lonbordin

Tall well-built sailor looking for singlehanded dinghy action.

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The facts:
- I weigh 245 lbs (111 kgs/17.5 stone) and I'm 6'5" (183 cm) tall.
- I'm 48 and fit.
- I've sailed most of my life, grew up on beach cats.
- I currently sail a Force5 and a C-scow. I've got an E-scow under repair.
- I sail on a shallow lake with swirly non-existent winds. We say come for the fun and stay because the wind died and you can't make it back to the dock.
I'm looking to get a single hander that fits. I'm going to keep the Force 5 as that's the only local single-hand OD fleet.
When I race the Force 5 I call it boat yoga... think uncomfortably leaning in the majority of the time. Always tough to watch the fleet sail away on the downwind legs.
Additional notes:
- Boats with traps sit on our beaches for most of the sailing season.
- Catamarans sit on our beaches for most of the sailing season.
- You might see windsurfers and kite sailors twice a year, maybe.
- The Thistle is king here, they can sail in a drifter.
- For several years a Buccaneer 18 was my single handed dinghy (no kite.).

- Days that there's any breeze will most likely have massive shifts.

- I prefer to launch off of the beach rather than use the hoist.
- I prefer to leave my boats mostly setup to minimize setup time and maximize sailing time.
- I predominantly sail by myself.
- I tend to be hard on my boats.
- I do like to go as fast as possible, who doesn't.
- Not looking to try to wage a OD campaign, although it would be nice to be able to drive to a couple of regattas a year.
Boats I'm looking into are:
- Tasar (no future, jib)
- Contender (the wire and light air... don't think so, there's a fairly nice one for cheap nearby, sexy boat)
- RS Aero 9 (that is one shallow cockpit and I'm sure when I shift in the boat it will respond, so lightweight. Looking to demo soon. Nice SA/D numbers even with my heft.)
- Phantom (I don't live in the UK. Don't seem to be any in North America. Not building one. Seems to fit all my requirements though, bummer.)
- Melges 14 (untested, shallow cockpit, hoping to get a demo sail soon, next Johnson 18??? I'd actually like to support Melges!)
- Megabyte (seems a fit, never seen one or sailed one)
- MC Scow (to have to use the hoist and move 420lbs around on the trailer every time, by myself, would really suck. Class is hot in the region. They stay on the beach in 20+kts?!)
- Finn (I'd love to own one... I think there are less than a dozen in the entire mid-west)
- IC (Never sailed the canoe... does it work in light winds under heavy loads? Some pretty good buys out there...)
I can spend ~8k on a new boat less on a used boat so probably no VX-Evo in my future.
S.A. am I overlooking a magical dinghy? Any issues with boats in my short-list for my size and venue?

Thanks!

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Look at a Raider II........very good (excellent) in light air, has a spinny and easy on the body. I have a Raider 1 and dinghys don't come more comfortable.

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MC

Gotta like the succinctness... not sure if that's an endorsement of the MC as I did have it in my list,"- MC Scow (to have to use the hoist and move 420lbs around on the trailer every time, by myself, would really suck. Class is hot in the region. They stay on the beach in 20+kts?!)".

Look at a Raider II........

 

The Raider had not come across my radar... I'll have a look. Thanks.

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IC is better than most in the super light. Import an AC for under 5K if you want the spin option. Will work in light up to 315lbs. At least give one a test sail. Might just be the ticket. Very easy to move around and beach launch or just cave and get the barge (MC). Waiting for the Weta guys to chime in.

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Don't think Weta would be much of a fit as it really shines in heavier air. Description of lake is little, if any air. Fred was emphatic about MC because there are a lot of them, and if it basically doesn't blow at all in the area, why not go the MC route (understanding it's a pain to get it launched) but get some sailing in?

 

The Canoe would certainly keep him entertained!

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The Canoe would certainly keep him entertained!

 

... I do so want to be entertained. Where are these magical beasts... any in the midwest?

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The facts:
- I weigh 245 lbs (111 kgs/17.5 stone) and I'm 6'5" (183 cm) tall.
- I'm 48 and fit.
- I've sailed most of my life, grew up on beach cats.
- I currently sail a Force5 and a C-scow. I've got an E-scow under repair.
- I sail on a shallow lake with swirly non-existent winds. We say come for the fun and stay because the wind died and you can't make it back to the dock.

I'm looking to get a single hander that fits. I'm going to keep the Force 5 as that's the only local single-hand OD fleet.

When I race the Force 5 I call it boat yoga... think uncomfortably leaning in the majority of the time. Always tough to watch the fleet sail away on the downwind legs.

Additional notes:
- Boats with traps sit on our beaches for most of the sailing season.
- Catamarans sit on our beaches for most of the sailing season.
- You might see windsurfers and kite sailors twice a year, maybe.
- The Thistle is king here, they can sail in a drifter.
- For several years a Buccaneer 18 was my single handed dinghy (no kite.).

- Days that there's any breeze will most likely have massive shifts.

- I prefer to launch off of the beach rather than use the hoist.
- I prefer to leave my boats mostly setup to minimize setup time and maximize sailing time.
- I predominantly sail by myself.
- I tend to be hard on my boats.
- I do like to go as fast as possible, who doesn't.
- Not looking to try to wage a OD campaign, although it would be nice to be able to drive to a couple of regattas a year.
Boats I'm looking into are:
- Tasar (no future, jib)

- Contender (the wire and light air... don't think so, there's a fairly nice one for cheap nearby, sexy boat)

- RS Aero 9 (that is one shallow cockpit and I'm sure when I shift in the boat it will respond, so lightweight. Looking to demo soon. Nice SA/D numbers even with my heft.)

