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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:07 am 
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Location: Weeki Wachee Florida
After several hours of beautiful sailing in the Florida nature coast, we came in and discovered excess water in the hull. It's a good thing we came in when we did because we were definitely taking on water. When we put it on the trailer, it was evident that water was now leaking out of a small hole (1/8 inch) in the mirage drive area. (Pictures attached). Yikes!
Any suggestions on repairing this area? I know this area gets extra stress because of the mirage drive units so we want to be careful on how a repair could be done.
Still hoping Hobie might help us out with a new hull since the boat is less than 2 years old...but just in case, we'd love to hear suggestions.
Not sure how to post pictures, but here goes an attempt:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/akbrendarobert/


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:42 am 
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This looks to me like a hole that could be mended with plastic welding, since it does not seem likely to experience forces pulling it apart (unlike, say, a crack in this area). I expect the question will become moot as Hobie solves the problem under warranty. Any idea what caused the hole?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:43 pm 
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Not sure it will become moot, since we bought it used and this was it's first outing with us. Since we are not the first owners, and we fear it was sold to us with a problem that we couldn't (didn't) see. I have heard that Hobie has been kind to others who were not first owners, but it's doubtful we will get much help in this case. West Coast Marine makes a product that may work, a G-Flex epoxy...but hoping someone out there has some experience that will help us.


Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions are welcome.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:07 pm 
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First port of call should always be to a Hobie dealer... if you don't ask, they have no way of helping you. Even if your repair is considered outside warranty, you know it wiill get done right.-

Secondly, welding the plastic is always going to be superior to using ANY adhesive, as welding does not introduce different materials. There has been a myriad of suggestions for different adhesives, but I have not seen any sign of a universally effective one.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:58 pm 
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Location: Weeki Wachee Florida
Agreed on the 1st port of call. We have been to the Hobie dealer, they are in touch to see what Hobie can / will do. As for the dealer doing a repair, they tell me "this cannot be repaired." Therefore, they certainly aren't going to be doing a repair on it.

So, if Hobie comes through - we'll be delighted.

BUT, if not, we either find a way to repair this or we're screwed. It's a tiny 1/8" hole...hard for me to believe that it absolutely cannot be repaired...that's why i'm here, asking the experts. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:27 pm 
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Sounds like your dealer didn't finish the sentence this caaaaannot be repaired" by leaving off "by people with insufficient capability".

I have never done any plastic welding, but I have read of many successful efforts on here. The location of that small hole seems perfect for the patient addition of extra melted plastic to seal up the hole.

Of course replacement of the hull would be even better, but I cannot believe that really is a write-off.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:44 am 
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Location: Riverside, S. California, USA
Inevitably, Hobie dealers vary a lot in their degree of experience. It is one of the huge advantages of the forums. Here, there is more expertise in a variety of technical arenas, and broader experience with the boats, than could possibly be found in even the best dealer.
But, of course, the forum users cannot jump out of your screen and actually help you do the repair, or even lend you their turbo-fusion-plastic-welder. (though Florida is home to some pretty experienced and active users...)
If you Google "plastic welding" you will find a wide range, some of which will be helpful, others frightening.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:03 pm 
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That is the rear of the well? Likely punched through with a improperly installed drive. Fin peeled off and the screw then punched a hole.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Location: Weeki Wachee Florida
Yes we figured that is what occurred also. Unfortunately, we didn't see it when we bought it. Lesson learned.

Hobie did respond, and said no help from them...that it needs to be welded. Our dealer said they won't do it but did give us a name of a guy to call who does this kind of thing. Turns out he lives quite nearby. Dealer keeps saying "nothing will stick to this" but Hobie says to weld it. Odd?

We'll let you know how it goes. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:08 pm 
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I've successfully use West Systems G-Flex to build up the forward area on a Mirage drive well that was low, causing rocking of all my drives in it. The version with the thickener worked well. If you try it, be sure to lightly sand, wipe off with alcohol and finally flame the surface just before mixing and applying the epoxy. Most other epoxies will not stick.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:25 pm 
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Sticking to it and welding are completely different issues.

The hull is Linear Polyethylene. You can weld it.

But, next-to-nothing sticks well to polyethylene. Most adhesion is by mechanical bond. That means the rough surface could allow some materials to cling to it.

So, welding is the best solution. Check the welding work done to modify a Pro Angler for a new hatch!: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=78&t=46585&hilit=weld+hatch

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:15 pm 
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Location: sarasota,fl
aksteve :
Sorry to hear about your problem. Looking at the pic I would think the problem can be easily welded.

