EYESAILOR

RS 21 - Fugly or just a different genre

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Ed liked it on front page.  

I'm not sure.

I wanted to like it because I am a huge fan of RS. I love what the RS Aero does for single handed sailing and I love the value proposition of the RS Feva for youth sailing and I see what the RS range has done for dinghy sailing in Europe.

But trying as hard as I could, looking at it from every angle trying to find a favorable pose, I came to the inescapable conclusion that to Eye's eye, this boat is an ugly duckling!

What do you all think?

I know it is aimed at club ownership rather than individual ownership but 6.3 meters (21 feet) coming in at 590 kg (1,300 lbs)  seems heavy in this day and age.

Over here I guess it is aiming to compete with club owned Sonars and Ideal 18s rather than with a modern sportboat. But with lifelines??  and I hope those are hiking straps on the floor not granny bars.

 

RS21ugly.jpg.98aafb627c69e6bfd8822357bcd23dda.jpg

 

RS21.jpg.39be42a74329a22ec09cd8eb0edd6b48.jpg

RS21layout.jpg.cf820c6ad1b15eeba2c0b2a042b5046d.jpg

 

That said, I admire RS's acumen at spotting market niches.   Club owned daysailer keelboats is a market niche ripe for disruption.  The Sonar and Ideal 18 are past their "sell by" date.  Is this the boat to do that?

 

 

 

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I believe there is a place in this world for this boat.  I've talked to a few people about taking the Melges 20 and dumbing it down somehow.  But this seems to fit the niche.  A boat that can be crewed by all ages and skill levels.  What's the price?

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Glaze,

33k for the club version no spinnaker

37k for the race version with an assym.

You can add either a symmetrical or assym to the club version.

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I think it looks pretty cool except for the eiffel tower... that just looks awkward to me, but i think the rest of the boat looks badass.

Also I worry that the retractable motor system is married to Torqeedo... if they change their format then you'll be in a tough spot come motor replacement time.

 

Threadjack: $34,999 for a Fareast 23R... a lot more boat... just sayin'

 

 

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1 hour ago, overdraft said:

I think it looks pretty cool except for the eiffel tower... that just looks awkward to me, but i think the rest of the boat looks badass.

Also I worry that the retractable motor system is married to Torqeedo... if they change their format then you'll be in a tough spot come motor replacement time.

 

Threadjack: $34,999 for a Fareast 23R... a lot more boat... just sayin'

 

 

I just dont see the "cool".  I noticed that there were a couple of different designers involved and the Tech director of RS.

To me it looks like a committee each designed a different aspect of the boat and nobody stood back and said "Oh shit, what have we done ?"

From the front it looks like the bow of a U boat. Maybe that is why it is doing well in Dusseldorf?

I agree there is a market for a more modern club keel boat. But 3 questions:

1) Why so hideous?

2) Why so heavy?  (and Im prepared to be persuaded I am making the wrong comparison here. Although it is twice the weight of a VX or a Viper, it is the same weight as an Ideal and less than a Sonar)

3) Why lifelines?  ( A 21 feet keelboat without a cabin where you sit feet out makes little sense to me)

However I will reserve judgement until I have seen and/or sailed one. Maybe it is better looking in the flesh.

 

 

 

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Have they made up their mind whether to go for Vang or Gnav?

One picture has Vang. One has Gnav.

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I think the lifelines are designed as RS answer to the Laser SB20 granny bars. They are designed to prevent hiking/leaning out.

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you see i don’t mind the the super cambered foredeck... although i see that it does yield the u-boat look from bow on...

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Glaze,

i have the same thoughts as some of your people. "Dumbing down a Melges 20" would be close for me. Physically I can't do the hiking like I used to do and I love my Laser but sometimes sail with a girl and would prefer to not flip and stay dryer.  My new bucket list is to Trailer to a sailing venue for a day and launch and sail there for the day.  My perfect boat for this would be 16' to 20' - performance oriented - ( don't need a cabin or accommodations ) - self righting. And prefer a swing keel in stead of a lifting keel.  The closest thing I have found so far is the Open 5.00

IMG_1297.JPG

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The Open 5.00 is a very different boat to RF21...At only 16 1/2 feet, the Open 5.00 is a 2 person boat aimed at private owners.  The RF21 is 21 feet, crew of four and aiming for club owned fleets.

That said I was interested to read that Hobie has taken over marketing and distribution for Open 5.00 and 5.70.  I previously thought the Open boats had failed to gain traction in US and had faded away. I demoed the Open 5.70 and although I couldnt see the market for the 5.70, the Open 5.00 intrigues me as a genuine 2 person less athletic sport boat . The 5.70 got a good West Coast fleet going for a while but we never saw any 5.00s on the East coast.

