The Hardy Owners Club was started in 1981 and 2018 will be our 37th Anniversary.
In 1981, Andrew Andrews was the proud owner of a brand new Family Pilot, and wondered if other Hardy boat owners would be interested in getting together in some sort of association to swap mutual problems and experiences, and meet socially if so inclined. He discovered that they most certainly were! The first members signed up in August 1981, with Membership numbers 1 and 2 being assigned to John Hardy - the then MD of Hardy Marine Ltd - and Colin Mudie, the designer of several of the Hardy boats, both as Honorary Life members.
From a very modest beginning the Club grew quickly and membership has settled down at around about the 200 mark. Ownership of a Hardy boat is not a prerequisite for membership: a number of members have stayed on with us after moving on from their Hardys to boats of a different marque, and we always have members who have joined without a boat at all. The usual reason for this is that they have in mind buying a Hardy at some future date and, having access to existing, experienced Hardy owners via the magazine and socially, get the flavour. As a result they are usually able to avoid the 'wish I'd only known/thought of that before I bought it' syndrome which strikes a lot of people, often too late.
From the start the Hardy Owners Club has always intentionally remained independent of Hardy Marine Ltd, unlike some other boat owner's clubs which are run by the boat builders almost as a branch of their PR activities. However we have always been on good terms with Hardy Marine and enjoyed their cooperation. They bring our existence to the attention of their customers, they will always help out with technical queries if they can, and from time to time in the past have organised factory visits for Hardy Owners Club members.
The Club is run voluntarily by several of its members – Membership Secretary, Advertising Officer, Magazine editor, Regalia Officer, Treasurer, and Webmaster. Membership is widespread ranging from Co. Cork on the West coast of Ireland to East Anglia and from Devon/Cornwall to Shetland with concentrations of boats on the upper Thames, the Norfolk Broads and the Solent and Strathclyde areas. We have also had members from overseas including Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Republic of Ireland and Australia.
In the past, when there was enough interest generated, weekend meets were arranged giving members the opportunity to get together socially with and without their boats. These events were not organised centrally, but were groups of members getting together on their own initiative when there was enough demand.
It is our wish, as we approach our 36th Anniversary to try and stimulate these meets in to action once again. They can easily be made known via the Club's Magazine, The Hardy Owner, or through our website Members Pages where there is a Social Message Board and Social Members list
Our magazine, 'The Hardy Owner', is published three times a year, with issues in January, April, and October, thus positioning the issues around the boating season, and is also available to download from our Members Only Pages.
The Hardy Owner is produced for HOC Members and relies heavily on contributions compiled and/or provided by the members themselves. It includes our Marine Market pages, featuring the sales of Hardy boats from both members and non-members, for a modest charge. The Magazine also carries advertising from relevant marine insurers, dealers and other equipment suppliers, and related charities.
We are very fortunate at the Hardy Owners Club to have an extensive Club website, and an active Webmaster, providing a link between members and non-members via the site's Forum pages. Here all Hardy enthusiasts can share information, solve problems, and have general discussions about all aspects of their boating. There are many topics under discussion at any one time and by this means members comments and queries are often responded to within a very short space of time.
Revised by The Editor, The Hardy Owner, May 2010, from an original transcript by the late D. Shipley.