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What 20fter class do we bet on?


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#1 port tack

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 04:09 PM

I am in the market for one of these boats. Which one is the most sustainable as a class? The vipers seem to have a lot going for them, but I hear many owners will consider moving to the VX or have already placed orders. The VX could be another orphaned boat if it can not reach critical mass. The Melges 20 seems alittle higher end but very well managed. The J70 you know will be well managed and marketed but will it be fun and fast. Flame away.

#2 SA Lurker

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 04:42 PM

I am in the market for one of these boats. Which one is the most sustainable as a class? The vipers seem to have a lot going for them, but I hear many owners will consider moving to the VX or have already placed orders. The VX could be another orphaned boat if it can not reach critical mass. The Melges 20 seems alittle higher end but very well managed. The J70 you know will be well managed and marketed but will it be fun and fast. Flame away.


Flame-free opinion:

The Boyz from Zenda and the J/ohnstones have the better grasps of marketing.

The upper end of the talent pool will likely migrate to the Four-Ring circus.

#3 Viper640.org

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 06:23 PM

I am in the market for one of these boats. Which one is the most sustainable as a class? The vipers seem to have a lot going for them, but I hear many owners will consider moving to the VX or have already placed orders. The VX could be another orphaned boat if it can not reach critical mass. The Melges 20 seems alittle higher end but very well managed. The J70 you know will be well managed and marketed but will it be fun and fast. Flame away.

They're really rather all different, both as boats/performance and class management/structure, as well as on price. This has been pretty well hashed out in this forum repeatedly.

Melges 20 is the gold-plater, super-high level of service from Zenda, well turned out, class professionally managed and priced accordingly. Bring your paid pro to sail, most do. Decent regatta circuit in North America, not much local fleet racing that I'm aware of. The Melges 24 style travelling circus influence seems to have somewhat carried over.

Viper is a rather more blue-collar approach, volunteer owner controlled and managed class (albeit a TON of skills brought to bear), rather a bit more do-it-yourself, and priced accordingly. Faster around the course than a M20. More skiffy or dinghy feeling boat than the M20. No paid pros allowed, 1 suit of sails/year limit, couple of good national regattas, lots of great regional regattas and local fleets all over North America. This weekend alone we had 27 Vipers racing at the Bacardi Newport Regatta in RI, while there were 15 racing in Long Beach, CA and about 1/2 dozen in Houston. (There were 10 M20's at the Newport regatta).

The VX and J/70 are still vaporware at the moment, though there are photos of the VX pre-production/prototype molds. I expect the VX may be quicker than a Viper (depending on which tinker-toy configuration the boat is in, which further complicates it's adoption, IMHO), guessing the J/70 will be about on par with the M20, but that's really pure conjecture, we know so little about it. I know of about 4 Viper owners who have ordered VX's most as second boats, not getting rid of their Viper.

The grassroots enthusiasm (extremism? Posted Image) of Viper owners demonstrates to me that the Viper will be sustainable as a class. I think the camaraderie and embrace of new Viperers is unmatched, but I'm biased! Once you sail it, you're hooked, it's just a hoot to sail, regardless of how well or poorly you're racing (take me this weekend for example!). We're looking to have 35-40 Vipers at this years North American Championship in Sarnia, ON and 50+ at our 2012 NA's in Marblehead MA. I think we'll be the first of the 20's to reach that 50 boat start milestone.

Let's get you on a Viper and your mind will be made up! Posted Image

#4 Speng

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 07:27 PM

One thing that doesn't seem likely to happen is ever seeing a Melges 20 on the same racecourse as other 20fters. I was in Charleston this spring and the Melges 20s were supposed to be on the same race course as the Vipers and the Ultimate 20s. Lo and behold they get moved to the course with the Melges 24s. Suspicious much? The trash talk I heard from some U20 sailors is that they've had bad experiences seeing the transoms of boats with room for shagging.

M20 is built like a brick house although i'm not sure what the basket made of heavy duty metal is for in the cockpit - I guess it's a kite bag (which is huge btw) Also it's got tons of freeboard which I guess is good if you're afraid of water. Everything on it is just really big for the size of the boat. The deck gear looks to be really high end Harken stuff and the fit and finish is good. The gnav cleans up the cockpit nicely.

The Viper is more a skiffy dinghy with a keel. Everything is nice and simply laid out. the construction looks good and the builder has a good rep so there's no probs there. i like the kite snuffer (spinnaker bags are so old skool) that goes along with the single line hoist. There seems to be a little customization with the mainsheet arrangement as some go from a deck swivel and some are on a bridle. If you're not dinghy expericed you'll prolly need to get used to sailing with the kite and jib up d/w. having said that a lot of M24 sailors do that in big air and I'd guess the M20 guys will end doing the same as well. The rig is simpler than the M20. The M20 adds a set of diamonds to support the m/h kite while viper has a "normal" fractional rig. The Viper rig is a lot lighter than the Melges (going with the Melges' SOLID build).

I've sailed an Ultimate 20 and it's worth consideration. Really simple, the cabin is usable and the performance is good. Definitely value for money and the choice if there is a female involved that needs to do her business out of sight. you won't get friction form PHRF regions that require lifelines and all that guff.

I talked to some Viper guys about the VX-whatever and they were planning to get one but that seems like a lot on infighting politics to me regardless of the boat's qualities. Since it's an 18fter there might be a lot of resistance to being able to PHRF it. The J70 is nothing right now. knowing J boats it'll be moderate performance and pricey and will take off in Europe - that's what the most recent J boats have been doing. Might be the choice if you want to do some short coastal stuff but then do a lot of those races allow boats that small?

If in the market for a boat it'd either be a Viper or an Ultimate20 depending on where I was as these have the fleets where I'm at and the value/money are better than the others.

#5 hotair

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 08:29 PM

1-What is your location ?

2-And how deep are your pockets ?

Viper deliveries have been running 5-6 months for orders placed last January.
The backlog may be shorter now but seems to get longer in the winter.

Order by December 1st to guarentee spring delivery.
Most importantly, take a test ride.

#6 Test

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 08:39 PM

Melges 20 is the gold-plater, super-high level of service from Zenda, well turned out, class professionally managed and priced accordingly. Bring your paid pro to sail, most do.

Really ????? I saw this in the Sailing World article on the M20 class and was a little taken back. Paying folks to race your 20 footer is a little over the top. It makes me wonder what the campaign budget would be? One could spend around 100K the first year after buying the boat, sails, travel expenses, paying crew, etc. I could see hiring a coach, but paying folks to sail with you on a three person boat just doesn't seem right.

#7 port tack

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:27 PM

That was my perception of the melges 20 class as well. Very high end. While I don't mind high end, I do not care for pros on the boat. The Viper crowd does seem alittle more my speed. Am more curious about the J70 as I believe the Jboats does have the power to develope and market the boat and class. My question about the J70 is that I would want it to at least be as fast as the melges 20. Right now I am leaning to a Viper but have a friend locally who just bought a 20, he would be a good guy to practice against.

#8 Great Red Shark

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:28 PM

Consider the Open 5.70 too ?

I just sailed one - seemed a pretty fair piece of boating performance to me.

