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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:13 pm 
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:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: Wow I've officially just experienced the worst customer service in my life! Let me begin by saying it was not from Hobie but from a dealer. Dealer will remain confidential at this point as I'm going to contact Hobie directly with a formal correspondence of some sort to let them know about this individual. I purchased a Hobie Mirage Outfitter this past Friday July 11th at a pawn shop. Well first outing and my wife and I about sunk. It appears the mast insert has completely come through the bottom of the hull. I know boats a little but not really a kayak expert so when buying the kayak I just thought this was normal and it was a molded area not open to the inner hull. We got about a hundred yards from the dock and well things went south quickly. After getting the water out and going back out myself I realized it was this area that is the problem as I think it's about out of the water with just a person in the back.....or the leaking was much less anyway? So Saturday afternoon we went to our local Hobie (and other brand) dealer to see about a patch kit of some kind. The guy we dealth with said to send him a pic of the problem via email and he would contact his rep. I had it on my phone there in the store and sent it right away. Well I decided to contact Hobie directly this morning and rep said he had never seen anything like it, sorry only a two year warranty etc. His advice was to get a KC welder and kit and obtain a hatch cutout from "Any dealer should have these" and attempt to cover it completely but that repair was highly unlikely. Now remember I'm anxious and pissed at myself at this point for spending $1500 for a used craft and now $73 for the welder and kit. But I simply did what the rep suggested. I re-contacted the guy at the dealership and asked if I could get a patch cutout? I did this by email. Not 15 minutes later he calls and berates me for contacting Hobie saying he did not appreciate it and that he told me they can't do the repair. I was like "Whoa wait a minute I'm just following the Hobie rep's suggestion to contact any dealer and get a hatch cutout, I'm not asking you guys to do any repairs?" He went on to tell me, "Now you've made your problem my problem." Well obviously this guy is only concerned about a customer if they are his customer as in his dealership. If it's just someone with a problem with a Hobie product he is less inclined to help. Way I look at it is you go the extra mile and I will come to your shop for products and maybe buy my next kayak from you.....especially as I've already experienced problems with a used kayak. As I've said this is just the tip of a VERY VERY LARGE ICEBURG....THIS PERSON HAS NO REMOTE UNDERSTANDING OF MY RESOLVE TO BRING HIS ACTIONS TO EVERYONE'S ATTENTION!!!!! :x :x :x


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:02 pm 
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On the one hand, you had some responsibility in making sure the boat you were buying was sound. Obviously a pawn shop owner isn't the best person to give a used boat the once over. However, if I was a dealer and you contacted me, I would take the opportunity to perhaps create a new customer by attempting to help in enacting a good repair. I suspect such a dealer as the one you mention tends to reap business in direct proportion to the service and help they give.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:30 pm 
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Location: Oceanside, California
Not the issue here, but... Lest there be any doubt... this is damage that is not at all related to warranty or normal use. This has been ground away...

Image

Hobie Cat does not recommend repairs below waterline. Not that they cannot be done, but making a recommendation that is then poorly executed could result in failure of a repair, so we do not suggest it. The dealer can be held responsible for advice given, so he may feel the same way about this specific issue.

_________________
Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:25 pm 
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Absolutely right .....not the issue. But yes that is my kayak in question. For the record:
(1) not damage I caused but the way I purchased it
(2) if referring to the damage and wear caused by dragging of the mast insert....should not have been possible as it should not be protruding from the bottom of the hull. Other scratches are abuse no doubt, but there is not a hole worn through from dragging....the damage came from above through the hull not from the bottom. The hull is not worn to the mast insert....it's the other way around.
(3) I have not asked the Hobie dealership in my area to repair the kayak. I only have asked for a hatch cutout which I presume would cost Hobie $0.00.

