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I was informed yesterday that the proposed Rocket 44 has become the Rocket 48. Plugs are being made next week by an 8 axis robot and length has been increased from 4.4 meters (14' 4") feet) to 4.8 meters (15'6"). Hopefully production boats won't be too far off now. 

This additional length is good news and worth the delay as far as I'm concerned.

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47 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

I was informed yesterday that the proposed Rocket 44 has become the Rocket 48. Plugs are being made next week by an 8 axis robot and length has been increased from 4.4 meters (14' 4") feet) to 4.8 meters (15'6"). Hopefully production boats won't be too far off now. 

This additional length is good news and worth the delay as far as I'm concerned.

Old news. 
I understand there are also plans to get the rocker right as well. 
Still a very difficult market to crack at a price point to sell at a commercially viable volume. 

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I agree, but with the new length and IF the final price can get in at the proposed $20K U.S., they may well hit the sweet spot that so many others haven't and can't get their heads around.

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No single boat is going to be for everyone. But if you look at the boats that have sold in the hundreds, even thousands and tens of thousands, they all have a few things in common…

They’re all under 18 feet in length. They’re easy to trailer and tow, even with small vehicles and  can be easily rigged and sailed by one person, yet still perform well with two on board. And they all represent great value for the money. Hobie did it really well with several beach cats. Weta is doing pretty good at it right now.

Rocket has the right idea - a performance daysailer/racer at a size that is practical, easy to trailer, tow and rig. The only piece of the puzzle left is price. I think they’ll have a hard time bringing it in at $20K U.S. But we’ll see. If they can get even close to that price point, I think they’ll  have a winner.

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1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

No single boat is going to be for everyone. But if you look at the boats that have sold in the hundreds, even thousands and tens of thousands, they all have a few things in common…

They’re all under 18 feet in length. They’re easy to trailer and tow, even with small vehicles and  can be easily rigged and sailed by one person, yet still perform well with two on board. And they all represent great value for the money. Hobie did it really well with several beach cats. Weta is doing pretty good at it right now.

Rocket has the right idea - a performance daysailer/racer at a size that is practical, easy to trailer, tow and rig. The only piece of the puzzle left is price. I think they’ll have a hard time bringing it in at $20K U.S. But we’ll see. If they can get even close to that price point, I think they’ll  have a winner.

You have a good point.

In my case I recently put a down on an uncommonly capable 17' daggerboad dinghy.

The same $30,000 (quality trailer included) could buy a well kept and equipped 30 foot sailboat. 

The ability to take it to the San Juans, Yellowstone Lake, Lake Pend Oreille, Coos Bay the Columbia River, good crabbing spots etc. etc. in a day's drive. No slip fees, it will live in my shop. No toxic bottom paint, extreme minimal maintenance etc. etc.

The builder is a year out on his high quality small boats. The market has spoken.

  

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3 hours ago, eastern motors said:

Looks way way better than a Weta for ~$2k more.

The Wettas hit a sweet spot of market niche rather than price point. It has always been comparatively expensive when compared to other dinghys and even the ubiquitous Hobie 16. The sweet spot was for old blokes who have finally got past the other expenses of life and wanted to revisit or enhance their nostalgia for sailing. They are a two speed marketing proposition. Good social sailing boat that has attracted a crowd and compromised racing boat that succeeds not by being a technically sophisticated racer but by now having ease of use and weight of numbers. 
That niche is now largely filled by the Wettas and the Rocket will IMHO have trouble muscling in there. It is trying to up the ante on sophistication and racing performance and will inevitably be 20%-25% more expensive. Whether the nostalgic old blokes will gather for that party remains to be seen. I’ll certainly be tempted but will the crowd move over from the Wet one or keep coming out of the bushes?

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Because the Rocket will likely be a better two-up boat, I think you may see buyers who currently aren't buying Wetas. As far as people moving over from the Weta, the Weta has established one-design racing fleets that are growing by the year, which the Rocket won't have for several years, if even then. So if one-design racing is the idea, I don't think those folks will move over.

