Thanks for all the kind words. Here are some thoughts in no particular order:
A guy who has a shop up on the West Coast contacted me and we've got a deal for him to take the whole package. He seems to have the right approach and understanding of the project so I'm really hopeful that he will be able to make it work. I will be in line to buy one when he gets it into production.
Why did the Laser work? It's fun, fast, simple, bullet proof and cheap to build. The Laser was competing with the Sunfish (and other board boats) and the Force 5. Now the Laser is the competition and any new boat has to be better. Essentially it raised the bar. The Laser does have some shortcoming which the Hoot addresses: it is too heavy to easily cartop (yes I know it's done, but not by many people), the rig is now outdated, and it is slow relative to more modern designs. The tradeoff is that the Hoot is trickier to sail and more expensive (carbon isn't cheap).
The tooling does have enough of a flange that you could probably set up an infusion system.
I'm just really glad that there are others who understand the vision.
We never had more than three sailing at any given time. I think that there are three complete boats at the moment. It was really the marketing that stopped me. I sat down and started calculating how much it was going to cost to get to the boat shows, build demo boats, etc. and just decided that the economy didn't justify it. This is a great project for someone who loves to sail and is willing to focus on a local market for a few years until traction and fleets can be built. The amount of money spent on marketing to get a new boat scattered around the country is crazy. How many boats are there out there with 1 in Rhode Island, two in Texas, three in Chicago and one in Seattle? Better to build a local, solid fleet before going national. The boat is a handful in the typical 20 kt SF Bay conditions so a local fleet here didn't seem all that likely. It is just a magical boat in 10-15. It's a pain to sail in less than 3, starts planing to windward in about 8.
Sure. What the heck. The full story is that the Port of Richmond, CA has decided that, after almost 20 years in the same location that the building is "waterfront" and is therefore worth twice the rent. I politely disagree but now that we've got to move I feel like the Hoot should hopefully go somewhere that it will be appreciated and used. It is the same ruthless attitude I take towards my own boats -- if I'm not using it, I get it into the hands of someone who will.
The molds are in great shape.
sorry to hear of this. ...hopefully you at least get an offer for royalties for boats built!