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On 12/31/2020 at 12:13 PM, Champlain Sailor said:

Bluelaser2, you must be a very happy guy, because I believe you are indeed quite wrong.  

I'm speaking of the past...would these be desirable features in a future design?   Sure!   Would it allow that design to achieve 'mass sales' success? 

Maybe; it would depend on the  added cost and the design compromises that had to be made to incorporate them.   So far, adding alternate propulsion and easily adjustable sail area hasn't resulted in a big sales bump for any boat that I am aware of.   

Ask Hobie how many THOUSANDS of Islands they have sold.  The aux propulsion and adjustable sail area get people lining up to spend $5K to $8K on a rotomolded boat.  Can't get one right now- pretty much sold out. 

If you can design and build a fun little sailboat that has auxiliary propulsion and an adjustable area sail at a competitive price, I'd recommend you do it.   

Why?  I already own two and I'm involved with several other businesses.  I think maybe a boatbuilder would be the better entity.  That's why I offered some thoughts to one.  

When someone can offer a Laser/Sunfish/Rocket competitor that sails as well and offers reliable aux propulsion for $500 more, I bet they will have a winner.   But its harder than it seems, an no one has done it yet.   Pull it off and it will be my turn to be happy that I'm wrong!

Yes, that's the flippin' point of my post.   The furling rig is gonna run the same money as the Lateen to produce- or maybe just a few dollars more.  A good Chinese trolling motor in the 18# to 24# range is 60 bucks wholesale.  A mount is another $25 in materials, maybe.  A sealed Lead Acid 35AH is about $35 wholesale.  Probably under $150 nicely installed.  The key is designing it into the boat from the jump. 

The Hobie Adventure Island is a great boat, I really like them.    The Tandem Island is even better. I like them too.  They are fantastic fun boats.   

 While it sails, it is not a competitor for a Rocket, Laser, or any other dedicated small sailboat.   Its a kayak with sailing capability. 

Says who?  Those dollars are EXACTLY the dollars that would be spent on a Rocket.  That's what the man said- he wants to sell a fun boat to a bigger crowd.  You don't think massive Kayak sales are competitors to small boats?   What?   And no, they are multihullled sailboats with notional kayak ability.   Very rarely paddled by hand. 

 The pedal drive is amazing, I've tried it and I love it!   But I don't want it on my Laser or my UFO, and if I wanted a Rocket, I wouldn't want it on that either.  The cost,  weight, added drag, and clutter in the cockpit make it undesirable to me in a small board type boat. 

Nobody is advocating for a pedal drive in a monohull dinghy.   We were talking about making the Rocket a solid rowing machine.  A single blade paddle is not ideal on a dinghy because your third hand for steering is not supplied by nature.   The utility of the paddle drive is beyond dispute.   Many, many people live near waters that aren't great for sailing but are connected to areas that are good for sailing.  Getting from here to there is a wee problem in your Rocket with the Lateen rig in your lap.  
 
The Sunfish and its imitators are great boats.  Simple design, low cost, lots of fun.   People still want that.   

They sure do, but they don't want Sunfish.  They want kayaks because the buy them in the millions.  This ain't 50 years ago.  Sailing is a dying art and Laser equivalents will not sell against competing choices. If you want to compete with Kayaks, and get those dollars, build a fun easy mono with adjustable sail area and aux propulsion. Duh. 

Technology has improved over the past 40 years, and Fulcrum is simply taking advantage of producing a boat that takes all of the aspects that make a Sunfish great, and adding to it the advantages that 40 years of design and composites manufacturing advances have provided.   Seems like a pretty sound marketing strategy to me.

Ignoring that sailing has gone straight downhill in participation numbers over 40 years, while kayaking has exploded.  Kayaking works because exclusive sail propulsion only really works for experienced sailors, and you know, vicious circle. 

What a joke some of these comments are.  Just show the "Gust Adjust" video to Would-Be Rocket buyers.  That will line them right up.  

Meanwhile, turning people on the the joy of a ripping plane in a light mono sailboat is left to whom?   Nobody.  But if you can't reduce sail easily or clear the cockpit, and you have to awkwardly paddle a mile to the open water, forget it.  

People don't want to hear what they don't want to hear.  




 

  

 

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One of Roland Barth's "Cruising Rules" is, "Who ever uses the paint brush chooses the color." Stated another way,  It's David's money and time he so gets to develop the boat as he sees fit.

Hi Folks, We're overdue for an update from Fulcrum on Rocket production. We are finally FINALLY  making deliveries. Marathon. That moment during a launch when the cloud of smoke has built and bui

Real kids are away so next best thing is to take your other kids for a sail.

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56 minutes ago, bluelaser2 said:

They sure do, but they don't want Sunfish.  They want kayaks because the buy them in the millions.  This ain't 50 years ago.  Sailing is a dying art and Laser equivalents will not sell against competing choices. If you want to compete with Kayaks, and get those dollars, build a fun easy mono with adjustable sail area and aux propulsion. Duh. 

...

Ignoring that sailing has gone straight downhill in participation numbers over 40 years, while kayaking has exploded.  Kayaking works because exclusive sail propulsion only really works for experienced sailors, and you know, vicious circle. 

See, this is where you end up in a circular argument with people on this forum.  You advocate for making improvements to a boat at its release while also saying that what they really should have built was a kayak with a sail...knowing full-well that this is an entirely different type of boat and built for a different audience.  It feels like Fulcrum had a buyer in mind.  Perhaps, people looking for your specific requirements didn't fit into the people that:

1. They were designing for

2. Would buy a boat from Fulcrum

If the audience for Fulcrum (a maker of foiling sailboats) isn't likely to buy a rowboat from them, why should they spend the money and dilute their brand by building and marketing to them?  Would you prefer buy a high-speed foiling craft from the maker of thousands rowboats that sail?  I would bet that many would look to a business that knew speed and focused on an exciting and fun ride.

I agree that many of your ideas sound great for a specific boat made by a company that is about that type of boat.  I'm note certain that Fulcrum should be that company.  You don't see Caterham Cars building off-road trucks, as it doesn't make sense for their business.

All that aside, you have good ideas.  I'd like to see that boat one day.

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3 minutes ago, Grestone said:

See, this is where you end up in a circular argument with people on this forum.  You advocate for making improvements to a boat at its release while also saying that what they really should have built was a kayak with a sail...knowing full-well that this is an entirely different type of boat and built for a different audience.  It feels like Fulcrum had a buyer in mind.  Perhaps, people looking for your specific requirements didn't fit into the people that:

1. They were designing for

2. Would buy a boat from Fulcrum

If the audience for Fulcrum (a maker of foiling sailboats) isn't likely to buy a rowboat from them, why should they spend the money and dilute their brand by building and marketing to them?  Would you prefer buy a high-speed foiling craft from the maker of thousands rowboats that sail?  I would bet that many would look to a business that knew speed and focused on an exciting and fun ride.

I agree that many of your ideas sound great for a specific boat made by a company that is about that type of boat.  I'm note certain that Fulcrum should be that company.  You don't see Caterham Cars building off-road trucks, as it doesn't make sense for their business.

All that aside, you have good ideas.  I'd like to see that boat one day.

I proposed a Hoyt Rig and and a molded or fabbed motor mount on an otherwise unmodified Rocket Hull.  

It would be that boat. 

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1 hour ago, bluelaser2 said:

Bumped above

I think that what you are missing is that, while in the software world you can make options an alternatives so a product can have many variants by way of options (and you might charge for them differently, or not), from a same core, a boat is hardware, and it gets designed-and-highly optimized for a specific purpose.

Yes, there's a big market for Hobie Tandems. Might be saturated, or have a gap for all I know. But that's a very different product, and building a competitor to the Tandem is not something you trivially add an option to the Rocket. Because the Rocket is designed and optimized to be what it is. Having options like an engine would mean reinforcements and bulkheads in places that add manufacturing complexity and weight.

Someone helpfully created a different thread – link below – go chat with them. This thread is about a boat designed with a lot of clarity... as a modern, lightweight, optimized, fit-for-purpose board boat.

 

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1 minute ago, martin 'hoff said:

I think that what you are missing is that, while in the software world you can make options an alternatives so a product can have many variants by way of options (and you might charge for them differently, or not), from a same core, a boat is hardware, and it gets designed-and-highly optimized for a specific purpose.

