I really do love the FXone, it’s a great platform and sails very well. With such low numbers of people racing the boat it has one heck of a sandbagger Portsmouth number. The build quality is very good, and the design is very good. It’s also much tougher than people give it credit for. Its Achilles heel is the price tag when compared to similar boats. Actually its weak point is that Hobie sailors for the most part are a bunch of cheap asses. Some of the parts are ridiculously expensive, a new spinnaker from HCE is $1200, I can have Whirlwind make one for half that. That’s a lot of money for a sail that is realistically garbage after just a couple of regattas. My guess is that the two companies have an agreement to not produce parts for the others boats. I wish the entire boat was built in the states, that would knock at least 25% out of the price of the complete boat right off the bat. Five things raise the price for US customers:
1. Exchange rate to the EU is not in our favor, and when it fluctuates it just becomes more pronounced.
2. It probably has an import tax, (not knowing anything about international business I'm guessing here)
3. Shipping across oceans isn't cheap, and boats are bulky
4. HC US needs to make a profit on it, even if it is minimal
5. Dealers need to make a profit on it.
I don’t expect anyone to do anything for free, its just a factor.
Yep. I imagine HC-USA might read this and say "yeah, haven’t we told you so in so many words time and again" at some of your points.
But I think you might underestimate how good you are with boat setup, Karl. Most people are not as good with mechanical problems, or want to be.
IMO, most boat builders seem to leave some problems unsolved/untweaked on their more complex boats – like the FX or the F16 or the N17 or whatever.
I assume that the reason for this is (drum roll) -- There are not enough buyers and therefore not enough money in it to do the extra tweaking. (Plus, a lot of folks buying this kind of boat just like to have it somewhat unfinished so they can
“pimp their rides”.)
Your ability to polish out those problems is better than what most people have patience or ability for.
Partly for that reason, I think some people are turned off by these boats.
But, they can be turned on to buy these boats if another problem is first solved, IMO.
It is what I term the “European solution” to better cat sailing. IMO, the “European solution” is the faulty promise of a bigger and better techno boat. It promises to deliver more. But not toward tweaking user problems. It promises to deliver something hotter for racing and prob does. But it leaves another round of technical, user problems. Wooter’s F16, for example. I don’t think it has made the inroads that he says.
This is kind of like the cell phone I got that promises "internet connection". Yeah, it does but it stinks. So I can get Brand X's next offering...
So, the central problem is still tweaking out user problems – the thing that Karl is so good at. The "solution" I mention above is distraction...
Reminded me yesterday while sailing in wonderful 10-knot winds with my Wave that the metal wire shrouds are wrapped, not so much "cheese cutter" as Dan said. Still could hurt if pitched into, but less likely to cut the cheese – if you know what I mean…