Hobie Cat Forums

It is currently Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:38 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:30 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:28 pm
Posts: 326
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
A few of us on the forum are in the process of assembling a new Hobie fleet in central NC. I'm looking for advice from some of you more seasoned folks on how to get things off the ground. For those of you actively participating or leading a Hobie Fleet, it would be great if you would list the top 3 things you believe make your fleet a success.

What activities get the most interest?

What do you do outside of racing to attract and retain recreational sailors?

Do you have special Youth and women's activities?

Any and all advice welcome. Hopefully this will be a useful thread other fleets can use as a reference going forward.

_________________
Garrett
94' H16 - 114050
www.HobieFleet97.org
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:06 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 8:28 am
Posts: 704
Location: Clinton Lake, KS
Now this is a GREAT thread idea!



First and foremost Fleet 297 Clinton Lake, Lawrence Kansas is succeeding because we consist of a core group of genuinely great people. Not only do we share a common passion for sailing Hobie Cats, but we all get along great on and off the water. Nearly every member of the fleet is always willing to take complete sailing newbies out to show them the ropes anytime, whether that be for a daysail or in a race.



What activities get the most interest?


All of them! LOL... We have found the date we pick seems to have greater effect than what we plan.

The activities which draw the largest crowds seem to be those in which we do the best of of encouraging everyone to promote, not necessarily the events the fleet leadership promotes the hardest.... We nearly always send event info via our Facebook Page, Email list and flying pigeon, but to really make the event successful it seems like early in the planning as many people need to be made responsible for something, no matter how small... Giving someone a little bit of responsibly, even as simple as "we are counting on you to bring your famous cookies" engages them more fully. It sounds great to have everything all done and have as many 'just enjoying the day' as possible but I think it works far better when they are involved and giving... When they
have something vested it creates a sense of ownership and they also do a better job of telling or bringing a friend as they more included, and less like they are taking.


What do you do outside of racing to attract and retain recreational sailors?

Each of our events includes fun on and off the beach. Whether it is planned or not nearly every time we meet it is a pot luck meal, and some kind of racing. We always have copies of Hobie U on hand, and someone is always going out 'for the first time'.

This year we started a fleet point series hosted by our local sailing club. We have 8 racing weekends(days) and two regatta's... All of the racing weekends and exposure on the lake puts us in contact with those recreational guys... One of the things our fleet is great at is that we nearly always have someone on the lake, and the overwhelming majority of them are very outgoing and friendly. We make it hard to sail a Hobie on our lake and not know we are there. Heck... We have been know to post "missed connection" ads on Craigslist to find boats we saw at the lake and didn't get a chance to meet.. :lol:


Also the 8 fleet racing days we have are VERY relaxed and welcoming racing events. We stress repeatedly that anyone is welcome to start the race, and if you don't like it at any point just carry on enjoying your hobie on the water. Among the competitive group of us we do a good job being ultra competitive with each other and yet easy on the new boats. We know who they are and generally are not to aggressive or forcing right of way rules and the rest of it... It is a comfortable situation for anyone, and we have had first timers at nearly every event this year.


Also... Our regatta planning events always turn into fun parties... Then during the winter we had a Fleet Christmas party thanks to Blair, with a White Elephant gift exchange, and we make a yearly pilgrimage to the Boat show.... Always good times.



And with the Email list and the Facebook... We try and not only announce our events... But it is important to post a steady drip of pictures and stories showing your active fleet is having fun on the water... Those who think they need to stay home to mow the grass, they will get tired of it and join you sooner or later...

Quote:
Do you have special Youth and women's activities?




I am working on setting up a Girl Scout merit badge class towards the end of the season.... We have an advantage over most fleets by having the HCNA women's chair in the Fleet. Chris is AWESOME! Having a female skipper of her skill level, and with her calm demeanor combined with her teaching ability on the boat has been a HUGE benefit to the fleet. My own wife would rather sail with her than me... Having a her around is a real asset to the fleet.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:17 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:28 pm
Posts: 326
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Thanks Ronholm - That's great input!

_________________
Garrett
94' H16 - 114050
www.HobieFleet97.org
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:41 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:58 am
Posts: 576
Location: Knoxville, TN
Wow - ditto what Ron said. I think you're definitely on the right path to make sure that the non-racers feel that they are included. Some of your activities should cater to their interests.

- One of the ideas that I've had, especially for newbies, is a rigging clinic. The experienced sailors can show the new guys how they rig their boats and what accessories they like, to include all the neat little tricks that aren't in the assembly manuals. I think something like that could really reduce the learning curve and get new folks on the water enjoying their boats faster rather than being frustrated by them.

- Another thought would be to take a fleet trip on a weekend to some lake or shore that you don't usually go to. For example, y'all could find a campground on the coast and take a weekend trip to the beach. For those that haven't sailed in the ocean before, doing it with experienced sailors around to show them the ropes would be a huge confidence builder. If someone has a really cool favorite lake in the mountains, that would be a neat thrill too.

- For the racers, of course, sponsoring a regatta is a great way to build camaraderie, but short of that, consider taking a road trip together to another Fleet's or club's regatta. Newbies will likely feel more comfortable attending their first out-of-town regatta if some familiar "old heads" are there with them. Check out the new Hotline for some regattas in Sept and Oct in Maryland or Delaware that wouldn't be to terribly far from Raleigh.

- Racing Rules can be very confusing and even intimidating. If you've got a few folks interested in racing, maybe y'all would enjoy meeting to discuss the RRS. Maybe pick a certain topic each time you meet and make it a series.

- In Shreveport, our club would designate Wednesday or Thursday evenings for getting together and sailing, not necessarily racing. Before shoving off, someone would take a pizza order and it would be waiting for us when we came back in. Sometimes we would go pot luck or fire up a grill and have some burgers or dogs. If you do this at a club with other dinghies sailing, inevitably some of them will want to take a ride on a Hobie.

Just a few thoughts.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:36 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 8:28 am
Posts: 704
Location: Clinton Lake, KS
I just know a couple of the Fleet 61 guys and gals... but I do know they host several great events throughout the year.. This just popped up in my facebook feed..


Image

Second post today - Saturday July 20th, Hobie Fleet 61 and Union Sailing Club supporting Youth Sailing Day and Sea Cadets.
18 Sea Cadets and leadership team participated in a clinic on the beach at Union Res in Longmont CO on Saturday. Following water safety, boat setup, sailing basics and lunch the kids took turns on the several various sailboats with our volunteer skippers through the afternoon. At the close of the afternoon, we had a Q&A on the beach with Hobie Fleet hats and whistles as giveaway prizes.
A HUGE thank you to Keely Beck, our youth sailing organizer, Ron Hilton for helping Keely set a plan, Dave Daniel, Mark Pauly, Ron Hilton and Keely for providing boats and time on the water. A great time was had by all!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group