In the meantime, Rocket is building something that does not currently exist. I think they'll do well. We'll see what happens. Just happy to see them moving on this project again.

 

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24 minutes ago, WetnWild said:

The Wettas hit a sweet spot of market niche rather than price point. It has always been comparatively expensive when compared to other dinghys and even the ubiquitous Hobie 16. The sweet spot was for old blokes who have finally got past the other expenses of life and wanted to revisit or enhance their nostalgia for sailing. They are a two speed marketing proposition. Good social sailing boat that has attracted a crowd and compromised racing boat that succeeds not by being a technically sophisticated racer but by now having ease of use and weight of numbers. 
That niche is now largely filled by the Wettas and the Rocket will IMHO have trouble muscling in there. It is trying to up the ante on sophistication and racing performance and will inevitably be 20%-25% more expensive. Whether the nostalgic old blokes will gather for that party remains to be seen. I’ll certainly be tempted but will the crowd move over from the Wet one or keep coming out of the bushes?

The full length amas that can support the whole boat will make the Rocket much faster and able to carry higher payloads (2 people).  The sail area appears significantly greater.  All carbon.  Has a traveler.  Two rudders.  Can fly main hull.  If the Rocket is really under $20k, nobody is going to buy a Weta unless they want to race one design.

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7 minutes ago, eastern motors said:

The full length amas that can support the whole boat will make the Rocket much faster and able to carry higher payloads (2 people).  The sail area appears significantly greater.  All carbon.  Has a traveler.  Two rudders.  Can fly main hull.  If the Rocket is really under $20k, nobody is going to buy a Weta unless they want to race one design.

Agree. 
The two big questions are - will people pay a significantly higher price for the extra performance and can the builders quickly replicate the worldwide sales and support network to compete with the Wettas. 
And another thought - the racing market is diminishing around the world and the Rocket is moving the Wettas concept more towards racing. Is that a smart marketing move or doomed to failure like so many other good designs in the past.

I hope both designs succeed.

 

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All we can do is speculate and you know what that's worth... The Weta is a better and more capable boat than most of its owners will ever know - most never really push it. The Rocket is yet again a step higher in performance. Room for both in the marketplace? We'll see. For the Rocket, the main thing now is going to be the price point. If they bring it in at $20K I congratulate them. If they have to push out to $25K, I'll still buy one (and a couple others locally will too) but will enough others fork over the extra cash to make the project viable?

There are other specifics that Rocket has not publicly addressed - how will will the amas mount and dismount? Folding or push-in like the Weta? Is the deployable mast air-bag for righting going to be pursued? Will the rudder system be a proprietary design or sourced from a readily available type already in use on another boat? These are the little things that can quickly ramp up the price. Who knows...

In the meantime, take my money. I want one.

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I think the direct competition is now the Astus 16, not the Weta? Would compete with the Weta as much as the Astus does. Tom, what do you think? You are the resident expert on this

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The VPLP hull design on the Astus is cutting edge. It's the baby brother of the Diam 24 - study the photos of both you will see they are pretty much the same boat but in different lengths. But in other ways, it's not. The cuddy, in my opinion, is of little worth and only adds weight. The straight pull akas are a great way to provide portability at low cost, but they also have a performance downside. And, the Astus is a bit complicated/time consuming to rig. As far as comparing the Astus 16.5 to the Weta - you can't do it fairly. A single Astus 16.5 would tow an entire fleet of Weta's anywhere it wanted to go and never know they were back there. It's a much, much much more powerful boat. It's not a two person Weta... it's a four person Weta. I don't think they're in competition with each other.

The Rocket 48 is yet an unknown entity. If they combine the ease of rigging, beach launching and trailering of the Weta with even 2/3rds the performance of the Astus, they'll have something that doesn't currently exist and something that just might hit the absolute sweet spot for these type boats. The potential for this boat is huge.

 

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Tom has nailed it. It’s about ease of rigging launching and trailer in this segment of the market. The Wettas has proven cost isn’t such a factor and it’s yet to be seen whether ramping up performance will pull buyers to a significantly higher cost boat. I would add a worldwide distribution and support network is also crucial. You can find the Wettas in boat parks in many parts of the world whereas Astus even though apparently a good boat is rarely seen. 

