WestCoast

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About WestCoast

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    http://www.WestCoastSailing.net
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    West Coast, USA

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  1. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    ^^^ lol It's not that fast mate!
  2. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    RS21 Southern California Demos: October 15 - 19 - San Diego Area (Mission Bay) October 20 - 24 - Newport Beach (Bahia Corinthian YC) October 25 - 28 - Long Beach (ABYC/LBYC) We are planning Ed Furry to be on site for the Long Beach demo days.
  3. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    ^^^ Everything is being driven by big US Sailing / DBW meetings, then filtering out to clubs, then individuals. Ed Furry will likely be out doing SoCal Demos with us as well, so, his availability drives a bit of it as well. Which location are you most curious about? Might be able to give more specific dates to a specific location.
  4. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    We finally put ours in the water. RS 21 Demos in October: Portland San Diego Newport Beach Long Beach Winter: Bay Area Seattle More SoCal Boat Shows: TBD: ...likely Seattle, Bay Area and maybe a SoCal one.
  5. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    monsters: planning, assume so, but we'll find shortly. Sailing ours this weekend here in Portland. reefing: yes, with the dacron sails. Not on the mylars.
  6. WestCoast

    Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

    I am glad to hear we are keeping you on the water where you don't know there are supply chain problems, this is ideal. In fact, WCB is saying similar too. A lot of customers have no idea what's going on behind the curtain. That's part of our job as a dealer, to do the dirty work so folks can go sailing.
  7. WestCoast

    Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

    Sorry for slow response, been on a vacation for the last two weeks! -- Without getting political or throwing too much gas on the fire: The Laser parts supply chain was again, for 2018.... really really difficult to manage. Sails - generally LP had no stock this year for North America. I work closely with the LP team in CT to buy 50-100 sails at a time, which allows us to keep stock in our dealership. This is a long buying process, but, with a lot of patience, it does work for us, eventually... It's my understanding that most of the smaller dealers are unable to get supply of many/any Laser sails. Spars - We buy carbon top sections 50 at a time direct from the manufacturer with an agreement with LP. This is not what most dealers want to do, and I believe only 3 or 4 dealers in North America had composite tops this summer. Aluminum booms/lowers/top sections - we've been unable to source them. I am working on an order for a bunch of them with LP, but it's 3-4 months of lead time I think. I don't know if any of the smaller dealers were able to get any. Parts/Blades/etc - Generally unavailable this year without a long lead time. We did get a LARGE order of items in mid July this year, which was nice. But, all that stuff vanished in a few weeks from pent up demand. LP has trouble managing all the small SKUs, they are just understaffed in CT. I believe the situation is different in the UK, but, it's a fight here in North America for sure. I think the guys at LP North America are trying. I don't always know exactly *why* it's so hard to get the basics... but, I don't own LP, so, I don't complain about it that much. It is what it is. Myself and my staff work pretty damn hard to get class legal Laser parts, sails, spars, hardware, etc. Is it better than 2008/2009? Marginally... Is it better than the last 2-3 years? Nope, not in North America. WCB - thanks for the kind words! -- VWAP - Assume you're dealing with Andy and his team. If so, they work pretty hard to get parts for the season down there. Your experience with them as a source is, however, not giving you good information on the state of the supply chain for the majority of North American Laser sailors.
  8. WestCoast

    do you think the melges 14 will catch on?

    I’m traveling at the moment, but I would be quite surprised if Zim Sailing didn’t have an RS Aero in their booth at Annap Boat Show. They’ll have to make room for the RS21, and some other products, but, I’ll try to find out for sure. I’d expect it there.
  9. WestCoast

    do you think the melges 14 will catch on?

