The Coolest Cat

MR.CLEAN

Moderator
46,277
4,425
Not here
I just got off the phone with the man himself, one of the most influential waterman in history. The father of the modern surfboard and the man who revolutionized catamaran design and construction, Hobie is a legend that spans across vessels, disciplines, and sports.

I first started thinking about Hobie when fuel went through the roof - the same economic issue that may have helped Hobie Cats get so big in the 70s. I thought he might be able to give sailors and industry insiders some perspective on the past and future of sailing. It's taken me a couple of months to track him down, but today he agreed to answer the Anarchists' questions on tape. If it's good enough, we'll post the whole interview, but since it will probably be really long, it will probably end up as a written story.

Here is some history about Hobie, and here's some more. Read up if you like, or add your own Hobie story, and post your questions here.

We'll see if we can't get the forum sponsor, Corsair, to give out some hats or shirts to the best 3 questions. Have at it.

 
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sailone

Anarchist
540
0
1) Do you feel that the multihull community will ever be as large as the monohull in terms of club racing?

2) What are your thoughts in regards to multihulls in the Olympics? Is there a future for another multihull event?

3) Was the success of Hobie marketing genius or just pure luck?

4) How can local clubs encourage more multihull sailing?

 

SCARECROW

Super Anarchist
5,998
686
Melbourne, Aus
Hobie USA and Europe have taking very different paths in modern times with Europe focussing on performance boats and USA targeting the less racing inclined with their Roto moulded products. This appears to have been brought about primarily due to the different local markets? Which do you believe better reflects the original ideas and goals behind your early catamarans?

 

MauganTornado

Super Anarchist
What was your personal opinion on the "Hobie Edict" that essentially banned non-hobies from HCA-sponsored regattas in North America?

Do you feel it has helped or hurt multihull participation?

Do you have any novel ideas (besides sticking them on waves) to get youth sailors involved in multihulls?

 
Do you have any novel ideas (besides sticking them on waves) to get youth sailors involved in multihulls?
Hobie clubs/communities would beg to differ with you on this - we don't just "stick them on waves" - we get them started very young and groom them to love the sport - with people they know and love and keep them interested...keep it fun! The Hobie way of life is all about fun - freedom AND skill - intertwined in a learning experience that never truly ends. I have to boast about our northeast community - and given the fact that we have probably the SHORTEST sailing season in the east, we do very well - we have youth groups that have grown up on the hobie way of life that REPRESENT at National and World events EVERY YEAR...

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MR.CLEAN

Moderator
46,277
4,425
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A little clarification: According to Hobie, he's not very well-informed on the state of the sport for the past decade or so. I'm sure he is somewhat aware, and he certainly has some idea what's going on at the Hobie Cat Co., but he hangs out in Idaho and does a lot of fly fishing and golfing...you might keep your questions either historical, or current but pretty general.

 

Vgree

Super Anarchist
4,441
186
OKC, Oklahoma
What is your favorite Hobie you designed?

What hull number on the Hobie 14's did you stop doing alot of the glass work? I only ask because mine was 242, I thought that might have been on your worked on.

Also, I would just like to thank him, my first sailboat was a Hobie 14, I would not be where I am today with out that old boat.

 

Derek Grebe

Super Anarchist
6,127
111
Dubai, UAE
my first cat was a second hand '16

my second was a brand new one.

fantastic boats

a US relative of mine, based in Florida these days, told me a tale of buying Hobie 14 no. 0001 off you, way back when.

He said you wanted the 0001 sail no. back, and swapped it for a road trailer.

Any truth to this tale?

 

MauganTornado

Super Anarchist
A little clarification: According to Hobie, he's not very well-informed on the state of the sport for the past decade or so. I'm sure he is somewhat aware, and he certainly has some idea what's going on at the Hobie Cat Co., but he hangs out in Idaho and does a lot of fly fishing and golfing...you might keep your questions either historical, or current but pretty general.
I find the notion that Mr. Alter has no opinion either way on the questions I've asked to be quite honestly, preposterous. Even if he "has no opinion" at least the question(s) was asked.

 

DryArmour

Super Anarchist
I just got off the phone with the man himself, one of the most influential waterman in history. The father of the modern surfboard and the man who revolutionized catamaran design and construction, Hobie is a legend that spans across vessels, disciplines, and sports.
I first started thinking about Hobie when fuel went through the roof - the same economic issue that may have helped Hobie Cats get so big in the 70s. I thought he might be able to give sailors and industry insiders some perspective on the past and future of sailing. It's taken me a couple of months to track him down, but today he agreed to answer the Anarchists' questions on tape. If it's good enough, we'll post the whole interview, but since it will probably be really long, it will probably end up as a written story.

Here is some history about Hobie, and here's some more. Read up if you like, or add your own Hobie story, and post your questions here.

We'll see if we can't get the forum sponsor, Corsair, to give out some hats or shirts to the best 3 questions. Have at it.
CLEAN:

Ask Hobie Sr the following-

Do you feel that the success of the brand and the class was based more on the performance of the boats and their ease of use or were the after regatta parties and lifestyle promotion the key to Hobie Cat's success in the 1970s and early 1980s?

Part 2 would be, do you feel that bringing back the high quality parties, and after regatta fun are feasible in these times of high liability?

 

KONeill

Member
147
75
There was considerable disagreement in the H16 fleet I sailed in years ago as to how you intended the 16 to be set up when it first came out; did you forsee the mast rake that eventually became the fast way to sail the boat? I always thought that was not planned for, or you would have used a lower profile block setup, shorter stock shrouds, etc.

I have probably owned a dozen H16s, I love them. Work of genius, even if the eventual racing setup was not what you had in mind to start off.

Oh, also, how much did you sail the Malibu Outrigger before you started on the H14 and 16? Was it much of an influence, or not at all? Ever sailed a shunting proa?

Kevin

 

hobot

Super Anarchist
How did they get the foam core layup construction and interior pylon pods figured out.

How has Katie Sue fared since being built and what changes would he make to her and how many powercats were built .

Does he have a hand in the H-33 upgrades or is it just Robbie doing it.

 




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