I can't say if Hobie is or isn't overpricing their parts; I just don't know. That's an accounting question. But I think there are always better deals to be had when you are willing to take the time to do research and possibly gamble with quality and give up warranty support. OEM parts tend to give people the warm fuzzies because they are easy to buy, known to be correct, have some sort of warranty and typically are of good quality. Five times the price? Sounds high but many Hobie parts (for instance true hardware, like blocks and hotsticks) are often very competitively priced.
Personally, I don't mind paying more for the convenience and assurance that typically come with OEM parts, whether its Hobie, VW, BMW, or whoever. Every now and then I find that the price is really out of line and change my approach. But more than price, I look for the OEM stuff to be really right and as long as it is I'm normally OK with a 25~40% premium.
What's disappointing is when I pay the premium and it's not really right, which has happened with some Hobie accessories.
In the case of the batten pocket protectors, they could be the exact same part, from the same assembly line, with the logo blanked off. OTOH they could be clones that are made with a cheaper resin which decays in UV, in a plant with less process control so you are likely to experience cold flow cracks or something like that. Without knowing exactly what Hobie specifies and what the generic part is, it's hard to know if you're getting an inferior product or not. That's where a lot of people (like me) take the position that the Hobie parts are a safer bet. However, there are certain parts where it's commonly known that company X makes the best and produces them for all of the boat manufacturers, and you can buy one from them or a branded part from the boat maker. There's little risk in buying the generic as its unlikely that the boat makers are going to try to override company X's know-how by requesting a process change. Still, if the price is comparable I would still get the branded part to support my dealer.
'00 H16 #104691 - '78 H16 #32692 ex-rental - Old Holsclaw trailerMy Hobie 16 pages