    RS has built close to 3000 Aeros (I think it's 2700 or so last I heard). I know we've sold ~130 just on the West Coast of the US My guess is there are around 300-350 Aeros in the US at this time. The biggest fleet I know of is in Seattle with 30+ Aeros.
  10. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    This showed up in the warehouse today!
  11. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    Short write up about the 21 in Sailing World: https://www.sailingworld.com/RS21
  12. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    A Simple Version of Sailing I Didn’t Know I Missed My name is George Yioulos, and I own a company called West Coast Sailing in the United States. Our company has made its name selling dinghies around the world since 2005. We started in Lasers, added skiffs and catamarans, dabbled in foiling boats, and have worked with all the most popular small sailboats. Our staff has continued to grow, and we now have some serious keelboat sailors on our team of 15. They are pushing hard for us to get into keelboats and sport boats - both the boats themselves, as well as all the products that go along with them. This is how I found myself in the UK on a glorious spring day in late May. I had been here twice before for the very successful launch of two RS models (the Aero and Quest) and paid my own way once again to see a much different beast. I spent the afternoon playing around on the new RS 21, a full keelboat unveiled to the public only 2 months prior. — One thing I’ve learned with ‘launches’ of boats is that the internet loves a snazzy new product. Forums and social media buzz right after a launch, asking “is this model going to change the face of sailing forever?” Regardless of whether or not you think sailing needs this change, there are strong opinions out there, in my experience, the internet is often flush with misinformation. The best way to understand a boat is to talk to the designer, understand their vision, and then, you know, sail it. After rigging, motoring, sailing and packing up the 21, it was very different from what I expected. I’ll go through the why and what this means based on my experience. Finally, to get it out of the way, no, I don’t think the 21 is going after boats like the J/70 or Viper. I personally don’t really see it as another competing sportboat in a crowded market. If not a competitor to established sportboats, what is it? It’s a small, cutting-edge keelboat that is designed to execute a sailing mission really well. A completely modern boat for teaching sailing, club racing and for individuals who want to go fast, without the same fuss or cost of older, more complex boats. That’s it. I will attempt to review the RS 21 based on that mission, with an in-depth look at the setup, systems, upwind and downwind performance, comfort, and logistics. Setup & Deck Layout RS 21 is super simple. That’s crystal clear when you first walk up to it. A carbon mast with one set of spreaders. Wide open cockpit. Design and sight lines that are ergonomic and open. This boat is the brainchild of a team of designers and technical folks who have built a lot of boats together. You see the attention to detail in how well integrated and simple the systems are. The rudder is hung on two gudgeons. Our boat had two pintles matching, but I am told the next boats will have a single rudder pin that fits through both gudgeons. For storage, sails all fit in their bags in the front hatch. They hit a bulkhead when you slide them in, so you have to angle them just right, which is annoying, but I think RS is going to change that slightly to give more room. The spin bag has a bunch of pockets. Not sure if they will hold up to 5 years of abuse, but time will tell. Docklines fit comfortably in the aft hatch I didn’t time how long it took from the dock to the channel but expect a faster turnaround time due to the lack of engine fuss and a simplistic deck. No winches or handles. The jib tack is fitted to a custom bow piece, and while I wish someone would design a clew attachment that didn’t require outhaul and velcro strap every damn time, here we are. Overall very impressed with the efficiency of getting the boat set up and underway. A brief note on the motor. The 21 is available with a Torqueedo electric motor. The drop-down setup is one of the most clever designs I’ve seen. It seamlessly integrates boat and engine. You uncleat a line, push the strut down 2’ till it locks, then you move the throttle. That’s it. It’s child’s play at worst. I still drive a gasoline-powered car, but this sort of simple technology really is impressive. We motored out and back in, a distance of probably 4-5 miles over 4 hours. After that, the battery was still at 78%. It is not completely silent, emitting a bit of a whine which is a bit annoying - but it’s quieter than an outboard, maintenance free and zero work. I can’t imagine going back to a gasoline outboard. Honestly, it’s that good. To ease range anxiety, just bring a second battery pack like you’d bring a jerry can of gas. It’s really simple. Do note, we didn’t have to put the mast up or down, or raise the keel up to trailer. I can’t imagine either being a showstopper, especially with the carbon mast and integrated keel hoist built in. But, those were things I did not do. Otherwise, setup for sailing is just simple. Sail Systems The mainsheet system is unique and unlike anything I’ve used before. Basically, it’s a continuous sheet, with a mainsheet cleat forward-facing for the crew and one aft-facing for the driver. This allows skipper or crew to trim the main easily, throughout the boat. What seemed like a gimmick actually was really a nice feature. In heavy air, or with additional crew, there are more ways for everyone to engage with the boat. Yet, it can be sailed as every other boat this size too. Interesting and clever. The jib trims on a 2:1 system. Jib cars are easy to adjust on about a 10” track. We didn’t play with the track much to adjust jib’s shape, but it is a very simple setup by Selden that is easy and one I haven’t seen before. No metal pin to pull up and slide the car around to find the matching holes. The jib cleats swivel to accommodate for crew moving backward in the boat during planing conditions. I