Yes, there's a big market for Hobie Tandems. Might be saturated, or have a gap for all I know. But that's a very different product, and building a competitor to the Tandem is not something you trivially add an option to the Rocket. Because the Rocket is designed and optimized to be what it is. Having options like an engine would mean reinforcements and bulkheads in places that add manufacturing complexity and weight.

Someone helpfully created a different thread – link below – go chat with them. This thread is about a boat designed with a lot of clarity... as a modern, lightweight, optimized, fit-for-purpose board boat.

 

C'mon I wasnt born last night.  Sticking a different rig in the hole is trivial and you can almost hand-hold a trolling motor.   Competing with a Tandem Island is EXACTLY what he needs to do if he wants to get out of the sailor's ghetto.   He himself said the hull is modular and has plans for swiss-army knife upgrades.  That's the irony here- what I am suggesting is cheap and easy.   

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Dave,

I saw the Sailing World article about the Rocket and was blown away.    I love the UFO and the speed but the Rocket is a fantastic alternative to Sunfish or Laser.    I am waiting for the Duluth weather to improve so I can get back on the water.

I come from a large family on Long Island.  We've had a house on Fire Island for over 60 years where the Rocket would be great.   I hope to convince the family to buy one.

Thanks again for the forward thinking.

Joe

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BTW, I'm getting my sailing fix watching the AC75 sailing in New Zealand.   The Kiwis sure handled the pandemic right and the Americas Cup is benefiting.

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One of Roland Barth's "Cruising Rules" is, "Who ever uses the paint brush chooses the color."

Stated another way,  It's David's money and time he so gets to develop the boat as he sees fit.

If Martin Snyder thinks he is missing the target, it is probably because David was aiming at a different target. 

I can attest that David isn't stupid, and has done enough market research and product development to explain every decision that he has made.

I manufactured 10, 000 Sunfish along with about 20,000 other boats, so I might be credited with knowing just a little bit about it.  I disagree with the assertion that adjustable sail area and auxiliary power are essential for success.  Or maybe I have a different vision of success.  The boat business is not a high flying home run kind of racket.  The market has been shrinking along with middle class disposable income ever since Ronald Reagan.   It is a business where you succeed by hitting singles and "manufacturing runs."  You have to set and meet realistic targets week after month after year after year.  The immediate definition of success for the Rocket is less than what you might think simply because the market is so small  and Fulcrum Speedworks is so young.  It might grow into something much bigger, but David isn't banking the whole company on a home run.

I have known Gary Hoyt for 50 years and have first hand knowledge of many  of his projects. He has asked me to manufacture and or invest in his ideas.  I have not and I have not lost a penny by passing up on those opportunities.  There is a mythic American Market for some sort of sailboat that we haven't thought up yet.  But to "manufacture runs" you have to work in the world as it is and not in the world as you hope it will become.  I learned this the hard way more than once.  The most successful sailboat in the world was the Sunfish, it was a kind of boat businesses that sell boats know how top sell.   Many have stated that they want to have such a product on their show room floor.  Unfortunately the manufacturer of the Sunfish has demonstrated little interest in doing business with these dealers.   That is an opportunity.  They didn't say, " That would be great, but what we really want is a different Hobie Adventure Island."   Because this isn't "Boat Dealer Anarchy" we discuss the things we have done to make the boat sail better, more convenient to use and in line with the expectations of a 21st century customer.  

If this all counts as "attitude," so be it.  We don't think our shit smells good.   A 30 yard dumpster is showing up this week to cart away the 400 block of the Avenue of Broken Dreams.

Happy New Year

SHC

 

 

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2 hours ago, bluelaser2 said:

C'mon I wasnt born last night.  Sticking a different rig in the hole is trivial and you can almost hand-hold a trolling motor.   Competing with a Tandem Island is EXACTLY what he needs to do if he wants to get out of the sailor's ghetto.   He himself said the hull is modular and has plans for swiss-army knife upgrades.  That's the irony here- what I am suggesting is cheap and easy.   

Well, Bluey, you ain't been payin attention. THRICE or more upthread it has been pointed out to you by myself, Dex, and Dave himself, that there is a hole in the deck, and a mast goes in it, and there is another spar that Fulcrum makes that fits it...etc. Rig is a verb. So in some ways you are making a straw man.

Trolling motors are too long, and the Torqueedo and the hobie motors are expensive. The battery + motor is almost half the cost of a complete with dolly standard Rocket.
 

There is also the old saying, "less is more."  That is why my own personal rowing skiff gets more hours in the year than my 505, windsurfer, 10sqm canoe & centerconsole combined. Rocket is dead simple.

Finally you may actually see a theme here. Fulcrum is distilling complications to simple. The UFO is just such a case. The complications of the moth are distilled down to a manageable package that is robust on a hullform that is forgiving and allows you to learn to hyrofoil without having to swim 99% of the time. It is utterly brilliant thinking.

Rocket goes the  same way --- it is even cleaner and simpler than the original Sunfish.

I would posit that this comes from the hard-learned real-life experience of the founder. He actually is a champion canoe sailor. He knows how to do complicated. And how hard that is. Those of us who love sailing complicated boats are a very narrow group of people. Very small world. And we all have something simple to sail, too. For me, that is a beetle cat. For others, a sabot, or a Rhodes 19.

As for Hoyt. He made a sailboat once that had a dial indicator to steer by. The boom is out of patent. In fact it was never really patentable as it was mounted on jibs a hundred plus years ago.

Monohull small boat seamanship is a very different problem than sit on top kayak seamanship. The latter is a low bar. You should seriously consider joining TSCA. Then you might learn both the simplicity as well as the skill required to sail traditional reefable rowable traditional boats. Many of us here know all about them and use them. They are not Hobie kayaks (brilliant things, in their own right as I have pointed out previously).

When you are building a simply board boat, you are not adding motors and brackets and reefing and auxiliary propulsion because that is not what the customer is looking for. Horses for courses. The simplicity of taking a boardboat off the beach at the pond or the lake or the sound or the whathaveyou and spending some time out enjoying the day is an act against the strict rigors of scheduled living. Your arguments about time are absurd because that is not how sailing works. You don't go sailing for 2 hours in fickle wind when you "really have to be back in 2 hours." LOL. Nobody does that. Well not often anyway.

 

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I bought one.  My wife has been asking for a sunfish for a year.  .  

I just was not that excited to buy a sunfish.  Although just casual  limited experience, I do  remember how heavy they are,  and the cockpit which was fine for one person but a  little tight for more than one.   She wants to be able to roll it into the water and take a dog or two for a sail.  We will keep the rocket on float behind the house and have a little roller on the side of the dock so she can roll it in and out without help.  

Right now on a nice summer night  we go for little harbor tours in a small rib but now I can see us  rocketing around.

By chance I  happened to see the video on xmas day and decided that was the ticket.  Did I mention that I got extra points  for the surprise xmas present!

Pictures coming in April!

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Well, Bluey, you ain't been payin attention. THRICE or more upthread it has been pointed out to you by myself, Dex, and Dave himself, that there is a hole in the deck, and a mast goes in it, and there is another spar that Fulcrum makes that fits it...etc. Rig is a verb. So in some ways you are making a straw man.

Trolling motors are too long, and the Torqueedo and the hobie motors are expensive. The battery + motor is almost half the cost of a complete with dolly standard Rocket.
 

There is also the old saying, "less is more."  That is why my own personal rowing skiff gets more hours in the year than my 505, windsurfer, 10sqm canoe & centerconsole combined. Rocket is dead simple.

Finally you may actually see a theme here. Fulcrum is distilling complications to simple. The UFO is just such a case. The complications of the moth are distilled down to a manageable package that is robust on a hullform that is forgiving and allows you to learn to hyrofoil without having to swim 99% of the time. It is utterly brilliant thinking.

Rocket goes the  same way --- it is even cleaner and simpler than the original Sunfish.

I would posit that this comes from the hard-learned real-life experience of the founder. He actually is a champion canoe sailor. He knows how to do complicated. And how hard that is. Those of us who love sailing complicated boats are a very narrow group of people. Very small world. And we all have something simple to sail, too. For me, that is a beetle cat. For others, a sabot, or a Rhodes 19.

