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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:36 am 
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So after all this discussing what did it cost after all the expenses were paid to put this cat in your driveway?

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:40 am 
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"No market" Then frign create one.. How much of a Market was for these boats in 1975..... AND WHY???

Hobie USA fails to have the vision to create one. they are only marketing the silly plastic boats. now is a decent time for them to pounce because PWC sales are on dwindling.

Hobie Europe is far more creative in doing business. i was looking to buy a dragoon for my young kids years ago but not available here so i just did not make a purchase. now the kids are too big and are learning/sailing my 16 which is fine but they only sail it with a crew and in generally light winds when they are at the helm. it would have accelerated their growth and enthusiasm to learn/solo on a boat like the dragoon.

Hobie claims they are pushing youth with their youth program but that program really isnt much to brag about. the program has the "youths" on 16s. ive been sailing Hobies most of my life. I learned with my father crewing for him on his 16 starting in 1975, then when i was about 10 he bought a Hobie 3.5...two years later he traded that in for a 14. those two small boats were ideal for a kid learning to sail. it was fantastic. both of which are now unavailable here which is quite sad. i dont want a plastic boat such as the wave. not my thing. i like fast boats, thats my attraction to hobie cats.

i dont like to rip on Hobie but it is frustrating to see what europe has to offer in comparison. i hate to say it but Hobie USAs target for their marketing are kooky hodad go slow type of sailors, with the plastic boats. funny i never see those boats when i go sailing. i suspect they are mostly purchased for rental fleets at hotels/resorts etc....used by non sailors.

the plastic boats are like soft foam surfboards made in china for sale at Costco,
where as the fast fiberglass boats are like the real surfboards shaped and sold at a legit surfshop.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:58 am 
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GD_NC wrote:
ronholm wrote:
It isn't like Hobie Cats don't turn heads on the lake...


+1


+2
Man want to shake your hand and women give you unsolicited smiles...
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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:54 pm 
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Shipping of the boat and trailer on a flat bed (0 miles on my trailer) from San Diego to the east coast was $1000 for 2500+ miles, very reasonable in my opinion.

As for cost, let's just say that the other two that I have seen listed sold for $5750 and $7000. A dealer in SF has one listed for $5k.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:16 pm 
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At that cost and approximate condition you described, I would bite on one to replace my H16s at the end of the season. Any Hobie dealers on the east coast should take note of possible interest out there and look into importing some new or lightly used Dragoons or Tatoos.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:01 pm 
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I would really like to have a Hobie 15 imported. The dragoon will work wonderfully as my solo adventurer, although it will take some practice to fly the spinnaker solo.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:12 pm 
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Location: JRZ Shore or Lake Erie
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bod/3136722562.html

Another one for sale.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:22 pm 
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GD_NC wrote:
I know Catamarans aren't exactly selling like hotcakes, but if every hobiecat (even the rotomolded ones) in the US has to be special ordered . .
That is the choice of the individual dealer, not the manufacturer. I know several dealers that maintain inventory of new boats, albeit small.

And just because Hobie Europe shows a lot of models on their website doesn't mean that they're selling them in significant quantities. What you don't really notice is that many of these models share many parts, with the only differences being sails and fiberglass bits. I would not be surprised if they "manufactured on demand" many of the models to minimize their inventory.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:39 pm 
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ronholm wrote:
MBounds wrote:
In 1988, Coleman Co. sold the Hobie Cat Co., which included at that time the manufacturing facilities in France.

As part of that sale, the European component was split off - thus the genesis of what is now Hobie Cat Europe.

The market for fiberglass boats in North America is very, very small. A business plan of making boats you can't sell is unsustainable.


You want to make a million dollars in the boat building business? Start with 2 million (or more).


First.. I am still pretty wet behind the ears in comparison to many in the Hobie game... and Sailing in general.... and personally... Probably never the type of guy to buy things new.. even the things I wish to afford new I generally enjoy restoring.. and I am also generally kind of an idiot.

