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do you think the melges 14 will catch on?


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On our end, any masters Laser sailors that talk about switching or have switched to other boats talk exclusively about the Aero. But as it's been said, seems to be all about geography. 

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On 6/26/2017 at 8:48 AM, xonk1 said:

This thread began with the question " do you think the Melges 14 will catch on? " Here at the Lake Lanier Sailing Club just north of Atlanta the answer seems to be a definite YES. After the Melges traveling demo team came to our club we now have FIVE ( 5 ) brand new 14s on our ramp. Number SIX ( 6 ) has been ordered to be delivered soon. Seems pretty clear that once sailors try the 14 they love it. Arrange a demo in your area and you might be surprised. The reaction here has been very positive. More members are expressing an interest as the new boats sail. The only problem seems to be what to do with all the old Lasers? Check it out.

give them to the opti kids...

 

I just wish M had an event near me...    we have a largish (30+)  laser fleet, but most of the sailors are getting older and less manueverable  so comfort is starting to be a factor..  and like me my weight (225lb) prevents me from competing in the boat..

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Does anyone know the approximate production rates for the Melges 14 ?  There seems to be plenty of activity with many regatta/demo sailing days scheduled across the country but some buyers with down payments paid seem to wait a long time for their boats. Is the boat just too popular? Is the demand well beyond expectations? Hope so? 

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^^^

lol.

Melges does not have the best reputation when it comes to building dinghies. 
You saw the mess they made in the few years they built 29ers?

I imagine there are delays, because, it's Melges, and you do whatever they tell you to do and be happy about it.

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Super fun boat, we have 5 at Privateer yacht club in Chattanooga and look like we are going to be adding at least 2 more to our fleet shortly.  I have been an MC Scow racer so I am a little behind on the learning curve but it is a blast to sail.

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Puffdaddy, Glad to hear things at Privateer are going so well for the Melges 14.  Here at Lake Lanier Sailing Club ( Atlanta ) we now have six. Big news is that Team Melges is coming south for our ( LLSC ) annual Halloween Regatta Oct 28-29. I have already reserved a charter boat for the regatta. Excellent deal at $300. for three days. Contact Eddie Cox at Melges. He is heading up the Melges 14 push here for our Halloween Regatta. Hope some of your Melges 14 guys can join us for the regatta. Great chance for the interested folks to charter and try it in a friendly race environment. Come on Down!

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Things are looking really good for the annual Halloween Regatta here at Lake Lanier Sailing club with the arrival of " Team Melges ' to support the growing Melges 14 fleet ( now 6 boats ). They are bringing charter boats and we expect a good showing from the Melges14 fleet at Privateer Yacht Club in Chattanooga. Could be as many as 15 boats for racing. Details next week. Happy Sailing!

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I took a Melges 14 for a spin after the Annapolis Boat Show.

It was super light when I started and when you have to kneel in the boat or stand up and rock it while pumping the sail, it's a pleasure.  Heading towards Greenbury Pt. the breeze picked up and the boat really came alive.  What I was most impressed with was the seat of the pants feel to acceleration, the boat tugs much more actively than I was used to with either the Laser Standard or the Laser with the Intensity Powerhead, or from the test sails of the Aero 9.  The boat is very lively.  Coming back in I had a lot of power boat chop to surf on and it only took the slightly s-curve effort from Laser sailing to induce a short surf that I know is too light to experience on a Laser.

I really liked the boat.  It was very comfortable, stable, easy downwind, quick on a reach and stable, stable, stable.  I purposefully took the restriction knot out of the sheet and allowed the main out beyond 90 and sailed aggressively by the lee to the point of auto gybing a few times.  The boat communicated its intent with a pause in speed, loose rudder feel, and then as the sail came through I felt like I had all the time in the world to adjust my weight.  I never felt the urge to throw myself against the gybe, it was a stable transition.

The only reason I didn't write a check that day with the sale that was going on was because I'm in Annapolis and for a singlehander you either sail a Laser or take up mountain biking.

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Andy Burdick  ( Melges ) says the HULL NUMBERS are sequential and represent the number a particular boat was in the production sequence. I think sail numbers are meaningless with regard to your question. Happy Sailing

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17 hours ago, xonk1 said:

Andy Burdick  ( Melges ) says the HULL NUMBERS are sequential and represent the number a particular boat was in the production sequence. I think sail numbers are meaningless with regard to your question. Happy Sailing

Thanks for the info. Any idea how many hulls have been produced?

