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4 minutes ago, JimBowie said:

Meh.  Yeah.  We've seen this before.  Like every other year.  For your viewing pleasure I present to you the next thing in Yet-Another-Sportboat-Dingy:

https://melges.com/?mc_cid=5dc0925624&mc_eid=42f3db911b

 

It's multi-generational. It's for beginners. It's for racing. It's for kids. It's for grown-ups. It's a sports-boat. It's a scow.

https://melges.com/first-look-the-melges-15/

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Just another boat to split the fleets and make money.  But that's the most important thing right?

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1 hour ago, astro said:

Just another boat to split the fleets and make money.  But that's the most important thing right?

It appears that way, unfortunately. The market is oversaturated, which dilutes the fleets.

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1 minute ago, Misbehavin' said:

It appears that way, unfortunately. The market is oversaturated, which dilutes the fleets.

People have the right to earn a living, no problems.

But in making a decision to act, it can be for the good of sailing or for the good of business.

There is no right answer, but sometimes it's not helpful to the community.

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I agree with the comments about dilution in small boat racing. The problem is not that we ( racers ) need the perfect boat that will bring everyone to the starting line. There are plenty of great small sailboats NOW. We need to get people to actually show up to race. This lack of interest and participation has been beaten to death in various forums and sadly the trends are almost all going in the wrong direction. At least Melges is trying - even if further dilution is the result. We should all just go sailing.

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6 hours ago, Misbehavin' said:

It appears that way, unfortunately. The market is oversaturated, which dilutes the fleets.

Over saturated market??

REALLY??

How many new dinghies do you think are sold each year in the USA?? 

There are 328,000,000 people in the USA.

One percent is 3,280,000.

Saturated??

REALLY??

 

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19 minutes ago, Gouvernail said:

Over saturated market??

REALLY??

How many new dinghies do you think are sold each year in the USA??

-probably less than 1000

There are 328,000,000 people in the USA.

One percent is 3,280,000.

Saturated??

REALLY??

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demand_curve
You can be saturated and also have a market that consists of 0.000000001% of the population. It's a matter of value vs other goods and -this is the most important part- not simply goods in that category but all categories that vie for consumer dollars to fill a need. The big piece that often goes unconsidered: People don't need sailboats. They need to be happy. There are other routes to that which are smoking the sailboat in the race to consumer dollars.

DRC

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24 minutes ago, Dave Clark said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demand_curve
You can be saturated and also have a market that consists of 0.000000001% of the population. It's a matter of value vs other goods and -this is the most important part- not simply goods in that category but all categories that vie for consumer dollars to fill a need. The big piece that often goes unconsidered: People don't need sailboats. They need to be happy. There are other routes to that which are smoking the sailboat in the race to consumer dollars.

DRC

Come on, don't get all dismal-science-y on us. The fact that the most popular classes in the USA are over 50 years old, and shrinking rapidly, is certain to be a sign that there huge demand for new boat designs!

:rolleyes:   <_<

Actually, I think sailing could become a growth sport. I've thought for years it's poised on the brink of growing again, but the spark just never seems to catch. Part of it is the walloping of the dead horse of Opti sailing. We turn over kids to fanatics who demand that they learn to RACE slow little boxes, and even the kids who win don't think it's all that much fun, and 99.9% of them quit as soon as their parents stop making them do it.

A lot of it is competition against other ways to spend time. More of it IMHO is that our culture is changed. "Serenity NOW!!" is not a joke to anybody under 40. Perhaps this pandemic will teach us patience (and I am certainly NOT the world's most patient man, nor in the top 35% probably).

FB- Doug

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31 minutes ago, Dave Clark said:

The big piece that often goes unconsidered: People don't need sailboats. They need to be happy. There are other routes to that which are smoking the sailboat in the race to consumer dollars.

DRC

This.

I'm a former product designer and current product manager and we are constantly looking at (in addition to competition and market) market overlap and competing markets that are vying for the same dollars.

What I think dinghy sailing needs is a good joint campaign that touts the reduced exposure (in this time of concern about such things), fun, family-centered outdoor time, ease of entry, and exercise aspects to feel like sailing is the healthiest, most mindful way to disconnect from stress and reconnect with fun, nature, etc.

Back to the melges 15, it looks like it could be a fun family dinghy that fits into a garage.  I know there are many others, but if this one hits the right notes and price, I could see people buying it.