#9 timber

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 02:46 AM

i550

more are sailing. more are building. the first encounter with an open 5.70 illustrated a real speed difference. we are we a bit nuts for building when buying is so much easier? but there is one beautiful bargain for sale in the SA classifieds and another for sale in Australia. The guys at West System Epoxy built one for themselves. They really like it from their own reports.

Package of Koolaid with every kit. Drink it.

#10 Timbo

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 03:30 AM

the first encounter with an open 5.70 illustrated a real speed difference.

Please explain... conditions, uphill, downhill...???

Lot's of people are asking about the direction they should take. Too bad turn-key boats are not availible. Not many have the time or paitence for the shoebox kit.

I am VERY HAPPY with the path I chose, I enjoy the dinghy feel of the Viper.

#11 GybeSet®

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 04:18 AM

I am in the market for one of these boats. Which one is the most sustainable as a class?

The vipers seem to have a lot going for them, but I hear many owners will consider moving to the VX or have already placed orders.

many (Vipe) owners will go for the VX ? ? ?

thats bullshit and illogical, and i'll bet you can't support the claim of (many) 'orders'

the only reason to change over/down to a fleetless VX would be if you "had to have" a smaller boat,
in Cali then you would have to compare it against the established 5.70 fleet, was it 21 boats last start? with the phrf issues there you'd better get one of the sportsboats that have a class start

as for the other big name offerings they have three crosses against them, 1.slower, 2.heavier and 3.more expensive, also unestablished or only established in small pockets/areas

#12 Mambo Kings

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 12:41 PM

Flame-free opinion:

The Boyz from Zenda and the J/ohnstones have the better grasps of marketing.

The upper end of the talent pool will likely migrate to the Four-Ring circus.



These "Which of the sporting 20s?" threads started 3 years ago. Back then there were several contenders.

As the dust settles, and cutting through the BS, its quite simple.

Two classes have got traction in North America as "growth" classes:-

Melges 20: High End. Non-Hiking. Melges support and organization. Programs look like smaller versions of M32 and M20 programs with owner/driver + pro. Certain amount of initial growth has come from cannabalizing their Melges customer base. But if you've got the Rolodex, why not use it? Its got them over the initial credibility hump.

Viper 640: Fast open skiff like sportboat hull with emphasis on easy and affordability. Hugely energetic owner driven class association has produced a runaway success. Its the largest, fastest growing 20' sportboat in North America with hull# 190 in the molds and national circuits approaching 60 participant boats.

In addition there are two niche classes:-

Open 5.70 : This quirky and adorable French tiny version of an Open 60 has a devoted following in California where they are putting 20 boats on the line for their large regattas. The class is supported by the passion and relentless organization of the NA builder and distributor, Jerome Sammarcelli.

Ultimate 20: The only boat with critical mass that offers a combination of weekender and one design racer. As a racer its a bit dated compared to the thorobreeds but the small and useful cabin and the warm, hospitable class members are a big appeal. The class faced an uphill battle to get new boats built after a fire destroyed Abbot a few years back but there is a large pool of existing boats for folks who want to get into the class, and new boats can now be ordered again. Suprisingly, no builder has offered an updated competitor, so the U20 continues to "own" this niche.

So many others have come and gone. Some were announced with a lot of fanfare, but quickly petered away. Some put a lot of money to work and persisted for a couple of years.

The newest announcement is the J70. It will be interesting to see whether this will take aim at the M20 niche with limited hiking or aim at the U20 niche with a weekender cabin. The newsflow suggests that they think they have a better mousetrap than the M20.

#13 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 12:51 PM

It's gettin' close to time to do a real update on my 2007 piece on the subject.

#14 ultraracer613um

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 01:16 PM

From what i hear the J will take straight aim the M20. They have the advantage of learning from the SB3 / M20. 3' longer, about 10K less and you wont have to hire a pro to compete.

Long term it's the Viper for folks that like to sail with three, VX will be a wicked cool boat for anyone who likes something a bit smaller. The VX will put an end to the complicated K6. Open 5.7 will stay strong but only in one small pocket of the country - unless Open wants to hire a dozen more Jeromes.

M20 - RIP


Flame-free opinion:

The Boyz from Zenda and the J/ohnstones have the better grasps of marketing.

The upper end of the talent pool will likely migrate to the Four-Ring circus.



These "Which of the sporting 20s?" threads started 3 years ago. Back then there were several contenders.

As the dust settles, and cutting through the BS, its quite simple.

Two classes have got traction in North America as "growth" classes:-

Melges 20: High End. Non-Hiking. Melges support and organization. Programs look like smaller versions of M32 and M20 programs with owner/driver + pro. Certain amount of initial growth has come from cannabalizing their Melges customer base. But if you've got the Rolodex, why not use it? Its got them over the initial credibility hump.

Viper 640: Fast open skiff like sportboat hull with emphasis on easy and affordability. Hugely energetic owner driven class association has produced a runaway success. Its the largest, fastest growing 20' sportboat in North America with hull# 190 in the molds and national circuits approaching 60 participant boats.

In addition there are two niche classes:-

Open 5.70 : This quirky and adorable French tiny version of an Open 60 has a devoted following in California where they are putting 20 boats on the line for their large regattas. The class is supported by the passion and relentless organization of the NA builder and distributor, Jerome Sammarcelli.

Ultimate 20: The only boat with critical mass that offers a combination of weekender and one design racer. As a racer its a bit dated compared to the thorobreeds but the small and useful cabin and the warm, hospitable class members are a big appeal. The class faced an uphill battle to get new boats built after a fire destroyed Abbot a few years back but there is a large pool of existing boats for folks who want to get into the class, and new boats can now be ordered again. Suprisingly, no builder has offered an updated competitor, so the U20 continues to "own" this niche.

So many others have come and gone. Some were announced with a lot of fanfare, but quickly petered away. Some put a lot of money to work and persisted for a couple of years.

The newest announcement is the J70. It will be interesting to see whether this will take aim at the M20 niche with limited hiking or aim at the U20 niche with a weekender cabin. The newsflow suggests that they think they have a better mousetrap than the M20.



#15 bshores

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 01:18 PM

It's gettin' close to time to do a real update on my 2007 piece on the subject.


Clean, I remember back in the day Sailing World "gasp" used to do a boat for boat comparison on the water with write up based on what the hottest new boats were. I recall one with the Mumm 30, Melges 30, and B32 back in the mid 90s that was very interesting. It would be great to line all these 20-something sportboats up on the water and do some video work and let the consumers decide for themselves. However, as some have mentioned the battle lines are clearly drawn, and it boils down to cost and local fleet development. I have always liked the Melges 24 and 20, but all the local Viper activity down here in Texas has me snake bitten.

#16 jacobsen1

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 01:24 PM

my $.02 as a former Open 5.70 owner with a viper coming out of it's box and being delivered this weekend?...