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On 8/14/2017 at 12:17 PM, Mystique said:

at least someone knows how to build quality boats.....

i've heard M14 production has been picking up too

IMG_1240.thumb.PNG.9e141c88f0764b66c085a5d08cc84fb6.png

Yes this was certainly unfortunate but the failure rate of 3 out of 2300+ isn't too shabby. 

2 of those happened in the U.S.

Both times this happened in the U.S. we replaced the hulls and in both cases it wasn't related to this quality issue or others.  These are the only hull integrity issues I've had with the RS Aero North America, and we really did the best we could to support these customers, I'd say their happy!

We learned that the issue was related to not gluing the transom screws in well enough, when they loosened they torqued that area around and this was the result.  

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5 hours ago, RSsailingNA said:

Yes this was certainly unfortunate but the failure rate of 3 out of 2300+ isn't too shabby. 

2 of those happened in the U.S.

Both times this happened in the U.S. we replaced the hulls and in both cases it wasn't related to this quality issue or others.  These are the only hull integrity issues I've had with the RS Aero North America, and we really did the best we could to support these customers, I'd say their happy!

We learned that the issue was related to not gluing the transom screws in well enough, when they loosened they torqued that area around and this was the result.  

I sailed both the M14 and the Aero. Liked both, but would buy the M14 because it felt more comfortable to me. Regardless of my preference, I am extremely happy both are selling well.

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On 5/26/2018 at 2:50 PM, Running with Scissors said:

I'd guess more like 600 boats. How can I find out about the dealer demo that might be for sale? What part of the country? Or any Melges 14's that might be for sale?

Thanks.

Sold, about a week!

http://shorelinesailboats.com/used-sailboats/

 

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1 hour ago, Running with Scissors said:

Yeah, that's the price of a new one, but the road trailer is the extra bonus.

Was it too much $ for him or too much physically?

I've read that they are easy to depower. Anyone have experience with how physical the boat it? Say compared to a Laser or Finn?

He's older, but I think if he went to a smaller rig he'd have been fine. I find it easier to depower than a Laser, but if you don't pull the strings you've got a pretty powerful sail on your hands. When I first started sailing the Laser I had a day that kicked my ass so hard I questioned seriously if I was done with it. Fortunately I got over that and figured it out. I think he had a similar experience in Sarasota but went the other direction. I wish he'd give it another go, but I get where he's coming from. I believe the boat has been sailed a couple times. 

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Questions:

1) So what is the cost on the 'Fall discount promo'?

2) Are there any DPN numbers between the M14 and RS Aero?

 

I know buy the boat that has the active OD fleet in your area. Which is the Laser for the Chesapeake. Neither the M14 or RS Aero has made any significant inroads in our area, unfortunately!

So not sure I am in the market yet but boy does a modern boat with a self draining cockpit have a lot of appeal! Hey I can always use one more boat! LOL

 

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On 8/27/2018 at 2:53 PM, Port Wine said:

Just got an email from Melges sales (Fall discount promo). He said there are 250 M14s build so far (two years production)

Yikes  :/  That's a really low number of builds.

RS has built 2,500 Aeros with a one year head start.

 

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1 hour ago, Hobie Dog said:

Questions:

1) So what is the cost on the 'Fall discount promo'?

2) Are there any DPN numbers between the M14 and RS Aero?

 

I know buy the boat that has the active OD fleet in your area. Which is the Laser for the Chesapeake. Neither the M14 or RS Aero has made any significant inroads in our area, unfortunately!

So not sure I am in the market yet but boy does a modern boat with a self draining cockpit have a lot of appeal! Hey I can always use one more boat! LOL

 

Fall discount is $250 for the boat and 10% accessories.

 

Aero dpns are 86.3 (9 rig) and 88.7 (7 rig). The only handicap I found for the M14 is Privateer Yacht Club: 87.8 (Gold) and 88.2 (Blue)

 

http://www.privateeryachtclub.org/files/Dinghy/2018/Race%201.pdf

 

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OK $250 but off of how much??? I assume there will be reps for the Melges and RS Aero at the Annapolis show. So I can check them out then.

