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Old 20-06-2008, 03:01   #1
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Walker Bay Warranty: Sunburnt RIB Tubes

I am having trouble with Walkerbay international, I bought a 275 RID 2,1/2 years ago. The (PVC) tubes started to become sticky around the end of the 1st year, it has got progressively worse until a few months ago it was getting really bad so I approached a RIB repair man who told me it was sunburn and suggested contacting the supplier. I approached SmartMarine the distributor here in NZ who after some dickering as the warranty was only for one year, (it would be covered by the consumer guarantees act here in NZ as well). (Walkerbay apparently had a 5 year extension that I could have had had I known about it)
I was given 2 options, 1. replace with the same PVC tube and "have" to buy a cover for $500.00 or 2. buy Hypalon tubes at a supposed discount of $1000.00, (the original price of the PVC tubes) I opted for the Hypalon as they at least had a 5 year warranty from the start extending to 10 years when you register with Walkerbay if they respond!
We needed to get the dinghy useable as soon as possible as we were planning to do some extended cruising the next week.
I registered with the owner of Smart Marine that we were unhappy with his response and that we would contact Walkerbay to protest. When I contacted WalkerBay to forward my complaint the fellow who responded to our email was very helpful but said that he would have to pass my enquiry on to Walkerbay International. Well since then a very BIG nothing. I have emailed them several times over the last few weeks, still no response. Has anyone else had dealings with the Walkerbay warranty people, if so how did it go? If anyone can forward to me the direct contact address for the President of Walkerbay I would appreciate receiving it as there seems no way past the formatted on line email question form that comes up on their website.
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Old 20-06-2008, 05:47   #2
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Walker Bay warranty:
Walker Bayģ | contact | Dinghy, inflatable boats, small boats, small sail boats, row boats, small fishing boats

For Export Markets please contact your country's Distributor:

Smart Marine Super Store
123 Beaumont Street
Westhaven, Auckland, 91180
New Zealand
Tel: + 64 9 358 2850

Smart Marine Super Store
123 Beaumont Street
Westhaven, Auckland, 91180
New Zealand
Tel: + 64 9 358 2850
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Old 20-06-2008, 14:32   #3
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Thanks Gord for the reply, In My post I mention that the people who I dealt with and feel very dissatisfied with was SmartMarine in NZ, I was dealing with the apparent owner. My next contact was using the online enquiry form that WalkerBay in America have on their website, Apparently this can only record a few lines of text and you cannot save it for future reference. From this I received a reply from one of their customer service people to whom I was able to email without using the online form. I sent him a report of what I remembered writing on the online email. He replied that he was concerned but couldn't do anything as it would need to be handled by WalkerBay International and I should be hearing from them shortly. Well I havn't heard a thing, I have tried recontacting them via their online form and have sent another couple of emails to the helpful fellow all to no avail. It seems that they have closed up shop or don't want to recognize my complaint.
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Old 20-06-2008, 14:47   #4
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From someone who handles plenty of customers, don't take this the wrong way, you had problems while it was still under warranty and did not report it. You did not take the extended warranty or register the product. I turn down all extended warranties and don't register any products myself, so I am just as gulity, but you want them to do something that is outside the normal warranty. They have no legal obligation to do anything, at least not here in the US. If they want to offer you anything above and beyond it would just be good customer service. I'm sure they tried to sell you the covers the first time as well. If it was a great product it would have had a longer warranty to start with. Companies offer warranties for just under the time period they can expect the product to last with out major issues. I have an Achilles that is either an 1989 or a 1998, I don't know which. It is well out of warranty and I have had to put penetrating epoxy in the transom but the tubes are still in great shape. It cost an arm and a leg new but it was well worth it. I hope to get another 5 to 10 years out of it. 2 old sayings, you get what you pay for and there is no such thing as a free lunch.
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Old 20-06-2008, 18:17   #5
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Hi Easterly, your point taken, My problem was that I wasn't aware that there was an option to extend the warranty when I bought the RID and also that I didn't recognize what the problem with the product was until I spoke to a RIB repair man although I did realize that whatever was causing the stickyness was rapidly getting worse. I wish I had reacted as soon as I noticed the initial stickyness. In NZ we have a consumers Guarantee act which says a product should be capable of doing the job it was designed for and that it has to last a reasonable time. ie a refrigerator has an expected life of 10 to 12 years. As the Walkerbay RID has an extended warranty of 5 years I would use that as a guideline.
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Old 20-06-2008, 21:13   #6
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I see your point. In the states everyone tries to sell you an extended warranty for everything, and you keep getting letters about the extended warranties long after the purchase. It's a big money maker for companies here. In NZ if you have that act they may not try to push the extended warranties as mich.
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Old 29-06-2008, 01:29   #7
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I am still looking for the Head Office address in the USA for Walker Bay as apparently the only way I can get arround the censorship of the International Warranty division will be to snail mail the Head Office. Any help appreciated.
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Old 29-06-2008, 02:59   #8
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Steve, try this.