Back on topic with the ReallyFugly21.....I think it is going after a very clearly defined niche.  A lot of clubs own a fleet of small keel boats for teaching and for adult racing.  The existing boats (eg Ideal 18, Sonar etc) are really dated and increasingly uninteresting.  The Andrews 21 (formerly Governors 21) got rave reviews as a potential livelier club boat but it never got any traction.  The J70 is just too expensive for club ownership and the "lid" is wrong for a day sailer. So there is a market. 

The RF21 comes in at $41,280 including a trailer (which club owned boats will need) but not including a cover. Say $750 for boat cover and $250 for rudder cover.....comes to around $42,250.

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You can get a used J 70 for that price. Probably hard to find enough for a fleet, though.

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having now seen this in the flesh then it really is not a thing of beauty, adding the currently fashionable bow chamfer styling was a big mistake and achieves nothing - and probably makes the mould tooling a real pia.  However as I understand this is the boat for sailing schools rather than the racing public and will likely do the job well enough.  Pity that it looks like a dogs breakfast though.

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They sold 18 of them in the first few days of the show, and I am told another 20 people are close.
Not sure how many of those are clubs, but it sounds like mostly private buyers so far.

I peronsonally think it looks pretty cool and am considering putting down a deposit on one (in the US).

Decent value, and the shipping is cheap cuz 4x fit in a 40’ container, so, that cuts a lot of costs out.
I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it looks very European and quite clever to me.

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i'm not sure why everyone is so focused on the the looks..., it seems pretty plain to me - neither really good, nor really bad...

club boats need to be built pretty heavily.., and i'm not even sure that sprits are a good idea - too easy to break.

i don't like the rails or whatever they are in the cockpit.

I guess there might be some locations where a club boat needs a motor...

I think a really important characteristic of boats for a typical club boat program is that sailors of a nearly all ages, and athletic abilities can achieve roughly equal boatspeed in them  - so sort of low to medium performance is appropriate. Some clubs may want to have a high performance club owned boat, but that sounds like a maintenance headache to me.

 

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The first thing that most sailing directors do on club owned boats is to put on rub rails!

It might be because club boats are often used for team racing or it might be because club boats are used to teach sailing and has beginners approaching a dock .....but for whatever reason club boats tend to bump into stuff and each other.

The funky double camber bow and hull might look fugly to some but for the sailing director the bigger issue is maintenance ...and how much the hull projecting wider than the rail will get beat up without rub rails. 

On January 26, 2018 at 2:51 PM, EYESAILOR said:

 

RS21.jpg.39be42a74329a22ec09cd8eb0edd6b48.jpg

 

 

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11 hours ago, BlatantEcho said:

 

I peronsonally think it looks pretty cool and am considering putting down a deposit on one (in the US)

That's good feedback.  Always interesting to hear from folks ready to put their money down.

What would you intend to use this boat for? Interested what are you comparing it to?    

 

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They look ready for lots of damage if used at Sailing schools. I do enough ‘glass repairs to boats with flanges and rub rails. There will be a lot of work with those around...

And they’re pretty unpretty to me

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As near as I can tell from the article, Calvin Klein saw the RF21 and said "Das Boot is Gross" ;)

no seriously, looking at Speedwatch picture, that hull is going to get bruises coming alongside a dock.

SA has a German edition???

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Fugly!

I dont see a kelp cutter and that T keel means if you have weeds like we do you pretty much have to stop sailing this boat come mid-summer time.  But the good news is the adult learn to sail people will get good at going in reverse - on purpose.

MS

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On 1/26/2018 at 2:51 PM, EYESAILOR said:

 I hope those are hiking straps on the floor not granny bars.

Nein. Das are granny bars on das flurboden!

I cannot even guess what they are for.

5a6f4d3232d6b_DasGrannyBars.jpg.1ff96e3cbf4702b030f4d0820d1f0df3.jpg

Footrests? To stop old folks sliding off the thwart to leeward? Harness line attachment points? Something to do with the cell phone charging station located in the center pedestal?

Hard to call it beautiful.

 

 

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I also wrote this in another thread but I have added some points now...

I really wanted to like this boat but I think it could be a very expensive mistake for RS. I didn't get to speak to anyone about it at dusseldorf but there were a couple of things that stuck out to me as being very wrong.

