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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:23 pm 
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hogwldfltr wrote:
When I had my '81 16 and sold it in '94, the dealer I sold it through up graded it to a comp tip mast by cutting the old mast and adding the comp tip; can the tip still be retrofitted? Are the comp tips available for sale?

Yes and yes.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:26 am 
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I've been off-line for a few days, and wow, what a discussion I've missed. Since this thread about comp-tips has evolved into a referendum on class rules and applicability, I want to weigh in on this topic that is very important to me. My first observation is that HCANA Divisions are not cookie cutter clones of one another. Policies that make sense in SoCal or Division 14, for example, my not make sense in Division 9 (GA, SC, NC, East TN and VA Beach). Division Chairs and Fleet Commodores need to work together with participating sailors to develop a common sense approach to the rules that best fits their circumstances, with the goals being fair competition and encouraging participation. I wish that we had enough participation in Division 9 so that we could abide by all the rules and have true one-design racing. We are nothing like some of the Divisions with relatively robust participation. To understand why we do things as we do in Division 9, I'll give a quick synopsis of where the Division was, what we have done do cope with our environment, how we are incorporating class rules, and where I want us go.

Over the past several years, Hobie sailing had been on the decline here. Fleets had withered away to the point that we had only one that was active in Virginia Beach. Until this past September, there hadn't been an HCANA Points Regatta in several years. Hobies were still showing up in small numbers at yacht club regattas who were scoring the boats in open fleets on a handicap basis. Occasionally five Hobie 16s would show up and the Race Committee would score them as a class within the open multihull fleet. If guys showed up without a crew, sometimes the RC wouldn't even apply a correction to the handicap and the light weight dude on the H16 would have a serious advantage over the guys who tried to comply with class rules and find a crew. I've been to club regattas around here like that, and it's just not nearly as much fun as the one-design racing I'd experienced in Division 14 (I moved to TN in Sept 2012). I've sailed in several Mid-Americas and a Mid-Winters among other HCA points regattas, so I've had experience with both well run Hobie one-design regattas and poorly executed yacht club handicap races, and the Hobie one-design way is much more fun - when you can pull it off.

So, back to my reference regarding common sense. Two of our Fleets, #53 in Charleston, SC, and #97 in Raleigh, NC, have just been reactivated and their membership is small, but growing. These fleets don't have the resources to sponsor their own regattas, complete with a RC, support boats, various other support personnel, marks, flags, radios, etc., so we have to partner with the established yacht club regattas. Common Sense. In our first Points Regatta, CatFest, we were able to talk the club into giving the H16 fleet their own start if five of us showed up. Last year, they had seven H16s show up. This year, due largely to the efforts of several HCA members encouraging participation in a Points Regatta, we had 15 H16s register, 13 of which showed up. Nearly a 100% increase in participation. But, there was a catch. The yacht club didn't want to turn away anyone from their event. They need more participants to pay fees to cover costs. As a new Division Chair who wants to encourage participation, I didn't want to turn anyone away either, but on the other hand, I wanted to move Division 9 towards one-design racing. Considering Division 9's recent history, I realized that we would have to move Division 9 towards true one-design racing in incremental steps and fortunately, our fleet commodores supported our approach. All H16s would start in one fleet, class legal boats, solid aluminum masts, singlehanders, square top main, and all. The club insisted on scoring all of their competitors on a Portsmouth basis. However, we broke out the eight "mostly class legal boats" on a separate score sheet and sent that list in to the Hobie Scorekeeper, and those are the guys that got assigned points and are included in the national rankings. Aluminum masts? We let them compete. No one inspected any boats, but had a competitor wanted to protest someone for a rules violation, we would have heard the protest and referred to the class rules to settle it. But all these guys we're racing with here realize that we need to build participation and that common sense dictates that we not protest someone for infractions that don't give a competitor an unfair advantage. We are a small cadre of sailors and we can't afford to be turning people away. We need to get them excited about racing and hope that they'll get serious and either bring their boats into compliance or buy a newer boat. We didn't score the singlehanders and the flat top for points, but I'm glad they came to the regatta and I hope they come to the next one - maybe they'll decide they want to compete on a one-design basis and start looking for crews. If we lived in an area with a lot of competitive sailors, we could tighten up on the rules, but that wouldn't work here at this point in time.

