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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:30 pm
Posts: 43
Location: JRZ Shore or Lake Erie
The truth of the matter is, for me, I am now actually in a position where I would consider purchasing a new Hobie, but I am less than included to spend $10+k on a 41 year old design.

I would like to see hobie facilitate importing hobie Europe models. They brought the tiger in and continue to bring the wild in. They have containers every so often and could make additional room available for preside boats. In the past, it was always a discussion of obtaining x number of orders before importing, but at that point I would rather import on my own and cut out the middle man.

Hobie US, write my name down for a Hobie 14 to recreate my first cat and a Hobie 15 to move into a modern design. Deposit available.

_________________
Jeffrey

1983 - H14
1985 - H16


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:51 am 
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 10:33 am
Posts: 411
Location: Clinton, Mississippi
gino wrote:
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.


gino: For someone with a total of two posts, I must say they are two zingers!

Although I'm 50, I wasn't involved in catsailing back in the heyday. I work pretty hard at it now (attend/volunteer for regattas, run my local club, recruit and help newbies, etc.). So I too get tired of hearing about the glory days from people who are no longer involved. On the other hand, if it weren't for the efforts of people who remain active like Matt Bounds, there wouldn't be any Hobie racing left at all. Griping at him and bashing Hobie on a Hobie provided forum isn't going to do any good. Anyone, regardless of age/experience, who wants things improved is going to have to get involved and work at it, not just spew "ideas" (and curse words) on the internet.

Us old out of shape beer drinkers are not the problem....at least not the only problem!

_________________
Jerome Vaughan
Hobie 16


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:25 pm 
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Posts: 287
I was a dealer in the '80s. To have a million dollars left after being in the boat business, start with 2. The '70s were a different time. After the gas crisis, people flocked to sailing. This was a time when everyone wants a passive solar house, and most people I knew cut and split firewood to burn for heat. It was before jet-skiis, and video games. In the '70s, it was not unusual for a dealer to sell several hundred Hobie cats. A truckload contained 18 cats in boxes, and if you bought less than a truckload, all the profit was tied up in shipping. There were no penalties for the release of styrene into the air in California.

In the late '80s, jet-skiis took a large part of the market of people who would have otherwise gone towards sailing. There was a short boom time when windsurfing kept small sailboat dealers in business. Selling 40 or 50 cats was not enough to pay overhead, and have anything left to live off of.

If a dealer knew what he was going to sell next year, it would make it doable. Any left over inventory from one year to the next has to be sold at a discount, read no profit left over-especially if you had to finance the inventory, to someone who would otherwise buy a new boat that would generate a profit.

I had fun doing it, but I had to go back to doing something to support my family after losing everything we had when we started. I was considered one of the better dealers then. Hobie's idea back then when things started slowing up was that everyone needed to become better salesmen. It didn't work, boat sales went the way of the Hobie fleets-down. It wasn't because we weren't good enough salesmen. I worked on boats almost every night until 11, and we were taking people sailing every day we had a chance and anyone wanted to go, including every weekend. Guarantee me 15 to 18 thousand gross profit every month, and I'll be glad to go back into the business.

I wish anyone luck who wants to do it, but the second sentence in this post is fact, not a joke.


Last edited by Tom King on Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:15 pm
Posts: 1083
Location: Oakland, CA
Beware of mistaking your passion for a good business plan.

Here in California we have regattas in highly visible venues like San Diego, Long Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco, as well as a few popular mountain lakes, but the only thing growing in the racing fleets is the average age of the racers. The Hobie 16/20 North Americans were held a month ago on a part of The America's Cup course in San Francisco Bay but the interest barely made a dent even in the local sailing community, and I live here.

I, too, get rock star treatment at a local beach, but that hasn't translated into more boats on the beach.