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3 hours ago, WetnWild said:

Tom has nailed it. It’s about ease of rigging launching and trailer in this segment of the market. The Wettas has proven cost isn’t such a factor and it’s yet to be seen whether ramping up performance will pull buyers to a significantly higher cost boat. I would add a worldwide distribution and support network is also crucial. You can find the Wettas in boat parks in many parts of the world whereas Astus even though apparently a good boat is rarely seen. 

Why have you repeatedly called the Rocket "a significantly higher cost boat".  Is a Weta not $17.5k?  If the Rocket is $20k, then it is not "significantly higher cost".  Am I missing something?

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3 hours ago, eastern motors said:

Why have you repeatedly called the Rocket "a significantly higher cost boat".  Is a Weta not $17.5k?  If the Rocket is $20k, then it is not "significantly higher cost".  Am I missing something?

I think you are missing a lot. 
The original planning for the Rocket44 had an aspirational cost of $20kUSD. No boat has ever been produced for the market and sold at that price. The incomplete prototype has been scrapped and the 44 design project abandoned. You can be sure that the project so far has consumed considerable development costs which will need to be recouped from the new 48 project. These cost are being incurred in a high labour cost country. The 48 project is no doubt incurring it’s own development costs. The cost difference to the Wettas has to be wide as the Rocket is a much more sophisticated design/build. The general design information so far has full carbon hulls and rig and twin rudders with canting rig. It’s a bigger boat with bigger sail plan. All indicating higher cost. 
The Wettas is a simpler build done in a low labour cost country and with development costs already amortised over about 1200 boats. In the current real world they cost the equivalent of $20kUSD with all the gear to get to the beach and race. 
As much as I would like them to be that price the Rocket 48 simply has to be at least 30% more ready to go and keeping the builders and distributors  profitable. I hope I’m wrong but maths and objectivity suggest otherwise. 
I don’t think such a cost would be unreasonable and still good value if the boat ever gets to market. 

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18 minutes ago, plywoodboy said:

Shhhhhhh...

rocket.JPG

Thanks Wetply. Can you drop one of those over to my place tomorrow? I’ll leave the $20 large in the letterbox. I won’t tell anyone. 

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13 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

The VPLP hull design on the Astus is cutting edge. It's the baby brother of the Diam 24 - study the photos of both you will see they are pretty much the same boat but in different lengths. But in other ways, it's not. The cuddy, in my opinion, is of little worth and only adds weight. The straight pull akas are a great way to provide portability at low cost, but they also have a performance downside. And, the Astus is a bit complicated/time consuming to rig. As far as comparing the Astus 16.5 to the Weta - you can't do it fairly. A single Astus 16.5 would tow an entire fleet of Weta's anywhere it wanted to go and never know they were back there. It's a much, much much more powerful boat. It's not a two person Weta... it's a four person Weta. I don't think they're in competition with each other.

The Rocket 48 is yet an unknown entity. If they combine the ease of rigging, beach launching and trailering of the Weta with even 2/3rds the performance of the Astus, they'll have something that doesn't currently exist and something that just might hit the absolute sweet spot for these type boats. The potential for this boat is huge.

 

I loved the 44 concept, because for me, solo rig, launch and sail is a MUST. At 16ft all carbon, this should not be lost weight wise, but I wonder if it won't be too powerful for 3 sail handling, solo in 20kt winds. Another question mark is if it will be possible to right it solo. 

I am so looking forward to Tom "new tri tester" Kirkman reports

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The advantage of the new 15'6" length over the planned 14'4" length will be speed and better rough water handling. If the team at Rocket is creative with a nice beach dolly of some sort, I think any loss of single handed launching will be minimal. As far as 3 sail handling when just 1-up, I can already do it on the larger Astus so I don't see any issues with this length, and since it will feature a traveler (which the Weta doesn't) it will have more options to depower than the Weta in very strong winds. I think these guys are just about on the money now.