1) The price, I think it is still too expensive. Why does this boat need a carbon mast? Why does it need a custom coloured lewmar forehatch in the bow, the hatch alone adds about £500 to the price rather than using a plastic floor hatch like they use in the cockpit. 

2) The mainsail. It might be because the mast is a prototype and is missing it's crane but even with the flicker I can see no way that the head of the mainsail can pass through in a tack. The backstay will need to be let off fully on every tack, and even then I don't think it will clear. 

3) The looks, it's seriously ugly. It's not wide enough to pull off the chined hull, the boat feels very small. The cockpit ergonomics also look questionable, the side decks looked quite narrow and a little bit low. 

4) The rudder, it is bolted to the transom. I am assuming that a lot of these boats will be trailer sailed. In which case you really need the rudder to be removable while afloat. Couple this with a fixed motor pod and you can't steer. I think a cassette rudder would be the best option for the boat rather than the fixed stock. Surely it has to be ramp launchable? With a fixed rudder that really isn't an option.

5) The non slip on the side decks is basically non existent. It looks like a badly finished area of gel coat rather than non slip. The granny bars look clumsy and the narrow side decks will make this boat very hard to sail in any wind.

6) The sheet leads are very awkward. The kite sheet comes from the floor. It's nearly very clever because it means nobody will be sat on the lazy sheet, but in reality it will feel odd pulling the sheet from beneath you. The mainsheet swivel also looks too high, it should probably be on the floor rather than that turret. Also why not have a traveller? That mainsheet hoop is very ugly and can't be easy to engineer, the loads on that will be very high.

There have been a few changes at RS recently that have made me feel that things are about to go a bit wrong. Some questionable new boat launches, interesting staff changes and some strong competition coming in from other companies. I hope it's not going to end badly, I own one of their boats myself and have always been quite loyal to the brand. 

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I belong to a club with Ideal 18's

It's hard enough to keep those maintained.., and I might be wrong.., but I really don't think we would want a boat with a motor (even if it's electric) as a club boat. it's just another whole level of complexity and potential problems.

Also, I think most clubs with Ideal 18 fleets keep them on moorings - i guess people would have to pick up charged batteries on land, take them out to the boat, and plug them in or whatever. Probably every year, one or two would get dropped over the side.

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3 hours ago, IPLore said:

Nein. Das are granny bars on das flurboden!

I cannot even guess what they are for.

5a6f4d3232d6b_DasGrannyBars.jpg.1ff96e3cbf4702b030f4d0820d1f0df3.jpg

Footrests? To stop old folks sliding off the thwart to leeward? Harness line attachment points? Something to do with the cell phone charging station located in the center pedestal?

Hard to call it beautiful.

 

 

The granny bars are great for hiking IMHO, similar to the Magic 25 setup.

The loveday loop seems to serve a second purpose as a lifting point for the propeller? 

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Right, the RS guys cut the Torqueedo shaft in two pieces. The removable accu pack is locked in the center pedestal and the shaft got an simple hand grip? at the top end. Easy lifting with a line and and trapez clam cleat. 

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4 hours ago, us7070 said:

I belong to a club with Ideal 18's

It's hard enough to keep those maintained.., and I might be wrong.., but I really don't think we would want a boat with a motor (even if it's electric) as a club boat. it's just another whole level of complexity and potential problems.

Also, I think most clubs with Ideal 18 fleets keep them on moorings - i guess people would have to pick up charged batteries on land, take them out to the boat, and plug them in or whatever. Probably every year, one or two would get dropped over the side.

I noted that the electric motor is an optional extra not included in the base price (To RS credit the base price does include sails).  I suspect that 80% of clubs and schools will opt not to have the motor.   A club owned 1300 lb, 21 foot boat does not need a motor. If the wind dies, the RC and club mark boat tow you in at half the cost of purchasing and maintaining 6 electric motors. 

Competitive private owners will not want the extra weight and will probably want to fair the bomb door shut.

The private recreational owner living in a tidal area will love it, because he can hum out with the motor and drop the keel in deeper water. 

This has very similar weight and length specs to a Yngling.

 

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8 hours ago, Rushman said:

The granny bars are great for hiking IMHO, similar to the Magic 25 setup.

 

Very similar to the Magic 25 set up ...except....um....without the triple trapezes? 

The 20+ year old Hobie Magic looks like it hauls ass.

 

 

I think das granny bars are for foot rests. Hiking straps need to be adjustable .

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18 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

Very similar to the Magic 25 set up ...except....um....without the triple trapezes? 

The 20+ year old Hobie Magic looks like it hauls ass.

