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 Post subject: Reliability of hand pump
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:43 am 
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I'm a new owner of an I14T. After about 6 inflations of the boat the hand pump disintegrated inside. It was used normally with no abuse. I'm wondering if others have had similar experiences.
The failure ruined a day's plans, and I had to drive 30 miiles one way to the nearest Hobie dealer who didn't have a replacement in stock, and since it was a Saturday I'm relying on the dealer to remember next Monday to call Hobie and order a new one. I find it ridiculous that parts can't be ordered online by customers and they have to go thru dealers who might be unreliable and in far away places. A $2000 boat is rendered useless by a $40 part failure. If I had known parts couldn't be obtained directly I would have never bought a Hobie. How about joining the 20th century and then start thinking about the 21st?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:04 am 
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As expected, I called the dealer this morning and they had no record of my Saturday visit. They did say it would take "at least" a week to get the pump once ordered. I have a few questions to Hobie:
1. Why do dealers have to wait until Monday to place an order when your product is mainly used by customers visiting dealers on weekends?
2. Why do dealers have to phone in an order instead of having an online system to place an order, tell the customer when they will get the part, if it's in stock, and give immediate feedback to customers?
3. Does Hobie do any checking to see if the dealer is knowledgeable about Hobie products and parts? From reading this board it's apparent that dealers aren't informed about Hobie products and parts.

This particular dealer had ZERO inflatables in stock and ZERO parts in stock. The manager began texting his "Hobie contact" when I asked about getting a replacement. I never heard if he got a text reply. The dealer just called and said Hobie wants a picture of the broken pump which has to be emailed to the dealer. I suppose then Hobie will assess if the pump is under warranty. The dealer has no idea how long it will take to get a replacement pump.

I'm very satisfied with my boat overall. It does have the difficult rudder deploy and loose paddle grips as mentioned in other posts, but overall it's a great boat. However for those of you considering a purchase, it's wise to take "stock" of how Hobie treats its customers through the dealer network, and why you have to pay a markup to a dealer every time you want or need a new part.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 9025
Location: Oceanside, California
Sorry to hear about the pump problem.

I am sure that our warranty manager simply wants to understand the failure for our purposes. Certainly it will be covered.

We typically ship same-day as ordered. Parts can be shipped direct to you (drop ship) and for next day delivery if it would help.

Shipping is Monday - Friday, so ordering on a weekend is not going to speed the process.

Dealers are independent and not like a car dealer who is directly connected to a factory, so control of their product experience and inventory is minimal, but we try to keep teaching them. The good dealers do "get it" and some have on-line ordering.

We do not do consumer direct Internet sales for a variety of important reasons that we have been reviewing continuously for many years.

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


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Where'd you get it for $2000?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:24 pm 
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It was a demo, yellow, and the last inflatable the dealer had at the store. I got the sail thrown in also at that price. Located in Jacksonville, FL but that price is long gone. I was told they were waiting on 2009 models.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:42 pm 
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Fletch,
Do you mind me asking how tall you are? I'm trying to get a feel for room in the aft seat of the i14T. I'm 6'2". I tested the i12S this past weekend and had plenty of room.
Terry


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:57 am 
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Hi Terry,

I'm 6'1". I have plenty of leg room. I set the Mirage drive pedals at 3 and feel completely comfortable. You can adjust them up to 5 which should give you plenty of pedal room. There's even room in front of the rear drive behind the front seat for a small cooler, dry bag, or flotation vest, as long as you don't use the sail. The sail mast mount looks pretty iffy if you have someone in the front seat, as the seat can lean back against the mast. I haven't tried it yet tho.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:09 pm 
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Great info Fletch - thanks, Terry


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:30 pm 
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Location: Berkshires, Massachusetts
Fletch...try backyard boats (I think it's backyardboats.com). Online service was super: ordered online Thursday night (screwed up, and had to call the office Friday to add an item I had forgetten)...whole package, including last second add, was at my house on Monday morning, with no fedx charge. They're smart: they use priority USPS, which is usually about half price, and almost as fast as fedx.

And as for height on the tandem inflateable: I'm 6'4" which is something of a push for the AI (because of head clearance of sail, more than leg clearance with peddles), but very comfortable, even spacious, on i14, whose seats I find better than the AI. Though adding that iComfort foam seat thingamajig helped the AI a bunch...no back pain after that. Does cost another 1/2" in head height clearance, but worth it. So what if my hat gets knocked off every so often.

Joe


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:46 pm 
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Fletch/Joe,
You guys were spot on. We got our i14T last week and there's plenty of room in both seats. We could probably even carry a third person on board with no problem.

We've been out twice since we got it and have been pretty pleased. About a dozen curious onlookers that have never seen or heard of the mirage drive before.

Terry


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:35 am 
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I have used many inflatable boats from 20ft Zodiac on down and regard pump that comes with boat good for emergencies only. Even small shop vacuum which suck and blows is much better to inflate boat then top off with hand pump. Before folding boat vacuum out air from tubes works wonders. Easy to flatten and place folds exactly where you want.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:59 am
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fletch wrote:
I'm a new owner of an I14T. After about 6 inflations of the boat the hand pump disintegrated inside. It was used normally with no abuse. I'm wondering if others have had similar experiences.


You did not mention where you are located, but here is a website and company who is in the 21st century!!! I do not work for them but a satisfied customer... Visit the site 24/7 and you will get a response within a hour. They will ship your purphase overnight if needed for the extra expense.. If not in stock, then they will make sure ships on Monday when ordered on the weekend. Please at least look at the site and try it one time.

Go here for good customer service in the 21st century!!! http://www.austinkayak.com/

If you live out of the US, then delivery might take a little longer? Good luck and happy sailing.


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