- Phantom (I don't live in the UK. Don't seem to be any in North America. Not building one. Seems to fit all my requirements though, bummer.)

- Melges 14 (untested, shallow cockpit, hoping to get a demo sail soon, next Johnson 18??? I'd actually like to support Melges!)

- Megabyte (seems a fit, never seen one or sailed one)

- MC Scow (to have to use the hoist and move 420lbs around on the trailer every time, by myself, would really suck. Class is hot in the region. They stay on the beach in 20+kts?!)

- Finn (I'd love to own one... I think there are less than a dozen in the entire mid-west)

- IC (Never sailed the canoe... does it work in light winds under heavy loads? Some pretty good buys out there...)
I can spend ~8k on a new boat less on a used boat so probably no VX-Evo in my future.

S.A. am I overlooking a magical dinghy? Any issues with boats in my short-list for my size and venue?

Thanks!

 

No question. Definitely you want a finn.

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No question. Definitely you want another hobby. How about video games or collecting poststamps? Rodeo riding?

 

No wind, no sailing.

 

I was frustrated so many times.

Should have given up long ago.

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Got to agree with surf nazi. As soon as I got half way through your post, I was thinking Finn. Obvious choice. I suspect that any boat that is going to be right for you is going to be hard to find, but if you buy right, it will last you forever. Finns go on and on and .......Find a decent Finn and it will last you for the rest of your sailing career.

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He did say he wanted to go as fast as possible. Finn? Really. Work that hard to go so slow, no thanks. I'd go with the AC.

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The one thing I left out is that I made myself a promise that I would try/demo/test sail before purchasing. Living where I do makes this a challenge.

 

Not aware of any Finns nearby.

Not aware of any ACs or ICs nearby.

 

Must. Keep. Searching.

 

Oh, and High Flow just try a Thistle... they make their own wind much like yourself.

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Get a Finn if you want a workout as well. Most physically taxing boat I have ever sailed.

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If your interested in the finn I can help you find one for cheap. Message me if interested. 245 is a very competitive weight

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Look at a Raider II........very good (excellent) in light air, has a spinny and easy on the body. I have a Raider 1 and dinghys don't come more comfortable.

+1

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you are getting some truly terrible advice so far.

 

 

--

Of the entire boats you listed, the Megabyte is the only one that fits your budget and size for your uses.

New ones available from a reputable builder (Zim Sailing)

Used ones plentiful.

 

Designed for guys - just like you - to single hand and occasionally take a friend.

 

--

 

To anyone recommending a Finn to a dude who wants to blast around casually and have some fun -> that's why people leave this sport.

 

A Raider.... jeezus, really? This isn't boat fantasy land. The guys wants to go sailing, not argue about boats on a forum.

 

Aero 9 is a weapon and there are dudes your size that sail it, but, it's pushing it. I think you would find it a bit cramped.

There are lots and lots and lots of these being sold, but it's likely $8500 out the door and it won't take second person.

 

Merges 14 - Sleeved sail and heavy boat. I couldn't tell when the press release came out if they were serious or it was an April fools joke. Looks like it was designed in 1995.

 

For the rest, just stop. Save yourself the headache and the wild ideas on here.

Get a used megabyte for $3k, make sure it has the new mast and sail, and sail the living hell out of it.

 

 

IC? Finn? MC Scow? Contender (they even have these in the US??), Tasar (killer boat, but, uh, you aren't going to single hand this!)

Must have been a cold dark winter wherever you are.

 

 

Get the megabyte and close this thread please.

(I've never owned, or sailed one, and I have zero desire to, but, it's the only boat that makes a lick of sense here per your criteria listed)

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you are getting some truly terrible advice so far.

 

 

--

Of the entire boats you listed, the Megabyte is the only one that fits your budget and size for your uses.

New ones available from a reputable builder (Zim Sailing)

Used ones plentiful.

 

Designed for guys - just like you - to single hand and occasionally take a friend.

 

--

 

To anyone recommending a Finn to a dude who wants to blast around casually and have some fun -> that's why people leave this sport.

 

A Raider.... jeezus, really? This isn't boat fantasy land. The guys wants to go sailing, not argue about boats on a forum.

 

Aero 9 is a weapon and there are dudes your size that sail it, but, it's pushing it. I think you would find it a bit cramped.

There are lots and lots and lots of these being sold, but it's likely $8500 out the door and it won't take second person.

 

Merges 14 - Sleeved sail and heavy boat. I couldn't tell when the press release came out if they were serious or it was an April fools joke. Looks like it was designed in 1995.

 

For the rest, just stop. Save yourself the headache and the wild ideas on here.

Get a used megabyte for $3k, make sure it has the new mast and sail, and sail the living hell out of it.

 

 

IC? Finn? MC Scow? Contender (they even have these in the US??), Tasar (killer boat, but, uh, you aren't going to single hand this!)

Must have been a cold dark winter wherever you are.

 

 

Get the megabyte and close this thread please.

(I've never owned, or sailed one, and I have zero desire to, but, it's the only boat that makes a lick of sense here per your criteria listed)

 

I call bullshit. Arguing about different boats and making comical suggestions is 110% of why the Interwebs even exist at all.