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I watch the History channel once in a while.  One of the things that struck me recently was a description of innovation as something that someone makes and then everyone discovers that they need it.  Don't think the Rocket is an innovation in that sense.  Weta, though, was/is.  Its price point is about where the Model T was a century ago.  Within reach of anyone who wants it.  Does most things anyone would want a boat to do.  

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Selling price is obviously a major factor. The higher the price the smaller the potential market for the boat will be. If the boat offers an additional level of performance and the price runs up towards $25K I don’t think it’s going to change things enough to doom its success. If it runs up to $30K, however, then I think it’ll be a tough slog.

Having dealers that are willing to bring in a container of several boats is important. A dealer that can break the shipping cost down among several boats in the same container is an absolute plus. This is where Weta’s dealer network really helps them on final price.

BTW - I think the total price of a basic, complete Weta, with dolly and road trailer, is about $18K U.S. now. The problem right now is that many Weta dealers aren't bringing in the basic boat model - they're ordering the foam core models with twin tillers, self tacking jibs and who knows what else. I heard from a local buyer recently that the best he can do on a new Weta is about $22K to $23K. That's almost twice what I paid for mine in 2012.

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On 7/18/2021 at 5:42 AM, plywoodboy said:

Shhhhhhh...

rocket.JPG

If this is illustrative of the Rocket 48, I wonder why the forward aka is not moved back just a tad so that the mast base can set upon it. Would be neater, but maybe interfere with whatever assembly sequence they intend for the boat. No bowsprit - so maybe enough forward hull length to still carry a headsail that doesn't require any additional distance? Any headsail needs to be as full as possible for the deepest possible sailing but flat enough to allow  furling with a bottom-up continuous furler while tight enough to allow it to be left up when not in use. This will facilitate one-up sailing.

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8 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

If this is illustrative of the Rocket 48, I wonder why the forward aka is not moved back just a tad so that the mast base can set upon it. Would be neater, but maybe interfere with whatever assembly sequence they intend for the boat. No bowsprit - so maybe enough forward hull length to still carry a headsail that doesn't require any additional distance? Any headsail needs to be as full as possible for the deepest possible sailing but flat enough to allow  furling with a bottom-up continuous furler while tight enough to allow it to be left up when not in use. This will facilitate one-up sailing.

Maybe because it would give it wobbly bows like the Pulse. 

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The attachment point to the amas could remain the same, just more angle back to the main hull. I suspect it has something to do with the way the boat is going to go together and come apart. For any quick-rig trimaran, the ama to aka to main hull system is always a bit tricky, at least if you want to keep things simple.

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This boat didn't make it for a variety of reasons, but many of it's design concepts, particularly in terms of aka attachment and the hiking rail between the akas were quite good. Their video shows the assembly process.

 

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1 hour ago, mundt said:

Am i wrong or is that Ninja a somewhat better Weta?

Lots of "put it together" steps for the Ninja.  Weta a bit simpler assembly.  But at least there are videos of a Ninja sailing whereas I haven't seen any Rockets on the water in  video (if anyone has seen one, please post) ... and their website goes back to 2014.   Seems a lot of diddlin and not much buildin for 7 years and counting. 

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4 hours ago, mundt said:

Am i wrong or is that Ninja a somewhat better Weta?

It didn't offer the same performance as the Weta. Very low volume hulls, smaller sail area, somewhat outdated hull design. Apparently not enough capital to get the product into gear. Three boats, the molds, jigs and building rights were sold to an individual about 3 years ago. No word since then.

Besides.... the boat alone doesn't guarantee success. Takes a good product backed by strong manufacturer support and a good dealer network. The Weta comes with a very extensive and well written owner's manual and their company website has an "owner's locker" filled to the brim with tips and tricks on how to get the most out of it. Hobie has been this way for many years, although probably not as much now as they once were. Conversely, my Astus came with a bill of sale. That was all. 

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  • 1 month later...