 

 

I think das granny bars are for foot rests. Hiking straps need to be adjustable .

Magic have a similar bar for the skipper to use, also useful for pushing off to get out on the trapeze

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12 hours ago, IPLore said:

Nein. Das are granny bars on das flurboden!

I cannot even guess what they are for.

5a6f4d3232d6b_DasGrannyBars.jpg.1ff96e3cbf4702b030f4d0820d1f0df3.jpg

Footrests? To stop old folks sliding off the thwart to leeward? Harness line attachment points? Something to do with the cell phone charging station located in the center pedestal?

Hard to call it beautiful.

 

 

Rails for the beer coolers. They are trainers after all.

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I’m biased (sort of I guess) - but I like it a lot.

We have never sold keelboats before, and we are planning to get one for our shop .
We plan to do a full US West Coast demo tour with the boat, and have a number of inquires already.

Motor:  It’s completely optional.  Just like any motor on any boat.  Just more cleverly integrated and doesn’t have an ICE option.
I don’t how anyone can see this as anything but really awesome design.  No motor hanging off the transom... all that...


Hoop/Stantons/Footrails - shrug, not sure what the worry is.  The RS guys know the deal with design and where to put these things.  I don’t have any ability to judge until I sail the thing.

 

RS/GBR803 comments - Not quite sure how close to the sources you are on anything, but you seem quite wide of the mark on all claims.

RS management team hasn’t changed any, in many years.  Martin is working part time sure, but, the ownership is the same as it has been, and the staff has just grown.  A couple staff come and go, but the core team of Jon/Alex/Riki/Richard/Richard/Andy etc etc etc.   All still there.

RS Quest - a smashing success, we’ve sold almost 100 of them on the west coast.  600 sold in 2 years or so.  Sold 5 today.  One of the most popular boat we’ve ever handled.

RS Aero - 1200 sold in 2 years or something.  We’ve sold 125 on the west coast, Worlds had almost 100 boats in it, with top Laser sailors in it.

RS Zest - Just launched, (this year, few months ago), 400+ sold PRE-launch.

RS Neo - Probably the only boat that hasn’t just exploded, but, sales are steady and it uses the Quba hull

RS Cat 14/16 - Haven’t had huge sales in the US, but the 14 just launched.  Seems they are growing sales yearly.

 

RS is easily the fastest growing brand in the dinghy world, selling 2000+ sailboats a year.  Is the 21 perfect?  Dunno, it’s never seen water anywhere in the world.  But the design team, the build team and all are seasoned, experienced and really smart.  

We have had a lot of inquires on the 21, price point is low, it’s a reliable worldwide builder.... 
I’ll go to the UK in May to sail it, so I’m reserving judgment till then....  but it looks like a modern 21’ boat for clubs, club racing and people who don’t want to get a J/70.  

So, not sure what the cynicism is about.  RS doesn’t build the same boats everyone else builds.  It’s not a Precision or Catalina, or even J boat.
Certainly not for everyone, no doubt.  But, there is a reason the brand is growing all over the world, quickly. 

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6 hours ago, WestCoast said:

I’m biased (sort of I guess) - but I like it a lot.

We have never sold keelboats before, and we are planning to get one for our shop .
We plan to do a full US West Coast demo tour with the boat, and have a number of inquires already.

Motor:  It’s completely optional.  Just like any motor on any boat.  Just more cleverly integrated and doesn’t have an ICE option.
I don’t how anyone can see this as anything but really awesome design.  No motor hanging off the transom... all that...


Hoop/Stantons/Footrails - shrug, not sure what the worry is.  The RS guys know the deal with design and where to put these things.  I don’t have any ability to judge until I sail the thing.

 

RS/GBR803 comments - Not quite sure how close to the sources you are on anything, but you seem quite wide of the mark on all claims.

RS management team hasn’t changed any, in many years.  Martin is working part time sure, but, the ownership is the same as it has been, and the staff has just grown.  A couple staff come and go, but the core team of Jon/Alex/Riki/Richard/Richard/Andy etc etc etc.   All still there.

RS Quest - a smashing success, we’ve sold almost 100 of them on the west coast.  600 sold in 2 years or so.  Sold 5 today.  One of the most popular boat we’ve ever handled.

RS Aero - 1200 sold in 2 years or something.  We’ve sold 125 on the west coast, Worlds had almost 100 boats in it, with top Laser sailors in it.

RS Zest - Just launched, (this year, few months ago), 400+ sold PRE-launch.