Also consider the hassle of owning a Hobie.
- Storage is a big issue because of the width of the boat and length of the mast.
- Getting crew, especially good regular crew, is not easy.
- I'm a trailer sailor and won't go out for day sails anymore because I spend nearly as much time rigging and unrigging as I do sailing, so it's got to be long weekends for it to be worth it for me. My father-in-law sails his 28 footer monoslug out of San Francisco and it's easier and faster to get on and off the water than my Hobie. Once, after spending nearly an hour-and-a-half finally rigging and getting my boat to the beach I saw a dude roll up on his bike with his kite surfing gear and in 20 minutes he was skipping and jumping across the water. That got me thinking I'm in the wrong sport.
- As well built as Hobies are they still require maintenance, and for many people when something breaks it stays that way until money, time, and desire converge to get it done. If one of those three is missing then the boat is consigned to a field and put on the To-Do List after the project cars and organizing the shed. In the meantime, the kids grow up and move out, or the boat is neglected in a divorce, or friends move away, or your interests change, or your job changes, or life just happens and the boat is low on the priority list.

MBounds is as nutty a Hobie owner as you'll find. He keeps three boats in a three-car garage, has been sailing Hobies for 30 years, is and has been very involved in HCA and his local racing, and has been banging the drum of how great catamaran sailing is all along, and yet even in his own division in Michigan there are no Hobie sanctioned regattas this year.

There are two Hobie Beaches in California that I know of (Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara), and neither have an active Hobie fleet. So, yeah, something's wrong and it's more than likely with us. We're the nuts with the time, extra money, and desire to spend on not just a sailing jones but a beach cat jones.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:42 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Sarasota Sailing Squadron
if i had money i would buy a new hobie from a dealer. BUT there is 2 problems
1. my neighbor hood lawn mowing only makes enough to cover the boat i bought at $500
2. I hate the plastic boats but I would want a more modern boat then the 16, but not as fancy as the wildcat, so i would rather spend my money on one of the boats that Europe makes.

_________________
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1983 Hobie 16 Cat fever #55697
2008 Laser Radial/4.7 #190471
S.S.S.
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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:42 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Sarasota Sailing Squadron
MBounds wrote:
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.



actually yes.. A kid i sail with told his mom i got a hobie and now they are buying a NEW getaway from TACKLE SHACK, and 3 other optis sailors are looking for old 14/16

_________________
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1983 Hobie 16 Cat fever #55697
2008 Laser Radial/4.7 #190471
S.S.S.
S.Y.S.P


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:28 pm
Posts: 320
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
I want to clarify that my comments are not directed at Matt nor am I bashing Hobie for chasing the money in the lucrative yak market. I'm sure we all would.

Matt has done a great job keeping this whole deal going and publishes a great Magazine that is well worth the HCANA dues alone. Not to mention spending countless hours helping folks like me on this board. Paying dues even though you have a ancient boat and don't race would give HCANA the resources they need to help promote events, get kids and new adults sailing and make things happen for us. He has a great point.

I'd love to understand how we harness the passion for Hobie Sailing and the people in this on-line community to help do exactly what we are taking about. I'm honestly not worried about how many or what kind of boats a dealer sells. I'd just like to have a active Hobie Fleet in my area I could sail with. I don't necessarily mean racing but simply get together and have a good time sailing, helping each other set up and launch, helping right buddy who capsized solo, trading tips, sharing parts, helping others learn about sailing and maybe have a beer or two along the way.

If that were to happen new boats would be much easier to sell.

Keep up the great work Mr. Bounds!

_________________
Garrett
94' H16 - 114050
www.HobieFleet97.org
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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:38 pm 
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gino: For someone with a total of two posts, I must say they are two zingers!

Although I'm 50, I wasn't involved in catsailing back in the heyday. I work pretty hard at it now (attend/volunteer for regattas, run my local club, recruit and help newbies, etc.). So I too get tired of hearing about the glory days from people who are no longer involved. On the other hand, if it weren't for the efforts of people who remain active like Matt Bounds, there wouldn't be any Hobie racing left at all. Griping at him and bashing Hobie on a Hobie provided forum isn't going to do any good. Anyone, regardless of age/experience, who wants things improved is going to have to get involved and work at it, not just spew "ideas" (and curse words) on the internet.

