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The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? #82290
08/11/06 02:21 AM
08/11/06 02:21 AM
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phill Offline OP

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phill  Offline OP

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Folks,

I'd like to hear what people believe is needed to make a class successful. If you see a combimation of things what is the most important and why.

I have my own views on this subject but I'd really like to hear what other F16 sailors think.

Regards,
Phill


I know that the voices in my head aint real,
but they have some pretty good ideas.
There is no such thing as a quick fix and I've never had free lunch!

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Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: phill] #82291
08/11/06 06:01 AM
08/11/06 06:01 AM
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West coast of Norway
Rolf_Nilsen Offline

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How would you define successful? The C-class is pretty successful in my opinion, in bringing forth the fastest sailing yacht under 25feet. But I assume you mean a large and vital class?


Inclusiveness. New sailors (and old) must feel that they are welcome to the class and part of a succesful group. Especially so when racing. If you feel outside of the group, you will soon look for a new group (I believe this is "confirmed" by psychology litterature, e.g. Maslows pyramid: http://www.itiadventure.com/Maslow.jpg ). Studying Maslows pyramid, you will see the most important, basic, needs lowest down, and self-actualisation at the top. I think this is pretty descriptive of what sailors look for, but different sailors seek different levels of the pyramid. For some the basic inclusiveness and having fun is enough, while others want to be the class champion and achieve self-actualisation trough racing.

Important points to attract new sailors are affordability, image of the class and publicity. Attracting new sailors to a class is just as important as keeping the old ones in the class.

The magic will not happen unless there are some "sparkplugs" who start things and keep them rolling.
To get the first boats on the water, you need something special like the one-up/two up options of the F-16. Or somebody well-connected sets up the class and gets it going trough sponsors/spending money, like the Vx40 or SeaCart30.

Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Rolf_Nilsen] #82292
08/11/06 06:50 AM
08/11/06 06:50 AM
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Posts: 2,718
St Petersburg FL
Robi Offline
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Good post Rolf.

Adding to it, I think activeness. If you have a class of any particular boat and there are no sailors willing to actively race the boat, then it will eventually dwindle away.

Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Rolf_Nilsen] #82293
08/11/06 07:21 AM
08/11/06 07:21 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,348
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fin. Offline
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Quote
How would you define successful? . . .

Inclusiveness. New sailors (and old) must feel that they are welcome to the class and part of a succesful group. Especially so when racing. If you feel outside of the group, you will soon look for a new group . . .

Well said Rolf, couldn't agree more!

Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Rolf_Nilsen] #82294
08/11/06 04:34 PM
08/11/06 04:34 PM
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Bay of Islands, NZ
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warbird Offline
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Bay of Islands, NZ
Sameness and longevity of design. In this counrty there are thousandds of stunnning development style boats that are no longer competitive and so are worth nothing and no longer "useful". I have just bought a very sound R class for the price of dinner out for two and will make it into a sailing skiff. I will sell the rig etc for more than I paid for the boat. The sailor of this sort of boat often stays with it and slowly drops out of the "respect" of the faster, newer boats and in the end and is no longer on the beach to welocme newbies and fill out the fleet while having the experience to push near top sailors to better things.
The Paper Tiger is an example of a boat that just keeps on keeping on delivering great competition and technicaly demanding sailing style. The fact the chap who buys a fagged out H16 can see himself in a champions boat for less than a tenth of the price allows a heap of new start ups in the class financially.
Which is the best sports car in the World? Porche 911. How long has it stuck with its basic design... forever.
Not what a formular style class wants to hear but to ignoring that truth does ot help understand the answer.
What will be very important to a formular style of boat is that the formualr IS NOT changed to accommddate new fashions. Like Americas cup all of the boats over 15 years will start to be essentially the same so long as rules are not changed. Should F18 have a lighter weight restriction? Tomorrow morning if they are going to do it or never. The day they do it the present fleet dies. Manufacturers hopefully understand why Hobie is so successful and won't go for short term gains.

C class by the way is hugely successful as a formular to create great strides in tech ect but hopeless from a class for group participation perspective. It can only just stay on the radar as far as that is concerned. I predict three to four years of heated competition and then a three million dollar 25 foot beach cat will let everyone else racing is over for another decade.

Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: warbird] #82295
08/11/06 07:34 PM
08/11/06 07:34 PM
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Posts: 954
Mumbles Y.C Wales U.K
Mark P Offline
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A good Yacht/Sailing Club is the grass roots to any form of sailing. If the majority of people are friendly enthusiastic and forthcoming with information then what ever boat is sailed the members will feel very positive and upbeat whether sailing an Optimist or Tornado. Maslow, Hertsberg or Katz is a bit deep for me but give me a pint or two and I can sing the virtues of Sailing... and as for a good 'Class' then thats not going to be easy as we all have different agendas. Somebody famous once said you can please some of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time. Everybody makes mistakes (don't I know it) and so do Classes. My personal expierence of some of the UK Classes is that they get so big they forget the little people and the worm always turns. Luckily for us if the worm turns there is always somebody who will put them back on track.