If you look on page 32 of the Hobie Kayak Accessories catalog ( http://cdn.hobiecat.com/digital_assets/ ... 130424.pdf). You will see Hobie sells a repair welder for repairing kayak hulls. I have watched them using one of these at Economy Tackle in Sarasota, and they are true wizards at repairing kayaks (very competent), I have heard many good things about the guys up at Tackle shack up in St Pete as well ( a little closer to you). Even if you have to pay them a pittance to do the repair work, I'm pretty confident they have the skill level to pull off the repair with a much greater chance of success than if you bought one of those welders and try to weld it yourself if you have no direct experience at that kind of stuff (welding and plastics).
My plan of action if I were repairing it myself would be to go buy one of those welders (it comes with a supply of the correct plastic (most important)). Most Hobie dealers stock them or you can order here ( http://www.austinkayak.com/products/158 ... Stock.html), the welder and a supply of Hobie rods in several colors is around $62 bucks (probably a worthwhile investment for any Hobie owner, and is on my Christmas list).
I would then weld the hole shut from the outside and make it flush with the existing features in the mirage pocket. I would probably figure out a way to run their plastic through my standard glue gun to do that part of the repair (plunge the tip of the glue gun into the hole, then back fill on the way out). I would then go to the inside and slowly and carefully build up the entire area around the repair with weld using the KC welder, it's on the inside of the hull and nobody cares what it looks like, if you build up a inch wide area at least 1/8 inch thick above the old surface it shouldn't hurt a thing. The important part is to do it slowly with as little heat as possible, running water onto the area you are working on (on the outside of the hull (where the mirage drive goes) (not on the surface your working on inside the hull DAH)) will prevent you from overheating the hull, and the area around the repair.
You might be able to do the whole repair with a high temp or multi temp glue gun, but I think it will turn out better if you use the right Hobie supplied plastic (that comes with the KC gun), however their gun is not really designed for doing some parts of this repair (fixing the hole itself), as it has a flat pancake head designed for repairing scratches and gouges on the outside of the hull, and might be difficult to make work for the 'fixing the hole portion' of this repair.

If you run into brick walls with the dealers ( I strongly doubt you will), and don't feel confident doing the repair yourself, and if your willing to bring your boat and KC welder ( I don't have one, but it's on my Christmas list), down to Sarasota, we could do the repair in my garage, then go out sailing afterwards (it'll take about an hour to repair).
Bob


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:29 pm 
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aksteve:
Actually you got me thinking more about how to repair this, and I figured out an easier way yet, all can be done from the outside of the hull (where the mirage drive fits in).

If you take some black gorilla duct tape (about 2x2 square) and stick it by the outside edges only to the area inside the hull with the hole at the center of the tape. Try to leave the center loose and bulgy if you can.
Now using a standard hot glue gun (would need to investigate whether you would need a multi temp or high temp type) figure out a way to run the Hobie supplied sticks thru the gun. I know on my gun I could bundle 2 or 3 of the Hobie supplied sticks together and push them thru the gun manually (by pushing on the back of the sticks, since the trigger feed won't work). Once I got that part figured out I would plunge the glue gun into the hole, melting a cone shaped opening (from the outside) until I hit the duct tape on the back side. I would then just pump the hot plastic in (by pushing on the backs of the rods). The tape will naturally make a dome shaped plastic cover over the back side of the hole, then keep pumping as you withdraw out the hole. To finish you take another piece of tape (blue 3M painters tape works best) and cover the hole. You can push the hot plastic around under the tape and get it to conform to the desired shape without burning your fingers too badly.
I have a feeling this would be the strongest type repair possible, and should only take about ten minutes to do.
Hope this helps
Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:49 am 
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Location: Weeki Wachee Florida
Hey Bob,

Thanks so much for your responses & ideas! We talked with Paul at Plazstick Welding right up here nearby and he can look at it after the 17th. We also talked with the guys at Economy Tackle and sent pics and should hear back from them soon as well. May want to drive down there and see what they can do.

We sure appreciate your advice and if we come down that way we will let you know and maybe we can meet up.

Steve & Brenda


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:45 am 
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Location: St Louis
I had the same issue with my '06 Outback. I had a small rock lodged on the ledge that split the plastic when the drive exerted pressure on the spot while peddling. I talked to a company called Plastex and they claimed their product would work. I haven't tried it, but you may want to look at their web site. http://www.plastex.net. It looks like an interesting product - it might be a solution?


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