 

The Megabyte is a pretty cool boat, I have only sailed one in light air but it seemed great ergonomically and enough elbow room that the OP should be fine with one. The Finn might be a good suggestion -but- the elbow room is lacking, in fact ergonomics are not in the Finn vocabulary at all. It's a physically difficult boat to sail and although extra tallness makes one competitive, the boat is not proportioned to give any accomodation for it.

 

I have sailed a Raider 2 (linky linky) and the Raider suggestion is also a good one IMHO.

 

The only thing better than window shopping for boats is doing it with other people's money.

 

FB- Doug

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I will second the Megabyte. A Laser for larger people like myself. Find a nice one and go sailing. If you want to go bigger later you could probably cash out for close what you paid for it.

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Size-wise you're right for a finn, they exist but you might have to hunt for one or travel some distance. It's not hugely fast, but it's a big boy boat, it's heavy, powerful, and feels like you're just powering through everything.

 

Megabyte is a nice modern toy, it ticks your boxes, again might be hard to find as they are spread pretty thin. the used boats market is interesting because from my understanding there was a period of time when the original builder wasn't building them, then Zim took over and started building them (basically there's an age gap between PS2000 boats and Zim boats).

 

IC is good fun, in light wind it'll ghost along like nothing else (tiny little hull that's very efficient). The problem you'll encounter here is that the hull is small so in light stuff it'll feel crammed to keep it upright. These are available around the place, north, south, west, east (just not in the middle of the continent as much).

 

A contender would be a good fit for you as a big guy, and in light wind they have the power to move and still be fun. But you'll find it hard to compete with a laser in the real light stuff (heavy boat the contender and it's slow to get going), and in light stuff you basically just end up lying in the bottom, very comfortable, not amazing racing feeling.

 

All these boats exist around the US, some more than others, and all sort of regional groupings. If you're willing to travel around, the classes that have a racing circuit are probably within "striking" distance of you at some point in the summer...

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Still a no-brainer here. You are keeping the Force 5 to OD race. Been through the barge classes, C-Scow, E-Scow. At 6'5" you'll get a great workout getting under the boom and hiking flat a Finn. Or you could sit on a seat and go much faster. Oh and the Contender is not comfortable lying in the cockpit. You're too big for a Moth. Only other choice that isn't what you already sail is the IC/AC. Another choice is an A-Class cat but that is another can of worms.

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And we have a few here in Texas for ya, come on out!

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Thanks for the invite! Let's see.. Austin, TX to Bloomington, IN... 15.5 hours driving one-way... sigh.

 

To keep as many cans of worms closed as possible I'm going to make a list of boats I've found wanting for some reason or another (Fit, cost, flimsy, no fun, location issues, etc.).
I've personally sailed everyone of these and they are in no particular order (yes, I'm sure I'm forgetting several): A-cat, Johnson 18, Snipe, Hobie 18, Jet14, Hobie 16, Hobie 14, NACRA 5.8, Hobie Bravo, Laser, Laser w/Rooster, Laser II, Y-flyer, Flying Scot, Butterfly, Rebel, Buccaneer 18, Hobie Miracle, Hobie Tiger, Trac 18, Thistle, Flying Dutchman, Hunter 140/170, Capri 14.2, Venture 15, 420. 470, Sunfish, Topper Topaz, 29er, Mutineer, Hobie holder, X boat, Barnett 1400, Windmill, and Force 5 (still keeping it for OD "fun").

Oh, and I've single-handed the Tasar once the only boat on my list that I've actually experienced... it was fun. I could see it being a bit much though.

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Big D and Ortega are big promoters of the ICs, for good reason. And after spending a summer playing around with the fleet on the east coast, I'd whole-heartedly agree with them. But if it's a very light venue, I'm going to say that you'll feel "confined" on the boat (ironic for an open boat, but it is the case). I'm your size, and in sailing in the light stuff I felt that the only way to make the boat really go (and be able to race against lighter skippers) was to cram myself forward on the narrow hull and use tiny almost twitch motions to keep it stable and going, not the most comfortable.

 

There is one suggest that I'll throw out there because nobody else has said it and it's pushing the idea of "light wind venue" (and you seem to have sailed on some high performance boats in the past). Get a 49er. I'm not kidding. In light wind (sub 10knts) even you will be on the wire. The boat is insanely powerful so that when you ditch a crew member it'll go in virtually nothing. I've raced one single-handed in about 5-8knts and was out on the wire the whole time. Comfortable, lots of space, light boat, will go fast in the light, and over 10 knts just find a friend to come sailing. Down sides: can be delicate, tough to launch alone, steep learning curve (though you might be part way up with the sailing you've done). But it is a *potential* option for a permanently light wind venue.

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I'm 59, could be in better shape, and about 200 pounds at 5'-11". Big D let me use his flat deck IC this past summer here on Lake Conroe. The flat deck is old but solid and has decent sails. Alone and without any proper instruction, I was able to get the boat to go pretty well in anything under 10 knots. What I mean by go is planing. Once the wind goes over 10, I couldn't get the hang of the sliding seat and how to keep from ramming my nuts into he carriage when the seat would auto-slide. Big D sailed the same boat a month ago in a big breeze and had no trouble at all.

