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blueboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote blueboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 12 at 3:19pm
Originally posted by Chopdogs

 
33,800 give or take a few quid.

Thanks for the information. Is that inc- or ex-VAT?
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craiggo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 12 at 7:38pm
Chopdogs,

I sail at Thornbury SC, just upstream of the old Severn Bridge.
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Peaky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peaky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 12 at 12:17pm
I don't know a whole heap about keel boats, but I was at the Soton Boat Show this weekend and had a quick look at the J70. I also peeked at the Farr designed B1. If anything, I thought the B1 looked a bit nicer, but they were quite similar.
What are the differences between the J70, B1 and even the SB20 and Melges, that would make someone pick one over another?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Quagers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 12 at 2:09pm
Based on the evidence of Cowes week dont get a B1 if you like your mast to remain in 1 piece.

On a more serious note, price, performance, ease of sailing, class numbers, class atmosphere etc etc all play a part.

For instance the Melges and SB20 are pretty different philosophies catering to different audiences. 
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blueboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote blueboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 12 at 6:50am
Originally posted by Peaky

What are the differences between the J70, B1 and even the SB20 and Melges, that would make someone pick one over another?


The B1 is new, Bavaria-cheap (i.e. as chips) and weighs a tonne (literally) - not so good for a sports boat. Cheap has to date been key in the British sports boat market to build OD fleets and the British sports boat scene has historically been OD-orientated. Unlike, say, AUS, where it's much more about handicap racing and the fastest boat and price has been less important. All that said, I don't think the British market has a gap for the B1 as the J80 is already established there as an OD for those wanting a bigger, heavier, slightly more yacht-like sports boat.

The SB20 scene, while a shadow of what it previously was, remains by far the biggest established OD sports boat fleet in the UK. Not the greatest boat but definitely the best racing. The change of ownership (and name - previously SB3) is a positive development. You need someone reasonably strong in the middle to trim the kite - not so great for mixed-gender crews.

Melges - you might mean 20 or 24. I don't believe there are presently any M20s in the UK. It's a sitting in boat and therefore similar to the SB20 but newer, quicker, faster, higher-tech and much, much more expensive. Early buyers in Italy (which is the focus of Melges activity in Europe) seem to have taken huge depreciation which won't encourage others. IMO there is zero chance of a 20 footer with that price tag establishing a fleet in the UK.

The Melges 24 is the grand-daddy of sports boats. There was a scene briefly in the UK, dominated by sail-makers and other pros. Those spending their own money went, nah, no thanks, can't compete with that and the fleet evaporated. There was a club-level fleet in Torbay but that went west a few years ago. There are still big Melges 24 scenes in the USA and Italy, dominated by wealthy owners and sailed by pros. I doubt there will ever again be a Melges 24 fleet in the UK.

The J70 is a sitting-out boat whereas other 20-footers are sitting in. That, to me, is a big negative because sitting out upwind makes for non-involved crew with a hyper-active helm trimming main and jib J24-style. Dacron class sails are also, in my view, a mistake. J80 owners who have looked at it seem underwhelmed. Much less expensive than the M20 but much more than the Viper, which you have missed off your list.

The Viper is a lot like the SB20. Sitting in but lighter, faster, higher-tech. The best of the bunch IMO. Probably too similar to the SB20 to sell here but selling well in the USA which never took to the (then) SB3. There is one in the UK. Talk of a marketing re-launch in Europe does not seem to have materialised.

The Shaw 650 is another attractive southern-Hemisphere boat in the same size range, selling well in the (smaller) AUS market. There doesn't seem to have been any serious attempt to market it elsewhere.



 


Edited by blueboy - 18 Sep 12 at 6:54am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Van Mentz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 12 at 8:28am
I sail the "only Viper 640 in the UK" (out of Cowes) and it is a very lovely boat, rather more like a 21' Merlin or RS 400 in comparison with the other sportsboats you mention; it is half the weight of an SB3.

One hikes it hard - toestraps - and whilst the large rolled sidedecks are comfortable the boat will particularly appeal to ex-dinghy sailors who will understand what is going on. Will it appeal to those used to more lead under them? I don't know. The harder you hike the faster it goes. It is the least expensive of the group by a long chalk and gives a lot of bang for bucks.

Rondar are cautiously marketing the Viper in this country and Europe.
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Peaky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peaky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 12 at 9:30am
Thanks for all that, very informative. So the J70's USP is that it is a sitting out boat? That didn't come across from the review, to me at least.

There seems to be more of a willingness to dump your class for the latest and greatest in the world of sportsboats compared to dinghies. Is that sheep-like fashion following or a desire to embrace technology?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote blueboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 12 at 9:34am
Originally posted by Van Mentz

Rondar are cautiously marketing the Viper in this country and Europe.


Hmmmm. After seeing a demo boat at HISC I talked to the sales guy who was going to let me know when they would be running demo sails. I never heard back.

Do you have a sense of the optimum crew weight?

What's funny about the "no hiking" rule on the SB20 is that downwind at least, trimming the kite is harder because you can't use much body-weight movement to trim. But upwind you get a rest.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote blueboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 12 at 9:48am
Originally posted by Peaky

There seems to be more of a willingness to dump your class for the latest and greatest in the world of sportsboats compared to dinghies. Is that sheep-like fashion following or a desire to embrace technology?


Not sure it is either.

I've already suggested what happened to the Melges fleet (and some of that experience fed into the cost-containment rules seen in the 707s and SB3s).

The Solent 707 fleet faded largely because many of the people active reached family-rearing age and most of them no longer seem to be racing in any class. New owners went into the upcoming SB3s. It is not the case that owners crossed in large numbers from 707 to SB3 although a few did. Once the numbers started declining that fed a cycle of declining interest because the people were attracted to the class mostly because of the big fleet. Also, the realisation that 450kg crew (five big blokes) was better than what was previously thought optimum (400kg - could have a gender mix) didn't do much for class parties. This is not facetious - most people were into the class for the social life as well as the sailing.

The SB20s (formally SB3s) took a hit when Laser lost interest in the class and as part of the general economic downturn. They are not a cheap boat to own. They may be (high-end) dinghy-price to buy 2nd hand but are very far from dinghy-price to run.

I can't really comment on the demise of the 1720 class as I've had no connection with it but I think the cost compared to newer classes and the need to find a large crew to hold the boat down but with little else for them to do did for that class.


Edited by blueboy - 18 Sep 12 at 10:00am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gbr940 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 12 at 10:52am

Just to chip in...the USP IMO is the ability to launch the boat from a slipway - not the fact you sit outboard. I've not seen much about the B1 but everything i've heard about it is not in the same playing field as the J/70...is it too a slipway launchable boat?

That said - I sailed the 1720 properly for the first time at Falmouth Week this year and have to say absolutely loved it. Bang for buck it's a fantastic boat, as mentioned it does have the issue of what each crew member does on the boat for a job but that aside loved every moment of it.
 
 
 
 
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