I never come to SBA so I am not gonna bother searching through the threads to see if a VX One thread was already going. Sue me.
Had the pleasure of getting out on a VX One tonight. I've never fallen in love with a boat in the first five minutes of sailing it until tonight. Got a call about an hour before dock time to see if I wanted to sail in the Monday night sportboat series. I pondered, said yes after some thought, and showed up. I should preface this review by saying while I have about 15 years of sailing everything from 8'-50' I could get my hands on, my sportboat experience is limited to some Viper, Melges 20, Ozzie 18, and 29er rides. No really expertise in sportboats.
Initially very calm, built to 10-15 from the South with little chop around 6pm. Chop built and sustained held 14ish for the first race, backed and went SSW sustained around 10, chop remained. 7:45ish, wind sustained around 8, wind backed and went SSE, chop remained for first two legs of the 3rd race.
We had the benefit of experiencing a wide range of conditions for the boat, it went really light at one point and got up to a fairly good clip as well. Chop and flat water, basically great for feeling this boat out.
Boat set up was really easy. Jib snaps on and luff zips up (I thought this was super cool). Jib is also on a roller furler which we didn't use but if it went lighter we could have. Main goes up easy and loose foot makes it quick to hook up. Kite gets tied on and shoved into the launch chute. The tricky part which we kinda fucked up was the retrieval line which you actually have to think about when you hook up or else you can really FUBAR it like we did. Boat launches great, tracks very nicely behind a Honda Pilot.
We were a little late to getting down to the box so we were sailing for speed. First time I've ever been on the boat (or heard of it to be quite honest), and the 4th time the owner had been on it. In 13ish knots of breeze we hit 10.5 under kite and I loved how the boat felt and responded to sail trim, heel, and how quickly it got up and planed.
Owner drove the first two races and we played the starts fairly conservatively. Boat felt great off the line and accelerates very quickly. The "fleet" we were sailing against were 2 Vipers and 2 J-70s. Our upwind speed was quick, in the heavier air the J-70s felt a little quicker but we had really good point and speed against the vipers. Downwind I was not as familiar with optimum angles for the boat so we probably sailed a little deeper than we needed to, but boat responded well to sail trim and was very eager to get up on a plane.
Start was a little more aggressive and we were able to get a nose out in clear air. Boat tracked great and besides getting on the wrong side of a couple shifts I felt like we were very fast up and downwind. Again, same problem with gybe angles and optimum boat speeds as in the first race. We heard about a mark we needed to round at the last minute and had to heat pretty quick, hit 9.8 in about 12 sustained. Wild.
Note: the issue we had with our belly line was that the way it was run, it fouled on the sheet and made port gybe a little difficult to achieve unless everything was overhauled and ran free.
My turn. I finally got behind the stick of this beast and she did not disappoint. My prestart was aggressive, maybe a little too much so and we ended up having to bail out within the last minute of the sequence, got buried down below a J-70. This proved to be good as we bailed out to the right and ran into a perfect shift. FIrst upwind leg the boat was quick, pointed like a charm, was very responsive to the slightest tiller movement, feathered beautifully. I can't say enough about how well this boat handles. Secondary controls were easy to reach and effective on sail trim. The self tacking jib car makes everything easier and also allows for serious jib fine tuning. I found myself getting into the groove very quickly and we climbed the ladder very quickly. The flat top main powers very nicely through chop and the jib points very nicely. Downwind the breeze shut off and we did ourselves no favors by making some ill advised gybes that weren't necessary. That being said, as soon as we flopped over, we were able to flop right back and roll back onto starboard gybe and accelerate instantly. Boat speed was consistently 3.5-4.5 in <5knots of breeze. We pulled right away from the other Vipers and one J-70. A little traffic at the leeward mark had us round just in front of the two Vipers and the 70 that was behind us. The other 70 had rounded 20 BL in front of us or so. Wind was still around 4-6 knots, chop was almost non existant, and the wind backed right around the SSE. On starboard tack we were making the finish line a mile up the bay from the rounding. I moved way up in the boat so we were sitting fairly far forward and we played the hell out of the sails. We walked right away from the boats behind us, putting a ton of space between us. We also managed to make up about 1/2 to 2/3 of the distance on the J-70 in front of us. I was beyond impressed with how quickly this boat goes up wind in light air. Shocking.
-Best thought out boat I've been in. Possibly Ever. Everything is easy to reach, nothing is overly complicated, but its not too dumbed down.
-This thing is a rocket. The fact that we can go nearly TWS is ridiculous. She loves to plane and its unreal fast upwind.
-Handling is ridiculous. Boat turns on a dime, responds to the tiniest of tiller movements. That being said its not twitchy.
-Launch and retrieval of the kite is very easy. Could have a bigger kite in fact. We fucked up the belly line so it was probably harder than it needed to be.
-I'm undecided on the boom sheeting. I would think about deck mounting a block and seeing how that worked. I am also coming from deck block dinghies so thats probably why.
-This thing would be UNBEATABLE with a trap and bigger kite.
Big thanks to the boat owner (who will probably read this) for having me out, I had a blast and would do it again in a heartbeat.
Might be the best bang for your buck ready to sail boat out there right now in terms of sailability, speed, and launchability.