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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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  • 3 weeks later...

Question: Would the Rocket be suitable for 2.5 people? 410 lbs of crew weight?

The Details:

I'm in the market for a boat or three.  I've been looking at the Rocket, The RS Zest, and the new Laser Cascais (and an Aero7 perhaps).  I have a Dolphin Sr which is more or less an aged, heavy and uncomfortable cousin to the Rocket or Sunfish.  You can physically have two adult males on the boat, but it's not ideal.  The Dolphin Sr was gifted to me from a friend who hadn't been using it.  It's in decent condition (new sail, pulleys, cam cleat, lines, but needs a few things still - paint finish repair, tiller bolt, trailer re-wiring), but I'm not excited about it.  I'm looking for a little more room in the cockpit for family (but not all of them at the same time).  I'd ideally like to be able to take my father (185 lbs) and one son (50 lbs) along with me (175 lbs).  Performance doesn't have to be stellar in this condition, but still lively enough not to bore my son (7 yo).   My father (or wife) is ballast, not crew, so advise accordingly. 

Even though my 7 yo will graduate out to his own boat soon enough, his younger brother would probably take his place, while Mom might join one of the boats or watch from the beach. Taking it one boat at a time, I'm tempted to sell the Dolphin Sr in favor of one of the more modern boats listed above and add a second (besides an Optimist) a year or two after that.  I'd like to ultimately end up in an Aero or something on my own and have one or two other dinghies for family fun, including one multi-string/sail trainer type (akin to the Cascais or Zest, or suggest other here).  It feels like the Rocket might be a good fit here, but it may depend on suitability for carrying two adult males and a child (410 to 430 lbs of crew and gear).  

 

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17 minutes ago, Hot and Soggy said:

Question: Would the Rocket be suitable for 2.5 people? 410 lbs of crew weight?

The Details:

I'm in the market for a boat or three.  I've been looking at the Rocket, The RS Zest, and the new Laser Cascais (and an Aero7 perhaps).  I have a Dolphin Sr which is more or less an aged, heavy and uncomfortable cousin to the Rocket or Sunfish.  You can physically have two adult males on the boat, but it's not ideal.  The Dolphin Sr was gifted to me from a friend who hadn't been using it.  It's in decent condition (new sail, pulleys, cam cleat, lines, but needs a few things still - paint finish repair, tiller bolt, trailer re-wiring), but I'm not excited about it.  I'm looking for a little more room in the cockpit for family (but not all of them at the same time).  I'd ideally like to be able to take my father (185 lbs) and one son (50 lbs) along with me (175 lbs).  Performance doesn't have to be stellar in this condition, but still lively enough not to bore my son (7 yo).   My father (or wife) is ballast, not crew, so advise accordingly. 

Even though my 7 yo will graduate out to his own boat soon enough, his younger brother would probably take his place, while Mom might join one of the boats or watch from the beach. Taking it one boat at a time, I'm tempted to sell the Dolphin Sr in favor of one of the more modern boats listed above and add a second (besides an Optimist) a year or two after that.  I'd like to ultimately end up in an Aero or something on my own and have one or two other dinghies for family fun, including one multi-string/sail trainer type (akin to the Cascais or Zest, or suggest other here).  It feels like the Rocket might be a good fit here, but it may depend on suitability for carrying two adult males and a child (410 to 430 lbs of crew and gear).  

 

Sounds like you need to purchase two Rockets!

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Convert wife into crew and with two rockets, fun filled family grudge matches followed by chicken fights in the shallows and delicious grill after.

Also fun for sinfish seek and destroy missions hah

Whatever Phantom carried, add 50#.

I sailed a phantom 2handed and had a blast vack in hs. I was 185 and friend 160. 6 pack and gallon of water did not slow us down.

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35 minutes ago, Alan Crawford said:

Sounds like you need to purchase two Rockets!

Maybe, but I'd still like to add something with a headsail and kite at some point

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21 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Convert wife into crew and with two rockets, fun filled family grudge matches followed by chicken fights in the shallows and delicious grill after.

Also fun for sinfish seek and destroy missions hah

Whatever Phantom carried, add 50#.

I sailed a phantom 2handed and had a blast vack in hs. I was 185 and friend 160. 6 pack and gallon of water did not slow us down.

That sounds like it'd be about right, in terms of weight. 

Wife thinks her idea of a good time is sitting as a passenger in a power boat, so there's some work to be done.

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24 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Also fun for sinfish seek and destroy missions hah

Wait, was sinfish a typo?  Haha!  I'm going to assume intentional.  lol

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2 hours ago, Hot and Soggy said:

Question: Would the Rocket be suitable for 2.5 people? 410 lbs of crew weight?

