News of the passing
Though it has been a few weeks since his passing it was only recently that the news of Hobie Alter’s Hawaiian-styled water funeral reached me on Facebook. For those who didn’t know who he was, Hobie Alter, born October 31st, 1933, was the man behind the Hobie Cat company. This Californian man was born the son of a second generation farmer, who through his dreams of never wanting to work in someone’s office or on some highway somewhere decided to recreate the water-sports industry by making his Hobie catamarans, which became known as the everyman’s catamaran due to its affordability.
Revolutionizing the fishing industry
As a sports fisherman, my kind and I have seen the sport of kayak fishing completely change through the inventions that came out of the Hobie company. With the invention of the MirageDrive, kayak fisherman were given the freedom to fish with both their hands while all propulsion was created through the legs while steering was done by a little lever next to the driver seat.
With both hands free and not having to worry about paddling with ones arms. a fisherman in a Hobie could freely cast and work a lure or even do some trolling. The Hobie Cats, with their sails, allowed for open ocean trolling with very little effort and no fuel costs whatsoever. Just by searching through Youtube.com you will find literally thousands of Hobie fishing videos in action. I mean, seriously, prior to the invention of the Hobit Cat, how many people can say that they caught a Marlin from a kayak with sails?
In Thailand, it was the father-son duo of Gary and Adrian Baguley of Blue Seas Marine who brought the Hobie products in to start a whole new industry of unique leg-propelled kayaks along with the legendary Hobie Cats. The Thai Kayak Fishing Facebook account they have created is dedicated to the local kayak fishing community. They have twice invited my to go test out their products both in the sea and in a freshwater situation and I have to say that it is an amazing product. I was invited back in 2011 to test out their selections of vessels and once more to try do some wild fishing with it.
I don’t really have much more to say really, I just wanted as many people to know as possible about life and passing of the great Hobie Alter. For anyone who wishes to read more about the life of Hobie Alter, the people behind the Hobie Cat website have put together a great memorial piece so please feel free to read his story by clicking here.