My issue is in no way with Hobie. Poor customer service through a dealership should however be something that would concern Hobie greatly I would hope? I was chastised today for contacting Hobie and talking to a customer service rep through email. Again, no issue there he explained the two year warranty and made the appropriate suggestion as to the purchase of a plastic welder and also that I obtain a hatch cutout and that "Any dealer can provide one of these." So in following up with my original contact at the closer dealer to my hometown, I was instead chastised and told "Now you've made your problem my problem." Yes 100% agree. Any customer problem whether the kayak was purchased through your particular dealership is your problem. It's called GOOD customer service. I was told they are "Busy". Another good thing presumably.....busy means you are hopefully selling and making a profit. At a minimum it means an opportunity to help even a potential customer out for future sales and loyalty????????????? I myself work in a customer related field. If I were to EVER treat a customer this poorly I would expect to be fired. If I have a customer call me about a particular product (chemical industry) not made at my plant or even in my company.....my response would be to help the person to the right contact. That may even require finding that for them even if it were in a completely different plant in a totally different country. Customer service is severely lacking these days...it's comes from a younger generation of timeout instead of butt whippings, to everyone gets a trophy instead of understanding that competition brings out the best in companies and good customer service results in new sales and continuing loyal customers. This used to be commonsense. :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:54 pm 
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RockHillHobieNewbie:
I'm laughing about this because we all get took once in a while, I'm no different. You should have legal recourse in small claims court to get your money back from the pawn shop, any judge will hear this and will get your money back no matter what the pawn shops policy is, that's the way small claims courts work. But you have to admit buying a $1200 dollar boat for $1500 dollars with a giant un-repairable hole in the bottom making the boat useless, is not Hobies fault.
Did you look over the boat at all before buying it, did you notice the giant hole in the bottom, I'm not making fun of you, I'm just curious as this would be like buying a car with no tires, as you have some responsibility to know what your buying and to inspect it before handing over the money. In the case of a boat you kind of have to know if floats and works before you hand over any money, that's just common sense (that's why people test drive cars).

I've owned a lot of Hobie kayaks and have repaired many, I'm telling you from my experience that that hull is scrap and cannot be repaired. As Matt states Hobie does not recommend making any repairs below the waterline, and I have to believe pretty much all dealers follow their lead (for liability reasons). However if the boat is not under warranty and your willing to do the repair yourself with no expectations of success, and the assumption that it could and probably will start leaking again, and if you want to get some life out of the boat by all means try to repair it yourself. The Hobie rep I think was just suggesting something to the same effect, that users do buy the Hobie welders and repair their own hulls once in a while (I have one of those welders and make my own repairs, but have no expectations about how the repair will last, or any kind of safety guarantee, I take all the responsibility myself).
Hope this helps you
Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:37 pm 
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RockHill, welcome to the forum. We all have to pay the price for wisdom and I would say you got a pretty good dose! I think we can salvage most of your investment here and hopefully get you out on the water. I think your boat is repairable -- here's how I would proceed at this point:

1. Examine the boat thoroughly and look for any other signs of damage, concentrating below the waterline. Pay particular attention to the drivewells, looking for any cracks in the plastic. If you find nothing else suspicious then you can proceed. BTW, you can determine the year model by looking at the serial # on the bottom near the stern -- the last two digits will be the model year. It's good to know this if you need parts later.

2. Lets get started with the repair. Ideally you can procure some matching polyethylene (PE) to cut up and use. Hobie would be your best source for a color match. Dealers don't necessarily carry scrap plastic but one might be willing to ask Hobie to send some. They are not under any obligation to do this for you so be nice if you want their help! Otherwise, we'll move forward anyway.

You're going to need some special epoxy -- either 3M Scotchweld DP 8010 or Loctite 3030. These are the only two epoxies that I know of that will form a strong bond with PE. You don't need to rush out and buy any special dispensers -- read here for links more specifically related on tips working with these products, where to find them, etc:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=48538&p=216118&hilit=scotchweld#p216118

3. Lets remove the mast receiver. It screws in from the top so open the nearest hatch, grab the tube and unscrew it. Withdraw it from the top and set it aside.

4. Next lets patch the hull from the inside. Cut out a patch from any material you can find to fit over the hole. Heat it enough to shape it to match the curvature of the hull as close as possible. You'll mix about 1/2 of a small epoxy kit to bond and seal around the hole perimeter. You don't get much working time with this stuff so have your job laid out and rehearse the set up. Be sure to use latex gloves. Let it set up for a day. This should restore the watertight integrity of your hull.

5. The next job is to reinsert the mast receiver or mast step. You need to find or build either an inside or outside mount that will permanently sit inside the bottom and anchor the mast receiver. This sits inside and permanently mounts to the bottom of your hull. I'm thinking about an inside mount PVC end cap that slips in the bottom of the tube -- fatten it up with glue or slim it down with sandpaper as necessary for a reasonably snug fit. Clean up the bottom of the tube. If you bring the tube with you to Home Depot or Lowes, etc, and snoop around the plumbing isle until you find something.

6. Using a stainless screw, anchor the bottom of your end cap to center of your former hole to align it with the mast step. You're going to screw this in from outside the hull. A dab of glue/epoxy will keep your base from unscrewing over time. Trim the mast step to the new correct height and screw it in place. The screw head will be sealed and buried under your outer patch, which we can address next.

7. The outer patch is for extra strength, and can be as cosmetically nice as you want to make it. If you're not an experienced plastic welder and can't get suitably matching PE, you might just as well return the welder. You can glue and patch this, pre-shaping your patch as much as possible, filling in with epoxy as necessary and sanding everything flush when set-up. If not pretty, it will be streamlined, solid and ready for the water!

