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On 1/19/2021 at 1:58 PM, Dave Clark said:

BWAHAHA! Resistance is futile! If it's any consolation, you wouldn't be the first UFO owner to also buy a Rocket. 

Here's the brief rowing demo I put up on facebook earlier. She's very versatile
https://youtu.be/YQFmCePfc8A

DRC


 

I like it, maybe just raise the rowlocks 2"?

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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.

Posted Images

Hi, Steve and Dave! 
I sent you two requests via form on your website and via email and I haven’t heard from you yet. Can you provide an update? I and my wife want the Rocket, with possible UFO down the road. Actually we are discussing getting two Rockets, since it would be easier to teach my wife sailing a small boat having two identical boats. My wife is moving up from racing kayaks :) .

we have old beater waterlogged sunfish and bunch of other boats but they are too heavy, or too complex for small lady to move around. 
Please, don’t keep us in dark :) 

we are also very(!) experienced beach cruisers in small boats and we can provide some feedback for “backcountry” mods for the boat. 

Thanks.

Vlad and Johna.

 

 

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7 hours ago, CrazyR said:

Hi, Steve and Dave! 
I sent you two requests via form on your website and via email and I haven’t heard from you yet. Can you provide an update? I and my wife want the Rocket, with possible UFO down the road. Actually we are discussing getting two Rockets, since it would be easier to teach my wife sailing a small boat having two identical boats. My wife is moving up from racing kayaks :) .

we have old beater waterlogged sunfish and bunch of other boats but they are too heavy, or too complex for small lady to move around. 
Please, don’t keep us in dark :) 

we are also very(!) experienced beach cruisers in small boats and we can provide some feedback for “backcountry” mods for the boat. 

Thanks.

Vlad and Johna.

 

 

Hi Vlad,

Love the enthusiasm and I'm sure we have your needs met by a long shot. According to our CRM, my sales director Kirk replied to you within hours of your first contact. Try double checking your inbox?

Cheers,

DRC

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Thank you Dave. And my apology. Something went wrong somewhere. I just searched “Rocket” across all inboxes and I found the email. Marked as read. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it. Weird. 
My apology again. 
We are definitely putting deposit in.

Vlad.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

I seem to notice a lot of Hobie trimarans for sale - so it makes perfect sense that it is a "sell after a few years" product. Hobie may be busy or sold out, but it is likely due to their entire boat range.

I always wanted to like the Hobie Tris, but seeing them in person....heavy! Did I say heavy? Safe - but in terms of sailing probably the worst of all possible worlds.

If a boat with features like this would sell - why did Windrider closer up shop? Why can I buy windrider 16's for $1500? It'd does get tempting - and, yes, I know they are dogs. 

With those machines I only have fun in a blow. If someone was gonna go for another mass market sailboat it would be a 15K Windrider vastly updated with a real cockpit and more. There is still no decent tri at a decent price (pleaser don't say Weta "soaked to the bone")

Aux power - not a paddle, the full oars. How far do people really go in these tiny boats? A one mile row would be a piece of cake. I have to admit that I also think about aux. power all the time on small boats...but then I realize that, to me, it's like an electric bike. If I want to get there without exercise I'll take the car. 

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On 12/22/2020 at 1:12 PM, Dave Clark said:

We will be busy building boats and selling boats. [...] We're forecasting production capacity for roughly 300 hulls in 2021, ramping to a 400 a year rate or above if needed. 

DRC

 

On 12/22/2020 at 11:40 AM, Dave Clark said:

Some stats: 
Length: 14 feet, 2 inches
Beam: 4 feet 4 inches
Draft: 2 feet 9 inches.
Hull weight: 90 pounds
Sail area: 81.37 square feet

Cockpit floor length: 6 feet 3 inches. Enough for most people to sleep in or do anything else that involves lying down. 
Sail manufacturer: North
zodiac sign: Taurus
Color options: TONS

DRC

@Dave Clark, now that we're in May for this Taurus-born Rocket and you've been working on the 2021 production goals, how's it going?  

