... Call me crazy but it sure seems like there are scads of massively impractical boats in our yard - I14's, 49ers, A-Cats, Canoes, Moths, H20's, Aussie18's, etc. There is nothing remotely practical about these boats and your wife isn't going to take a shit on one.
... In 10 years Hobie/Nacra/etc. will all have off-the-shelf foilers that will be marketed to 14 year old girls and retirees as the most practical, fun and relaxing sailboat ever built. With speeds into the 40's and cup holders standard. All the sails will have a huge portrait of Doug on them to honor his wisdom (RIP Doug)
Foiling cats are going to take over the entire world MF'er!
Ok maybe not quite that far, but you get the idea. It's just a matter of time. The toothpaste is out of the tube.
BTW: the Tin Can got panned because, like Hotrod's plywood abortion, it was a galactic hunk of shit that wasn't going to last 20 minutes in any real weather. Not because Joe Cal20 couldn't buy one or David Van Dumb couldn't tow it with his Prius. C'mon, you saw that thing.
Whew! I'm really lovin' that stream of consciousness rant.
Unfortunately, it also ignores the fact that even that list of glorious, impractical (your reference) rides you mention above were obtained by someone who had to practical their way into a closure thought such as: Will my checkbook handle this? Where do I store the MF'er? Can I fix it if it breaks? Am I gonna catch more shit than it's worth at the YC bar on Saturday? Will my old lady want to ride on it (even if she isn't in a shitting mood)... yeah, you get the picture. All these thoughts come directly from the practical function in the brain of even the most out of control fool.
The toothpaste is out of the tube, so to speak, but that does not extend the goo line into recreational boating, which is an entirely different paradigm of thought and execution than is any design idiom created primarily for racing machines. I've already said many times that foils have their place in the racing environment and I like that they are included in designs (and not) according to the boat's purpose and the rules in which they operate.
Just guessing here, but let's just say that there are something like 15 new monohull models being introduced each year for the performance boating community. How many of them, in the past year, have incorporated that darling of Doug Lord's fervent, foamy, imagination... the DSS foil? Care to venture a guess as to how thoroughly the foiling flood has been accepted in that community? These are boat builders/designers who have slaved over their boards to get the last crumb of performance and living wage profit out of their boats, knowing that the dude in the next shop over is doing the same thing... and they are ignoring a foil setup in a mass demonstration of refusal. How come, if its' so compelling and it's already out there to just glue into their new design? This product has been out for years now and the sailing design world is well aware of it as an element of this supposed, foiling explosion. How come it's being dissed when there is such a hyped, beneficial advantage to the incorporation of the device? The answer: Final boat cost, complexity, licensing fees, marketing effort required, potential maintenance.
Recreational sailors are an entirely different sort of animal and they do not want to spend money on stuff that has extremely limited value for their needs, or exceeds their ability to comprehend and extract results from the feature. The Tri-foiler and the Rave suffered from this very reality way back when and the argument still exists today. If the function of foiling were so hot for the general sailing population, you would have seen ten manufacturers right now churning out flying Moths. As it is, the Moth is down to a trickle of its once heady rush of sales and the market is pretty much saturated... and that is an entry level device from an affordability perspective. Nobody asked a Moth buyer to flop a wad of $35+ Large on the table just to find out if he could actually control the thing and go flying somewhere.
Do you have any idea as to the relevant sales figures for rice rockets vs more pedestrian commuter models in the motorcycle marketplace? How about the relevant insurance premiums for same? How about theft stats, maintenance realities, or accessories? Therein lies the argument and it applies to each and every snappy commercial product that emanated from a more toned-down version. That reality based on pragmatism is rooted deeply in Marketing and Product Strategy 101. Failure to heed leads to a lumpy experience.
By the way... whatever happened to canting keels and their supposed salvation for the recreational monohull world... well, according to Doug, anyway? Dude went off on the technology some years back and he predicted massive, wholesale conversions of every kind of keel equipped boat on the planet until all of them were just wiggling with excitement, just waiting to be sailed by the hungry throngs of recreational sailors. Seen any lately in vast numbers that make the function so obvious that no respectable designer would ever pick up a pencil without first bowing to the guru of all things just right, our omniscient resident, Mr. Lord?
Care to make any wild predictions on that heady call?