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Why do you assume that a new boat, that is targeted towards a broad spectrum of potential sailors, will automatically “dilute” fleets?

Could it possibly attract more sailors, including those who haven’t sailed for an extended because existing boats and fleets aren’t appealing for whatever reason? The industry needs to keep moving forward, and it needs competition to improve both quality and pricing.

Sailing doesn’t need a magic boat, it needs great people who make racing an enjoyable experience. 

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58 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

... Part of it is the walloping of the dead horse of Opti sailing. We turn over kids to fanatics who demand that they learn to RACE slow little boxes, and even the kids who win don't think it's all that much fun, and 99.9% of them quit as soon as their parents stop making them do it. ...

With the greatest respect, Steam, that's bollocks.  Sure there are kids that don't want to race, and it's them that we're letting down but dumping on the Oppy isn't helpful...  At least the Oppy-parents are encouranging them!   Provide an alternative path, ideally without diluting the fleet too much, for the kids that don't want to race (or don't want to race Oppies) and see if it gets traction!

 It's a numbers game, though... taking an eight boat Oppy fleet and halving it into two classes may not be a step forward... though i agree that if it means three kids are still sailing in ten years time instead of two, we've a 50% improvement!

Cheers,

              W.

 

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2 hours ago, Dave Clark said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demand_curve
You can be saturated and also have a market that consists of 0.000000001% of the population. It's a matter of value vs other goods and -this is the most important part- not simply goods in that category but all categories that vie for consumer dollars to fill a need. The big piece that often goes unconsidered: People don't need sailboats. They need to be happy. There are other routes to that which are smoking the sailboat in the race to consumer dollars.

DRC

 

https://cdn.ussailing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Demographics2010.pdf

 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/191300/participants-in-sailing-in-the-us-since-2006/

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48 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:
1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

. Part of it is the walloping of the dead horse of Opti sailing. We turn over kids to fanatics who demand that they learn to RACE slow little boxes, and even the kids who win don't think it's all that much fun, and 99.9% of them quit as soon as their parents stop making them do it. ...

With the greatest respect, Steam, that's bollocks.  Sure there are kids that don't want to race, and it's them that we're letting down but dumping on the Oppy isn't helpful...  At least the Oppy-parents are encouranging them!   Provide an alternative path, ideally without diluting the fleet too much, for the kids that don't want to race (or don't want to race Oppies) and see if it gets traction!

 It's a numbers game, though... taking an eight boat Oppy fleet and halving it into two classes may not be a step forward... though i agree that if it means three kids are still sailing in ten years time instead of two, we've a 50% improvement!

It's not bollocks in terms of impact on the larger sport of sailing. At least, not here in the US. Back around 1990, US Sailing started touting the large and growing fleets of Opti racers as proof that sailing was not dying. Well, sailing participation overall is down A LOT since then (half? Halved and then halved again?) and we still have fleets of 100+ kids racing Optis... where are they going? Not into the sport of sailing!

That, plus my own experience with the pressure to produce race-winning Opti sailors, which I always tried to respond with patience but on occasion said "Sorry, you are completely wrong in 1- I have had a number of kids who have won races and 2- even the ones who never race at all, much less don't win, are good skippers and on track to become better adults (which IMHO is the real goal) and will be at a minimum safer boaters all their lives whether they ever sail another boat."

The Opti itself is a great little boat for little kids. The thing that is wrong with the organization is the pressure on kids to race and on promising kids to win. This is exactly backwards. The kids should learn to sail with enough knowledge & skill that they have confidence to do it on their own, and enjoy it. Otherwise why would they give a fuck if they win a stupid race?

But I suspect you agree with most of the rant above.

What boats do we need for the sport to succeed? What improvements will help the sport? First, it is all about the people, agree totally with that. Also, how about boats that avoid turn-offs like difficult/impossible to keep clean? Running rigging that's a wrestling match? Not all boats are good for beginners, and taking a good sailing boat and giving it small shitty sails doesn't make it a "beginner boat." I've seen kids get turned off when they are ready to move on from Optis, and told they can't. Our program got Topper Topaz sloops and they are awesome for Opti-size kids to move into a sloop... sail with a friend, what a concept! ... but it's a bit of a leap from that to a 420 and a lot of kids don't like 420s, plus they are fragile and have many PITA factors plus here in the US the closest thing to a skiff to move from there is a 29er or 505.