/Image of Rocket hull in production stolen from Fulcrum Speedworks Facebook page/

 

fulcrum speedworks rocket.jpg

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For those who like a bit of backstory:

https://www.sailingworld.com/story/sailboats/fulcrums-latest-rocket-launch/

The Molds for the Phantom were noticed....and bought off Craigslist - modified - and that is the Rocket!

It reminds me of when I bought an entire stove (wood stove) company from the SBA. I think I spent 14K at the auction and loaded up 4 trucks (either big straight jobs or tractor trailers, I forget) with cast iron, jibs and molds (although many molds were at various foundries)- and within a couple months I was making 25 stoves per week.

The finished product (we even did the pictures!). 

 

1828442953_ScreenShot2021-05-06at10_03_47PM.png

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In the same issue or close this story came up about improvements to the Sun/Sail/Phantom Rig. Interesting - looks like many are having new ideas about old products and tuning them!

https://www.sailingworld.com/story/sailboats/sunfish-sail-dinghy-reborn/ 

Article also gets into the rudders and all and how improvements there can be big time. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Jackie Treehorn said:

Fingers crossed, should have mine this weekend. I’ll report back

Thanks!  Please keep everyone posted.  I have a down payment for one to be built sometime in July.  I am dying to get more info to keep me going until then.

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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 built and the rocket eventually starts to creep skyward; that's us. It's months behind when we wanted that to be happening, but it's finally happening. So it's more like the scene from The Right Stuff where Al Shepard has been locked inside the cockpit for four hours waiting for a storm to pass, been allowed to rectify having too much coffee at breakfast inside his suit and at long last is given the go ahead to launch. Right now Fulcrum is a damp Al Shepard, slowly climbing into the sky to be the first free man in space https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard's_Prayer. It's still going to be slow going and we're still going to run into setbacks and problems, as all journeys do. But after six months of laying everything on the line every day and pushing the whole company for everything it has to give, we are moving. Shiny light roomy boats have been going out the door for a couple weeks now and we're getting the hang of the process end to end. We are proud of so many details which came out excellently and I'll detail later.

I don't believe that any excuse is a good excuse, so I'm not going to completely unpack how we ended up this far off schedule. The headline here is that we are gaining ground after having to take on and overcome a bunch of setbacks. So the further back you are in the production queue, the less you're effected. However, I'll provide some general highlights of the fun-filled process of delivering a simplistic board-boat to market in 2021. How hard could it be? If you're in business at all right now, you will either fall over laughing or crying or both.

1-Shortages: Broadly spread high demand, when coupled with even slightly disrupted supply causes supply chains to overheat, jam and in some cases break. Suppliers come back with terrifying statements amounting to  "yeah we can't make any more this year". Add the Texas weather disaster, which gored the plastics supply chain in North America into the mix and it gets dumbfounding. Simplistically put, Texas is where North America makes plastics from petrochemicals. They really should have paid their electric bill.
Solution: Elevate the level of all threatened buffer stocks. Or in layman's terms, in the case of any threatened material, when you get any warning of a supply line getting disrupted you need to find what's left of it in the world, buy it get it shipped to you and hoard it. So far we've needed to execute this maneuver on honeycomb core material for hulls, bespoke copolymerizing spray glue for hulls, stickyback deck padding for hulls and cardboard packaging material for full boats. Our purchase orders outstanding on other fronts to carry out the same move with other materials exceed this several times over. 14 foot reams of carboard and 14 foot reams of core material are actually too heavy for a standard forklift with extensions to lift without pitchpoling. Don't worry, we didn't learn that the hard way. In areas where we have partners to hold inventory, the solution is different. You call them weekly and beg them to keep their promise to not sell your inventory to another company behind your back. In no-win scenarios, you sick engineering on finding alternatives. This is a very new experience. Meanwhile, all of this extra effort is not effort spent building boats, so much as assuring the ability to build boats at all. 
Check