As for Hoyt. He made a sailboat once that had a dial indicator to steer by. The boom is out of patent. In fact it was never really patentable as it was mounted on jibs a hundred plus years ago.

Monohull small boat seamanship is a very different problem than sit on top kayak seamanship. The latter is a low bar. You should seriously consider joining TSCA. Then you might learn both the simplicity as well as the skill required to sail traditional reefable rowable traditional boats. Many of us here know all about them and use them. They are not Hobie kayaks (brilliant things, in their own right as I have pointed out previously).

When you are building a simply board boat, you are not adding motors and brackets and reefing and auxiliary propulsion because that is not what the customer is looking for. Horses for courses. The simplicity of taking a boardboat off the beach at the pond or the lake or the sound or the whathaveyou and spending some time out enjoying the day is an act against the strict rigors of scheduled living. Your arguments about time are absurd because that is not how sailing works. You don't go sailing for 2 hours in fickle wind when you "really have to be back in 2 hours." LOL. Nobody does that. Well not often anyway.

 

Dude perhaps its not me that is out of touch.  Sailing has been steadily dying for years, participation is off a cliff, and I've gone sailing in fickle winds when I only have a few hours countless times.  A chinese trolling motor is $50 wholesale on Alibaba and works just fine.  Hoyt booms are in use with foresails all over the world- and yes a jib-boom is an ancient invention.  Using a curved spar in a bearing is clever and the patent office allowed it.  I'd bet a C note anytime that I can rig my boat faster than a Rocket.  I can go from ramp to highway in 6 or 7 minutes.  The sail stays on the boom.  Pulled out of the hole, pull the cover on, and lash it fore and aft.  The boom stays in situ.  The sheet stays run. The furling line and outhaul stay run.  It's simpler than a Rocket, and especially to someone who has not used a Lateen rig before. The boom never rattles and bangs in light airs and waves.  It's safe as hell- out of the way, all the time.  The sail is always the perfect size for conditions- the boat is always humming around design wind because that's anything from 2 to 30, mild or saucy depending on mood & company.    Im 53 years old.  I've raced yachts,  I owned a Beneteau,  I spent weeks on a Tartan Ten one wild night.  I'm familiar with sailing culture.  I've blasted around Diamond Head holding white knuckled, so you don't need to lecture me about the differences among watercraft.  I currently own 6 boats.  

The world of the original Sunfish is as dead as fried chicken.  I'm just the messenger fella.  The Rocket seems like a great little boat, lots of grins, but it's a totally niche product.  Maybe Mr. Canoe Champion will sell a million of them.  I highly doubt it.  But Hobie can't make Islands fast enough, so ideas about what is proper sailing might be a tad overrated when you are going to the bank. 

PS the pic below was taken 10 minutes after that boat beat a bunch of Lasers, Lightings, 420's and what not in a 7 mile, heavy air, open-water point to point race.  It was glorious. 

   

20190831_125649.jpg

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1 hour ago, Steve Clark said:

 

If Martin Snyder thinks he is missing the target, it is probably because David was aiming at a different target. 

 

 

 

The target was presented as a fun boat for the masses.  I don't think a Lateen sail-only boat gets it done.  It's an opinion.  Steve Clark's attitude- so far- seems pretty positive and informed to me.  But it wasn't his attitude that I was experiencing. 

As to grinding out runs in a tough racket on your own dime?   Thankfully I have fantastic partners 'cause we have been doing it for over 20 years.  When people with passion come to me with their ideas about our products, you bet your ass I listen carefully.  

 

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People get into sailing and buy boats for various different reasons. All valid. For me it’s either about time on the water with someone I love or a chance to learn a new skill. 
 

The other thing I know for sure having purchased a Fulcrum UFO, is that the company designs and builds great products.

Oh and the best part of any sail doesn’t involve a motor IMHO.

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1 minute ago, Dave Clark said:

This is false data and at the crux of your argument. 

DRC

I don't have access to Hobie's sales figures, but I inquired for kicks and shiggles.  Anecdotally, they are sold out for the year and used prices are climbing.  That's not uncommon with the country awash in PPP money.   But not the crux of my argument.  And I may be wrong about their pipeline. 

My main argument (such as it is):  Adjustable sail area and auxiliary propulsion are essentially market requirements for mass sales of fun-boats to current non-sailors.  

My minor arguments (such as they are): Hoyt rigs are ideal for fun boats, electric propulsion has arrived and does not compromise performance, people will pay more for more versatility because people buying toys for between $5K and $10K are not price driven but value driven, and value is perceived as versatility and safety.    

My qualifications to make these arguments (such as they are): more time dicking around on small boats than 99% of Americans, experienced executive of a bootstrapped company in a competitive market, and plain fucking common sense to look around at the hottest bigger dollar recreational products: e bikes and kayaks. 

I think this thread is about played, but in all seriousness, I do hope you sell a lot of boats and don't close your mind because of an unattractive messenger.  

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1 minute ago, bluelaser2 said:

I don't have access to Hobie's sales figures, but I inquired for kicks and shiggles.  Anecdotally, they are sold out for the year and used prices are climbing.  That's not uncommon with the country awash in PPP money.   But not the crux of my argument.  And I may be wrong about their pipeline. 

My main argument (such as it is):  Adjustable sail area and auxiliary propulsion are essentially market requirements for mass sales of fun-boats to current non-sailors.  

My minor arguments (such as they are): Hoyt rigs are ideal for fun boats, electric propulsion has arrived and does not compromise performance, people will pay more for more versatility because people buying toys for between $5K and $10K are not price driven but value driven, and value is perceived as versatility and safety.    

My qualifications to make these arguments (such as they are): more time dicking around on small boats than 99% of Americans, experienced executive of a bootstrapped company in a competitive market, and plain fucking common sense to look around at the hottest bigger dollar recreational products: e bikes and kayaks. 

I think this thread is about played, but in all seriousness, I do hope you sell a lot of boats and don't close your mind because of an unattractive messenger.  

How come I own more boats than you, spend more time in them than you, have broader deeper experience than you, sail some of the same water as you, and yet I come to different conclusions?

Why is that?

See Wess above.

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Just now, fastyacht said:

How come I own more boats than you, spend more time in them than you, have broader deeper experience than you, sail some of the same water as you, and yet I come to different conclusions?

Why is that?

 

Some people are raised better than others I guess.  

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58 minutes ago, bluelaser2 said:

I weigh 225.  The kid weighs 125.  No problem. The battery and motor weight are imperceptible. 

20200927_140417.jpg

Sorry, but that boat is not going to ever beat a competently sailed Lightning.

I really like the quick & simple rig and have considered buying one, but you just flat do not have the chops to compare.

Claiming that you've spent more time "dicking around on small boats than 99%" of whoever is meaningless when you're talking to guys whonot only have been sailing for decades but raced >dozen different classes in multiple countries. Feel free to list the number of national or even regional championships you've won.

I'd suggest turning it down a bit from 11 and seeing if maybe you can learn something instead of blasting everybody about how much smarter you are.

If you're so dang smart, why ain't you rich.... from selling sailboats?

- DSK

 

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44 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

I wanna know why that boat ain't on a plane?

The motor isn’t running

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49 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Sorry, but that boat is not going to ever beat a competently sailed Lightning.

Anyone can get lucky in boat racing.  That day, I did. 
 

Claiming that you've spent more time "dicking around on small boats than 99%" of whoever is meaningless when you're talking to guys whonot only have been sailing for decades but raced >dozen different classes in multiple countries. Feel free to list the number of national or even regional championships you've won.

Yes the target market for the Rocket is national champion sailors. Obviously. That's what they mean by "fun" boats.  And my thousands of days dicking around on small boats yield zero expertise on the subject.  Understandable. 

I'd suggest turning it down a bit from 11 and seeing if maybe you can learn something instead of blasting everybody about how much smarter you are.

Projection is a helluva drug my friend.  But don't worry.  You are good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you! 

If you're so dang smart, why ain't you rich.... from selling sailboats?

Doesn't seem to be the most efficient way to get rich, but to each his own. 

Don't know why the kid is in displacement mode at the instant the pic was snapped, but he seemed to be enjoying himself. 

And yes, the motor is a light air killer.  


 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, bluelaser2 said:
1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

Sorry, but that boat is not going to ever beat a competently sailed Lightning.