I had some slight success, a couple of years back, de-tuning and simplifying a couple of gift 5O5s into "club" versions that were lotsa fun to sail for kids that were jaded with FJs and 4-twinkies. You gotta fuckin' pay attention and have game, to do that! But a lot of kids don't want that, either.

Oddly enough, you all may laugh, but the Oday Javelins have been very successful program boats. Even the coaches like sailing them (with the newer sails).

FB- Doug

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7 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

 

The Opti itself is a great little boat for little kids. The thing that is wrong with the organization is the pressure on kids to race and on promising kids to win. This is exactly backwards. The kids should learn to sail with enough knowledge & skill that they have confidence to do it on their own, and enjoy it. Otherwise why would they give a fuck if they win a stupid race?

FB- Doug

http://www.miamioptimoms.com/

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Don't you all sail snipes, lightnings, and similar 50's 1KNSB?  (or so it looks from europe).  Something, anything, from the last 30 years that gets traction, is needed, get with the times people, use it or lose it.  (We would offer to sell you decent european boats, but they only go up to XL)

 

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2 hours ago, VWAP said:

And from that link it shows --

Average Age:

  • 18-25 3%
  • 26-35 7%
  • 36-50 34%
  • 51-60 30%
  • 61 + 26%

Average Annual Household Income:

  • Over $125,000 70%
  • Over $225,000 19.5%

Boat Ownership:

  • At least 1 boat 87%
  • 2 or more boats 57%

Sailors rank 1st in the following categories:

  • Owning a $50,000+ vehicle
  • Spending $5,000 on jewelry
  • Traveling 1st class
  • Having assets of $2.0+ million

Which leads me to believe that the data is likely more representative of cruising and sport boat ownership and less representative of the dinghy owning community.  Additionally, it makes me wonder if there is a blue ocean of opportunity awaiting someone that can convince people outside of that range that boat owning and operating is accessible and worthy of their dollars.

 

 

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Stats like the above are of very little value when we are talking bout dinghy racing. Who on this blog really cares about not enough people "sailing"? For the most part, the concern is participation in dinghy racing. It's like a track and field club looking at jogging stats and wondering why they don't have more competitive sprinters.

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12 minutes ago, Bill5 said:

Stats like the above are of very little value when we are talking bout dinghy racing. Who on this blog really cares about not enough people "sailing"? For the most part, the concern is participation in dinghy racing. It's like a track and field club looking at jogging stats and wondering why they don't have more competitive sprinters.

I'm not a sailing evangelist by any stretch, but I think the point that a few of the folks above were trying to make is relevant to dinghy racing participation.

 

My thought it this, only a certain percent of people that own something will choose to use it for racing.  Think bicycles.  Massive population of use for them a transportation, exercise, racing, and/or pleasure.  The number of people that race bikes (road, BMX, mountain, cyclocross, etc.) are certainly far fewer than the number of people that own bikes.

I think there is a correlation to those that own boats. And if we want more people racing them, then we need more people buying them and using them in general.  If we can get them into sailing as pleasure, exercise, and excitement, then we can get some of them into racing dinghies and get to that subset that this subforum cares about. 

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3 minutes ago, Grestone said:

I'm not a sailing evangelist by any stretch, but I think the point that a few of the folks above were trying to make is relevant to dinghy racing participation.

 

My thought it this, only a certain percent of people that own something will choose to use it for racing.  Think bicycles.  Massive population of use for them a transportation, exercise, racing, and/or pleasure.  The number of people that race bikes (road, BMX, mountain, cyclocross, etc.) are certainly far fewer than the number of people that own bikes.

I think there is a correlation to those that own boats. And if we want more people racing them, then we need more people buying them and using them in general.  If we can get them into sailing as pleasure, exercise, and excitement, then we can get some of them into racing dinghies and get to that subset that this subforum cares about. 

Fair enough - the more you have of one, the more you should of the other. 

Regardless, dinghy racing is a pretty specialized taste. Blasting on a reach in 20 knots of breeze on a sunny day in any boat is a lot of fun. Everybody likes that! But grinding it out upwind in a shifty 5-7 knots on a rainy 45F day takes a special lunatic. And the only time you even get to reach is between races! 

 

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1 hour ago, Bill5 said:

Fair enough - the more you have of one, the more you should of the other. 

