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Old 22-03-2019, 04:19   #1
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Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

Good morning...

The dinghy in question is a warranty replacement for a previous dink with multiple issues other than this one.

However, at the outset, I want to say that my, and several close cruising buddies, and a dinghy repair specialist I know all agree that trying to deal with Walker Bay warranty issues is about as close to a black hole as you can get.

It took having met the marketing manager at a boat show, and extensive correspondence later as the issues with the original dink arose, and his (finally) upset at the runaround and time lapses seen in an attempt at resolution of our several issues, to eventually having him declare the warranty/service department incompetent, firing the head of that department, and shipping me a replacement dink (the one with the current problem). Unfortunately for me, while the last name is the same, his replacement is not intimately familiar with me and our circumstance, and has not offered any intervention of any sort.

I've attached pix of the failure points, which are (if you're not familiar with them) the tops of the wheel wells, and (maybe coincidental, or maybe specific to the issue) immediately under the only two hinges in their folding transom (which we've never used, but is a nice feature for those needing to collapse and stow the dink aboard under way).

The port one leaked, which caused me to look more closely. It continues to leak, more so over time, but the failure does not appear to have increased notably in the several months I've been watching it.

So, to the point:

Has anyone here succeeded in actually TALKING (vs email or web-based interaction) to anyone at WB? My calls, on two different phones, either never connected, or got a 'not in service at this time' message to both the main and fax numbers. I have no internal numbers (direct lines to anyone), only the ones shown on their website.

And, has anyone with one of these had such a failure, and if so, what was the treatment? WB wants to sell me a new hull at a boat buck, plus shipping, but...

WB's warranty department lays the failure to the installation of St. Croix lift points (STC has been bought out and that product is no longer available) which were installed in the selling dealer's showroom; this installation viewable here: Pictures: Flying Pig 2011-2012 Refit/Last Minute Stuff/New Dinghies Under Warranty/Walker Bay/2 - New Dinghy/Lifting System Replacement

I demurred the suggested installation of those at the time, and instead bought a lifting strap system. I refuse to believe that those could have in any way influenced the failure. However, given that they (the starboard side is cracked but not leaking) are directly under the hinges, and the transom is the lift point when we put it aside (see thread on that subject here: Lifting dinghy out for the night - Page 3 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums ), I expect, instead, that it's the lifting by the transom which is the cause of that failure.

In any event, so far, at least, they are stonewalling, saying that the installation of the lift points, which - not coincidentally, to my mind - were not only featured at their dealer, but structurally identical to the solution posed by the marketing manager at the above mentioned show, are the cause of the failure, and since I installed them (not an 'authorized' modification done by an authorized person), the warranty was denied.

We love the dinghy for all the various special differences it has, but are not the least bit fond of their warranty or service.

Has anyone dealt successfully with warranty or service, and has anyone had this failure addressed by WB?

Thanks.

L8R

Skip
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Old 22-03-2019, 05:43   #2
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

We had a Walker Bay that failed at the transom to tube patches but my persistent wife, who had bought the dingy at the boat show">Miami Boat Show with their national sales manager present, just wore them out and they shipped us a new dinghy to Puerto Rico. She dealt with the national sales manager and it took her over three months of persistent complaints to get the new dinghy!

Within 6 weeks the replacement dingy failed at the transom patches, this time WB refunded the purchase price and told us to keep both dinghies. We did an extensive repair by adding new transom patches over the existing patches.

We continued to use the dinghy and after a few months the dingy started to leak because the transom plastic structure started to fail as in Skip's pictures. I repaired this failure by bolting aluminium strips bonded with a full tube of 5200 across the folding mechanism. Before we crossed the Pacific we bought an AB dinghy.

The outboard motor we used was within WB's specification, but when I reported this hull failure to the WB representative, at the Miami Boat Show, he told me that the failure could only happen by fitting an oversized outboard. Since we were essentially using a free dinghy I just continued to tell the story of the failures to prospective customers as they viewed the demo dinghy.