 

I'd definitely consider it a short list candidate. For me though, I have a Flaying Scot that I really like. But it's a pig dressed in a driving suit. Yeah, it planes and goes pretty well, but we broad reached with an AERO 5 between races and saw 12.7 knots on the puck in about 15 knots of breeze. The Aero caught us from behind and passed us. His GPS showed 15+ sustained. I don't know about you but I hate looking for crew (and most crew hate sailing with me). I really like the idea of solo sailing. I spent 4 years on a Laser and hated it. But the AERO is a much better boat for what I'm looking for and way faster than a Laser.

 

So bottom line: The IC is very cool, fast but with an investment curve to sail like the big boys. And when I say fast I mean slalom ski fast. But for me, I'm going to write a check for an AERO 9.

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You go Lindy, see ya at Seabrook, you can try the Aero 7! And no, I'll never sell my AC, love/hate her too much!

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I'm 59, could be in better shape, and about 200 pounds at 5'-11". Big D let me use his flat deck IC this past summer here on Lake Conroe. The flat deck is old but solid and has decent sails. Alone and without any proper instruction, I was able to get the boat to go pretty well in anything under 10 knots. What I mean by go is planing. Once the wind goes over 10, I couldn't get the hang of the sliding seat and how to keep from ramming my nuts into he carriage when the seat would auto-slide.

 

Once again we need to make a distinction between clean exit of water off the hull (the canoe is VERY good at this making it an efficiently driven hull) and planing when the lift off the hull is greater than the buoyancy (which I would be amazed to see a modern IC do in under 10 knts of wind reliably, never mind the old "nethercott" style hulls). Either way, the "feel" of the canoe hull slicing through the water is special, almost more of a single-hulled catamaran than a traditional monohull.

 

Learning curve is fun, the sliding seat sends everyone for a few swims as they learn. But the seat also does some cool tricks, like using it as a "bicycle stand" when launching (literally just lean the boat onto the seat and it'll sit there for at least a little while).

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So here's where I am...

 

-Look's like I can arrange a test of the Aero 9 and the Melges 14 (and an MC, why not!) anytime by visiting Chicago and Lake Geneva (5+hours away). There's a possibility I can demo a Megabyte at the same time (haven't heard back yet from the dealer).

-I've tried to join the IC forums (I guess they approve new members on a monthly basis?) and sent a note to the IC prez to find out if there's any "nearby".

-The only Finn in the area is on the road and won't return until late June.

 

As a thank you for all your participation I present Big Guy, Little boat, also known as me in a Force 5 (in yellow). A gusty (very shifty) day at Force 5 nationals... the guy in the drink is a good sailor... look at me hike as I round the mark... sigh...

gallery_45476_1245_18237.jpg

 

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Definitely go try as many as you can! And don't make a snap decision, you have boats to tide you over, if I were you I'd think carefully on what you get as you'll likely end up with it for a while.

 

I don't think the IC forums are active, from what I've heard most of the chatter is done here in Dinghy Anarchy (and through emails or whatever). Try hunting down one of the Clark men from the east coast as they tend to have a very good feel for what's available in the US (as do the boys from Texas). I know that the Clark guys often travel to events and can bring a "loaner" boat along for people who are interested in trying the class, so maybe that's an in to try the IC while you're exploring.

 

Good luck! (and you look just fine in that photo, you're just waiting for the conditions to shift in your favour)

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I did send an email to one of the Clarks as there's a thread on the IC forum of a stash of ICs in Michigan... ya' never know.

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Man, you'd be perfect for an EVO- would you consider a partner to defray the cost?

 

Let us know,what you think of the Melges 14!

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Hey lonbordin,

 

The Clarks are into the new rules boats that are considerably lighter, tippier and cost more. The buys out there are the OD Nethercotts that can be had for $1000 and up. We have 7 boats in Texas now of which at least two or three could be for sale. Let me know. If you wanted to fly here I have room and can pick you up at the airport and take you back. I have an old MC as well as 2 IC's and an AC for test rides. Also a jet ski to pick up the carnage if needed. Let me know

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You come out, we'll sail together, am an hour away from Big D!

NOTHING goes through the water like an IC, you need try one.

Sliding seat is wonderful place to be, 7 feet away from boat when needed!

See the IC page on FB, great pix!

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Hey lonbordin,

 

The Clarks are into the new rules boats that are considerably lighter, tippier and cost more. The buys out there are the OD Nethercotts that can be had for $1000 and up. We have 7 boats in Texas now of which at least two or three could be for sale. Let me know. If you wanted to fly here I have room and can pick you up at the airport and take you back. I have an old MC as well as 2 IC's and an AC for test rides. Also a jet ski to pick up the carnage if needed. Let me know

That's what they race and sail, but the fleet of loaner boats that I saw travelling around last year were mostly nethercotts. I was told that they were buying nethercotts as they showed up for sale and fitting them out to be a fleet of taster boats. Things might have changed, but that's what was happening last summer. If anything it gives the fleet a nice, transportable base for new entrants...

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Hey lonbordin,

 

The Clarks are into the new rules boats that are considerably lighter, tippier and cost more. The buys out there are the OD Nethercotts that can be had for $1000 and up. We have 7 boats in Texas now of which at least two or three could be for sale. Let me know. If you wanted to fly here I have room and can pick you up at the airport and take you back. I have an old MC as well as 2 IC's and an AC for test rides. Also a jet ski to pick up the carnage if needed. Let me know

 

A more than generous offer, thank you. I'll be PM'ing you.