Us old out of shape beer drinkers are not the problem....at least not the only problem![/quote]

look man, there is nothing wrong with spewing "ideas". sharing ideas that may help is a good thing no? its clear that Hobie USA may be lacking in this dept. or they may be lacking funds which is what i fear.

i support the few dealers in my "area". the last hobie i bought was from a dealer that is now out of business, they were just down the street. now i support the nearest dealer which is 4 hrs away buying parts and accessories from them. I support Hobie. my family has owned 6 hobies in our 35 years of involvement. my support is there. my fear is that hobie usa may be lacking the funds to market effectively. marketing is not just about racing. the class association is a whole different monster and different discussion. so, is the lack of effective marketing a money thing or just a lack of ideas/creativity?

the reason i have finally chimed in is because i keep reading posts about similar frustrations that i have. when i had kids of my own i started to sail more again, i then wanted to get my kids a small starter Hobie such as the Dragoon and found that it was not available, just as the 3.5 and the 14 are no longer available here. so i waited til the kids were older and i have them on my 16, ive been fixing that 16 up, restoring it the best i could. i found some gorgeous sails on Hobie Europe only to find they were not available to me. im not going to purchase new sails from USA that i consider ugly. sorry. why cant the two develop a partnership? is my 2k for new sails not enough? how many pieces of that pie be cut into? who would split up that money?....hobie europe, hobie usa, the sailmaker, the dealer, the shipper? 2k is not enough to go around? i thought we were living in a global market in this day and age?

during this process of attempting to buy sails from europe i got an email from hobie usa trying to get me excited about their line of plastic boats and kayaks.

really?


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Location: Clinton Lake, KS
rattle 'n hum wrote:
. On the other hand, if it weren't for the efforts of people who remain active like Matt Bounds, there wouldn't be any Hobie racing left at all. Griping at him and bashing Hobie on a Hobie provided forum isn't going to do any good.


No kidding.. The very thankless work some of these guys have done for years needs to be understood appreciated and recognized...


rattle 'n hum wrote:
Anyone, regardless of age/experience, who wants things improved is going to have to get involved and work at it, not just spew "ideas" (and curse words) on the internet.


Let me know what more I can do to help. We are working hard locally on our Fleet.. Heck... We brought half the 16's to a Regatta a 3 and half hour drive from our lake...

My observation is that there isn't a a well defined structure for engaging people outside the of the veterans..

I am young enough.. I have a huge passion for Cat sailing.. and a willingness to work and help move the class forward..

Where do I sign up?


Quote:
I'd just like to have a active Hobie Fleet in my area I could sail with. I don't necessarily mean racing but simply get together and have a good time sailing, helping each other set up and launch, helping right buddy who capsized solo, trading tips, sharing parts, helping others learn about sailing and maybe have a beer or two along the way.



What does he need to do to Start a Fleet? Does the HCANA have resources and a 'guidebook' for someone interested in starting a Fleet.

Help with a webpage, modest 'press releases' in his hometown?

Again.. Make it easy for people.....

(Not sure as this should be the HCANA's 'problem or not though.. It would serve Hobie well to market in such a fashion... and it is 'cheap'... But what the heck do I know? )


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:02 pm
Posts: 188
Location: Hanover, PA
Thanks Jeffrey for starting this thread.

I expressed an interest in hearing more about the Dragoon right off the bat because this is the first post I saw on here... from someone kind of close by too... about one of the "forbidden fruits" of Hobie.

I'm finally at a point where I am ready to spend some real $$$ on my next cat and would love to go new. Honestly though, why can't I buy a European Hobie here in the US? Is Hobie US so afraid that if the Euro cats are offered here sales of the US ones will dip that much? I would be; the US ones are less desirable. My ideal cat right now would be either a Dragoon or H16 Tatoo for my tastes (sails) and desire to sail with my young kid. Looks like I'll be replacing my older H16s with a slightly used H16 and a used Wave instead to meet those needs and budget. As mentioned by some others though, I guess I will not be helping the Hobie cause since I won't be buying a brand new US Hobie cat from a dealer to increase the fleet. I find that thinking flawed! How is keeping an older cat from getting landfilled or parted out not helping the fleet? How is rescuing an older one from decaying into a backyard or barn somewhere not helping the fleet? The real questions should be: How will keeping newer more visually stimulating offerings off the market help the fleet? Or, How does keeping old tech and design VS updating the designs help the fleet?

I remember reading posts on here about a batch of new hulls being built for H18s by special order. I don't own a H18, but I thought it was really neat and was very interested in learning about the whole deal and the progress a few people made with them to update their old cats. Where are they now? More coverage and follow up from Hobie might of led to a 2nd order, maybe... maybe not. Why can't we have a similar offering for Euro spec cats? With the right people buying them up front the order is paid for before it ever gets in a container headed to our shores. Then add some incentives from Hobie to the owners of those cats to market them via exposure on blogs, social media, local events, and regattas... the interest would grow thus bettering the fleet.