Open 5.70: It's a baby keelboat and maybe the most fun and or easiest to SAIL for fun with little effort. The only hard thing to do on the boat is the spinnaker take down, and that's only in comparison to a viper because it doesn't have a sock. But the mast is heavy making it a PITA to step alone and the keel design (no top piece forcing you to line it up EVERY time you go sailing) gets old very fast... The keel is also what makes the boat so stable, that and form stability mean it's ROCK solid, even in heavy breeze. I'm sure they're fun in OD, but the kite design is TERRIBLE for VMG, but a blast for daysailing (since you can reach all over the place and not really get that far downwind, so less upwind/downwind ratio ;)). If there's a OD class near you, great, if not PHRF will NOT be fun, not even with a mast head kite, unless it's blowing over 15kt every day (ask me how I know). This and the viper are the 2 inexpensive options though. The traveler and mainsheet setup is a PITA and takes an adjustment as well if you're not a cat person.

Viper 6.40: Significantly faster than the open. Sails like a dingy with a keel to keep you out of MOST of the trouble you'll get in. But then again we've all washed the spreaders on J24s at some point, so ALL boats get sideways amIrite? We have an OD class here in Newport, so it wasn't a hard decision for us to switch. Easier to rig -vs- the open, both in stepping the mast AND daily sailing duties (the keel is a big help here). Definitely a grass routes effort with the class, which is both great and a bit weird at times. If you don't love vipers now, the current owners WILL brow beat you online until you at least say you do... ;) But to me that is just telling of their enthusiasm because they sail the boats regularly. They ARE incredibly fun, and not as much work as people think looking in from the outside. We originally bought the open because it was more stable (I sail with my 65y/o dad and have a 3y/o son) but the viper is stable enough having sailed it now.

Ultimate 20: The only option with a cabin which pretty much makes up everyone's mind immediately either way.

M20: as said, gold plate racing w/o local fleets. We were priced out of this, but we also don't want a rockstar program. Also, slower than the viper AND no retrieval line on the kite (which was originally advertised as a selling point). Very nice program, don't get me wrong, but not for us.

VX: looks cool, improves on the issues of the viper (namely container width, but also adds a roller furler self tacking jib which would be great on a viper for short handed sailing, but not great for 3up). But it's too short for PHRF (we had issues with that in the open in some NB-PHRF races, you have to include the rudders and some pole to eek it over the limit). Also, no one owns one yet, how long can you wait?

J70: another vaperboat. Could be amazing if it's a J90 clone, could be craptacular if it's a J80 clone... It needs to be as fast as a M20 IMHO, but will it be? I'd say this will be less rockstar than the melges program, but almost as expensive (w/o crew). It'll be a great boat, even if it's slow, but I'm thinking this is more like a modern Ultimate 20.

but really, set your budget first. That will rule out some options possibly. Then look at what's around your area and how you want to race. PHRF -vs- OD -vs- traveling. But really, go sail anything you're considering, while similar on paper they all have their own little differences and characteristics that will make you prefer one over the rest for some reason.

#17 GIBY

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 01:26 PM

Port Tack where are you located? There are many local Viper fleets around NA and I'm sure we could get you on a boat very soon. Once that happens you'll be hooked...just like me.

Check out the Google Map of most of the owners that are active in the class...http://www.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=201946043525023136160.00049d9e1fdbb3bdc7572&ll=34.994004,-93.999023&spn=16.204828,39.331055&z=5

Also, there are two options the class forums right now of boats for sale so if you're all hot and horny to buy a boat you won't have to wait the 5-6 months for a brand new one (unless you WANT a brand new one).
1) Viper #106. Ready to race with no upgrades necessary.
2) Viper #25. Requires some upgrading to get up to class standard.

You can see both options here...http://forum.viper640.org/index.php?board=5.0

I'm not sure what you budget is, but mine was quite limited and I went for an older boat that needed upgrading. I've been working away on it since May, and it should be finished up by the end of July. You can see my progress on my blog link in my signature line.

Good luck in your search for a boat, and I hope you join the Viper class soon.
Cheers!
Darren

#18 jacobsen1

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 01:28 PM

It's gettin' close to time to do a real update on my 2007 piece on the subject.

bump from the past: http://forums.sailin...showtopic=41560 :ph34r:

#19 ultraracer613um

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 01:36 PM

WTF, Darren - you took my avatar. There can be only one true black sheep in the viper fleet!

@ Bshores - let's be honest, it was the snake bar that bit cha.

edit; and why has nobody brought up the obvious choice, the Melges 17. LS, preach it.


Port Tack where are you located? There are many local Viper fleets around NA and I'm sure we could get you on a boat very soon. Once that happens you'll be hooked...just like me.

Check out the Google Map of most of the owners that are active in the class...http://www.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=201946043525023136160.00049d9e1fdbb3bdc7572&ll=34.994004,-93.999023&spn=16.204828,39.331055&z=5

Also, there are two options the class forums right now of boats for sale so if you're all hot and horny to buy a boat you won't have to wait the 5-6 months for a brand new one (unless you WANT a brand new one).
1) Viper #106. Ready to race with no upgrades necessary.
2) Viper #25. Requires some upgrading to get up to class standard.

You can see both options here...http://forum.viper640.org/index.php?board=5.0

I'm not sure what you budget is, but mine was quite limited and I went for an older boat that needed upgrading. I've been working away on it since May, and it should be finished up by the end of July. You can see my progress on my blog link in my signature line.

Good luck in your search for a boat, and I hope you join the Viper class soon.
Cheers!
Darren



#20 port tack

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 02:04 PM

Port Tack where are you located? There are many local Viper fleets around NA and I'm sure we could get you on a boat very soon. Once that happens you'll be hooked...just like me.

Check out the Google Map of most of the owners that are active in the class...http://www.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=201946043525023136160.00049d9e1fdbb3bdc7572&ll=34.994004,-93.999023&spn=16.204828,39.331055&z=5

Also, there are two options the class forums right now of boats for sale so if you're all hot and horny to buy a boat you won't have to wait the 5-6 months for a brand new one (unless you WANT a brand new one).
1) Viper #106. Ready to race with no upgrades necessary.
2) Viper #25. Requires some upgrading to get up to class standard.

You can see both options here...http://forum.viper640.org/index.php?board=5.0

I'm not sure what you budget is, but mine was quite limited and I went for an older boat that needed upgrading. I've been working away on it since May, and it should be finished up by the end of July. You can see my progress on my blog link in my signature line.

Good luck in your search for a boat, and I hope you join the Viper class soon.
Cheers!
Darren


I live in the New Orleans area. Almost chartered one for Marti Gras but had a conflict with work. I am leaning to the Viper because of the close fleet in Texas and GA / FL area.

#21 ultraracer613um

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 02:17 PM

Nice man, MGRW was off the hook last year! FWIW we'll probably have 25+ vipers at that regatta in 2012, may even see a few North-easties. Last weekend we raced at HYC (Houston Yacht Club), 8 boats on the line. Sounds like at least three more owners are going to spring up down there in the next month or so including a M32 owner who's taking delivery of a new boat in about a week. I think Kevin (viper from N.O.) is going to come over for the HYC one design regatta in late Sept., shooting for +20 on the line for that one.

We're going to do some tuning / practice weekends down in Htown over the next few months, when there's breeze. If you want to jump in just PM me.




Port Tack where are you located? There are many local Viper fleets around NA and I'm sure we could get you on a boat very soon. Once that happens you'll be hooked...just like me.

