all the needed accessories ( hint:::: Hobie Kayak sail kit, and sailing rudder) all at the same time. You will be ready for the water.
You can do what you like, that's just what I recommend, since everything Hobie related is done thru their dealer network. I know from my own experience if you just call any random dealer demanding resolution to some problem, if they don't know you, and you have never bought anything from them, I just don't see them jumping thru hoops for you.
If you ever want to put a trolling motor on, even if none is planned right now, I would ask for the MCO (manufacturers certificate of origin) document. This is a legal document that must be presented for any registration, licensing, and most insurance carriers require them. You can only get this document from the dealer who sold you the boat, Hobie or anyone else for that matter cannot send it to you, it has to be from the dealer who you buy the boat from (no exceptions, for legal reasons). I foresee in the near future even kayaks with sail kits will need to be registered (some states are beginning to do this already), it's best to be prepared.
I license and register all my Hobies so if they ever get lost or stolen, you have a means of getting it back if recovered. Were not talking a $200 dollar kayak from walmart here, these things are very valuable and will last you for many years.
Hope this helps
Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:06 am
Posts: 736
Location: Amelia Island, FL
I agree with the purchasing of your Hobie from the nearest dealer. I know you said it was couple hundred miles to the dealership but if you ever have a warranty/repair problem, they are the ones who will take care of you.

I recently had a problem with the rudder system. While it was under warranty, it seems that Hobie wasn't the most responsive in sending the necessary parts for repair. The dealership, Black Creek Outfitters, provided me with a demo PA 12 for my use while all this was being resolved. I had the demo for over 3 weeks which included one tournament and 6 fishing trips.

I have had a couple other repair issues which I have been able to simply call them and have them guide me through the process over the telephone.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:12 pm
Posts: 184
Location: Columbia, MD
X2 on what Bob said about getting the MSO when you order. If you need it 2 years later like I did, it can take some time to get a hold of - nearly a month in my case. If the dealer goes out of business before you get it then things could get messy!

X2 on ACK as well. Never ordered a boat from them but wouldn't hesitate to based on my experience with their service.


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