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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:34 pm 
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Hobie i14t kayak worthless after 8 years…according to Jerry at Hobie. My kayak took on water while in the middle of the lake; later discovered it leaks was where the middle chamber terminates in the nose. Hobie told me that it's not repairable and that if it's repaired, it will just leak elsewhere--they won't consider fixing it for any price. So my $2600 i14t is junk 8 years after I bought it new, and used it less than 10 times. FYI-it was always stored inside, within temp range of 50-80 degrees. No matter, according to Hobie, adhesives always fail-said that's why it's only guaranteed for 2 years. Was told to recycle the rubber.

I paid extra to buy a Hobie, because of their perceived higher quality-boy, was I wrong. And Jerry at Hobie told me to feel fortunate that it lasted so long. He also said he'd give me $200 credit toward me blowing another $2,600 on a new one. Seriously?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:54 pm 
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Yes, I've vented. Point is I didn't pay for a top of the line Hobie to end up with a throw-away 8 years later. I'd be happy to pay for repairs but was told that's not an option-go away.

Thanks for your insight and advice. I'll take a look at what can be done. I'd prefer to RF or ultrasonically weld the seam if possible. If not, then I'll use some type of acrylic adhesive. Will get into it and let you know how it went.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:07 pm 
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It is unfortunate, but true... inflatables do not last like hard shell kayaks. All brands... same. At the same time it is an amazing thing to be able to pack them up and move them in a car or plane to get someplace cool for kayaking. We are trying to be honest and at 8 years (with a 2 year warranty) I am happy to see that Jerry was trying to help in some way. He just knows that repairs are not always the answer.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:19 pm 
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mmiller wrote:
It is unfortunate, but true... inflatables do not last like hard shell kayaks. All brands... same. At the same time it is an amazing thing to be able to pack them up and move them in a car or plane to get someplace cool for kayaking. We are trying to be honest and at 8 years (with a 2 year warranty) I am happy to see that Jerry was trying to help in some way. He just knows that repairs are not always the answer.


What would you say is a reasonable life span for current inflatable models? 5 years before the seams start failing? Assume the user applies 303 every other week...or should it be applied more often?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:37 am 
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I know you've posed that question for Matt, but, awaiting his response, I'll give my answer.

The life varies directly with the cost: $600-$800 inflatable, ~5 years; $2,600 inflatable 15-20 years. Both are serviceable lives, with repairs expected.

My opinion is that the cause of the leak in the nose could have been prevented in the design. Were the adhesives hot/cold and age tested before the product was put on the market? If adhesives were going to fail (quickly) then don't use adhesives. Ultrasonic, RF, and thermal impulse welding don't rely on adhesives. Don't put design/testing issues in the lap of valued consumers. The knowledge that Hobie has that adhesives fail within 8 years is not new information.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:24 am 
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Location: Oceanside, California
We recently added this to our warranty statement on the website:

Quote:
Every Hobie has a useful product life cycle. The length of that life cycle will vary depending on multiple factors including; the construction and materials, storage and transport, maintenance and care, and the amount and type of use your Hobie is subjected to over its life. We have been engineering fun on the water since 1950. However, we can’t engineer our products to survive improper usage, such as incorrect storage or transport, exposure to excessive heat or sunlight, or collisions with your garage. Whatever the case may be, we'll always point you in the right direction.


Inflatables are not nearly as durable as a rotomolded kayak for sure. 15-20 years is certainly not expected... I would think more like under 10 and I would bet the average is closer to 5 due to the type of use, storage and heat. If you have ever been to a sailboat charter location... they have to replace inflatable dinghies annually. On Tortola I saw an inflatable mountain of a charter company's lot. The materials and adhesives when subjected to pressure, wear, heat and age... deteriorate.

Hobie Cat does not build the inflatables. They are produced by companies that specialize in these products. We simply adapted them to MirageDrive usage. These companies warranty their products for 2 years as do we.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:32 am 
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303 would protect the material from UV, but not the pressure, wear and adhesives. Certainly better than not using it.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:23 pm 
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daft wrote:
centexcoog wrote:
I still can't understand not giving a repair a try as long as you don't venture too far afield. My seam repair was messy - I couldn't scrape or sand the old glue off the seam without tearing the material, and I put on too much glue which weakens it, yet it now holds 10psi like a champ


Max for our inflatable Mirage kayaks is 5psi in the floor and 3psi in the side chambers - I think majority of issues are over-inflation.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:44 pm 
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Jbernier wrote:
Max for our inflatable Mirage kayaks is 5psi in the floor and 3psi in the side chambers - I think majority of issues are over-inflation.


I distinctly remember reading in both the manual and on here from admin/staff that 3-5psi for all chambers is the recommended pressure. I've been going 4.8 in the center and 4 in the sides, and now you're saying 3 max for side chambers?

If so that's fine, just wanted to confirm.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:51 am 
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Quote:
Max for our inflatable Mirage kayaks is 5 psi in the floor and 3 psi in the side chambers


Yes. This is the correct pressure Max we are recommending.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:10 am 
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mmiller wrote:
It is unfortunate, but true... inflatables do not last like hard shell kayaks. All brands... same.


Evidently not all brands are the same. My Sea Eagle 380x is still going strong after 16 years. BTW, I bought it used 16 years ago. :D

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Last edited by 661 on Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:21 am 
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mmiller wrote:
Quote:
Max for our inflatable Mirage kayaks is 5 psi in the floor and 3 psi in the side chambers


Yes. This is the correct pressure Max we are recommending.


Thanks for confirming what I already suspected. BTW, the owner's manual for my new i12s does not make it at all clear that the side chambers require less pressure; is simply reads 3-5 PSI Max. Perhaps this is a non-issue for those using the included hand pump but folks with high pressure electric pumps need to have this info presented in no uncertain terms.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:16 pm 
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$2600 for an i14T! Are you sure it was brand new when you bought it?


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