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Old 06-10-2007   #1
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
Boat abuse?

I started kayaking last year and bought a used boat from a local dealer. The shop told me the boat had been purchased new that year and paddled maybe five times; it looked near new. Last week, the boat cracked. I took it back to the shop hoping to get warranty coverage. They called the manufacturer, sent them pictures, possibly had the local rep look at the boat, and eventually denied all warranty coverage for two reasons. First, I was not the original owner. Second, I was told that the failure was the sole result of the way I paddle. I was told the boat "tore", not cracked, from wearing the plastic so thin. Looking at the boat, I would agree that it more resembles a tear than a crack.

My question is: Is it normal to have a new kayak wear out after one season? I paddled the boat about 50 days on the river (mainly class III and starting into class IV, almost all in Colorado, at all water levels) and probably 10-12 days in the pool. I paddle the same way most of my paddling buddies do: lots of rock boofs & splats and the occasional seal launch. The folks I paddle with were very surprised the boat only lasted a season as many of them have far more days on their boats.

Should I expect to buy a new boat every year unless I only paddle at high water and avoid rocks like the plague? Did I maybe get a "soft" boat? Like I said, I'm new to the sport, so any comments are appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 06-10-2007   #2
COUNT's Avatar
Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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Boats should last much longer than that. I sounds like you got a lemon. That really sucks. I'm on my 4th season of HARD boat abuse in my Pyranha.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 06-10-2007   #3
????, Colorado
Paddling Since: ????
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 32
colorado is the problem!

that is not good, or normal, to boat class 3 and 4 and break your boat. you said colorado. there is a problem with that cuz most of colo is made of blast rock (really sharp and new) i got a friend that just cracked his boat after only 1 and a half months. he paid full retail and probably has to suck it up.. the manufactures will talk a big game till it comes to stand up time. then they will usually come up with some kind of b/s deal that it is not their fault. but if you really look at it, it is a lot better than the old glass boats (minus the fixability) and at least it wasnt your body!!! just try your hardest to not hit anything, it will in turn make you a better boater. good luck and remember that it is just plastic, so have fun and stay safe
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Old 06-11-2007   #4
tellutwurp's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 260
I just cracked my Jackson after one season. I wasn't very nice to my boat, but the folks at Jackson took care of me. I actually didn't expect to get it warrantied, but I had to try and was very surprised at the quickness and ease of the process. The boats are great and the customer service to match.

Anyway, I think there are a few factors involved possibly.
1) your first season was probably rather abusive; swimming is rather abusive on your boat, low water runs?
2) Rock boofing is particularly hard on the boat
3) How much do you weigh? I am a big guy and I think that played alot in the quick wear on my boat.
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Old 06-11-2007   #5
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
I wish I had a boat that lasted 50 days on a river. You should consider your money well spent.

I'm boat abusive and I get a season and that's it. I'm sure a lot of folks will disagree and I have friends who's boats have lasted a long time, but I think in Mankorado you can expect about 1 or 2 seasons on a boat unless you really baby it and stay away from low water and blast rock. The only boat I've had last more than two seasons was a Prijon, HTP plastic, but then it took a pilotless trip and met a premature end.
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Old 06-11-2007   #6
Frisco, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 62
What kind of boat did you have?
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Old 06-11-2007   #7
Commercial Paleontology
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 182
Boat Abuse