The Details:

I'm in the market for a boat or three.  I've been looking at the Rocket, The RS Zest, and the new Laser Cascais (and an Aero7 perhaps).  I have a Dolphin Sr which is more or less an aged, heavy and uncomfortable cousin to the Rocket or Sunfish.  You can physically have two adult males on the boat, but it's not ideal.  The Dolphin Sr was gifted to me from a friend who hadn't been using it.  It's in decent condition (new sail, pulleys, cam cleat, lines, but needs a few things still - paint finish repair, tiller bolt, trailer re-wiring), but I'm not excited about it.  I'm looking for a little more room in the cockpit for family (but not all of them at the same time).  I'd ideally like to be able to take my father (185 lbs) and one son (50 lbs) along with me (175 lbs).  Performance doesn't have to be stellar in this condition, but still lively enough not to bore my son (7 yo).   My father (or wife) is ballast, not crew, so advise accordingly. 

Even though my 7 yo will graduate out to his own boat soon enough, his younger brother would probably take his place, while Mom might join one of the boats or watch from the beach. Taking it one boat at a time, I'm tempted to sell the Dolphin Sr in favor of one of the more modern boats listed above and add a second (besides an Optimist) a year or two after that.  I'd like to ultimately end up in an Aero or something on my own and have one or two other dinghies for family fun, including one multi-string/sail trainer type (akin to the Cascais or Zest, or suggest other here).  It feels like the Rocket might be a good fit here, but it may depend on suitability for carrying two adult males and a child (410 to 430 lbs of crew and gear).  

 

Rocket looks like a great boat, but wouldn't be my first choice for three people.

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3 hours ago, efrank said:

Rocket looks like a great boat, but wouldn't be my first choice for three people.

Either is zest or Aero, tho - even less so. Zest is 1 or 1.5 people, Aero 1.

The other one mentioned - Cascais - isn't that sorta vaporware currently? That is, not really available to buy easily on this side of the pond? 

If I wanted all the sails and all the people I'd consider Quest but you have to deal with more weight of boat. I was able to launch one on a dolly by myself (barely), but two people would have no problems.

My Rocket fantasies are me 80% of the time, me w/one or two grandkids sometimes - and me w/one other adult for one hour pleasure cruises (maybe 350 lbs total).  

The Rocket cockpit and weight (boat hull) combo doesn't really exist elsewhere - less so for $4500 or so. 

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1 hour ago, craigiri said:

Either is zest or Aero, tho - even less so. Zest is 1 or 1.5 people, Aero 1.

The other one mentioned - Cascais - isn't that sorta vaporware currently? That is, not really available to buy easily on this side of the pond? 

If I wanted all the sails and all the people I'd consider Quest but you have to deal with more weight of boat. I was able to launch one on a dolly by myself (barely), but two people would have no problems.

My Rocket fantasies are me 80% of the time, me w/one or two grandkids sometimes - and me w/one other adult for one hour pleasure cruises (maybe 350 lbs total).  

The Rocket cockpit and weight (boat hull) combo doesn't really exist elsewhere - less so for $4500 or so. 

I talked to the LPE distributor closest to me and from what I could tell, Cascais would be as early as late November to whenever, and I've seen below average reports about LPE's customer service, communication, or timeliness.  Cascais seems like a slightly lighter and less expensive than RS Feva.  Crew capacity comparison, unknown.  The Fusion is mentioned across the pond as another in this space, but possibly also too small for 2.5, and I don't think there's distribution in NA.

Quest is definitely heavier than I want (309 lb hull).  Vago maybe? Heavier than Cascais, Zest, Feva, but smaller and lighter than Quest.  Feels like I'm headed towards 2 boats - a rocket (for simplicity - maybe can train up my dad or wife), and one of the others for a stepping stone toward the extra complexity.

The Aero talk is just as another go-fast boat, not filling the family role.  Spendy but alluring.  

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1 hour ago, craigiri said:

The Rocket cockpit and weight (boat hull) combo doesn't really exist elsewhere - less so for $4500 or so. 

This.  really attractive threesome

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5 hours ago, Hot and Soggy said:

I talked to the LPE distributor closest to me and from what I could tell, Cascais would be as early as late November to whenever, and I've seen below average reports about LPE's customer service, communication, or timeliness.  Cascais seems like a slightly lighter and less expensive than RS Feva.  Crew capacity comparison, unknown.  The Fusion is mentioned across the pond as another in this space, but possibly also too small for 2.5, and I don't think there's distribution in NA.

