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Old 15-08-2006, 16:14   #1
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Major issue with new Mercury RIB

Anyone else with the new RIB mercury. Mine is 2 years old and the transom started separating from the skin. I took it to a dealer who promised to get me a new inflatable from mercury. Well, the new inflatable came in but its only the skin (the inflatable part). Now I am supposed to bring it to repair shop to glue it to my existent rigid bottom. Mercury is saying that they only cover rigid bottom for one year and the skin(inflatable rubber) for 5 years, therefore I got the new skin. This is really dumb. the skin is actually OK, and so is the rigid bottom and transom. The problem is in the design flaw with these dinghies. So neither the skin nor the bottom will fix the problem. Any advice on how to get a new dinghy?
Thanks, Petar
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Old 15-08-2006, 18:39   #2
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You've used the dinghy for two years, why do you expect a new dinghy?? They should repair your dinghy or discount a new one on the prorated value of your current one or whatever the guarantee calls for. Why can't the transom be reglued on your existing tubes??

You could broadcast to all the boating lists and bad mouth Mercury for their dinghy falling apart after two years. Of course, if you haven't tried to get the dealer to fix the old one before you do that, you aren't being very principled.

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Old 15-08-2006, 20:27   #3
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I had a zodiac before which I tried repairing by gluing the separation. From experience i can tell everyone that its a lost cause. Once the crack forms and water comes in and algee grow in the weld there is no fixing it. It will come apart again in a matter of a season or two unless the entire rigid bottom is separated from the tubes and re-glued, and even then i am not an optimist.
I would like a new dinghy because the problem is in the design flaw. There should haver been a round patch at the top of the transom where it meets the tubes (skin) to prevent a tear in the weld and water from comming in. I looked around and many other mercury models as well as other inflatables have the patch.
I like mercury, I just think that their warranty department is getting thinner and thinner and I want to point out my experience to others. The dealer is also telling me that its getting harder and harder the get mercury to back their warranty.
As far as the warranty they said they only cover the rigid bottom for a year and the tubes for 5 years. But it does say that the thermal weld of the tubes is covered for 3 years. I believe the weld is comming apart.
At this point, dealer sent them photos and mercury have sent to the dealer a new skin and a name of a repair shop where I should have the rigid bottom re-tubed. I guess reattached to the skin. We are trying to get them to pay for it but thats not clear yet. Meanwhile its been a month without the dinghy. Life on the water sucks.
As long as they pay for it I am happy but very sceptical because in a few weeks we'll be heading south and it will become hard to get the dealer or mercury to do anything about the repair work if this happens again.
Petar
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Old 16-08-2006, 06:50   #4
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Just out of curiosity, if you had a pvc (Zodiac) dink before and it had separation problems, why would you buy another pvc (Mercury) dink? Why not try a hypalon one?
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Old 16-08-2006, 07:58   #5
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It was a gift from my father to whom I swore I would take care of it. He passed away later that year and this dinghy obviously means a lot to me.
Petar
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Old 17-08-2006, 03:55   #6
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Bad news on Mercury not standing behind their products:

I have been eyeballing a Merc 310 Airfloor, hypalon dink. 10 years warranty of witch the last 5 are prorated.

The warranty seems pretty impressive on paper, but not so in reality if they ignore it. Time to call a lawyer..

This dealer says he is the biggest in the world, prices are good....

http://www.bustersmarine.com/inflatable_airdeck.html
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Old 17-08-2006, 06:05   #7
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FYI, The last couple of years Buster's has come to the St Pete Sailboat show and offered some good deals. He didn't charge tax and of course no shipping on "show" boats.

I liked the Mercury air floor design, but check and see if the floor is also hypalon. I seem to recall that they were PVC floors. At least they are easy to replace. I went for an Achilles instead, which I kind of regret. I have had problems with it that I'll mention in another thread.

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Old 25-08-2006, 09:50   #8
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Well, looks like mercury will pay for retubing. Re-attaching the new PVC tubes to the old rigid bottom. While he is at it, I told the technitian to add extra patching and reinforce areas that will get more wear and tear. I am really pleased with this option because if done properly the dinghy will be better than a new one. So for now, thumbs up for mercury. Long term, I am still a bit skeptical if the repair will last in the tropics. But we'll see. I'll stitch up a permanent cover to help protect the tubes. The other thing that is happening is that sun is melting the "mercury" lettering on the sides. Ther letters got sticky and are getting everything else dirty. Hopefully with the new tubes this will not happen.
Petar
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Old 25-08-2006, 14:24   #9
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Petar,
Curious as to what H.P. your running on your 310 ?
I purchased a 270 Merc. Rib about two years ago and so far so good but am only using a 3.5 HP. and has had very light use. http://boatandmotorsuperstores.com/inflatables.php
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Old 26-08-2006, 16:25   #10
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I have a 4 HP for most of the daily use. I also used it with a 9.9. I think the problem is if you ride it planing and hard into the waves and the tubes are inadequately filled. For instance in the evening when the pressure drops. Because the problem only occured on the side where I sit. Thats why i think if there was a patch on top(the case with most other inflatables) it would prevent a separation of tubes from transom in situations where less then full pressure is in the tubes.
Petar
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Old 29-09-2006, 09:49   #11
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Mercury RIB warranty update

