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 Post subject: Starting a Hobie Fleet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:13 pm 
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This thread is a continuation of a discussion that began under the topic "Dragoon". It got way off track.

In the previous discussion, a couple of guys expressed an interest in starting a fleet. Like John Eaton says, it's not difficult. All the information that you need is on the HCANA website, http://www.hcana.hobieclass.com/. Click on the "Documents and Rules" tab and you'll find the simple International Hobie Class Association Fleet Charter Application. Explore the site and you'll find plenty of other useful information too. The application will ask you to fill in the name of your Division Chair, and then you'll need to send the form to the chairperson. To find the contact info for your division chair, go back to the HCANA home page and click on the "About" tab, then click on "HCANA Board". You'll see the Hobie division map and above it a list of all the division chairs. The chairperson will sign it off and forward it to the HCANA National Chair and the Secretary. They in turn will forward the application to the IHCA chair in Australia. All of this sounds like a bunch of red tape, but the process actually moves pretty quickly. Once it's out of your hands you have nothing more to do than wait for you fleet charter to arrive, probably within a month.

It's rewarding to begin a fleet from scratch and see people enjoying their boats together, building friendships and improving their sailing skills. It has been a real thrill to host a couple of division points regattas and see our out of town guests enjoy themselves at our club. Watching the kids learn to sail their H16s has been very rewarding. Having one of our youth crews, Geoffrey Nelson/Max Hudson, excell at the national level has been way cool.

It's work trying to plan events and frustrating when attendance isn't what you hope for. Anymore, people just have too much on their plates and too many options for their scarce free time. You'll need to have tough skin when participation seems to be lacking or even non-existent. But hang in there, it's worth it!! So, go forth and start your fleets or join an existing fleet. Get involved!! Join the HCANA. Go to another fleet's or yacht club's regatta and let your new friends there know that you're trying to grow interest in your area. Take young people to crew with you. If you end up hosting a regatta or other event, invite your new friends. If you're persistent, you'll have some company on the water.

I'll also add that in the Spring 2011 issue of the Hotline there is an article about five fleets that were recently reinstated. Great reading. If you're not familiar with the Hotline, be sure to look through the rest of the issue. You'll be impressed with the quality of our class publication, largely due to the efforts of Matt Bounds. You can find the Hotline at http://www.w1dm.com/projects/HOTLINE/Hotline.html, Matts' web site. If you want to discuss any of this in more detail, shoot me a private email.

This was the "beach" at our second regatta, just this past April.

Image

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


Last edited by MVD on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:35 pm 
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we are in the 7th month of 2012. last hotline fall 2011?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:48 am 
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gino wrote:
we are in the 7th month of 2012. last hotline fall 2011?

No, the last issue was Spring 2012, Summer 2012 is in production now.If you were a class member, then you were e-mailed a link to those issues as soon as they were done.

Since class members are paying for the magazine, they get preferential treatment. The open web versions, since they are free to anyone, are about 6 months behind.

I'm always looking for help on the Hotline, especially with material - as long as you haven't consumed too much Tecate :)


Last edited by MBounds on Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:16 am 
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Matt, when's the deadline for publication in the next Hotline? I owe you an article.

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:57 am 
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If you hurry, I can probably fit you into the issue I'm working on now, otherwise, you've got a few months.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:10 am 
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Can this thread be made a "sticky" or something like that?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:18 am 
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ronholm wrote:
Can this thread be made a "sticky" or something like that?

Or added to the FAQ part of the forum?

Also, whats the minimum number of boats Hobie is looking for when its granting fleet charters?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:43 am 
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SNovak wrote:
Also, whats the minimum number of boats Hobie is looking for when its granting fleet charters?
Just five (they don't have to be all the same type).


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:28 am 
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Good on you, MVD! I know it hasn't been easy, but your accomplishments are a great example of what can be done by those willing to put in the effort.....and proof that you catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar! I am glad to support you and your fleet as much as I can and even more so to call you a friend. Looking forward to seeing you on the water soon....hopefully in my rear-view! :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Jerome, thanks for the kind words. You should see me on the water again at Juana's unless something unexpected comes up. I'm looking forward to chasing you around again. I'll bring the 16, but I'll have to tweak my rigging a bit to see if I can make it a bit closer than at Slip to Ship.

