Standards of Quality

2 weeks 4 days ago#30277by HangTen
When it comes to buying new white surfskis(full paint job Hukis, Revos, etc. might be different) what is the generally accepted standard when it comes to finish? Is function the only consideration or does attention to detail matter?

What do most people check for when taking delivery of a ski? Test for softspots? How do most people test for soft spots? Dings? Scratches? Pinholes?

If you found the below cracks on the gunwales of a new ski would it give anyone else pause?

Thanks!
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2 weeks 4 days ago#30281by Fath2o
Yes, I have found extensive manufacturing and design defects with every ski I have owned from different manufacturers. I just fix it, move on and go paddling. IMO the best thing for you to do is enjoy paddling your new surfski. Dings, skuffs, seam cracks, crazing, leaks, etc are pretty much inevitable if you are a serious paddler. Sorry your new ski has some minute cracks, I have experienced much worse with no dealer support.
Good luck.

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2 weeks 4 days ago - 2 weeks 4 days ago#30282by HangTen

Fath2o wrote: Yes, I have found extensive manufacturing and design defects with every ski I have owned from different manufacturers. I just fix it, move on and go paddling. IMO the best thing for you to do is enjoy paddling your new surfski. Dings, skuffs, seam cracks, crazing, leaks, etc are pretty much inevitable if you are a serious paddler. Sorry your new ski has some minute cracks, I have experienced much worse with no dealer support.
Good luck.


I fully expect with hard use or even normal use any ski will develop damage, but I can't help but feeling there is a distinction between the standards for delivery of a brand new ski vs. the expectation of future damage you yourself help contribute to. Otherwise why ever buy any ski new? You could just buy a structurally sound used ski with depreciation factored in and save yourself some money in the process.

If you pay for a new teflon frying pan and the surface is scratched up, would you say that it's going to get jacked up with regular use anyway or would you exchange it at the store? If you pay for a new product, I would feel the expectation would be delivery of an as close to mint(as quality control and manufacturing capability allow) product; if you decide to rock garden a kayak or bang a frying pan, that's your prerogative, but wholly separate from the sales transaction of a new product at full MSRP.

To be honest, if I had noticed it at the time of pickup I'm not sure I would have accepted delivery and personally trying my best not to get a bad taste in my mouth.

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2 weeks 3 days ago#30286by fredrik
IMO hairline crack due to suspected knock/soft spot is not OK. pure hairline cracks in the 2K paint is probably OK.

I had similar but more serious cracks as the pictures after a transport damage where a heavy load had been placed/dropped on the ski while stored on its tips.

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2 weeks 3 days ago - 2 weeks 3 days ago#30288by LakeMan
I agree that when buying something new it should be perfect. I would not accept delivery of a new car that had cracks in the paint. Sure, within a week some jerk will dent your door with his but its more of the principle of the matter. New should be new, not used. A new ski should not have cracks in the finish. I would talk the dealer into dropping the price a bit.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

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2 weeks 3 days ago#30289by Ranga
That damage shown is very unlikely to have come out of the factory. It looks like it has been badly handled somewhere.
If you saw the QC that goes on at the factory you would be very surprised at the detail they go through. Yet you can still get the odd one slip through as they are hand made.

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2 weeks 3 days ago#30290by HangTen

Ranga wrote: That damage shown is very unlikely to have come out of the factory. It looks like it has been badly handled somewhere.
If you saw the QC that goes on at the factory you would be very surprised at the detail they go through. Yet you can still get the odd one slip through as they are hand made.


The local dealer had said that it's possible it could have been damage from shipping because that is where they put the tie down straps(if that is the case I would think Epic might change their shipping procedure). It's possible I just got a lemon that slipped through QC, but on closer inspection I was not overly impressed with the finish as a whole, whether a missing piece on the seam tape, or pinholes you think they would fill and smooth out before finishing, but I am not an expert in boat production. I am trying my best not to have hard feelings on this one because I unfortunately took it for a paddle before discovering it(it being brand new and the widely reported exceptional customer service of this company, I was not overly concerned at the time in my excitement to get out on the water, but in the future will definitely be spending an hour going over any new boats inch by inch before accepting delivery) however, having only transported it myself after delivery less than 5 miles on local roads strapped to Goodboy V-bars with their elastic bungees(no hard straps) and taken it out for about an hour of paddling through mostly flat and only a little bit of small chop, I feel the probability that they weren't there at pickup is fairly low.

In any case, even if it were damage from shipping I would think a manufacturer would take responsibility for the quality of care until the customer accepts delivery(shipping insurance would let them recoup any damages if they are utilizing third parties) and given the rave reviews about this particular manufacturer's warranty/customer service I was a bit underwhelmed by the response. They wrote back saying, "None of the issues noted appear in any way structural, and I do not believe that they will, in any way, affect the performance or longevity of your ski and paddle. I have however reached out to our technical stars and will revert once I have their replies." The final verdict is still out, but so far I've been pretty underwhelmed and disappointed by the manufacturer response.