The forum is here to help you. Ask if you have questions. If you take some pics along the way, you might be able to help someone else with their problem. Good luck! 8)

PS. Hobie dealers are independent businesses. They do not work for Hobie and are under no obligation to service anything they did not sell. They can choose not to do business with certain customers that piss them off. That said, most are more than willing to help out and would probably like to earn your business. Hobie reps work for Hobie and are there primarily to assist dealers. Anything you need from Hobie is done through the dealer network. Going forward, you might keep that in mind for best results.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:57 am 
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Thanks for very thorough repair advice. At this point I'm going to attempt to get a refund from pawn shop where I bought it. I made the purchase with my Visa/Mastercard so hopefully I have some recourse. If that fails then I'll check out my small claims court options.....not sure how "No Refund/ No Exchange" signs apply to North Carolina....my next investigation.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:46 am 
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Roadrunner, again thanks for the excellent repair instructions. If I do end up needing to go that route I have a couple questions and comments. First I don't ever plan on using the sail option, so could I not just shorten the mast insert and put it back in.....the floor of the mast insert is still there? Or does the mast insert need to make contact with the bottom inside of the hull for some reason? Also, the hole for the mast insert is only slightly bigger than a quarter......so not sure how I would get a patch down to or have any room to work on the bottom inside of the hull to begin with? Thank you again especially for the Loctite recommendation for bonding to PE.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:26 am 
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Roadrunner forgive me....been going through a lot with this. So ignore the second part of my previous post on how do I get to the bottom inside of the hull......you clearly stated "through the nearest hatch". I will definitely take pictures should I decide to do the repair and I do think it's very possible as well. I checked with MasterCard and I have no recourse there so small claims court as one of the other posters suggested may be an option but a lot of work as well???


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:37 am 
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Great response RoadRunner.

RockHill - I use to have a similar issue where I trusted people when buying used equipment...I no longer have this issue as I try to question everything and go over the item with a fine tooth comb. Good luck if you end up keeping it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:39 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Rockhill:
Yes Roadrunner is correct, you are not out anything trying to fix the boat so you can at least get some use out of it, we all feel bad for you and are trying to help you here.
There may be one more method to attempt to fix that might work, but you will need to experiment a little to get the technique down before proceeding on the real fix. I personally have had very little luck trying to use any adhesives or epoxies on my boats, there is almost nothing out there that bonds to the polyethylene well enough. However I have found that heat and melting the plastic does seem to hold.
I don't know your boat well but I'm assuming you can reach inside the hull to access the area inside near the mast receiver. As roadrunner discribed adhering a 3x3 or larger plate of plastic inside the hull is your best bet. The only difference from my method and roadrunners is how it is applied (either method will likely work. The important thing to remember is this inside joint is your main water seal, the outside part is cosmetic.
What I would do is go to walmart and buy a cheap Teflon frying pan and a cheap white polyethylene kitchen cutting board (about 3/8 of a inch thick) . I would then cut a 3x3 or larger square out of one corner. I would then super glue something to one surface to use as a handle to hold, anything will work like a small block of wood. Now you place the piece of cutting board into the frying pan and let it heat up and begin to melt (not too much heat or the plastic will burn (under 500 deg if possible). After a while the plastic will be molten about halfway thru. At this point you carefully remove from the fry pan (you may need a spatula or something) then immediately go press it into the area inside the hull where you want the repair. Hold it down until it is solid. If everything goes as planned it will follow the contour of the inside and will be perminantly bonded to the inside of the hull. After everything is cool and bonded a sharp crack to the temporary handle should break it off the plastic. Keep in mind this is a functional repair for your own personal use only, and only for the purpose of you being able to use your boat. Personally I would use the same method on the outside of the hull. I would cut another suitable piece from the cutting board, make another handle, put it in the fry pan, partially melt the bottom, then press it onto the outside of the hull. After the repair is done you can contour the bottom of the hull with a sure form body file or sander to contour the patch to match the hull shape. Yes the patched area will be white but who cares, as long as it seals the hull and you can use the boat. Do like roadrunner said to secure the mast tube on the inside before proceeding with the outside. Use a flathead screw so it is flush before applying the outside fix.
Either method will probably work however you may need to mess around withe the heat method and experiment a little to get the hang of it ( try adhering your patches to the cutting board to experiment). Or you can make a 1x1 patch then adhere it to some discreet spot inside your hull to get the routine down. Think of this repair method as similar to how you would repair a hole in an air matress.
The repair may hold better if you soak the repair area with heptane (Bestest rubber cement thinner) just prior to applying the patch (heptane melts polyethylene and is the active ingredient in super glue for plastics and Krylon spray paint for plastics FYI).

