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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:58 am 
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Location: Palm City, Florida
Depending on the sailing conditions, I've always had some water (1 gal. more or less) in the bottom of my boat even when it was new, but like most I thought this was normal and attributed it to the Hatch Seals or the exiting up/down and steering lines.

Recently I replaced my Front Hatch Seals with the new type because the problem was getting worse, but this didn't seem to make any difference. So then I added a different kind of gasket to the bottom of my Front Hatch - but again no improvement on the amount of water I'd have inside the hull after sailing. Then I thought, I needed more pull down force on the Front Hatch, so I started to replace the 1/4" bungee with 5/16th's, removing the End Fittings, and THAT"S when I discovered the hole.

Image

The sidewall of this threaded pocket is so thin, I can easily push it in and out with my finger; there's hardly any threads towards the bottom. I don't believe this tear/hole was caused by wear, there just wasn't enough plastic sidewall material in the pocket to cut any threads into in the first place. I'm really surprised that it wasn't seen at the factory at the time of production and rejected before the boat was sold.

For the meantime, I've re-installed the End Fitting with some black silicon on the inside of the threaded pocket and on the outside as well. I'll have to see if this stops the water from coming in.

I never thought to unscrew the fittings to look inside for a hole in the sidewall, but this certainly might explain why my previous attempts at finding where the water was coming from have failed.

I've checked the other threaded pockets for the Front Hatch and although I don't see any more holes, the sidewalls on all of them are just not as thick as compared to any of the other threaded pockets on the rest of my boat where End Fittings are installed.

I've also been in contact with my Dealer and Hobie. Has anyone else ever seen this problem before, and how have they fixed it?

Image

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Somewhat common hidden leak location. I've seen it a few times.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:59 pm 
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Thanks Bob,
I guess it could be a common hidden leak location, but I've certainly never encountered this before, and when it's up towards the front of my boat where there's a lot of H2O exposure and the End Fittings themselves are recessed in an area that actually holds the water in for a while, it's not a good thing. Any suggestions as to how I might fix it for the long term?

I'm still waiting to hear from Hobie.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:57 pm 
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I filled the cup area with Silicon Adhesive, then added a little bit more on the inside of the hull. Works well, as long as it's still strong enough to hold the screw in part.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:46 am 
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Ezra,
As Bob said there have been a few reports of this problem:
viewtopic.php?f=75&t=35131

I guess the rotomolding process being what it is there are going to be the odd thin spots in places. That should be easily repaired with what you have done already. As it's not in a high stress area I'd be surprised if you hadn't fixed it permanently with that silicon. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:07 am 
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The insert areas are "outies" in the mold, so typically raised areas are thinner. Plastic forms thicker in low areas... these are like little lumps and the plastic naturally flows off of them easily. I have not seen one of these become a structural issue. More cosmetic.

If warranty decides this is a simple repair item, they may suggest weld fill, backside reinforcement with a PVC caps and epoxy. In any case... you have a record of an issue they can track back to for future consideration if there is a bigger problem. The only real concern is if the crack propagates upwards onto the deck.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:42 pm 
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sun E,

My 2010 TI has the same problem. I commented on it in

http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=75&t=30171

My solution was to change the fitting from a bungee (hole in the middle) to a loop type screw in fitting. I filled the holed screw cup with GOOP and screwed the fitting in. Then I took the bungee strap looped it through the fitting and secured it with a stainless hog nose staple from West Marine. I found two of the four hatch fittings were through the side of the cup. I tested the fittings with a hose. See you tube in above link....

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:45 am 
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I had this same problem in one of my front hatch bungee locations. Bout 1/2 inch crack same as urs is. The plastic around mine is a good thickness though....seems like these cracks are caused by putting the hardware on and use of the boat wont further open the crack....i gooped mine and its seems fine no more leaks

Have you tested it yet?

-Jeff


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:06 am 
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My sincere thanks to Bob, Stringy and Paul for relaying all the information, and for taking the time and effort to respond to my problem.

Stringy: Reviewing viewtopic.php?f=75&t=3513
was extremely helpful, especially the two solutions submitted by Keith. I remember it now but at the time I just didn't "connect the dots" as to what was happening with my boat.