I just bought a Jackson SuperFun last Sept. & have already put a crack in the bottom off the haul just forward of my seat area. I am a fairly big guy @ 6'3" 220 lbs and granted... I used the boat more than most people do in 2-3 seasons on class 3-4 water all over the country. I can only imagine that at my weight a boat will certainly not hold up as long as say someone who is 40-60 lbs less under similar accepted reality for me of overalll wear on all my outdoor gear where weight figures in...climging shoes, skis, my mtn bike etc. I know I know I am hard on my stuff... body included. But it still bums me out to think I would only get that amount of time out of a brand new boat.
The bright side is that Jackson with no problems whatsoever is warranteeing the boat with the same exact boat or..... giving the option to upgrade to this years serries with a reasonable addtional fee. So I guess One moral of the story is to buy from a reputable Company who lives up to there warrantees & then abuse away.
It will be interesting to see once I get this new boat how long it holds up since I was a new boater as of last July and I am gradualing stepping things up a bit. Thanxs to the folks reccomending bithuthane for the temp. fix. I am boating dry as can be till the new one arrives. That stuff works great & I will now keep a couple patches in my kit at all times. Way better that keeping some duct tape on the paddle at least for cracks.
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Old 06-11-2007   #8
Caspian's Avatar
Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882
Could be bad luck, could be your style. I beat the ever-living crap out of a Dagger Id for 3+ seasons (probably about 300-360 days). I seal-launched, boofed, splatted and spun every rock I could in that time period and the boat was fine. It showed a lot of cosmetic wear, but didn't even oilcan. There is a difference between riding over a rock while grinding the bottom of your boat into it and boofing it. If there isn't much water, boof the edge driving into the eddy, if there is more, you can boof over the top of it. That is what you would do on a creek, so there is no need to practice doing it otherwise when in a playboat.

It's always caveat emptor buying a used boat. Usually it works out fine, but not always. I don't know of any manufacturers that will warranty a boat for anyone but the original owner, which I think is lame. They should at least warranty it from the date of shipment to a retailer and from the date of sale if you can prove what that is. Sorry it came down like that for you. I would not let it discourage you from buying a used non-creek boat, though. Creekers are more risky for obvious reasons (but again, I've easily put well over 100 class V days on a used creeker and it still going strong - style and luck...and making your line when missing it would be abusive...and not swimming.). I try to avoid buying used from a shop because you gain nothing but you pay a markup over a fair market value in a private sale. Shops are for new boats and gear, IMO.
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Old 06-11-2007   #9
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Local, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I think Derk and Caspian are on the money. I have a Kingpin that I've pinned, swam, boofed ONTO rocks (insert: idiot), splatted, swam some more, etc. It's also flown off a roofrack at 50 mph. It shows lots of cosmetic wear, but otherwise is fine. Its 3 seasons old and is totally bulletproof. I think most boaters are in this arena, although Schizzle might be one of those super-creekers, in which case does literally go through a boat in 1 season. That's not unusual.

If you're a big dude, breaking stuff comes with the territory, so keep this in mind the next time you buy a boat. Otherwise, it is caveat emptor and you just have to suck it up and buy a new boat.

Like cars, the beauty of buying new is that usually you have a prayer in getting it fixed/replaced. I can't see anyone replacing a second-hand boat regardless of its Jackson, Dagger, etc, but I'm not an expert, so don't hold me to it.
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Old 06-11-2007   #10
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 95
Had a Dagger CFS for two long seasons, boated at least 100 days a season (200 + days total) in the boat.

I bought it used, and when I sold it last week it looked just the same as the day I bought it. Slight oilcanning, typical scratches. I ran that thing into the ground and it wouldn't break. Where I lived we had a park and huck that ran into the late season and got kinda manky. It was predominately a 150 ft. slide into a pool, but there were fun/creekier lines around too. Every one of the lines was a bumper boat ride and we would go on days where we didn't have much time and run it like 20 times.

All the creeks I ran were shallow and rocks were constantly being battled. I never cracked MY boat. I think it's bull that some guys only expect a season. I'm 220 lbs. and we were creeking shallow IV and V almost exclusively and all I got were some scratches on my plastic.

I think lots has to do with what boat you buy and who you buy it from. My boat had seen at least 3 years of hard NW creekin' before I got it. But, I didn't buy it from a shyster. Also, the Dagger CFS is known for being a tank with outstanding plastic. It is.

Pick your boat wisely, but buying used always has it's surprises.

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