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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:48 pm
Posts: 396
Please help me understand why the rest of the Hobie world has so many boat choices & the USA has so few?

http://www.hobiecat.com/xe/en/sail/dragoon/

(Hobie Foreign boat choices)

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(Hobie USA boat choices)

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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:12 am 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 12232
Location: Oceanside, California
We have discussed this one in the past. We "rescued" Hobie Cat Europe because we are doing well with the choices we have made. They needed to be rescued... just saying.

Commonly we use the term "Bell Curve" to describe the sales life of a product. The sales ramp up slowly then pick up pace. They peak over a period and then drop off. That is one of the reasons you have to re-design, re-introduce products to keep them selling. After awhile the volume of the sales can not support the process of production of the item. The costs get too high, so pricing goes up and sales drop harder. At some point you have to cut the item from your offerings. Sometimes you can keep offering simply because you have residual inventory. In Hobie Cat Europes case, they simply could not let the old stuff go, so they tried to keep building. Their market is a little different though. Sailing in Europe peaked much later. They have lots of clubs and sailing centers, so some of the models simply support that. They also have a fairly good H14 fleet still. It's different, but financial issues are the same. You have to sell products to stay in business. They never caught onto the Mirage kayak product line and that is what has made us survive here. It makes all the rest of what we do possible now.

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Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:53 pm
Posts: 41
Very interesting discussion and I can understand the difference in the desires. A company such as Hobie needs to operate in a manner that makes a profit and it is very true that what people ask for and what people are actually willing to pay for are different things.

There are a large number of used boats on the market and as long as they remain in usable condition, that will drive prices down. Personally, if I had $20k to spend on a boat, I'd start looking at a used 25' monohull. That would make it easier for me to take leisure passengers out for a sail.

On top of that, I find that many sailors are tinkerers by nature. Restoration projects are fun. Not that I wouldn't like to have a new boat, but the process of fixing a boat is fun for many of us.

Size does matter. An H16 is great for lighter weight people or for solo sailors, but when you get 210 lbs guys like myself that would like to sail with a couple of other people, that H16 just doesn't cut it. Here is where those rotomolded hulls do start to look better because those boats have a fair bit of buoyancy. This is where the H18 appealed to me:
  • racing is possible although not the only focus of the boat
  • it is stable out on the ocean
  • it can handle larger crew weights
  • I can tinker with it. In fact, if I'm not worried about class legal, I can make all sorts of interesting mods
  • the price was right.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:46 pm
Posts: 470
Quote:
The Bravo, the Wave, The Getaway and the T2 provide nice beginner boats...
Beginner boats?

Those are not beginner boats.

The thing that is wrong right now is the difficulty of getting on the water. It IS bang for the buck.

Quote:
Bingo. Same reason that the Wave and Getaway are good sellers. Good bang for the buck
It is the cost of rigging, storage, and access to the water much more than cost of the boat. If cats had the launch and recovery times and ease of storage of typical bass boats...


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:22 pm
Posts: 262
JJ wrote:
Those are not beginner boats.


I disagree with you. That's why the resorts love them.

I am not taking anything away from the roto product lines as I think they have there place. Roto boats are not performance boats like there fiberglass counterparts. Our fleet (259) and Yacht Club (San Luis Yacht Club) are probably looking to get a few waves to teach beginners on. Good boats.....

mmiller wrote:
the 16 Worlds in Oz 2014 had the most racers in H16 Worlds history. not too shabby. perhaps the 16 aint dead.


Never said the 16 is dead.(although in Division 3 the H16 is not growing and even shrinking) I just said there is no where else to go for larger crews or people wanting a current boat for one design.

Why are they growing Internationally? Hobie started in our back yard.

Has anyone looked at weight classes for the 16? Handy caps? Light crews win on 16s......Period

Maybe a 25 second incentive for every 20 lbs over the minimum.

The point of this whole conversation is that the folks on the larger boats will not move down to the 16 because of the weight or performance issue. In Division 3 last year we had more larger boats compete than 16s. In fact, we had only 26 H16s race last year and we had over 33 larger boats compete (H18s H20s). What does this tell us?

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H18 '85
H18 '89 "Knotty Passion"
H20 '96 "20/20 Vision"
Fleet 259 Central Coast California


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 5137
Location: Detroit, MI
wscotterwin wrote:
Has anyone looked at weight classes for the 16? Handy caps? Light crews win on 16s......Period
1) yes, and they never caught on. (Division 11's "Payload 700" class - boat and crew weight combined; the original Hobie 17 had two weight classes and it was a failure.)
2) You want to split the most successful class? Learn from history (14T killed the 14; 18M, 18-SX and Formula 18 almost killed the 18).


wscotterwin wrote:
The point of this whole conversation is that the folks on the larger boats will not move down to the 16 because of the weight or performance issue. In Division 3 last year we had more larger boats compete than 16s. In fact, we had only 26 H16s race last year and we had over 33 larger boats compete (H18s H20s). What does this tell us?
We're all fatter than we were 30+ years ago :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:49 am 
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Posts: 41
MBounds wrote:
We're all fatter than we were 30+ years ago :oops:


Sad but true.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:35 am
Posts: 261
Location: Memphis, TN
I just got home in TN from a vacation in S. Cali..... there seemed to be an amazing lack of hobie cats ( tons of kayaks and surfboards tho ) I called the hobie fleet person for longbeach, listed on this site and she said her and her husband haven't sailed a hobie there in 25 years!! WHA!? A used H16 is cheaper than a new Xbox with 4 games! Our fleet is actually growing here by about 3 H cats a year at our club, Delta Sailing Assoc. in N.Mississippi.
I've gotta tell you guys, that Pearl, Max and Twixxy look AWESOME! Especially the Pearl. Id buy one on the spot if one was for sale at Rooke! :mrgreen:I also talk to a lot of people interested in being a catamaran owner, casual at first, then maybe years later a racer, maybe. The truth...... us Americans are getting fatter yet we still want to go faster. At 200+ Lbs you're a solo H16 guy, any crew over 12 years old (and 85lbs ) will make your boat slow as hell in a race :roll: The H20 was the answer for me to get the speed and big hulls for big people on big water :mrgreen: However, a modern designed , 18' Cat with the spin/wings/easy rig/ options for under $17k would sell like hotcakes. At least around here, people are getting tired of sitting around at home all weekend on the computer playing WoW and living on FB..... especially when they see my weekend photo's sailing, grilling out, camping and ear to ear grins all summer long :D

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Tim Grover

Memphis, TN fleet 134
Hobie 20! G-Cat5.0 and 2 Hobie 14's
Photobucket now wants $100 to post pics on forums......... pass.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 68
welcome to southern California, the birthplace of Hobie Alter and the iconic Hobie Cat.

good luck finding a place to sail your cat here.

a true story from this past summer -

i arrive at the Claremont beach launch in long beach - the only beach i know of south of Santa Barbara that allows beach launching. ive been sailing here for over 30 years. they have repainted the parking lot. 5 reserved spots for catamaran parking, yep only 5. the rest are just regular passenger car spots. 3 of the catamaran spots are occupied with cars with no trailer attached. apparently they cant read the sign. only two spots now remain for vehicles with trailers. Lucky for me there are zero boats here this day.

i did have a fine day of sailing, but these were some of the issues i encountered.

carloads of people seem to think the cement ramp on the sand to drive your boat close to the water is a walking path for them to go sunbathe and swim. mind you there is a large sign posted at the entrance that this is a sailboat launch beach. all these non English speaking folks park all there stuff and coolers and umbrellas and chairs right there at the end of the ramp. yes right where you take your boat off the trailer. No habla.

they glare at you with a blank stare if you inform them what is going on and that they would be better suited down the beach aways.

since Hobie cats are scarce in these parts all the onlookers look at the Hobie Cat like it is a spaceship - they've never seen such a craft at their "swim" beach. they refuse to move.

whatever - i am bothered but this is how this state is now so i just cope with it. not much i can do.

now sailing a few hours later im coming in hot to the beach in about 13 -15 knots of wind - after dodging some kite surfers i have to dodge all the swimmers floating around directly in front of the launch area. my crew begins shouting at them to move, and then shouting at me to watch out for them because they are again looking at us with blank stares, mouths open, not moving an inch.

i did not hit anyone.

my crew and i needed a quick rest and bathroom break and water.

well, now the lifeguard strolls over and is admiring my 16 saying he rarely sees these boats here (again, yes this is a catamaran launch site ive been using for 30 years).

before i can walk away to the bathroom he tells me i have to take the sails down. i ask what on earth he is talking about. he tells me its because he cant see the swimmers, the sails are blocking his line of sight. i explain to him that ive been sailing here since i was a kid and this is a sailing beach and not a swim beach. back in the day swimmers were not allowed and told to leave. he tells me the swimmers safety is first and if i dont remove my sails he will call his supervisor. i argue. he tells me to immediately lower the sails. he says his boss made this rule so dragging him into this wont help my cause.

so this is no longer a hobie friendly beach on summer weekends. midweek may be different.

i suspect it was/is rarely used by catamarans so the city decided they were losing money letting that parking lot sit there empty all day every day. that lot is now open to anyone that pays the hourly parking fee. it used to be a 12 or 15 dollar flat rate for boats, all parking slots were long for cars with trailer.

25 years ago this beach had 20+ beach cats there on a summer saturday, zero swimmers.

now i get looked at like i am an alien. like im the one out of place and in their way. how dare i almost run beachgoers and swimmers over with my big truck and fast boat.

sad.

of all the beaches in so-cal this the only one you can launch on the sand.....and they just have to swim there. they cant simply go 400 feet down the beach.

the Hobie was designed to sail off the sand, through the surf. and here in the birthplace its nearly impossible to do that. the one place you can do it, its an effin hassle.

one last piece of brilliance from the city of long beach - the next day i visited a friend at Alamitos Bay Marina with my boat in tow. went for a short sail on his 34 ft Catalina - got back to a parking ticket on my windshield. no trailered boat parking allowed at the marina. (yes this is a boat marina where boats are docked and launched etc....). i didnt drive all over this place searching for the trailer parking - i figured since i was at a marina and i saw one other trailer parked that i would be ok, and there was plenty of room - that was no issue. just a city ordinance. revenue stream.

this is all disappointing. may explain why fxloop didnt see any beach cats.....

the politicians and city/county leaders have made it difficult. to say the least.

