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redboat

How Many FT 10's were built/delivered?

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Wondering what the numbers are like. Are any orders for new boats still being placed? If not can anything be done to rekindle the enthusiasm for the boat?

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We have 14 FT10's here in Sydney and in my unbiased humble opinion it's still the best value harbour racer in existence I can not think of anything that comes close except that stripped out Hick 30 Very Tasty which is all over us most Super 30 race where incidentally FT10's are perfectly suited when not racing One Design particularly with a Neil Pryde max light No 1 which adds about 4 sq meters with furler removed great up to about 8 knts true

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Great question--what can be done to rekindle interest? Enthusiasm is extremely high among the group of active owners...in Aus, the PNW, SD and on the east coast. After what was essentially a 6 month hiatus from sailing for me (because I was working every weekend....even missed the NAs in SD), I've been out on my boat 3 times in the last week--two races and a day sail with business associates. Today will be sail #4 within 8 days. Although I never stopped loving the boat (just was too busy to sail it), I've fallen in love all over again this week. It is a fantastic boat for it's designed use---day racing, day sailing and longer coastal point to point racing. For day sailing we use our old Neil Pryde main with the leach cut off--about the same as a single reefed main and perfect amount of power for sitting in the cockpit with a beverage in hand in 8-15kts wind (SD style). I have taken many non-sailors out with great success every time. They have a lot more fun on a lively boat than sitting on a leadmine....even non-sailors appreciate how well it sails. I even took non-sailor business associates out during a 20-30kt blow last winter (reefed Neil Pryde main, about the same as a double reefed class main, and jib rolled up half-way on our harken furler, everyone dressed in all our old foul weather gear..)...boat worked great with everyone sitting in the cockpit and everyone had a great time...caught a few waves coming back into the bay and that was quite exciting for them. Somehow the class has to figure out how to promote this great boat...for people who love sailing, want a fun boat, and don't need furniture down below, it doesn't get any better.

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If I lived on the west coast I would never have sold mine. Great boat, once you ironed out a few kinks. Still wish we could get a 37-38 ft version with a 7ft draft done.

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If you guys are serious about getting more interest in the boat with the possibility of:

 

1. Production and import of Flying Tiger MKII

2. Purchase and trucking of orphan boats to fleets

3. Drive up resale

 

Why don't the owners and importer get together and launch a thread asking for input on how is the best way to relaunch the boat.

 

The economy is getting better and it appears most if not all the bugs have been worked out. Sounds like RIGHT now is the perfect time.

 

Just posting that Scot Tempesta is selling his boat will not dramatically drive up interest... :D ....ok maybe a little bit :ph34r:

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I do not understand the logic of the boat buying public.

 

We have a regular fleet of 18 to 25 Super 30's ( 30 ft ' insh ) sports yachts and Sports boats race on Sydney Harbour every week, fleet includes 6 FT10's

Most weeks one of the Tigers will be first across the line, sometimes first and second , I think we have even had a full house . OK there are one off specials which every now and then will be on the podium, even on top of it, but you can be assured that the FT10's are the only production boat up there.

Yet our FT10 fleet numbers has been stagnant for the last couple of years, we did get one new Boat #108 18 months ago but that's about it.

The Aussie economy is strong, the Aussie Dollar is strong, we can land and sail away with a a full set of racing sails for under $100K yet we can still not build the fleet.

 

We have held National Titles in Sydney as part of the Sydney Harbour Regatta , for the last 4 years, always great racing , we share the course/water with other OD fleets including Farr 30's and the iconic Adams 10's , we always have the biggest fleet and the fastest elapsed times, but still no interest in moving to a modern OD boat like the FT10.

 

No doubt there is a bunch of Nah Sayers who would never own an FT10 the same ones who said they would fall apart within a year dispite the fact that 5 years later our boats are still as good as ever and going much faster , particularly in Super 30's where we are not limited by OD rules.

 

Having said all of the above, no one is buying much elase either, most of the newer Super 30's are supercharged older designs including a Farr 30 with Assys etc.

 

How can we build this fleet, Its not the price, its the negative perception that we need to address. SA is the best place to address this.