Check out the Google Map of most of the owners that are active in the class...http://www.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=201946043525023136160.00049d9e1fdbb3bdc7572&ll=34.994004,-93.999023&spn=16.204828,39.331055&z=5

Also, there are two options the class forums right now of boats for sale so if you're all hot and horny to buy a boat you won't have to wait the 5-6 months for a brand new one (unless you WANT a brand new one).
1) Viper #106. Ready to race with no upgrades necessary.
2) Viper #25. Requires some upgrading to get up to class standard.

You can see both options here...http://forum.viper640.org/index.php?board=5.0

I'm not sure what you budget is, but mine was quite limited and I went for an older boat that needed upgrading. I've been working away on it since May, and it should be finished up by the end of July. You can see my progress on my blog link in my signature line.

Good luck in your search for a boat, and I hope you join the Viper class soon.
Cheers!
Darren


I live in the New Orleans area. Almost chartered one for Marti Gras but had a conflict with work. I am leaning to the Viper because of the close fleet in Texas and GA / FL area.



#22 timber

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 03:28 PM



the first encounter with an open 5.70 illustrated a real speed difference.

Please explain... conditions, uphill, downhill...???

Lot's of people are asking about the direction they should take. Too bad turn-key boats are not availible. Not many have the time or paitence for the shoebox kit.

I am VERY HAPPY with the path I chose, I enjoy the dinghy feel of the Viper.



Your success with the viper in SoCal is great! It makes us smile every time we see your posts.

the speed observation differences were limited to response to puffs in light air. (SF wintertime) i550 acceleration is apparently remarkable. Recently an i550 in Aus has proven to be quick in the light with line honors in club events. Everyone knows they are fast in breeze. Honestly all of us Koolaid drinkers are curious to see how we stack up in the 5.5 to 6.5 meter mix.

And that thing about there not being no turn-key boats available..... yeah that's the tough one right now. But the standing offer from Watershed is to deliver splash ready boats at a cheap price less than the other small one

T

#23 jh26

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 12:47 AM


I am in the market for one of these boats. Which one is the most sustainable as a class?

The vipers seem to have a lot going for them, but I hear many owners will consider moving to the VX or have already placed orders.

many (Vipe) owners will go for the VX ? ? ?

thats bullshit and illogical, and i'll bet you can't support the claim of (many) 'orders'


no kidding. Brian's own website says he won't even start taking orders until July 1st, (http://vxonedesignra...vxodr/pages/242). So, no "orders" yet, Viper owner or otherwise.

#24 EYESAILOR

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 11:00 AM


thats bullshit and illogical, and i'll bet you can't support the claim of (many) 'orders'


no kidding. Brian's own website says he won't even start taking orders until July 1st, (http://vxonedesignra...vxodr/pages/242). So, no "orders" yet, Viper owner or otherwise.


No kidding.

Maybe its just me. I cannot understand how someone places a deposit without a demo sail on a boat that hasn't been built, no prototype tested, from a freshly minted company with no track record. It always seems to end in tears.

I expect J Boats will be announcing early J70 orders any day now. Sheeez.

#25 Jambalaya

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 03:37 PM

Viper or M20 seems to be the choice for you. The Viper certainly looks like the way to go for now. I'm an M20 fan, it's a nice boat, it is expensive though - especially new in Europe, the deciding factor for me is the Italian circuit plus the option to do the odd event in the US. I like the high freeboard and it's plenty fast enough for me. Having done one event in it I would not turn up again without paid help, certainly not until I'd learnt the boat and tuning well enough which could be a long time.

All in all the Viper just looks like the easiest, best value package and perhaps the only sporty you'll ever need. Only possible downside is the hiking and perhaps sailing it in a cold water location.

I'd keep an eye on the progress of the M20 and J70, if you did buy a Viper it would be easy to sell if you decided to make a switch.

#26 timber

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:45 PM

The JBoat strategy is to presell as many as they can. When the boats are delivered and the new owners find they are not as fast or nice a sailing boat as the ads said they will be embarrssed to admit it. Then talk it up and sell everyone else on the idea for a high price and we've got another j80 or j105 class. I've gotta admire the marketing guys at J. They have really dialed thier market's mind set segment in. It may hurt in the short run but the j70 is likely to demonstrate the superiority of most other 24 foot minus footers.
let's just get out on the water.

#27 Steam Flyer

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:54 PM

Flame-free opinion:

The Boyz from Zenda and the J/ohnstones have the better grasps of marketing.

The upper end of the talent pool will likely migrate to the Four-Ring circus.


The ones who are in it for the money, sure.

I for one don't mind buying expensive stuff if it's really worth the premium; but having expensive stuff shoved at me in a hard-sell on the basis that the brand-names stamped on the lid is worth $$$ ... no thanks.


These "Which of the sporting 20s?" threads started 3 years ago. Back then there were several contenders.

As the dust settles, and cutting through the BS, its quite simple.

Two classes have got traction in North America as "growth" classes:-

Melges 20: High End. Non-Hiking. Melges support and organization. Programs look like smaller versions of M32 and M20 programs with owner/driver + pro. Certain amount of initial growth has come from cannabalizing their Melges customer base. But if you've got the Rolodex, why not use it? Its got them over the initial credibility hump.

Viper 640: Fast open skiff like sportboat hull with emphasis on easy and affordability. Hugely energetic owner driven class association has produced a runaway success. Its the largest, fastest growing 20' sportboat in North America with hull# 190 in the molds and national circuits approaching 60 participant boats.

In addition there are two niche classes:-

Open 5.70 : This quirky and adorable French tiny version of an Open 60 has a devoted following in California where they are putting 20 boats on the line for their large regattas. The class is supported by the passion and relentless organization of the NA builder and distributor, Jerome Sammarcelli.

Ultimate 20: The only boat with critical mass that offers a combination of weekender and one design racer. As a racer its a bit dated compared to the thorobreeds but the small and useful cabin and the warm, hospitable class members are a big appeal. The class faced an uphill battle to get new boats built after a fire destroyed Abbot a few years back but there is a large pool of existing boats for folks who want to get into the class, and new boats can now be ordered again. Suprisingly, no builder has offered an updated competitor, so the U20 continues to "own" this niche.

So many others have come and gone. Some were announced with a lot of fanfare, but quickly petered away. Some put a lot of money to work and persisted for a couple of years.

The newest announcement is the J70. It will be interesting to see whether this will take aim at the M20 niche with limited hiking or aim at the U20 niche with a weekender cabin. The newsflow suggests that they think they have a better mousetrap than the M20.


It's a real shame that the Rocket 22 has kinda dropped off the radar. That seems like an awesome boat: all the sportiness you want plus an actual workable cabin.

I'll be very interested in J70 when it arrives. They will have a pretty steep hill to climb whichever way they go. Can't help but wonder if they'll put some vermiculite in the build, just for tradition
:P
But the J-machine has deep enough pockets to push the class over the hump, as long as the boat isn't terrible it should be at least as successful as the J80

Frankly I don't understand the M20.... almost as expensive as the M24, even more tweaky, not as fast as comparable existing boats, and you need an on-board coach to place. Hmmm...

Maybe somebody can kick-start the Johnson 18? Last I heard, it was handed off to a multihull builder who openly called it a monoslug and hates the idea of building them.

FB- Doug

#28 schoonerman

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:55 PM

How long do you want to wait to sail?