like those little details. There is a jib cunningham, which I think is overkill in a boat this size, no matter what the design brief. That said, it’s integrated well enough where it’s not annoying. Perhaps useful and warranted in heavy breeze, but it was the main ‘extraneous’ piece of hardware I saw. Upwind We sailed in light breeze and flat water with a knot or so of tidal current. We had the final iteration of the Mylar ‘Race sails’ but the boat is also available with smaller and less expensive dacron. The helm on the 21 was very light in feel - almost neutral. I am told in medium to heavy breeze, you get more bite out of the blade. As much as I’m used to that, the neutral feel was quite nice here. It makes the boat feel docile, never trying to tell me where to go. It assures confidence for a new driver and/or club racing. The hull is light and I was surprised it didn’t just bash its way through waves. You need to work it up and down a wave - which I didn’t do at first. It reminded me just a tiny bit of the RS Aero in this regard. You don’t simply beat your way to weather, rather you guide the boat upwind. It is very responsive to the drivers inputs. Again, in bigger breeze, it’s possible the boat just obliterates waves, especially when heeled and not sailing flat. But, for my time on it, you plan ahead and put the boat in the right spot to get over them best. Downwind RS continues to offer boats with optional symmetrical spinnakers, which continues to amuse me. We’re a pretty big dealer for their boats and I’ve never once had a customer ask for a symmetrical spinnaker instead of an asymmetrical. But, I guess there are people out there… In the most common asymmetrical setup, two lines operate the spin. A pole launching line and a halyard. The spinnaker launches from a bag right behind the mast, so all that needs to happen is pole out and hoist. It’s a masthead kite (the first prototype was ¾ or so). It’s, uh... pretty big. The lone puff to 8kts or so came when we hoisted and the boat got going right away. Not quite ‘scalded cat’ but after some easy upwind work, the boat loaded up as the kite filled and I was reminded this isn’t an old heavy keelboat. We only got one or two gybes in before we had to douse (thanks tiny English channels), but it was quickly clear that the 21 has some serious pull. I’d love to sail it with 3 or 4 folks in a blow - I think it’s going to move along more than I expected. Comfort The deck was redesigned from the first two pre-production boats. It has built-in kick bars, wider pedestal for feet to push off of and two stainless steel foot holds. I didn’t sail the first two boats, but this seems like a good solution. The hiking pad is thick and well built and the custom stanchions are angled out with spectra running the length. I was sailing in just normal board shorts, no padding, and had no issues with tired thighs or a pained rear afterwards. The cockpit of the 21’ is wide. Well, it’s hard to explain. The boat is fairly narrow at the beam, but the cockpit uses most of that width. The flare from the cockpit sole up to the gunwales just opens the boat up compared to other 20-22’ boats out there. 4 adults is easy. 5 will work and I am pretty confident you could fit 6 adults in this boat. and there is just more space than you’d expect. When you look at the boat from the dock down, it is immediately obvious what I mean. Boom height is acceptable. I think some people will wish for 2-3 more inches of height, but it likely wouldn’t change a thing unless it was 1’ higher, so, it seems fine where it is. There is no cabin, none of that fuss, no attempt to take away from the sailing experience. Other Notes While I don’t see it swaying the average sailor, I can see clubs, programs, and new customers being happy to know the 21 is probably the greenest sailboat being made. It’s no angel since almost everything is still petroleum based. However, the 21 is the first boat I have heard of that is built partially out of recycled content. The foam core is made of recycled material, which is cool to see. A couple of people have commented that the bow looks funny in pictures. I guess beauty is subjective, but I liked it. When you walk up to the boat sitting in the water, it looks racy and ready to go. Verdict I was selfishly hoping that RS would make some killer sport boat, bringing UK design, their heritage and class development to North America. Proving some naysayers wrong while showing others how to do it. Instead, RS built a boat that is back to basics sailing. Up to date, with the newest technology, but not for the sake of just having technology. They really thought about some details that impact your ability to race, train or just have a lovely day on the water. You can see people learning to sail on this boat for decades. Comfortably, and not pushing water around like boats designed in the 70s and 80s. Yet also not intimidating like a 2-3 person hiking sportboat that is on the ragged edge of sailing ability in 15+ kts. I didn’t think I’d like a ‘simple’ boat, and I didn’t think RS was particularly out to develop that. Though that is in fact what they did. A pure, comfortable, open and inviting keelboat that has the sensibilities and innovation they have shown for two decades… without feeling the need to follow the pack. The 21 is a boat that keeps sailing simple. And, I think that’s a message no one was expecting. I like it. It’s the first keelboat in a while that’s caught our attention from a reliable builder. I’m ordering one for demos and looking forward to sailing it this summer. George Yioulos West Coast Sailing June 2018
  13. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    Yachts and Yachting posted a brief outline of the 21 here: http://www.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/articles/rupert-vid-rs21/ Mine is a lot longer
  14. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    ha, no, no. Standard lifting keel (they will be installing a kelp cutter).
  15. WestCoast

    Test Sailing the RS 21

    With the motor up, you just push the throttle lever forward and it sits down in that cavity so it won't snag anything. (There is a magnetic kill switch you can disconnect to make triple sure the motor won't run with the throttle tucked away)