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. . . its the negative perception that we need to address. SA is the best place to address this.

 

The problem is SA is where the negative perceptions (whether true, deserved, old history, or just in someone's imagination) began and were perpetuated. But for SA, there would not have been a soap box to shout out all the negativity. I am not sure how or if the damage can be undone,. You would think that the damage would have been mitigated by all the glowing reports, posts and race results - but apparently not. Perhaps it is time to reboot to get rid of the old baggage.

 

As you mentioned, price does not seem to be a factor especially in light of J111 sales. I can only conclude there is no place for an affordable sportboat - apparently people that have money for a boat don't care whether it is affordable and would rather drop 3 to 4 times the price on a slower boat. Also, does a J111 owner want to hang out with some who can just afford an FT10 and talk about hedge funds at the bar or hear about how the price of an upgraded rudder makes the class unaffordable?

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Both J/boats and Melges do something very, very well: they promote and organize fleets. They include this in their budget (and in their pricing), because they know it is critical to building their market. The razor thin margins on the FT10 did not allow the builder to do this. The assumption (the experiment) was that grass-roots, owner-driven promotion and fleet organization would accomplish what needed to be done. Despite heroic efforts by a number of owners (I think everyone knows who they are), the reality is we all have day jobs that in fact often run into the night and weekends...no matter how passionate we are about the boat, we can't do the same job that paid employees and financial stakeholders at J/boats and Melges do.

I do think there is a compromise to be had....I don't think pricing needs to be nearly as high as for J/boats and Melges, but I do think pricing of the boats should reflect the need for the builder to be able to promote and organize fleets (and make a little money). The boat has now been proven to be solid, durable, competitive and loads of fun. The experience of J/boats and Melges shows that people will pay more...it probably doesn't need to be a lot more, but it needs to be enough for the builder to make a decent return and to put some $$ back into developing the market. Business 101.

Call me overly optimistic, but I think this is still possible. I suspect Kent H. has something like this in mind with "MarkII". Was the experiment of the FT10 a failure? Absolutely not. A fantastic boat was designed and produced in a very innovative way (through discussions between the designer, builder and customers on SA) at a very low cost. It was just a little too low. Does the original vision need to be modified to succeed? Absolutely! I cannot think of a single business model that has succeeded without tweaks (often major) along the road. Having been involved in several businesses, I can say the problem with this one isn't that the original vision was wrong...rather, it is that the vision and model have not been modified by "lessons learned" along the way. It seems like there is still time and opportunity for that though. My understanding is that the Viper640 was "reborn" to achieve it's current success....so it is possible. The FT10 is a different boat, but the same principals apply.

Just to be clear, this is not intended to be a critique of anyone or any decisions. It is just my thoughts about what is needed to move forward in a big way. As always in any endeavor, there are big challenges but also big opportunities here.

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Flying Tiger MK II

 

One of the major items holding back buyers is going to be the build issues of the boat. There have been a number of modifications done and if a boat has already completed all of the needed modifications it should be called a MKII.

 

If as an owners group you clearly spell out what a MKII Flying Tiger consists of you will reassure buyers that the used boat they are purchasing has had all of the modifications already completed.

 

For example.

 

Rudder - List the choices

 

Must be:

 

1. Stock ( if that is ok with the owners group)

2. Jim Betz

3. XYZ

 

Stern Fiberglass mod -

 

Proof of strengthening for hulls 1 - 36

 

and so one.....

 

 

If the boat does not have all the modifications or is missing something like a certain class sail then it is very easy for the seller to say "only a new tiller and the boat is a MKII"

 

You despretely need some sort of standard, even if that standard allows various providers of the same gear or modifications.

 

 

You may decide that establishing a standard is easier and more agreeable to owners if the standard is MKII for North America and MKII for Australia and New Zealand. (MKII NA and MKII ANZ)

 

New boats are not going to be sold until the current prices for used boat rise. A MKII designation should help sell used boats. This is just one action and there needs to be others to get more people to buy the boat.

