zhopper, first I want to say I am glad you made it back safely and thank you for sharing this with the rest of us and making all of us aware of this potential situation. You could have contacted Hobie directly and left the rest of us in the dark.
I am very concerned over your transom problems and somewhat frustrated by Mr Bernier's response and his lack of concern for your problem and the possibility of future issues with other boats. Yours is the third documented failure of this type on this site in the last 3 years. I assume that not every owner knows of this site and that there may have been other failures that never got posted here.
I didn't realize that the Getaway had a life expectancy of 9 years or so and that they are more of a lake boat, rather then a ocean capable boat, like the true Hobie's of the fiberglass variety. I am sure that many of us would not have bought our boats if this information was published on their web site, or in the owners manual. I have come to realize the limitations of the Getaway since reading Mr Bernier's remarks to Roy. He states "that the other user had a much older boat than yours....and with extensive use through surf, so a transom does get abused more in ocean conditions." I am really confused by his comments and my total misunderstanding of what a Hobie Cat is. I thought the original design concept of Hobie Alter was to build a boat that could be launched from the beach through the surf, to be sailed in the ocean off of the southern California coast. I guess by his comment to Roy that your much older boat, ( your 2003 vs his 2006) should be expected to fail and that he probably shouldn't worry about his transom for another 3 years or so. I can only say that I am very concerned about my 2002 model, that I sail in the ocean in Costa Rica, with my wife and 2 year old on board. I realize that 3 boats or so, may not be a large failure rate compared to the number of Getaways that Hobie has built, but I can not imagine the fear and concern that I would have for my family's safety and the trauma that they might have if this were to happen to me.
If I sound a bit bitter and angry, I am. I bought my 2002 Getaway last fall, because I thought that the rotomolded boats were family safe and almost indestructible. To bring the boat up to par and to be secure with the safety of the boat, I replaced both tramps, main sail, standing rigging, running rigging, wing covers, rebuilt the rudders and replaced any pins and keepers that looked suspect. In addition, I had a custom SS motor bracket fabricated and mounted a new 2HP Yamaha to get me out of the river mouth and into the ocean. I am currently waiting for a new Screecher to be made, which will be mounted on a custom bowsprit with roller furling. Add in the cost of shipping and import taxes and I have almost $11,000 invested in this boat and now I am concerned about the safety of my family and the possibility of my investment going to the bottom of the ocean.
I realize I might get bashed for being so critical about Hobie, but I really think Hobie has a responsibility to make you whole for the loss you incurred. I looked at the OP from 2009 and it appears that his transom was also about 1/8" thick also, this looks to be way to thin for the transom, considering the loads put on it. I also understand that nothing lasts forever, but their fiber glass boats have lasted a lot longer than 9 years and none of us bought these boats thinking that they only had a 9 year life expectancy. In addition this problem has a life threatening possibility attached to it and I think it should be covered beyond the normal warranty period, the same as GM does on their cars when a safety issue has been discovered, even if the car is out of warranty. I hope that Hobie steps up to the plate for you and that I need to apologize for being so critical of them. In the mean time, I will sail my boat a bit less confident in it's ability to handle the abuse of the ocean and I will be much more aware of my distance off shore, wondering if I may be in the same situation that you were.