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Dinghy Development anything new going on?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Dinghy Development anything new going on?
    Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 11:12am
It's been a while since the glut of Aero's, D Zero's, Supernova update, Ovi OK etc but it seems to have gone quiet now, anyone know of anything else going on?

Did that Hartley Contender ever see the light of day?

How did the Ovington OK fare?

There must be something interesting to talk about/look forward to...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 1:25pm
I think by far the most interesting design race at the moment is for a more accessible foiling craft.

The Moth has blazed a trail, with very few concessions to stability, finances usability born out of it's development background. 

The Wazp is attempting to reduce the cost issue of the moth in a way in which the bladerider tried a few years ago. But to really open up the market you'd have to reduce price points by an order of magnitude, and even with larger volume I'm not sure it's possible. It seems as long as you can get a cheaper and faster second hand moth, why would you buy a wazp? 

Then you have the UFO. This is tackling head on the accessibility. It provides a stable launch platform (both from displacement to foiling, and literally launching from the beach). It looks like a catamaran, but it's actually foils with outriggers. 

Then you get on the foiling cats. You straight away have the launch pad stability. However, by having a lifting board on the windward hull you lose that catamaran leverage. It seems difficult to get a foiling cat faster than it's non-foiling equivalent: just ask the nacra class.  The A class is getting there though. The issue is it takes quite a lot of foil control to achieve. 

There's also some weird scow things aimed at stable foiling in low winds. I haven't seen any footage of them which doesn't make them look awful though. 

You have some foiling skiffs, like cherubs and 18s. The issue here is stability. Moths are hugely difficult but at least you're sat down. Get one or two people out on a wire and it enters a whole new level. 

If you're going to trapeze and foil you really need to move away from the traditional skiff platform, which the super foiler has done. This is more a commercial project for pro sailing series though, rather than improving accessibility. But that was once true of 18ft skiffs, and now the 29er is the most popular youth boat... so maybe with trickle down. 






But then you have the ultimate question; is the future of sailing faster? We saw it with the 'skiff revolution'. The boats take a jump in speed which looms fun;  but the entry skill increases and speed also requires space, and suddenly you have to travel that bit further to find a suitable venue. And foiling doesn't only require space, but flat water too, further restricting venues. 

Maybe foiling isn't the answer; but it is interesting. 


Edited by mozzy - 25 Oct 17 at 1:45pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 1:44pm
Foiling is definitely going strong in the recreation market, windsurfing has at last caught up with Kite foiling and even SUP and the Wake market have their foil products, but I wouldn't say it's exactly having it away in terms of numbers.

I think other than the Moth class, foiling in sailboats will inevitably go the same way, as an experience to enhance sailing rather than another method of racing, but I could of course be totally wrong and we eventually all end up on stilts.

I can't see the inland water market being affected by it and at the moment the only real growth seems to be in boats that either work well in both or inland waters as far as racing tools go at least.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 2:20pm
A lot of inland sailing venues simply aren't suitable for foiling by virtue of size/weed so quick tacking, fast accelerating una rigged boats will always have a place.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 2:26pm
I would put the Hadron H2 on that list - obviously I am biased. It has set out to appeal to a niche rather than the masses and for that reason it will be interesting to see if this approach results in a solid following of people that are out regularly sailing at club and national level.

When it was first introduced it was clearly pitched at the older crowd who wanted a boat they could still hike but that had a very controllable rig for when it got too windy and was easy to right and get back into. Interestingly more than half the sales have gone to a second niche which is middle aged people returning to competitive sailing post kids who are not 75- 80kg and hence will not fit into the traditional classes such as Laser or Solo. I agree that for this niche the Phantom, Blaze and possibly Supernova and OK are also options.

In its first year over 20 boats have been sold with one or two new boatseach month the run rate. Clearly its no RS or Hartley marketing machine but I have to admit it is more than I anticipated and I suspect that at the traveller events and nationals next year it will be 100% turn out based on the friendly and regularly used Facebook page - owners actually helping each other on-line and creating a community is interesting to see and refreshing from my previous experience with older classes!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 2:41pm
Hopefully the lack of noise is actually signalling a forthcoming period of prosperity for the sport.  I can't help but admire the progress of the RS Aero over the past year or two, but other than a bit of RS forum flaming, is there really too much to discuss?  It's a nice boat, it's light and it's proven (now) to be fit for purpose with a growing market of men, women and young adults.  

