Maxxon XPW-239 oarlock defect

NRC

WFF Supporter
Partially using this post to organize my thoughts for making my warranty inquiry, and partially wanting to gauge you folks’ thoughts as to whether I am right in making a warranty claim.

Summary is that I was out on my Maxxon XPW-239 raft and the left oarlock blew up on me. All the details below.

I was out in the raft in a cove on the sound looking to catch some rezzies or SRC. Left oar had occasionally been creaking as I rowed around, but I thought little of it. And suddenly the oarlock came apart:
473D10E9-D2CF-4618-89E0-BE24BD872C45.jpeg
Sorta hard to tell from the pic above, but the cylindrical piece protruding from the oarlock had worked its way aft to the point that the oar totally came free of the raft. Pic was taken after I partially resecured the oar.

Basically, unbeknownst to me, the screws on the outboard side that secure the longitudinal piece that locks the oar in / allows for transverse rotation of the oar had worked themselves loose. They’re hard to see because they’re on the outboard side, and this may have started happening on a previous trip for all I know.

Anyway, that longitudinal piece started torquing itself out of its position as I rowed, ultimately coming totally out, freeing the piece attached to the oar. At that point I was dead in the water, but I tend to stay really close to shore on the sound anyway, so I limped over to shore to assess.

All I had on me in terms of usable tools were a pocketknife and my forceps. Neither of those was able to provide enough oomph to resecure the piece by screwing the screws back into it, so I had to get more redneck with it and secure it by wedging my forceps in:
79194D44-6D5E-4C02-852B-E6D30DE06A78.jpeg
That was enough to enable me to limp back to the launch against the wind and a small amount of tidal current.

some more pics of the aftermath:
2F97934F-DBFF-4AA9-8BC1-8146503C837F.jpeg 2EDC3E38-6824-41A4-A203-EA1D2EDEC207.jpeg 812EF063-CAD0-415B-96C6-0F30B0AA80C5.jpeg 5D47A743-9708-4B1A-A791-B132198CD97F.jpeg

So my question for WFF is, do you think his is a reasonable case for a warranty claim?

If I were a Maxxon rep trying to run interference on myself, I’d ask (1) why I didn’t investigate the creaking noise the oar was making (dunno man, I just thought oars creaked sometimes); and (2) why I didn’t spot the screws working their way loose while cleaning/inspecting the raft previously (I’ve only had it since November and have taken it out maybe a half dozen times, so was not inspecting that diligently).

Anyway, I have since sunk the screws back in, but I’m not very confident in the setup anymore. I may buy some screws that are 1-2mm longer and replace on both oarlocks; looking at the photos of the longitudinal piece it doesn’t look like the existing screws were ever sunk that deep.

So, worth inquiring about a warranty? I assume if it went thru they’d just replace the raft, as the oarlock is a solid piece that is welded (or whatever you call it) directly to the pvc of the raft.

Thanks to anyone who manages to make it through this whole post!
 

Buzzy

Active Member
Your raft has a 5-year limited warranty - I think Maxxon and you should talk. Seems a rowing system should last more than six outings before failure and it seems like there's perhaps a bit of design flaw and something Maxxon might want to address. Good luck.
 

NRC

WFF Supporter
Thanks Buzzy, glad to hear you are of that mind. Definitely gonna pursue it, and will post an update here on how Maxxon addresses it. Seems like an otherwise great raft for the price point, but if the oar system blows up on people at the wrong time headed toward the wrong rapid it’d be kind of a big deal..
 

WAS

Active Member
You know the other side will do the same, so give the warranty a go. Myself, I would drill through all of it and secure that sucker with a stainless steel pin and keeper, like it should have been done in the first place. That's my farmer fix, usually overkill but you won't have to mess with it again plus, you can pull the pins and remove your oars anytime.
 
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Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
With those plastic shafts plus the screws, that's going to happen. But yeah, call them and get them to fix it. Even on my older Commander that has the aluminum shaft but still had the screws like that, they work themselves out. I now carry with me a small screwdriver and check them periodically.
 

NRC

WFF Supporter
NRC you saved my from a mishap. I just checked my Maxxon and found that one of the screws was working out. I too am going to carry a phillips head screwdriver and check the screws each time before I put the boat in the water.
View attachment 269186
Awesome! Not awesome that your raft is having the same issue, but awesome that this post kept you from getting into a pickle out there on the water. I have an email out to Maxxon sales. No response yet, may have to call them.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
Awesome! Not awesome that your raft is having the same issue, but awesome that this post kept you from getting into a pickle out there on the water. I have an email out to Maxxon sales. No response yet, may have to call them.
Chances are they'll just send you a new shaft & screws. lmk if they don't do it in a timely fashion as I have a couple extras from a set of locks that I poached other parts from I could send you that should work. I didn't need the shafts, just needed the oar locks themselves.
 

NRC

WFF Supporter
Chances are they'll just send you a new shaft & screws. lmk if they don't do it in a timely fashion as I have a couple extras from a set of locks that I poached other parts from I could send you that should work. I didn't need the shafts, just needed the oar locks themselves.
Wow, thanks, very much appreciated! I did just get an email from them asking for details, but this is a pretty great insurance policy if things get difficult.
 

harryw

Member
Take them off and consider the replacement part from Outcast. Should be glue-able with proper equipment.
Rack & Pinion systems have their limitations but the gear on the Stealth Pro and Fish Cat Scout is great quality, for what it is. That‘s my take.
Your solo raft could also accept a frame, great for river usage.
 

NRC

WFF Supporter
Got a nice email from Maxxon today. They said they’d be happy to repair the oarlock at their facility or ship me any needed parts, which is nice.

Surprisingly, the guy said he’s been working for Maxxon for four or so years and has never heard of this issue occurring.
 

NRC

WFF Supporter
Issue is resolved as of this afternoon with Maxxon - as several of you said theyd do, they are sending a replacement shaft and maybe a miscellaneous associated part or two under warranty.

The rep I spoke with was friendly and responsive. He noted that they don’t make the oarlocks in their factory, those are sourced parts. He also cautioned against my original plan of simply replacing the existing screws with longer ones, noting that there’s a metal piece that goes through the core of the shaft that they screw into.

Anyway, primary lesson learned for me is to inspect my setup more proactively before I hit the water, even if it’s relatively new. And of course to always wear a PFD, which I do. Maybe I can apply this as credit toward the new Washington state inflatable boat mariner education credentials that I hear are coming down the line.

Finally, a huge shoutout to @Clarkman for shipping me a spare oarlock shaft or two he had laying around after seeing this thread (I got your message that you’d put them in the mail a couple hours before I heard from Maxxon that they were also sending me parts). You are a stand-up dude, and your humongous footlong flies are the envy of us all!
 

JohnB

Active Member
I may not be understanding you correctly but one thing to consider would be to pull the new screws out and put some sort of Loctite on the threads if they are fastened to a metal piece inside of the shaft. Some types of Loctite react with plastic but from what I've read Vibratite VC-3 will not.
 
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NRC

WFF Supporter
I may not be understanding you correctly but one thing to consider would be to pull the new screws out and put some sort of Loctite on the threads if they are fastened to a metal piece inside of the shaft. Some types of Loctite react with plastic but from what I've read Vibratite VC-3 will not.
Thank you for the suggestion! I was wondering about which type of loctite to use. The screws don’t fasten into the metal piece inside the shaft - they simply stop short of contacting it. I.e. they go into the plastic but not into the metal within. That’s the problem with a longer screw, it’d run into the metal piece.
 

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