Dragonfly Seam Failure?

AE1020-Y(2007-Present), AE1001-R(2002-2006), AE1001-O(2007), AE1021-O(2008), AE1031-O(2009)

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dstrong
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:08 pm

Dragonfly Seam Failure?

Post by dstrong » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:18 pm

I have had an Advanced Frame for years and love it. Thought I'd go light and get a Dragonfly... and managed to get a great deal from a local trustworthy store who had a 'demo' boat for sale. They said that it'd only been in the water a half dozen times for a few minutes each time.
I looked it over quickly and didn't see anything wrong with it but when I got it to the river heard a hiss... and found not only a pinhole leak but that there were TWO patches along the seams already (directly behind the back rest up under the cover so I missed it by not pulling up the cover... caveat emptor I guess...).
My concern is that the two patches and the pinhole were all in the same spot, along the seam right behind the backrest. I noted that to get the front deck to feel solid I had to inflate enough that the back looked over inflated... Originally I thought I had over inflated and compromised the seam myself until I saw the patches.
I've been looking online and haven't found anyone else complaining about this issue, so am hoping that the boat is just a dud. The retailer will take the boat back, but I can't decide if I should get another Dragonfly or give up on it and just stick with what works, my AF.
Any word on how common this spot is for a failure? Is the bladder any different in the Dragonfly vs the AF? Ie I've never had a problem with my AF bladder, so perhaps the previous demos were super rough on this particular boat.
Sorry for the length of this post, but thanks in advance (haha) for any replies.
Best
Denise

JCOOLEY
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Post by JCOOLEY » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:31 pm

If you haven't already, email info@advancedelements.com and we can discuss the issue further. Ritchie is the customer service manager

Jeremy

dstrong
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Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:08 pm

Post by dstrong » Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:16 pm

Ok, have forwarded to the email but also wanted to know in general if anyone else had experienced the issue or if it's an anomaly...
Thanks for the quick reply!
Denise

JCOOLEY
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Re: Dragonfly Seam Failure?

Post by JCOOLEY » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:12 am

dstrong wrote:My concern is that the two patches and the pinhole were all in the same spot, along the seam right behind the backrest. I noted that to get the front deck to feel solid I had to inflate enough that the back looked over inflated... Originally I thought I had over inflated and compromised the seam myself until I saw the patches.
Denise,

More than likely, the kayak had already been over inflated at some point before you got it. If you had to inflate it so much so that the front would fill out while causing the back to bulge and look over inflated, then that typically means that the tube was already stretched out and will never get back to original form. Thus this is more than likely what cause the seam area to fail in the first place. With the Dragonfly models, sometimes people will continue to pump and pump until the back has expanded so much that it is forever stretched out and can develop tears on the seam. It is important that with the new kayak to inflate them to the recommended psi that is stated in the manual. If someone is using a pump without a gauge then they may pump too much.
We have since corrected any issues that may have occured in the older models by making a modification. This modification can be found in the current Lagoon models and we had also reworked remaining Dragonfly XC models so that they have the same modification. Essentially what we did was instead of having only the partial tube cover that ran up the sides of the kayak we gave the tube a full cover. The entire tube is now surrounded by a grey tube cover. This helps prevent the over expantion of the tube in the rear and front sections of the tube.
The problem that we were seeing with most of the Dragonfly XC was occuring mostly in the two person model and not the singles. The problem was also not the seam failing but when people over inflated the kayak, it would develop a pinhole or tear at the edge of the valve. This was caused by too much air being pumped into the kayak.
To have the seam develop a pinhole or tear is much more rare and almost always caused by too much air being pumped into the kayak. I am not sure what kind of pump you have but it is recommended that you use one with a gauge. If you have one without a gauge and do not want to spring for a whole new pump, we do have an attachment available that work with our pumps. It is the Inline Valve Adaptor. It is a small adaptor that attaches to the end of the pump hose and consists of the Spring valve adaptor that screws onto the valve and a gauge.

Jeremy

dstrong
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:08 pm

Post by dstrong » Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:40 pm

Wow, thanks Jeremy... that's fantastic info and exactly what I wanted to know: I did think it very odd how large the back of the boat got right from the first pump, but stretching hadn't occurred to me. I don't actually have the pump with the gauge on it but will invest now: I had never had any issues with pressure on my advanced frame so hadn't really thought of it before. As I said I thought that I had overinflated and caused the damage myself, so clearly the gauge would have helped.

The store from which I purchased the kayak was awesome and worked with me to end up upgrading me to the Lagoon, and I absolutely love it: pure magic. That tube cover is reassuring and makes the boat feel super sturdy.

Anyhow, thanks so much for your help on this and it's really reassuring to know that AE is so open with the fixes and mods on new models.

Thanks guys!

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PJohanson
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Post by PJohanson » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:08 pm

I'm glad you had such a good response from the merchant and also from Advanced Elements!
My Dragonfly gets pretty large in the back, too, but it's been used for three years. It's been inflated over a hundred times, and I often leave it 3/4 full of air for two weeks at a time (puff it up to paddle, let some air out to lay it in the porch in the shade).
Wouldn't be surprised at all if the back of the boat has stretched a little, gradually. But it does not leak at all from any of the chambers, and none of the seams appear to be failing. My friend's Dragonfly is two years old and it's still fine.

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