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Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.
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Author:  kevinbeane [ Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

Having calmed down and told all my friends about my "near drowning" (may have exaggerated a bit) in the kayak that decided to become a submarine, I have been thinking about the whole safety aspect of this. If I had not had the ama/akas on, it seems to me that my kayak would have been mostly submerged, even with the floatation bricks. It might not have gone to the bottom, but it sure as heck would have been a dangerous craft to be caught in. Then there is the problem of getting it out of the water. I don't ever want to have to haul that much weight out onto dry land again, nor do I want a future problem with a plug in cart wearing holes in the scuppers. I am going to assume for now that Hobie will replace my hull and as for the new hull - I will just reinforce those myself or something - or engineer a better cart solution like a cradle (same part that is on my trailer, designed for the AI) having a strap that goes around the hull and not using the scuppers at all. I am moving on to the general problem of safety - what to do if a significant amount of water gets inside the kayak through whatever means, possibly even an open hatch or missing drain plug.

So what I started looking into is floatation. People have mentioned pool noodles and specifically designed kayak floatation bags. The noodles wouldn't do anything for floatation if they themselves are floating on top of water that makes it inside AND I am going to want to use the interior space for things like camping equipment in dry bags some of the time. It seems to me that a floatation bag would be the way to go for the big bow area, but I am not sure what to do for the stern because of the control lines.

Thoughts on adding floatation? Recommended specific products maybe? Who else has been here and can add their words of wisdom?

Author:  Roadrunner [ Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

kevinbeane wrote:
My Adventure suffered a couple of very large holes in the hull today. It turned out to be rather large holes in both scuppers caused by a combination of 90 degree heat day after day down here in sunny Florida and what I would say is just normal use of the Hobie plug in cart. A design defect is what I'd call it. You cannot expect this area to hold up with that thin a wall.
Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Most who experience two large holes in their scuppers get them by dropping their boat on a partially inserted cart. This is not usually considered a manufacturers defect. Having read through the forums, you know that the scupper walls do not spontaneously rupture normally and that the cart is required to be in contact with the reinforced deck and hull before any load or stress is put on it. Hobie's recent reinforcement of the scupper tubes IMO was to prevent accidental and abusive ruptures from having catastrophic results. Hopefully Hobie will treat you well in this matter.

Moving on the to to the subject of flotation -- as you have already observed, your amas are your best flotation options -- they can keep you upright with a lot of water in the hull, yet take up no internal space. If you were kayaking in the Adventure mode, your boat would destabilize and capsize long before it would sink, with or without additional flotation because the interior space is not baffled. Some boat owners mistakenly think that adding lots of flotation will keep them upright in their boat, but in reality, I think it would only take 30 to 50 gallons of water to capsize in a rolling sea. A moving "50 gallon drum" bouncing around in your hull carries a lot of inertia! Any flotation that Hobie adds is to keep the hull from sinking. Here are a couple of illustrations:


The good news -- it takes quite awhile to collect 50 gallons of water inside your boat -- unless you rupture your scupper tubes. But then, as you noted, you won't get very far from shore without noticing it. 8)

Author:  kevinbeane [ Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

Oh it is definitely due to a design that wasn't well thought out for anything other than the original (bailing water) purpose. I'm not going to budge an inch on that. Hobie must think so, too, because they reinforced the scupper holes on the TI (maybe the AI, too, I don't know) in an attempt to prevent the same problem. The plastic is very thin there and that just doesn't make sense. Kayaks tend to bounce around over uneven ground between trailer and water. I take my wheel cart out underwater after pulling the whole thing out to about waist deep, then flip it and put it back down through the holes so I can take the cart with me. I think the plastic got worn, was soft and thin to begin with, and at some point just plain failed. I'm careful and had even read about this problem, thinking "Gee, I hope that doesn't happen to my kayak", yet it did anyway. Even if I am just an uncoordinated oaf, forgot to do something a certain way, allowed someone else to do some task associated with loading or unloading, or made some other mistake (therefore "operator error"), a person whose job it is to design a boat (and plug in cart) should take human nature, heat, uneven terrain, friction, and other factors (Murphy) into account and guard against catastrophic failure by adding 10 cents worth of plastic to protect thousands of dollars worth of kayak and contents. If that wasn't done (and it wasn't!) a company with a reputation for quality wanting to sell expensive (for a kayak - look at the competition) models simply must listen to negative feedback and I fully expect my hull to be replaced under warranty. If it isn't, I'm going to raise holy hell. Thousands of dollars. My ass in the water. I don't take these things lightly.

