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 Post subject: Mirage 180 fin issues
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:04 am 
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Location: Slidell, La.
https://imgur.com/gallery/MYQ9P

This happened on my maiden voyage. Yes, I hit a sandbar, but just barely. It was the maiden voyage. Believe me, I was taking it easy. The next day, the same thing happened to another fin while half-pedaling over an oyster reef. Hobie says they will not warranty. I call BS. Is this what I can expect from a $4000.00 kayak. I'll need to BUY a new set of fins every time I bump something?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:54 am 
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You "hit a sandbar." Hard to warranty parts that are damaged from collisions with objects. In very shallow water you might consider completely feathering the MD and breaking out the paddle.

Buying a new set of fins every time you bump something? That depends on what you "bump" and how hard to you bump it. I have bent spines more than a few times and torn a few fins just like you did. It happens. Sometimes you get lucky and the tear in the fin is small and you can patch it with Goop or similar and continue to use. Other times, well, you buy a new one. I carry a spare with me, and one spine, just in case.

The split in your fin is a bit odd, but I can't say why it split all the way up like that. Did you continue to use it for a bit before you realized some damage had been done? I can see maybe a small split resulting from the collision with the sand bar, and continued use then sent the split all the way up the spine.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:59 am 
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whitewater wrote:
This happened on my maiden voyage. Yes, I hit a sandbar, but just barely. It was the maiden voyage. Believe me, I was taking it easy. The next day, the same thing happened to another fin while half-pedaling over an oyster reef. Hobie says they will not warranty.


Ask your dealer to file a claim. We will replace these. It is odd that the fins tore down the full length and is not something we feel should happen.

Warranty staff have no record of a contact or claim. Reference this post and mention "Jerry Hill" when you contact the dealer. He is the warranty manager and is now aware of your post here.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:04 pm 
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Location: Slidell, La.
I called the dealer I bought the yak from as well as a dealer where I happen to be on vacation. They both told me Hobie would not warranty.
I will follow up with Hobie.
I have hit sandbars and reef and stumps much, much harder than this and have never split a fin. And to have 2 split in 2 days is insane.
We have all hit objects. What is your initial reaction each time... Freeze, don't move, try to minimize the damage.
The first one that split, I did not even know I hit anything. I went to pedal and it felt funny.
The second, I was feathering the MD , I knew it was shallow but could not have been moving more than .25 mph.


Last edited by whitewater on Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:06 pm 
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Running into things with a Mirage drive is operator error. Hopefully Whitewater will learn from these experiences and not damage his Mirage Drive in the future. I have many miles on my Revolution, and I've never bent a rod or damaged a fin, because when the water gets shallow, I pull up my Mirage Drive and paddle. And I don't use my Revolution in rivers unless they are reliably more than about 4 feet deep. Using a Mirage Drive kayak in shallow moving water is asking for trouble.

However, I'm pretty surprised that Whitewater's fins split in the manner shown in his pictures. I would not expect that to happen if the fins hit something.


Last edited by pmmpete on Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:30 pm 
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Location: Slidell, La.
I bought a 2012 Oasis new and put many miles on it. Many of those deep in Louisiana swamps and rivers filled with cypress knees and stumps. I bent a lot of masts. I never tore a fin.
I had such great service from that kayak that we upgraded to nice seats and reverse. But there is just something not right with a fin that tore as easily as there did.
Perhaps the fix would be to put a little more meat on the fin near the bottom of the mast and to somehow not have a seam on the fin where the most stress will be applied.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:48 pm 
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pmmpete wrote:
Running into things with a Mirage drive is operator error. Hopefully Whitewater will learn from these experiences and not damage his Mirage Drive in the future. I have many miles on my Revolution, and I've never bent a rod or damaged a fin, because when the water gets shallow,

Everybody is vulnerable to bumps with unseen and unpredictable submerged objects, like shopping carts tossed by vagrants. Even with clear water, I have found lighting conditions such as bright clouds can turn the surface a reflective silver so when returning I couldn't locate a boat channel among jagged reef.

Anyway the 180 generation is designed for stiffer fins probably less inherently forgiving of bending without splitting. The first manufacturing year of anything can see some off-spec variations, like brittleness. I bet the new fins stand up better to being sliced by fishing lines though.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:01 am 
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whitewater wrote:
I called the dealer I bought the yak from as well as a dealer where I happen to be on vacation. They both told me Hobie would not warranty.
I will follow up with Hobie.
I have hit sandbars and reef and stumps much, much harder than this and have never split a fin. And to have 2 split in 2 days is insane.
We have all hit objects. What is your initial reaction each time... Freeze, don't move, try to minimize the damage.
The first one that split, I did not even know I hit anything. I went to pedal and it felt funny.
The second, I was feathering the MD , I knew it was shallow but could not have been moving more than .25 mph.


Sometimes dealers make assumptions, and you have to deal direct as Hobie often have their own reasons that are not obvious, nor made public, but rather deal with them on a claim by claim basis.

yes it is user error, but there needs to be a degree of design/manufacturing tolerance to allow for reasonable user error.

If these fins start to constantly fail substantially earlier than previous designs, hobie will loose sales and credibility, so they cant just pass it off as user error


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:23 am 
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WAVERIDER wrote:
yes it is user error, but there needs to be a degree of design/manufacturing tolerance to allow for reasonable user error.

Reasonable user error? How about reasonable awareness of your situation and equipment capability?

WAVERIDER wrote:
If these fins start to constantly fail substantially earlier than previous designs, hobie will loose sales and credibility, so they cant just pass it off as user error

Unless there are other cases of this type of fin damage, this would be nothing more than speculation. As far as Hobie losing credibility, they've been around for a long time, you don't do that by having no credibility.