Just thoughts.

_________________
'95 H16 sail #101148
'89 H18 SX/ sail #1053 w/ Yellow hulls


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:59 pm 
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The Dragoon is something I looked at in the beginning of my search. That and the H15. Weight they can carry and parts were a problem.

You want to innovate? For those who want something between an easy cat and a performance cat, figure out more ways to rig and move a H16 as quickly and easily as a Wave...


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Posts: 573
Location: Knoxville, TN
Quote:
MBounds is as nutty a Hobie owner as you'll find. He keeps three boats in a three-car garage, has been sailing Hobies for 30 years, is and has been very involved in HCA and his local racing, and has been banging the drum of how great catamaran sailing is . . .


If Matt Bounds is a nutty Hobie owner, then I'd be proud to be called one too. His efforts at organizing events, editing the Hotline, working long hours for the class association and his extensive help to others on this forum are a huge reason that we have what's left. I wish my three Hobies were in a three car garage (actually the 14 is inside getting new gel-coat).

The concern and passion that many of us have for this sport is wonderful. To grow our numbers, however, passion must be channeled into action. Join the HCA. If you have a local fleet, get involved. If not, start one with whoever lives within a reasonable distance. Talk to people and see who they know that sails Hobies or other cats. Go to regattas and network. No Hobie events around? Check out TheBeachcats.com and find a schedule of open regattas and attend those. You'll enjoy the camaraderie and have fun sailing even if you're not a good racer. Racing will make you better. If you're lucky enough to be a member of a supportive yacht club, participate in club races and other activities. Ask friends and their kids to go sailing with you just for fun. Let the kids have some tiller time.

I was an avid Hobie sailor from 1977 to 1985. I got back into it in fall of 2008 when I bought a used 20. In summer of 2009 I emailed a bunch of folks in our club and asked them if their kids had any interest in sailing catamarans. Three showed up, we sailed, and within a year all three of them had a Hobie 16, one of them purchased brand new from a dealer. We worked with Matt Bounds, Chris Wessels and the Division 14 Chair, John Eaton, and reinstated Fleet 401. Our membership is now around 13 boats, three purchased new.

In 2011 we hosted a points regatta, Holiday In Dixie, in coordination with the Shreveport Yacht Club. 12 boats showed up and we had a blast. In 2012, 19 boats came from as far away as Minnesota and Florida. I doubt anyone would have traveled to Shreveport for a Hobie regatta had Coco Hudson and I not been meeting other sailors at their events. I’ve found that attendance is somewhat reciprocal. One of our youths, Max Hudson, crewed in the 2011 Youth and Open H16 NACs. In 2012, he crewed with Geoffrey Nelson at the Sausalito Open NACs and at the Youth NACs in Annapolis, they took second place.

My point is not to blow my horn, but to demonstrate what can be done with a modest level of effort. There’s no harm in spewing ideas, I’d like a few more good ones myself. But those of us that aren’t willing to get involved and take action to increase participation in sailing or even join the HCA don’t have any business complaining.

A few other points: 1) I’ve owned seven Hobies and bought five of them new from dealers, the last being a new H16 in November of 2011. I’ve owned Tequila Sunrises and Cat Fevers, but I think my new Seabreeze is as pretty as any of the legacy patterns. If you don’t like the current offerings, Hobie will build you a set of custom sails and you can pick from several colors in their palette. Coordinate through a dealer and be ready to pay a little extra. 2) I happened to be in the Northeast (yes, to me Annapolis is Northeast) a couple of weeks ago and dropped in on the youth NACs one afternoon. Awesome event. The HCA contributed significant dollars towards securing a venue and putting the Hobie brand out there at the Junior Olympics. 3) There have been a few gripes about our 40+ year-old design. The H16 isn't for everyone, but for a lot of us, it's the best jack of all trades. It's not the fastest nor is it complex - and that's what many of us like about it. Simplicity is a virtue (my other boat is a 20). Hard to tack? Not once you learn how. The jib hangs on the mast in light air? Whoopty Do! Sheet in the jib and give it a hard whack just below the first batten. These boats are classics for a reason.