So, where do we want to go? Next year we plan to partner with more yacht clubs had hold points regattas as we did at Catfest. Hopefully participation will continue to build. Maybe we'll break away from the current slate of yacht club regattas and have a Hobie-only class event. But we won't get there if we start pushing a strict "by the book" policy at this early stage in Division 9's rejuvenation. That would be like shooting ourselves in the foot.

By the way, the Fleet 53 event was a collaboration with a yacht club put together on short notice thanks to the initiative of Stupidpancakes. There's no way they could have enforced class rules to the extend that they could deny entry into the sponsoring yacht club's regatta. Had they tried to do so, they wouldn't have had much of a race. As it was, we all had a good time and four of the participants had enough fun that they came back to Catfest. Building on momentum is exactly what we have to do and are doing.

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H16 #112205 (Richard Petty Signature Edition)
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Last edited by MVD on Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:36 am 
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Thanks Mark - That's an excellent overview of our current state and the challenges we face.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:46 am 
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Out of interest are there any big fleets of Hobie 16s racing in North America anywhere? By big I mean 20+ boats?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:55 am 
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Thanks Garrett,. I thought it woild be good to explain so some of the pundits here would understand where we are coming from. It's just not as simple in Div 9 as saying "we're going to have a points regatta, enfoce all the rules, ya'll come." We'd get nowhere.

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H20 #647 (sold)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:31 pm 
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waheed wrote:
Out of interest are there any big fleets of Hobie 16s racing in North America anywhere? By big I mean 20+ boats?

Syracuse, NY
New Jersey shore
Southern California
"Northern" (San Francisco area) California
Tucson, AZ
Division 7 (midwest)
Pacific Northwest

Syracuse on a Thursday evening:
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:17 pm 
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Good job Mark explaining the real world we sail in........... :)

Several years ago while attending a regatta at Eagle Creek Sailing Club,
I had the good luck of meeting Wild Bob and he explain his open view of including any sailor and boat willing to come to their club for an event......Reciprocity.....what a wonderful attitude to share..... :P and what a great club they have for living that attitude.

Being inclusive is more inviting and better sportsmanship

than being exclusive.....

Comp-tip or solid mast....what ever you care to use is OK with my group.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:21 am 
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It is awfully funny to see Tucson, AZ listed as a large fleet having lived there for 10 years and having sold my first 16 there. Tusconan's love the water but have to drive hours to get to it. They joke about Tucson being all beach and no ocean.

Thanks for the update on the state of Division 9. Having recently renewed my involvement with hobies, when I've asked around here in Massachusetts, it is hard to find an active Fleet.

In all candor, having boat weight reduced by 20 lbs and requiring comp tip masts seems like it would be more for boat sales than anything else. That is simply my perspective and I'd love to hear why there is a need to redesign and established class. My initial boat was purchased brand new for about three thousand dollars including the trailer. It seems like a 10 grand upgrade is pricey if someone already has a boat.

Please excuse this newbie's candor.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:07 am 
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You lost me at the $10k upgrade? That's the price of buying a new boat, not a mere upgrade. Aluminum masts can be upgraded to a comptip for a few hundred bucks.

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Mark Van Doren
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H14T #47787
H20 #647 (sold)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:54 am 
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What is remarkable is that there are people still complaining about the comptip almost 30 years after it was introduced and adopted by the class rules. The class is what it is. The comptip rule and the minimum boat weight change were incorporated several decades ago. The one design requirements for sails, tramps, and other similar equipment have been in place since the class's inception. If you don't like that policy, there are other options including formula classes and handicap classes. Right, wrong, or indifferent, strict one design is what the Hobie Class Association has and will always be about. Most fleets (with the only likely exception being a north american championships) will gladly welcome new sailors and turn a blind eye to 30 year old boats showing up without a comptip. I think that's about all you can ask for at this point.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:56 pm 
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MVD wrote:
You lost me at the $10k upgrade? That's the price of buying a new boat, not a mere upgrade. Aluminum masts can be upgraded to a comptip for a few hundred bucks.