Regardless, dinghy racing is a pretty specialized taste. Blasting on a reach in 20 knots of breeze on a sunny day in any boat is a lot of fun. Everybody likes that! But grinding it out upwind in a shifty 5-7 knots on a rainy 45F day takes a special lunatic. And the only time you even get to reach is between races! 

 

Can grown ups get fun half serious races too? I hate straight upwind downwind courses. The open bic folks have it right.

On UFOs we run reaching starts and finish. It's good for mixed skill fleets, as you can see in SailGP events :)

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45 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

Can grown ups get fun half serious races too? I hate straight upwind downwind courses. The open bic folks have it right.

On UFOs we run reaching starts and finish. It's good for mixed skill fleets, as you can see in SailGP events :)

We have short course W/L's Thursday eves. It stays light until 10 mid Jun - mid July, so you can lots of races in. But I would prefer quality over quantity. 

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Melges M15 = Assuming trailer and covers are similar to MC Scow prices, then it'll be $14,000 - $15,000 all up with trailer and covers.

It's stackable, and hull weight is around 200lbs. They're comparing it to the RS Feva, Vanguard 15, and Club 420.

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Melges, Laser, RS all produce variations on a theme. They are all expensive. They all require training to use well, they are all aimed at some sort of racing. None offer anything new to get people into the activity and then into racing. 

If the way into racing hardware is to buy for fun there needs to be change in the basic design of the tools we use.

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22 minutes ago, Dart96 said:

Melges, Laser, RS all produce variations on a theme. They are all expensive. They all require training to use well, they are all aimed at some sort of racing. None offer anything new to get people into the activity and then into racing. 

If the way into racing hardware is to buy for fun there needs to be change in the basic design of the tools we use.

If someone came along and made a modern-construction sunfish or a laser that was significantly cheaper, do we think that'd be the ticket?

In other words, if an Aero was a bit simpler, used less specialty parts, and perhaps looked a bit more agrarian, but cost... say, from USD$9K to... $6K? New. (This is insanely hard to achieve! Put a lot of clever thought into halving the base mfg costs. You need margin to feed your staff, some ROI, buffer for warranty, dealer margin, etc.)

A Sunfish costs $3.700. If someone really works on this... you could buy it new for $2K

Is that the barrier?

BTW, Miami is jam-packed with jet skis. New from ~$7K. My friends look at me like I'm a lunatic... and then go buy fancy bicycles that cost a ton of money.

(Gouvernail makes a more colorful version of this argument). 

There was a time when sailing boats -- of all kinds -- had a clear place in the public. imagination. It now looks exotic and complicated to the masses. We are in an era of push-play-and-go. My phone has just one button. Car transmissions have an R for Really Fast.

Of course all those things are also really complicated , so it's perception.

Those fugly little dinghies branded/sponsored by Kool cigarettes (Snark?) were the mark of an era. I'm not saying bring back smoking, I'm saying... market-shaping brands "adopt" a sport as part of their image. Imagine iPhone and GoPro ads were showing action shots of people sailing fun fast modern boats.

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"If someone came along and made a modern-construction sunfish or a laser that was significantly cheaper, do we think that'd be the ticket?"

No

"A Sunfish costs $3.700. If someone really works on this... you could buy it new for $2K, Is that the barrier?"

Even that cost would be too much.

" Miami is jam-packed with jet skis. New from ~$7K. My friends look at me like I'm a lunatic... and then go buy fancy bicycles that cost a ton of money"

Correct here in the UK as well. No shortage of cash

The Zeitgeist has changed and we have all moved on. It's fun to debate reasons and there are many threads here about it and the sport of sailing needs new "doors" for entry.

An example of this might be the use of Simulators.

I help to run a community boating association, despite newer sailing boats/better facilities/more training the numbers sailing are slowly falling. The numbers using paddle/oar craft are increasing and will form the basis for the association in five years.

When we open up in the next month or two then I want to debate the use of simulators like these http://www.virtualsailing.com.au/    as a way of providing another door into the activity of Sailing. Currently this is the only innovation that I can see that is potentially transformative for our activities

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21 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

I will guess $20k+ with road trailer and all the covers/blade bags you need.

Being that I can buy a nice Catalina 28 for that money, it would be hard for me (my significant other) to justify that kind of money for a 2 person dingy.  But I am definitely in the lower income bracket of sailboat owners.  I get asked all the time when I'm going to buy a bigger/newer/other boat.  I respond plainly with "There is a big reason why I own a 35 year old Capri 25".  That usually ends the conversation.

