Opinion Needed-Sotar Warranty - Page 6 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-11-2016   #51
 
trickpony's Avatar
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 65
Just to comment on "industry standards"... I had a Hyside catastrophically blow two baffles within the warranty period. Sent it in and Hyside said it was a potential glue/materials issue and sent me a brand new boat within a month (this was last year). New boat has been flawless, like the other two Hysides I've owned/own. So I call bullshit on industry protocol, SOTAR. I guide on SOTARs 7 days a week but I still buy Hysides. SOTARs drive great and are fun on the water but I've seen way to many pinholes/random BS issues from normal commercial use to completely get behind them.


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Old 07-11-2016   #52
 
pojoaque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 116
another story

bought a 16' cat from sotar in late 2006. they said it was a regular cat that somebody ordered and never picked up so they gave me a good deal on it. had a GC trip in march so i had to take it even though i realized it was funky. inside d-rings on each end faced the wrong way, i.e. toward the fore and aft straps to my NRS universal frame pulled on the side of the d-rings, 90 degrees off optimal. a frame to use those drings would virtually have to stretch tip-to-tip on the tubes. the d-rings were mounted so low (inside and outside) that they were 4-6" under water with any load. the tubes were long and flat, no kick on the tops, the same as the NRS cat profiles. when i got back i questioned them and they said oh yeah that was a special order to explain it away. they also said that tje d-rings like that were not a problem. i had specifically asked them and they specifically told me it was off the shelf before i bought it (i am in NM, too far to go to check it out, i trusted them). they said they'd move the d-rings to the standard location. i had to pay shipping to them and some small miscellaneous fee i can't remember for what. it's been a good boat and i can count on it but i won't forget the initial dishonesty. and, of course, i have big ugly patches where they cut out the original d-rings. resale would be greatly reduced if i wanted to sell. FWIW, my boat also had no warranty copy sent with it even though it was supposed to be fully covered. i dealt with cheryl but it was the son of the owner (can't remember name, maybe randy or greg?) who really led me down the primrose path.
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Old 07-11-2016   #53
 
summit, Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 177
Feeling a lot better about our new Hyside purchase this year after reading all of this!
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Old 07-11-2016   #54
 
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Banner Elk, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 34
Star Inflatables had epic glue failure in the early 1990's and is the only company that I know with that history still around. The owner (Wayne Dull) made good on the warranty at the time and replaced hundreds of boats, which almost ended the brand. There are companies today that market their lack of glue to play on the fear of the 90's epic failure. Truth is heat-welding has it's own issues with delamination and pin-hole leaks and we have not had glue issues since.
Our warranty now is 7 years and includes shipping both ways for warranty claims (No other company pays 2-way shipping). The warranty transfers to whom ever has the boat with a problem, we use the serial # for warranty after it has transferred owners. Every Star Inflatable includes an owners manual which has the warranty listed and a registration form to be sent in within 10 days of purchase. I'd guess only 20% get submitted which leaves an easy out for us. Truth is, we register every boat with the US Coast Guard and that list is used for warranty claims so everyone is covered.
In 5 years I have replaced only 1 boat that could not be repaired, everything else is repairable. There have been (and will continue to be) customers that don't understand why lack of maintenance is not covered under warranty (gallons of water left in tubes for 5 months, tire burns, etc.), we handle these case by case. The image of Star Inflatables is still suffering from the glue failure which is evident from competitors marketing, which makes every customer even more important. I look at it like this; You can spend more than twice as much on a boat that won't last twice as long. There will be innovations in design and materials within that time as well. I guess what I'm saying is that "If I bought shoes the way some of y'all buy boats, I'd still be wearing Buster Browns". I have never owned a Sotar, but the ones I've driven are sweet!
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Old 07-11-2016   #55
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 268
funny to me how this boat gets more expensive as the posts go on.

i like my sotar, and so does everyone that sees it on or off the water. it is very light and performs great. it is definitely not as heavy duty as my maravia. but, there are always trade offs, if you want light weight, performance, and aesthetic appeal, get a sotar. if you are worried about selling it a few years down the road, or being able to mistreat it continuously, buy something else.

i am going to ruffle a few feathers here, but oh well. i think aires are ugly, and i do not think they perform as well. so if you want to be able to say that after abusing your boat and going to aire to cry about it, that they gave you a new one, go for it. i will continue to use my boat hard in difficult water. if it fails, i will fix it or get another one. they are made to be used, not sold after couple seasons of class 2 and 3 floats.
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Old 07-11-2016   #56
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 268
as the old saying goes, there are two sides to the story and then there is the truth. i doubt highly that everything posted in this thread is complete and truthful.

it also seems that some people come to the forum just to trash a manufacturer without knowing all the facts, and possibly even try to extort the manufacturers out of a new boat.

i am going to guess that this "fabric issue" affected more than just this one boat. if so, where are all the other dozens of boat owners with the same issue? surely someone else on this forum has a sotar made from the same batch of fabric?

i just went back and re-read the response from the sotar business guy. i think he spelled it out pretty well. they offered to fully repair the 5 year old boat. so why has the OP come here to get opinions? if they offered to repair the boat, get the boat fixed and move on. my suspicion is that he thinks he is entitled to MORE than the warranty states, and since other manufacturers have longer warranties, why can't he get a better deal.

Sotar offered to fully repair the boat. Send it to them and have it fixed. Problems solved.
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Old 07-11-2016   #57
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,385
How would you repair a boat- fully- if the material it was made of is (admittedly) defective? Replace the material the boat was made of. I'll assume the seam tape and d-rings are sound.

The guy didn't dispute that they had a material problem. What would assure you that the material that is not yet showing the signs of being defective is sound?

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Old 07-11-2016   #58
 
Woodland, California
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerhenry View Post
as the old saying goes, there are two sides to the story and then there is the truth. i doubt highly that everything posted in this thread is complete and truthful.

it also seems that some people come to the forum just to trash a manufacturer without knowing all the facts, and possibly even try to extort the manufacturers out of a new boat.

i am going to guess that this "fabric issue" affected more than just this one boat. if so, where are all the other dozens of boat owners with the same issue? surely someone else on this forum has a sotar made from the same batch of fabric?

i just went back and re-read the response from the sotar business guy. i think he spelled it out pretty well. they offered to fully repair the 5 year old boat. so why has the OP come here to get opinions? if they offered to repair the boat, get the boat fixed and move on. my suspicion is that he thinks he is entitled to MORE than the warranty states, and since other manufacturers have longer warranties, why can't he get a better deal.

Sotar offered to fully repair the boat. Send it to them and have it fixed. Problems solved.
Spencer, nothing is being hidden here. The repair option wasn't presented until after the SOTAR business guy quoted a replacement cost of $4200 and told me that a lesser company would simply do a quick repair and make the boat last until the warranty expired. The issue is that to fix the boat, constructed of defective material, you'd need to replace the material, or somehow guarantee that the rest of it won't start to rot. I've asked the business guy both here and via email to explain the repair process, but he hasn't responded the same type of behavior we've experienced throughout this entire warranty claim. Why does it take months to make a decision when you admit in the first place that the boat is made of bad material?
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Old 07-11-2016   #59
 
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 55
D-rings are getting it too.
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Old 07-11-2016   #60
 
seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 90
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denray View Post
D-rings are getting it too.
My 2011 yellow st looks just like this. You're making a big deal out of mildew stains. You said you have 30 days on this boat. Are you rolling it up wet and taking it out every 6 months? That will do it. Every weekend warrior is obsessed with warrantees and aesthetics. The more you boat the less you care about this stuff.
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