38 million people live in California.
900 miles of coastline
over 1800 named lakes
June 2014 div 2 Hobie regatta San Diego Classic - 39 boats entered.

one more thing - summer 2013. there was a large wedding, yes a wedding....you guessed it, right at the end of the launch driveway out to the waters edge - right where you take your boat off the trailer. a Nacra sailor advised them to move down the beach when they were setting up the chairs before guests arrived. did they move? no. did the lifeguards say anything? no.

Welcome to Long Beach
Welcome to Los Angeles County
Welcome to California
Welcome to the USA

is Europe or Australia more beach cat friendly?


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:35 am
Posts: 261
Location: Memphis, TN
I'd have to agree with the last post....... Absolutely broke my heart to go from santa monica to dana point CA, on vacation for 10 days, 70-85 deg every day, great wind, warm water, sun and not see a single Hobie Cat. Even Craigslist had none for sale north of San Diego. What??! I busted my butt for 7 days to find a rental getaway for a 4hr trip at marina del ray. ( great people, worth every penny of $135 )

If you factor in the cost of a $12k hobie, divided by 25 years of fun its penny's a day...................... fun you cant get any other way..........

Is it true that you can get fined and in legal trouble if you launch a beachcat of an actual beach in CA???!! You can't go for a day sail, cruise up to a beach for lunch and then re-launch??!!!

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Tim Grover

Memphis, TN fleet 134
Hobie 20! G-Cat5.0 and 2 Hobie 14's
Photobucket now wants $100 to post pics on forums......... pass.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:53 pm
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Believe it or not, all of the state beaches disallow launching. It is the city beaches where it is possible. In Santa Cruz, there is cat storage on the beach next to the harbor, but yes, people put there blankets directly in front, I've had people hang there wet suits on my cat and not apologize when I point out that the boat belongs to me, and I've seen parents let their kids jump on the trampolines. People can be very rude.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:26 am 
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fxloop, to answer your question - no you cant beach launch or land. at least not that i am aware of anywhere south of Santa Barbara. except long beach. Central coast and Norcal are a different story. I think Avila allows beach launching.

another story - i was on a road trip with Hobie in tow. im cruising down PCH on my way to Long Beach. i make a stop at Westward Beach (Zuma/Malibu), Los Angeles County, for a quick bite and bodysurf session to cool off and break the drive up. I pull in the lot and park. within 3 minutes the Lifeguard truck is hauling ass down the beach towards me, sand flying all over from under his tires. I knew why he was coming for me.

i had to cut in mid sentence to explain i was not there to sail. he was ready to drop the hammer on me. he did apologize, explaining he was only in a hurry and fired up because he wanted to save me the effort of rigging the boat.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm
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Location: Charlottesville, VA
The way I read it, the H16 is somewhat cursed by its early success. It created and rode the wave of sport catamaran sailing before the designs advanced to what we want them to be now. So it has the popularity of that legacy, and the design constraints also. Many of us wish it was a different boat now, but circumstances dictate otherwise.

At the beach I'm glad it's an asymmetric boat when I'm in shallow water, but for the other sailing I do a symmetric boat would probably be better. I'm only 175 pounds, crew is usually about 120, and we still have to work to avoid pitchpoling. That's kind of a drag sometimes. I wonder how things would be if the H18 had been introduced five years earlier. Maybe the 16 would have been the one to get dropped in the end.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:50 am 
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gino wrote:
Central coast and Norcal are a different story. I think Avila allows beach launching.


Yes, We beach launch in Santa Barbara, some areas of Oceano, Port San Luis (Avila), Morro Bay, Monterey, Moss Landing (I think), Santa Cruz, Alameda (special events), and a few other areas in the SF bay. I am sure there are others I don't know about.

gino wrote:
Welcome to Long Beach
Welcome to Los Angeles County
Welcome to California
Welcome to the USA


Access is huge pet peeve of mine. This could be a whole 'nother topic. Access for "clean and green" aqua sports should be growing and not diminishing.

Sounds like a good political stance Hobie Corp. could make in State court. Access! Not just Hobie but maybe united with some groups like US Sailing and a few well positioned Yacht Clubs.

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H18 '85
H18 '89 "Knotty Passion"
H20 '96 "20/20 Vision"
Fleet 259 Central Coast California


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 Post subject: Re: Why Not the Pearl?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:53 pm
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Does anybody have a list of where you can launch/land a cat in California? I was looking for this information, but haven't been able to find it.

Thanks,
Bob


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