Seems like the RS Aero DPN number is a little more established??? Melges might have some more moving around??? But looks obvious both are significantly faster than the Laser/Laser Radial.

If those numbers for the Aero are close that is impressive for a single sail non trap boat.

My Buccaneer is 86.9

Lightning is 87

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25 minutes ago, Hobie Dog said:

OK $250 but off of how much??? I assume there will be reps for the Melges and RS Aero at the Annapolis show. So I can check them out then.

Seems like the RS Aero DPN number is a little more established??? Melges might have some more moving around??? But looks obvious both are significantly faster than the Laser/Laser Radial.

If those numbers for the Aero are close that is impressive for a single sail non trap boat.

My Buccaneer is 86.9

Lightning is 87

https://melges.com/_pdf/(M14)-Melges14-Pricesheet.pdf

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2 hours ago, BlatantEcho said:

Yikes  :/  That's a really low number of builds.

RS has built 2,500 Aeros with a one year head start.

 

Tough to compare. I would imagine, most, if not all of Melges' boats stayed in the US. How many Aero's are there now in the US?

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2 hours ago, Port Wine said:

Thanks! I was just on their web site and missed that.

Sorry I was being lazy!

Sail prices seems reasonable for what they are compared to a Laser. And please don't start a Laser sail price debate on this thread, lots of threads for that. Just an observation. The dolly for $525 is a good deal. Boat is a little more pricey than the RS Aero as has been noted.

Laser is still significantly less money but it's a lot of old technology in spars and hull build.

 

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2 hours ago, bill4 said:

Tough to compare. I would imagine, most, if not all of Melges' boats stayed in the US. How many Aero's are there now in the US?

That's a good point. I am sure RS has that data. Now would they release it to the general public???

 

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All that matters in the end is which boat is raced near you ( or a reasonable distance for driving ) and which boat will accommodate you physically. Merges 14 is better for bigger and heavier racers. Happy Sailing!

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17 hours ago, xonk1 said:

All that matters in the end is which boat is raced near you ( or a reasonable distance for driving ) and which boat will accommodate you physically. Merges 14 is better for bigger and heavier racers. Happy Sailing!

For racing I could not agree with you more! Not selling my Laser as long as there is good local OD racing.

What I am looking for is a more rewarding sailing experience for day sailing. And if there is some local OD racing that is even better.

My Buccaneer is a wonderful sailing boat but at 18' and 500 lbs. she is kinda of a PITA to launch and recover alone. Not to mention for me at 165 lbs. in over 10 knots she is way overpowered and no way could I recover from a capsize alone. So it's a pretty narrow wind window to take her out alone.

So when I can't find crew or just want to sail alone I am looking for something faster, more rewarding, more comfortable than my Laser. Probably either boat fits that bill. And if that boat makes some inroads to the OD racing scene even better.

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2 hours ago, bill4 said:

Neither boat appears to be lighting it up in the US - at least not according to published race results. 

I got the impression that both boats had decent turnouts at their FL regattas this past Winter??? I will have to go look that up...

A lot is riding on what boat is chosen for Paris 2024. Yes it's a very small percentage of sailors that sail at that level but the pass down of used boats can be a big factor and I think that is what it is going to take to dethrone the Laser. We have a 1996 Atlanta Laser at our club for example.

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56 minutes ago, Hobie Dog said:

I got the impression that both boats had decent turnouts at their FL regattas this past Winter??? I will have to go look that up...

A lot is riding on what boat is chosen for Paris 2024. Yes it's a very small percentage of sailors that sail at that level but the pass down of used boats can be a big factor and I think that is what it is going to take to dethrone the Laser. We have a 1996 Atlanta Laser at our club for example.

Yes - the Melges 14 and the RS Aero both had about 25 boats at their Midwinters in Florida this year.

Decent but not outstanding.

Long way to go to "dethrone" the Laser, whatever that means.

But I don't think the people sailing the Melges 14 and RS Aero really care about dethroning the Laser. Speaking purely for myself I am enjoying sailing a more modern boat than the Laser and am pleased to see a good RS Aero regatta circuit developing locally (New England) and internationally. If others are having fun sailing Melges 14s or Devoti D-Zeros or VX Evos or Lasers or Force 5s or Sunfish then good luck to them. There's room for everyone.

