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
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...
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?
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.