2-Logistics: in a way this is a part of highlight #1 but that's true across nearly all of this list. If you've seen the news you'll know that freight is floating for weeks off the ports of LA and Long Beach and somehow ship pilots who drive down the Suez canal like clockwork managed to jam a whopper ship in the middle of it. These aren't isolated events, they're symptoms of global freight logistics coming apart at the seams. From local pickups, to postage, to rail cars full of peroxide the business of moving from A to B is unnervingly off its game. Exhaustion from years of overwork followed by pandemic dieoffs and work-stoppages at the staff level and now obscene levels of demand are making logistics ripe for improvement and innovation.... anybody have any ideas? In the here and now, we're all stumped.  Example: say you had one ton of a certain metal scheduled to be trucked from the manufacturer to the finisher. The vendor says the goods are done and will be moving to the finisher this week. You check in with the finisher and let them know. Good! In two weeks, you check with the finisher. "We never received it." Huh? Call the vendor. "Oh yeah all our [insert utterly essential industrial machinery] broke down from overuse. We're backed up for two months. No wait a minute, let me check. [cheerful humming] Oh dude! You're in luck! It's done and it's just been waiting on the loading dock for two weeks. Our driver must have forgotten. Makes sense. We've been going flat out for so long." Shocking. Convey extreme anger and disappointment and remedy immediate error.  In the short run, we tasked our engineers with locating a readily available far more expensive substitute in order to stay on schedule. They succeeded, but only after a good deal of hunting around which obviously pushes other work back. 
Solution: Babysit absolutely everything. Trust no shipping schedule and expect to do every dispatcher's job for them. Kirk Nash, my director of sales also handles logistics on outbound freight and helps me with a good amount of inbound. He's a hero. 
Check

3- Real estate: If these  newfound massive mountains of inventory finally arrive, where do you put it when your pallet racks over the shop floor are already full? Amazing question. The North American manufacturing sector is remarkably overheated, so the pickings are arduous to locate if present at all. As an extra curveball, gelcoat smells a lot and adds on some extra hesitancy from landlords in a variety of cases. Grumbling about landlords and zoning is really a waste of oxygen and yields no solutions.
Solution: I wouldn't say we've solved it but renting a huge covered tent in the boatyard across the street from us with a gravel floor kinda helped. Forklifts don't like gravel. Sub-Solution: floor it with chip-board left over from another job so the forklift can't sink. For those of you working in construction or doing a home renovation and reconciling the fact that oriented strandboard sheets are 16 times more expensive than they used to be, I am so sorry about this. We can hear perfectly good sheets of it loudly crackling and turning to carpet as the fork truck moves across it.
Check

4-Covid! Well, yeah, that's an obvious one but not in the way you'd expect. When you test everybody on a weekly basis, split lunch breaks into population-capped shifts and require masks everywhere, that does nothing to protect workers from their families. It makes it possible to catch infected persons before they infect others and send them home on paid sick leave where they hopefully have an easy time with the virus. Still hurts everyone. In my view, pandemic fatigue clearly has played a role in these kinds of events in organizations that previously had strong track records from workplace practices. As one parting shot, when you require vaccines for your employees you also immediately embrace the risk of people being out sick with side effects. My god, the irony! A week ago I intercepted one of my guys at the start of the day visibly shaking after getting dose 2 the day before. "You look awful". "I feel awful but you need these parts done. I haven't slept but I want to help." "Go home. Please go home. You're going to hurt yourself and you aren't expendable to your family or this company.".  It's not fun. We're finally really coming out the other end of it, but if we don't all get vaccinated, the odds of a more powerful variant evolving soon are far higher. To anyone who has misgivings about vaccines, please get it for us in manufacturing.
Solution: Please just get the vaccine. Just do it.