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30 minutes ago, Hobie Dog said:

For racing I could not agree with you more! Not selling my Laser as long as there is good local OD racing.

What I am looking for is a more rewarding sailing experience for day sailing. And if there is some local OD racing that is even better.

My Buccaneer is a wonderful sailing boat but at 18' and 500 lbs. she is kinda of a PITA to launch and recover alone. Not to mention for me at 165 lbs. in over 10 knots she is way overpowered and no way could I recover from a capsize alone. So it's a pretty narrow wind window to take her out alone.

So when I can't find crew or just want to sail alone I am looking for something faster, more rewarding, more comfortable than my Laser. Probably either boat fits that bill. And if that boat makes some inroads to the OD racing scene even better.

i'm pretty sure there's a melges 14 fleet in norfolk, virginia. maybe that's near you?

the guys at melges are pretty good about offering demos and regatta charters. i know there's a form somewhere on the melges 14 website www.melges14.com 

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RS has built close to 3000 Aeros (I think it's 2700 or so last I heard).
I know we've sold ~130 just on the West Coast of the US

My guess is there are around 300-350 Aeros in the US at this time.

The biggest fleet I know of is in Seattle with 30+ Aeros.

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2 hours ago, tillerman said:

Yes - the Melges 14 and the RS Aero both had about 25 boats at their Midwinters in Florida this year.

Decent but not outstanding.

Long way to go to "dethrone" the Laser, whatever that means.

But I don't think the people sailing the Melges 14 and RS Aero really care about dethroning the Laser. Speaking purely for myself I am enjoying sailing a more modern boat than the Laser and am pleased to see a good RS Aero regatta circuit developing locally (New England) and internationally. If others are having fun sailing Melges 14s or Devoti D-Zeros or VX Evos or Lasers or Force 5s or Sunfish then good luck to them. There's room for everyone.

That was not my point. Agree that most people racing in the M14 or RS Aero class don't have it out for the Laser and wish demise or to dethrone the boat as the largest single handed dinghy class in the world. BUT you can bet your ass that the folks at Melges and RS Aero sure want to! My point was winning the bid for the boat in the Paris 2024 Olympics is going to be a huge step up for one of those companies if they can win it. Winning that bid still will not have you pass the Laser any time soon in the number of boats that are racing as there are SO many Lasers out there. But it probably will put you #1 for new boat sales. It's a big deal for these companies.

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2 hours ago, Mystique said:

i'm pretty sure there's a melges 14 fleet in norfolk, virginia. maybe that's near you?

the guys at melges are pretty good about offering demos and regatta charters. i know there's a form somewhere on the melges 14 website www.melges14.com 

That's news to me. Hampton, Norfolk, VA Beach is about 3.5-4 hours away.

Hampton Yacht Club is the most active down there in the racing scene. Just checked their web site and did not see the Melges 14 mentioned. Of course that does not mean they don't have a fleet building there.

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2 hours ago, WestCoast said:

RS has built close to 3000 Aeros (I think it's 2700 or so last I heard).
I know we've sold ~130 just on the West Coast of the US

My guess is there are around 300-350 Aeros in the US at this time.

The biggest fleet I know of is in Seattle with 30+ Aeros.

Thanks WestCoast for that data.

 

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I have no idea what anybody's expectations were. I guess a "game changer" would have been some people's dreams, and that isn't evident - at least not yet. And these are two wonderful looking boats which tick most boxes. Tough business.

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17 hours ago, Alan Crawford said:

An interesting metric would be annual sales (global, regional, specific country) of new M14, Aero, Laser, D-zero and, for good measure, Finn. 

That would be interesting!

Well here in the US for 2018 I would guess:

1) Laser

2) RS Aero

3) M14

4) D-zero

5) Finn

I have never seen a D-zero in real life. But I put it above the Finn as I have NEVER even heard of anybody buying a new Finn. I guy used to have one at our club. Years ago, not sure what he did with it. I don't know if I ever saw it sailing??? In fact I think I have ever seen one sailing! LOL

 

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2 hours ago, Hobie Dog said:

That would be interesting!