We finally got our mercury RIB back. I droped it off 5th of July for repairs. And I had to constantly coordinate the flow or repairs between the dealer, mercury and the shop doing the repairs. I anded up getting charged $200 for gelcoat work on the bottom which I would like to argue about but its getting cold up here in Rhode Island, and we have to start our fall migration south. Anyway I am still a bit skeptical of this model mercury and hope that the workmanship of the mercury certified repair shop was worth the $90/hour rate. They took 13 hours instead of 5 allowed by mercury. Nobody was directly in charge of the paperwork so unless I called nothing would get done. The dealer is even more useless since they didn't have the facilities to do the repair, they assumed they are not responsible and left the issue unsolved. Anyway it remians to be seen how well the repair will hold up. I now have first hand experience with mercury warranty and have to say that its bad. I will not buy from them again. Anyone else buying an inflatable from whichever manufacturer, my advice is to not just take their word for the warranty, but to actually call up the warranty department and investigate a bit prior to purchase. If I wasn't calling everyone daily to push them and tell them what to do, I don't think this would have gotten finished in a year. This should have been a job of a delaer.
Petar
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Old 23-11-2006, 12:53   #12
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Your experience with the marine service industry is shocking! You mean...they didn't do what they said they would? And people charged a lot of money but didn't want to be responsible for the work they did? And you had to manage other peoples supposed attempts to serve you?

Isn't the North American Marine industry grand!? I'm a pretty easy going guy and don't worry too much about schedules and things but even i find the marine industry a bit trying. I have extensive experience with SoCal, SoFLA and Toronto Canada and have yet to be completely satisfied with a transaction of any sort. You should consider yourself VERY fortunate to have gotten what you did

Have a great time down south with the new, improved rubbadink!
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Old 26-06-2007, 10:11   #13
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Mercury

Just got a new Mercury 340 Airdeck Hypalon this Summer. I really like it! My dad got the 11' Avon hypalon airdeck at the same time. It it interesting to compare the two designs. For starters the Avon was about 500$ more. The avon has nice wood oars as the Merc has cheaper aluminum ones. The bag for the Avon is also much higher quality.

The merc has one distinct atvantage; There is a small lateral floorboard that is always in the dinghy and makes the airdeck flat. The Avon bulges up in the middle. The Avon has 1" bigger tubes but less waterline.

The merc will plane with 3 people with a 8hp 2 stroke Evinrude. I got 16.3 knots all alone. It has a nice Vee in the bow. This is a really cool dinghy! (and it only weights about 90 lbs!)
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Old 26-06-2007, 14:23   #14
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Was the dink sold in the DR or in the US of A? If the latter, you might want to read the written warranty cards (if there were any) and compare then to the terms of the Magnusson Moss Act and Uniform Commerical Code. Those can be a bit hard to digest, but if you look at the FTC.GOV web site, someplace they have a couple of pages about "if you are a manufacturer, what do these laws mean to you?" which spells out how far statutory warranty may go beyond what the manufacturer offered you.

In any event I would contact Mercury and suggest that this is a known concealed defect or manufacturing defect which might be of interest to the USCG and the Product Safety Commission, both of whom have the ability to order mass recalls of inherently unsafe products. A boat coming apart on the water....And such a new boat coming apart on the water...

Perhaps Mercury would rather fix or replace your boat, than force you to pursue consumer recalls for every RIB like that they've made.

I would assume either the glue was defective, or applied defectively, or unsuitable for the inherent use (i.e. extensive moisture) and that you could make a good argument that this is covered by statutory warranty--in the US.

In the DR, well, life may be different. A few sharp words to someone in Mercury's senior customer service team and a suggestion that they run their final offer by their legal department before they force your hand, might be what it takes. DR or not.
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Old 26-06-2007, 15:33   #15
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When you buy on price...

Mercury inflatables are the "price point" product and everyone I know who has owned one has had major headaches. They cut cost by cutting warranty by adding small print. Zodiac is even worse to deal with on warranties though and their stuff is way over priced yet only slightly better built than Mercury!

I bought an AB and have not had one problem in six years. In fact I have not even added air to it in two years. It still looks like new and shows NO signs of wear!! I once lost the o-ring for the floor drain and they sent me one at no cost and I had it in three days! With Zodiac that would have taken three months..

Achiles, Caribe & AB are all good companies to deal with but the lead goes to Achiles. I'll never ever buy another Zodiac product and that includes their sister companies like Brig, Avon & Bombard...
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