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RS400 proposed changes

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RS400atC View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 10:41am
So it's finally crawled out from its lair in the murky depths of Chandlers Ford!
RS are proposing 'updating' the 400
 
The proposed changes:

 

  1. The hull construction utilise Vinylester resin, rather than polyester: Reason: Increase strength and longevity of the hulls. Reduce water absorption over the life of the boat: No change to hull weight: Gains the relevant advantages of epoxy without the cost. Delivers better value for money for the new owner.

 

  1. Modernise the fore and aft sail plan: Radial cut and square-topped main in a modern laminate: Radial cut jib and increased window area: Replicate existing performance. Reason: Modern look and appeal. And aim to deliver cost reduction on the mainsail. No change to sail area: It will also safeguard against reduced availability of current mainsail material.

 

  1. Introduce an adjustable deck control, for a more dynamically adjustable rig. Lead control back to the thwart: Reason: To optimise performance and use of both existing and new mainsail:  Aid broadening the appeal and competitive weight band: This also addresses once and for all the long standing issue of stress cracking on that area of the deck.

 

  1. Change the bowsprit construction to carbon. Reason: Allows an easier operation, less friction and the resultant proposal for single –line hoist:

 

  1. Single-line hoist and pole outhaul.  Reason: Easier and quicker for crews (meaning they will be keener and want to sail more!). Kite trawling has long been an issue due to the delays in hoist, and also drops will be quicker with no chance of the pole re-cleating. Should improve longevity of the kite.

 

  1. Change boom construction to Carbon. Reason: Looks modern, lighter, nicer to use. Will not corrode and fail as the aluminium ones do.

 

The boat, which will simply be numbered “2011”, also features 2 other “cosmetic” changes: Firstly the foredeck has clear gel and carbon top layer (similar look to RS100) – no weight reduction, and would be an option on the order form. Secondly the thwart is reinforced allowing a higher cutline both fore and aft to reduce chafe on the straps. This surprised us as it definitely looks “crisper” somehow, and of course will be better for shins of both helm and crews!.

(end of quote)
 
What do people on here think?
Will a 'modern' sail plan look silly on a 'classic boat'?
Will a square head sail be faster? Will it last as long?
Will this sell lots of boats, or make half the fleet obsolete?
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 10:57am
Seems like a lost opportunity. For my money the main is too big and the kite too small.
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alstorer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 11:11am
Saw it at the weekend at Hayling- both the revised hull and sail plan. An older hull had the new sails out on Sunday. Did actually look quite nice- impossible to tell any performance difference. Apparently the boom on the prototype is essentially the RS100 boom. The prototype mast ram needs a bit of work- they blew up the ply fitting under the foredeck. Apparently the idea is that it will be a cast metal part. Didn't spot the carbon pole (if it had one).
 
Spinnaker looked a different (better?!) cut too.
 
All the changes will be put to the class, to vote on whether they adopt them in part, in whole or reject them entirely.

With the Vinylester hull, will they be shifting production to the same site as the 100s?
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G.R.F. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote G.R.F. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 11:17am
Why no weight reduction?

What is it with dinghy land that wants us to keep putting our backs out hauling the things around. Commercially I would have thought stronger stiffer lighter would be precisely a reason for buying a new boat, or have the Phantom Class got it wrong?

Unless you make the old boats obsolete, nobody is going to rush to buy a new one.

Not I should point out do I have the remotest interest in this boat, it's just as usual my three happorth, my pal has one, think he might jump if it had something 'special' going on.

Are they not boats that male/female teams like to  use, another reason for it to be lighter.

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Merlinboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Merlinboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 11:20am
Why is the change needed for a start?  I think it all sounds great, can you update an older boat with the systems and kit? There must be a performance advantage with all these new bits and bobs!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 11:22am
The new sails certainly fit straight on to the "old" rig. The mast remains the same (now THAT's a wasted oppertunity)
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 11:25am
I would think the main motivation for the changes would be sales figures.

As for mainsail size - firstly the upwind/downwind righting moment balance is out, and secondly the mainsail very heavy on the hands.

Edited by JimC - 11 Oct 10 at 11:28am
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Merlinboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Merlinboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 11:39am

Jimbo, not sure the new 300 sail had anything to do with the class resergence.  The class had taken a massive upturn long before the sail was launched. 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote maxibuddah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 11:48am
GRF, the phantom was always heavy to its original rules, therefore losing weight (unlike the owners) was ok. The 400 is the weight it is and would therefore mean rule changes, and lets face it, it would make the current fleet obsolete. Turkeys don't vote for christmas.
Everything I say is my opinion, honest
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Post Options Post Options   Quote G.R.F. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 11:57am
Originally posted by maxibuddah

Turkeys don't vote for christmas.

Hah, and there you have it, exactly the reason no attention should be paid to what 'the class' might think, they're hardly going to vote for improvements are they?
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