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Local Boatbuilder here has a contender and an IC. He only sails the contender when it's blowing 18+. Canoe comes out all of the rest of the time. He is shorter, but a touch heavier than you. I think he would sail the canoe more, but out beach gets pretty hairy in breeze and the contender is a little easier to get in and off the beach

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Megabyte or Phantom.

 

Big powerful boats for big people.

Easy to go sailing.....no fussing around with complicated bits.

Comfortable, modern ergonomics.

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Life aligned and I got to Demo the Melges 14 and the RS Aero. I found my perfect boat… too bad it’s an amalgam of the two boats I demoed. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


First a big thank you to Andy and Scott. Fantastic to work with both gentlemen, they deserve a raise! Melges and RS… don’t get much more top notch than that...


First demo was the Melges 14 Friday night at Lake Geneva. Then it was the RS Aero 7 Saturday at the Chicago Yacht Club. Winds were lighter 4 to 8 knots but both sessions had much higher gusts. Geneva was busy with Friday evening motorboat traffic and Lake Michigan had some chop so conditions were comparable there as well.


I’m going to talk about each boat from the top down.


Mast- The M14 is two part carbon set for the sleeved sail while the Aero is very much a carbon needle-spar two piece design. Both deform nicely when the proper controls are in play. Light, robust, solid. No issues here.


Sail- The M14 is sleeved Mylar full sized at 98 sq ft (9.1 m2). The RS Aero 7 is dacron 77 sq ft (7.4m2) on a halyard. The M14’s has fully adjustable battens top to bottom while only the top 2 are adjustable on the Aero. The mylar sail is exceptionally nice. The Aero’s sail might be the best dacron dighny sail I’ve ever used. Unfortunately this is the only RS Aero in the midwest and only has the midsize 7 sail. Both boats come with 5/7/9 sail options. I’d give the edge to the Melges sail in shape and light air performance. If only it was on a halyard. (Note: doing the sleeved sail Iwo Jima is much easier with the carbon lightweight mast)


Control lines- Both boats have your typical COVe setup. The RS Aero tries to be innovative with the continuous lines and bungie for tension under the gunwale. Needlessly complex IMHO, also don’t like how it flops about in the water when slack. Both boats controls do a very good job controlling sail shape. I like the Aero's centralize main sheet over the transom traveler of the M14. Give me simple any day.


Deck- The Melges 14 is the most comfortable dinghy I’ve ever sailed. The rolled nature of the wide and long cockpit is fantastic. The non-skid works well while not being abrasive and the soft grippy foam covered floor is a dream. The edges continued the rolled theme… it is truly a pleasure to hike out or sit in the bottom of. The Aero’s non-skid is super abrasive on the deck and the floor ready and willing to remove skin if offered. The grab rails were kinda in a bad spot for my size 13 feet, another inch of so higher and it wouldn’t have been an issue. Hiking is the most pleasant position on the Aero. I wished the Aero’s cockpit was a couple of inches wider.

The M14 could definitely fit two average sized folk while the Aero is definitely a single person gig.


Hull- The M14 is scowish with no chines coming in around 115lbs. Give it a little heel and it likes to groove. Definitely want to stay slightly forward as it doesn’t like to drag it’s transom. Stable up and downwind… a real confidence booster. It’s fairly quiet through chop and has a solid feel. The RS Aero (~66lbs) is without a doubt the best surfing dinghy I’ve ever sailed. It will surf easily and quickly in waves both big and small. Super quick to power up and equally quick to power down. When your sailing game is on it will respond in kind. If you’re off or slow it will just a quickly penalize you… don’t flow through the tack? The boat will come to a near stop. It has more a skittish feel than a solid feel… louder in the chop. Super fun at times… no slack sailing… gotta be on your game in the Aero. Off wind you can move back on the Aero for fun times, especially surfing. Light air in the Aero is a focused balancing effort. Oh and the Aero fell over at the dock so there's that.


Foils- Both are modern foils and are more similar than different. The carbon trailing edges on the Aero are extra nice. I understood why they beefed up the Aero rudder as you can definitely spin out the rudder in certain situations. Both tillers are WAY too long but longer tiller extensions can always be shortened. They both caught the first block on the boom.

 

Both dinghies are real steps forward in the game.


If I could take the halyard mast of the Aero and match it to the mylar sail of the M14 with the Aero's mainsheet setup then put that rig on an Aero hull the size of the M14 with the M14’s deck on top I’d have the perfect dinghy. :rolleyes:


I’m doing some soul searching and thinking about what I want in my next boat. It was a blast to try them both!

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Nice summary. That should be pinned somewhere for everyone who comes around asking for advice about these two boats.

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That was a really good summary. The Melges 14 looks intriguing and sexy and I've been curious about it. Much appreciate the write-up.

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Something I forgot to mention is the top hole of the mast step of the RS Aero. It's not a perfect circle (more like two circles side by side) allowing the mast to rake itself forward for off the wind and rake back upwind. Kinda neat feature I've never seen discussed.

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Something I forgot to mention is the top hole of the mast step of the RS Aero. It's not a perfect circle (more like two circles side by side) allowing the mast to rake itself forward for off the wind and rake back upwind. Kinda neat feature I've never seen discussed.