Author:  fusioneng [ Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

kevinbeane :
If your plans are to go far offshore with an AI/TI, there is always risk involved with changes in weather, failure of components, like broken masts, rudder failure, hull breach, mirage drive failure, etc, etc. The ocean is pretty unforgiving in any of those situations, and those issues and possible problems while offshore aren't unique to Hobie AI/TI's, problems can arise on any small boat, and boat type.
Though the last thing on my list of possible issues would be my scupper tubes failing while out at sea, I kind of agree with Roadrunner that if you accidentally rupture your scupper tubes during launch your not going to get very far before noticing something is terribly wrong. Just as a force of habit before setting out any long distance offshore I always open my hatch and look into the hull to confirm I'm not taking on water, I also double check to make sure everything is in working order, things like rudder lines, mirage drives, mast support braces, I double check that I have flares, plenty of water, emergency food, a pump and a sponge (just in case), I also make sure my cell phone and offshore radios are fully charged and working. When going out more than 3 or 4 miles I also throw our inflatable boat and pump into the hull, it's a 4 person inflatable raft with 650 lbs capacity that you just pump up if you need it (our lifeboat). It rolls up very small (about half the size of a sleeping bag). I bought it at Walmart for $40 bucks. Since we are scuba divers when we go way out we typically put our tanks and equipment into the inflatable and tow it out, as 6 or 8 diving tanks and equipment can be quite heavy. We also haul our cooler in the dingy for food and refreshments, typically if we go out we are out all day.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is it doesn't matter what type of boat you have, it is always wise to have plans and backup plans for everything, and also always let somebody know who knows what to do if you are overdue, and your planned route. Also there is strength in numbers, especially with small craft like the AI/TI try to go out in groups whenever possible. There are also several satellite based systems that would be nice to have like the SPOT3, the same company also sells satellite telephones (cell phones only work a couple miles offshore at best). As an emergency backup I also have a 2.3 hp gas motor that is always mounted on the boat along with at least 100 miles worth of fuel in case of rudder breakage, no wind, or really bad winds in the wrong direction. Since we sail mostly around Key West which is a very tiny island (4 miles long) in the middle of gulf, if you miss the island your pretty screwed (next stop Cuba), we try to be prepared as we can. Another big deal is electronics can fail, and make sure you have a magnetic compass and know how to ocean navigate, you have no business being out there if you don't. It's also a very good idea to have a boatUS membership or something comparable so if you do break down, someone can come and get you and your boat (the coast guard will not recover your boat, and unless you have a membership it will cost more than the boats value to get it back).

In Summary: the only reason I went into detail above is there are a thousand things that can go terribly wrong when you go out to sea (and you could die out there), and you have to understand the risks and mitigate as many as possible, I wouldn't be hanging my hat on the risk of scupper tube failure as one of them. I'm sure there are hundreds of thousands of Hobie Kayaks out there and every single one of them has the exact same scupper tube/cart system. You can probably count on one hand the number of failures due to scupper tube failure, so I'm not too concerned about the design. Hobie is very good about standing behind their product, your problem is best mitigated between you and your dealer, it's not productive to rant about the design, just take the boat to your dealer and it will be taken care of. I personally have had a scupper tube failure, and had a hull replaced, Hobie stands behind their product like no other company out there.
Hope this helps you

Author:  kevinbeane [ Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

True dat, it is an inherently dangerous thing to set out to sea (speaking as a former sailor as in USN). One beef is with the fact that if, for any reason, you happen to end up with a hole there, you might just be screwed, transport-wise. I could plug the tubes myself (not allergic to any kind of repair) but then the plug in cart - will it work without modification? If I had designed that part of the kayak and saw people crying about having big non-seaworthy holes, even a handful if it is only a handful and I doubt it, I would stab myself in the leg with a number 2 pencil and vow never to be so stupid an engineer again.

Author:  CR Yaker [ Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

kevinbeane wrote:
If I had designed that part of the kayak and saw people crying about having big non-seaworthy holes, even a handful if it is only a handful and I doubt it, I would stab myself in the leg with a number 2 pencil and vow never to be so stupid an engineer again.

Personally I am beginning to question your authenticity to your claims. Your over the top negativity and lack of positive statements for the Adventure Island don't add up for someone who as you stated used your AI on a heavy basis. If so, then you must have liked something in the engineering of this kayak? Also why did you chose to bring this old thread back from the dead and not start your own new thread? Hobie is fantastic when it comes to warranty claims and if what you stated is true, then I would find it hard to believe that you will not be made whole again by Hobie. Maybe it's time to chill.

