First, let me apologize for Hammond hi-jacking your thread.
Again, check out the links I provided and you will find numerous friends and places to sail in the Houston and surrounding areas. However, what you will not find is people like Hammond. If you show up with a Hobie 14 with an all aluminum mast (no comptip), we will not turn you away. If you show up with an Inter 20, we will not turn you away. If you show up without a boat, we will not turn you away; we would even invite you to take a test ride to help you determine what kind of boat you might be interested in (racing, pleasure). Hammond would rather you sit on the beach because you don't have a Hobie or your Hobie does not meet Hobie Class rules. Thanks to portsmouth ratings, you can sail with us.
Now I must apologize for replying to Hammond's remark using your thread, but I will leave it alone after this.
A little note to Hammond: I don't know you, and you don't know me. However, if you did, you would see that I race a Hobie 18. I promote my now discontinued boat with pride. I consider it somewhat of a collector's item because it has such a great versatility (can be used for racing and for pleasure). I have been told many times to upgrade and buy an Inter 20, but I keep holding out that Hobie will produce a competative 20 footer in the future. Who knows, we will see. If they do, I will be one of the first to purchase it. It sure is nice at the end of the regatta to say, "I sure put a whippin on that Nacra 6.0, Inter 20, and that Prindle. And my boat is 24 years old!" Unfortunately Hammond, if you race Hobie class only, you will never be able to enjoy that feeling. I close with this conversation at a recent Hobie regatta:
"Sir, I like to race my catamaran in your regatta. Where do I register?"
"Well son, you register here. Do you have a Hobie with a comptip?"
"Uh, no sir. I have my dads old Boston Whaler. I am not even sure what a comptip is. I plan on getting a Hobie in the future, but I just can't afford a new one right now. I though about selling this one and buying a used one off one of those internet auction sites, but my dad sailed this one when he was a kid, and I am really afraid that I might get one that is in really bad shape. I have heard a lot about something called delamination causing structural issues. Can I still participate?"
"Well son, I am sorry that you drove such a long way, but you can't participate in our regatta. You have to have a class legal Hobie. Maybe in the future, when you purchase your Hobie, you could come back and participate. However, I will check with some of the other skippers and see if they might need crew if you are interested."
Encouraging words, indeed...