MP*MULTIHULLS
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Mark P] #82296
08/12/06 03:51 PM
08/12/06 03:51 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,528
Looking for a Job, I got credi...
scooby_simon Offline
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I think some of the most important things are openness, honesty, willing to listen to others opinions and also the willingness of those at the top of the class to help those lower down.


I think most classes could learn from the Musto Performance Skiff class in the UK. They ran 6 (yes six) free training sessions at the same time all over the UK for anyone who wanted to attend.

If I ever wanted a single handed 1/2 boat, I would by an MPS !


F16 - GBR 553 - SOLD

I also talk sport here
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: scooby_simon] #82297
08/13/06 08:21 AM
08/13/06 08:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,046
Sebring, Florida.
Timbo Offline
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Scooby, I also think having the top sailors help the new ones is very important. Getting new people into any sport is always difficult but if there are free events to train new people, that will certainly help. The top sailors then will have a stronger resale market for their boats when they want to buy a new one. The new sailor gets a good boat set up right, at a discount.

With sailing the cutting edge technology will always bring in the top sailors (America's Cup, C cats, A cats) but a cheaper and more available entry will bring in more sailors, which is why the Laser and Hobie 16 still have the biggest numbers even though they are about the oldest designs out there still being raced in large numbers. They fill the role of "entry level racing boat" but the new ones are still raced by some of the best, so that covers a wide spectrum of sailors. You can get an old one cheap to learn on then trade your way up as you get better. One of the first things non-sailing people ask me (especially the Dads) is, "How much does one of those things cost?" I always tell them I bought my first one for $500. I never say, "Well a new one is $15,000, plus a trailer, plus wheels, plus..." because that will put anyone new to the sport off immediately.

But most of all I think there has to be other people to race against who are willing to share their knowledge with the new sailors. And every class needs a "Guru" available to the rest of the fleet. Look at what Wouter has done with the F16's. Look at what Dermot has done in Dublin with the Spitfire fleet, Andi Lutz with the F18HT's in Switzerland and what Matt is doing over here with the Blade. These guys have worked their butts off. Using their own money and time they have built strong local fleets by brining in new sailors, using their boats as demo rides and sharing their knowledge. Like all good things in life, it takes Time, Money and Hard Work. OH, and it has to be fun! If there's going to be a lot of yelling and screaming, well I can get that at home for free. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />


Last edited by Timbo; 08/13/06 10:08 AM.

Blade F16
#777
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Timbo] #82298
08/13/06 03:37 PM
08/13/06 03:37 PM
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Bay of Islands, NZ
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warbird Offline
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Free yelling and screaming, where do I get some of that!!??

Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: warbird] #82299
08/13/06 04:14 PM
08/13/06 04:14 PM
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Sebring, Florida.
Timbo Offline
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Just come to my house and tell my wife I'm buying a new boat.. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />


Blade F16
#777
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Timbo] #82300
08/13/06 05:09 PM
08/13/06 05:09 PM
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Posts: 912
Dublin, Ireland
Dermot Offline
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I have been on holiday for the past 2 weeks and have just come home for our Inland Champs ( http://www.blsc.ie/2006/Cat%20Inlands/inlandos.html ), so I have not being keeping an eye on the forum recently. I am heading away again tomorrow, but I would just like to say that I get almost as much pleasure from taking a beginner out sailing on a cat and seeing the look of amazement and pleasure on their face, as I get when winning a race.


Dermot
Catapult 265
www.catamaran.ie
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Timbo] #82301
08/13/06 05:27 PM
08/13/06 05:27 PM
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Posts: 1,246
Orlando, FL
tback Offline
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Quote
Just come to my house and tell my wife I'm buying a new boat.. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />


Tim,

Just arrive home with that new boat and tell you're wife you *won it* by being best-in-your class at that Delta Flight Simuluator School.

Always has worked for me. (Yelling and screaming subside after about 1 week...new boat lasts for years!).


USA 777
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: tback] #82302
08/13/06 06:57 PM
08/13/06 06:57 PM
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Posts: 6,046
Sebring, Florida.
Timbo Offline
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I figured I'd just call her and tell her I got a new boat...and a new place to live, then see how long it takes her to find me! Wouter, you need a roomate? <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Nice job on the racing Dermot!

Last edited by Timbo; 08/13/06 07:03 PM.

Blade F16
#777
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Timbo] #82303
08/14/06 11:51 AM
08/14/06 11:51 AM
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Netherlands
Blonde_Dolly Offline
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Good question and topic Phill.

Reading the comments and input I see some really good remarks. I like what Timbo is writing.