Solo sailing seems to be doing really well - 80 forecast to be heading to Garda which was unheard of 10 or 15 years ago for what was ostensibly "national classes".  Even our local Laser fleet has grown in average attendance, which is no bad thing unless you really don't want yet another Laser in your ownership catalogue.

I could easily lament about  the 'foiling revolution', but I'm honest enough about it to accept that's just a little hyperbole and over-enthusiastic consumer reaction.... no different to those of us taken-in by asymmetric kites that became so popular a couple of decades ago.  In reality anyone selling foilers, or even really really using them, accept they are a niche product with a limited wind range and even more limited range of use when it comes to natural Geography. 

Given the gloom and doom that is perpetuated around the internet about the 'decline of sailing', I'd say a period of kit consolidation and broadly accessible boats with built-in legacy and heritage, isn't necessarily a bad place to be. 

I guess that's why investments in OKs (Ovis) and Contenders (Hartleys) are still of interest personally.  I could happily buy either given the right circumstances- good boats, good classes and great builders looking to support something established.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 2:56pm
It would be nice to hear what is innovative about the boat that creates a better product for the user.

The RS Aero basically is just more ergonomic than a laser.  Other than that its very similar in principle with small performance gains from the same leverage (central toe strap) and sail area. It would be nice if they could undercut the cost of a laser, but maybe with a more durable design they believe it will hold it's value better, so work out lower in the long run?

So it would be interesting what are the design features and how do they effect how the boat is used? How is it a development beyond existing classes?



Edited by mozzy - 25 Oct 17 at 3:08pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 3:16pm
Originally posted by mozzy

It would be nice to hear what is innovative about the boat that creates a better product for the user.

The RS Aero basically is just more ergonomic than a laser.  Other than that its very similar in principle with small performance gains from the same leverage (central toe strap) and sail area. It would be nice if they could undercut the cost of a laser, but maybe with a more durable design they believe it will hold it's value better, so work out lower in the long run?

So it would be interesting what are the design features and how do they effect how the boat is used? How is it a development beyond existing classes?


I would say that the Aero and D-zero are just modern Laser's aimed at the same people. That is why I highlighted the H2 because it is a different design approach and aimed at different people.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 3:25pm
Originally posted by mozzy

The RS Aero basically is just more ergonomic than a laser.  Other than that its very similar in principle with small performance gains from the same leverage (central toe strap) and sail area. It would be nice if they could undercut the cost of a laser, but maybe with a more durable design they believe it will hold it's value better, so work out lower in the long run?


Without wanting to get into an argument over this I found the Aero very uncomfortable to sail. Floor was too high for my long legs meaning non hiking meant my knees felt like they were up under my chin and made it a strange experience to tack.

The performance gains (Aero 7 vs Laser) are down to a better rig and much lighter weight (and probably a better hull shape).

That is a whole other debate though. Take the D-Zero and compare it to the Aero 9. The Aero is lighter (some 10kgs hull weight) and has an extra 1sqm of sail but (currently) is only around 5py points faster (so close enough to race off scratch without too much complaining). Compare that to a Laser Std vs the Rooster 8.1 rig where there is the same sail area difference you have 50 points (or so) or PY difference. Admittedly the 8.1 results are skewed because they are only ever really sailed in lighter winds. once a Std is planing offwind most of the time the 8.1 is no quicker round the course.

So there is much more to development and progress than purely making stuff lighter (indeed look at the Supernova, this has shed around 15-20kgs in real terms but has somehow managed to get slower according to PY). 

This is why the D-Zero is the best of the new breed of the latest breed (IMO and yes I am biased). The ergonomics are very well thought out. The boom clearance is good, the controls work and have an element of freedom that allows those who are not gorillas to add in purchase, the hull is light enough and very responsive but not so light that you would worry about it blowing off the trolley.

As has been said I think a period of stability is a good thing, having the latest and greatest thing launch and branded 'sailing 2.0 (or 3.0 or 4.0) every year get boring. Traditional classes have also shown that evolution rather than revolution works very nicely too (look at the strength of the Solo).

As a note I saw a new Laser carbon top section a couple of weeks ago. Definitely a development for the class along with the Mk2 sail (which has made a big difference certainly at my local puddle in marginal conditions).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2547 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 17 at 3:27pm
Originally posted by turnturtle

I can't help but admire the progress of the RS Aero over the past year or two, but other than a bit of RS forum flaming, is there really too much to discuss?  

The Aero seems to have shifted a lot of units but then RS have a good network. 

Can't help think that the rig still looks dated on a new product ... D Zero just looks a nicer package ... then again BetaMax was the superior format but VHS prevailed ...
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