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.