Other cruisers we know that had transom partch failures were not as successful as my wife was in pursuing their warranty claims. Your dinghy is only the second dinghy I have seen with structural as opposed to tube patch failure but we saw three with transom patch failure on the Big Fish restaurant dock in Prickly Bay Grenada docked with 50 ft of each other.

The way to defeat vendors who refuse to honor warranty claims, we were successful with four different companies, Walker Bay, a battery manufacturer, a prestigious boat yard and a major broker is to progressively publicize, on the Internet, the problem copying the manufacturer with each negative report.

Good luck and remember 'The pen is mightier than the sword!' and we all read Noonsite and the forums. However, you must be 100% in the right and have everything well documented before you post negative information.
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Old 22-03-2019, 06:10   #3
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

Thanks for the above.

FWIW, I have a 'friend' of a dinghy repair company (offshorerafting.com) who has done many replacements of the folding transom tube attachment points (what I presume you speak of above).

However, it appears that WB may have solved that issue, as she suggests it's not a problem currently. She also said that she'd never seen a failure such as mine.

All that said, the warranty rep has made some directly contradictory claims regarding our issue; my demand for clarification (in effect, demanding support for their warranty denial) has gone unanswered for quite some time.

Perhaps posting that correspondence here, and then copying those who have been getting the cc's so far might move stuff along...
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Old 22-03-2019, 06:27   #4
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

Skip,

It was the mounting inconsistencies with each e-mail exchange that finally won the day for my wife.

Start to share them.
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Old 22-03-2019, 06:54   #5
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
Skip,

It was the mounting inconsistencies with each e-mail exchange that finally won the day for my wife.

Start to share them.
You may have a suggestion for me to cure the shortcomings of replying here:

What I have is all html text, so formatting (I presume, anyway) would be lost here if merely copied and pasted here.

Ideas on how to present as seen in a mail client or on a web-accessed site (gmail)?

Thanks.
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Old 22-03-2019, 06:57   #6
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

We had no joy at all from WB after repeated failures on our dinghy. Perhaps we were not persistent enough but we eventually wrote them off. Not great when the failures pile up as you cross the Pacific and beyond. Not a good product and a bad company. On my list of companies to never deal with again.
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Old 22-03-2019, 08:36   #7
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

If something is cheap at West Marine it's really cheap!
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Old 22-03-2019, 09:01   #8
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

I do like my Walker Bay, it's a very comfortable inflatable and does what it's supposed to do quite well, however we had the exact problem that you have. It took a year and a month to get everything straighten out, we did get a new WB but not for free, at the cost of $500 and I sold the damaged one for $500 to a friend who MarineTexed it and went on to sail in the Bahamas, the boat is holding up well
At first WB tried to blame memoir the damage saying that it was cause by lifting the boat to the davits with the outboard on (9hp), everyone does that but since I go offshore a lot I keep the outboard on a separate mounting bracket on the transom so I proved to them that that was not the cause. They finally decided to fix it at a rep in Annapolis, I was in the area at the time, I did not like what the repair was going to be and so after more talking (phone) we came to the agreement of a new one for $500, but it took a few more months before I got the boat.
All in all it was very frustrating to deal with them, luckily I speak Spanish and was able to have a friendly dialogue with the person in charge (apparently they are now manufactured in Laredo, the Mexican side, or so I was given to understand at the time).
I'm giving you the name and access of the person in charge at the time; Ivan Gamez,..igamez@walkerbay.com.....phone, 888-315 1410 or +52-511-916-5171
This whole affair lasted from 9/2016 to !0/2017
Good Luck
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Old 22-03-2019, 09:36   #9
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

I was actually looking at Walker Bay dinghies yesterday, and making plans to eventually buy one - until I saw this post.

Who needs those kinds of idiotic customer service problems? The day and age where companies can systematically abuse and stiff arm people in private are fortunately gone. Everyone makes up their own mind.
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Old 22-03-2019, 10:29   #10
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

I've had a WB 8 with Sailkit since 2007. Every time I've had a problem with spare parts or technical questions, they have always responded with professional courtesy. I think they are not in the office every day because it's hit and miss if you get a rep, or sometimes it's 2 or 3 days before you get a callback, but otherwise, no problems.

