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 Post subject: Replacement Parts
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:11 pm
Posts: 282
Location: West Point, Utah
I hesitate to mention this subject in a Hobie sponsored site, but feel compelled to see how others feel about this subject.
First, let me say that I love Hobie boats and have sailed them and enjoyed them for many years. But...it was time to replace the batten pocket protectors on my mainsail. I had about 6 that needed replacing so I went on the internet to order some to make the repairs. The Hobie parts were $9.99 for a set. That would be $59.99 to replace all 6. For you rich folks out there, that probably doesnt seem like much, but on my sailing allowance that is a lot. Plus it is just 2 injection molded halves and 4 sets of stainless nuts and bolts. So I looked further and found non-branded protectors of the exact same dimensions for $1.90. That is $11.40 for all 6. Guess which one I purchased. Will I be banned from competing with non-Hobie batten pocket protectors? They would have to look pretty closely to see that there is not a flying H embossed on them.
Again, don't get me wrong. I love Hobie's and will continue to sail them forever... But. What do you all think about this. Are they shooting themselves in the foot and pricing themselves out of the market? Are the parts 5x better than the non-branded parts? Is it just here in the U.S. or the other Hobie companies around the world also. Anyway...Have a Hobie day.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Parts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Charlottesville, VA
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Parts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
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Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
Hobie parts are not cheap....for a reason. Their quality control is almost Mil Spec, and for good reason.
When you want the part to work, get the part with a flying H on it from a dealer.

True, some parts are generic, (line, shackles etc) so it's your call.

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947 "In Theory..."
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Parts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:54 am
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Location: Pinellas county Florida
It seems like most of Hobie's (and just about everyone else's) stainless steel parts are made in China, where quality control is questionable at best. AFAIK, no MIL-SPEC part is made in China, and that wont change until they take a more open approach to source control, fully understand the implications of cutting corners on material quality and develop a respect for patent law. The difference between a branded part made in China and a generic one could be anywhere from nil to substantial. I doubt that Hobie has a QC rep in a Chinese plant 24/7.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Parts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:18 am 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
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Location: Oceanside, California
Stainless is machined in the US, but where the raw is sourced is varied I am sure. WE have tight specifications on critical parts. Not is Brite stainless as that is a weaker material.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Parts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:28 am 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
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Location: Jersey Shore
Ever replace a part on your car? It's the same thing - you want OEM replacement parts, you're going to pay a premium for them as compared to the lower priced aftermarket parts. If you want original equipment spec parts, you have to pay for them. In the sailing industry, the volumes are so low that the margins need to be high. Hobie is simply not cranking out tens of thousands of boat parts so the cost to manufacture, inventory, track, distribute everything goes up accordingly.

I do agree, however, that $10 for two little pieces of injection molded plastic is a little absurd. Especially when you consider that the protectors are provided with solid rivets that the average Hobie sailor doesn't have the tooling to install. Hobie should a least offer a kit with screws and nuts. The real issue is not the cost of the replacement parts, though, it's the fact that the parts broke in the first place. Pocket protectors should more or less last the life of the sail. Hobie had a bad batch of pocket protectors many years ago that were prone to cracking and I went through the same thing replacing roughly a half dozen protectors between two sails.

To answer your other question - no, no one is going to protest you for using a non-Hobie pocket protector.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacement Parts
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 885
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
see my other post on the H18 Forum about using non-Hobie rudder pins, and how I broke two in 2 weeks....
Thanks to Sextant Marine (a Hobie dealer) for prompt delivery of Stainless pins OEM, even though they were over $20 each.
Now I feel safe again.

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947 "In Theory..."
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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