When I tell those friends about my Hobie 14T or 16, they get excited. But when I tell them about the Rave, they are intrigued but not excited. They don't want to spend 30 minutes setting it up, nor do they want to manage the complexity. Unless designers can find a way to make the systems simple to rig and operate, these boats don't stand a chance at surviving the actual market test. This generation would never adopt them, and the product would continue to exist only in a niche and die a slow death. I don't want that to happen, because foiling is put quite simply, badass. So please, if any of you are designing boats, focus on practicality. Break out of the niche with strength, practicality, and simplicity of design, not with lightweight, complexity and an extra 10% speed gain.
You are, of course, very right about the eternal resistance of the buying public to overly complex products. The reality of this paradigm has been proven so many times in the past that I'm surprised that anyone feels like they need to do the same foolishness, just to prove it correct... once again. Yet, there is at least, one goofball who feels it necessary to race his shopping cart through the parts warehouse in order to load-up his, ah-hem, "designs" so that they simply have every conceivable base covered. It's pure and utter folly.
Stepping completely away from the, "let's add more crap to a small boat", mentality... the path to success in this arena lies more in the example established by Michele Petrucci with his bitchin' little cat, the S.9. Here is a boat that is flexible in its approach to fun, fast sailing in a size that allows for a much larger user audience and will likely wind-up at a retail price point that will invite users to the beach and launch ramp, rather than intimidate them. What we don't need is a boat that A: sports a ridiculous high price due to too many expensively manufactured components and B: excessively complex systems that will be hugely difficult to master for recreational users.
Michele's boat can be sailed in displacement mode, as a planing cat with decidedly better performance and with a modest, easily produced and affordable set of foils, that will light it up as an entry-level, foiling sport machine. The boat is already quick, but word has it that he's about to test it with a rig from an A-Class machine just to see how she goes. I suggested he fill his pockets with rocks and was met with a smile and sly willingness to push his envelope further.
I say NUTS!!! to this junk pile foisted about by Mr. Lord. In a world of diminishing disposable income, serious competition from a mountain of nifty outside sources and a decided lessening of convenient storage facilities, we need a boat like Michele's and not some pig that has to sit on its side due to excessive beam, require a special trailer to haul it around and take long periods of time to rig before it ever gets wet. I agree with you, Chaos, we are not going that way in this decade and that paradigm is a dead-end design wise, as well.