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Submitted: 09-03-2008 by aldat79
I ordered a Search 13 after trying one out at a demo day. I was impressed with how it handled, as well as the features. When mine came in I picked it up at the dealer, still wrapped in the plastic wrap from the factory. I thought at the time it should have been unwrapped and inspected by the dealer, but it had not. After getting it home and unwrapping it, the first thing I noticed was the foot pegs and rails had been installed backwards. Believe it or not, the adjusting latch on each peg was facing the seat and the small tab that is supposed to retain the pegs at the farthest extension was nearest the seat. (I would have thought that any 12 year old would have noticed this before it went out the door at the factory...guess not.) Anyway, I managed to slip the pegs off the ends of the rails (barely) and reversed them so I could at least get going. After getting the boat in the water for the first time, I sat back against the backrest and one of the straps failed at the overlapped (sewn) section. Examination revealed that the strap had been poorly sewn together, with only about 6 threads having gone through both thicknesses of material. The remaining stitches were just small loops unattached to anything. I returned the boat to my dealer, who was gracious enough to give me a refund. I liked the way the boat handled, etc., but if quality control at Perception is this poor, I was afraid of what might crop up next week or next month. I have a Perception America 11 that I like very much and wanted to stick with them, but I cannot recommend them now. I heard somewhere that some kayak manufacturers may be counting on their dealers to take up the slack in quality control. If that is so, it isn't being fair to the dealers or the customers and doesn't seem like good business to me.
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