I've looked and have not found a single rocket tri sailing video.  I think the earliest advo started in 2013.   I know Grainger actually builds a boat or two but no Rockets.   Just sayin' ...

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20 hours ago, HILLY said:

Nice looking boat, but the displacment can't be right....

603712215_Rocket4.8.thumb.JPG.4e976231bbcf7fca497dc5547e20d04d.JPG

The displacement number is a misprint. Try to hang on a little longer. More information is coming.

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8 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

The displacement number is a misprint. Try to hang on a little longer. More information is coming.

Well, if the floats displace 205kg and they are 200% buoyancy, then...

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That's the way my ASW24 connects, but in the instance of the Rocket I am told there would be alignment issues so they have gone with a bungee style retainment system. 

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3 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

That's the way my ASW24 connects, but in the instance of the Rocket I am told there would be alignment issues so they have gone with a bungee style retainment system. 

I like your toys, Tom!

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  • 1 month later...

Any updates here? 

Looks pretty cool, although I have no idea why you'd design the cockpit with edges like that.  Just oversimplified early renderings?

image.jpg

Doesn't seem to have the nice deck shape to the amas that makes it more comfortable to sit out there that someone (probably Tom K.) mentioned about the Astus 16.5 a while back.

Those must be some seriously light floats and beams for the plug and play mounting to work.  Impressive.  Done well, should be light and strong.

Where do you stick "stuff" on a boat like this?

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You won't sit directly on the floats/amas. There is a rail spanning the beams/akas that you can sit-hike from. The tramps will remain in place all the time, much like they do on the Weta. The cockpit will be a bit wider and the centerboard case will be within the cockpit now.

As far as where to "sticks things" on a boat like this, you need to remember that this boat is aimed at the recreational day-sailor, performance and racing market. It is not a cruising boat, although there is no reason you could not use it for a variety of other sailing ventures. Typically, you could toss a dry-bag in the cockpit to carry water, snacks, sun screen etc, but it's not specifically aimed at camping, fishing, etc. Think of it as a somewhat larger, faster Weta that has been designed for similar ease of rigging and price. And, like a Hobie 16, it can easily be sailed by one but go two-up without any undo reduction in performance.

The boat is nearing the final design stage. I am in contact with the principles daily. Vendors to build the hulls and supply the rigs have been arranged. Progress is ongoing and carefully so.

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Thanks for the explanations, Tom.  I'd missed the rails.  Should help keep the tramps up/out of the water, reducing spray and maybe going a smidge faster.  Not fiddling with tramp tension sounds time-saving as well.

The daggerboard inside the cockpit is a very positive change.  Might be cool to see the stern open up more as well, with more of a compression post going across.  Or maybe the beam mounting sticks in that far?

Hmmm, looking closer... ama rudders... is this supposed to fly a hull?  No traveler, or is that an option?  Outboard only rudders plus a traveler would seem to be a happy combination.

I think I understand the primary target market/use case scenarios reasonably well.  At the same time it wouldn't make much sense to unnecessarily limit a wider range of use activity to broaden the market appeal, unless of course the primary goals were compromised in the process.  Things like the more open cockpit allow some extra stuff to be more easily tossed in if desired, but without slowing the boat down or (hopefully) impacting its cost footprint the rest of the time.

What I miss the most on boats this size is the ability to have a decent backrest when I'm just chilling out, light air days, etc.

This looks like it'll be a great ride!  I'm sure it's profiting significantly from your involvement.

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The Rocket 480 will feature twin rudders, one per ama. It will fly the center hull. The steep rocker on the main hull will help it rise gradually but quickly. A traveler is likely but it will be of a shorter width. Overall the boat is a very modern design.

It is impossible to build a boat that will appeal to all sailors and for all uses. At some point you end up with a boat that offers everything but is not particularly good at anything. So you do have to target a specific market. I think you'll find the Rocket cockpit will have room for you to toss in some stuff, but if you want an over-nighter type of boat you'd be better off with an 18 to 20+ footer.