There are large Viper fleets all over the USA. Only a couple of M20 fleets, Two 5.7 Fleets (both in Cal) and zero VX and J70 fleets. If you can wait for 2 years then either the VX or J70 may make sense...but why not buy a Viper now, go racing and if you want to change, sell it later. The resale value on Vipers is quite high relative to all other sporties.

The Viper is growing leaps and bounds in the Gulf...a great race series and a strong owner group. The Gulf and West will see the largest growth in Viper fleets throughout 2012-13.

Most of all...go for a sail on any boat you're interested in. Just makes sense.

#29 schoonerman

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 05:37 PM

Long term it's the Viper for folks that like to sail with three, VX will be a wicked cool boat for anyone who likes something a bit smaller. The VX will put an end to the complicated K6. Open 5.7 will stay strong but only in one small pocket of the country - unless Open wants to hire a dozen more Jeromes.



JJ...I wouldn't rule out the K6. It's a great little boat and not complicated at all. Come to SF and sail it on the Bay with me....HUGE fun.

#30 GybeSet®

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 09:06 PM

The JBoat strategy is to presell as many as they can. When the boats are delivered and the new owners find they are not as fast or nice a sailing boat as the ads said they will be embarrssed to admit it. Then talk it up and sell everyone else on the idea for a high price and we've got another j80 or j105 class. I've gotta admire the marketing guys at J. They have really dialed thier market's mind set segment in. It may hurt in the short run but the j70 is likely to demonstrate the superiority of most other 24 foot minus footers.
let's just get out on the water.

no Sportsboater won't fall for that bullshit

and these are the ppl/dealers that are still insisting the J/80 is a sportsboat, i.e. fg idiots

pre-selling will only gaurentee the boats are another 100kg heavier than they should be

you reap what you sow




#31 6924

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:17 AM

15 months later - was Mambo correct 2 main classes ( M20 & V640) with 2 niches classes ( O5.7 & U20) ?

What are thoughts ?

#32 narecet

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:31 PM

Well, if you mean, in 2012, then yes, among these boats there won't be big fleets of VX One's or J/70s or anything else besides the Viper or M20.

Over time that could change. It does seem by far the likely bet that a reasonable number of J/70s will build up over the next year or two, and hasn't Bennett sold something like 30 VX One's?


However, that said, there's not much in common between a VX One and a J/70 so I'm not sure about lumping them together.

#33 hotair

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 04:24 PM

The J70 is not going to give you the thrills that a Viper can, but it will appeal to a much wider audience.
You can slap on bottom paint and leave it in the water, then pull it every few weeks and clean it off.

#34 Vernon Green

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 04:40 PM

Bet on the VX, saw the boat, it is sweet.

We are on a year or two plan to have one in my driveway. Meeting Brian sold me on it.

#35 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:04 PM

if i had a day job and wanted something to sail on the weekends with Mer and maybe another hottie friend of hers, I'd already have ordered a VX. That being said, I've had immense fun racing Vipers and I'm sure any breeze will make the 70 light up pretty good.

#36 Vernon Green

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:11 PM

Clean,
that is exactly what I am looking for. I want a boat where at a club level my girlfriend and I can be competitive. Then if we travel, which we will, maybe throw in one new person from time to time to help us hold the boat down upwind. But who knows, maybe that won't be needed.

The VX impressed my girlfriend who currently crews on the Santana 20 so it is very high on our list right now.

#37 ultraracer613um

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:18 PM

My money is on the vx to be the largest sportboat fleet I'n the south / southeast by late 2013.

It's a great boat and those guys really have their stuff together. And great support after the sale so far.

Vernon, Oklahoma city needs a shot I'n the arm like the vx!

#38 Vernon Green

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:33 PM

Brad bought one and there are two of us that are on a very serious 2 year plan to have VX's at the club.

#39 hotair

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 07:15 PM

I still think the VX is under ballasted.
Owners must be prepared to go for a swim when the wind is up.
Brian seems to think this is a desirable feature.
With 220 LBS of lead, the Viper has good wipe-out recovery characteristics. Been there, done that.
It doesn't have a roller furling jib, but that feature could be refitted if the class would wake up.
The Viper sails just fine with two, three or four.
And it only costs about $3,300.00 more than the VX the last I looked.
Having said all of that, I think the J70 will sell in greater numbers because it will appeal to a substantially larger audience,
including some who would tend larger and others who would otherwise go smaller.

#40 Vernon Green

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 08:07 PM

Yes, there is a chance of a swim in the VX if you really mess up badly. I imagine in big wind in cold weather a wetsuit might be wanted on the VX. Just a guess I haven't sailed one.

Sure the Viper will sail with 2-3 but the boat needs some bigger guys. Currently I sail 3 up with me, mygirlfriend and another female college sailor. It is a great set up and I would love a boat that we have potential to be competitive in with that crew. Or in light air a boat that can be competitive with just me and my girlfriend.

Also with a boat that only weighs in at 500lbs like the VX, we can travel with a small 4 seat car. The Viper is also light but just a little heavier where you really need a small SUV to be comfortable. The J70 is as heavy as a j22 and sits up pretty high on the trailer, that would seem to keep many away from it. But J knows how to promote boats.

#41 XS-NRG

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 08:54 PM

I have had my VX-One since May, one of the first two in Australia, more arriving this month.
I am a 100kg, 6'3", 50 year old, realatively fit and I was looking at being able to sail with my 16 year old daughter. Something fast, fun and stable.
The room on the Vx-One allows to sail 3-4 up easily so I can have a 3rd experienced person on board to assist in teaching my daughter who is realatively new to sailing.
In light winds like last week we went 2 up and found it fun and comfortable, got the gun for line honours.
I have sailed the boat from drifters to 30-35 knot blows and this boat delivers. The boat topped 24 knots while being sailed by Yorky on the Sydney harbour. He had never sailed the VX or any other boat like this one before.

Because of the weight and design the loads on all of the sheets are pretty light, the steering is amazing. Flying downwind the boat is totaly in control, the tiller can sit on an open palm of your hand.
Unlike some of my other boats where I am trying to drag the boat down in puffs waiting for the rudder to cavitate.

The set up of the VX-One is beautiful, furling jib, self tacking jib, one line spinnaker hoiste and retriveal, simple deck layout, heaps of room in the cockpit.

In other words if we get into trouble everything can be put away with minimum of fuss.

After sales service has been brillian by Brian Bennett and the team. When the first boats were delivered he made the journey down under to assist and launch the class to the Australian sailing community.

The boat is everything I hoped for and more.

#42 blurocketsmate

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 09:16 PM

Also with a boat that only weighs in at 500lbs like the VX, we can travel with a small 4 seat car. The Viper is also light but just a little heavier where you really need a small SUV to be comfortable.


The Viper is no different than a Thistle or Lightning, and we towed those with 4 cylinder hatchbacks before anyone knew what an SUV was.

That aside, I'd be happy to race any of these, but class wise I'd bet on the already strong Viper. Boat wise the Viper is my favorite, but the VX looks amazing. The Open 5.70 and U20 look great for casual daysailing as well as racing.

Kudos to anyone selling boats and building fleets in this economy.

