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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 9:39 am 
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MBounds wrote:
Hobie Cat Company and the Hobie Class Association (both International and North American) are separate entities.


In theory I suppose (not sure I really believe that though since last page of the class rules shows that the president of Hobie Cat is on the rules committee). I will admit that I don't know enough about the politics of the whole company/class. But even if the class is 100% independant of the company, the class ultimately decides whether a particular product is "class legal".

Seems that the class and/or company has taken a decision to favor the "elite" sailors without regard for the newbies, B-fleeters, etc. So now if you want to race at a semi-competetive level, your options are 1) use plastic rudders which are not competetive, 2) buy and old set of EPOs if you can find them and repair as necessary to get them in racing condition, or 3) plunk down $900 for a new pair of EPO3s (the current catalog lists no other options for upgraded rudders). This just doesn't seem like something that is going to encourage growth in a class that is continuing to dwindle.

What I would love to know is 1) what was wrong with the EPO2 rudders and 2) what about the EPO3s make them $200 better than the EPO2s?

sm


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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:35 pm
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Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
are the 2's still available?


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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 12:45 pm 
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GD_NC wrote:
I just hope they keep making the EPO2s which are already at high-end of the boat splurge range now. EPO3s are off the charts.



EPO2 is no longer available and why we went to EPO3. We just couldn't get them anymore. Pricing reflects current costs of manufacture and is comparable to other hand laid glass rudders on other cat brands. We had not raised our list price in comparison to costs for several years.

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Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:52 pm
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Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
mmiller wrote:
EPO2 is no longer available and why we went to EPO3. We just couldn't get them anymore.


What do you mean Matt? I thought you guys were building them?

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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
sxrracer wrote:
are the 2's still available?


Sadly, there is just 1 left at Murray's. And I haven't seen any anywhere else... :(

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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 4:30 pm 
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mmiller wrote:
EPO2 is no longer available and why we went to EPO3. We just couldn't get them anymore. Pricing reflects current costs of manufacture and is comparable to other hand laid glass rudders on other cat brands. We had not raised our list price in comparison to costs for several years.


Any particular reason Hobie can't offer a mid-level fiberglass rudder like they used to with the old "racer rudders"? They didn't have the tricked out "Gucci" look, carbon layup, or precision finishing, but they were fine for the average performance sailor/racer that just wanted something better than plastic. Seems to me the options are now very limited, you have to choose from two extreme ends of the performance spectrum which is likely not where you average sailor wants to be.

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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 6:23 pm 
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Location: Central Oregon
x2

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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 7:48 pm 
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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Very disappointing.

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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 4501
Location: Detroit, MI
Matt's right about the pricing. Check out the prices of high-end Opti parts - http://www.apsltd.com/c-2710-optimist-b ... sions.aspx

But there are also a range of more affordable options on that page. Seems to me that there's a (small) market opportunity here.

A challenge would be to make the molds inexpensively - you'd need a set for the blade, plus another set for the foam cookie that forms the core - or have a CNC machine handy to crank out the cookies.

Once the molds are made, materials aren't that expensive. Labor costs and environmental compliance are significant challenges, though - at least in the US. If you're making small quantities, you might be able to fly under the radar - until someone complains about the fumes coming from your garage.

In any event, you're not going to get rich making rudders for Hobie Cats.

You want to see some really pricey stuff? Check out Competition Composites (the group that bought Phil's Foils) - http://www.fastcomposites.ca/site/marine/foils-a-z/

How about a 5o5 rudder for $785? Or a J-24 rudder for $985? (you have to add items to your "wish list" to see the pricing).


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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 10:54 am 
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Budget option is the Nylon blades $136.00

These are made in Southern Asia and brought up through Australia, not the US. We just can't do that kind of labor here for the cost.

We can consider bringing over the EURO version, but the have pre-drilled and bushed hole positions to match their castings and rake needs.

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Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Location: Tri-Cities, WA
I've used the standard nylon rudders for the 30+ years I've sailed Hobies. After adressing the tailing edge issue (scraping down the slight buldge on both sides just before the tailing edge) they seem to work fine. I've raced a few times against boats with EPOs and any apparent benifit form them was lost on me since I always finished ahead of them.

Upgrades/rigging that I feel do make a significant difference are:
Good sails/sail shape - a blown out sail do not shape well
Easily adjustable Downhaul - minor adjustments are made for nearly every point of sail
Out haul - but less important than down haul (heck my boat doesn't even have out haul)
Batton tention - gives general shape to the sail for the current sailing conditions
Good Rudder alignment & rake - a must
Good shroud tention & mast rake - but not too much

If you really want to improve your performance on the water, spend more time on the water. The slight performance improvement the EPO rudders provide can be easily overcome by better stick control and and sail shaping. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 7:21 pm
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Location: Thunder Bay,On
Plastic Rudders are not compatible with how the boat is raced now with the extreme mast rake.Fiberglass or EPO rudders will make a significant improvement to your upwind performance,especially in twin trapping conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 7:34 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Australia
Hi guys, we have spent a great deal on time on these rudders and yes, they are an improvement on the EPO2. In fact during our testing sessions over the last six months, Mick Butler (former HC16 World Champion) said "these are the best blades I have sailed with"............. I do hear you about the price however the lay-up, the materials along with production and tooling cost saw the blades increase in price. For those who can afford them, you will not be disappointed.
Kind regards
Steve Fields
Managing Director
Hobie Cat Australasia PL

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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 3:40 am 
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It surprises me that in a strict One Design Class how easy it is to introduce a new Rudder that sounds like it will improve performance.
Curious what differences he noted while sailing on the new rudders, was he testing it against a boat being sailed with EPO 2 or was it just by feel?Does it help the boat point higher?Is there less chance of it stalling out?
I think that is great if there is a new and improved Rudder,but if that is the case then it will be a matter of the rich getting richer out on the Race course.
How about a trade in on my EPO,s that apparently now are obsolete.


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 Post subject: Re: EPO3 rudders
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 4:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:58 am
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Location: Knoxville, TN
Matt M,

Will we start seeing the EPO3's offered as standard equipment on a new Hobie 16, and if so, what effect will that have on the price?

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