Well here in the US for 2018 I would guess:

1) Laser

2) RS Aero

3) M14

4) D-zero

5) Finn

I have never seen a D-zero in real life. But I put it above the Finn as I have NEVER even heard of anybody buying a new Finn. I guy used to have one at our club. Years ago, not sure what he did with it. I don't know if I ever saw it sailing??? In fact I think I have ever seen one sailing! LOL

 

If being in the Olympics is such a big deal, why aren't more people buying new Finns?

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1 hour ago, tillerman said:

If being in the Olympics is such a big deal, why aren't more people buying new Finns?

110ce4f8-4bb4-4927-8d49-2f7d22ce1c7c.jpg

This is why!

1) You have to be a monster to sail a Finn! Dudes are jacked! Need to be 210-220 lbs. and not eat fast food all the time 210-220 lbs. Like professional athlete 210. And people think the Laser boom is low. Look at that thing! So not only do you have to be big and strong but flexible as well!

2) Complicated! How many control lines do you need on a single sail cat rigged boat. Apparently more than the standard 3 for the Finn!

3) Expensive. I believe they are around 20K. Custom mast and sail plan to fit the sailor I believe as well.

Smaller, simpler, less expensive, smaller sail plan boats like all the ones we have been discussing in this thread have a much larger buying population.

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The Finn doesn't really belong in this list. It stands well alone and must be revered as something special. The Melges, Aero, Laser and Zero are all similar in concept. The Finn is, well, the Finn. Nothing compares. I also see that there were 340 in the Masters Worlds this year, with 14 of the top 20 from different countries. The other boats are just not worthy.  

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2 hours ago, Hobie Dog said:

You have to be a monster to sail a Finn! Dudes are jacked! Need to be 210-220 lbs.

finally a boat for me

 

2 hours ago, Hobie Dog said:

 and not eat fast food all the time 210-220 lbs

ah, shit!! nevermind

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OK getting back to sort of on topic here, I just checked on the boats listed to be at the Annapolis show and both the Melges and RS Aero are not listed. I believe they were both there last year??? Bummer as I wanted to check them out closer. I assume the cost to put a small boat at this show is tough to justify??? Thus why the show is mostly large cruising boats and vendors. Thus why I end up going to APS first and buying what I actually need, maybe picking up some sunglasses at the show and then getting drunk in the Gin tent! :lol:

 

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5 minutes ago, Hobie Dog said:

OK getting back to sort of on topic here, I just checked on the boats listed to be at the Annapolis show and both the Melges and RS Aero are not listed. I believe they were both there last year??? Bummer as I wanted to check them out closer. I assume the cost to put a small boat at this show is tough to justify??? Thus why the show is mostly large cruising boats and vendors. Thus why I end up going to APS first and buying what I actually need, maybe picking up some sunglasses at the show and then getting drunk in the Gin tent! :lol:

 

i saw in their newsletter last week that they'll be there with the 14.

not sure if this link will work or if it's just my link from my email? does it work for you? http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Inside-Melges--The-September-Issue-.html?soid=1126977055871&aid=CkhbgjLTmzQ 

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I’m traveling at the moment, but I would be quite surprised if Zim Sailing didn’t have an RS Aero in their booth at Annap Boat Show.

They’ll have to make room for the RS21, and some other products, but, I’ll try to find out for sure.  I’d expect it there.

 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 11:49 AM, Mystique said:

i saw in their newsletter last week that they'll be there with the 14.

not sure if this link will work or if it's just my link from my email? does it work for you? http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Inside-Melges--The-September-Issue-.html?soid=1126977055871&aid=CkhbgjLTmzQ 

Awesome!

The Boat Show site only lists the IC37 as going to be there.

 

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23 hours ago, RSsailingNA said:

There will certainly be an RS Aero on the Zim Sailing Booth in Annapolis! Land Space 5

Hope to see you there!

I will come see you before the gin tent! LOL

Are you guys going to offer any demo sails after the show?

 

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12 hours ago, Port Wine said:

Interesting that KO sailing is listed as a dealer on the Melges site- thought they were RS central, esp for the Aero...

https://www.melges.com/?p=pages/useful-links

 

 

Intersting that Melges is not listed as a brand of boats they sell on KO Sailing's website.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 10.03.55 PM.png

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It seems Melges are very good at stretching the truth about their so-called global marketing strategy.