Try reading the recommendations for racing on this site which include having a 20 lb lighter boat with only exist relatively recently. How do you get one of those if you have an older boat. It's not just the comp tip that is being sold. OK for race legal I see your point. So why make even the comp tip a requirement. Why shouldn't it be that if it is a 16 without race illegal additions then race and see how you do. If someone is seriously out classed then they will want to upgrade if they are serious. Why make a change to an existing class so that all the older boats are no longer competitive?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:05 am 
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Honestly, you guys are about 25 years too late for the debate. All the points you've brought up were argued and complained about back in the 1980's when these changes were being introduced. The class made its decision and has moved on. I seriously doubt that the comptip rule or the weight rule or any rules regarding aftermarket sails and tramps will ever change, but if you feel so strongly that a changes is warranted, than instead of bitching about it, you should draft a proposal for change and submit it to the rules committee for consideration. Whining on an internet forum isn't going to change anything- that is for certain.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:07 am 
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Ditto what SRM said. What is the point of complaining about these issues in 2013?

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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: Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:49 am 
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Why discuss this 20 years later?

A) I wasn't interested in Hobie sailboat racing 20 years ago.

B) A decision made 20 years ago might not be the best decision to continue today.

C) Hobie 16 fleets are decreasing in popularity in many areas.

Hobie Class Association might want to say they have a "strict" one design class, but if that was true, then changes such as the redesigned jib halyard would not have happened. The Hobie Class Association have made changes over the years to reflect current reality.

I got back into sailing last year after many years away from the sport. I bought a '82 Hobie 16. One of the repairs it needed was a new tramp. I looked long and hard at the Hobie tramp. A bit over $500 and lasts for 30 years. It's a good investment and makes sense -- if you figure on being around in 30 years. However, I have some significant doubts that I'll make it 30 years. I hope I do, but I'm no longer looking at that as a reasonable life expectancy. Bought a competitor's for less then half the price and an expected life expectancy of maybe 10 years for the tramp. Buy two of the suckers and I'm still ahead of the game financially.

To be told to spend twice the money to be able to race a boat that isn't going to be competitive isn't going to happen.

I'd like to do some sailboat racing. Maybe a few times a year. I'm not looking to invest five thousand or more to get a competitive boat. I'm just looking for a little bit of fun. Choice is to take my older Hobie, that I know isn't as fast as a modern boat, and drive a few hours, and be told that maybe I can race, but I'll be illegal, or maybe I can't race, doesn't seem like a good use of my time.

Instead, maybe I should pick up a used Sunfish or Laser, both of which are a hell of a lot more active in my area, and race that and save the Hobie for when I'm by myself. Less then a thousand bucks and I'll be somewhat competitive. Or a thousand bucks to upgrade my boat with a legal tramp and mast, (I'll agree the 10k is way too high an estimate) to find there are no races to speak of in my area. Which do you think I should do? Which choice of boat makes more sense?

Sailboat racing is on a decline, regardless of what the Hobie Class Association does. If Hobie were to just rely on the sales of its catamarans, it would be a much smaller company.

But the Hobie 16 is a good boat. There are a crapload of old boats out there cheap. You don't have to invest five grand to find a sailable Hobie 16. A lot of the local race committees recognize this fact. Yet instead of dealing with this situation in a logical and organized fashion, with the development of appropriate rules to allow the no longer class legal boats to sail, the Hobie Class Association wants to continue to discourage people from racing. Where is the Hobie 16 going to be in 20 years? (And as something to compare, where do you think the Sunfish will be in 20 years?)

People who can dig out information can find out that what the Hobie Class Association says isn't what's happening. Is that the way to encourage new people to show up for the sport?

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:32 am 
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jclarkdawe wrote:
Why discuss this 30 years later?
Fixed that for you. The boat weights were dropped to 320 lbs in 1983; the Comptip was introduced in 1984 and became required in 1989.

jclarkdawe wrote:
A) I wasn't interested in Hobie sailboat racing 20 years ago.

That's not a particularly valid point. You made the decision to buy an old boat that's probably not competitive, put non-OEM parts on it that made it non-class legal - and you want change the rules back to 1982? Not going to happen - not to mention that even if we did - your boat still wouldn't be class legal with a non-OEM trampoline (OEM parts have been required since the '60s).

jclarkdawe wrote:
B) A decision made 30 years ago might not be the best decision to continue today.

Raise the boat minimum weight? Not going to happen. Boats have been made to the minimum weight (reliably) for over 20 years.
Eliminate the Comptip requirement? Again, not going to happen. It's a safety issue. Eliminating a safety feature is not going to go over well when the class gets dragged into court on a wrongful death suit.

