Sotar warranty issue


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    Denny Waters

    Something to keep in mind. Over 4500 views on Mountainbuzz.

    I’ve been a big fan of Sotar boats for 30 years now. My first boat, 14’, lasted 25 years with rough treatment. Sotar told me that I could spend more money on my old boat regluing it or just get a new one made of better materials. Got a new one, duh. I boasted about these rafts just like the folks on the Sotar web site. I’ve purchased 3 Sotar rafts. A 15.5 for my old age party boat and one for my son’s graduation from college. You can see my son’s boat on their web page at the ST section, orange and black. My buddy is ready to eat it hanging off the rope.
    Purchased the 15.5 in fall of 2011. About 8 months ago I started noticing a discoloration on the top surfaces of my very yellow boat. Looked a little like scuff marks. In April I went to see if I could rub it off and an area broke open like a blister. You could see broken fibers hanging out, yikes. The discoloration was starting to spread like 3 day old poison oak over many of the top surfaces. I immediately contacted Sotar. They said there had been some cases of bad material out there and I would have to bring it to them to see if it could be repaired. They never notified me to be on the lookout for that. How about you? Did you folks hear anything about this? Their warranty runs out in 6 years. In late April it was at their facility. Late May they did the evaluation and forwarded the information to management. On 6-22, about 2 months after leaving my boat with them, they let me know how the warranty coverage would apply. They want me to pay approximately 60% of the replacement cost. Around $4200.00. It will take a month to be produced once I ok the deal . Also, the new boat will have the new 10 year warranty and be made of better materials. They agree that this problem is not my fault and is due to a material defect that was showing up in 2008 to 2011 boats. They also said it really wasn’t their fault. It was the suppliers.
    This last week I checked with Maravia, NRS, and Aire who all said without hesitation had that problem shown up in any of their boats it would be replaced at no cost to the customer. One of those 3 said they have covered such situations like this even after the warranty has gone out.
    I’ve requested it be repaired at no cost to me. It’s still under their 6 year warranty. They don’t want to do that. Tuesday I heard from Sotar that now they feel that they can repair it. Why wasn’t this said 6-22? I spoke with my 28 year old son, who had talked to this same representative at Sotar a few weeks earlier, and he says that during the 50 minute conversation they had that the rep told him something to the effect of, ” We can give you this offer, or we could do a half assed repair that will get you out of our hair until the warranty expires. I’m not advocating that we ever do the second one, but there are companies out there who might do such a thing”.
    I know I’m biased but, do you think it’s unreasonable of me to expect my boat to be replaced at no cost? The warranty says nothing about depreciating a boat that turns out to be a total loss.

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