 

The bow-to-aft "wiggliness" of the mast in the mast step is a feature, not a bug? Glad to hear it! I have been side-eyeing this "wiggliness", but I don't know anything about raking. I'm just happy to know it helps me out (somehow).

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Availability will probably drive your choice a bit. ICs look like great boats, but seem like they are hard to find. I've been looking for one reasonably close to Texas for a while and haven't seen any come up. Megabytes seem a little more prolific. One for sale in Austin right now for $1k and have seen at least one more in the last couple of years, but they aren't super easy to find. MCs seem to be all over the midwest and easy enough to find most places. I see Finns for sale, but they always seem to be in California.

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Availability will probably drive your choice a bit.

 

Availability definitely was the determining factor in my previous boats. It won't be in this one.

 

Ain't no mountain high enough... ain't no river wide enough...

:D

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Hey Juan,

I'm here in Texas with three boats. Two of the others here in Texas could be for sale. You know of the one in Austin for 1K. PM me if you are interested in a boat.

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lonbordin,

Offer still stands. Certainly you can find a cheap flight to Dallas for a test ride. Let me know. Beer, food, and lodging on me. Let me know.

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lonbordin,

Offer still stands. Certainly you can find a cheap flight to Dallas for a test ride. Let me know. Beer, food, and lodging on me. Let me know.

I've Pm'd you. Thanks!

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Good notes on your experience with the Aero vs. Melges.

I'm always intrigued by the way people write that are comparing to compare, vs. comparing to buy.

Just, comes off as complimentary to both boats in this case.

 

(and I assume the Melges 14 is a decent boat)

 

I know RS has delivered their 1000th Aeros now.

Not sure where M14 is.

 

--

To the original poster, I think the megabyte recommendation (if you get a used boat), is pretty good.

Zim has these new on the east coast, it's a good little boat.

Sold a few over the last decade, works in its niche nicely.

 

You *might* also consider looking at the RS100/VXEvo style of boat.

The 100 we've sold a handful of, and it's pretty cool beast.

Not sailed the Evo, could be a bit much.

 

 

Anyway, yeah, get on the water and go sailing!

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VX Evo is your ticket, in my opinion:

VX-EVO_new.jpg

 

For $13,950 you get a ready-to-go boat with all you need.

Complete Race Ready Boat
#2 Sailplan with Choice of Gennker Color
Top Cover
Rudder Bag
Dynamic Trolley

Glad to share more details if you are interested.

Rod

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Good notes on your experience with the Aero vs. Melges.

I'm always intrigued by the way people write that are comparing to compare, vs. comparing to buy.

Just, comes off as complimentary to both boats in this case.

 

--

To the original poster, I think the megabyte recommendation (if you get a used boat), is pretty good.

 

Anyway, yeah, get on the water and go sailing!

 

Well I'm the OP and the one who wrote the comparison. So I've got that going for me. :-)

I am comparing to buy my next boat if that wasn't clear.

 

If my comparison is complementary to both boats I'm not sure that's such a bad thing. I wrote down what stood out in my memory of both boats the positive and the negative. Really it's no surprise that boats from RS and Melges wouldn't have anything terribly wrong with them both groups are quite seasoned at this point.

 

I sailed Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So I've got that going for me as well.

 

Mahalo!

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I'm looking forward to hearing if you get a chance to demo all the other boats that are being listed here. Mostly because I'd love to go out and demo a bunch of boats with the idea of buying one and I'm going to live that vicariously through you.

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I'm looking forward to hearing if you get a chance to demo all the other boats that are being listed here. Mostly because I'd love to go out and demo a bunch of boats with the idea of buying one and I'm going to live that vicariously through you.

 

Feelin' the pressure! ;-)

 

You're going to get your wish! I'm working on lining up an IC. I've got a line on a Megabyte. And soon the only Finn in the area should return.

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Good notes on your experience with the Aero vs. Melges.

I'm always intrigued by the way people write that are comparing to compare, vs. comparing to buy.

Just, comes off as complimentary to both boats in this case.

 

--

To the original poster, I think the megabyte recommendation (if you get a used boat), is pretty good.

 

Anyway, yeah, get on the water and go sailing!

 

Well I'm the OP and the one who wrote the comparison. So I've got that going for me. :-)

I am comparing to buy my next boat if that wasn't clear.

 

If my comparison is complementary to both boats I'm not sure that's such a bad thing. I wrote down what stood out in my memory of both boats the positive and the negative. Really it's no surprise that boats from RS and Melges wouldn't have anything terribly wrong with them both groups are quite seasoned at this point.

 

I sailed Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So I've got that going for me as well.

 

Mahalo!

 

 

Whoops, reading comprehension apparently not my forte!

 

--

I'm biased, since I sell them (I sell Megabytes too, and lots of other boats here).

If you fit in the Aero, and racing is your thing, it's sort of a done deal already to go there.

 

There are major events happening around the world, and there are a good number of boats already in the US.

Charter boats are available for nationals, people are flying in from Europe for events, there are clinics and demo days and lots of stuff.

 

--

Personally, you're on the edge size wise for an Aero, so, I wouldn't have recommended it initially, but, if the shoe fits, wear it.

And come to the gorge for Nationals. Or the east coast, or Florida, or Texas for some racing :)

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Personally, you're on the edge size wise for an Aero, so, I wouldn't have recommended it initially, but, if the shoe fits, wear it.