Author:  kevinbeane [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

Why did I post in this topic? OK, I'll humor you. Internet discussion forum etiquette: If a topic already exists about a subject, one does not start a new topic. I found this topic by searching.


There are others, but this one had to do with the same model I have, an Adventure.

As to what I think of my kayak and Hobie in general, maybe you will feel better if I am more positive, but that's irrelevant. This is ultimately about two things:
- Product Improvement
- Customer Satisfaction

Product Improvement - Hobie should welcome this. This is my second Hobie kayak with a Mirage drive. The other one is a Sport, which I bought for my wife. I was so impressed with the Mirage drive, I convinced two of my friends to buy Hobie Mirage drive kayaks. I think the Mirage drive is an ingenious invention. I also like the hatches. I can tell that quite a lot of thought went into almost all details of my Adventure. I really love that kayak. I've had more fun than you can shake a stick at in the last almost two years, which is why I am so disappointed. I have repaired the Mirage drives I'd say 4 times because of things like cracked rollers, but I'd say that these occasional repairs are worth the trouble and I accept the fact that moving parts will wear out. I noticed that Hobie has made 2 or 3 generations of the Mirage drive by this point, so I can tell they care about product improvement. Good for them and I am glad to see an American company be on top of the heap. This problem with the scuppers is that they are trying to use the same feature for two radically different purposes. "The holes are already there, so why not use them?" is the mentality. Now we can see the problem with that and they evidently reinforced the holes on the Tandem Island (why that one and not the others I don't know - I confess ignorance as to the 2013 models improvements).

Customer Satisfaction - This is really do or die these days. I am the best advertisement for their products. I've already bought two myself and sold a couple of other people on them. I post pictures and GoPro videos on youtube and social media.

I was thinking about this yesterday while I was at work and realized that when I stow the wheel cart on the kayak (after putting in), the prongs if you will go down and I seemed to recall the angle being different now that my Adventure has been converted to an AI. I just checked it out and sure enough! The wheel cart used to go straight down, but the aka mount makes it so the prongs go in at an angle. Guess where the ends of the wheel cart posts are positioned when the plug in cart is on the kayak (the whole time I'm in the water)? Right where the big holes are. So we are talking about one bad thing (alignment of parts) on top of another. I'll post a picture later and you can see how this would cause friction on the inside of the scuppers, inevitably (at some time - hopefully before warranty expires) leading to a hole or pair of holes.

In case you guys have not seen pictures of the thin wall plastic, I'll post one up showing that, too. You will be able to tell by looking that the plastic is very thin there. How thin is it? It is thinner than Miley Cyrus's shorts.

I am still waiting to hear back from my local dealer. I've decided that if it comes down to them (not the company) repairing something or me doing it, I will do it myself. I am also not going to inconvenience them very much. If the company is 100% behind the product, great, but this store has been great. I can definitely solve this myself, but for those who have not had this happen to them, just trust me you would be very upset because unless you get creative and are really careful, a repair here is not like any other place in the kayak. You can't get to the "outside" part of the scuppers as far as I can tell. It is way in there. Difficult repair.

Author:  kevinbeane [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.


the angle is bad (sorry for image being rotated 90 degrees but you can tell)

Prongs go in at such an angle and they don't go through all the way. The ends of the cart prongs end up pressing against the aft wall.

plastic here is thinner than Miley Cyrus's pants to begin with, then Robin Thicke comes along and... DISASTER!

Author:  islandspeed2001 [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

Looks like user error to me.... Anyone should know that you don't put things down in the scuppers that will jam up the scuppers.

Author:  kevinbeane [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

That is how you are supposed to take your Hobie plug in wheel cart with you - so you can get back on the beach. Hey, I didn't design this thing. It would be so easy to avoid problems, too, just change the design a bit.

Author:  fusioneng [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

That problem with the thin scupper walls was solved a long time ago, apparently you didn't get the memo (LOL).
If you go to this thread Re-enforced scupper holes ( viewtopic.php?f=69&t=35341)
You will see a very simple fix using 1 inch PVC class 40 tubing. Basically you just cut two pieces of tubing to the correct length (varies with boat type) and shove it into the scupper holes from the bottom. If you cover the tube with silicone it holds the tube in nicely. The standard scupper cart still fits into the scupper holes with no issues (though a little tighter with less play, but it still works fine). This simple mod works on any hobie kayak.
Hobie does listen to us, and has incorporated every design mod I have ever suggested over the years. This re-enforced scupper mod was incorporated in I think late 2011 on the Tandem Islands as part of their production process.
At the same time I suggested this change I also suggested water cooling the cores in their molds to attract more material to strategic strength areas ( I'm a designer and mold maker). Either of those design improvements will work to fix the problem. I believe Hobie has incorporated the second option across most of it's kayak lines.
I don't know what model year your adventure is, but I'm assuming it's an older model built prior to the fixes, I'm assuming Hobies has applied these fixes across their whole kayak line by now, but have no way of knowing (and don't really care to know).
The PVC tubing trick will cost you a buck and ten minutes of your time, and works on any kayak Hobie makes.
When you get your new hull I suggest you do this simple fix, it makes your scupper holes virtually indestructible.