#43 dougstum

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:29 AM

Am a viper owner, towed the boat from SF to Seattle with no trouble behind my 4 cyl 2003 Subaru Outback. Viper is an awesome boat with strong class. VX does look amazing though I wonder about the crew weight targets -- seems like it might be hard to get the right crew weight except with two big dudes, so it's unclear -- is it a two-person or three-person boat?

#44 BradH

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:32 AM

Brad bought one and there are two of us that are on a very serious 2 year plan to have VX's at the club.


If I can ever get you on the boat that two year plan may shorten considerably. I've had more fun with the VX this week than I've had in a very long time.

#45 Vernon Green

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 05:42 AM

Brad you know I want to get on the boat, scheduling didn't work out this time. Let me know when you want to go down next time and I will make sure I can do it.

#46 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 06:42 AM

Am a viper owner, towed the boat from SF to Seattle with no trouble behind my 4 cyl 2003 Subaru Outback.


Being an Okie now, Vern thinks you need a truck to tow a red rider wagon.

I've pulled pretty much all of these boats with an old subaru wagon, and they tow great. Hell, it was a M24 tow wagon for a european owner for years, and it pulled great. The Viper and VX don't even seem like they are behind you unless you're in 40 knots from the side.

#47 6924

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:34 PM

Interesting

M20 gets no voice

I/70 consensus is it is another overhyped pedestrian J/boat which will languish after initial hype

V640 still exciting

U20 still interesting but a niche sportboat ( if you want to stay dry and camp in it )

VX - Seems a few are hyped about it

O5.70 - crickets chirping

#48 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 04:40 PM

Wrong.

There is no consensus.

#49 6924

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 11:42 PM

No consensus ?

Impossible

#50 Ludicrous Speed

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:52 AM

Hilarious. Thanks for the laughs...

#51 Tejano

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:29 AM

Holy Shit! $11,995? Really!

http://forum.viper64...x.php?board=5.0

#52 stevegnz

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:52 AM

Chirp, chirp....

Open 5.70's - We are out having fun. The boys in LA are buried in the Pogo building/selling/sailing so not as much time to promote everything as they used to have but the fleets are active and busy.

We had 24 boats at Long Beach and had a blast at Huntington Lake with 17 boats on the line. More to come later this year with the Sarcoma cup in August and the North American championships at the Golden Gate Yacht club Sept 21-23.

The Open is great for the Bay. Solid boat in heavy winds but not as snappy in sub 10 kts as a Viper due to the weight but sailing one design evens the field so not an issue. We sail 2 up in anything under mid 20's at which point the loads build up and you need weight on the rail upwind and an extra hand on the lines.

Of course South bay weather can be quite a handful at times when the tide and wind collide or when the weather forecast is a little off as one of our members shows in the video link below.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=9wcAAgGVijw

Interesting

M20 gets no voice

I/70 consensus is it is another overhyped pedestrian J/boat which will languish after initial hype

V640 still exciting

U20 still interesting but a niche sportboat ( if you want to stay dry and camp in it )

VX - Seems a few are hyped about it

O5.70 - crickets chirping



#53 schoonerman

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:08 PM

LOTS of Regattas

LOTS of Boats!

Whatever you do, buy, steal or rent a boat and go sail. Life's very short and you could waste your life waiting for something that may not happen.

#54 Vernon Green

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:37 PM

Holy Shit! $11,995? Really!

http://forum.viper640.org/index.php?board=5.0



WOW! That is cheap. Looks like it still has the tin rig but that is still a good deal it would seem.

#55 Tejano

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:07 PM


Holy Shit! $11,995? Really!

http://forum.viper64...x.php?board=5.0



WOW! That is cheap. Looks like it still has the tin rig but that is still a good deal it would seem.


Cheapest on the planet. We're taking a proverbial bath on this one to dissolve the partnership and move on with life.

#56 Vernon Green

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:24 PM

Well I wish I was in the position to buy it. I am really close actually but the g/f really likes the VX...

#57 Tejano

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 11:07 PM

Well I wish I was in the position to buy it. I am really close actually but the g/f really likes the VX...


get the viper for 1/2 the price and spend the difference on new gf!

#58 Bulbhunter

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 11:28 PM

Interesting

M20 gets no voice

I/70 consensus is it is another overhyped pedestrian J/boat which will languish after initial hype

V640 still exciting

U20 still interesting but a niche sportboat ( if you want to stay dry and camp in it )

VX - Seems a few are hyped about it

O5.70 - crickets chirping

Top two boats are U20's it might be the only SB niche boat because it races OD and does well in distance races in a mixed fleet. One of hundreds of examples of the U20 having a wide range of performance. The 70yr old owner who cruised the San Juans on his cast his vote by selling his super super nice Pearson 35 after he got back from the San Juan cruise on the U20. Viper might be faster but lets face it your not cruising the San Juans with it. LOL
http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_race_scores.php?regatta_id=4735&race_num=1&fleet=PHRF&show_divisions=1

Seems to me that the Niche sport boats are the boats which really only work for OD racing and maybe the occasional day sail.

#59 ultraracer613um

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 05:07 AM

Ha, buy an ad you shame-less texican.

I have fond memories of that boat, Arizona and timbo puking into that beautiful mountain water.



Holy Shit! $11,995? Really!

http://forum.viper640.org/index.php?board=5.0



#60 Tejano

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 01:24 PM

Ha, buy an ad you shame-less texican.

I have fond memories of that boat, Arizona and timbo puking into that beautiful mountain water.




Holy Shit! $11,995? Really!

http://forum.viper64...x.php?board=5.0


Waz wondering when someone was gonna call it out and tell me "buy an ad". What, and contribute to Scooter and Cleans delayed juvenile delinquency when I got my own to fund???

#61 Stiffler's Mom

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:41 PM

VX is building a nice fleet at Ray Hubbard her in Tejas. Vipes still have momentum as far as circuit sailing. J70 ia building slowly but with a J in front of it, there will be boats..

All great rides, just grab one and HIKE!!!

#62 bendoo

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:43 PM

I have some free time this weekend and a hankerin' to get a ride on any of these boats.
I'll bring beer if you get me out there!!!
Anywhere in SF Bay. Sat or Sun Aug 11 or 12.

Ben
(916)470-9446

#63 bendoo

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 08:33 AM

oh, btw, I built and raced the i550...but since it's not a "sportsboat" I want to see what I was missing!! :lol:

#64 timber

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:04 PM

oh, btw, I built and raced the i550...but since it's not a "sportsboat" I want to see what I was missing!! :lol:



Good to see your post, Bendoo.

What you are missing out on is the BIG Bank payment every month.

So, I offer this:

i550 's are .....
Too Small to be Big
Too Big to be Small
Too fast to Ignore

Check in with i550sportboat.com and look at the map for a finished boat, a boat in build stage or a planset owner / enthusiast near you.

There might be a cluster near you.


:)

#65 narecet

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:07 PM

Is the i550 a 20 foot boat?

Is it one of the boats the OP asked about? He was quite specific.

Have you bought an ad?

(Answer to all three is the same, I believe.)

#66 hotair

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:13 PM

Eventually, he will be hoist on his own petard.

#67 timber

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:34 PM

Is the i550 a 20 foot boat?

Is it one of the boats the OP asked about? He was quite specific.