You also have one more option to go to Hobie and buy a new replacement hull, that's what most of us would do in this situation. Once you get the new hull you just transfer your mirage drives and seats to the new hull. If it's any conciliation your mirage drives alone are worth almost a thousand bucks, add in the seats and paddles and you are very close to the 1500 you already paid. So even if you pay a thousand for the new hull (with shipping) you will have a brand new boat for much less than new price ($2800). If it were me I would at least try the repair first, if it doesn't work, go to the dealer (with some humble pie) and he can order you a replacement hull (only dealers can order them). The purpose of the replacement hull program Hobie has (which is very fair) is to cover these situations, most of us have got replacement hulls at one time or another from Hobie so your not alone.
Ps mirage drives are completely repairable and virtually last forever, so just having them make everything worthwhile (new they would cost you $1200 dollars for the pair) so your still doing ok.
Good luck with your repair
Bob


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:34 am 
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Fusioneng, thank you very much for the advice. Both your and Roadrunner's advice sounds very solid. I have a heatgun so premelting a PE cutting board and utilizing Heptane sounds like a pretty good plan. I'm a chemist by trade and have plenty of Heptane access. Not sure which method sounds better at the moment to be honest as they both seem to have merit? Do you think that heating the inside of the hull itself would be advantageous for bonding? I would of course have to be careful not to get it too hot. I think I may try to use your method on the inside of the hull and then hopefully heat a hatch cutout I'm trying to obtain in the same manner for the outside. Then since I've already ordered the KC welder I could plastic weld the edge of the hatch cutout utilizing the supplied metal mesh for additional strength. Final touch which would be cosmetic only would be to apply a silicone elastomer over the entire outside patch area, we have a product at work that is only slightly lighter in color than the current blue color for the hull. Any additional thoughts.....particularly perhaps using a hatch cutout in Fusioneng's method for the inside rather than a cutting board? Not sure how flexible a cutting board piece would be and pre-shapeing the patch to the curve of the hull I would think could be important for adhesion? Unless I get a cutting board completely gooey beforehand (frying pan method?) as Fusioneng suggests so that it is completely pliable and formable. Roadrunner your thoughts as to how well the Loctite will work vs this method? Oh one more unrelated question Fusioneng? From your username......any chance you work for Heraeus-Nobelight (formerly Fusion UV curing)? I work in the UV Radiation cure coating industry. Thanks again for all the comments.......even the one's about my being an idiot...honestly I thought the tube sticking out the bottom of the craft was normal and this hole was similar to a scupper hole and molded rather than being open to the inner hole. I did not look closely enough. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:57 am 
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RockHill:
I'm always cautious about applying heat directly to the hull itself, that's why I was describing the fry pan (a method to heat the plastic to a semi-gelatinous mass (in chemistry terms LOL) without having to heat the hull up too much (much safer)).
As you know from your chemistry polyethylene is one of the few materials in the world that doesn't stick to anything, and as a thermoplastic the only method I know of to work with it is via heat, then re-bonding the molecules. I have yet to find any adhesives that truly work. Roadrunner has a lot of experience, and if he says his method works it probably does ( he is the foremost expert on this forum, with by far the most experience), I personally have not had such luck using any repair materials like epoxy, but that's just me.
As I mentioned I also have a KC welder and use it often for minor repairs, but nothing ever so extensive as I see in your repair, so it clearly scares me a little, but I would definitely attempt to fix it, just how is the fifty dollar question. At the very least you now have some ideas and options, and it sounds like your up for the task.

The name Fusioneng is a name I have had for many years that I use for email and stuff for the last 30 yrs or so, everyone knows me by this name. Nothing to do with the company you describe, I worked For Honeywell for many years ( I still remember my start date at Honeywell 3-27-72), and did quite a bit of consulting with the department of energy ( DOE) over many years thru Honeywells KC division in Tampa and various other divisions. Both my parents and my sister spent their whole careers working for Honeywell (kind of a family thing I guess). The name is related to what I helped the DOE design.
Bob


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:10 am 
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Epoxy isn't the right adhesive for this. GOOP comes closer (funny name, serious adhesive). The bond isn 't permanent, but it is tenacious. Heat is still likely to be the best all around repair method. It's just such a large area to deal with. But like the others here - you're already out the money for the boat so attempting a repair is really a no risk proposition.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:52 am 
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Actually I thought GOOP was an adhesive remover? Oh, scratch that, I'm thinking GOO GONE. I agree heat is probably the best method. For good measure after I use the cutting board / heat method I was seriously considering putting some Gorilla Glue over the patch on the inside just for good measure?? Can't hurt, may not adhere? I've had pretty good luck with this stuff in the past?


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