So my opinion on this may not be worth much...

But I have heard this argument I highlighted in Bold quite a damn bit... I understand what people are trying to say.. and they might very well be right..


but damn... "No market" [b] Then frign create one.. How much of a Market was for these boats in 1975..... AND WHY??? [/b]

It isn't like Hobie Cats don't turn heads on the lake... I promise there are more than a couple pictures of me and my antics taken by unknown fellow boaters floating around the web.... I know I can't be the only Hobie out there who draws a crowd every time the wind kicks up over 12mph...

Sail boats are not only "Green" they are "Extreme" if you know how to do it right...

NBC is putting Big Cats racing the America's Cup on TV... HEck.. We offer the chance to race with some of those sailors,(don't we??) having damn near as much (if not more fun) for a tiny fraction of the price... On the very boat which brought the beach cat to the masses in the first frign place...

How frign hard can that be to sell????

You guys almost make me want to figure out what is required to open a dealership just to prove you wrong...

:? :cry: :D :|



+2

GD_NC wrote:
ronholm wrote:
It isn't like Hobie Cats don't turn heads on the lake...


+1

If you don't think people are interested in Hobiecats go rig one on a beach sometime. I had mine out last week and could hardly get my sails up without people stopping to ask me all about my not-very-impressive 18 year-old boat with faded sails. All it takes is a quick ride out in the ocean to get people hooked. I could only imagine how much attention a Dragoon would get. (I'd sure be talking to the owner!) :D


i beached my 30 year old 16 with mismatched faded sails and hulls at the local bait shop/food shack to get lunch and i had a couple people come up to talk to me and one person took a picture in front of my boat.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:47 pm 
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optikid wrote:
i beached my 30 year old 16 with mismatched faded sails and hulls at the local bait shop/food shack to get lunch and i had a couple people come up to talk to me and one person took a picture in front of my boat.

But were you able to sell them a Hobie Cat? Talk is cheap - separating someone from thousands of their disposable dollars is a lot harder. There's only one person (that I know of) in this conversation that actually bought a new Hobie Cat from a dealer. A lot of you won't even shell out $25 to join the Hobie Class Association.

Nobody would be happier than me should Hobie Cats make a resurgence. But I'm realistic, pragmatic and I've fought the decline for 30+ years. Yeah, I remember when there were 50 boats in 16A fleet alone. Now we can't get that many at a single regatta, even North Americans.

This is classic product life cycle - the stuff that they teach in intro marketing courses. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_life-cycle_management_(marketing)). It's not rocket science.

Other products that were once very popular but are no longer:
Coonskin caps
Roller Skates
Hula Hoops
Yo-yos
Windsurfers
Pet Rocks
Roller Blades
Hackey Sacks
Beanie Babies

. . . and the list goes on an on (really - check this site out: http://www.crazyfads.com/). What those products don't have in common with Hobie Cats is that none of them cost as much in time or money.

Hobie Cats, and catamaran sailing in general, peaked in the mid-1980s (Why do you think most of the used boats are from the late 70s to late 80s? Because that's when about 80% of the total production was made).

So, how do we do what Ron suggests and "friggin' create the market?"

In other words, put your money where your mouth is and buy a new boat. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:49 pm 
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So, how do we do what Ron suggests and "friggin' create the market?"

get some new ideas to market the product. get rid of the stale stuff. i have many ideas...this aint rocket science. tell hobie get off their asses. they are very complaceant at the moment. take advantage of the high gas prices and upcoming americas cup. get out there and put on events,get the boats some exposure. example the 40th regatta in dana point in 2008. fantastic event. very visible on the beach. why doesnt hobie have more events similar to that, once, twice, three times per year in different locations? have demos, lessons, rentals, etc...

