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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:40 am 
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Slaughter wrote:
I sort of wonder if the rotomoulding process is a bit hit and miss. I don't know enough about the process but I wonder if you cut apart a few hulls straight off the production line and checked the thickness, how similar they would be.....


I think you're right...

When I was mounting rod-holders to my Revo, I had to drill to 36mm holes in the hull. The waste pieces of plastic differed in thickness by a surprising 1.5mm. I also found that the portions of the hull where I attached the screws for the rod holders were at least 2mm different.

It's obviously not an exact science and I'm not surprising that cracking is still occurring.

Mike.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:33 am 
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Chekika wrote:
Hobie could easily solve the problem of defective cups by doing a thorough check before the hull leaves the factory.


In this actual case Hobie factory checked the TI and found the defective cup. They also did somekind of repair and shipped the TI to Europe. Further the TI is shipped to Sweden and finally ended up at Boka. Now it is clearly more costs to just give him a new hull. More complicated legal/administration issues. More parts involved. I have now seen this TI in reality and I dont think anyone of you would have accepted to fix this problem yourself in brand new TI. In Sweden we pay a lot more for a Hobie than you do in US.

thomas
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:36 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
Thanks for that ELM. I must admit I had thought the problem of cracks in the drivewell had been solved with the introduction of the Click 'N Go drive mount, until last week at the Sydney Harbour gathering, when Stringy showed me his new hull, which he'd received to replace his 2010 hull which had cracked in the drivewell.


Just to clarify- my first AI was an 08 with the camlocks. I had it 14months before a drivewell ledge crack appeared. Hobie replaced it within a week with the latest 09 model with the lever locks at no charge.
This 09 model developed exactly the same drivewell ledge crack last month. I had it one month shy of 2 years. Hobie replaced it with the latest 11 model within a week, once again at no charge. All I had to swap over were my crossbars.

I have nothing but praise for Hobie's unsurpassed warranty and support. 8)

What I am disappointed in is the crack occuring again. I use my AI at least twice a week as a kayak in my commute to work. I travel about 5kms each way. Since the first crack I have been using the drive only when necessary such as pedaling into a strong wind. I mostly paddle or sail using the small 20sqft sail. I never sail with the drive in unless conditions are poor. Same in AI mode. I rarely pedal while sailing. Last outing on Sydney Harbour I pulled the drive for most of the trip.

I know Matt reports the % of cracked hulls is very low but as I have had 2 now I'm beginning to wonder if the front drivewell ledge is prone to cracking from heavy usage. Could it be that it has a life of a certain number of cycles?
I'd be interested to hear from heavy users who have experienced no problems.
I have owned 5 Hobies and would be one of their biggest fans. For me the Adventure is the only kayak out there that could handle my commute. I am confident in going out in the worst of conditions and have been in 30+knots many times.
Hobie have made many improvements to their products over the years but the drivewell ledge issue still seems to occur.
I wonder how this could be improved?
I'd like to see a removable drivewell module (similar to that on the inflatables) that could be replaced when necessary.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:39 pm 
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stringy wrote:
I'd like to see a removable drivewell module (similar to that on the inflatables) that could be replaced when necessary.
That's really a great concept! Perhaps it could be a snap-in Nylon cradle that absorbs the point impact and redistributes the load. Or maybe it could be secured between the existing Click N Go hardware and the hull. the problem right now is that each model has a different drivewell depth -- they would have to be standardized in a way that could accommodate a universal insert. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:55 am 
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Roadrunner wrote:

Perhaps it could be a snap-in Nylon cradle that absorbs the point impact and redistributes the load. Or maybe it could be secured between the existing Click N Go hardware and the hull.


Roadrunner,
Yes that's exactly along the lines of what I was thinking. :)
If, as I suspect, it is the cyclical point loading of the drive nose on the drivewell ledge that causes the stress fracture then make the ledge a separate and replaceable part of the hull. I like the idea of a nylon drive insert remote from the hull.
Hobie have made some terrific improvements in their product since I started using it early 07. It's a real shame that this issue is detracting from their products true greatness. Reading the posts provided in the links earlier in this post I thought I was on the old KFS Hobie bashing forum once again. :cry:
Despite the hull problem there is no way I could go back to a conventional kayak. The versatility of the Miragedrive hull that can be paddled, pedaled and sailed makes it unique. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:59 am 
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Hi Stringy, I used to use my 2007 model AI in one form or another, probably 4 or 5 times per week and have had turbo fins on it since new. Because I use the AI most, I guess the mirage has not been used s much as others do but I have replaced the shaft in the mirage once because of what I felt was excessive wear.

Since new I have had what I believe to be, a lot of water in the hull but there is no sign of cracks anywhere and have vacuum and pressure tested the hull several times.

I am pretty lazy and leave the Mirage in all the time (including sailing), only taking it out really to wash/spray and replace, or if I knew I was stopping somewhere, where wandering fingers may think they like it more than me.

