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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:01 pm 
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I happened to be cruising Hobie's sailboat web site today and noticed the FX One is no longer offered, lowering Hobie's fiberglass cat options to two, the 16 and Wild Cat. We're a dying breed.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Yup, noticed that in their 2012 "Sailing Collection" catalogue. Hobie U.S.A. has clearly moved in the direction of plastic boats and kayaks but you can be sure it's demand-driven. Interestingly, Hobie Europe still builds and markets 10 different fiberglass sailboat models, including the Wildcat.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:54 pm 
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I think I read somewhere on the catalog that you can order the FX from Europe.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Skipshot wrote:
I happened to be cruising Hobie's sailboat web site today and noticed the FX One is no longer offered, lowering Hobie's fiberglass cat options to two, the 16 and Wild Cat. We're a dying breed.



I have been attending regattas for over a year now, some of them pretty big. I think its interesting that I have never seen a Wildcat or FX-1 in person anywhere.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Location: Sarasota Sailing Squadron
Their is a new wildcat at the Sarasota sailing squadron

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Love to see it. Where do they store it?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:03 pm 
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Actually it's down to H16 or one for all intents and purposes. Will the Tiger and FX parts still be available from US Hobie? If US Hobie doesn't stock Hobie Europe parts...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:19 pm 
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Skipshot wrote:
I happened to be cruising Hobie's sailboat web site today and noticed the FX One is no longer offered, lowering Hobie's fiberglass cat options to two, the 16 and Wild Cat. We're a dying breed.


Hmmm, interesting idea. Yet as you read below in the following posts to your's, the Euros have different ideas about their leisure time and where they get their sailing fixes.

The rotomolded boats that Hobie sells here for the North American Market are probably more about the state of the economy (cost of production) and the average use that the North American Family uses their boat for. The other consideration is where these boats will be used. In Europe you have nice manicured lakes that allow a fiberglass boat to be used without removing most of the bottom gelcoat. In the US people use their boats in a number of harsh environments. (also don't forget about liabiity issues that are dismissed in Europe as 'Lack of Experience and Common Sense')

The Europeans have also gotten used to using inflatable cats such as the Grabner line and their offshoot SmartKat.

Hobie builds what is based on their market research, and that includes serving a whole new generation of boaters that probably got their first boating fix in a rotomolded kayak.

Will the Fiberglass boat come back? I for one hope not as better, stronger lighter materials can be found in Carbon Fiber Hulls when the costs decrease to better and cheaper manufacturing processes.

Foam hulls don't work as the cost is better suited for one off race boats. The roto boats may be an improvement yet are subject to warping unless they are in a stable atmosphere...as if that would ever happen.
Owning a 13' rotomolded cat at 250lbs is not exactly the answer either.
Hobie has built a line of inflatable kayaks with mixed reviews. They certainly have the R&D to improve on the Grabner line if they so wished. A 100 lb inflatable Hobie would be nice considering that with good engineering, the entire boat should fit into 2, 6 foot long bags to fit into anyone's closet.

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Trinomite

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:48 pm 
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Skipshot wrote:
I happened to be cruising Hobie's sailboat web site today and noticed the FX One is no longer offered, lowering Hobie's fiberglass cat options to two, the 16 and Wild Cat. We're a dying breed.


Hey Skip
I feel for you dude. At the age of 60, I've watched a lot of designs and materials in nav architecture fade and die.
Is Carbon Fiber the answer? Maybe. Is inflatables the answers? Maybe not either.
One of the biggest advance was the RIB by combining a planing hull with a serious inflatable hull skirt for power boats.
Can anything like this be used for sailing? Why the hell not? Solid wing sails have been used for speed records. So have movable ballast tanks in off shore racers.
Has anyone experimented with Helium in Inflatables? To my knowledge, not so much.
Has anyone tried inflatable wing sails on cats? Not so much.
The foils on the Trifoiler still have the same laws of Physics attached to them since Hobie stopped building them.
(I could go on forever)....
Yet when human imagination stops working, please beam me up Scotty as this World seems to have little sign of creative life here.
(One thing that will never stop is the Laws of Supply and Demand). Look closely at the National Geographic Documentaries in Africa. There is an HUGE market for people that are tired of carving out a huge log simply to catch a fish to feed their family). Instead of trying to break the sound barrier on the water, wouldn't a simple foldable boat bought in the miliions by people that can't afford a yacht be more profitable to the Manufacturer in the long run?

Best Regards
Trinomite

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:17 am 
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Trinomite, I'm all for searching for a stronger, lighter, cheaper material, but even if one is found it is unlikely to spur more people to buy a sailboat made of it. Taking a look at Hobie's product line it is pretty clear folks want strong, cheap, durable, and easy to use, which isn't a bad thing. The problem is the perception that a sailboat is a complex thing that takes more time and effort to enjoy than it is worth, especially when backing a power boat or Sea Doo into the water and turning a key will get one a similar experience with far less effort, and that is the point of the OP.


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