One of my favoriteís examples of how not to do it, is the one of the Windsurfing industry, which goes as follows:

In the late 70ís and early 80ís windsurfing was really hot <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />. Around here (I grew up in Zandvoort, the Netherlands about 500 meters from the beach and had the opportunity to learn cat sailing and windsurfing age 10 <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />)on a good windsurfing day you would see about 100 to 150 windsurfers going wild on the North sea. This little village even facilitated the windsurfing Proís tournament once a year for quite some years in a row. I am talking about the good old days with guys like Pete Cabrina and Robby Naish.

In that same period everybody who wanted to surf could buy/ rent a (cheap) board and sail, take some lessons and just go out and do their thing. Age and budget did not matter! In the Netherlands we had tens of thousand of windsurfers

Than the designers and manufacturers made a horrible mistake to concentrate on the top level of windsurfers only. Within just a couple of years it was close to impossible to buy/ rent a decent starters board and sail. This sport managed to whipe out the complete starters and lower segment of the market. By the end of the 80ís and early 90ís windsurfers became a rare species, and this was before kite surfing became popular.

Bottom line is that even for a high performance class like the F16 one should not forget to facilitate newcomers (for the F16 class and cat sailing in general). This should not prevent the class from any developments and evolution but one should consider that only a small number of people will be able to keep up the pace if developments go to fast.

Regards,

Frank
Blade NED 013


Flying Hull
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Blonde_Dolly] #82304
08/14/06 12:47 PM
08/14/06 12:47 PM
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Key Largo, FL & Put-in-Bay, OH...
Mary Offline
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Your post is absolutely right.

Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Mary] #82305
08/14/06 01:09 PM
08/14/06 01:09 PM
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Sebring, Florida.
Timbo Offline
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Frank, you are correct, (and I used to windsurf way back in 1983) you must have an entry level to feed the top level or the sport will quickly die. I would be interested to see the Hobie sales numbers for the Wave and H16 vs. the Tiger and other top end boats. I'll bet they sell many more of the Waves and H16's.

I have often thoght the Wave would make a much better entry level sailboat than the Opti. You can put more than one kid on it and you can even put a parent with a couple children on it. My kids did not like the Opti because they did not like being alone in a very small boat. (Scared an Alligator would eat them!) But they liked the Wave we rented.

Also for any class to be successful, it needs a means to comunicate, so I thank Mary and Rick for the magazine and this web site! Without them I would still be racing lead mines...slowly going nowhere at great expense. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by Timbo; 08/14/06 02:59 PM.

Blade F16
#777
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Timbo] #82306
08/14/06 02:12 PM
08/14/06 02:12 PM
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Clinton Lake, Kansas
flatlander Offline
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What has happened with the G-Cat?

qoute The stirdy boardless design is especially attractive to recreational sailors who seek high performance combined with practical family use. qoute

I think this platform, expandable to a full F16 and the talk of a rental model (a step up from a Wave) are excellent ideas. Would a G-Cat without a spinnaker be as much fun as an H16 for starter/family boat? I'd think so, and easier to use with the self tacking jib. There seems to be a recreational sailor and casual racer fear of the third sail (gennaker). Consequently the sailor of the F16 will most likely come from another class. We here can hope it's not from a multihull class, but a keel or centerboard. The only thing better than what you've got going right now would be a direct entry level boat, ala the G Cat concept.


John H20 532
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: flatlander] #82307
08/14/06 02:36 PM
08/14/06 02:36 PM
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Sebring, Florida.
Timbo Offline
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The prototype G cat F16 and another 5.0 G cat are both listed in the Classifieds here.

Last edited by Timbo; 08/14/06 02:39 PM.

Blade F16
#777
Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: Blonde_Dolly] #82308
08/14/06 02:46 PM
08/14/06 02:46 PM
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Brighton, UK
grob Offline
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Mary and Blonde Dolly,

You are spot on, concentrating on racing and go faster bits is no way to really grow a class. The best selling boats are slow boats that are easy to sail and easy to own and very few cats (wave being an exception) are that. I am sure the F16 class will grow, compared to another racing cat, but will flounder compared to most really succesful classes like lasers and optimists.

Gareth

Re: The Magic Formula for a Successful Class ? [Re: grob] #82309
08/15/06 09:14 PM
08/15/06 09:14 PM
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Michigan
PTP Offline
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How can you build on something as a sport when a new set of daggerboards for a boat costs 1500$$$ ?

p.s. I in NO WAY mean to criticize the blade or any cat for that matter (because a blade is my dream boat, honestly), but what is entry level about that? I guess you could say the f16 isn't "entry level" for that matter, but then again, neither is the 6.0, infusion, tiger, N20 or capricorn. So what is entry level? The beat up H16 that requires hours of glass work to make sail worthy? Or a wave? I agree that wave OD racing has to be good, but if you really want to get someone interested in cat sailing would you take them out on a wave or something more "high performance?"

Last edited by PTP; 08/15/06 09:19 PM.
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