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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:40 am
Posts: 466
Location: Metuchen NJ
just look at the US catamaran market in general:
those of us in the sport in the 70's saw large numbers of Hobies sold. I'm sure Matt can attest to that. there were at least 5 Hobie dealers in NJ. I think one survives today.
participation at divisional regattas was high. some of the larger events had upwards of 90-100 boats.

then along came the sailboard and many sailors migrated to them. then the personal watercraft boom took off. then kayaks, and on...
As a friends always notes to me: 'it takes brains to sail'. other forms of play took precedent over cats, whether for cost or ease of use.

some including Hobie have produced models for the public that are simpler to use and easier to obtain financially. a smart move to stay in business.

today, multihulls have a much smaller but very passionate following. not a very good model to introduce a new product.

if I had $18 grand to spend on a boat, it would not be on a beach cat, as much as I love them.

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Chris
'88 H18SE Arís


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:19 am 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 3:15 pm
Posts: 480
Location: Buffalo, NY
OlderBowman wrote:
those of us in the sport in the 70's saw large numbers of Hobies sold...
today, multihulls have a much smaller but very passionate following. not a very good model to introduce a new product.

if I had $18 grand to spend on a boat, it would not be on a beach cat, as much as I love them.


Sad but true. I understand that when first introduced (~1970), Hobie Cats sold for around $1,000. That's less than $6,500 today. Far more affordable, and I think that's a big part of the reason they became so popular. Even a Hobie 16 at around $12,000 today is nearing the price of a jetski or a car. I'm not faulting Hobie, as the cost of labor has gone up significantly since the 70's. It's just not possible to build a boat that inexpensive anymore, but I think that is a contributing factor in the decline in popularity of the sport. The nice thing for us (and difficulty for Hobie) is that because there was such a boom in the 70's & 80's, there's a glut of very inexpensive used Hobie's out there to keep the beach cats very affordable. It just means that Hobie is essentially competing against their own used boats in trying to sell new ones... I'm sure they're almost wishing they hadn't built the damn things so well! :lol:

True too that as windsurfing and jetskis gained popularity, they attracted people away from the beach cats. I roll my eyes in frustration every time someone tells me that it's "too complicated and too much work" to sail, that they'd rather have a jetski that goes with the push of a button. Makes me hate jetskiers even more! :x

A funny thing about that $18k though... I bought my boat for $1,500 and have probably spent close to $10k in the last 5 years on restoration, repairs, replacement parts and upgrades. I almost would've been better off buying a new one! :lol:

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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 5119
Location: Detroit, MI
mmiller wrote:
The last run of Hobie 18 hulls came from our Australian factory. Not sure if they still have molds

They were there in early 2014 - we saw them in the back of the fiberglass shop when Steve gave us the tour at the 16 Worlds. Rumor was that there was still a hull in the molds because "that's how you store the molds long term."

Of course, that's almost four years ago now. Only Steve knows what's happened to them.


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