And come to the gorge for Nationals. Or the east coast, or Florida, or Texas for some racing :)

 

No worries mon... Yeah... I'm definitely over the edge, size wise, for the Aero. If that cockpit was wider and there was no grab rail ... I still want to try the 9 rig though.

 

I've always had a fetish for little sporty cars... owned a bug-eyed Sprite in college. Always had to wear glasses to drive as I was over the windshield.. never could drive with the top up. But the Aero reminds me of the Sprite... full u turns in two lane roads. zippy.. ...doesn't fit. :-D

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VX Evo is your ticket, in my opinion:

 

VX-EVO_new.jpg

 

For $13,950 you get a ready-to-go boat with all you need.

 

Complete Race Ready Boat
#2 Sailplan with Choice of Gennker Color
Top Cover
Rudder Bag
Dynamic Trolley

Glad to share more details if you are interested.

 

Rod

 

 

...looks like a good boat for a sizeable guy......

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I'm looking forward to hearing if you get a chance to demo all the other boats that are being listed here. Mostly because I'd love to go out and demo a bunch of boats with the idea of buying one and I'm going to live that vicariously through you.

 

Me too

 

Great great thread, thanks L

 

FB- Doug

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Thanks everyone!

 

Well I'm going to put the VX-Evo on the list. I've never had a mid-life crisis... I've gotta be due... my spouse will understand, RIGHT?! Right? Oh, man.

 

I was dreaming last night on how comfortable the Melges 14 was...

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Thanks everyone!

 

Well I'm going to put the VX-Evo on the list. I've never had a mid-life crisis... I've gotta be due... my spouse will understand, RIGHT?! Right? Oh, man.

 

I was dreaming last night on how comfortable the Melges 14 was...

 

In the pics it's a great looking boat. Pricey, yes. But if it's as well built as the VX-1 (which I would tend to assume) then it is absolute top notch. The VX-1 btw is a very comfy boat.

 

BTW do a capsize drill! With pics! RIghting, climbing back in, etc etc. Extremely important to long-term usability (exxxxtreeeeeemely)

 

FB- Doug

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LOL I'll need a special kind of selfie stick for those pics.

 

I did capcise the Aero and there was nothing remarkable about righting it or getting back on board. I would suspect the same with the Melges. You have to understand I'm able to just grab the boards of these size boats and pull... usually they just pop up.

 

But I agree it's an important consideration.

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The SA/D numbers for the VX EVO with the spinny are off the charts!
SA/D + me is with my 245 lbs (111kgs/17.5stone) added into the equation. Same with Bruce's #.

Click it... to make it full sized, baby-

SA table



(Tables in SA are hard... doesn't allow BBC table code, html table code, and f*cks up plain text tables?!)

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If you add a 24sm kite to the IC to make it an AC your chart looks a bit different. Oh and the extra length and leverage of the seat vs hiking makes a difference too. And at a third of the price for a carbon boat this a no brainer for me.

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If you add a 24sm kite to the IC to make it an AC your chart looks a bit different. Oh and the extra length and leverage of the seat vs hiking makes a difference too. And at a third of the price for a carbon boat this a no brainer for me.

 

Yeah the AC is nuts. ~366 sq ft of sail... puts the SA/D at 255.1 | SA/D +me at 116.8 | Bruce # +me at 2.71.

You must feel like you're just hanging on at times!

 

I'm looking forward to us getting together and me falling over a bunch demoing the canoe.

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I've not bought my next boat yet, thanks.

 

I'm working on demoing a couple... demoing sailboats when you live in the middle of nowhere isn't easy. :-)

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Update:

Racing at the Force5 regatta in Bloomington this weekend. C'mon WIND! (forecast looks really light for Saturday, ugh.)

 

Megabyte for demo six hours away... haven't found a time to schedule that yet.

 

Local Finn guy has been quiet.

 

Confirmation that there's no ICs nearby or in Michigan from two in the know IC sources.

 

Looking to see if I can demo any boats in the Tampa Bay area (Florida) when I visit my folks in July.

 

I've been told there will be a VX-Evo at the VX-One North Americas in September in Holland MI (<5hours away) so I might try to be there for a demo.

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new Raider with the kite etc. I think I know where you sail, nice lake. All off a sudden there's all these cool new singlehanders available whether you want a kite or not.

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The SA/D numbers for the VX EVO with the spinny are off the charts!

SA/D + me is with my 245 lbs (111kgs/17.5stone) added into the equation. Same with Bruce's #.

 

 

Click it... to make it full sized, baby-

 

 

(Tables in SA are hard... doesn't allow BBC table code, html table code, and f*cks up plain text tables?!)

You also need RS100, Raider and CL Stealth

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The SA/D numbers for the VX EVO with the spinny are off the charts!

SA/D + me is with my 245 lbs (111kgs/17.5stone) added into the equation. Same with Bruce's #.

 

 

Click it... to make it full sized, baby-

 

 

(Tables in SA are hard... doesn't allow BBC table code, html table code, and f*cks up plain text tables?!)

You also need RS100, Raider and CL Stealth

 

 

I've been told by several folks (RS reps, and others) that the RS100 is woefully too small for me.

 

The Raider and the CL Stealth are really small builds... I'd probably go for the VX Evo long before I'd go for one of those... heck I'd probably go Megabyte before those... just for support reasons alone. If I run across one you better know I'm going to give it a go... at this point I've written nothing off... the future is full of possibilities.