inject some high energy youthful folks to increase popularity and coolness. go after a different market, stop going after the costco kook and get after some young athletes, surfers, swimmers, water polo players, college students. combine with the hobie surf team. show up on the beach for the san clemente surf festival, the oceanside world bodysurfing championships, the us open of surfing. i go to all of these events, they are full of fit young active water people begging for some action on the water. most of my young surf friends know zero to little about sailing catamarans. why is that? cmon folks Hobie Alter was a surfer first, target the surfers not the older out of shape beer drinker. we have to go after the youth to keep it alive. Hobie SUPs sponsor paddle board events, why is there not a team there from the catamaran side demo'n boats?

i have 100s more ideas, tell hobie id be more than happy to help.

oh yah how bout some new prettier sails. Hobie europe is kickin USAs ass in that dept. months ago i was prepared to buy a new set, thought ours were ugly, i tried europe, they said no dice. so guess what? i did not spend my 2k for new sails.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:12 pm 
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MBounds, several good points. My difficulty in accepting that argument is just how many 14 to 22 foot dinghies and day sailors I see in the Boston Harbor. There are literally hundreds coming from community sailing centers, university sailing clubs, youth sailing schools, yacht clubs, and private moorings.

I understand that many adults, even when sailing with only 1 partner, do not care for the excitement and speed of a cat. A certain percentage of these older folks and certainly the kids, however, may just go for catamarans.

MIT has one Hobie, Harvard none, BU none. Community boating, a co-op program, has over 70 dinghies and no cats.

Sailing, unlike hola-hooping, is not dead. We just have NO market share, especially in Boston, one of the wealthiest cities in the country with an appetite for sailing small boats on the water.

And yes, I have purchased 2 of my 3 Hobie Cats from registered dealers.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:28 am 
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Location: Netherlands Europe
Here,s some info over the Dragoon

Dragoon extreme
part manual
http://hobiecat.nl/pdf/dragoon_xtreme_pg.pdf

Dragoon club part manual
http://hobiecat.nl/pdf/dragoon_club_pg.pdf

assembly manual
http://hobiecat.nl/pdf/dragoon_gb.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:20 am 
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jeffrey wrote:
My difficulty in accepting that argument is just how many 14 to 22 foot dinghies and day sailors I see in the Boston Harbor. There are literally hundreds coming from community sailing centers, university sailing clubs, youth sailing schools, yacht clubs, and private moorings.

I understand that many adults, even when sailing with only 1 partner, do not care for the excitement and speed of a cat. A certain percentage of these older folks and certainly the kids, however, may just go for catamarans.

MIT has one Hobie, Harvard none, BU none. Community boating, a co-op program, has over 70 dinghies and no cats.
Unfortunately, the yacht club establishment (and outright inertia) controls what boats are used in college and community programs. The best and worst thing Hobie Alter did was to develop Hobies outside the established YC programs. It worked great in the short term, but not in the long term. The perception is that catamarans are "too dangerous" for kids and even adults just learning to sail. Catamaran sailors are perceived as dope-smoking, hippie radicals who don't bathe regularly. Catamarans aren't "real boats". We've been our own worst enemy for many years. Fortunately, that's starting to change (reference the recent inclusion of the Hobie Youth North Americans into the Annapolis Junior Olympic Festival).

In comparison to an Opti or even a Laser Radial, they're right about the dangerous part (at least for a Hobie 16, not so much the Wave).

Two other factors contribute to our lack of market share with established programs - catamarans take up a lot of real estate (2 x or more what a dinghy does) and we really need a beach for launching (anyone who's launched off a ramp can attest to that). Both space and beaches are scarce, valuable commodities, not easily converted to catamaran launching sites.

jeffrey wrote:
Sailing, unlike hula-hooping, is not dead.
"Hooping" is not dead - just a niche sport, like catamaran sailing:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hula_hoop.

jeffrey wrote:
We just have NO market share, especially in Boston, one of the wealthiest cities in the country with an appetite for sailing small boats on the water.
Boston never has had a significant catamaran presence - even during the heyday (I raced in Division 12 (New England) in '83-'85, and only a couple of times off Nahant Beach in that time. Fleet 28 went dormant many, many years ago.) I think that had more to do with lack of beach access and the extreme tides than anything else. Wheeling your boat over 200 yds of sand flats to get to the water's edge at low tide was a pain.