RS Neo - Probably the only boat that hasn’t just exploded, but, sales are steady and it uses the Quba hull

RS Cat 14/16 - Haven’t had huge sales in the US, but the 14 just launched.  Seems they are growing sales yearly.

 

RS is easily the fastest growing brand in the dinghy world, selling 2000+ sailboats a year.  Is the 21 perfect?  Dunno, it’s never seen water anywhere in the world.  But the design team, the build team and all are seasoned, experienced and really smart.  

We have had a lot of inquires on the 21, price point is low, it’s a reliable worldwide builder.... 
I’ll go to the UK in May to sail it, so I’m reserving judgment till then....  but it looks like a modern 21’ boat for clubs, club racing and people who don’t want to get a J/70.  

So, not sure what the cynicism is about.  RS doesn’t build the same boats everyone else builds.  It’s not a Precision or Catalina, or even J boat.
Certainly not for everyone, no doubt.  But, there is a reason the brand is growing all over the world, quickly. 

So it is obvious the Aero is going not make even a scratch on the Dominant Laser - 1200  boats (Aero) compared to the Laser in the same time period ~ what's gone wrong with the Aero ? 

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14 hours ago, WestCoast said:

I’m biased (sort of I guess) - but I like it a lot.

We have never sold keelboats before, and we are planning to get one for our shop .
We plan to do a full US West Coast demo tour with the boat, and have a number of inquires already.

Motor:  It’s completely optional.  Just like any motor on any boat.  Just more cleverly integrated and doesn’t have an ICE option.
I don’t how anyone can see this as anything but really awesome design.  No motor hanging off the transom... all that...


Hoop/Stantons/Footrails - shrug, not sure what the worry is.  The RS guys know the deal with design and where to put these things.  I don’t have any ability to judge until I sail the thing.

 

RS/GBR803 comments - Not quite sure how close to the sources you are on anything, but you seem quite wide of the mark on all claims.

RS management team hasn’t changed any, in many years.  Martin is working part time sure, but, the ownership is the same as it has been, and the staff has just grown.  A couple staff come and go, but the core team of Jon/Alex/Riki/Richard/Richard/Andy etc etc etc.   All still there.

RS Quest - a smashing success, we’ve sold almost 100 of them on the west coast.  600 sold in 2 years or so.  Sold 5 today.  One of the most popular boat we’ve ever handled.

RS Aero - 1200 sold in 2 years or something.  We’ve sold 125 on the west coast, Worlds had almost 100 boats in it, with top Laser sailors in it.

RS Zest - Just launched, (this year, few months ago), 400+ sold PRE-launch.

RS Neo - Probably the only boat that hasn’t just exploded, but, sales are steady and it uses the Quba hull

RS Cat 14/16 - Haven’t had huge sales in the US, but the 14 just launched.  Seems they are growing sales yearly.

 

RS is easily the fastest growing brand in the dinghy world, selling 2000+ sailboats a year.  Is the 21 perfect?  Dunno, it’s never seen water anywhere in the world.  But the design team, the build team and all are seasoned, experienced and really smart.  

We have had a lot of inquires on the 21, price point is low, it’s a reliable worldwide builder.... 
I’ll go to the UK in May to sail it, so I’m reserving judgment till then....  but it looks like a modern 21’ boat for clubs, club racing and people who don’t want to get a J/70.  

So, not sure what the cynicism is about.  RS doesn’t build the same boats everyone else builds.  It’s not a Precision or Catalina, or even J boat.
Certainly not for everyone, no doubt.  But, there is a reason the brand is growing all over the world, quickly. 

The staff changes are pretty clear. Their salesman is now selling J boats in Hamble, for example. The marketing team are new. I've had boats from RS in the UK for years, I'm on my fifth boat in 10 years. There's something very different about dealing with them now than there used to be. 

You seem to have ignored all my points other than the staff issue and the mainsheet hoop. 

The fact that the motor is optional makes this a very expensive boat for what you get. It's tiny when you see it in the flesh. I'm a huge fan of RS but this is so far off the mark, particularly when you sit it next to something like the Far East stand at Dusseldorf. It looks seriously expensive. There was a boat featured on the front page for 18,000 euros with a retractable electric engine. Every bit as nice as the RS for less than half the price. They've made it too complicated to fit in the market that they are targeting. That's before you look at the issues like the fact that you wont be able to tack with the mast that is fitted on it, the rudder isnt removable and the details were designed by someone who had no thought to making it simple to build (read cheap).

I really wanted to like it, but I don't. It could be a very expensive mistake for what is still a very small company. I hope I am wrong!