5- Quality and technology: This one is a total own-goal but also unavoidable. To make a boat hit this price point at this weight and strength, you need to push an already good production composites shop to entirely new levels of accuracy and speed. The rates are dizzying and the possible pitfalls are just outright fatalities for hulls. Essentially, the "infusion friendly" honeybomb core material that makes the rocket possible when combined with a lightweight laminate was a challenge. It's one we took on with full knowledge as a our duty to overcome. We did overcome it, but only after throwing ten whole hulls into the dumpster. Test panels over last summer only told us so much, the shakedown inside the molds is always a rough ride. The name Rocket seemed overly apt at the time we were going through this, as the road to success in actual rocketry was and still is paved with blown up rockets. 
Solution: Press on. The good news is that taking these blows and, as a team, working through the systems to assure repeatable successful builds at quality is the actual work of bringing a new sailboat to market. This is the actual basic work of delivering on our promises and making new good products real. It has been remarkably difficult and produced perpetual exhaustion and frustration. Occasionally, lesser members who aren't getting it need to be shown the door and replaced. Fulcrum is geared to beat these challenges. It's our strong suit and we have battled through each obstacle to be where we are now, delivering boats.


In summation, we're sending toys to their new homes and we hope you love them as much as we do. Everything we have to give, we are giving. Every hour we have to work, we are working. Every dollar we have to spend we are throwing into the process to pave the way. 

Boosters firing. We are in the air.

DRC
 

IMG_6582.HEIC IMG_6652.HEIC IMG_6791.HEIC IMG_6793.HEIC IMG_6710.HEIC IMG_6786.HEIC

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The difference in quality and technology between this and powerboats is staggering. Powerboats are stuck in the 60s albeit with shinier gelcoat, fancier electronics and "grids" instead of "hat sections." But no vacuum bagging. No cores. NO engineering. No Q/C. Just a lot of Sales & Marketing. LOL.

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Great summary of a very tough spring, Dave.   If I go back to teaching manufacturing management some day, I'll invite you up as a guest lecture to discuss 'Supply Chain Disruptions and how to Manage Them.'   Its been a crazy year.  The boats look great.  Once you have dialed in your process, do you plan to apply your silicone 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' resin delivery system to the Rocket as well?

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The HEIC download instead of showing up in line for me (Mac) - maybe it's my settings. Here's one of the pics as a jpg to show up inline. Looks really cool. 

No doubt people have to be shown the door to get real quality. That stove I mentioned above used 1" bolts to hold the legs on. I went on a road trip once and came back and the guy in charge was using 3/4" bolts - which were catching by about 1 thread or less - 400 lbs of hot fire filled stove held up by nothing.

"Kevin, why did you use those 3/4" bolts" 

"The supplier was out of 1" bolts"

"Well, didn't you think of going to the hardware store across the street and picking up the right ones?".

 

There is literally nothing that can be done about "logic" like that. 

rocket.jpg

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7 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

Great summary of a very tough spring, Dave.   If I go back to teaching manufacturing management some day, I'll invite you up as a guest lecture to discuss 'Supply Chain Disruptions and how to Manage Them.'   Its been a crazy year.  The boats look great.  Once you have dialed in your process, do you plan to apply your silicone 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' resin delivery system to the Rocket as well?

I'm happy to coach students any time. I'm grateful for all the guest lectures, good and bad, that I've ever received. The rocket hull and deck are locked in enough that it's a matter for free time before the bag is built. Lots  of discusion has gone into it. Tony and I are proud of the longevity we've achieved with the UFO bag (still running) but convinced we made it far too complex. We have a plan in place to make the Rocket bag virtually featureless in comparison. The big step up with the rocket tooling is 1. temperature controlled tools (nearly done being built up the hill) done via parabeam water manifolding in the exterior for cold water and hot water. This massively improves the cycle rate. 2. spinning the hull tool onto the deck tool to bond hull and deck before the first mold release (same as above parenthetical). This amounts to pulling fully assembled hulls from the one master tool on a daily basis. The massive difference is the cycle rate per mold. The difference is thousands of square footage in required floor space for output. See 3 in the above post. Essential.

Thank you all for getting it. We are throwing our hearts and souls into it and it gives me solace to see my team leaning into it and the public at large equally understanding it.

DRC

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18 hours ago, Dave Clark said:

Thank you all for getting it. We are throwing our hearts and souls into it and it gives me solace to see my team leaning into it and the public at large equally understanding it.

DRC

Dave,

As a software and digital product Product Manager, it is inspiring to learn about hardware product and supply chain management from you.  Thank you for all that you and your team share here.