Paul: Excellent demonstration video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPfhDDOa2-0
I just wish I'd seen it before I went through the same shenanigans as you did. I never thought to look (inside) a threaded pocket for a crack, but I certainly will in the future. Switching to a Eye Fitting was pretty clever as well.

I've not yet had a chance to test my repair while sailing. In the meantime I did run some water over the top, and didn't see anything dripping down through the pocket. However, the silicon I used (see my 3rd photo.) didn't stick to the outside walls. I may have to redo my original repair - we'll see.

Other than Matt M., the only response I got from Hobie was the following from a Hobie Tech:
"THERE ISN'T ANYTHING TO DO ON THAT – SOMETHING THAT MINOR ABOVE WATERLINE WE WOULD JUST HAVE THEM REPAIR ANYWAY – WHICH THEY'VE ALREADY DONE IN A WAY –"

"IF THE BOAT LEAKS – I DOUBT THAT WAS THE SOURCE – IF THERE IS SOME OTHER ISSUE WITH THE BOAT IT WOULD NEED TO BE DISCOVERED AND ADDRESSED – THAT SIMBUT FITTING CRACK ISN'T A SOURCE OF ANY SORT OF LARGE CAPACITY LEAK"


Well THAT'S reassuring :wink: .
Silly of me to have worried about this "minor" problem. Apparently a gallon or more of water (somehow) getting through a hole in the front of my boat, inches above the waterline in the Atlantic Ocean is no biggie - I'll just have to keep looking for the real "source". (I guess the Hobie Tech's are too busy doing "technical things" to watch Paul's Youtube video).

mmiller wrote:
The insert areas are "outies" in the mold, so typically raised areas are thinner. Plastic forms thicker in low areas... these are like little lumps and the plastic naturally flows off of them easily. I have not seen one of these become a structural issue. More cosmetic.
Matt,
With all due respect, identifying inserts as "outies" is not the issue. The only issue is that the sidewalls in question on my boat were way too thin to accept threading in the first place. A hole was created when the insert was cut completely through the plastic wall by someone assembling the boat. Then rather than trying to fix or reject it at that time, an End Fitting was installed and 2 1/2 years later I finally discover this defect, and the source of my leak.

If a boat leaves your factory and takes on water due to insufficient Quality Control Standards and manufacturing defects, it is most definitely a "structural", and not just a "cosmetic" issue.

Obviously I will try to make the best repairs to my boat and hopefully solve this problem for the long term. As Matt say's, I at least have a record of the problem now. My only regret is that I didn't discover this defect when I first purchased my boat and submitted a warranty claim at that time.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:34 am 
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It would be difficult to determine if the "cut" was present during assembly. I'd guess that a "tear" after some period of use is just as likely. They try very hard in assembly to find these things during the molding and assembly phase.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:06 pm 
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Matt, how are the boats leak tested after final assembly? Does this include the fittings?

This wall fissure seems like something that might not present itself any other way.

I doubt I would find it with a visual inspection. Or even think to look there, till now.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:54 pm 
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I have had problems seeing these types of cracks when looking, but I've taken to feeling each 'cup' and can usually easily feel any crack in them. One of the things I 'look' for when checking a used boat for friends.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:46 pm 
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I know they do visual and soapy water tests, all before assembly. Makes the most sense, so post-assembly issues are harder to find. You can't take a brand new boat and spray soap all over the finished accessories.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:39 pm 
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Then owners should assume that the hatches, seals, mast area and plugs leave the factory untested for leaks, and that any penetration due to tool nicks or assembly damage might also go unnoticed. Then comes shipping of course,..

Some of these things may not seem like they warrant closer QC inspection on the factory floor. But it also makes no sense for new owners to tear out every padeye and bungie fitting looking for internal tears.

Under the circumstances, it makes more sense that ANYONE receiving a new or used hull should do a leak test right away, and then every year after.

So guess what I'm doing this holiday weekend? :cry:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:03 pm 
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NOHUHU wrote:
So guess what I'm doing this holiday weekend? :cry:
Well not sailing! Not with our wind forecast!

I think I might finally get to work on my TI3 (serial #2)

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