....

Anyone can get lucky in boat racing.  That day, I did. 

Fundamental misunderstanding on your part.

"Luck" has a very small part to play in sailboat racing, and even less in a long race in heavy air.

BTW tell your son to keep his weight forward and ease the sheet instead of fighting the tiller. I'd also suggest getting on the vang but that's one factor of the Expedition, it doesn't have one. What is that bar across the front of the cockpit?

FB- Doug

 

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Mr. Clark,

In addition to the motor mount suggested by bl2, I would like to see fishing rod holders molded in, drink holders, molded in cooler spot and no need for that foot strap, just mold me a nice seat in the middle.  Hiking is so 2020.:P

Good luck with the Rocket, it's on my 2021 wish list!

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I once sailed a Phantom off the beach at Hilton Head with two rented rods and a friend. We came home with zero rented rods and no fish. Dammit!

( I told him, "I'm not sure this is going to work...")

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I don’t think little boats that are designed to minimize the consequences of capsizing, a core feature of the board boat, should have motors and batteries aboard. I don’t know how impervious to drowning an electric outboard is, but I know that batteries and water don’t play nicely.  There are technical solutions, but maybe it’s better not to bother, keep it simple light and inexpensive.

i dislike the so called Smart Rig for a number of reasons.  But their performance in the marketplace is pretty dismal.  They were a key feature of the Escape product line which failed to live 5 years.  Doing my color count on any day I spend on the water, I see no -zero-none Escape products and no-zero-none Smart Rigs  There were multiple things wrong with that entire product line. The “best” two boats were a Zuma with a SmartRig in it and a Laser 2 with a SmartRig in it.  The rest were versions of a hideous hull shape that some computer somewhere said was wonderful but was anything but.  We built at least some of the Zuma and Laser 2 components for Escape when we bought Sunfish Laser.  At least the hulls weren’t any worse than their originals.  BUT the regular Zuma out sold the Smart Rig Zuma and there was never a second order for the Escape Expedition Laser 2 hulls.  I assume they didn’t sell.  Our dealers knew that we had the capacity to recreate those two products, but never asked us to.  I concluded that not only was the Smart Rig aerodynamically  ugly, inefficient, and costly, it was not a feature which the buyers were looking for.  

So my direct experience selling in the same market as the Escape contradicts your assertion that all fun boats must have reducible sail area.  That was a while ago, but it is actual history and not theory.  At the same time we were building about 1000 Sunfish a year.  On that information alone, I would suggest that the triangular striped sail is a stronger marketing position.  We have had  and continue to have ideas build experiments of “better rigs.”  But until we come up with something that overcomes the marketing familiarity of the striped triangle, we’re gonna stick to our guns.

if I told you that the variable cost center of small boats is the sailing rig would you believe me.  My experience shows that customers do not recognize the value of superior masts and sails and are unwilling to pay the premium to have that equipment on their boats, and just the cost of the bent aluminum tube that is integral to the SmartRig makes it a non starter.

SHC

with regard to rod holders.  I proposed a sailing fishing derby more than once.  You cannot understand motor boat sales without understanding angling, so I was always advocating for the fishing edition.  It was at those times that people started muttering “crazy fuck head” and went back to work.

 

 

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Sunfish had sold what, 225,000 boats as of something like 2004 if memory serves.  That likely didn't account for Phantoms, Sailfish, and all of the other "like" board boats.  They'd be a lot more if LP hadn't messed up so badly.  

I can see why Fulcrum went with the Rocket even if they stole the name from a cool Moth in England. ;)  

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5 hours ago, bluelaser2 said:

Dude perhaps its not me that is out of touch.  Sailing has been steadily dying for years, participation is off a cliff, and I've gone sailing in fickle winds when I only have a few hours countless times.  A chinese trolling motor is $50 wholesale on Alibaba and works just fine.  Hoyt booms are in use with foresails all over the world- and yes a jib-boom is an ancient invention.  Using a curved spar in a bearing is clever and the patent office allowed it.  I'd bet a C note anytime that I can rig my boat faster than a Rocket.  I can go from ramp to highway in 6 or 7 minutes.  The sail stays on the boom.  Pulled out of the hole, pull the cover on, and lash it fore and aft.  The boom stays in situ.  The sheet stays run. The furling line and outhaul stay run.  It's simpler than a Rocket, and especially to someone who has not used a Lateen rig before. The boom never rattles and bangs in light airs and waves.  It's safe as hell- out of the way, all the time.  The sail is always the perfect size for conditions- the boat is always humming around design wind because that's anything from 2 to 30, mild or saucy depending on mood & company.    Im 53 years old.  I've raced yachts,  I owned a Beneteau,  I spent weeks on a Tartan Ten one wild night.  I'm familiar with sailing culture.  I've blasted around Diamond Head holding white knuckled, so you don't need to lecture me about the differences among watercraft.  I currently own 6 boats.  

The world of the original Sunfish is as dead as fried chicken.  I'm just the messenger fella.  The Rocket seems like a great little boat, lots of grins, but it's a totally niche product.  Maybe Mr. Canoe Champion will sell a million of them.  I highly doubt it.  But Hobie can't make Islands fast enough, so ideas about what is proper sailing might be a tad overrated when you are going to the bank. 

PS the pic below was taken 10 minutes after that boat beat a bunch of Lasers, Lightings, 420's and what not in a 7 mile, heavy air, open-water point to point race.  It was glorious. 

   

20190831_125649.jpg

What is that?  Is that a Laser 2 with a smart rig?  That's a legit question.  I've read most of this thread but I missed what this is.  The hull looks Laser 2 to me.  

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6 hours ago, bluelaser2 said:

Sailing has been steadily dying for years, participation is off a cliff

Nope. The dying part is an exaggeration.

Sailing in North America is not what it used to be. Participation in some places is lower, while it is growing in other places.

Pretty sure that overall, worldwide ILCA membership in 2019 was up on 2018. Maybe @aroy210677 has access to the actual numbers?

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8 hours ago, Steve Clark said:

I don’t think little boats that are designed to minimize the consequences of capsizing, a core feature of the board boat, should have motors and batteries aboard. I don’t know how impervious to drowning an electric outboard is, but I know that batteries and water don’t play nicely.  There are technical solutions, but maybe it’s better not to bother, keep it simple light and inexpensive.

i dislike the so called Smart Rig for a number of reasons.  But their performance in the marketplace is pretty dismal.  They were a key feature of the Escape product line which failed to live 5 years.  Doing my color count on any day I spend on the water, I see no -zero-none Escape products and no-zero-none Smart Rigs  There were multiple things wrong with that entire product line. The “best” two boats were a Zuma with a SmartRig in it and a Laser 2 with a SmartRig in it.  The rest were versions of a hideous hull shape that some computer somewhere said was wonderful but was anything but.  We built at least some of the Zuma and Laser 2 components for Escape when we bought Sunfish Laser.  At least the hulls weren’t any worse than their originals.  BUT the regular Zuma out sold the Smart Rig Zuma and there was never a second order for the Escape Expedition Laser 2 hulls.  I assume they didn’t sell.  Our dealers knew that we had the capacity to recreate those two products, but never asked us to.  I concluded that not only was the Smart Rig aerodynamically  ugly, inefficient, and costly, it was not a feature which the buyers were looking for.  

So my direct experience selling in the same market as the Escape contradicts your assertion that all fun boats must have reducible sail area.  That was a while ago, but it is actual history and not theory.  At the same time we were building about 1000 Sunfish a year.  On that information alone, I would suggest that the triangular striped sail is a stronger marketing position.  We have had  and continue to have ideas build experiments of “better rigs.”  But until we come up with something that overcomes the marketing familiarity of the striped triangle, we’re gonna stick to our guns.

if I told you that the variable cost center of small boats is the sailing rig would you believe me.  My experience shows that customers do not recognize the value of superior masts and sails and are unwilling to pay the premium to have that equipment on their boats, and just the cost of the bent aluminum tube that is integral to the SmartRig makes it a non starter.

SHC

with regard to rod holders.  I proposed a sailing fishing derby more than once.  You cannot understand motor boat sales without understanding angling, so I was always advocating for the fishing edition.  It was at those times that people started muttering “crazy fuck head” and went back to work.