Have you bought an ad?

(Answer to all three is the same, I believe.)



Well, this is how I see it.... drawing the line at 20ft'er will get ya the M20 and mebbe the SB20. Since the OP included 23 footers (J70) and the Viper at 640, the Shaw 650 fits in . the 5.70 has been mentioned as has the VX, both shorter than 20 feet.
Please explain your criteria, you aren't the OP

Yes, I have purchased ads occasionally since '04 .

#68 OKMLSAIL

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:57 PM

Well, this is how I see it.... drawing the line at 20ft'er will get ya the M20 and mebbe the SB20. Since the OP included 23 footers (J70) and the Viper at 640, the Shaw 650 fits in . the 5.70 has been mentioned as has the VX, both shorter than 20 feet.
Please explain your criteria, you aren't the OP

Yes, I have purchased ads occasionally since '04 .


Guess people are sick of hearing your lines.
Kind of ironic really...
Since you post your crap is so many places where it doesn't belong, the one thread where it might actually be appropriate, people are so fed up with you they don't want to hear it anymore...

#69 narecet

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 07:05 PM

Exactly.

My post really was a response to this individual's extremely tiresome "campaign" of deliberately, by his own acknowledgment, inserting the i550 in threads where it is pretty irrelevant and certainly not being asked about. (Not that he used those exact terms, but same concept.)

Bringing in the Open 5.7 is BS, because the class being asked about was "V640, Melges 20, VX brain bennet, J70." And where another poster brought up the Open 5.7, it clearly has its own strengths but is not really in the same range as Viper to J/70, etc.

The "Brain Bennett" boat is 19', true. However it certainly appeared the main interest was 20 footers and moderately up. Really and truly no one was asking about the i550. Timber was spamming. As I see it.

AGAIN.

I know you won't take advice, or at least I think you won't, but you are turning people off. Big time. For example, personally there is no way I would ever deal with you. Very different from the Viper people, whom you think you are emulating. You're not.

#70 hotair

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:42 PM

The Viper guys share their enthusiasm, not motivated by profit.

#71 6924

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 12:25 AM

Anyone care to continue the Topic ?

anyone wish to speak for the M20 ?

The U20 ?

The V640

#72 Vela Sailing Supply

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:41 AM

From a sailor/user stand point, there is a clear differences between the boats mentioned and each one will have its own rewards. If you feel that you need an spirited boat and want to really step up your game a Viper 640 or VX One are very good choices. They both have a competitive price and we may debate a bit on the building methods and finish of the Viper, but that aside is a very good boat. If you like a light, sturdy boat that makes your life easier from a towing, sailing, crewing and maintaining, the VX One is the right call.

You want to sit, legs in and go almost as fast without needing to hang from a hiking strap, then the U20, Melges 20 and J/70 will fit the bill in terms of sailing style, but you'll pay top $$ for it.

The VX One class is rolling and working extremely well and taking it one step at the time, making sure owners/members are listened to. I am sure that the J/70 will do very well as a class management same as the Melges 20. The Viper has a good number of boats hitting the racecourse right now. The VX One has been growing very fast. J/70 has a lot of orders coming as well as the Meleges 20.

How many people do you want to race with? what car are you using for towing the boat?

#73 Icebear

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 02:15 AM

Shameless dealer plugging of the VX.
Build and finish of my Rondar Viper is outstanding.

#74 Vela Sailing Supply

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 03:22 AM

Shameless dealer plugging of the VX.
Build and finish of my Rondar Viper is outstanding.


Superg,

I have been a Viper sailor for long time, since the aluminum rigs. Really like the boat and have sailed on Bennett's and Rondar's hulls, knowing hands on pro's and cons. Nothing wrong with the boat, but there is always room for improvement. It wouldn't be bad to test different boats and deeply see how they are put together before anybody makes a judgement.

#75 6924

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:08 AM

What are the price points for the boats ? As I understand:

VX - $29k
Viper - $36
U20 - $39
V/70 - $48
M20 - $60k

Is this correct ?

#76 Bulbhunter

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:56 AM

Anyone care to continue the Topic ?

anyone wish to speak for the M20 ?

The U20 ?

The V640


U20 we towed ours with the 2.5L Subaru locally and on short trips with zero issues. One owner did SF to San Diego towing his with a 5spd MT Toyota Matrix his only complaint was his 12gallon fuel tank LOL

I like the viper always have but my sailing areas at the time I bought the U20 was SF Bay which suited my interest to a more stable and forgiving boat which I could also actually sleep on if need be etc. The U20 is more of a modern Santana 20 or Tuna 20. Good performer all around - fun boat - great with kids etc. Does very well in PHRF racing and the OD fleet and owners are very fun to sail with however that applies to the Viper too.

#77 kmcfast

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 07:13 AM

oh, btw, I built and raced the i550...but since it's not a "sportsboat" I want to see what I was missing!! :lol:

Yours Bendoo was a sportboat, the PDX boats?
not so much....

#78 Jerryd

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 11:06 AM

What are the price points for the boats ? As I understand:

VX - $29k
Viper - $36
U20 - $39
V/70 - $48
M20 - $60k

Is this correct ?


if you're talking a V/70 Volvo you could be close ;) However, a J-70 as mentioned many times is $44,995 USD

I know a Esse 750 probably doesn't fit the sportboat mold that many of here talk (flame retardant suit on), but I'd love to have one! IMO kind of a scaled down J9000. A bit heavy, but a lot of sail, reasonable draft for those of us sailing in shallower water, easily sailed with minimum crew (real important), good up wind performance, etc., etc. A bit pricey and difficult to find here in the U.S. Maybe that's why if never gained any traction. Of course a complete up-to-date website would help also!

#79 hotair

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 11:32 AM

I think your VX price is without sails.
You need to add about $2500-$3,000
For comparison.

#80 6924

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 03:42 PM

I understand the J/70 has a few options on top of the $45k promo price, so rough estimate $48k

Is the VX really $33k with sails ?

#81 ultraracer613um

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 03:54 PM

Re the fit and finish of the viper sg, Best to ignore the comment and move on.

Rockhead and schoonerman are both viper dealers and post on a regular basis.

Keep it real bra'

Melges 20... Do those things exist outside a three or four regatta winter series?



Shameless dealer plugging of the VX.
Build and finish of my Rondar Viper is outstanding.



#82 SW Dropout

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:07 PM

Viper retail with trailer, sails, spars, lines is 35, not 36. http://www.rondarboa...e-list-USD1.pdf

VX One's website says retail is 29k without sails, so probably more like 32-33k at minimum with sails. If there's a different price, they should post it on the website -- all you can compare is publicly advertised retail if you want apples to apples. Each builder is likely to give some form of bulk/fleet purchase discount.

And every boat is going to have a slightly different price once you add accessories -- analysis should be what is the base price for you to go sailing with everything you would need under class rules to be class legal. J/70 will require an outboard at minimum (though I haven't seen class rules -- my understanding is that it will be required) to be added to the 45k price with sails/trailer.

#83 schoonerman

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:18 PM

WhatEVER you do. Go get a boat. Sail the shit out of it. My buddy was just diagnosed with cancer. He is going to live as large as he can...while he can.

