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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 12:34 pm 
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This is the second kayak that we have purchased from Hobie. Our first Hobie developed a crack in and around the drop in for the mirage drive (Below the waterline). Hobie sent us plastic welding rods, after both Hobie and a local dealer (Travel Country) refused and/or recommended against repair. We purchased another kayak (a mirage adventure 16') this kayak has developed a crack in the same weak point in the hull. There seems to be a serious design flaw in this drive system. This kayak has some sort of plug that the crack crosses through making repair nearly impossible. In addition to the design flaw both of these kayaks took on so much water that they nearly sank. I am very disappointing in the quality of these very expensive and supposedly reliable kayaks. Any input or recommendations from Hobie would be greatly appreciated, and if you have had a similar experience or problem I would like to hear from you.


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 5:43 pm 
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Location: Auckland NZ
I would be very much surprised to find that, if the kayaks are within the warranty period and the damage has not been caused by misuse, Hobie would refuse to consider replacement or at least partial replacement.

I, too, have suffered problems with a crack developing in 2 hulls (of several that I have owned) and Hobie has always been willing to "come to the party" with respect to assisting with either a replacement hull or a partial replacement.

None of the more recent hulls that I have owned have suffered from any kind of problem which leads me to believe that Hobie has more or less eradicated any design or materials flaws which led to these problems occuring in the first place.

With a highly technical and cutting edge product like this I guess the potential for issues is perhaps greater than for your average hollow plastic floating log but I (and others) have experienced nothing but the most exemplary after sales service from Hobie when problems have arisen and as a result Hobie has a huge and increasing base of very satisfied, committed and loyal customers.

I suggest that you take the matter up with your dealer if you don't get a response from someone from the Hobie team here.


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:01 am 
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I am not sure what the deal was with your first Hobie and why you didn't fall under warranty - I'm guessing because of the age of the hull? or that it was not covered due to the serial number already coming back as having been warrantied (like perhaps it had been re-sold which would exclude it from any coverage)

I also read back the previous thread: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=37508&p=152913#p152913

anyway, if you bought a Hobie kayak from a dealer, and it's less than 2 years old, you have warranty. What you need to do it contact a Hobie kayak dealer for help - call 1800Hobie49 - or click the finder at the top of this page: http://www.hobiecat.com/support/dealers/search/

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:27 pm 
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I was offered a replacement hull for around 1100 on the first kayak, because it was out of warranty. I have not gone back to my retailer yet, but intend to this week or weekend. Unfortunately i bought the kayak (a 2007 model) in 2009 and more than likely this one will not be under warranty given your statement about a 2 year warranty. I have no intention of paying 1100 or something close to that to replace a hull that in my eyes is either defective or quite honestly poorly engineered. I know I am not the only person who has come to have a problem with this, and I find it hard to believe that I just have bad luck when it comes to the kayaks I have purchased.

From my research and my sons input (graduate engineering student), this location was very poorly designed. The plastic is way too thin for the bearing stress applied at this point (caused by torsional force created by the pedal system). After my little bit of research and just looking at the location, it seems quite simple why it cracked. Poor engineering. I am not sure if there was a redesign to correct this issue since the 07 models were released but I intend to taking a look at the new models when I go to my retailer and see.

At the end of the day, I don't see myself buying another hobie mirage style kayak till i see something that seems well engineered.


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:50 pm 
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Location: Phoenix, Az
Both my Sports get about 1 or so inches of water in them after about 2-3 hours float time...can't tell where it gets in... always somethin'...Mine are 5 yrs old or so and I got them used a few months ago so no warranty is expected of course. I'll find the hole/crack at some point I hope and fixem some how.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 5:42 pm 
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It sound like to me you bought your yaks used. And well beyond the 2 year warranty. Either you got suckered or didnt do your research. Sounds like you need to talk to you dealer and figure out why he had a 2007 in 2009 and it is now 2012. 3 years later? Comon sound like you are trying to get something free :shock: My 2cents :!:

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
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Location: Escondido
To the best of my knowledge, Hobie warrants their kayaks to the Original purchaser for 2 years from the date of purchase, not the date of manufacture. If there is no documentation available, Hobie warrants the boat for two years from the date of manufacture to any owner, (not necessarily the first owner).

If you were not eligible for a free replacement hull, it appears that you bought your boats used or the problems occurred after your warranty expired. Nevertheless, Hobie usually handles such problems quite generously. If they're offering to replace your 5 or 6 year old Adventure with a brand new hull for about $1100 including shipping, that's worth considering IMO.