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I can’t debate your subjective view on the looks of a boat that has never been on the water.  

Because Charlie’s doesn’t work at RS anymore and the lead marketing lady had a baby, you’re claiming the company has changed drastically... That’s quite a reach, even for an anonymous Internet forum.


I’ve been dealing with the RS team on a deep professional level for almost a decade.  They have never been more focused or capable or successful as they are right now.  They are rolling big time.

They aren’t perfect, but they continue to grow very rapidly worldwide, so I’m not sure anyone else shares your concerns about a sales person staff change (the marketing lady is still there, even after kid)  in a year in a company of 30, where all the main people and ownership are still present and working hard...

That said, this is RS 21 #1, and I’m sure the team will clean up things as they move to Boat 2 and build out the template for production boats.  I’ve already heard a number of changes and clean up things that will happen to Boat 2 as they move into serial production in April.

 

I come to these forums to try to add some context to people who read it.  This boat has never sailed, never even been in the water, and no one on this forum has sailed it either.  And yet it’s already gotten half a years worth of orders after a single show.

Sure, it’s not for everyone.
Sure, it’s probably not the perfect boat that everyone would crave on a random forum.
 

But, it’s a very modern club racing keelboat, with a carbon mast, clever setup, ~$15k less than a J/70 and, it’s built in the United Kingdom (not China).  Those are the things that have my attention at the moment - not how much non-skid is on the very first prototype out of the mold.

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That boat is going to need wide rubrails for the starting line and the docks if it’s going to be a club racer and trainer. It doesn’t look like there is any hiking with the lifeline stanchions so maybe they could mold the granny rails into the sole like Fareast did. 

As far as the boats being manufactured in UK vs China is probably the reason for the seemingly high entry price. I wonder how much saving you could realize if it were manufactured in China where the build quality is good and the labor force cheap financially? Just a though...

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2 in, 2 out possibly. Hard to think a decision will be made until they have some sea trials out of the way.

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On 1/31/2018 at 11:54 AM, Red Forza said:

So it is obvious the Aero is going not make even a scratch on the Dominant Laser - 1200  boats (Aero) compared to the Laser in the same time period ~ what's gone wrong with the Aero ? 

Probably the same as  ~ what's gone wrong with  Red Forza .

Second thoughts that  pos didn't even get started.

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On January 31, 2018 at 7:54 AM, WestCoast said:

 

  This boat has never sailed, never even been in the water, and no one on this forum has sailed it either.  And yet it’s already gotten half a years worth of orders after a single show.

What does that say about the people who placed the orders?

I mean seriously.......who buys a boat without anyone taking it for a sail first?......who buys a boat that even the builder has not tested, with zero reviews and feedback from other sailors?

For an institution/club, that would be irresponsible .

For a private buyer it kinda diminishes their credibility.

 

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On January 31, 2018 at 7:54 AM, WestCoast said:

I can’t debate your subjective view on the looks of a boat that has never been on the water.  


I’ve been dealing with the RS team on a deep professional level for almost a decade.  They have never been more focused or capable or successful as they are right now.  They are rolling big time.

 

Just for the record. I love what RS has done for sailing and I love some of the boats they supply. The world would be a poorer place without RS. 

I don't know anything about the individuals who work there but the facts speak for themselves. They are on a roll with great product and great service  supplying boats that people want. It appears to be managed by people (presumably sailors) who are really connected with their audience.  They are doing everything right that Laser Performance is doing wrong.

Even the RF21 demonstrates that. There is an unfilled need for a modern club owned keel boat. The Ideal 18 is past its sell date. RS is tuned in to the sailing community and is trying to fill that need.

Its just that this gal has a subjective opinion on the looks of the RF 21....she thinks it is a very ugly duckling. Looking more closely at some of the features I also agree with some of the questions that are being raised about the designs suitability for the task. Time will tell.  

I still like the title of my thread. Fugly or new genre? There will be debate on both sides of the question. 

But nothing in the debate can take away from the contribution that RS is making to sailing.

 

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For the record, the majority of our customers buy boats they have never sailed, and often never seen in person.
That's the reality of the global supply of sailboats (at least the smaller ones) - in North America.
Of the ~400 sailboats we sold in 2017, I'd imagine we did less than 20 specific boat demos.
It just isn't needed for most people, nor is seeing the boat in person.

The majority of customers work with a company they trust, and that company helps them get the right sailboat.