But there a lot of great points here.  Are Melges 14's being sailed anywhere else other than WI and FL?  UFO's seem to be selling well but they aren't fleet racers.  And does racing have to be a component of sailing for boats to sell? 

Personally I would love a Melges 14 or even this new 15, but the budget is not there.  If I want to race dingies in Utah it has to be Lasers.

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8 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

BTW, Miami is jam-packed with jet skis. New from ~$7K.

It takes exactly zero knowledge of anything to ride a jetski.  Last weekend a couple was on the boatramp when the wife asked "how do you make it go?  Does it have a reverse?"  Then they flew out of the marina right past all the no wake signs doing 15 mph.  Sailing is hard.  People are lazy.

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On 5/13/2020 at 8:44 AM, Gouvernail said:

Over saturated market??

REALLY??

How many new dinghies do you think are sold each year in the USA?? 

There are 328,000,000 people in the USA.

One percent is 3,280,000.

Saturated??

REALLY??

 

Young women getting their baby holes stretched in delivery room does not equate to boat buying adults.  If that was a metric China and India would be competing in the AC 36 not a tiny country of 4 million sheep

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On 5/14/2020 at 1:24 PM, Martin T said:

All you need is a celebraty social media influencer to take up dinghy sailing & the teenagers would be all over it like a rash, Bobs your mothers brother!

Well you had Greta

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2 hours ago, JimBowie said:

Young women getting their baby holes stretched in delivery room does not equate to boat buying adults.  If that was a metric China and India would be competing in the AC 36 not a tiny country of 4 million sheep

Nobody needs Coca Cola.

it is all about marketing 

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8 hours ago, JimBowie said:

Young women getting their baby holes stretched in delivery room does not equate to boat buying adults.  If that was a metric China and India would be competing in the AC 36 not a tiny country of 4 million sheep


USA is home to 328 million people and 5 million sheep.

New Zealand is home to 3 million people and 60 million sheep.

China is home to 1,393 million people and 187 million sheep.

The ILCA Radial gold medal at the 2012 Olympics was won by a woman from China.

7 sailors from New Zealand won medals for sailing at the 2016 Olympics.

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Just now, tillerman said:


USA is home to 328 million people and 5 million sheep.

New Zealand is home to 3 million people and 60 million sheep.

China is home to 1,393 million people and 187 million sheep.

The ILCA Radial gold medal at the 2012 Olympics was won by a woman from China.

7 sailors from New Zealand won medals for sailing at the 2016 Olympics.

 

What's your point?

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3 hours ago, tillerman said:

 

What's your point?

USA should increase the rate of sheep if they want olympic sailing medals?

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I think the point Tillerdude is making is that countries with high numbers of sheep and fewer people do better at our sport.  That reminds me of a joke:

Q: What does the sheep say when Rancher drives by?

A: "Daaaaaaaaaaa-ddy"

 

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20 minutes ago, Stachel said:

$16,800 includes everything, trailer, Velocitek, sails, covers, etc. It’s between a VXOne and Evo, much closer to the Evo in pricing and size. It will sell because...marketing.

It’ll be a fun boat.

I am seeing $16.8k PLUS more for options listed

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2 minutes ago, Dex Sawash said:
23 minutes ago, Stachel said:

$16,800 includes everything, trailer, Velocitek, sails, covers, etc. It’s between a VXOne and Evo, much closer to the Evo in pricing and size. It will sell because...marketing.

It’ll be a fun boat.

I am seeing $16.8k PLUS more for options listed

That's actually not bad, all things considered. That's about what a brand-new Buccaneer runs, right? And this is a much fancier boat. Fancy = more labor which is the expensive part of building it.

The US badly needs an improved centerboard dinghy, and has needed one for 40 years... most of my racing career. One would think that sailboat designers have learned nothing since 1970 or so, looking around. Many of the most popular classes are from the 1940s if not the 1930s.

As much as I love the classics, a boat that is less of a PITA is a very good thing

FB- Doug

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37 minutes ago, Dex Sawash said:

I am seeing $16.8k PLUS more for options listed

The Melges 15 starts at $11,750 for the Club and $12,250 for the One-Design. 

Sails are included in the base price.

Make sure that you are selecting the correct boat from the drop-down menu when using the request a quote form. Note: The Melges MC Scow has a base price of $16.8k

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37 minutes ago, spring fever said:

The Melges 15 starts at $11,750 for the Club and $12,250 for the One-Design. 

