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 Post subject: AKA Sacrificial Anodes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:35 pm 
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Hi,

The rivets in my 2016 TI AKAs have all but fallen out and the AKAs become very loose. When I drilled out the rivets to replace them, I found that the combination of metals between the brackets, rivets and the AKA bars has caused the AKA bars to dissolve where the rivets made contact. The rivets came loose because they no longer made contact with the AKA bars - the holes were far too big and the edges of the holes ragged and obviously corroded.

Hobie Australia say this is not a warrantee issue because I should have somehow cleaned the salt out of the inside of the joints where the brackets meet the AKA bars. They say that I should have used a salt cleaning chemical to keep the inside of the joint salt free.This seems unreasonable for several reasons: First, nowhere in the manuals does it warn that these joints need special treatment, Then there's the issue that the combination of three metals and the electrolytic reaction when salt water is added *create* the problem. It is unreasonable to combine these metals and expect that any issue is the customer's. Then there's the expectation that a joint such as this would be sealed with epoxy or similar to prevent salt water ingress if this is considered by Hobie to be an issue.

On top of all this, I did use, and do use Salt-Away, a cleaner that Hobie Australia said I should have used. Perhaps Hobie would like to clarify their position? Should we all be regularly dismantling our AKAs to clean the insides of joints, then re-riveting them? Do Hobie recommend that we dismantle any other parts of our boats to clean parts inaccessible by any otherwise normal and reasonable means? Does Hobie recommend that we completely strip our boats and replace all suspect parts with 3rd party metal parts to prevent reactions with Hobie's choice of metals? What about sealing all joints with epoxy?

Matt, would you like to clarify this for me and others please? This does not seem right to me at all.

Thanks,

Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:40 am 
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The same process of stainless rivets in aluminum has been used since the 60's and is used across the sailing industry. The stainless rivets are required for shear strength.

There are different use and storage situations that must drive the corrosion to be worse in some areas. We just don't see this that wide-spread as what this sounds like. Maybe high salt content in the air. High humidity.

We do have an aka rivet / glue kit you can get. 81412001 AKA CASTING GLUE KIT - V2 AKAS

I would recommend the use of an anti corrosion coating material. Here in the US we have a product that really works well called Lanocote.

https://www.forespar.com/products/boat-lubricant-lanocote.shtml

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:26 pm 
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mmiller wrote:
I would recommend the use of an anti corrosion coating material. Here in the US we have a product that really works well called Lanocote.


So this is the standard that Hobie follow during assembly of all stainless rivets in contact with aluminium?
If not it should be.

This from the Farrier specs page:
“Insulated Fasteners - All stainless steel fasteners are insulated from aluminum by nylon or acetal washers, or a bedding compound in order to prevent corrosion.”

Mike, before you reassemble the akas you should read this thread:
https://www.hobie.com/forums/viewtopic. ... 1548986192
I redid my akas years ago using Sikaflex. I also dipped each rivet in Sikaflex and have had no corrosion/loosening since.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:07 pm 
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That response seems extremely strange to me. You are assuming some sort of highly corrosive environment and saying that even though the engineering standards are to insulate and never allow stainless steel to directly contact aluminium, Hobie do and that even though they don't see this as an issue, they have a kit to rectify this non-problem... To say Hobie have used stainless rivets with aluminium since the 60s and to go and recommend the use of insulation (even though Hobie saw fit not to use insulation in my AKAs) is like saying that doctors used bleeding for centuries so I should ignore modern medicines(!)

You (Hobie) are recommending that I dismantle my boat and make changes to the construction using anti-corrosion material to rectify an issue that should not have been an issue in the first place. Besides which, the AKAs are already so corroded from contact with the stainless rivets that there is no metal to hold any replacement rivets.

My boat lives in a garage around 14km (10 miles) from the nearest salt water. Also in my garage are a couple of very high end mountain bikes made from similar alloys, my car, and in the workshop off my garage, $50,000 worth of very nice power tools - none of which show even the slightest signs of corrosion. The worst my garage sees is a little dust. I live in Sydney, and yes, summer is humid, but nothing extraordinary.

I am simply not going to accept your answer as reasonable. I have delayed my response to make sure I was being fair and even handed - salt water exposure is hard on everything... But to say that a boat is not manufactured to a standard that the manufacturer recommends themselves, and that a 2 year life-span on structural parts is acceptable and "normal" is just plain stupid. If I'd known that before I purchased the TI I would have walked out and bought something else.