Quest is definitely heavier than I want (309 lb hull).  Vago maybe? Heavier than Cascais, Zest, Feva, but smaller and lighter than Quest.  Feels like I'm headed towards 2 boats - a rocket (for simplicity - maybe can train up my dad or wife), and one of the others for a stepping stone toward the extra complexity.

The Aero talk is just as another go-fast boat, not filling the family role.  Spendy but alluring.  

A used international 420 is a good option for the more complexity route. Or a used club 420 with spinnaker and trapeze gear. The Intl is lighter and way more fun and the class is making a real comeback seems to me (here in the US--it never drooped much overseas). I had ridiculous fun on an international 420.

The rocket is a revelation. I grabbed one by the hiking strap and picked the whole hull up on my hip!

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6 hours ago, fastyacht said:

A used international 420 is a good option for the more complexity route. Or a used club 420 with spinnaker and trapeze gear. The Intl is lighter and way more fun and the class is making a real comeback seems to me (here in the US--it never drooped much overseas). I had ridiculous fun on an international 420.

Thanks for the suggestion.  That hadn't been on my radar.  Seems to be many for sale on the East Coast at a reasonable price.

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A clean Laser2 might check your boxes.  Big cockpit.  Two people.  Three sails.

Easily handled ashore.  Inexpensive.  Fast (way faster than you think).  Self-bailing and easy to right.  Rewarding for novices or experts.  A true upwind planer, which is still rare. 

No racing class, of course. 

 

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On 7/29/2021 at 11:20 PM, Hot and Soggy said:

I talked to the LPE distributor closest to me and from what I could tell, Cascais would be as early as late November to whenever, and I've seen below average reports about LPE's customer service, communication, or timeliness.  Cascais seems like a slightly lighter and less expensive than RS Feva.  Crew capacity comparison, unknown.  The Fusion is mentioned across the pond as another in this space, but possibly also too small for 2.5, and I don't think there's distribution in NA.

Quest is definitely heavier than I want (309 lb hull).  Vago maybe? Heavier than Cascais, Zest, Feva, but smaller and lighter than Quest.  Feels like I'm headed towards 2 boats - a rocket (for simplicity - maybe can train up my dad or wife), and one of the others for a stepping stone toward the extra complexity.

The Aero talk is just as another go-fast boat, not filling the family role.  Spendy but alluring.  

Gets to the point where so many of these boats seem similar. One or two NA distributors show and price the Fusion on their site - but, as you mention, what's the real diff between that and a Feva in daily use.

The Aero and it's weight is a big deal - but 10K? Looking from a "know nothing" POV, if the Rocket can be sold for less than 5K w/advanced lightweight construction, I wonder why a slightly more conventional "working mans aero" can't be made for 5K? (that is, a rec. boat with a Jib and Main) - at 80 lbs or so. I understand that Aero is probably a "built to a standard, not a price" type of setup...all and well. 

It may be that the lightweight boats prove so popular that they become the norm and the price/selection comes down w/competition. Out in the world the diff between 60-90 lbs and 135 is massive (for handling on land). Even the Zest, when I pulled it on it's cart, felt like cinderblocks. 

When I started looking I set a weight limit of 150 or so, which is prob fine for the <50 crowd. But pushing 70 I'm now thinking hard of <100 lbs. My two "temp boats" (Ladyslipper and Snark Sunflower) are 95 and 65 respectively and just perfect in weight terms. I don't have experience as an adult with Lanteen sails, but a couple hours in a rented Sunfish should inform me about that. 

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ALL the thermoplastic boats are dreadfully heavy and dull compared to a well-designed fiberglass setup. I just cannot get interested in that idea. I keep seeing these boats--Quest, Bahia, etc, and they are flexy, heavy, and they get beach rash like a kayak.

On the other hand, make a really good laminate like the Rocket and you have something!

The weight thing makes a huge difference in the real world. Years ago I found myself needing to find the right boat to suit a group of women who were tired of having to get help with the 60 lb plastic kayaks and the 80 lb canoes. I went with Bell Bucktails--they were 29 lbs. I even specified a custom laminate for them for an extra couple hundred bucks. Many discussions and one thing that became certain: 40 lbs was too heavy. 30 pounds would work.

We have the same thing going on with a 90 lb vers 145 lb daysailer.

 

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14 hours ago, fastyacht said:

I like the fiberGLASS boats being carried on what looks like a GLASS plate trailer.

:D  It’s actually multiple kayaks trailer with the upper bar removed. I like the setup.

I can carry two Rockets and two kayaks on it, or up to 6 kayaks with upper bars installed. 