Anyway, I personally think the boat is sexy as hell, since I've seen it during the design phase and will be buying one and selling them.
I've never heard of an airline not buying a plane, or a sailing school or customer not buying a boat, because it was 'ugly'.  That's just not something I've ever come across in the years of selling the sailboats we sell.

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Your last 2 sentences may not be accurate. I’m sure clubs and owners turn down boats based on looks or I’d have a Rhodes 22. 

The RS is pretty overloaded with too much for such a little boat. 

Bad (reads too expensive) solution to the problem of no transom to mount and no place to store an outboard. 

You have to maneuver around that with a couple of other people in the boat and they may not be skilled sailors. Sounds like something is in the way that doesn’t belong there in the first place. 

My opinion

You are the dealer so you have an understandable bias. Good luck with them, I think you’ll sell a lot of them regardless.

A video of it Sailing would give some insight into the package

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^^

maybe you're right, maybe I am on the 'looks' part.  But, I raced FJs in HS/College, and clubs out here have Lido 14s, Capris and etc.
Out there you've got Jet 14s, 420s, Sonar, Ideal 18s, J/24s...., and all sorts of boats that are quite ugly.  I would be shocked if any club ever, EVER considered that in buying choice.
Noisy board members and committee members?  Sure.  But actual buying decision... no way.

If it does the job, and works reliably, then, it seems to get the nod.

--
RS is already taking feedback from inital customers and tweaking things.  So, I imagine Boat #2 will see some clean up and changes as it goes.
4 folks already looking on the West Coast to get them, and the boat won't be here for 6 months..... So, it seems to be rolling already.  Time will tell :)

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On the topic of RS keelboats, whatever happened with the K6 and Elite? Any thoughts on them WestCoast? 

I personally think the Elite is absolutely gorgeous! A modern Dragon if you will. We had a fleet near me, I would be tempted to put down for one.

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Hey everyone, I don't post here much, but I'm Todd Riccardi from RS Sailing North America.

So, I work for them, but, I'm a lifelong sailor first so I'll try to keep this from a unbiased perspective . 

I appreciate all your observations above… I’d just say wait until you see the final product. More info, photos, and video coming soon! Attached photos are just from Iphone... there was a big storm and tons of crap in the water that kept getting collected on the boat's waterline.

There is a lot of interest in the boat all over North America.  It's pretty exciting and I'm glad you guys have found it as well. There are nearly 2 dozen sold worldwide with lots more about to place deposits.  We have 2 demo boats coming to RI in late May / early June and around the same time frame to the West Coast. Be sure to reach out to me if you want to demo!  

The RS21 is a brand new boat, built with the very latest in technology and being refined as we speak before being handed to customers later this Spring. If you really compare apples to apples, it is inexpensive, light weight, well built, easy to sail, fun and fast without being overkill for your average sailor, it's ideal for one-design racers, clubs, programs and families looking to have fun on the water. I can easily see it fitting into college programs, community sailing programs, yacht club keelboat programs, as well as a solid one design fleet.

I was in the UK last week, sailing the boat while it undergoes it's final tests, with all the other boats in the market that I've sailed, I've been wowed. The boat just exceeded all my expectations as to how it sails and how it will fit into the market.   I try not to directly compare to other boats, but let's be honest, SA is not the place to beat around the bush. 

After two days on the water, I think RS has hit the nail on the head, of course we'd like it to sell like crazy, but most importantly it will without a doubt accomplish their mission of making sailing more accessible

The boat fits a between a sportboat and a small keelboat, but it is truly a keelboat.  

The design brief was for a exciting but unintimidating boat.  It is extremely well balanced, lively, and the hull is quite light.  The keel is a huge percentage of the weight of the boat, so it's very stable and docile to handle, even for the not super advanced sailor.

Upwind the boat was well powered up in less than 5 knots but not a handful in 15.  It was cold and rainy, but in 15+ with 2-3' waves we didn't get wet at all on the high side.  The chines of the boat deflect the water away well, just like on the RS Aero or some of our other boats.

Downwind the boat sailed well in light air.  Once we got to 15+ I forgot I was sailing a keelboat and felt more like I was sailing a VX or Viper, BUT never felt like the boat could get ahead of me, it was so well balanced.  I generally sail fast trapeze boats and sailing downwind was very exciting for me. Yes, it's not foiling or going 20+ kts... but it was very satisfying without being extreme which is important for so many sailors out there and even though I can handle more performance, I would truly enjoy sailing this boat every day. I even want o get one to keep on the water in Boston and sail in weekly PHRF.  