In my opinion, the two boats that could have ruled this market are the Astus 16.5 and SeaRail 19. But they didn't focus on the market that offers the most potential sales. The Astus 16.5 didn't need a cuddy cabin. It added unnecessary weight and the people that want what a cuddy offers are buying the Astus 20.5, which is selling in excellent numbers. If SeaRail had built their boat in a 15 to 16 foot length, they'd own the mid-size multi-hull market. As it is, it's just too big. If you want to argue the point, tell me why so few have been sold. It's an extremely nice and well made boat. But as far as I know, it hasn't sold in good numbers. Why not?

If you want to sell boats you need to emulate what the most successful boats offered. For the intended market, the Hobie 16 succeeded beyond all measure because it offered great performance in a size that one person could easily rig and sail, but carry two people at no disadvantage, and could be trailered and stored in your driveway. And... it was affordable. The Weta emulated the H16 in many ways, just in a smaller package. That's the idea behind the Rocket 480 - stellar performance, small enough to be rigged and sailed one-up, but can easily go two-up with speed and power to spare. Easy to rig, trailer and store. And sell for a price that the intended market can afford.

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Thanks for the data Tom, glad the project is progressing. You are correct in addressing the challenge for such a boat - the exact target.

It won't do everything just like my love affair Weta doesn't do everything, so it will be interesting to see what target is achieved. I saw the plug for the Rocket 44 in the shed where my F9r was being painted, and it is a good thing they cut it adrift. Imho designing and building market-targeted boats this size is many times harder than big boats and the 44 had a main hull rocker line that was shocking. The extra length of the 48 just looks good. 

I think rigging and sailing this boat solo will need a very agile athlete. It will capsize fairly easily and hopefully the planned self righting system delivers. In any case, the price will determine the success of the boat, can't wait! 

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14 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

It is impossible to build a boat that will appeal to all sailors and for all uses. At some point you end up with a boat that offers everything but is not particularly good at anything. So you do have to target a specific market. I think you'll find the Rocket cockpit will have room for you to toss in some stuff, but if you want an over-nighter type of boat you'd be better off with an 18 to 20+ footer.

I don't recall having suggested that the Rocket 48 also accommodate four fast food lovers while being a great carp fishing platform that you can foil up onto a rocky beach. After decades in product development I'm pretty aware of what it takes.  What's Rocket's market positioning statement for this exciting looking product?

I'd always thought the Astus's "cuddy" was just providing better access to some dry storage, as done in many other successful small boats.  How much weight would you say it added?  Given the "tow a fleet of Wetas" level of power you've described I wouldn't have guessed that the few pounds/kilos associated with that storage convenience would have been the deciding factor for why more people aren't buying the 16.5.

Anyway, back to the 48.  Being able to sail well both one and two up (or an adult plus a couple of kids) sounds like very smart call.  My vote is for the traveler, at least as an option you can purchase.

How does that self-righting system work?

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15 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

In my opinion, the two boats that could have ruled this market are the Astus 16.5 and SeaRail 19. But they didn't focus on the market that offers the most potential sales. The Astus 16.5 didn't need a cuddy cabin. It added unnecessary weight and the people that want what ahe cuddy offers are buying the Astus 20.5, which is selling in excellent numbers. If SeaRail had built their boat in a 15 to 16 foot length, they'd own the mid-size multi-hull market. As it is, it's just too big. If you want to argue the point, tell me why so few have been sold. It's an extremely nice and well made boat. But as far as I know, it hasn't sold in good numbers. Why not?

Short answer is no infrastructure.  The composites guys (Triac composites in HoChiMinh city) built the hulls and for them, it was a very low profit item--to get around to whenever there was time-which didn't happen often.  Built in lots of five then shipped via container and rail (hence searail) to Illinois where the company owner assembled each one.  I don't think the SeaRail owner ever wanted anything more than a hobby business or he wouldn't have relied on Triac for making the hulls.   Something you should consider since Rocket may have this same issue-nobody wants to build small boats in fiberglass, there's more money in big boats or other fiberglass work.  