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2 weeks 3 days ago#30294by davgdavg
The surfski world seems to be pretty far behind in terms of composites. Of course there hasn't been much money in it, so that's why. Its pretty obvious because most of the skis still use seams.

I imagine once a manufacturer starts making some real money they will be able to move to Taiwan and get perfect sub 9kg boats that are also stronger and stiffer. Those manufacturing techniques cost more though.

They have so much experience for so long because of the cycling world that they probably get just get going in no time.

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2 weeks 3 days ago#30295by TomVW
HangTen,

After I took out my Stellar SEI for its maiden trip, I noticed a similar hairline crack just below the seam about 15cm from the aft. I am sure I didn't hit anything to cause the crack myself and it must have come that way: I was bummed, just as you are.
On the other hand, the boat doesn't leak, there is not soft spot, you almost have to know it's there to notice it, and anyway, when paddling, I am looking the other way... So I just decided to live with it and enjoy the ski.
It was, after all, a discounted clearance sale...

Coming back to the cracks in your boat: It would indeed seem consistent with damage due to improper strapping during transport and, hopefully, Epic or the dealer will be able to grant you some discount.

If the ski is otherwise structurally sound, I wouldn't be too bothered about it. In that area, you would do well to install some tape to protect against paddle impact anyway. The hairline cracks will then be invisible and could not leak either.

I hope you can enjoy the ski for what it is and put this in perspective after you have made a few scratches of your own. It's no excuse for the blemish on your new boat, but the first scratch always stings. After that, well...

Also, it's a good thing a white hull hides scratches so well.

Tom

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2 weeks 3 days ago#30296by HangTen

TomVW wrote: HangTen,

After I took out my Stellar SEI for its maiden trip, I noticed a similar hairline crack just below the seam about 15cm from the aft. I am sure I didn't hit anything to cause the crack myself and it must have come that way: I was bummed, just as you are.
On the other hand, the boat doesn't leak, there is not soft spot, you almost have to know it's there to notice it, and anyway, when paddling, I am looking the other way... So I just decided to live with it and enjoy the ski.
It was, after all, a discounted clearance sale...

Coming back to the cracks in your boat: It would indeed seem consistent with damage due to improper strapping during transport and, hopefully, Epic or the dealer will be able to grant you some discount.

If the ski is otherwise structurally sound, I wouldn't be too bothered about it. In that area, you would do well to install some tape to protect against paddle impact anyway. The hairline cracks will then be invisible and could not leak either.

I hope you can enjoy the ski for what it is and put this in perspective after you have made a few scratches of your own. It's no excuse for the blemish on your new boat, but the first scratch always stings. After that, well...

Also, it's a good thing a white hull hides scratches so well.

Tom


I'm doing my best to take it in stride, but am having difficulty reconciling it. In your case the fact that it was a discounted clearance sale I'm sure helped ease the sting. If it were a discounted, second hand, or even "like new" demo boats I would be more inclined to shrug it off, but knowing myself I probably wouldn't buy used for that reason in the first place. I generally like knowing that I'm responsible for any damage that might have been done, whether boats, cars, electronics, shoes, clothes, etc. so typically don't buy things clearance/second hand.

As with any manufacturing process there are going to be lemons especially when it's handmade. I think the defining characteristic of a quality brand/manufacturer and differentiator is their attention to detail in their QC process and what they do with the lemons detected in their process or identified by the consumer. You go to the Wusthof factory store and you will see buckets of discounted "seconds" that have "defects" that do not at all effect performance and to any but the most skilled knife craftsman/connoisseur are completely indistinguishable from the first quality knives, but they failed their quality control checks because they are known for and pride themselves in the quality of their product. Same thing for quality handmade shoes; you will find discounted "seconds" with completely undetectable "blemishes", and these are made to be worn on your feet where they will be kicked and scuffed in even the most careful use.

If they took the boat back I'm sure they would find it a very happy home priced as a second. Just having more difficulty accepting it as a new boat at full MSRP(granted having paddled it once blurs the lines a bit in my mind). I don't have enough expertise with boat manufacturing and paddling in general to know whether it is purely aesthetic or could later lead to structural damage. I imagine you wouldn't really be able to tell if there was any structural damage(checking for soft spot would be indicator, but would a crack that compromises the integrity that later leads to softs spots/delamination because of greater intrusion of water be detected?) without removing the gelcoat in that area. Even the gelcoat itself, while it serves a highly cosmetic purpose, it was my understanding that it also contributes to the structural integrity by helping protect from UV exposure and intrusion of moisture.

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2 weeks 3 days ago#30303by TomVW
Hi HangTen,

I hear you about being bummed. It seems only natural.
Go and try to get a discount, switch boat or have it repaired at Epic's cost if needed.
I haven't seen the boat and don't know if there is any damage beyond the gel coat.