For those of you that don't know what Juana's is, it is one of the premier catamaran races on the Gulf Coast, held in Nararre Beach, FL, the weekend after Labor Day. It's an open regatta for all catamarans. Last year, 19 Hobie 16's showed up and were by far the dominant class in terms of numbers. Last year's winner: Jerome Vaughan. Here's a link to Juana's Good Time Regatta: http://juanaspagodas.com/RegattaNews.htm. I hope that some of you will join us. I think that having a large Hobie turn out at open regattas is good for our class. It gives us exposure to other people who have an obvious interest in cat sailing.

While I'm at it, I'll plug the other event I'm going to in the near future, Hobie Mid-Americas at Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club, Lake Lewisville, TX, on Labor Day weekend. Fleet 23 always puts on a great regatta. Here's the Fleet 23 link: http://www.hobiefleet23.com/Home.aspx. The NOR is still being finalized, at least per the web site.

If I'm going to go to a regatta, I want there to be a crowd there, so I plug them whenever the opportunity arises.

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:31 pm 
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Thanks MVD that's a huge help! Now I need to find 3 more members!

Anyone else in Central/Eastern NC interested??? If so shoot me a PM.

Last question... I know of at least 3 non-active/defunct fleets in my area. Is it possible to revive one of those or easier to just start over?

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www.HobieFleet97.org
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:53 pm 
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GD_NC wrote:
Last question... I know of at least 3 non-active/defunct fleets in my area. Is it possible to revive one of those or easier to just start over?
Absolutely! We try to use the same fleet numbers, since there tends to be some nostalgic value to them. I used to know a bunch of guys from Fleet 97 in Raleigh, Fleet 101 in Wrightsville beach and Fleet 68 in Manteo.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Thanks Matt,

Is there anyone left from Fleet 97? If you have any contacts let me know.

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Garrett
94' H16 - 114050
www.HobieFleet97.org
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:41 am 
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GD_NC wrote:
Thanks Matt,

Is there anyone left from Fleet 97? If you have any contacts let me know.
The Division 9 Chair, Garland Ayscue, is from Raleigh as is the former Div 9 Chair, Loyd Graves. Shoot me an email and I'll send you a spreadsheet of who's in the HCANA database from Fleet 97 (about 25, but only 2 are current members).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:25 am 
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This is going to be a longer than my usuall long posts, so go get your favorite beverage. I got a private message from a fella that asked me to elaborate a bit on what "getting involved" means. It can mean a lot of different things depending on where you live and the demographics of the sailing crowd, if any. In my opinion, the point of "getting involved" is to have fun, help others have fun, and grow the sport so we and the next generations all have more fun. In my mind, sailing is generally a social sport, more boats on the water equals more fun for all, although there are times when a sailboat can offer some much needed solitude.

More specifically, my definition of, "getting involved" includes joining the class association first and foremost. The Hobie Class Association of North America (HCANA) is our advocate. They publish a first rate class magazine, provide partial funding for area and national championship regattas, provide grants for youth sailors to attend events, and maintain a uniform set of class rules so that we racers can compete on more or less a level playing field, and they provide an extensive website, http://www.hcana.hobieclass.com/, where we can find notices of current events in the Hobie world and other useful information. Without membership in the HCANA, you're somewhat uninformed and, well, to be honest, it's hard for me, and I'm not speaking for anyone else, to take your critiques seriously. If you’d like to make changes to the HCANA, you need to be a member to have a voice.

Beyond class membership, Hobie fleets, yacht club memberships and other sailing associations offer great ways of getting involved in your local sailing community. Participating in your organization’s events is a great way to meet other people with similar interests. When you feel comfortable with your new fleet or club, volunteer to help organize some of their events. If you enjoy racing, then you know that it takes several volunteers to hold a regatta. However, if you lean too heavily on the same volunteers, they’ll eventually burn out. Every racer ought to jump in and volunteer sometimes. If you have a powerboat , offer it up for race committee or chase boat duty. At Shreveport’s keelboat regatta, my wife and I volunteered for chase boat duty and had a great weekend out on the lake in the Glastron. Even non-racers enjoy supporting regattas. In fact, we have non-sailors who offer powerboat support for all of our regattas.