 

 

Stop trying to confuse this discussion with facts, real data, and cogent analysis.  Conjecture, rumors, hearsay, and opinions extrapolated from isolated experiences are what drive the genius of the crowd.

 

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10 hours ago, Steve Clark said:

I don’t think little boats that are designed to minimize the consequences of capsizing, a core feature of the board boat, should have motors and batteries aboard. I don’t know how impervious to drowning an electric outboard is, but I know that batteries and water don’t play nicely.  There are technical solutions, but maybe it’s better not to bother, keep it simple light and inexpensive.

i dislike the so called Smart Rig for a number of reasons.  But their performance in the marketplace is pretty dismal.  They were a key feature of the Escape product line which failed to live 5 years.  Doing my color count on any day I spend on the water, I see no -zero-none Escape products and no-zero-none Smart Rigs  There were multiple things wrong with that entire product line. The “best” two boats were a Zuma with a SmartRig in it and a Laser 2 with a SmartRig in it.  The rest were versions of a hideous hull shape that some computer somewhere said was wonderful but was anything but.  We built at least some of the Zuma and Laser 2 components for Escape when we bought Sunfish Laser.  At least the hulls weren’t any worse than their originals.  BUT the regular Zuma out sold the Smart Rig Zuma and there was never a second order for the Escape Expedition Laser 2 hulls.  I assume they didn’t sell.  Our dealers knew that we had the capacity to recreate those two products, but never asked us to.  I concluded that not only was the Smart Rig aerodynamically  ugly, inefficient, and costly, it was not a feature which the buyers were looking for.  

So my direct experience selling in the same market as the Escape contradicts your assertion that all fun boats must have reducible sail area.  That was a while ago, but it is actual history and not theory.  At the same time we were building about 1000 Sunfish a year.  On that information alone, I would suggest that the triangular striped sail is a stronger marketing position.  We have had  and continue to have ideas build experiments of “better rigs.”  But until we come up with something that overcomes the marketing familiarity of the striped triangle, we’re gonna stick to our guns.

if I told you that the variable cost center of small boats is the sailing rig would you believe me.  My experience shows that customers do not recognize the value of superior masts and sails and are unwilling to pay the premium to have that equipment on their boats, and just the cost of the bent aluminum tube that is integral to the SmartRig makes it a non starter.

SHC

with regard to rod holders.  I proposed a sailing fishing derby more than once.  You cannot understand motor boat sales without understanding angling, so I was always advocating for the fishing edition.  It was at those times that people started muttering “crazy fuck head” and went back to work.

 

 

Fishermen are not into boats, as a general thing. To them, the boat is just something you drive around so you can fish in places where the state refuse to build you dock to fish off of.

But a lot of boaters dont mind fishing once in a while, especially as a way to get friends to go on the boat with them. I think the rise in fishing kayaks is either a sign that the macho American male is finally giving up his irrational love of vroom-vroom, or bowing to the practicality of a smaller, less-maintenance-intensive (and much less expensive) dock replacement.

I liked the Smart Rig but never did buy one, so obviously I'm a factor in it's marketplace failure. Sorry about that.

FB- Doug

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Kayak fishing is largely a product of Hobie's genius. The drive with feet is why. I have friends with dualie diesels, pistols on hip, and a hobie kayak. Not all manly men are averse to exercise.

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14 hours ago, bluelaser2 said:

I don't have access to Hobie's sales figures, but I inquired for kicks and shiggles.  Anecdotally, they are sold out for the year and used prices are climbing.  That's not uncommon with the country awash in PPP money.   But not the crux of my argument.  And I may be wrong about their pipeline. 

My main argument (such as it is):  Adjustable sail area and auxiliary propulsion are essentially market requirements for mass sales of fun-boats to current non-sailors.  

Bluelaser2:  I believe I see the flaw in your data.   Your premise is that since the Hobie Adventure Island is sold out, that it is what everyone shopping for a new fun boat is looking for.   The additional data that you need to include is that in 2020 just about ALL small boats were sold out (and bicycles, back country ski gear, fire pits, etc.)   I can state from personal experience that by June of 2020, many RS Sailboats were sold well before they arrived in the US.  We bought an RS Cat sight unseen and had to wait several weeks until it arrived in the US to pick it up at Zim Sailing in Rhode Island.  Our neighbors bought an RS Zest and an Aqua Finn this summer and both paid MSRP for the only boat they could find in the region.   The RS Aero continues to be in very short supply.   Dave Clark has let potential UFO customers know that his factory is booked out until late spring, so if you want a UFO for next summer, get your order in now!   So, despite the fact that sailing is 'dying', 2020 was a banner year for boat builders.  And not just for small boats, US Sailing reports a record number of lessons, particularly for adults and families looking to be able to cruise.  Hopefully the pandemic will have a silver lining in the form of more interest in sailing and other outdoor sports, and less screen time.

The Hobie Adventure Island is a cool boat, but its a 'jack of all trades' craft in an odd configuration.  I have a few friends that have owned them, and all have sold them after a few seasons.   They sail OK, motor OK (if you have a motor) don't paddle well, but do pedal very well.  You are pretty much stuck sitting in one position, so long outings involve getting pretty stiff.   Our local dealer appeared to be out of Adventure Islands this year, however in previous years he always had a couple on the lot.   They sold much more slowly than the regular kayaks did.  I'd guess  Hobie has sold a reasonable number, in the many 10's of thousands over the years.  So its likely a profitable boat for Hobie, but I would not call it a mass market success.  

Your expedition looks like a nice boat.  I'm certain that it is easy to sail and a good performer.  But as Steve Clark pointed out, the Hoyt rig has not proven to be a sales accelerator, despite its advantages.   If it works for you, particularly with the trolling motor, that is great.   The history of the Escape Sailboat company makes for interesting reading, and I applaud their effort to expand the market for small sailboats.   Their boats were innovative and well thought-out.   https://www.cheyneyrock.co.uk/sailing/escape-sailboats/escape-sailboats-history.php   But in the end, I'm not aware that they sold a significant amount of boats nor did they dramatically open up sailing to new markets.  That's a tall order to fill, and many of us (you included) are interested finding ways to grow the sport.     

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2 minutes ago, Champlain Sailor said:

Bluelaser2:  I believe I see the flaw in your data.   Your premise is that since the Hobie Adventure Island is sold out, that it is what everyone shopping for a new fun boat is looking for.   The additional data that you need to include is that in 2020 just about ALL small boats were sold out (and bicycles, back country ski gear, fire pits, etc.)  

Yes, I acknowledged that the country was awash in PPP and stimulus money and no indoor recreation to speak of.  Once in a lifetime days for certain products. 

The Hobie Adventure Island is a cool boat, but its a 'jack of all trades' craft in an odd configuration.  I have a few friends that have owned them, and all have sold them after a few seasons.   They sail OK, motor OK (if you have a motor) don't paddle well, but do pedal very well.  You are pretty much stuck sitting in one position, so long outings involve getting pretty stiff.   

The Tandem Island is a fabulous design for a FUN boat.  Many owners (like me) modify them with motors and hakas (benches) which allow you to walk around, put mass to windward & carry three or four people.  They have dual control sheet and tiller which are ideal for training newbies how to sail.  I reversed the tiller lines to act like a normal sailboat the first hour I owned the boat.  I've spent 8 hours aboard happily. They sail well enough for what they are- 7 or 8 knots off the wind is fine.  They don't go upwind (much) but a few pedal strokes makes them surprisingly fast upwind in heavy air, and motorsailing can cover impressive distances.  I've entertained the shit out of people with the boat, which is hugely rewarding- bringing other people fun on the water is next level fun on the water. 
 
I'd guess  Hobie has sold a reasonable number, in the many 10's of thousands over the years.  So its likely a profitable boat for Hobie, but I would not call it a mass market success.  

Wait, what? 

Your expedition looks like a nice boat. 

It's my very favorite possession if that says anything, and I have some nice toys.  

I'm certain that it is easy to sail and a good performer. 

Both.  The Laser2 is a thoroughbred design capable of shocking speed in some conditions.  

But as Steve Clark pointed out, the Hoyt rig has not proven to be a sales accelerator, despite its advantages.   

With a sample size of one company?  That had truly shit hulls, no aux propulsion, and no staying power?   Is the Hobie Island rig a lineal descendent sans the boom?   'cause just above you acknowledge they have sold a whole lot of them.