Perhaps a more important issue -- your old Adventure with the cracked drivewell nose is not repairable and not safe to use -- or sell; attempting to plastic weld this high stress area would only disguise the problem. Regardless of whether you and your son think this area is poorly designed, the hull is trash at this point and should be recycled so as to not pose a potential safety hazard to an unwitting or inexperienced buyer. 8)


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:36 pm 
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$1100 to replace just the hull isn't even close to worth considering. There aren't hundreds of boats on the used market, but you can regularly find a complete package for around that money. I might also consider selling the old drive and accessories for whatever you can get and then buying a new/used/leftover boat. Finally, if not in a big hurry, there are periodic sales where new boats with all the latest upgrades are put on sale. I consider some of those upgrades to be worth paying a little extra for.

As far as the age of the poster's boat, there's a dealer I spoke with in the fall who still had a couple leftover boats from as early as 2009. Buying a 2007 in 2009 doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Why all the negativity? There's nothing wrong with buying a used boat, so people shouldn't make it seem like a crime.

Out of warranty or not, it is clear that Hobie has had some design and/or execution issues in this area. Worst case, I would expect Hobie to be offering replacement hulls at a much lower price for a good customer who has been inconvenienced by Hobie's problem. In this case, inconvenienced twice. For the money one spends on a Hobie, the warranty period for hull defects should be at least five years. We're not talking about wearing through the hull by dragging it over rocks here, or a drive part that failed after many hours of use. This is a part that can't be easily replaced or repaired, and certainly not a wear item.

-bob


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 5:56 am 
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-I'm used to take on small amounts of water in the kayak, seems hard to go out and not take on a small amount, but by the end of the trip where it almost sank it was roughly half full with water... was rather scary.

-My first yak was purchased used and had minimal wear. After a thorough inspection inside i decided to buy it. It lasted me about 4 years. Quite a bit longer than my second kayak from hobie. The second I purchased brand new from a retailer. Yes they had 07s in 2009. They had newer models as well, but were offering a much better deal for the 07. I traveled quite frequently from 09-11 and have only had a hand full of times to use the yak. (roughly 20-30 trips I'd guess) And you wouldn't try and get some sort of free replacement "gotcha" if both of the kayaks you purchased from a company developed the same problem?

-$1100 IMHO is not nearly a decent replacement offer for a defective design. I repaired my older kayak, and it was a fairly simple repair. I plastic welded and reinforced from the inside and outside with fiberglass. This added strength seems to have helped the problem, but I fear its only a temporary solution. I have no intention of trying to resell the kayak for safety reasons, but as long as its afloat I'm most definitely going to use it.

-Thanks for the reply bsee, I'm waiting on my retailer now to handle a warranty/replacement claim. If it goes as expected I will probably look around on the used market for a second kayak to use. Thanks for the honest appraisal of the situation bob. The price for a replacing a hull that was defective or poorly designed should be nowhere close to that price.


Thanks to everyone for the replies, more are welcome if you want to give your 2 cents!


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 7:19 am 
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I might be wrong but I think Hobie has made a lot of improvements to their hull since 2007. I remember hearing about hull failures around the mirage drive area a couple of years back and that Hobie beefed up these areas tremendously.
If you bought a more recent model - like a 2011 model. I think you'd see the hull issues gone and done with.

I myself am ready to lay down the cash for a 2012 PA12 - rolling the dice with a brand new line of kayaks and hoping that they incorporate all the lessons learned from previous models.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:47 am 
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I have cracked two adventure hulls, and am on my third. Hobie has been exceptional in standing behind their product. The first hull(a 2009) cracked at the forward of the mirage drive well on the bottom. The second(a 2010) one cracked on the port click and go release. So far, the 2011 hull is staying tight. They replaced the second hull beyond the original 2 year purchase date! That is standing behind your product. The 2011 hull is superior to the 2010, which was better than the 2009. If you are going to use the hulls a lot, buy a new one! It sounds like you had something funky going on with your dealer. My dealers have been excellent to deal with.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Location: Omaha, Nebraska
I am on my third Outback hull. Hobie has been wonderful in replacing each of the hulls for free. And with each replacement I see jumps in improved features, engineering, and general build ...since they replace the older hulls with the latest designs. I cannot fault Hobie for their warrantee program AND their desire to improve their yaks over the seven years I've used them.