Sails are included in the base price.

Make sure that you are selecting the correct boat from the drop-down menu when using the request a quote form. Note: The Melges MC Scow has a base price of $16.8k

I've added the dolly and it's below $13k, they must be on the wrong boat.  

$60 to apply the sail numbers...I mean really.  West Coast Sailing does that for free when you buy a new sail, let alone a $13,000 sailboat.

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14 minutes ago, WCB said:

I've added the dolly and it's below $13k, they must be on the wrong boat.  

$60 to apply the sail numbers...I mean really.  West Coast Sailing does that for free when you buy a new sail, let alone a $13,000 sailboat.

For $50, they'll send you a Sharpie and and stencil.

 

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When I first saw the full boat what came to mind was the old OD / Gran Prix 14s from the 80s.  Looks like a slightly improved version of one of those.

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I've just about beaten down the wife's resistance... so close to ordering one!

Our club (Jacomo Sailing Club) in Kansas City has been racing a two-person CB dinghy since 1960 called a Sweet 16 and they're anything but sweet. The newest hull in the club is approx 1986. The M15 looks to be an absolutely perfect evolution for us. I can't wait to get one down here on the lake.

Sweet 16 Info

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28 minutes ago, Irrational 14 said:

Nope. Even slower.

 

I have no way to speak to speed, I was only referring to the layout and hull design.

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10 hours ago, rasher said:

I've just about beaten down the wife's resistance... so close to ordering one!

Our club (Jacomo Sailing Club) in Kansas City has been racing a two-person CB dinghy since 1960 called a Sweet 16 and they're anything but sweet. The newest hull in the club is approx 1986. The M15 looks to be an absolutely perfect evolution for us. I can't wait to get one down here on the lake.

Sweet 16 Info

Good on ya! It does look like a great boat - maybe a couple other Sweet 16'ers will join you. Fleets are more fun!

As a newbie, be forewarned - lots of folks on this site will be jumping on the "where's the carbon/mylar/trapeze" questions. And lots of "have you considered the xxxxxx?" And many other dissuading comments. Take them for what there worth.

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6 hours ago, Bill5 said:
16 hours ago, rasher said:

I've just about beaten down the wife's resistance... so close to ordering one!

Our club (Jacomo Sailing Club) in Kansas City has been racing a two-person CB dinghy since 1960 called a Sweet 16 and they're anything but sweet. The newest hull in the club is approx 1986. The M15 looks to be an absolutely perfect evolution for us. I can't wait to get one down here on the lake.

Sweet 16 Info

Good on ya! It does look like a great boat - maybe a couple other Sweet 16'ers will join you. Fleets are more fun!

As a newbie, be forewarned - lots of folks on this site will be jumping on the "where's the carbon/mylar/trapeze" questions. And lots of "have you considered the xxxxxx?" And many other dissuading comments. Take them for what there worth.

 

I'm sure they saved a lot of weight and money making it single-floored, that's the biggest WTF? for me.

For ~ $13K sail away, that's pretty good. I'm curious why they gave it a tapered aluminum instead of carbon mast, I'd heard that the price of carbon masts was dropping (comparatively) every year. But for the rest, I don't think carbon is going to make any difference except in electrical resistance.

I'm also curious about light air sailing. Those wide flat hulls tend to get stuck.

There's a boat called a Rebel which is very similar to a Sweet 16, antique tubs.  Buy hey, they sail...

 

15 hours ago, Irrational 14 said:
18 hours ago, WCB said:

When I first saw the full boat what came to mind was the old OD / Gran Prix 14s from the 80s.  Looks like a slightly improved version of one of those.

Nope. Even slower.

You'd think a 15 footer would have a bit of an edge on a 14.

FB- Doug

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I can't seem to locate a weight. 

PRODUCT OVERVIEW
LENGTH 15 ft 4.572 m
BEAM 5 ft 6 in 1.675 m
DRAFT 2 ft 7 in 0.8 m
 
SAIL AREA
MAIN 93.6 sq ft 8.7 m2
JIB 39.8 sq ft 3.7 m2
ASYMMETRICAL SPINNAKER 156 sq ft 14.5 m2
 
CREW 2

 

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I see all the Melges dealers crowing online about the 15 as if it were JC himself.  Couple questions:

1. What huge really really huge hole is the boat filling?  Has there been a large need for something like the M15?  For who?  Public? High school or college sailing programs? Club boats?