Brendan
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Old 22-03-2019, 10:31   #11
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

I have a Walker Bay 8 dinghy, I only row it and have had no problems. It is actually a nice boat to row. I have no experience with the inflatables. Just wanted to put in a plus for their hard boats.
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Old 22-03-2019, 11:01   #12
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthCoastJoe View Post
I have a Walker Bay 8 dinghy, I only row it and have had no problems. It is actually a nice boat to row. I have no experience with the inflatables. Just wanted to put in a plus for their hard boats.

That's actually the same model I was thinking of buying. The extra weight and pushing torque of the outboard motor might actually be the primary cause of any problems. People are using appropriate outboards it seems.


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Old 22-03-2019, 12:06   #13
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

It's lamentable to shell out the money for a Walker Bay and have to deal with that kind of resistance from the builder. Otherwise, if kept in repair, it seems to be worth the asking price. But, for a hard dinghy that rows and sails nicely in blustery weather and chop of the kind that I would not want to put out into in a WB, I expect to keep my 8' Fatty Knees for at least as long as I last. For hanging onto davits, it has ss welded rings on thru-bolted ss eye straps, one on the over 1" thick bow stem and two on the hourglass transom. I bought it new thirty years ago with a removable teak strip floor & sailing kit and have never had a problem with it. Admittedly, the cost is more than three times that of the WB, but then like most things, you get what you pay for. The FK started production some 75 years ago and had more popular market appeal until the cheaper mass produced hard plastic dinghys showed up. All 7', 8' and 9' Fatty Knees have the advantage of more freeboard, have a roomy dry locker in the bow and are still hand laid-up fbg construction in the traditional lapstrake design, and as always, are unsinkable.
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Old 22-03-2019, 12:35   #14
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIRELOS View Post
I do like my Walker Bay, it's a very comfortable inflatable and does what it's supposed to do quite well, however we had the exact problem that you have. It took a year and a month to get everything straighten out, we did get a new WB but not for free, at the cost of $500 and I sold the damaged one for $500 to a friend who MarineTexed it and went on to sail in the Bahamas, the boat is holding up well
At first WB tried to blame memoir the damage saying that it was cause by lifting the boat to the davits with the outboard on (9hp), everyone does that but since I go offshore a lot I keep the outboard on a separate mounting bracket on the transom so I proved to them that that was not the cause. They finally decided to fix it at a rep in Annapolis, I was in the area at the time, I did not like what the repair was going to be and so after more talking (phone) we came to the agreement of a new one for $500, but it took a few more months before I got the boat.
All in all it was very frustrating to deal with them, luckily I speak Spanish and was able to have a friendly dialogue with the person in charge (apparently they are now manufactured in Laredo, the Mexican side, or so I was given to understand at the time).
I'm giving you the name and access of the person in charge at the time; Ivan Gamez,..igamez@walkerbay.com.....phone, 888-315 1410 or +52-511-916-5171
This whole affair lasted from 9/2016 to !0/2017
Good Luck
My letter(s) that I'd post pending my announcement to them about this thread were mostly to/from Ivan.

They may manufacture in Mexico (dunno, strange for a Canadian company) but their service has ALWAYS (well, for the length of time I've been dealing with warranty issues, which is now over 10 years) been in Mx...

I'll do the posting of my letter(s - there are a few which are several versions deep as the originals moved down with the newest on top) after a bit of no-answer from WB...

However it's interesting to note that the same issue presented in another dink. Likely that suggests an engineering shortfall.

As to rowing, it's the same as any inflatable; it's NOT one of their rowing/sailing dinghies:

https://walkerbay.com/rigid-inflatab...enesis-310-dx/
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Old 22-03-2019, 16:45   #15
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Re: Walker Bay Genesis 10' structural failure

I too have a leaking problem with a 10.6 genesis . No help from WB.
Very frustrated . Going with a Rigid Boat I think next time . The only way the leak stopped sort of was to leave it in the water and let the algae growand fill the cracks . Wore out several bilge pumps .
Does anyone have their address and a current phone number .
Also a sales rep if possible.
THANKS for any help
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