Personally, 19 feet is an OK length.  Dry ride.  I can keep up with 27 foot Corsairs (same race rating) and it is a lot easier to sail single handed and easy enough for an old guy to setup and take down.  Safe for littleones with no boom and easy to sail upwind with self tacking jib.  Cabin is really a sail locker and a place to stuff stuff while sailing.  Nice to have a designer with a real name (Nigel Irens).   

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Please understand that I wasn't specifically refering to you in the comments about fishing, camping, etc., just pointing out to all that this particular boat is not intended to be an "all-rounder" type of multi-hull. It is intended to be a performance day sailor/racer. A boat to blast around on, take apart and trailer home at the end of the day. A bigger, faster Weta or Hobie 16 with more righting moment. What do most people use the Weta for? Same thing with the Rocket, but do it faster and with two people, if you wish.

To a large extent, weight is really more about ground/beach handling than sailing. Weta even began offering foam core hulls a couple or three years back to shave 25 pounds off the boat - not really to improve performance, but to make handing on land easier. It's something many owners were asking for. The Astus 16.5 comes with a beach dolly. If you plan to use it you better have two strong people to move it around. I ditched mine and just launch from the trailer.

The Rocket will likely have a traveler. I'm certainly in favor of it.

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9 minutes ago, MultiThom said:

Short answer is no infrastructure.  The composites guys (Triac composites in HoChiMinh city) built the hulls and for them, it was a very low profit item--to get around to whenever there was time-which didn't happen often.  Built in lots of five then shipped via container and rail (hence searail) to Illinois where the company owner assembled each one.  I don't think the SeaRail owner ever wanted anything more than a hobby business or he wouldn't have relied on Triac for making the hulls.   Something you should consider since Rocket may have this same issue-nobody wants to build small boats in fiberglass, there's more money in big boats or other fiberglass work.  

Personally, 19 feet is an OK length.  Dry ride.  I can keep up with 27 foot Corsairs (same race rating) and it is a lot easier to sail single handed and easy enough for an old guy to setup and take down.  Safe for littleones with no boom and easy to sail upwind with self tacking jib.  Cabin is really a sail locker and a place to stuff stuff while sailing.  Nice to have a designer with a real name (Nigel Irens).   

A hull builder for the Rocket has been decided upon and contractual matters are underway.  The Rocket also has a designer with a real name - Tony Grainger.

Beyond this I'm not going to say too much more about it. A few things remain to be worked out but everything is coming together. Rather than continue to speculate, just hang on a bit longer and you'll see what you will see.

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25 minutes ago, dayneger said:

 the deciding factor for why more people aren't buying the 16.5.

Tom gave them a bad name with his experiences with the 16.5.  Who wants a boat that #Tom Kirkman gives a thumbs down to?  

Since Rocket has yet to produce anything that floats (at least I've seen nothing on video), I'd not hold my breath waiting for one.  There are a couple SeaRails available to buy if you are currently in the market.  PM me and I'll put you in contact with Phil Medley who makes the SeaRails.

 

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Anyone in the market for a boat like the Searail or Corsair Pulse should indeed go ahead and buy one. Don't wait on the Rocket - it won't be for you. Different design concept, aimed at a different market.

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On 10/2/2021 at 9:26 AM, Tom Kirkman said:

To a large extent, weight is really more about ground/beach handling than sailing. Weta even began offering foam core hulls a couple or three years back to shave 25 pounds off the boat - not really to improve performance, but to make handing on land easier. It's something many owners were asking for. The Astus 16.5 comes with a beach dolly. If you plan to use it you better have two strong people to move it around. I ditched mine and just launch from the trailer.

Interesting point about the on-shore handling.  I used to have a Hobie 18, which in theory weighed a few pounds less than the Astus.  I didn't consider that a 1-person deal for retrieval... or at least, certainly not by choice.  2 people (men in our 20's) with beach wheels was ok if the slope wasn't too steep.  Launching/retrieving through pretty good surf definitely generated some serious pucker moments, especially if a surprisingly big wave showed up between wave sets. 

I'll be curious to see what the 48 weighs and how delicate/robust it is.  Also how wet it is.

 

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