If you use a kayak in an area with obstacles and water hazards, perhaps a Mirage drive kayak is not the best choice.

whitewater wrote:
I have hit sandbars and reef and stumps much, much harder than this...

With the information provided here, I would guess this is the source of the problem.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:46 am 
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I hesitate to purchase a 180. :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:08 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
whitewater:

I see your pics, and see there is a problem ( I'm a design engineer), I got nothin to do with Hobie, but I do like and use their stuff.

I'm sure they will figure out how to fix the issue (they are very sharp), but it will likely take a while. In the mean time I might have a solution that will help you in the interim.

I learned this because we go thru a lot of oyster beds and coral reefs, as well as many sandy shallows, and I got tired of repairing mirage fins.

If you go to Lowes and get some 3/4 wide x 1/16 thick aluminum stock (usually comes in 3 ft lengths), cut off about 2-3 inches then fold it over the front of the fin down near the bottom. The fin material is likely some type of TPV (like Santoprene) which is similar to the material used on tennis shoes, so any shoe glue like goop should work fine to glue the alumin down. Or you can do what I did, and just fold it over and cover with black electrical tape wrapped like you would bike handlebars (no glue).

Hopefully this will hold you over till Hobie discovers the problem and starts down the road of re-design/repair.

Hope this helps you.
FE


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:33 pm 
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ronbo613 wrote:
WAVERIDER wrote:
yes it is user error, but there needs to be a degree of design/manufacturing tolerance to allow for reasonable user error.

Reasonable user error? How about reasonable awareness of your situation and equipment capability?

Exactly if a new design is less durable than an older design customers will hesitate to upgrade. Most customers will hit things sooner or later, fins do need replacing due to wear and tear, improved designs should not be less durable than old ones. That is basic product evolution

ronbo613 wrote:
WAVERIDER wrote:
If these fins start to constantly fail substantially earlier than previous designs, hobie will loose sales and credibility, so they cant just pass it off as user error


Unless there are other cases of this type of fin damage, this would be nothing more than speculation. As far as Hobie losing credibility, they've been around for a long time, you don't do that by having no credibility.


This is why matt has overriden dealer advice, because hobie do care if there is a problem. It is a new design and teething issues are very possible. Dealers just see user damage and have no say over any potential design issues. I had new design issues with my kayak, dealer said no, the when I approached Hobie direct it was a very prompt yes. The kayak design has now been changed. Hobie do make design changes based on field failures


Quote:

If you use a kayak in an area with obstacles and water hazards, perhaps a Mirage drive kayak is not the best choice.



Agreed but then its not as black and white as that in many areas, so the design needs to be as robust as possible without impairing function given the environments they are widely used in.

You would be complaining if your car tyres shredded every time you scrubbed the sidewalls on a kerb and Goodyear didn't see it as a flaw in design or manufacture.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:31 pm 
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WAVERIDER wrote:
ronbo613 wrote:
WAVERIDER wrote:
yes it is user error, but there needs to be a degree of design/manufacturing tolerance to allow for reasonable user error.

Reasonable user error? How about reasonable awareness of your situation and equipment capability?

Exactly if a new design is less durable than an older design customers will hesitate to upgrade. Most customers will hit things sooner or later, fins do need replacing due to wear and tear, improved designs should not be less durable than old ones. That is basic product evolution

ronbo613 wrote:
WAVERIDER wrote:
If these fins start to constantly fail substantially earlier than previous designs, hobie will loose sales and credibility, so they cant just pass it off as user error


Unless there are other cases of this type of fin damage, this would be nothing more than speculation. As far as Hobie losing credibility, they've been around for a long time, you don't do that by having no credibility.


This is why matt has overriden dealer advice, because hobie do care if there is a problem. It is a new design and teething issues are very possible. Dealers just see user damage and have no say over any potential design issues. I had new design issues with my kayak, dealer said no, the when I approached Hobie direct it was a very prompt yes. The kayak design has now been changed. Hobie do make design changes based on field failures


Quote:

If you use a kayak in an area with obstacles and water hazards, perhaps a Mirage drive kayak is not the best choice.



Agreed but then its not as black and white as that in many areas, so the design needs to be as robust as possible without impairing function given the environments they are widely used in.

You would be complaining if your car tyres shredded every time you scrubbed the sidewalls on a kerb and Goodyear didn't see it as a flaw in design or manufacture.


Thank you for setting things right.

WAVERIDER wrote:
Most customers will hit things sooner or later


I guess you must be speaking from personal experience because "most" of the kayakers, as well as the boat and PWC owners, SUPers, kiteboarders and surfers I know are very good at not hitting things.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:44 am 
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The MirageDrive 180 is new and we do learn from reports like these where there may be weaknesses. This one is unusual and since both fins failed in the same way, I suspect a molding issue is possible.

The masts are stiffer, more upright and impacts may be less forgiving, but the ability to reverse is amazing. No other reversible prop system has the kind of power in forward let alone in reverse that the MirageDrive has. That vs going back to a paddle? MirageDrive all the way! I can't even imagine these shallow conditions using a prop drive.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Location: Slidell, La.
So, it seems Matt has some pull around here. :D
As promised, my dealer called me with replacement fins. I'll be extra careful for now on. I hate having to worry about this every time I go out now. Was this a one time warranty or have there been other instances of this happening? What is my recourse if this happens again? Is Hobie working hard to remedy the issue and re-tooling the fins? Please keep us updated Matt.


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