I’d also like to elaborate a bit more about yacht clubs. You should join one if there’s one within a reasonable distance and if the fees and dues are within your budget. The Shreveport Yacht Club, for example, requires a $500 initiation fee, which may considered be a bit pricey, but after that, for $95/month you get access to a great clubhouse on the lake with beautiful grounds for family activities and a swimming pool. The kitchen provides lunch on the weekends for a modest price and the bar's open five days a week. But get this: members can store their cats mast up on the lawn for an additional $10/month! Traditionally, Hobie sailing has been done outside the yacht club establishment, but I think yacht clubs are warming up to us. With the long decline in sailing over the past twenty years, most yacht clubs are looking for opportunities to increase membership. Without SYC as a venue, Hobie Fleet 401 wouldn’t exist. Once you join a club, there are other ways to volunteer besides regatta support. They’ll probably have sailing schools, youth programs and various social events that you’d like to get involved with. While you’re doing all this, you'll meet a bunch of people with a similar interest, sailing, and make new friends. Take some of them sailing on your Hobie on good days – they won't be impressed if you're baking in the sun in July with no wind. As you get involved, you'll be sharing experiences with your new friends. Being engaged in the sailing community gives you a chance to influence it. My position as a yacht club member has been to increase interest in sailing first and foremost, but I know that some of our new sailors will see our Hobies get interested. Without trying to push Hobies on people, I offer to take others out sailing so they can experience a Hobie. Some will want to join us.

Yacht club membership will also provide a forum for reaching out to youths. Had I not been involved at SYC, three youths that I took sailing on my 20 three years ago may have gotten bored with the club's Sunfish and quit sailing. Now they all have their own H16s. I think we all understand that we need new blood to perpetuate our sport. If you calculated the average age of Hobie sailors at most regattas, it's probably well over 45, and that's being quite generous. Ask kids to go sailing (make sure their parents are informed first). If you've got friends with kids that you think would enjoy sailing, just ask them if Junior or Cindy Lou would like to go sailing with you on a good day. Without parental consent, you can forget the kids, and speaking from a parent’s perspective, that’s the way it should be.

There are other clubs out there besides Hobie Fleets and yacht clubs. Three examples that come to mind are Jerome Vaughan’s club, the Reservoir Sailing Association in Jackson, Mississippi, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rezsailing/; the Texas City Dike Yacht Club (not a traditional yacht club) on Galveston Bay, http://www.tcdyc.com/; and the Eastern Multihull Sailing Association, active in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia, http://www.emsa-sailing.org/. I’m sure there are others out there that will allow for camaraderie with other catamaran sailors in your area. Find them and get involved.

Another thing you can do is find out who owns the derelict Hobies at your local yacht clubs, marinas, and in the back yards of those houses on the lake. Talk to their owners and let them know that you’re trying to revive Hobie sailing and see if they'd be interested in fixing up their boats and going sailing if you or someone you know would help them. You might be the spark they need to get motivated. We’ve gotten a couple of old dudes and their Hobies out on the water in Shreveport. One is pretty motivated. The guys in Fleet 68, Pascagoula, Mississippi, have taken this concept a quantum leap further. They are actually buying old Hobies, fixing them up, and reselling them. I tip my hat to Boyd Mason, Caleb Williford and the rest of the Singing River guys for their ambition and success. Their project boats have led to several new fleet members.

But what if there are no organized fleets, clubs or associations in your area? Your options for getting involved are fewer for sure. I suggest that you begin by taking some friends out sailing and trying to get them stoked on Hobies. If they get interested, maybe they’ll want to buy a boat, maybe new, maybe used. You can help them evaluate the used ones or help them pick the right new Hobie. Other people will see you and your friends on the lake or at the beach and start asking questions . . . If you generate enough interest, you may find yourself starting a new fleet! In the meantime, put your boat on the trailer and go to some regattas. Don’t worry about being inexperienced. Read a little about the rules with emphasis on the starting sequence, right of way and mark roundings, then give it a go. You’ll learn more as you go along. The regatta regulars will be glad to see a new face and will happily help you with any questions you might have. The community is awesome. How you get involved depends on your geography, your tastes, and the demographics of your area. You’ll enjoy sailing much more if you just get involved!

Gino, if you’re still with us, I think you’d make a great asset to our community. I apologize if I came across a bit harsh in my previous post. Most of the time I keep the old military retiree type-A personality locked away, but sometimes he gets out.

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


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