jeffrey wrote:
And yes, I have purchased 2 of my 3 Hobie Cats from registered dealers.
But did you buy them new? (I've bought 7 new boats in 40 years, and 2 used boats from dealers)


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:29 am 
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:D


MBounds makes some sound points.. Especially stating that simply because there is interest doesn't mean people are automatically going to open the wallet.. and like he said.. Many of us doing the complaining are not currently buying brand new boats.. myself included.

This doesn't mean, even simply as lowly citizens of Hobie town we are unable to help. I know what I am doing to help... But this argument that we MUST as a class be shrinking because yada yada yada... COME ON!!!!

Even only having been to a very few Regatta's I have already heard this nonsense way to much... Talk of the 'good ole days' and all kinds of veterans (including Hobie DEALERS) explaining why we can't make it..

Shut the hell up Eeyore!!! I am here to tell you the wonderful thing about Tiggers!!! Tiggers are wonderful Things

:lol: :lol:



You mentioned dwindling numbers at Regatta's.... Again.. I am a new guy.. But I promise you lack of interest isn't the problem.. The HCANA should be embarrassed.... Running the Nationals as an open event, and having under 50 boats is kinda crazy given where the class has been....... I promise it is totally possible to have great turnouts at Regatta's... There is plenty the HCANA could do to boost numbers... I feel strongly to many good people have just accepted falling numbers and low turnouts as a way of life.. It DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY...

Heck.. you mentioned it is even difficult to get people to pony up to the HCANA.. What is the HCANA doing for them? Are these benefits apparent and of enough perceived value?


Is the purpose of the HCANA to keep them informed of just how fast the class is shrinking?





The Frayed Knot at Clinton Lake, Lawrence KS is going to ROCK this year. Fleet 297 is vibrating with the vibes from all of our new members...




Then...

OK.... SO you can't sell boat to the fuddy dud's at the yacht clubs... PERFECT.. This isn't a disadvantage at all.. This means even at 40 years old the Hobie 16 is still young and vibrant.. Hell... LOOK AROUND.. The 70's are plenty alive.. Just convince a couple Hipsters the Hobie 16 is the waterborne equivalent to a 'fixie' bike...

Being able to shake the traditional sailing image is a HUGE advantage for a young crowd... In fact... Most of the new people I have taken for rides on my 16 had to first understand I wasn't trying to take them on some slow boring "traditional" "sailboat" ride. The people who are really going to strongly take to the boat are the ones who embrace that "danger" you speak of....

One of the best lines was something along the lines of...

"I thought we were going to be sipping wine and baking in the sun... Not hanging off the side of some raft trying not to die!!! THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!!"

Let the Monohull's reject us.. It works to our favor..

I promise you I going flying hulls past all the college kids on the 420's at every chance..... The ones who have any interest at all in sailing... Trust me.. They wouldn't need a whole hell of a lot of arm twisting to give up that bathtub. You just have to put the idea within their reach.. You may never land the collegiate program.. And you might not want to..

Just offer an adventure..... Danger... excitement.. and put it within their reach.

Or take the kids out for a float.. If they will drag the kids behind the boat on a frign tube.. How much more dangerous can this be?




So even if you are right about the Class shrinking... You do want the Class to grow, correct? :wink:

Wouldn't it be wise marketing for as many people as possible to stop talking about why the class must shrink, and start focusing on how we are going to grow it..


We need 'jobs' to assign to the new members so they can get out there and get things moving. Some way we can harness the enthusiasm at its peak and use it to grow the class.. When you see a spark.. Fan the flame.. Give it purpose and direction.. NOT bad news about how they hooked up with some dying breed... Engage and involve people from the second the express any amount of interest... Then make it very easy for them to stay involved.


Last edited by ronholm on Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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