These decisions were not made in a vacuum 30 years ago. They were hotly debated, hashed, re-hashed and basically beat to death. Those of us that went through that are tired of it after 30 years. It's done, been done for 30 years, and the class has moved on.

jclarkdawe wrote:
C) Hobie 16 fleets are decreasing in popularity in many areas.
That is a true statement, but there's not a direct cause-and-effect relationship between that and the enforcement of class rules. There are other areas of the country where Hobie 16 fleets are very strong - and growing.

jclarkdawe wrote:
Hobie Class Association might want to say they have a "strict" one design class, but if that was true, then changes such as the redesigned jib halyard would not have happened. The Hobie Class Association have made changes over the years to reflect current reality.
Every one-design class evolves, otherwise the Star class would still have a wooden gaff rig, wood hulls and cotton sails. Many minor changes have been allowed over the years. Individually, they are mostly insignificant. Cumulatively, they are significant, which is why a 30-year-old boat isn't competitive against a 5-year-old boat.

jclarkdawe wrote:
I'd like to do some sailboat racing. Maybe a few times a year. I'm not looking to invest five thousand or more to get a competitive boat. I'm just looking for a little bit of fun. Choice is to take my older Hobie, that I know isn't as fast as a modern boat, and drive a few hours, and be told that maybe I can race, but I'll be illegal, or maybe I can't race, doesn't seem like a good use of my time.

Instead, maybe I should pick up a used Sunfish or Laser, both of which are a hell of a lot more active in my area, and race that and save the Hobie for when I'm by myself. Less then a thousand bucks and I'll be somewhat competitive. Or a thousand bucks to upgrade my boat with a legal tramp and mast, (I'll agree the 10k is way too high an estimate) to find there are no races to speak of in my area. Which do you think I should do? Which choice of boat makes more sense?
You're in for a rude awakening if you think a $1000 Laser or Sunfish will be competitive. Just like the Hobie 16, they have strict OEM parts and sail rules (a new sail for a Laser - which is only good for racing for a year - is over $1,000). Older boats are heavy and mushy. There's a "race" version of boat boats that's significantly more expensive (For the Laser, it includes a cascaded vang and cunningham/outhaul controls led back to the deck in front of the daggerboard. For the Sunfish, it includes adjustable outhauls, different sail rings and "racer" foils.)

jclarkdawe wrote:
Sailboat racing is on a decline, regardless of what the Hobie Class Association does.
Yes and no. Certain aspects of the sport are off the chart (Optis and collegiate sailing).

jclarkdawe wrote:
If Hobie were to just rely on the sales of its catamarans, it would be a much smaller company.
Very true. But they had the business sense to diversify - which has kept the company strong over the past 20 years. Many other classes have struggled to find a builder when the current one went under. How many different builders has the Laser and Sunfish had? (start at 5 and keep going).

jclarkdawe wrote:
But the Hobie 16 is a good boat. There are a crapload of old boats out there cheap. You don't have to invest five grand to find a sailable Hobie 16.
Very true, but a cheap boat is not a competitive boat - no matter what class you buy into.

jclarkdawe wrote:
A lot of the local race committees recognize this fact. Yet instead of dealing with this situation in a logical and organized fashion, with the development of appropriate rules to allow the no longer class legal boats to sail
Sorry, but that's just not going to happen - if you want to race, you should be class legal. It's the rules of the game.

jclarkdawe wrote:
The Hobie Class Association wants to continue to discourage people from racing. Where is the Hobie 16 going to be in 20 years? (And as something to compare, where do you think the Sunfish will be in 20 years?)
Not true at all. The Hobie 16 is still the largest one-design catamaran racing class in the world - by a long way. Both the 16 and the Sunfish will probably be around in 20 years (but if you knew more about the Sunfish's manufacturer, you wouldn't be so sure about its longevity - and you know that company that was making Lasers lost the right to do so? No new "Lasers" are being made - they're now called the "Torch" and being made only in Australia).

The HCA encourages people with older boats to join fleets and partner up with established racers to bring them up to speed - both figuratively and literally. Everyone is welcome, and many blind eyes are turned in local events. But at HCA-sanctioned regattas, competitors are expected to have class-legal boats. Period. End of discussion.


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