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Meat Wad

RS 21

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RS has an impressive line of boats.
The US should be so lucky.

Too bad they stopped at 21'. Many of the West Coast Coastal jaunts do not allow anything less than 24' and of course a shit load of safety stuff.
Kind of weird they do not allow the electric motor to be removable. But I guess for leaning it might make someone feel good instead of actually do good in an emergency.

http://www.rssailing.com/project/rs21/

RS21_07.jpg

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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.

 

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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5 hours ago, GBR803 said:

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.

 

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. 

Thanks for the comments. Only having seen the boat online the first hand view is helpful.
I thought the RS accessible boat was a game changer for disabled sailing as it costs about the same as a Norlin MK3 2.4mR. a much better purchase for community programs too as it can be changed easily for able sailors.

11 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

Thread already underway in sport boat forum

 

As I don't have a sport boat, I do not get there much.
Too many forums are an issue.

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11 hours ago, GBR803 said:

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. 

My perspective on boats in the 20' to 25' range is that designers have an intriguing option in how they approach the design. Designers can make the boat seem like a small version of a bigger boat, or a designer can make it seem like a big dinghy. The K6 was originally an RS boat and followed that approach. I feel like the RS21 is taking the latter approach as well. For me, that is the preferred option and why I am considering jumping-in if they can pick up some momentum in the Pacific Nortwest. No right or wrong choice here, just a design tradeoff that has to be made.

One final note - I personally think the boat looks super rockin' but if the rudder is as you say and prohibits easy ramp launching then I will pass. The reports are that they really had to scramble to make it in time for Dusseldorf so I am looking at the boat that was shown as a near-final prototype and not a production boat. I am hoping the production boat will resolve any issues that will prevent the boat from being anything but the easiest of ramp launchers. (Does anyone know why there are limited hoists for launching small keel boats in the PNW? Why is every great lake and venue ramp launched?)

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