However, all of my replacements were due to cracks in the front area near the aforementioned plug near the drive slot support. And, the other day, my 3rd hull is suddenly leaking. Yes, you guessed it ...same spot, same crack. But this time I'm not sure if I'm within the two year limit (I think not). I will be in contact with my dealer tomorrow and we'll see what transpires.

Note that these ARE NOT your usual kayaks. There is a ton of cycling stress placed on the hull where the drive lives as those flippers and pedals move back and forth. And even a small, low speed collision with an underwater object with the flippers can provide enough destructive energy to bend nearly unbendable flipper rods and crack the hull.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
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Location: High Point, NC
My new AI was cracked/split right out of the box. Not near the drive well, however, but on both sides of the mast tube locator stud. I traced the cause to the rigid V-Truss installed on a less than square hull (the nature of rotomolding and subsequent cooling means these hulls are never going to be perfect). When I removed the truss it came off the upper starboard attachment stud with a loud "BANG!" That upper stud sprang back a good 3/8th inch or more. It would take a lot of leverage to get the truss back on it. That's how much stress the hull had been placed under.

My dealer has been quite good and a new hull is on the way. In the meantime I slightly enlarged the mounting holes in the truss so that it will now accommodate a less than perfectly square hull. I can easily slip it back on the current boat without pre-stressing anything and I'm confident it will easily install on the new hull and perhaps go a long way in not creating any stress that would damage the new hull.

I sent this information to the Hobie folks and they informed me they are looking into it and will make changes if and as needed. I believe them - they seem to be constantly improving their entire line of products.

Something that's worth remembering - the Adventure Island is a pretty darn good value compared to other sailing trimarans. I've looked at several very, very nice boats. The Triak, WETA and others. None of them are even close to the AI in price, some being two to three times as much. Part of the reason the Hobie sells for far less is the fact that's a roto-molded plastic boat. This makes it much more affordable but also means that some hulls are going to have imperfections. My guess is that the total percentage of bad to good hulls is not large and that this number continues to go down each year as Hobie continues to listen to customers and examine areas where they can eliminate problem areas.

As far as having to shell out $1100 for a new hull, I guess one's feelings on that are subjective. But we know going in that these hulls are warranted for a period of 2-years against defects. I know right now that if my hull cracks or splits again after the 2-year warranty period, the next one's on me. I accepted that premise when I bought the thing.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:56 pm 
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What it comes down to for me is fairness. At the price one pays for one of these boats, it is expected that it will last significantly longer than a couple years. If not abused, I would expect ten years of worry-free service from the hull. It isn't an expendable wear item. Chains and pins and such are expected to wear and need replacing. A couple bucks here and there to keep the boat in good repair, maybe a hundred every year or two. $1100 after two or three years of use just isn't part of the plan or expectation. I'll take a one or two year warranty on the drive and accessories, but I want a ten year warranty against hull defects, or at least five years.

Let's add in the fact that these problems have occurred to enough boats over the past several years that it seems like this is an acknowledged manufacturing defect. At a minimum, it's a weak point that fails too often for the highest level of customer satisfaction. It has also been acknowledged that the process of creating a roto-molded boat can result in some variation. It shouldn't be on the customer to eat the consequences of the bad boat that comes off the line, whether it is one in five or one in 10000.

A company that is serious about having the best customer service will stand behind that defective product whether the defect is found within the warranty period or not. If it's a defect, time shouldn't matter. If Hobie is trying to say that these cracks are normal wear and tear or customer abuse of the boat, then $1100 for a replacement hull is steep but maybe not unreasonable. If it is accepted that the crack is a defect, then anything more than a couple hundred dollars for an out-of-warranty replacement won't work for me. I don't want to gamble on getting a good hull, having a dealer with the right connections and mindset, or catching a Hobie rep on a good day if I do have a problem.

Of all the various issues I have read about, this is the one that has kept me from laying down my money for a Hobie. I wonder how many other potential customers aren't buying because the perceived risk is too great?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:46 am 
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[/quote]"Let's add in the fact that these problems have occurred to enough boats over the past several years that it seems like this is an acknowledged manufacturing defect." [/quote]


Can you supply the numbers? How many have been plagued with this problem against how many that have been sold? The term "enough" is a bit subjective.

Not trying to be argumentative, but it's only natural to hear from folks that have had problems. The ones who don't rarely bother coming around to say "My boat isn't cracked." I highly suspect they are in the great majority.


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