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Hey, thought I would wake up this thread to see if you bought a boat last year. I followed this discussion with interest because I'm also thinking of getting a modern singlehander, and it sounds like I check in at a similar size: a fit 6'3" and 235.

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Hey, thought I would wake up this thread to see if you bought a boat last year. I followed this discussion with interest because I'm also thinking of getting a modern singlehander, and it sounds like I check in at a similar size: a fit 6'3" and 235.

There are all kinds of "modern" singlehanders out there but only one true classic, the finn.

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Even though this is an out dated thread(maybe troll), while the snow is melting and I'm fighting boredom I have to throw in my $.02. I do my OD on OP boats, mostly J 24's. I got my raider about a year ago. Support from the builder couldn't have been better. In light air, the raider is a flyer, easily keeps up with my buddies MC going to weather. Reaching, no contest when I unfurl the screecher. Very easy on the knees and back, now GF won't sail in other small boats.

SN, keep in mind the poster mentions light air several times.

Josh

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Hey, thought I would wake up this thread to see if you bought a boat last year. I followed this discussion with interest because I'm also thinking of getting a modern singlehander, and it sounds like I check in at a similar size: a fit 6'3" and 235.

You sound like you're custom made for a Finn. Where do you sail?

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Hey, thought I would wake up this thread to see if you bought a boat last year. I followed this discussion with interest because I'm also thinking of getting a modern singlehander, and it sounds like I check in at a similar size: a fit 6'3" and 235.

A Fin is the classic answer at your size, the VX-Evo is the modern one. The VX is a far more comfortable boat to be on.

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Hate to disturb the legend, but modern Finns aren't nearly as painful as they're made out to be. With pussy pads, hiking pants, and a modern mast it's not nearly as painful as being the middle guy on a Melges 24. Just do your situps and don't bow off leg day at the gym and you're fine

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Or just double up on the pants and enjoy the leverage of the sliding seat while you leave the finn in your wake. No brainer.

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I love my megabyte, I had a raider 2 and while I did like it and it was fast in lower winds, it was still better with 2 people, as it is very light it was nice to be able to place some weight on the same side as the sail to balance the boat. When I was by myself with real light wind any movement side to side would kill the sail and forward momentum. With two people that was not the issue and honestly it did not really affect performance.

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Tall hunky well-built sailor looking for singlehanded dinghy action.

 

What you need is the new Grindr two hander, excellent on the reach arounds, plenty of ropes for you and your crew to play with.

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Thanks for all the thoughts.

 

I do have an affinity for classic fast boats, having restored and raced a 505 a number of years ago. Sadly, I sold that. The Finn sounds like a fun challenge. But, with a hull weight over 100Kg, the Finn is also classic in a way that puts it out of consideration for me. I'm hoping for something more Laser-class in terms of portability.

 

I am probably just going to take out a couple of these boats and sail them for myself.

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Laser like portability for a big boy's singlehander brings you back to the Melges 14 and the Megabyte

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Yep. That is my take so far as well.

 

I think the subtext of my query really is whether big guys really get along with the Aero, or if its a marginal affair for the over 6'3 crowd. Light air is a reality in the summer, and it's just not much fun to roll oneself up into a ball.

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light airs?

I know you wrote dinghy, but how about an A class cat?

no need to go with a recent design. Take a 7 to 10 year old boat and you'll be flying in that swirly non-existent winds (not literally).

should find a decent non-competitive boat in that price region (standard foils, etc...)

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light airs?

I know you wrote dinghy, but how about an A class cat?

no need to go with a recent design. Take a 7 to 10 year old boat and you'll be flying in that swirly non-existent winds (not literally).

should find a decent non-competitive boat in that price region (standard foils, etc...)

For less than $5,000 you can now pick up a good condition strait board A-Cat, maybe a little more for a C board. Say around $8,000 for a well sorted one.

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I don't know what the conclusion of your test was but I'd add another to your list of big-boys single hander to try - a Weta trimaran. Weight limit is 440lbs and we race them solo or 2-up. There are quite a number of older/heavier sailors who sail them because they are fast but forgiving and and no "abs-of-steel" are required as you just sit on the floats.

New lightweight foam core construction and 9.3 Square Top sail have improved performance in light winds and you can also use the flat-cut gennaker as a "code zero" to keep you moving when everyone else is stationary. Also the entire sail wardrobe has been revised by Norths.

It's capable of speeds over 20 knots and the width gives you incredible leverage so you can use it in almost any conditions (my max raced to date is 35 knots) and the buoyancy of the floats means it doesn't capsize on top of you if there's a sudden lull.

While it's very hard to capsize, you can right it without much effort - just undo the port on the float to flood it and it comes up like a monohull - the water pours out when you sail away and you lean back to replace the port - it takes about 5 mins and I've done that solo in 35 knots too. 

Picture

 

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Why not see if you can’t get one of those new America’s Cup test boats? I hear the can foil in a straight line!!

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Or jump off the fence and get the other AC. No foiling but the most boat you will ever sail. Main, jib, spin, sliding seat, 7 ft. tiller extension, what's not to like?  Less than $6K for all the bells and whistles. Or get the best light air boat ever. The AC,  A-Cat

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Five months into it, I am still enjoying the AERO. The boom is WAY up high and it seems to handle 240 lbs nicely.

the 9 rig has two more meters of Sail than a Laser and you really can’t make it go full speed in big breeze Unless you have enough weight.