RE: recruiting new members I've had two ideals; Promotion and communication.
By communication I've spoken to those I've seen whilst sailing which is very few, but mostly I've been using online forums and speaking to those who advertise either selling or looking to buy Hobie cats online. It's amazing how many Hobie Cats lie in back yards covered in dust and cobwebs. Many of these owners just need a reason to sail and reaching out to them during the selling or buying process has been successful so far.
By promotion I've used sites like Gumtree (simular to Craigs List in the US - Here is our current ad http://www.gumtree.com.au/m-my-ad.html?adId=1050237332
) and also our local Hobie dealer but here lies a further issue of liability. As our group has no costs and formal association, we don't have liability insurance. Not having this insurance means our local Hobie dealer maintains a distance of safety from us. The dealer is 110% supportive of what we are doing but doesn't want to be seen as an entity of the group which I totally understand.
Everybody who sails with us understands that all accountability is taken upon themselves but I've been considering formalising the group to cover this issue.
I see in American you guys have 'Fleets' and have wondered how hard or easy it would be to start a 'Fleet' here in Australia. What benefits are there to have a 'Fleet'? and what rules and regulations does Hobie require of a fleet?
I've been watching our local 'Hobie Island' group who are formally supported by Hobie. It's a shame grass roots sailing i.e. cats aren't supported in a simular manner.