Don't wait for message. Take action!

#84 Jerryd

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:03 PM

I understand the J/70 has a few options on top of the $45k promo price, so rough estimate $48k

Is the VX really $33k with sails ?


The J/70 is $45K complete with sails and trailer. Sure you can get a motor, electronics, modify the trailer, etc. But that would be the same on any boat.

#85 Vela Sailing Supply

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 07:38 PM

I understand the J/70 has a few options on top of the $45k promo price, so rough estimate $48k

Is the VX really $33k with sails ?



Very Close, but since is not only sails what you need, the real race/road ready package is $33,971 and it will include:

• Race ready VX One Design with Marlow running rigging, Southern Spars carbon mast, boom, bowsprit and GNAV.
• Aluminum road trailer
• Set of racing sails (North or Ullman)
• Lifting Dyneema bridle
• Top Cover
• Bottom cover
• Boom Cover
• Mast cover
• Rudder Cover
• Tie down cross bar (this also helps you travel with the mast in one piece if you want to).

Starting August 25th. we will include a Velocitek Pro Start and two racing life jackets for the crew when buying the VX One from Vela.

#86 dougstum

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 02:11 AM

basically the same cost as a Viper 640.

#87 fireball

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:38 AM

basically the same cost as a Viper 640.


Both boats are very well priced, but they really do seem to occupy the same place in the market.

This is doubly strange because they're designed by the same guy!

#88 6924

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:55 AM

VX at $33 'Irace ready

V640 at $35 'race ready'

U20 at $39 'race ready'

V70 at $45 ( no engine , but does a 1,800 lbs boat need an engine ?)

M20 at $60?

Interesting that the 700 lbs V640 and 500 lbs V640 are so close in price.
Interesting that 1,800lbs V/70 and 1,200lbs U20 are also so close in price.

#89 6924

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:56 AM

Oops make that $34 for Vx

#90 jh26

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 11:27 AM

Is the VX really $33k with sails ?


Here's the latest VX pricing:

http://vxonedesignracing.com/media/2012FallPricing.pdf

Race-ready at $29,950 with aluminum trailer and North Sails.

#91 hotair

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 01:06 PM

Previously, that was the price without sails.

Any Viper fall specials ?



#92 ultraracer613um

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 01:18 PM

There are a few VERY special used deals on the viper site. I'm shocked 600 has not moved, but then again i dont think anyone's buying used or new right now. - I year old boat used probably 5 times is up for about 30% off the price of a new boat?

A year ago used vipers would only last a few weeks (good ones) - some of these have been sitting around for many, many months at a price point approx. 10 - 20 percent less than prior.

For someone looking at a "better than new" viper, 600 pretty special (no, it's not my boat)

J70's sound like they are moving ok, any idea how U20's and M20's are selling if at all? Maybe the economy has a lot of folks pulling back.



Previously, that was the price without sails.

Any Viper fall specials ?




#93 schoonerman

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 02:50 PM

Previously, that was the price without sails.

Any Viper fall specials ?


We are selling the two West Coast demo boats soon. #149 comes with new Hydes for $27,995 and #175 comes with a fast set of Norths for $29,400.

I have a new Viper that may go back on sale. The owner was trying to finance and fell on some hard times. That one, if it sells, will go for $30,995 with trailer and new Norths.

Oh yeah, congrats to The PNW boys on their finish (7th corrected, 3rd across the line) of the Doubled Damned on the Viper 'KAA' I heard something like 160 gybes !!!! Vipers have been sailing One-Design at some races in the PNW this year. One more boat in Seattle and it'll be a regular one-design start there!

#94 Viper55

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:15 PM

I went with the Viper for several reasons..

1- Fleet travels and has bigger regatta's than the U20's
2- Less expensive than M20
3- Easy to rig and race
4- VX too small to race in PHRF (if it's all you got locally)

BUT.....anyone who thinks there are no Pro's racing in the class.....that just aint true. But we have destroyed the topic of "paid" Pro's already.

#95 Jerryd

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:58 PM

I went with the Viper for several reasons..

1- Fleet travels and has bigger regatta's than the U20's
2- Less expensive than M20
3- Easy to rig and race
4- VX too small to race in PHRF (if it's all you got locally)

BUT.....anyone who thinks there are no Pro's racing in the class.....that just aint true. But we have destroyed the topic of "paid" Pro's already.


Ya, you got'em all on your boat ;)

#96 Viper55

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:07 PM

LOL, oh yea....me and my crew have been called a lot of things, but PRO aint one of them! maybe PROactive in keeping the Tiki bar open :lol: ..

#97 Jerryd

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 06:28 PM

LOL, oh yea....me and my crew have been called a lot of things, but PRO aint one of them! maybe PROactive in keeping the Tiki bar open :lol: ..


Funny, I heard that rumor also!

You doing the Oriental Cup? We won't have to worry about Bash, they qualified for the Worlds which are the same weekend. I was kinda thinking about going up there myself. But I don't know, they don't have a Tiki Bar :rolleyes:

#98 EYESAILOR

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 11:00 PM


basically the same cost as a Viper 640.


Both boats are very well priced, but they really do seem to occupy the same place in the market.

This is doubly strange because they're designed by the same guy!


They are the same designer. AFAIK the designer, Bennett was building the Viper but went bankrupt in the process. Rondar Raceboats picked up the class which had a succesful relaunch so Bennett decided to have a second shot with a smaller sister boat and is building the VX.

They are very similar with a couple of differences. The VX is aimed at 2 people. The Viper at 3. The bulb is MUCH smaller on the VX so requires a little more agility to avoid swimming. But both boats are at the performance end of the spectrum compared to the J70 or Melges 20.

We are J70 prospects who found the "afterburners" a little disappointing and will probably be picking up one of those used Vipers. It really is a great value deal for two average sailors and I echo everything that has been said about how friendly the Viper owners are.

#99 dougstum

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 11:53 PM

I was wondering about the size of the bulb. Thought I read in one early report that the VX had turtled after broaching, which I think is basically impossible in the Viper?

#100 EYESAILOR

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 01:20 AM

I was wondering about the size of the bulb. Thought I read in one early report that the VX had turtled after broaching, which I think is basically impossible in the Viper?


My understanding is that when the early version of the Viper first came out, it could also turtle after a broach. I forget if it was the Class Association or Rondar, but when it was relaunched they specified a switch to a larger bulb and a carbon mast so that the Viper passes a government self righting test. It can still broach but it is extremly rare to turtle and will still self right. Ive seen a few pics and videos of the VX going upside down but the VX sailors say that altho it is a bit more twitchy than a Viper, it is still quite manageable in big breeze. One of the VX anarchists races with his young kids.

At first we were a bit unsure if the Viper would be too much for us when it gets windy, but a local Viper owner took us out in 18+knots for a test sail and I really astonished by how easy the boat is to sail in planing conditions.

I think the biggest obstacle to the light displacement, low freeboard Viper is that for many of us, it looks a bit too aggresive and wet. When you try it, it turns out to behave like a real keelboat upwind and was suprisingly dry (especially since I was driving hah hah). The big difference is downwind, where the Viper really lights up compared to the J70 or the Melges 20, and you can never go back to a Sonar or a Shields after you have tried one of these.




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