But what I am trying to say is that, after you get a discount or they repair the boat, you'll be the one paddling it and you might as well enjoy it. It doesn't look as if the damage is structural (again, I haven't seen it). Try to put it in perspective and don't get hung up on a hairline crack.

More to the point: with regards to the functional role of the gelcoat:
- UV protection won't suffer from the hairline crack. No light will reach the laminate through there
- structural integrity: well, it's mostly protection against abrasion and dings and sealing against moisture ingress. That also should be quite easy to take care of with a small local repair. But if it where mine, I'd just seal it with a dab of clear gelcoat and put Keel-Easy tape over it to protect for paddle impacts in that area anyway. But then again, I am quite the pragmatic.

I hope this incident won't leave a bad taste in your mouth, or at least not for too long.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fath2o

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2 weeks 3 days ago - 2 weeks 3 days ago#30304by HangTen
TomVW,
I appreciate your sentiment; ultimately it's not going to keep me from enjoying myself paddling, but at least for the moment putting a bit of a damper on the otherwise euphoric boat acquisition syndrome new boat feelings, so getting a gauge on whether this is something other surfski buyers would expect the manufacture to address. The final verdict isn't out yet whether they will end up doing anything, but so far given the response it doesn't look overly promising(for repair, exchange, discount, etc).

In the long run I definitely recognize damage is inevitable having pretty much mapped out first hand the location of every submerged rock in a 35 mile radius with the hull of my v7, ahaha. So definitely a distinct possibility that even if they replaced it I could just hull it the next time I take it out, but I like to make sure I'm getting what I paid for and prefer having only myself to blame.

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2 weeks 3 days ago#30305by Ranga
I still find it strange that even though it is not a factory fault all these so called experts have the answers.
Better built skis in Taiwan, sub 9kg. You living in a vacuum or what? Epic and other manufactures have been making them for years. O just for a note, you fall off your superior carbon bicycle made in Taiwan, please throw it away as it is toast, cannot be used again! But no we will put our lives at risk because that is way too expensive to just bin it. Only the best repairers in the world with Xray technology can repair them.
As for V boy racks? Personally one of the worst ways to transport any round hull skis, point loading on the hull cannot be any worse for a ski. As for bungee straps, stopped using them 30 years ago because of too many craft flying off when they snapped.
Would love you to go and check out other skis as see what you think, you might be surprise to see you have one of the best built skis you can buy, they only get worse from where you are standing.
All said and done, cracks are cracks, hairline or not. They should be repaired, who is responsible is debatable, they would have had the least chance of coming from the factory damaged and no they do not tie them down super hard in the container. They use thick rubber and flexible strapping just to stop movement.

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2 weeks 3 days ago#30306by HangTen
Ranga,
I never claimed to be an expert. What is the best way to transport a ski? I thought Goodboy V bars were very widely well regarded as the best way to transport a ski short of having a full trailer.

The fact that there was a piece missing from the seam tape and pin holes does not give me the confidence that you seem to have that there is no way it could have slipped through their manufacturing process(mistakes happen, no hand made product no matter how skilled the craftsman is infallible) as those are things I would think would be caught before leaving the factory.

I appreciate all the information.

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2 weeks 3 days ago - 2 weeks 2 days ago#30307by davgdavg

Ranga wrote: Better built skis in Taiwan, sub 9kg. You living in a vacuum or what? Epic and other manufactures have been making them for years. O just for a note, you fall off your superior carbon bicycle made in Taiwan, please throw it away as it is toast, cannot be used again! But no we will put our lives at risk because that is way too expensive to just bin it. Only the best repairers in the world with Xray technology can repair them.


Honestly, this is some of the silliest stuff I've read on this forum. Crash a carbon bike and its toast? Risking our lives and Xray repairs? LOL. You're living in 1988.

Go read, research, take a look at youtube videos with modern carbon manufacturing, durability, etc. come back, and edit your post. Carbon aircraft, cars, bikes, etc. should all be enough common sense for you, but I guess not.

The things that top bike manufacturers (and auto makers like Koengisegg, along with the aviation industry) are doing is light years ahead of of a fiberglass mold with carbon vacuum layup that you glue two sides together. Its not even close.

If they can build an 800 GRAM frame, with metal inserts that can withstand the torque and forces of a race bike by a 100kg person hitting obstacles, there is no reason a ski shouldn't be able to get under 9kg and be stronger and stiffer. Again, if they can build a 280mph sports car out of carbon (and take a look at the Koengisegg rims if you think carbon is so fragile), then...

Again, its not '88 any more.

(Also, you do realize Taiwan is not mainland China, where Epic builds their skis, right?)

And I don't think there was any consensus on whether or not hairline cracks are a manufacturer defect or not. IMO, they are. No other industry in the world would tolerate that, and I don't see any reason to do so with skis either, except that increasing quality at relatively low production numbers means greater cost, so its up to the consumer to choose the manufacturer who can figure the right formula out to succeed and offer an acceptable quality/price ratio.

Lastly, no one ever said they were an expert...

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