Why do we have to stick to the subject? Personally, I enjoy seeing a topic take different directions. Hasn’t the topic of sail eyelets already been covered?
Anyways, I just had to chime in with my experience with Climate Models. Over the course of several days, Peter helped answer several questions I had about the different boat kits that they sell. For me, I am not as concerned about winning the next International competition as I am about just having fun. I can guarantee you that I’m not alone in this line of thinking, either.
Anyways, it occurred to me that I will likely just want to sail around the local ponds and perhaps race against some of the other local folks with their RTR plastic-hull boats. So I bought an MG30 kit, which I anticipate being a heck of a lot of fun to sail. I won’t be competing around the country for a bid at the world championships. So, I don’t really need the $2000 top-end equipment. And as I said, lots of people around here share the same sentiment.
Greg, when you state that these popular models are backordered up to a year, what does that mean exactly? Is this a case where one single person is making the parts and will only be able to produce maybe 10 or 20 kits in that one year? How does that compare to selling dozens of Thunder Tiger Victorias or Megatech Nirvanas per day? My point is that it’s all relative and a success in one specific area, with one specific design, might not be as “successful” as you might think.
Online forums are a funny thing. In one sense, they help connect people from all over the world who share a common hobby. But it can be misleading; the people who are likely to join these forums and take an active interest in the hobby are also the ones who concern themselves mainly with the ultra-high-end equipment and over time they distance themselves from the “real market”… where the majority of the sales exist. Believe it or not, the Tamiyas, Kyoshos, Megatechs, and Thunder Tigers of the world are outselling the Black Magiks, Bob Sternes, etc. by 1000 to 1. And that’s where the money is. So when you say that a design (such as Climate’s IOM) might not be popular, you may be missing a portion of the market that you’re not involved with. A lot more people will buy a sub-$200 boat kit than those who will pay $600 just for the hull of a world-class competition boat.
As least that’s my point of view. I could be wrong, but then again, I don’t really care a whole lot because I’m not a hardcore sailing enthusiast. I can live with the sub-$200 kits and live quite comfortably having fun sailing them.
As a side note, if anyone has an MG30 that they’ve built and would like to exchange thoughts on building, tuning, and sailing the boat, please contact me through email. Thanks.