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Thanks Dave! Boat arrived last weekend. It’s exactly as advertised - a complete gas that is simple, stable, and fast. Tons of fun. Kids and I love it - we’re going to put A LOT of hours on it this summer. Congrats to you and the team. Home run. 

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23 hours ago, Jackie Treehorn said:

Thanks Dave! Boat arrived last weekend. It’s exactly as advertised - a complete gas that is simple, stable, and fast. Tons of fun. Kids and I love it - we’re going to put A LOT of hours on it this summer. Congrats to you and the team. Home run. 

NO NO NO, That will not do.

We need a full report - like everything. Pics of you sitting in it with other people at dock and water - to know how it looks w/people. Reports of exactly how the CB works and all that stuff.

Remember, none of us get to see it. The Factory has no time to present it to us in "normal everyday use" fashion. 

Tell us everything! What winds you are out in - does it seem easy to capsize? How comfy it is - where do people sit. 

If not...well, we will wait for the next owner.

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19 minutes ago, craigiri said:

NO NO NO, That will not do.

We need a full report - like everything. Pics of you sitting in it with other people at dock and water - to know how it looks w/people. Reports of exactly how the CB works and all that stuff.

 

The rule is -- footage from 5 GoPros or it didn't happen.

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9 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Just paint a watercolour of how you felt out there sailing it for the first time.

Or write a country song about it.

Either way, post to the Maritime Art thread, too, please

- DSK

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13 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

The rule is -- footage from 5 GoPros or it didn't happen.

Hah , I'm a one GoPro guy. Or even a one Yi guy. 

But often the real idea is to get someone else to take the photos. I've never been able to do that much. 

Capsizes are funny on multiple cams tho - you don't know what's happening and then it's like you are underwater and Glub Club Glub (sounds). 

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  • 3 weeks later...

First sail.  Lots of fun.  Xmas present for my wife who has been wanting a sunfish but I was just was not excited about getting her a sunfish.  Saw this last december and jumped on it.  So far so good.  Only negative for us is when we launch from the dock the stern goes under and scopes up a bunch of water.  What you don't see in the last picture is the stern is sitting on a roller so it is super easy to just roll it in and out of the water.  

Dave a nice accessory would be a cover that goes over the boat and sail as it sits on the dock.  One to protect the sail from the sun and two to protect the boat from the shells the seaguls drop on the dock.  

Also I would ditch the plastic clam cleats and put in aluminum.   Does anybody use plastic anymore for those items?  They are hard to see in the pictures since we have a massive bow line around the mast but they are for the main halyard and boom downhaul.

7063DC28-A03A-41CD-B193-BE337F1F21CC.thumb.JPG.8c1bbfc330d3dd1b79ab521ba5167146.JPG

C5E18033-9989-4019-AABF-8439897DA7AD.JPG

A6B448CE-A52A-4F18-946E-3337A74C80A8.JPG

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That is purfect.

Sailor's Tailor for cover? Dave? They did our Thistle stuff bitd--we used to sell new boats with them as an option. Linthicum Sailmakers made me a great cover too for a custom daysailor I designed.

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14 hours ago, robalex117 said:

First sail.  Lots of fun.  Xmas present for my wife who has been wanting a sunfish but I was just was not excited about getting her a sunfish.  Saw this last december and jumped on it.  So far so good.  Only negative for us is when we launch from the dock the stern goes under and scopes up a bunch of water.  What you don't see in the last picture is the stern is sitting on a roller so it is super easy to just roll it in and out of the water.  

Dave a nice accessory would be a cover that goes over the boat and sail as it sits on the dock.  One to protect the sail from the sun and two to protect the boat from the shells the seaguls drop on the dock.  

Also I would ditch the plastic clam cleats and put in aluminum.   Does anybody use plastic anymore for those items?  They are hard to see in the pictures since we have a massive bow line around the mast but they are for the main halyard and boom downhaul.