To sum up, it seems I have a choice of: making a dodgy repair on damaged parts to fix a problem that Hobie says is not a problem using products that Hobie recommend, but do not use in manufacture (which sounds stupid to me), OR buy new AKAs for $700, pull them apart and put the back together properly using the products that Hobie recommend, OR being angry about Hobie's legal game playing in not acknowledging the problem that they say should be fixed with a 3rd party kit and relegating my Hobie TI to use as a kayak and constant reminder not to buy any more Hobie products. I already have several Hobie kayaks that live in the boat house at my waterfront next to salt water - where they have lived for years without issue.

Perhaps I should scrap Hobie's poor efforts and build myself some decent AKA bars that will not rot from bad engineering oversights? That's what all those expensive power tools and my workshop is for, after all. I'm sure there are a lot of other Island owners who will be checking the rivets on their AKAs now and wondering the same thing.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:48 pm 
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I will reiterate:
Quote:
We just don't see this as wide-spread
based on reports and warranty claims.

Decades of production using similar methods and boats from the 60's still sailing? If it ain't broke... don't "fix" it.

We don't have this issue with Islands in our fleet and do not get a lot of reports of excessive corrosion. Your case is extreme... for some reason. The glue kit was created due to extreme racking motions... not corrosion.

Your bikes nor your car get submerged in salt water right? That explains that well enough.

I made a reasonable suggestion for an unusual problem. Should we use a different system? Maybe, but costs are important. Again... we don't see there being enough issues for major changes or excessive costs. It's all a balance. Like... we could make the akas of carbon and solve it, but that would add a huge cost to the consumer price.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:21 pm 
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Matt, I do not appreciate the snarky response. NO, my bikes and car do not get immersed in salt water. My point was that my boat is not stored in an unusually hostile environment or excessive humidity, as you suggested.

Frankly, I do not care if this is the only warrantee case you have ever seen - this is in my experience an issue that has occurred 100% of the time. As for the Hobie fleet of boats - SO WHAT??? My boat is 2 years old and by your own admission is not fit for purpose. That is, you admit it is an issue. You have put together a kit which you sell to fix said issue and you in your words recommend the use of an insulating product as per industry standards - which you DO NOT USE YOURSELF is utterly irresponsible and incredibly bad practice.

When you say "decades of production" and "still sailing" I will respond by simply saying BS! The Island line has not been around that long even if we do allow for several years of prototyping.

What you consider a reasonable response, I consider completely unreasonable. Nobody suggested carbon fibre or any other construction materials except you. As a customer, I do not care what your production costs or methods are. Hobie are, or at least I thought were, decent engineers who above all else should be concerned that their product has enough structural integrity to make it safe to use. Costs are a secondary consideration if lawsuits are to be avoided - and with an essential structural part such as this you are putting people's lives at risk by refusing to use even basic measures which you yourself recommend!

As you have been so rude and so foolish in your response, I will be taking this further. I had hoped that this simple matter might be resolved easily and that my confidence in my Hobie TI would be restored, but alas you have behaved like an impetuous child. I will not accept a warranty claim and now will accept no less than a full refund under Australia consumer law as I no longer feel safe using your badly (by your own admission) made product. Quite simply I fear what else you might have thought too expensive to manufacture to what you (Hobie) and the boating industry consider a reasonable standard.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:33 am 
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MikeMTB,

Quote:
I fear what else you might have thought too expensive to manufacture to what you (Hobie) and the boating industry consider a reasonable standard.


The suggestion that Farrier has the right way to do it is not comparable at all. They build yachts at $50,000 to $100,000 range. The Islands are wonderful boats, but are a small fraction of that cost.

Your response is a bit harsh and you are certainly twisting my words to fit your narrative. You need to work with your regional supplier. I am only trying to help you understand our position on this.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:04 pm 
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While the TI hasn't been around for 'decades' the rest of Hobie's Cats have. I've sailed a '14, '16, and Wave and now my '14 TI - mostly in the Gulf. Along the way with all 4 boats I've never experienced any severe corrosion problems. I came back to Hobie after sailing another Cat whose design I didn't feel comfortable on when sailing in the Gulf, off shore.

An old salesman's quote (Oscar Wilde) - 'everyone knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing'. I believe Hobie products offer good value for their price structure.

bill


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:44 pm 
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I take your point Bill, however the "it works on my machine" attitude just does not cut it.

I have a problem which is structural. It is within warrantee period and I do not think it is unreasonable in any way to ask that it be fixed. Pointing out that other, different boats do not have the issue only lets me know that those boats work - and mine still does not. Even pointing out that other TIs do not all have this issue still makes no difference. MY TI is still faulty and still does not work. None of us own the average of all Hobies made, not even the average of all Tandem Islands made. I have an individual TI with a distinct problem which everyone recognises but nobody has a reasonable fix for. Not even new AKAs which would be just as badly (cheaply) manufactured as the originals would cut it.