But in the end, I'm not aware that they sold a significant amount of boats nor did they dramatically open up sailing to new markets.  That's a tall order to fill, and many of us (you included) are interested finding ways to grow the sport.     

That's exactly how this discussion got going- the notional positioning of the Rocket IN FUTURE CONFIGURATIONS.  Not a knock on what it is now, or who it's for now, but back to my thesis about MASS MARKETS FOR "FUN" BOATS 

I owned a Laser2 in the usual configuration for years.  Stays, shrouds, kite, trap, the works.   I loved it, but I hated rigging it, it scared my non-sailor friends, and I could only sail when there was neither too little nor too much wind.  When I saw the Expedition 14.5 I knew immediately that it solved those problems, and it did- precisely.  Years later, I saw a Tandem Island, which was even more capable in those fun boat ways.   And people LOVE their Islands- used ones sell immediately,  Covid or not. 

If you walked into a recreational boat dealer and there were two Rockets on the floor, one with a furling main, with or without the expensive curved boom, and a clean motor installation v. the Lateen/ no Aux version, you don't need to be a marketing genius to guess which would sell more to the person-off-the-street.  I don't give a fuck what Charles Bukowski has to say about it.  And I know people buying expensive toys are not dollar sensitive- they are value sensitive- until you are into five figures. 

Champlain your tone has evolved, and I appreciate it.  Maybe mine has too.  This discussion has improved.  

 


 

 

20200812_154708.jpg

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17 minutes ago, bluelaser2 said:

 

I'd guess  Hobie has sold a reasonable number, in the many 10's of thousands over the years.  So its likely a profitable boat for Hobie, but I would not call it a mass market success.  

Wait, what? 

My point here is that the Adventure Island has not been a 'mass market' success, even when measured in sailboat terms.   The Hobie 16 sold over 100,000 (we know this because it has an active one design racing class so the factory shares some production data with the class).   I would guess that the Hobie Wave may have sold over 100K as well, they seem to be EVERYWHERE, but sales numbers  are not released.  Over 200K Lasers sold, over 300K Sunfish sold.  Almost half a million sea snarks have been built (which tells you that price does matter!).   Tens of thousands is successful for a sailboat, but not a 'mass market success.'

You began this thread by proposing that a boat needed reefing and aux propulsion to be a mass market success, and used the AI as an example.   I'm simply pointing out that the AI has not become a mass market product.   

Keep in mind that Ford sells over 800,000 F-150 pickups every year!   That is a mass market success.  So in generic product marketing terms, no sailboat has ever been a true mass market success.   But the sea snark, sunfish, and laser are about as close as anyone has come, in my estimation.

 

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This sure works for me. Anybody else gag at the thought of seeing a fucking motor glued to the transom?

image.png.b448aa91fa9990b3f6c8fa64e05437fe.png

And why has the Hoyt Rig only ever attracted one builder?

@bluelaser2I see you like to mess around with boats you buy, first the Expedition, then the Hobie Kayak - now you think real designers and builders should adopt your personal preferences. OK. I still don't understand why if you are convinced the future of sailing is dependent upon Hoyt Rigs and motors you don't find a super-smart investor to go with your ideas. Maybe go on Shark Tank.  

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Bill5 said:

 

And why has the Hoyt Rig only ever attracted one builder

 

 

Catalina does a Capri 14  with looks like the same sail plan as the Expedition 14.5, called Expo 14.2 I think

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1 hour ago, Bill5 said:

This sure works for me. Anybody else gag at the thought of seeing a fucking motor glued to the transom?

image.png.b448aa91fa9990b3f6c8fa64e05437fe.png

And why has the Hoyt Rig only ever attracted one builder?

@bluelaser2I see you like to mess around with boats you buy, first the Expedition, then the Hobie Kayak - now you think real designers and builders should adopt your personal preferences. OK. I still don't understand why if you are convinced the future of sailing is dependent upon Hoyt Rigs and motors you don't find a super-smart investor to go with your ideas. Maybe go on Shark Tank.  

 

 

I gotta job already for one, and for two, if this site isn't for spitballing about boats, than it's only useful to demonstrate what dicks we all are. Ya feel me? 

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1 hour ago, Champlain Sailor said:

Keep in mind that Ford sells over 800,000 F-150 pickups every year!   That is a mass market success.  So in generic product marketing terms, no sailboat has ever been a true mass market success.   But the sea snark, sunfish, and laser are about as close as anyone has come, in my estimation.

 

No sailboat other than Hobie Islands have sold in the 10,000's in decades- that I know of- and we are playing at semantics when talking about mass markets for small sailboats.  I don't think nearly 100K waves have been sold.  Sure, we can define terms: how many units would make the Rocket in its base configuration a smashing success?  2500? 

So maybe define mass market in this instance at 10,000 units? 

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The answer is clear - if you are convinced your features will satisfy the entire market & sell 1000's, start building them!!!!  Fulcrum has stated their position, and you can buy one & modify it to your heart's content

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1 hour ago, longy said:

The answer is clear - if you are convinced your features will satisfy the entire market & sell 1000's, start building them!!!!  Fulcrum has stated their position, and you can buy one & modify it to your heart's content

Same thing again and again and again.  Make suggestions to improve a product variation = evidence of some desire to be the manufacturer of that product.  

Almost an authoritarian mindset where merely questioning the Creator makes people uncomfortable inside.    

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1 hour ago, bluelaser2 said:

Same thing again and again and again.  Make suggestions to improve a product variation = evidence of some desire to be the manufacturer of that product.  

Almost an authoritarian mindset where merely questioning the Creator makes people uncomfortable inside.    

No, you made your point, a hundred times. So no, you have an agenda.

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Back in the mid-2000s, there was a Village Voice-like free paper in NYC called the NY Press. It had a film critic named Armond White.  He tended to have contrarian views on films and always filled his reviews with references to obscure films.  A quick Google search suggests that, since that time, he was thrown out of the NY Critics Circle, but has continued to contribute to many publications including the NY Times while continuing to irritate and annoy many.  Roger Ebert referred to him as a “smart and knowing troll”

I say all that as a preface to my paraphrasing of one of my favorite letters to the editor as I think it may apply here.  The letter read something like:

Can someone please take Armond White out and tell him he’s smart?  Seriously, tell him he’s smart, brilliant, intelligent, and possesses a tremendous knowledge of films and film making.  Let him know that the whole world is not only aware of his genius, but that they are in awe of it.  Once that is done we may actually get to read film reviews that are insightful, bring us greater understanding of the content, and illuminate the subject matter.

Can someone in the CLE region please have a similar conversation with Blue Laser2? Maybe slip him a few drinks of his choosing to complement the praise and assurance. I believe his knowledge, experience, and insight are appreciated by many.  An Armond White - type conversation may make the conveyance of that information more consumable by this audience.

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The beauty of this is that everyone who knows me personally knows that I am deeply committed to mediocrity in all things. 

But here you are writing about Armond White, so I guess he gets the last laugh.  

Fat, Bald, and Stupid is no way to go thru life.  

My agenda is to troll and see more people having fun on sailboats.  Half mission accomplished. 

But really, the trolling is pretty poor here compared to many other spots.   More authoritarians & lickspittles than expected, but seems to be the season for that. 

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3 hours ago, bluelaser2 said:

No sailboat other than Hobie Islands have sold in the 10,000's in decades- that I know of- and we are playing at semantics when talking about mass markets for small sailboats.  I don't think nearly 100K waves have been sold.  Sure, we can define terms: how many units would make the Rocket in its base configuration a smashing success?  2500? 

So maybe define mass market in this instance at 10,000 units? 

Optimist?  Open bic?  

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5 minutes ago, eliboat said:

Sure... but it’s a class and some builders certainly have built 10s of thousands.  Open bic?  Not doubtful. So no.  

In the past two decades?   Do any dinghy makers publish production figures?  RS boats etc. ? 

I admit ignorance on the figures.   My gut says no.  I think Hobie Islands are the best selling sailboats of the past 15 years.    

 

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28 minutes ago, bluelaser2 said:

In the past two decades?   Do any dinghy makers publish production figures?  RS boats etc. ? 

I admit ignorance on the figures.   My gut says no.  I think Hobie Islands are the best selling sailboats of the past 15 years.    