_________________
Mark Van Doren
Division 9 Chairman
H16 #112205 (Richard Petty Signature Edition)
H14T #47787
H20 #647 (sold)


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Location: Clinton Lake, Kansas
ronholm wrote:
Quote:
I'd just like to have a active Hobie Fleet in my area I could sail with. I don't necessarily mean racing but simply get together and have a good time sailing, helping each other set up and launch, helping right buddy who capsized solo, trading tips, sharing parts, helping others learn about sailing and maybe have a beer or two along the way.



What does he need to do to Start a Fleet? Does the HCANA have resources and a 'guidebook' for someone interested in starting a Fleet.

Help with a webpage, modest 'press releases' in his hometown?

Again.. Make it easy for people.....

(Not sure as this should be the HCANA's 'problem or not though.. It would serve Hobie well to market in such a fashion... and it is 'cheap'... But what the heck do I know? )
It's pretty simple to start a fleet (just ask MVD). A little leg work on the HCANA site is all it takes. Figure out what Division you're in and contact your Division Chair. Just as in Hobie sailing, and Hobie racing, we all started from ground zero. All you have to do is ask for some guidance.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:02 am 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 8882
Location: Oceanside, California
Quote:
Is Hobie US so afraid that if the Euro cats are offered here sales of the US ones will dip that much?


This debate comes around every so often... What is Hobie Cat US doing to support sailing or high performance sailing? Fact is we have to respond to the market. We can not respond to individual interests. It just isn't good business.

Let me simply repeat what I said over at Catsailor.com awhile back:

Quote:
We sell catamarans by the thousands and I'm pretty sure we build more Waves than all other brands of cats put together.

Not sure why people think they are just for resorts... although we do own that market world wide. Most are sold to recreational sailors.

Hobie is alive and well... hardly slacking these days. Like... Hobie Big Day Out. Similar to a regatta, but just for fun and all about Hobie Mirage Islands.

Image

And yes... kayaking is king these days. Fishing is hot too... Hobie Diawa Worlds on supplied boats... all new fully rigged Hobie Pro Anglers.

Image

We are currently having our biggest year ever... each and every year seems to go this way... we are alive and well!

http://www.facebook.com/HobieCatCompany

http://www.facebook.com/hobieislandclub

http://www.facebook.com/hobie.fishing


We are building sailing from the ground up again. We are putting more butts in sailboats than any other company in the world. We sell thousands of sail rigs for our Mirage kayaks, we sell thousands of Hobie Islands (check out the Island forums... most active area we have), we sell thousands of Waves and Getways... If these new sailors create the demand for higher performance cats again... we will go there, but as it stands now... there has not been enough demand for high performance or euro cats to sustain a business.

_________________
Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoon
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:53 am 
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Location: Clinton Lake, KS
flatlander wrote:
It's pretty simple to start a fleet (just ask MVD). A little leg work on the HCANA site is all it takes. Figure out what Division you're in and contact your Division Chair. Just as in Hobie sailing, and Hobie racing, we all started from ground zero. All you have to do is ask for some guidance.


:mrgreen:

Is there more we could/should possibly do to let folks know just how easy it is to start a fleet and how far people will go to support them? People need to know what great people you guys all are!!!!

Maybe publish on the HCANA website and everywhere else just how easy it is... Give some press to what sounds like a great success with Fleet 401.

What are we doing to encourage people to start fleets?

BOTTOM LINE?

Who is responsible for asking that question?

Because.... it doesn't sound like these guys are terribly interested????

mmiller wrote:

If these new sailors create the demand for higher performance cats again... we will go there, but as it stands now... there has not been enough demand for high performance or euro cats to sustain a business.



(no offense meant.. I/we appreciate all you guys do.. Understand you work very hard for us.... thank you for the great boats.. ect. ect ect.. but come on now)


I understand Hobie and the HCANA have to stay at arms length.. and Hobie has this cute new girlfriend with the sailing Kayak... But ggggeeeezzzzz....


Seriously.. Hobie has a loosely organized foundation of some of the greatest people in the world willing to freely give time and lots of effort to help people enjoy their boats... and you can't consistently tap into this to sell at least 100 boats a year... Seriously!!!





Could Hobie create incentives for fleets? For Starting? growing? Maintaining for 'X' number of years?

Awards for Regatta turnout?


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