7063DC28-A03A-41CD-B193-BE337F1F21CC.thumb.JPG.8c1bbfc330d3dd1b79ab521ba5167146.JPG

C5E18033-9989-4019-AABF-8439897DA7AD.JPG

A6B448CE-A52A-4F18-946E-3337A74C80A8.JPG

SLO Sails does a mast up cover for Phantom, have to check with Fulcrum if any of the changes to the deck might make it incompatible.

https://www.slosailandcanvas.com/phantom-mooring-cover-boat-mast-up-flat-top-cover/

 

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10 hours ago, valcour said:

Is that little loop of line amidships just there for tying down to a dock, or does it have another purpose?  Mounting holes for oarlocks, perhaps?

That little loop comes with the boat and is how you would attach the boat to the dolly.  Dolly comes with the boat but we are not using it for storing on the dock.

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2 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

SLO Sails does a mast up cover for Phantom, have to check with Fulcrum if any of the changes to the deck might make it incompatible.

https://www.slosailandcanvas.com/phantom-mooring-cover-boat-mast-up-flat-top-cover/

 

Nice tip.  Hull is the same.  Deck is just cutout.  Only possible problem is if the mast is in slightly different position which I doubt.  

Dave do you see any  issues with this cover?  

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44 minutes ago, robalex117 said:

Nice tip.  Hull is the same.  Deck is just cutout.  Only possible problem is if the mast is in slightly different position which I doubt.  

Dave do you see any  issues with this cover?  

I'm quite certain it'll do fine, as will any Phantom cover. Below the hull deck joint all we did to the hull was fare it. That shape has many many merits, especially in light air. We've left the issue of covers for later to lower the burden on our friends at North. The high demand combined with material pipeline issues,  as well as lockdowns and curfews in Sri Lanka (where the North OEM plant is) has left them very tight on capacity. So to increase the odds of our supply of sails running smoothly, we've pushed covers to the back burner.

DRC

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3 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

Didn't take long for this class to go to the dogs....

Your point is?

 

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11 hours ago, PurpleOnion said:

Your point is?

 

I guarantee that's a pun. Actually made my morning combined with the world class boat+dog pic.
68227FF2-760F-496E-92C1-8D13531F09FD.thumb.JPG.b978be3df96d09cbed239b46299f915a.jpg.1f44475d46d513f28f75b6d547327ceb.jpg
So much room for activities!

DRC

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On 7/5/2021 at 5:51 AM, Dave Clark said:

So much room for activities!

DRC

Might be the best selling point right there.

 

Plus obligatory Step Brothers image

e07d2fddbe148fcf2f2d1915bc80e3ab.jpg

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Sorta gives "christening" a boat a new slant....slightly more sinful. It's somewhat a rite of passage with new products - I remember one of the hottest lines in our field....the wifey and I joked that when we obtained the dealership we were gonna "christen" one of the models on the showroom floor.

But back to the Dogs - one of my memories is watching a experienced sailor (a coach, teacher) with his choice of boats take a couple hours on a Board Boat with him and his dog. I don't know why it stuck with me - maybe because he was in business with the boats and teaching and here he was actually enjoying the endeavor.

Which definitely indicates the new Rocket ads which will be following us all over the internet once production is built up past demand (like those dang UFO ads that already follow me everywhere). 

Dogs sell boats - and they never come back to you asking for fees for their modeling services. 

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20 minutes ago, efrank said:

Anyone have any pictures of the foils?  I am curious how/if they differ from the Sunfish.

Don't have much experiance with sunfish but the rudder is a little bigger than a laser and the daggerboard is a lot smaller.  Slighly smaller in length but about 1/2 the chord length.

 

IMG_1106.thumb.jpeg.347fb0def23c28cf2359e1b6df0d5287.jpegIMG_1107.thumb.jpeg.592d2e58d1462340ec3b1783c160b5b6.jpeg

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Is the finish on the hull seating surface (where dog paws are, etc.) matt or finished differently than the rest of the hull?

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4 hours ago, craigiri said:

Is the finish on the hull seating surface (where dog paws are, etc.) matt or finished differently than the rest of the hull?

Same as the hull.  There is seadeck on the cockpit sole.

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Dave,

I've got two questions for you; any idea on the time frame for the backcountry model and how about a west coast dealer? Thanks!

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