Personally I don’t miss the cabin at all, the open layout is much more fun and easier to sail. My first impression was that is was much more straight forwards since I could see where all the control lines were led rather than being led into a deck and out of sight.

For the looks:  well, I've seen it in person, and sailed it.  It is modern and fairly cutting edge.  Yes, it doesn't look like a J/boat, but, that wasn't the goal.

While older designs (12 Meters, J Class, etc) are beautiful in their own right, all modern designs including this boat are sexy in a totally other way

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I prefer the modern design and I think most people out there would too. Our designers truly believe form follows function and there is a reason why modern boats look the way the RS21 does!

For clarity: Boat 1 and 2 are test boats for what will be the final boat on #3. Nothing major is changing, but a lot that you’ve all commented on is. We had to determine things such as the best placement for cleats, leads, footrests, hatches, nonskid, and etc.  Of course we would have preferred to have had the final boat on display, but what fun is that? We enjoy sharing and building with our customers, all of your comments have helped us design a better final product.

On pricing: Keep in mind that the cost of the boat has many variables. Even with a large global supply chain, (so, we'll have boats available everywhere, fairly quickly), we are less expensive than a new Viper (which isn’t fair to compare a sportboat to a keelboat) and roughly $15K less than a J70 (which does have an enclosed cabin).  Comparing to used boats just doesn't make sense.  

The boat, also, is the first one I'm aware of made with more sustainable materials including bio-friendly resins and a core made out of recycled materials. 

You might think this isn't worth anything, but this is where the industry is going, and the RS21 is leading the way. We are sailors and we need to care about the environment.

In order to deliver proper support to those that chose to purchase the boat, we need to factor in marketing, class management, and much more to support the class so that you have people to race against!  Cost such as funding the U.S. Class Association (separate from the International Class costs), having U.S. based support for the class, and so on.  We also need to ensure we have employees to answer your calls to support you after the purchase the boat. RS Sailing prides itself on after sales support and we’ve invested to extend the best level of support in North America as well. 

The final thought is where does the RS21 fit in the market (specifically North America)?  The 20ish foot boat scene is crowded already with boats that are just so similar.  The RS21 fits between the true old school keelboat and sport boat.  The RS21 offers exciting sailing but with a manageable platform.  This allows clubs to buy a boat that excites members but can be sailed by any of the members without getting in trouble.  This also allows one design sailors of all sorts to sail the boat.  We’re looking at both club and one design sales and see them as equal opportunity. You may have heard us emphasize the value of accessibility, which makes you think more geared for clubs, we just wanted a boat that is accessible for the entire market and give sailors access to something that makes sense for everyone!

As far as comments about the RS Sailing customer service in England. I have to say that the last couple years have been really busy, there's been a lot of good stuff happening, and we're definitely not perfect, but we're always striving to be better.  If you have a problem, call Managing Director Jon Partridge and he will absolutely make any changes, he loves hearing this stuff as we want people that care about sailing to be working with our team.  If you visited the Dinghy Show booth last weekend you would have seen this first hand.

 

The RS Elite and K6 are also great boats but both for different purposes. The K6 is no longer an RS product. I had the opportunity to sail an RS Elite and it was probably the nicest boat I’ve ever sailed. There are a lot of great boats out there and all have different purposes. The RS Elite and the RS 21 have much different purposes. The RS Elite is much more complicated to build and more expensive to outfit, making it more expensive and a harder sell on this side of the pond. 

 

-Todd Riccardi

RS Sailing North America
Todd@RSSAILING.COM

RS21.jpg

rs21.2.jpg

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Didn't think the bow chamfer looked good at the show, and in the above sailing pics really does the boat no favours at all. The proportions really don't' work, either needs the rig moved aft or no chamfer visually.  

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I don’t know why you need a hoist to raise the Torqueedo shaft. It can’t weigh 5 pounds. Can’t the boat  be mid boom sheeted to the deck like the Fareast?

I don’t think it will rival the J-70 as is.

Video of Sailing  and performance may be helpful. Pics don’t tell too much

 

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No hoist for the Torqueedo, just a clamcleat and rope for a 2:1 purchase.  

We don't think it will rival the J-70 either... Certainly not our target market.  It's a new breed, between the current boats.  I've got several guys ready to put down deposits that don't want to sail a J-70 but feel they couldn't handle a more aggressive sportboat.

Video coming soon.  Very short video on "RS Training Zone" on facebook.  It's a bit hard to get good footage when it's raining every time the boat sails.  But we're close to the final product and we'll release more soon.  Be patient until you see the final boat and definitely don't pass any judgement until you've sailed it!

 

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