MackayBoats have absolutely no interest in building/importing/selling M14 in New Zealand. That’s straight from them to me, no third party/hearsay, heard it from the paper delivery boy/mothers best friend.

 

 

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Whilst that's doubtless true, if the Melges were to get the nod as an Olympic boat I'm sure it would be a different story.

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5 hours ago, JimC said:

Whilst that's doubtless true, if the Melges were to get the nod as an Olympic boat I'm sure it would be a different story.

The Melges 14 is not being considered for the Olympics.
It lost the equipment evaluation to the Aero (and also finished behind the second place Laser).

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5 minutes ago, WestCoast said:

The Melges 14 is not being considered for the Olympics.
It lost the equipment evaluation to the Aero (and also finished behind the second place Laser).

I'm well aware of the evaluation report that the Melges was not suitable for the games. However that report is not binding on ISAF decision makers, who no doubt have other factors to consider. That being said I suspect the chances of it getting selected range from zero to none.

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The Melges 14 has zero point zero chance of being in the Olympics. None.
Not sure why it's even being discussed at this point.

So yes, maybe 'ISAF' (it's called World Sailing now) could go rogue... but, they will chose Aero or Laser, nothing else.
The Melges 14 is not going to be an Olympic boat.
 

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On 3/23/2017 at 11:24 AM, Hobie Dog said:

[snip]

I know personally if I were racing in such a mixed fleet I would buy the fastest boat. So over time people would gravitate to the faster boat even in a mixed fleet? No??? "I am tired of getting gassed in my Laser, my Aero, my Melges, my whatever... I am buying the new (insert the latest faster boat here). So instead of buying a new sail every year to get that little extra speed/point advantage people will be buying the latest faster boat instead??? I don't think that is good for the sport. Thoughts on that?

Well, consider how the Laser got here.  One Design & Offshore Yachtsman organized "America's Teacup" on Geneva Lake (it is the town that's called Lake Geneva) in 1970.  They tested relatively cheap dinghies for rowability, compared capsizing, rigging, and raced them.  Bruce Kirby's "Weekender" did good, tied with the "Banshee" and got re-named for its pains.  There weren't many competitors back then (I sailed Tech dinghies and a Butterfly), so yes ... the fast boat is what folks gravitated to.  Now, the competition's a tad stiffer and I don't much complain that there's more choice.

Nowadays I mostly sail and teach what my college sailing club owns.  That means Techs, Lasers, Bytes, and RS Zests ... for beginners.  The Techs were heavily modified from the original MIT design by Harkens to survive the way they get used and abused by a large collegiate sailing club, but they are no longer cheap (nor built by Pete & Ole).  The Zest is a new acquisition, and so far I am not all that impressed by the build quality (though I have not a clue how it compares to the Aero in quality).

So when I finally decide to wave 'goodbye' to my ~1980-vintage Laser (mahogany cb and rudder) - mostly because it'd cost 2X what I paid for it & its trailer to bring it up to present rigging specs - I'm looking at what's built down the road from me, and that's what Buddy's shop is selling.

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On 5/17/2019 at 6:38 AM, WestCoast said:

The Melges 14 is not being considered for the Olympics.
It lost the equipment evaluation to the Aero (and also finished behind the second place Laser).

Yes, it did lose in the equipment evaluation ... but here's an assessment of that assessment:
https://optimist-openbic-sailing.blogspot.com/2019/05/evaluation-of-singlehanders-by-world.html

"Verdict: Highly Questionable Scoring"  That's about the most charitable verdict imaginable. 

ISAF thought the Melges, being 1" longer than the Laser ... was too big.  Bonkers, says I. 

Both the Aero and the Melges are orders of magnitude superior to the Laser in ergonomics and construction quality.  Frankly, not being 'suitable' for the Olympics might be a major positive.

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13 minutes ago, A CheeseHead said:

Yes, it did lose in the equipment evaluation ... but here's an assessment of that assessment:
https://optimist-openbic-sailing.blogspot.com/2019/05/evaluation-of-singlehanders-by-world.html

"Verdict: Highly Questionable Scoring"  That's about the most charitable verdict imaginable. 

ISAF thought the Melges, being 1" longer than the Laser ... was too big.  Bonkers, says I. 