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Take note of the best mods made with respect to sail trim, setup and selection. Get rid of the Facnor roller and top off with the hull strengthening measures and the Betts rudder and you've got a legit ride that's still way less expensive than any J boat...basically copy Anarchy for all new boats going fwd.

 

Can the builder do that and not scare away potential buyers while making enough money to pour back into marketing to build a new fleet?? I know DaMan is long gone, but it would be cool if the builder/Importer could put a new program together while not alienating the existing boats.

 

Hmm, could be interesting to see if this gets some traction.

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Take note of the best mods made with respect to sail trim, setup and selection. Get rid of the Facnor roller and top off with the hull strengthening measures and the Betts rudder and you've got a legit ride that's still way less expensive than any J boat...basically copy Anarchy for all new boats going fwd.

 

Can the builder do that and not scare away potential buyers while making enough money to pour back into marketing to build a new fleet?? I know DaMan is long gone, but it would be cool if the builder/Importer could put a new program together while not alienating the existing boats.

 

Hmm, could be interesting to see if this gets some traction.

 

Wow how much is Scot paying you to pimp his boat?

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Another item is a list of approved and potential options.

 

I noticed some great pictures of more than one New Zealand FT-10s cruising! Anchored with the backdrop of some serious vertical rock. Looked like something out of Lord of the Rings. A potential new owner wants to see what they can do with their boat if they do buy it. So a public list of items that owners have bought and reccomendations on what to buy.

 

Picture of the Awning

 

Awning (tent over the boom - provides shade)

North Sails Perth - 1101 Americas Cup lane, Perth phone number email.

 

Great job on the awning was about $350

 

Cushions

 

Picture of the cushions (interior)

 

Moms Custom Furniture

1101 Drunken Sailor Avenue

San Diego CA 90121

www.momscustom.com

 

Avoid at all costs mom is a drunk and charges way too much

 

 

you get the idea.

 

 

Before any talk of new production the used boats have to be unavailable except at a price high enough that makes a buyer consider new. So start thinking how to make the existing boats far more desirable. I would agree with Stayinstrewn and throw in that owners should push for high performance standards in the MK II designation. A new owner expects to put some money into the boat so several items needed for MK II designation is definitely not a deal breaker. The continued perception of a boat full of problems and many boats on the market is going to drive sale prices down.

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Take note of the best mods made with respect to sail trim, setup and selection. Get rid of the Facnor roller and top off with the hull strengthening measures and the Betts rudder and you've got a legit ride that's still way less expensive than any J boat...basically copy Anarchy for all new boats going fwd.

 

Can the builder do that and not scare away potential buyers while making enough money to pour back into marketing to build a new fleet?? I know DaMan is long gone, but it would be cool if the builder/Importer could put a new program together while not alienating the existing boats.

 

Hmm, could be interesting to see if this gets some traction.

 

Wow how much is Scot paying you to pimp his boat?

 

Ha! $45k though is a sweet deal.

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Based on the posts above, some people once again think that the "build it and they will come" marketing approach is all that is needed to generate more/any sales. The approach has been tried and failed. The "build it and they will come" marketing strategy sold a 100 boats but that was not enough to create a critical mass for sustained growth. Something more is needed as pointed out by PHM.

 

The MkII improvements mentioned above are already class approved with the exception of "hull strengthening measures". And I have no idea what is meant by "hull strengthening measures" since there is nothing wrong with the hull and making such a comment only adds to SA generated perception that there is something wrong with the boat, when there isn't.

 

As for it being easy to reach an agreement regarding what is MkII, the class reaching agreement on approval of the Betts rudder was rough enough. I'd hate to see what would happen if there was a class vote on a list of changes since there are clearly some vocal owners that don't want to spend a cent to change the boat. For a proper reboot it might require that the builder take control of the class and set the definition of MkII.

 

DaMan thought that the focus was on low price boat with single source sails - that didn't work and the class rejected that approach and philosophy. DaMan didn't understand who was buying the boat or what they wanted.

 

Low price and the "build it and they will come" approach has not proven to be what drives sales and develops a vibrant class. You can put all the lipstick you want on this boat, but that won't jump start sales. The answer is somewhere else.

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