Walker Bay Boats
717 Butterfield Road, Yakima, WA 98901


(509) 453-3453
(509) 453-3436 (fax)
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Old 29-06-2008, 03:09   #9
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Walker Bay Boats

717 Butterfield Rd
Yakima WA 98901
USA
Phone: 888 449 2553 ; 604-682-5699
Fax: 888-228-7222
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Old 29-06-2008, 04:02   #10
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Thanks Morgan thats exactly what I wanted.
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Old 19-08-2008, 09:46   #11
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Hello Steve.

This thread came across my desk and I thought that I would respond to the difficulties that you are having with Walker Bay. Walker Bay does have a warranty email (warranty@walkerbay.com) where most questions are answered. The problem you are experiencing with your RID tube is UV Damage which is the worst thing for a PVC Tube. PVC Tubes should be protected by UV Resistant products (303 Aerospace for an example) and if the sun is harsh enough, then a tube cover. Unfortunately Walker Bay Warranty does not cover UV Damage on PVC products (which is why Hypalon Fabric is available).

I hope this clears up your situation with the PVC RID tube that you have.

Brad
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Old 19-08-2008, 15:01   #12
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The problem you are experiencing with your RID tube is UV Damage which is the worst thing for a PVC Tube.
What a silly assumption people make when buying an inflatable, thinking that their boat can endure sunlight!!

All PVC dinghys should come with the disclaimer: WARNING!! This boat will melt like butter in direct sunlight!!

And yes, I was once the victim of Zodiac's marketing.

But thanks for coming on here and addressing his issue Brad.
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Old 19-08-2008, 16:27   #13
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WalkerBay Warranty

Thanks for responding to this thread Brad (Jackson). I guess the issue I have is now threefold, firstly is the lack of response from WalkerBay International after my initial enquiry that was handled by Mark Musni, He was very helpfull but couldn't assist as my claim had to be handled by WalkerBay International. Walker bay International didn't respond even after my sending several emails on their online enquiry page. This is what led to the posting my frustration on this board. secondly, This all came about because of the poor response from the NZ distributor who was initially loathe to consider my claim. I base the expected lifetime of the tubes on the fact that Walkerbay will sell you an extended warranty of 5 years on the PVC tubes, something I wasn't aware of when I bought our RID ( as an aside in New Zealand we have a consumer guarantees act that gives consumers some protection, in as much a product must last a fair time based on average lifetime expectations, ie. a cooking stove 12 to 15 years, a cell phone 5 years etc. etc.) The local distributor eventually gave me 2 options either pay another $1000.00 and replace it with Hypalon tubes, or spend $600.00 on a cover and he would replace it with pvc tubes. Hobsons choice really! I opted for the Hypalon. So I ended up paying more than if I had bought the Hypalon tubes when I originally bought the boat in the first place. At least the Hypalon has a normal warranty period of 5 years, which can be extended to 10 years Thirdly , The dealer has since offered to replace the Hypalon with a PVC one supplying a cover apparently free of charge though he says he will not stock the pvc tubes again, so it really comes down to a faulty product that can't cope with UV rays. At no time was I informed there was a UV problem with the PVC tubes or informed of the 5 year warranty option. For the money spent I could have had an equivalent size alloy hulled hypalon tubed RIB instead. I asked that my $1000.00 be refunded as this is not just my boat there are quite a few more I have seen showing UV damage.
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Old 19-08-2008, 17:29   #14
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Quote:
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What a silly assumption people make when buying an inflatable, thinking that their boat can endure sunlight!!
That's why I only take mine out at night!
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Old 19-08-2008, 23:42   #15
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Unfortunately, uncovered, unprotected PVC makes for a poor dinghy. IF you regularly coat it with 3M 303 OR you keep it covered, it will last many, many years. If you leave it uncovered in the sun, you'll be lucky to get a couple of years out of it. Such is the nature of PVC. And, as noted above, this is probably NOT a warranty issue.
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