Being an 07 hull, I am nervously waiting, though It does not get out very much at all now.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:21 am 
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ELM wrote:
Being an 07 hull, I am nervously waiting, though It does not get out very much at all now.

Thanks for the reply ELM. :)
I wouldn't worry too much about a possible hull crack. Part of the problem with this issue is that there seem to be many hulls out there that do not crack. On our recent Sydney Harbour get together I was surprised how many of the old camlock hulls are still going strong. 8)
Still with the negative publicity coming from any hull crack if I were Hobie I'd be looking at a total redesign of the drivewell ledge area.
To me it's a more important issue than even the TI rudder problems. :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:47 am 
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stringy wrote:

Still with the negative publicity coming from any hull crack if I were Hobie I'd be looking at a total redesign of the drivewell ledge area.
To me it's a more important issue than even the TI rudder problems.


I agree! As I have an Adventure kayak (not Island), I use the miragedrive 98% of the time, always with Turbofins! Am I sitting on a bomb? I am often out in open waters and trying to imagine what I can do if the hull cracks.
I suppose it is possible to turn the kayak up side down and use some good tape to diminish the leak, then roll the kayak back, climb up and pump out the water.
The tape must be easy to access and water not to cold (or right clothes for the water temperature).
Is there another way to be prepared for a sudden big leak?
It would be much better to feel 100% safe about drive well cracks. I have now the Click N Go system. Is that 100% safe?

Or should I tape the critical area BEFORE I go out then change the tape after outings? Together with visuell control?

thomas
Sweden


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:09 am 
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Yes I know what you mean.
While there was always the small pack of pedal haters that dipped in and started a bagging session. It always died off fairly quick as the loyal users came to the front and supported them. After the last sling, it took off across the other forums with some of the loyal changing face what appeared to be completely and while a fair few still said they would not change, did have some concerns and disapproval of the many different (not just hull cracks) faults they are experiencing.

Without a doubt, Hobie have some of the best customer service I have ever seen and experienced, but from what I have read and been told, quite a few are getting tired of the inconvenience and reliability issues for something they have paid quite a lot for.

As for the Mirage slot and cracking, is the problem just caused by forces and flex driven by the Mirage, or is part of the issue, tension from expansion/contraction and compression through different thickness materials. A bit like concrete and how it always cracks through week points where thick areas become narrow quickly, or indifferent to the rest of the area.
As has been said, is there a way they can get rid of the moulded lugs and the thicker solid sections of the Mirage slot, and then have an insert. I think it was Roadrunner who said that they would then have to make them all different depths for the different models. Is it just the PA that is deeper or are they all completely different depths through the Mirage slot, I always thought that most of them would be the same as the Mirage plug always seemed to align with the decks that I looked at (not that I have looked at many).

Hi Kal-P-Dal. I have always said, If you are venturing out in a kayak, you should always be dressed appropriately and ready for am extended immersion (and that does not include waders). That said, I have an electric bulge pump hooked to dual 12V 7amp batteries and also carried a manual bulge pump. Also carry some form of communication if you can, I had VHF radio and mobile phone and let people know where you are going and a timetable.

If you are going to carry tape and try and patch the hole, if it is a crack at the mirage slot, no amount of tape will get into the crack. If it is just a hole from hitting something pointy, then you may have a chance at slowing the leak, but I doubt you will get any tape to stick to the hull, it will only seal due to stretch and having it wrapped completely around the hull several times and over the hole. A wad of some form of putty would also help but realistically, unless you can get to land to apply it, you will find it tough going in the water.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:29 am 
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This is a very good discussion. I like the idea of a total redo of the drive well area so that cracks in that area DO NOT HAPPEN.

It seems to me, if you are worried about a drive-well hull crack on the water, you should be carrying some marine goop which can be applied on-water. I don't know what that would be. I've used 3M Marine sealant silicone and DAP Auto/Marine Sealant 100% Silicone. Both say to "clean & dry" surfaces. Still, something that could be forced into the opening & maybe covered with tape ought to get you back to land.

We had 2 AIs--I'm down to one, my wife's, but I never worried about a crack in the hull while I was on the water--of course, I'm in SFL where water temps range from 60-80 deg F most of the year. We know that the AI w/ amas can still float when the hull is full of water, but if you are in 50 deg F water, that may not be much comfort.

Keith

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:28 am 
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Fyi...

We have not seen a single crack in a drive well on boats produced over the last year and four months. That is a zero percent warranty on drive well cracks for boats in that range.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:42 am 
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That is a good record, Matt. Keep it up.