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A couple at our club have a similar trailer for their 2 Lasers with a box in the middle. They also have it set up to accommodate a couple bikes - one on either side at the front. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

When a couple of you new owners get some higher wind experience - please report back. It would be really nice to know how it works in 10-15 MPH w/the usual 1" chop or so. I know it's similar to other boats, but with the different possible seating position(s) it would be nice to know.

It's on my short list - of <100 lbs. If it had the oarlocks installed it would be even more tempting - then again, if the boat is not right for the oarlock load or rowing (position), then it's not a great benefit. 

I don't think there is a single boat in the competitive range w.this - that is, multiple people (2) and less than 100 pounds and sit inside and 5G. I will look hard at the Aero also although I know it's a one person rig. The more I fiddle with my two "beaters" (one 65 lbs, one 110) the more sure I am that 100 lbs is my max for the very easiest handling.

 

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Could one of the new owners please post a picture of the dolly?  I am curious to see what it looks like.  

Any other pictures or videos would be appreciated!  I put a down payment on one back in May and I am still waiting to be in the build que.

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The dolly is very simple. It is just a tube with two wheels at ends and two ropes. It is a similar setup to beach cats. The boat is light enough to wrestle the tube under.

It is simple but not ideal. I would prefer dinghy dolly with a handle, like Seitech, for which, I guess, I have to dole out another $600…

B55D81D5-FAE1-4BF0-BC6A-8D76434E1E5F.jpeg

6717F22A-547E-41E7-9709-41A886D03F42.jpeg

B2A224A6-338E-4968-A4CA-515383215291.jpeg

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45 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Or add to poles and you have a dynamic

Sort of our whole theory regarding dolly design for both the UFO and the Rocket.

a) people need dollies for their boats
b) there is already a vendor for really exquisite dollies.
c) There is no vendor for very very rudimentary dollies
e) If you'd like to split the difference a piece to connect a tongue to a fulcrum dolly exists off the shelf https://www.hollaender.com/products/#item-03080-detail


It's my lunch break so I'll also give you the drawn out comedy version of my general theory of dolly pricing.

a) people need dollies for their boats
b) Dollies are generally only built to an exquisite standard such as the masterpieces made by Dynamic
c) not wanting the added hassle of building dollies most boat companies do not include the dolly in the price of the boat as the 3rd party dolly would bring the price point up.
d) two excited prospective customers then find out that the dolly is not actually considered an essential part of the boat and they are now required to reconsider the more expensive proposition of Boat+3rd party exquisite dolly
e1) customer A walks away
e2) Customer B accepts this higher price point and salesman gets all aroused because the customer has signalled a willingness to discuss up-sells. The salesman feverishly tries to pile on more and more and more up-sells onto customer B.
f1) Customer B is reconsidering whether he even wants a sailboat in the first place.
f2) Salesman, who is now piling a pyramid of goods on customer B and carrying out a real life experiment in Perfect Price Discrimination https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_discrimination, invests an absurd amount of hours in the one customer with a high spending limit. This then creates an utterly unsustainable expectation for this degree of care, attention and white glove service going forward.
g1) the long-gone customer A has now bought a pair of kayaks and an inflatable trampoline thing as toys for the summer instead and has totally forgotten about sailboats. These are of course not from the same company trying to now sell a trailer and spare rudder to customer B.
g2) Customer B  is now taking in person delivery of all of his stuff at his waterfront home. The salesman is now engaged to the customer's niece. 

Again, that's mainly a joke. I'm on my lunch break and blowing off steam. If I've managed to offend anyone, I'm extremely sorry. Back to building and shipping boats!

DRC

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11 hours ago, CrazyR said:

The dolly is very simple. It is just a tube with two wheels at ends and two ropes. It is a similar setup to beach cats. The boat is light enough to wrestle the tube under.

It is simple but not ideal. I would prefer dinghy dolly with a handle, like Seitech, for which, I guess, I have to dole out another $600…

B55D81D5-FAE1-4BF0-BC6A-8D76434E1E5F.jpeg

6717F22A-547E-41E7-9709-41A886D03F42.jpeg

B2A224A6-338E-4968-A4CA-515383215291.jpeg

Thanks!

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10 hours ago, ckcanoes said:

Thanks!

You are welcome!

and to make it clear, I didn’t try to criticize Fulcrum. Dollies are there, they are functional, and it is a better start than to get a boat without dolly. And, as Dave pointed out, there are plenty off the shelf parts or products to improve the dolly to my likening. May be, eventually. Right now I’m trying to get some free time to sail the boat. 
btw, I ordered Phantom covers mentioned upstream. Will report as soon as I get them, sometimes in September. There are two months waiting period. 