2. How does the M15 succeed where the M14; Evo-1; JY15 have failed (not that they've failed)?

3 Isn't this yet-another-example of diluting the tiny market further?

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Seems as though we should be comparing it to the Zim 15.  The Zim 15 has a carbon mast and aluminum boom.  No spinnaker though...no trapeze.

Upwind Sail area - Zim 15  153sq ft     Melges 15  133.4 sq ft

 

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3 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

 

I'm sure they saved a lot of weight and money making it single-floored, that's the biggest WTF? for me.

For ~ $13K sail away, that's pretty good. I'm curious why they gave it a tapered aluminum instead of carbon mast, I'd heard that the price of carbon masts was dropping (comparatively) every year. But for the rest, I don't think carbon is going to make any difference except in electrical resistance.

I'm also curious about light air sailing. Those wide flat hulls tend to get stuck.

There's a boat called a Rebel which is very similar to a Sweet 16, antique tubs.  Buy hey, they sail...

 

You'd think a 15 footer would have a bit of an edge on a 14.

FB- Doug

Same beam as the Old OD14 but no double traps and less sail area. No weight listed but doubt it's much lighter.

No double floor/no open transom is a bad idea IMO but who knows.

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On 5/12/2020 at 6:19 PM, JimBowie said:

Meh.  Yeah.  We've seen this before.  Like every other year.  For your viewing pleasure I present to you the next thing in Yet-Another-Sportboat-Dingy:

https://melges.com/?mc_cid=5dc0925624&mc_eid=42f3db911b

 

For a true doublehander it looks cool.  What does it compete with market wise?  Snipe? No.  420? No. Who else has a true doublehanded sprit boat out there?  I'm not counting 29er and 49er as they are super high performance compared to this.   

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2 minutes ago, Irrational 14 said:

Same beam as the Old OD14 but no double traps and less sail area. No weight listed but doubt it's much lighter.

No double floor/no open transom is a bad idea IMO but who knows.

You would think that close to 60 years after the combination of double/raised floor +open transom appeared, and shown so successful pretty much all the way around, that pretty much everybody except the most narrowminded of the corncob-pipe-n-baggywrinkle crowd would accept it as useful, normal, and desire boats in that configuration.

But you'd be wrong. Because common sense is so rare it's more like a goddam super power.

A supposedly fast modern boat with a single bottom and no doubt a couple of Elvstrom bailers? Seriously WTF??

I wouldn't be surprised a hiker is just not as fast as a double-trap under most/all circs, that's genuinely aimed at a different market (which is a way of saying I happen to like hikers).

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7 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

You would think that close to 60 years after the combination of double/raised floor +open transom appeared, and shown so successful pretty much all the way around, that pretty much everybody except the most narrowminded of the corncob-pipe-n-baggywrinkle crowd would accept it as useful, normal, and desire boats in that configuration.

But you'd be wrong. Because common sense is so rare it's more like a goddam super power.

A supposedly fast modern boat with a single bottom and no doubt a couple of Elvstrom bailers? Seriously WTF??

I wouldn't be surprised a hiker is just not as fast as a double-trap under most/all circs, that's genuinely aimed at a different market (which is a way of saying I happen to like hikers).

FB- Doug

In the UK, double bottom self drainers are usually trapeze boats, hikers normally have single floor, to make it easier to change sides.  The RS 200 / 400, have a low double bottom, not completely self draining, but mainly so, again for more comfort and security, to have the feeling of being 'IN' a boat rather than being 'ON' a boat.

It's not old tech, it's still relevant to many sailors, and may be right for the target market for this boat.

Seems very wide on the waterline compared to most euroboats?  Could be a bit draggy in lighter winds?

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5 minutes ago, maxstaylock said:

In the UK, double bottom self drainers are usually trapeze boats, hikers normally have single floor, to make it easier to change sides.  The RS 200 / 400, have a low double bottom, not completely self draining, but mainly so, again for more comfort and security, to have the feeling of being 'IN' a boat rather than being 'ON' a boat.

It's not old tech, it's still relevant to many sailors, and may be right for the target market for this boat.

Seems very wide on the waterline compared to most euroboats?  Could be a bit draggy in lighter winds?

Yes, it seems likely they're not going to be stellar light air boats.

And agreed also that double bottom boats need more freeboard to have the same leg room, cockpit depth, etc. More expensive and heavier.