I have no association with Hobiecat company, I'm just a happy Hobie kayak user on my 7th mirage Hobie now over many years. Personally I have always found that offering helpful suggestions in a friendly way on this forum always goes farther than bitching about stuff and offering no solutions to the forum, this forum is independent from Hobiecat company and ran by users just trying to help each other (don't shoot the messengers).
Hope this helps

Author:  kevinbeane [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

I got an answer back from Black Creek Outfitters. They contacted the Hobie warranty guy who agreed to replace the hull at a reduced cost to me - as in it would cost me about $700. That's not a good deal and I regard this as a result of poor design was my reaction. I told them not to bother pursuing it any further because I think I can repair it (hello youtube video) and work around whatever cart changes are necessary. Black Creek Outfitters have been just great to deal with in the past and I know it would be a huge PITA for them to move the AI parts off onto a new hull. I can't say enough nice things about them. So I am going to let them off the hook totally - not their concern anymore - and repair it myself.

I see that Hobie is addressing this for other people (future customers) by a design change. Good to know. I hope that reinforcement improvement makes it into all Hobie kayaks.

Thank you, Bob. I appreciate helpful advice. I also understand the "didn't happen to me - must be operator error" attitudes of other people. That's just human nature for you.

Author:  fusioneng [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

If you want to repair the hull yourself (that's what I would do in this situation if not covered under warranty), it's a pretty simple fix.
It won't be perfect but the fix should work, basically just blob in the silicone into hull breach before inserting the PVC tubing, and use extra amounts of a good grade of clear silicone, actually 3M 5200 sealer might also work.
One thing you can do to get any of these adhesives to stick to the PE hull better is to clean the polyethelene well with rubber cement solvent (http://papercement.com/bestine.html) you can get this stuff at Lowes or home depot. This thinner contains heptane which melts and softens polyethelene so it will bond better with any adhesive (this is solvent used in the lockite plastic super glue kits you can get in the store). Use the stuff to clean everything really well, then soak a rag in the solvent and stuff it into the hole for a short time before applying the adhesive.
The one inch PVC pipe will be taking all the stress, you only need to seal it in so it doesn't leak water (it's not the end of the world if it leaks a tiny bit, as these boats are pretty wet inside anyway).
Looking at the AI it look like it would be quite a reach to try and fix the scupper holes from inside the hull.
Hope this helps you

Author:  kevinbeane [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.

I read about the difficulty of finding something that will bond HDPE, saw mention of 3M Scotchweld and Locktite 3030 but Lowes didn't have those and didn't want to risk some other adhesive, so I went with your recommendation of clear silicone smeared in there liberally and I shoved in a 1" PVC schedule 40 tube as far as it would go, which was not quite all the way. On the Adventure, the holes don't allow the PVC to pass all the way through on the top side. I shoved them in from the bottom and tapped pretty firmly with a hammer. \

The plug in cart does indeed fit inside the PVC (tested that ahead of time) but doesn't go all the way through the hull due to some alignment problem (misshapen tubes maybe), but that's OK. The cart goes in far enough and I am going to fab up a cradle shape out of wood (saves about $225 for a cradle set) to attach to the cart so the cart prongs and scupper tubes will not be bearing any load - they will just there for alignment and no side-to-side movement. I'll use a standard tie down strap with the homemade cradle so it will be very stable going over sand to/from the trailer. Will post pics later. I am just concentrating on making sure it will not take on water for now.

Should only end up costing $30 or so.... not $700 and a big PITA. My AI's resale value is much lower now. Oh well. I doubt I'll ever sell her.

Author:  kevinbeane [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hull crack in mirage adventure kayak.


It ain't pretty, but it should work. I just cut out some wood and laminated it together around the cart, drilled holes through the cart legs and screwed the wood onto it, then glued some painting pads to the top surface that contacts the hull. Have to fasten the strap to the wood. I wish the cart went further into the PVC, but that's it. I guess I'll have to store it some other way on the kayak while underway.

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