 

You mean best selling kayaks with an added reaching sail.

There's no tiller! Cannot possibly be a sailboat!

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Just now, fastyacht said:

You mean best selling kayaks with an added reaching sail.

There's no tiller! Cannot possibly be a sailboat!

Its a wee little thing, but it's a tiller.  I understand it's all in the way it's used.  And they are sailboats first, kayaks second.  They sail quite well. 

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17 hours ago, bluelaser2 said:


My agenda is to troll and see more people having fun on sailboats.  Half mission accomplished. 

Respectfully, while we are all allowed our opinions, part 1 of your agenda, which you seem happy to have fulfilled, seems to be in direct opposition to part-2 of your agenda, i.e. see more people having fun on sailboats.

How does putting-down and disparaging the various boats that people sail do anything to facilitate having more fun on sailboats? 

Seems you are missing (or don't care) that the reason there are so many different types of boats on the market is that the there are so many different types of people with different definitions of fun on a small boat. Your Expedition looks like a cool boat and a perfect example of how the Expedition fits your definition of fun on a small boat.

Why don't you save your trolling for Facebook? 

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I always try to show rather than tell.

1. the boat actually rows like something that's long, light, stable and spacious- so I'm quite happy with that. Shockingly nice little pulling boat for the mixed-utility bracket it's in. 
https://fb.watch/2RE-U4bAmh/

2. Observe the furled and stowed sail for rowing mode. That's what you do to get it out of your way if there's no wind and you want to paddle. Blow the halyard, roll the sail. Whip it in place and hoist again. Donezo. Obviously on land, just drop it and go do something else. I LOVE lateens for this. They are the simplest rig on earth by miles. Two of our beachboats when I was a kid were the Sunfish and the Pico. Spinning the Pico mast to furl the sail late in the evening when you are late for dinner, the sun is going down and the gnats are starting to eat you alive, while the lactic acid builds up in your puny little ten year old forearms from the work of spinning the spar SUCKS! I hated every second of it and it was the single biggest drawback to the pico. 

To weigh in briefly about "success", I've been lucky to become a 'passing friend' or 'warm acquaintance' to Greg Ketterman, co-owner of Hobie and the inventor of the mirage drive and trifoiler over the years. We've talked at length about the boat business over beers until late into the night on his cruiser. The impression I've got, which has been backed up by other Hobie dealers I know is that the AI/TI are products they have a right to be proud of and that they have established and dominated a new niche in Watersports. Nobody is buying a mansion or working less hard to find the next source of revenue, though. All product categories have limits. I haven't been asked to delve deeper into that space. Meanwhile the market has been starving for a modern board-boat by all accounts. Now I must return to my the shop floor where the air is thick with styrene and the 90's classics play all day.

DRC

brailing lines.jpg

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1 minute ago, Dave Clark said:

I always try to show rather than tell.

1. the boat actually rows like something that's long, light, stable and spacious- so I'm quite happy with that. Shockingly nice little pulling boat for the mixed-utility bracket it's in. 
https://fb.watch/2RE-U4bAmh/

2. Observe the furled and stowed sail for rowing mode. That's what you do to get it out of your way if there's no wind and you want to paddle. Blow the halyard, roll the sail. Whip it in place and hoist again. Donezo. Obviously on land, just drop it and go do something else. I LOVE lateens for this. They are the simplest rig on earth by miles. Two of our beachboats when I was a kid were the Sunfish and the Pico. Spinning the Pico mast to furl the sail late in the evening when you are late for dinner, the sun is going down and the gnats are starting to eat you alive, while the lactic acid builds up in your puny little ten year old forearms from the work of spinning the spar SUCKS! I hated every second of it and it was the single biggest drawback to the pico. 

To weigh in briefly about "success", I've been lucky to become a 'passing friend' or 'warm acquaintance' to Greg Ketterman, co-owner of Hobie and the inventor of the mirage drive and trifoiler over the years. We've talked at length about the boat business over beers until late into the night on his cruiser. The impression I've got, which has been backed up by other Hobie dealers I know is that the AI/TI are products they have a right to be proud of and that they have established and dominated a new niche in Watersports. Nobody is buying a mansion or working less hard to find the next source of revenue, though. All product categories have limits. I haven't been asked to delve deeper into that space. Meanwhile the market has been starving for a modern board-boat by all accounts. Now I must return to my the shop floor where the air is thick with styrene and the 90's classics play all day.

DRC

brailing lines.jpg

ps.  I am also biased about this because I think rotomoulding is lousy and has done more harm than good to the boat business. 

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The rowing looks great!   Another fun used for the boat, and he raised centerboard well appears to make a relatively comfy seat.   Was this done intentionally in the design, or was it a happy accident?   

Dave, I gotta disagree on the utility of rotomolded boats.   For non-high performance craft, they are terrific.   We live on a rocky beach, and we can use our kayaks and RS14, and Hobie Wave without worry.   More importantly, we can let friends and kids use the boats and not fret over them bumping into a rock when launching or retrieving them.  We can explore in the kayaks way up the local river, skidding over fallen logs and bumping off rocks without a care.   Sure, they are heavier and less stiff than a fiberglass boat, but for a durable fun craft, they can be great.      

As you know, I like fiberglass and carbon boats too (OK, you can see the pattern, I like just about all boats).   Different tools for different jobs.  

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I had a Phantom (america) that I regularly used as a SUP for a week every summer at the family (the successful side) coastal canal house.

  It worked very well if I bungeed the tiller to the hiking strap and let the rudder down to just float semi-submerged. Bodged together a really long paddle from multi-piece kayak paddle sections. 

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On 1/6/2021 at 1:56 PM, Champlain Sailor said:

Dave, I gotta disagree on the utility of rotomolded boats.   For non-high performance craft, they are terrific.   We live on a rocky beach, and we can use our kayaks and RS14, and Hobie Wave without worry.   More importantly, we can let friends and kids use the boats and not fret over them bumping into a rock when launching or retrieving them.  We can explore in the kayaks way up the local river, skidding over fallen logs and bumping off rocks without a care.   Sure, they are heavier and less stiff than a fiberglass boat, but for a durable fun craft, they can be great.      

I said boat business. There are several pretty good rotomolded boats. A small industry like ours shouldn't be even considering a build method which 

1. Requires obscenely expensive tooling.
2. Jobs out the single largest high dollar item conventionally controlled by ones own manufacturing. Most companies already job out the other problematic part (the rig)
3. Generally needs to be bought in batches (OW! MY CASHFLOW!)
4. Is not conducive to changes and requires serious engineering work to overcome drawbacks in the material (take a close look for inset aluminum bars for reinforcement etc etc etc. When it's not weak, it's heavy. Often both.
5. Is not easy to repair. 

In an era when all of manufacturing was finally catching on to more cash-competitive and responsive business strategies (Lean, TOC, JIT pick a plavor) the boat business, which had no meat on the bone to lose adopted a technology which went in the EXACT OPPOSITE direction. 

Additional comment on point #2: When you job out the hulls you run the risk of this years sales figures keeping the company afloat financially but having no work for your composities team. Instead of at the very least sustaining excellence in the manufacture of things that float and at best becoming more excellent, you instead make your core staff expendable. The sales office and rigging crew can stay (wait... but I don't wanna rig masts, can't we get the mast company to do it boss?...) but the guys who make the "boat" part are at risk. Layoffs are like lobotomies. They're a thing. Sometimes they are prescribed and carried out. They have downsides.

There have been a bunch of pretty excellent rotomolded products that people like Jo Richards have developed over the years, but it's a pretty fraught technology from the perspective of a difficult product sector like watercraft. 

We are proud to be building fundamental base-market products at high quality from composites. What we might lose in "economy" we gain back and then some in quality and corporate agility. In other words, the cost saving measure flat out isn't valuable. 