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Fwiw my mid 90s V15 Seitech continues to live on. The handle broke at the elbow but i like it better now as i can run it under trailers and transfer boats to/from it. I have abused it with canoes, roeboats, Int 10sqm, Larks, 420, sinfish, even 505. It wont give up.

If you must have a new one, buy Dynamic as that is the original Seitech's founder's new company...

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Having just bought one of the "exquisite dollies" last week, I have now, today, by virtue of Alanis Morissette's Law, discovered that there's a nice blog about building your own PVC dolly for a sunfish.  I'm not sure if we are allowed to link other sources here or not, as I'm new to the forum.  I'll have to review the rules.  But it's a pretty simple DIY that ends up costing about $100.  There's another blog that made some improvements on that design that look pretty good to me (includes stainless parts and tweaks some of the sizing to get a more secure fit on the dolly handle).  My2fish.  and MarksDIY.  I'm confident, the enterprising owner could easily adapt these plans dimensionally for the Rocket with little trouble.  

Edited by Hot and Soggy
humor
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Mark's DIY Sunfish Dolly Improvements

My2Fish original dolly without handle

My2Fish Dolly Handle addition

The My2Fish Blog captures notes and links to Mark's improvements on the main blog landing page as well. 

Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with either of these two sources and have not built these (yet).  

 

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When I bought my UFO from Fulcrum Speedworks, I knew that the dolly that they supplied (identical in concept if not identical in form) to the Rocket dolly would not work for my location.   We have a rocky shoreline and despite my continual efforts to remove larger rocks, there is a continual need for me to haul it up and over rough terrain.  So I contacted Dave and Dynamic and had them substitute a heavy-duty Dynamic dolly at extra cost.   It is really well built, but it's big (big beach wheels), heavy, and pricey.   However, it lets me use my boat on the shore in front of my house.   I've used UFOs at other locations that enjoy firm sand beaches or paved ramps and the dolly supplied with the boat is terrific, it works perfectly.   It is much easier to store ashore when you head out and to take with you when travelling.   Light and compact.   Its a great product for many applications, not the right one for others.

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1 hour ago, Champlain Sailor said:

When I bought my UFO from Fulcrum Speedworks, I knew that the dolly that they supplied (identical in concept if not identical in form) to the Rocket dolly would not work for my location.   We have a rocky shoreline and despite my continual efforts to remove larger rocks, there is a continual need for me to haul it up and over rough terrain.  So I contacted Dave and Dynamic and had them substitute a heavy-duty Dynamic dolly at extra cost.   It is really well built, but it's big (big beach wheels), heavy, and pricey.   However, it lets me use my boat on the shore in front of my house.   I've used UFOs at other locations that enjoy firm sand beaches or paved ramps and the dolly supplied with the boat is terrific, it works perfectly.   It is much easier to store ashore when you head out and to take with you when travelling.   Light and compact.   Its a great product for many applications, not the right one for others.

Also your boat looks totally badass on that dolly. It makes me genuinely jealous whenever I see it. Our dollies endeavor to define the barest of bare bones requirements for the sake of affordability. So they have a functional elegance somewhat akin to a bayonet or a wrench. However, there's no question there are countless tranches of quality to be explored higher up the spectrum.

DRC

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The single most important spec for a cheap or included dolly is that it can't make it easy to fuck up the boat (drop it off one end, etc.) with.

Since all 3 of my wheeled things right now were/are homemade or included, I have learned the hard way - or, more accurately, never learned. A simply strap solves the problem(s) but I am often too lazy and think "those rubber things can't slip on that hull".

One of mine is a PVC model (but no handle, so I'd call these a cart as opposed to the scitech type). It's very heavy duty but also heavy in weight (doesn't matter much because I can life with one hand and throw in the trunk). I think it's the wheels (they are mid-sized very nice looking tires and wheels). 

All that said, Customer C would never complain if Boat Builder F bought handled dollies at wholesale and then subtracted the cost of theirs and had a "add $300 for scitech dolly" or whatever. 

Customer C can also say there is fun is looking around for used ones - quite a few of which exist and updates and modifications on such would be easy. It would seem the super-lightweight road-ready alum trailers might be a solution for some too - for local short hauls and launching - gotta look at what's around (I remember some super-light ones which were road rated - but for short hauls). 

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10 hours ago, craigiri said:

Boat Builder F bought handled dollies at wholesale and then subtracted the cost of theirs and had a "add $300 for scitech dolly" or whateve

Fancy dolly builder wouldn't let that happen. Their sub