Keith

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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:06 pm 
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ELM wrote:
As has been said, is there a way they can get rid of the moulded lugs and the thicker solid sections of the Mirage slot, and then have an insert. I think it was Roadrunner who said that they would then have to make them all different depths for the different models. Is it just the PA that is deeper or are they all completely different depths through the Mirage slot, I always thought that most of them would be the same as the Mirage plug always seemed to align with the decks that I looked at (not that I have looked at many).
To clarify, the Click N Go always sits at the same distance off the hull bottom so your Drive or drivewell plug always has the same reference to the hull bottom. The drivewell tongue (where the biggest stress load occurs) also sits at a constant distance from the bottom -- and therefore has a constant reference to the C&G mounts. BUT, the the top of the drivewell, where it merges with the cockpit floor, differs with the different models.

Any drop-in insert would have to be flanged so it could distribute the tongue stress throughout the larger drivewell area. This is how the inflatable drivewell cartridge works (see picture below).
Image

Now, if the drivewell had a built-in ridge or shelf molded in at a constant height from the tongue this might work. The ridge would go around the entire well (but would be reversed or "upside down" on the back half). It would drop in, being anchored to the C&G mount.

The problem with Polyethylene is that it migrates over time. Yes, it recovers to some extent, but after about a half million impacts (each one causing a tiny amount of flexing) it will ultimately stress to a point of cracking. Heavy users stress the tongue more -- most users don't ever reach that point in most cases. But there other factors in the process that can also affect when this occurs -- some are random and some are not.

Hobie has gone to great lengths to address this problem. They have thickened the tongue area, they use a brass insert to distribute the stress. Their polyethylene undergoes a rigorous quality control testing continuously, molding temperatures are tightly regulated. I would guess that the hulls today are at least 3 times stronger in the drivewell tongue area as they were when the first Turbofins came out. As Matt pointed out, they have made great strides.

Still, sometimes cracks show up prematurely. Hobie acknowledges this and is more than willing to replace the boat within the warranty period, even if it's not the original purchaser. So far we haven't been able to prevent tornadoes or harness hurricanes and Hobie hasn't yet come up with the perfect boat.

Foot propulsion offers a huge advantage over paddling. It also puts a tremendous strain on the vessel, channeling so much thrust through such a small area. I guess there's no free lunch. Personally, I'll pay the price -- the benefits outweigh the cost by far.

Aside from the annoyance, is it safe to use Hobies, knowing there is a possibility of getting a crack in the drivewell? In my experience with cracks, they start out small, leak a little bit and give plenty of warning as to what is going on. I have absolutely no concern about this as a safety issue. I am aware of one Hobie that sank a few years ago from a crack. The owner had identified the crack, the dealer had ordered a replacement hull, then the dealer foolishly gave the defective boat back to the owner so he could continue using it until his replacement boat arrived. He stupidly went out to sea in rough conditions, expanded the crack in to a huge rip, sank his boat and had to be rescued. Then he proceed to bad mouth Hobie for causing his boat to sink. Perhaps that's human nature. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:46 pm 
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ELM wrote:
If you are going to carry tape and try and patch the hole, if it is a crack at the mirage slot, no amount of tape will get into the crack. If it is just a hole from hitting something pointy, then you may have a chance at slowing the leak, but I doubt you will get any tape to stick to the hull, it will only seal due to stretch and having it wrapped completely around the hull several times and over the hole. A wad of some form of putty would also help but realistically, unless you can get to land to apply it, you will find it tough going in the water.

Hi ELM
I was not thinking of getting the tape INTO the crack, more like taping OVER the crack. Just to diminish the leak nothing else. Maybe I have missunderstood what kind of crack I will get at the drive well.
Chekika wrote:
This is a very good discussion. I like the idea of a total redo of the drive well area so that cracks in that area DO NOT HAPPEN.

I totally agree to "DO NOT HAPPEN".
mmiller wrote:
We have not seen a single crack in a drive well on boats produced over the last year and four months. That is a zero percent warranty on drive well cracks for boats in that range.

Sounds very good! Does that mean that an Adventure kayak with the Click N Go system is 100% safe? When we are talking about drive well cracks? Hobie have now reached the "DO NOT HAPPEN" level?

thomas
Sweden


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:15 pm 
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mmiller wrote:
Fyi...

We have not seen a single crack in a drive well on boats produced over the last year and four months. That is a zero percent warranty on drive well cracks for boats in that range.

It would be helpful to know why that it the case. Did Hobie start using a new mold at that time?
Have there ever been cracks in boats less than 16 months old or does it take that long for the polyethylene to fatigue?
Kal-P-Dal wrote:
I am often out in open waters and trying to imagine what I can do if the hull cracks.
Is there another way to be prepared for a sudden big leak?
It would be much better to feel 100% safe about drive well cracks. I have now the Click N Go system. Is that 100% safe?

Thomas, Stringy's experience shows that the Click N Go is not 100% safe, at least if your boat is more than 16 months old. If you are going offshore without the benefit of amas, perhaps you should consider providing extra flotation inside the hull, like filling it with pool noodles or those inflatable bags they use in Sea Kayaks.

Just out of interest, here's the picture of the cracked drivewell posted in the Kayak Fishing Down Under forum that ELM was referring to:
Image

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Last edited by chrisj on Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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