DRC

PS. The big differentiating point here between most marine companies and a lot of the other product making firms out there is a matter of scale and market forces. Price does not equal Cost+Profit margin (or not for very long). Profit margin=(market value)-(cost). In general, the market value (or the customers willingness to spend) for a sailboat has fallen vs cost. So the profit margins are unforgiving. Worse still, the market is relatively small vs the market for, say, flatscreen TVs. So the financial backing is usually small and often erratic. This trebles the already problematic unstated risks in the standard cost-accounting approach to business strategy. Read The Goal by Eli Goldratt to get a few yards into the weeds on that. Boatbuilding firms simply are not banks. And it gets worse. When the value to cost relationship has got so badly out of whack, what is needed is innovation. The above problems stifle that. They do create opportunities for firms with 1. Highly vertically integrated and skilled teams. 2. Relatively outsized financial backing. 3. A lean supply chain which allows for maximum use of all cash resources. ---This concludes my brief and patchy lecture on marine industry constraints

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On 1/6/2021 at 11:56 AM, Alan Crawford said:

 

How does putting-down and disparaging the various boats that people sail do anything to facilitate having more fun on sailboats? 




 

 

Please quote me putting-down and disparaging boats.   My first post  on this thread included this line:

"Everything you say about what a fun boat needs is true.  But if you are going to offer a touring or step-up model on the same hull, I would suggest....."  

But when any number of lickspittles detect/smell/ interpret any deviation from the Creator's choices , their authoritarian instincts kick in to object and enforce their dogma and demonstrate their beta ways.   They can only see spitballing as disparagement. 

Steve Clark gave a cogent reply in a respectful tone.   Maybe Dave Clark has taken a lot of incoming or is just short-tempered,  but I got attitude, and when I get it, I give it back. 

But I learned some things on this thread, and I don't think my thesis is at all diminished.   

My suggestions are not uneconomic.  I don't think Hobie Islands would have sold for shit without both aux power  (the pedal drive being an auxiliary to  hand paddling) and adjustable sail area.   The Rocket looked like a good rower to me, so a motor is not the only viable choice, but the more choices the better for fun or adventure boats.  

Having this opinion doesn't make me a frustrated would-be boat builder  or a Debbie Downer, but it pulls out some wankers in the peanut gallery,  so I delight in trolling them, because it's harmless and most certainly does not keep people off boats. 

I don't have a horse in the rotomold v composite debate (I own both) but I agree fully with the economic analysis of people who know the deal.  

Now if you wanna talk about doing an Adventure Island type configuration in vinyl drop-stitch that flys two people and fits in a backpack, I've got some other ideas..... 
  
 

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bluelaser2, Give it a rest! Your posts are not helpful or informative. Sail away in your Hobie Islands, enjoy it and stop posting.

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44 minutes ago, xonk1 said:

bluelaser2, Give it a rest! Your posts are not helpful or informative. Sail away in your Hobie Islands, enjoy it and stop posting.

Stop reading them if you don't like them.  As if this site needs to be helpful and informative.  

oooohhh you gonna report me?  Get me flicked?  Have at it. 

 

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4 hours ago, Dave Clark said:

I said boat business. There are several pretty good rotomolded boats. A small industry like ours shouldn't be even considering a build method which 

1. Requires obscenely expensive tooling.
2. Jobs out the single largest high dollar item conventionally controlled by ones own manufacturing. Most companies already job out the other problematic part (the rig)
3. Generally needs to be bought in batches (OW! MY CASHFLOW!)
4. Is not conducive to changes and requires serious engineering work to overcome drawbacks in the material (take a close look for inset aluminum bars for reinforcement etc etc etc. When it's not weak, it's heavy. Often both.
5. Is not easy to repair. 

In an era when all of manufacturing was finally catching on to more cash-competitive and responsive business strategies (Lean, TOC, JIT pick a plavor) the boat business, which had no meat on the bone to lose adopted a technology which went in the EXACT OPPOSITE direction. 

Additional comment on point #2: When you job out the hulls you run the risk of this years sales figures keeping the company afloat financially but having no work for your composities team. Instead of at the very least sustaining excellence in the manufacture of things that float and at best becoming more excellent, you instead make your core staff expendable. The sales office and rigging crew can stay (wait... but I don't wanna rig masts, can't we get the mast company to do it boss?...) but the guys who make the "boat" part are at risk. Layoffs are like lobotomies. They're a thing. Sometimes they are prescribed and carried out. They have downsides.

There have been a bunch of pretty excellent rotomolded products that people like Jo Richards have developed over the years, but it's a pretty fraught technology from the perspective of a difficult product sector like watercraft. 

We are proud to be building fundamental base-market products at high quality from composites. What we might lose in "economy" we gain back and then some in quality and corporate agility. In other words, the cost saving measure flat out isn't valuable. 


DRC

PS. The big differentiating point here between most marine companies and a lot of the other product making firms out there is a matter of scale and market forces. Price does not equal Cost+Profit margin (or not for very long). Profit margin=(market value)-(cost). In general, the market value (or the customers willingness to spend) for a sailboat has fallen vs cost. So the profit margins are unforgiving. Worse still, the market is relatively small vs the market for, say, flatscreen TVs. So the financial backing is usually small and often erratic. This trebles the already problematic unstated risks in the standard cost-accounting approach to business strategy. Read The Goal by Eli Goldratt to get a few yards into the weeds on that. Boatbuilding firms simply are not banks. And it gets worse. When the value to cost relationship has got so badly out of whack, what is needed is innovation. The above problems stifle that. They do create opportunities for firms with 1. Highly vertically integrated and skilled teams. 2. Relatively outsized financial backing. 3. A lean supply chain which allows for maximum use of all cash resources. ---This concludes my brief and patchy lecture on marine industry constraints

Remember--------------the VERY first rotomoulded kayak (as I remember it) was the Walden. Venture Capital behind that one.

Composite versus [insert high capitalization method] is and always will be how we make value at low volume. Note that the VIPER was just such a case. Wasn't originally supposed to be a product--but the developers showed the boss that they could build at a profit at the numbers anticipated in composite, without spending 500 million on tooling...

Same principle in miniature in boatbuilding.

 

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21 hours ago, bluelaser2 said:

Steve Clark gave a cogent reply in a respectful tone.   Maybe Dave Clark has taken a lot of incoming or is just short-tempered,  but I got attitude, and when I get it, I give it back. 

But I learned some things on this thread, and I don't think my thesis is at all diminished.   

My suggestions are not uneconomic.  I don't think Hobie Islands would have sold for shit without both aux power  (the pedal drive being an auxiliary to  hand paddling) and adjustable sail area.   The Rocket looked like a good rower to me, so a motor is not the only viable choice, but the more choices the better for fun or adventure boats.  
 

Noted, and thank you for the input. We do disagree for a variety of factors related to value for money. In general I'm allergic to design choices that step outside of minimalism and utilitarianism. We're able to achieve process excellence is a seriously vertically integrated company because of it and meet our market. How this might read to you as attitude is your problem.

Also this conversation has gone in circles enough that I called up Greg Ketterman, co owner of Hobie and inventor of the Mirage Drive and asked him if he thought aux propulsion and adjustable sail area are essential as per your theory. In his estimation, they are not, as evidenced by the expansive amount of market activity centered around products that feature neither. -THAT is attitude.

DRC

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2 hours ago, Dave Clark said:

Noted, and thank you for the input. We do disagree for a variety of factors related to value for money. In general I'm allergic to design choices that step outside of minimalism and utilitarianism. We're able to achieve process excellence is a seriously vertically integrated company because of it and meet our market. How this might read to you as attitude is your problem.

Also this conversation has gone in circles enough that I called up Greg Ketterman, co owner of Hobie and inventor of the Mirage Drive and asked him if he thought aux propulsion and adjustable sail area are essential as per your theory. In his estimation, they are not, as evidenced by the expansive amount of market activity centered around products that feature neither. -THAT is attitude.

DRC

You know something? I accept your position and I'll agree that I'm wrong on the point. You marshaled expert opinion. Good luck with the Rocket. Hope I get a chance to sail one at some point. 

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3 hours ago, Dave Clark said:

Also this conversation has gone in circles enough that I called up Greg Ketterman, co owner of Hobie and inventor of the Mirage Drive and asked him if he thought aux propulsion and adjustable sail area are essential as per your theory. In his estimation, they are not, as evidenced by the expansive amount of market activity centered around products that feature neither. -THAT is attitude.

Seems like Greg's attitude, and your (Dave) unacknowledged attitude, are very much winning attitudes. :)

 

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I am wondering if this could be used as a car toppable EC boat?  Curious what the maximum recomended payload is and whether the sail can be modified to reef?

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