You all have a lot more choice over there, too

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, RobbieB said:

For a true doublehander it looks cool.  What does it compete with market wise?  Snipe? No.  420? No. Who else has a true doublehanded sprit boat out there?  I'm not counting 29er and 49er as they are super high performance compared to this.   

RS400

image.thumb.png.a46248d47fa7d30bb82e83c4b337668e.png

 

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1 hour ago, Bill5 said:

Reichel/Pugh designed it and Melges are building them. Pretty capable combination - no?

The designer is irrelevant, the brief is relevant. The brief looks like it was, 'design me something that I can build cheap, that some fat fool can climb into and sit down on the wrong side without it falling over.'

Unsurprisingly the designer has done just that. I know some very good designers who've had such briefs from Topper and Laser. When asked how they can produce such shitters they reply they shut their eyes and bank the cheque.

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24 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

that some fat fool can climb into and sit down on the wrong side without it falling over.'

That's a bit harsh, I assume you aren't the above.

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1 hour ago, Schnappi said:

RS400

image.thumb.png.a46248d47fa7d30bb82e83c4b337668e.png

 

This really is a boat that should have got a foot in in the US market. Based on a Merlin Rocket is initially feels a bit twitchy but as soon as it heels a bit it gains a heap of stability. It also has a high optimum crew weight, is very responsive and when you get the kite up it  has the ability to get up and go.

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6 hours ago, Major Tom said:

This really is a boat that should have got a foot in in the US market. Based on a Merlin Rocket is initially feels a bit twitchy but as soon as it heels a bit it gains a heap of stability. It also has a high optimum crew weight, is very responsive and when you get the kite up it  has the ability to get up and go.

Agreed. My wife and I sailed an RS400 on a visit to England and it is probably the best boat for us even now.

We raced a Johnson 18 for a while, that is a very nice 2-hander but it's a heavy boat. Skiff guys joke about the RS400 being a tank and a half but they never tried to handle a corn-fed midwestern built boat.

FB- Doug

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8 hours ago, Major Tom said:

This really is a boat that should have got a foot in in the US market. Based on a Merlin Rocket is initially feels a bit twitchy but as soon as it heels a bit it gains a heap of stability. It also has a high optimum crew weight, is very responsive and when you get the kite up it  has the ability to get up and go.

RS never seemed to really dig into the NA market. I remember one of the FIreball guys in our club coming back from a UK trip raving about the 400 when they were first launched. Are there any at all in NA?

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The 200's not a bad little boat either. Much smaller kite relative to the 400 and a bit less grunt. Suitable to sail with a kid or smaller partner/wife. Have some very competitive big fleet racing in the UK, and a good party.

If you're a good old all American corn fed boy you'll want the 400, cos you'll sink the 200...

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8 hours ago, Bill5 said:

RS never seemed to really dig into the NA market. I remember one of the FIreball guys in our club coming back from a UK trip raving about the 400 when they were first launched. Are there any at all in NA?

RS Sailing have made a lot of progress in the last few years in establishing a presence in the NA market. They now have a much stronger dealer presence, with well-known regional distributors like KO Sailing, West Coast Sailing and Zim Sailing, and they have good sales of such boats as the RS Aero to individuals, and the RS Quest and RS Zest to sailing programs. The RS21 has also been doing well lately. Maybe it's time for some of the more established dinghy classes like the 200 and 400 to take off in NA?

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2 hours ago, tillerman said:

RS Sailing have made a lot of progress in the last few years in establishing a presence in the NA market. They now have a much stronger dealer presence, with well-known regional distributors like KO Sailing, West Coast Sailing and Zim Sailing, and they have good sales of such boats as the RS Aero to individuals, and the RS Quest and RS Zest to sailing programs. The RS21 has also been doing well lately. Maybe it's time for some of the more established dinghy classes like the 200 and 400 to take off in NA?

It almost makes sense for someone to load a container of used boats from the UK and ship it over to the US, Apolloduck.co.uk will give you a good idea of what is currently available, number of available boats seems to be a bit lower than normal, probably due to lockdown. If a bunch of people at a club made a decision to start a new class it could work, and I am sure that the current dealers would then be able to bring in new boats and spares. For those of you that have never sailed in the UK, you don’t know what you are missing out in, there is a huge number if classes, far too many actually, but among all that variety there a a few gems, and the RS400 is definitely one of them.

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