Matt seems to think that it is reasonable to insist that we dismantle our new parts and reassemble to the standards he recommends, but Hobie does not use.

My only point in all this is that if Hobie are recommending the use of an insulating product (which is not expensive) then they should be using it in manufacture. It might cost a few cents per rivet. That's hardly going to make any difference whatever to the cost of the product.

The very fact that Hobie has put together a kit which they sell to fix the very same problem I am complaining about is a tacit admission that mine is an issue they are aware of and admit can and should be fixed using different methods than the ones they use to assemble the AKAs in the first place. That is, Hobie know there is a critical structural issue in (at least some of) their boats, they refuse to warn people about the issue and they refuse to correct the issue.

If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have agreed that yes, Hobies are good value. Given that my hobie is unusable and I really do not feel confident anymore that my Tandem Island is structurally sound, I would have to strongly disagree with you. My Hobie is a worthless waste of space taking up a large part of my garage and good for nothing else.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:05 am 
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mmiller wrote:

The suggestion that Farrier has the right way to do it is not comparable at all. They build yachts at $50,000 to $100,000 range. The Islands are wonderful boats, but are a small fraction of that cost.


Matt,
You’ve missed my point. It was about industry best practice, not a comparison between Hobie’s/Farrier.
MikeMTB has a point. You yourself recommend using anti corrosion when doing the repair, yet Hobie don’t do that during assembly? It makes no sense. Surely it wouldn’t add that much extra to the assembly?
Anytime a stainless fastener is bedded directly to aluminium and then used in saltwater you will have corrosion issues, maybe not within the warranty period, but certainly later.
Why not do the job right the first time?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:52 am 
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Quote:
You yourself recommend using anti corrosion when doing the repair, yet Hobie don’t do that during assembly?


As a repair option for something already showing corrosion...

As noted, the rivet system has been the same process for 50 years at Hobie and many 50 year old boats are still sailing. That really says something.

This TI situation is unusual. It does not makes sense to cause excess costs on something that is not typically a problem. This case is an outlier.

Again, the aka glue kit is a racking fix... not caused by corrosion, but by the motion of akas twisting. This glue and rivet process is used in production for many years now. The corrosion may be exacerbated by rough conditions and movement in the joints?

I don't know anything about how this boat was used or loaded or how old it is. Again, Mike needs to work with Hobie dealers and the Hobie factory in Australia.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:03 pm 
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Hi Matt,

As I said in the very first sentence, the boat is a 2016 TI. Just over 2 years old. It has been used in closed salt waters. Think Sydney harbour only less busy. As for loading, it has never had more than 2 people on board. Most of the time just 1. The only other things that have been on board with me are a chartplotter/sounder and sometimes a cool box and some fishing gear.

I have been working with my dealer, who has been absolutely wonderful - shout out to Simon - who says it is a clear warrantee problem. The reason I came here was because I have seen you (Matt) as a man who knows everything about Hobies. I have never seen you be other than reasonable and informative. I'll just assume you are having a bad week because your response seems very out of character to me.

As you have gathered, I am absolutely with Stringy on this issue. A few cents of prevention in manufacture will stop this from being an issue, and on a structural part negate any possible legal ramifications. It just makes sense.

Yes, 50 years etc. But no 2 years and my boat is stuffed. Outlier or not it is not unreasonable to think a main structural component should not fail like this within 2 years.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:07 pm 
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All understood, but I can not make decisions for Hobie Australia.

Outside of our region I can only advise.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:04 pm 
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Mike, your boat is far from stuffed. It’s an easy fix to repair the aka/knuckle problem. If you read through that thread I posted, many of us early TI owners developed loose aka knuckle connections because it was just riveted. I fixed mine using Sikaflex + rivets and it has been rock solid since. Mingle redid his with just Sikaflex and no rivets and at last report a few years on had no problems.

In response to the loose aka Hobie swapped to using epoxy in the joint. Aside from your corrosion, (which has been reported by others like Slaughter in the same loose aka thread and fixed under warranty BTW) you should have a claim over the failure of the epoxy I would have thought.

Matt,
As you know, the problem of galvanic corrosion was highlighted recently with the spring aka hook replacement. So many reported broken/seized screws, some with quite new boats.
I dread ever having to undo a stainless screw in say the crossbar cleats.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:00 pm 
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stringy wrote:
As you know, the problem of galvanic corrosion was highlighted recently with the spring aka hook replacement. So many reported broken/seized screws, some with quite new boats.
I dread ever having to undo a stainless screw in say the crossbar cleats.


I get it... Seems with the right technique it was done easily. Worst was just trying to turn the screw. Heat and or tapping breaks them free.

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