Both the Aero and the Melges are orders of magnitude superior to the Laser in ergonomics and construction quality.  Frankly, not being 'suitable' for the Olympics might be a major positive.

Count yourself lucky that the Melges 14 didn't get selected for the Olympics. 

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Looking at the Melges 14 from this side of the pond, if you are looking for a laser replacement I cannot think of a single reason why  you would buy one rather than an Aero or a Zero .

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I race my laser in interclub races under sufferance, and sail my Melges 14 at every other opportunity, including in yardstick races at our club. It is simply the most beautiful dinghy I have ever sailed, and I often find myself in a trance going upwind watching that bow cut through the chop....

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4 hours ago, Xeon said:

Looking at the Melges 14 from this side of the pond, if you are looking for a laser replacement I cannot think of a single reason why  you would buy one rather than an Aero or a Zero .

Also from the UK fully agree, IMHO it  completely lacks any styling from a European perspective. It is a big boat, if you’re heavy you would go for a Phantom over the Gold, Aero / d-zero rather than the blue and if you’re in the red 4.7 because of the youth system. 
 

This arrived at the party when all empties where being taken out. On the plus side in the UK being an Ovington it will be the best build of the newbies - (that said not currently listed on their website) the do phantoms also 

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4 hours ago, Tink said:

Also from the UK fully agree, IMHO it  completely lacks any styling from a European perspective. It is a big boat, if you’re heavy you would go for a Phantom over the Gold, Aero / d-zero rather than the blue and if you’re in the red 4.7 because of the youth system. 

This arrived at the party when all empties where being taken out. On the plus side in the UK being an Ovington it will be the best build of the newbies - (that said not currently listed on their website) the do phantoms also 

Wisconsin is a long way from the UK, gents!  As CheeseHead stated, the manufacturer is just down the road from him, Melges have always built quality boats, they offer tons of support and there is a fleet scene in WI. You might find an Aero fleet race in the midwest in 5 years, and probably never for the Devoti. The Devoti wins the beauty contest by a mile over all these, but, alas, it appears destined to be another "UK only" boat.

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Czech manufacturing, Italian boss, English designer  and European distribution. The D-zero has it’s work cut out against RS but it’s not just a UK boat 

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Dan , I think you have designed a great boat . I tested Paul Jefferies boat, back when he had one of the first pre prod boats but I couldn’t justify spending that amount of money at that time. I am hoping to have another go in Nigel Austin boat at cransley in may with a view to spending some of my redundancy money on a d zero. At the moment I am sailing a British moth, I love them but I don’t like the fact they are a restricted development class. I am a one design sailor at heart .

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7 hours ago, Tink said:

Czech manufacturing, Italian boss, English designer  and European distribution. The D-zero has it’s work cut out against RS but it’s not just a UK boat 

Sorry. Almost exclusively raced in the UK. I believe...

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57 minutes ago, bill4 said:

Sorry. Almost exclusively raced in the UK. I believe...

There's one in Canindagua, NY, USA and one in Queensland AUS, a couple in Italy, Germany, Belgium, and France, but the critical mass is in the UK.

If I was ever to get a little boat just to screw around on it would've probably been the DZ at the old price point (EUR4450) but apparently Luca & Roman figured out that publicity would help sales and have since increased the price to EUR 6200 minus VAT and shipping, which means that buying one and trying to resell it on a continent with zero racing presence would almost certainly be a losing proposition. I also thought the WS report was unnecessarily unfair to the DZ considering that it was the only boat that was presented as a measurement-controlled class and Mackay has stated flat out that they had no intention of building M14's yet the M14 was ranked higher for distribution.

I saw the Melges demo and talked to a few people about it but it seems like such a small incremental update to the Laser that it almost doesn't seem worth the effort,(It even re-uses some Laser parts like the bow eye, gooseneck and vang tang). some of the juniors I coached were less than impressed with some of the layout decisions most notably the hiking strap.

The M14 site seems to be "selling an experience", I guess because there's some brand loyalty to the family in Wisconsin that makes them think they can charge 20% more for their boats and people tend to buy into more than one of their fleets. Five years out and there are 70 people listed in their "World League" ranking, while there are what, 200 Aeros in the US? I'd think the USA "Native" fleet would at least be close in numbers.

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