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Has anyone noticed the a lot of the boats made by RS are very similar to other boats? the areo is like a laser, a rs 100 is like a musto skiff, rs 400 is like an international 14, etc... It seems like they boats are very similar to older classes.

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3 minutes ago, clownsailor said:

Has anyone noticed the a lot of the boats made by RS are very similar to other boats? the areo is like a laser, a rs 100 is like a musto skiff, rs 400 is like an international 14, etc... It seems like they boats are very similar to older classes.

Or they see "categories" for dinghies to fill.

Aero = Laser = Singlehanded, low-tuning, high tactics hiking singlehander

Tera = Topper = Youth Singlehanded Training/Racing

Feva = c420 = Youth doublehanded optional-spinnaker Training/Racing

RS700 = Musto Skiff = Singlehanded Skiff

RS800 = 49er = Adult twin-wire skiff

 

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The 100 is not like a Musto (though the 700 is) and the 400 is nothing like an i14 (though the 800 is if you squint hard enough).  The  Aero isn’t even like the Laser except it is a singlehanded boat.  
Would you say a Tasar is like a Snipe, or a Hobie is like a Tornado?

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RS200 like a National 12, RS400 like a Merlin, RS300 like a moth, RS100 like a Devoti D1, RS600 like a Contender.  RS700 like a Musto Skiff, RS Elite like an X boat, RS21 like an SB3. 

Flattery is the sincerest compliment.

How many of the above are still offering better racing than the earlier classes?  How many are dead classes, stealing dinghy park space?

 

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I think the RS200 has proven pretty devastating to the National 12 and the Lark, pitched at a similar demographic Boy/Girl, Husband/Wife, Parent/Child, less weight sensitive, good residuals, accessible, interesting … probably same could be said for RS400 vs Enterprise, GP, Albacore and to some extent the Merlin Rocket.  I don’t think RS pitch against a particular boat, more a segment of the market

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14 hours ago, clownsailor said:

Has anyone noticed the a lot of the boats made by RS are very similar to other boats? the areo is like a laser, a rs 100 is like a musto skiff, rs 400 is like an international 14, etc... It seems like they boats are very similar to older classes.

Absolute rubbish. I've sailed Lasers, I own an Aero, they are not particularly similar.

I've sailed at RS100 and it is not like a Musto Skiff. I haven't sailed the latter because I know perfectly well I am not athletic enough to do so.

RS400 is sod-all like an International 14. If it resembles anything, it is a Merlin Rocket which is unsurprising as the designer was well known in that class.

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15 hours ago, clownsailor said:

Has anyone noticed the a lot of the boats made by RS are very similar to other boats? the areo is like a laser, a rs 100 is like a musto skiff, rs 400 is like an international 14, etc... It seems like they boats are very similar to older classes.

'RS400 is like an International 14' :D

Thanks for making me larf this morning. I needed it

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All boats are similar to  all boats.. They float.. or should do..

 The problem today is certain areas of the market are getting saturated with boats aiming at the same market. 

When the Laser came out it found a hole in the market with very little competition, now it seems every other week someone brings out a boat aiming for the same ex hole 14ft +- 1 ft.. occasionally planing, fibreglass single hander..

The ease of mass production has encouraged people to bring out the "Next Big Thing" in sailing, but there hasn't been anything revolutionary in some time. All it's doing is dividing the market with similar styles of boats.. RS / Topper / Performance Sailcraft are / were major culprits at this..

 

Oh I forgot the little flying cat, the UFO which does seem to be original, but whether it takes off  internationally will be interesting.. It's not suitable for many UK clubs with their restricted waters.. Their follow up the Rocket, isn't that original..

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Odd choice of examples. Probably a valid point, but misses what it is that the original RS classes were selling. 

The original RS boats (400, 200) their radical USP point wasn't some revolution in the type of sailing, but to eliminate hull, sail and systems choices as an area of competition in return for slightly cheaper costs. This appeals to people who:

  • don't have the time to invest in selecting equipment,
  • don't have money to invest in equipment,
  • can't make equipment which is competitive with professional builders ,
  • just aren't interesting in equipment, they just want to race. 

Still for many sailors selecting the correct mast, sail, and hull combo, and working with builders and sail makers and inputting to design is still a huge part of sailing. The RS (SMOD) model isn't likely going to be for them. 

Having said, the early RS boats often did have distinguishing features. The most obvious differences here in the sailing were the asymmetric kites. Probably put on as a nod toward the 'skiff' trend, however, perhaps accidently added a really nice dimension to championship windward leeward course racing (the same with lots of sportsboats). These tiny kites vastly increase the average speed on the downwinds (=more fun), but don't actually drastically reduce the amount of time spent on downwind legs (= no additional time spent hiking upwind). It does kind of make them frustrating to race on constricted waters in handicap fleets though!

The 300 stands alone, but is fairly niche. 

Then they had the junior classes, all of which are quite different in construction and set up to existing mirror / cadet / opi. Tera rig is similar to the topper but the topper is a scow and just a bigger boat generally for larger sailors. I'm not sure about the open Bic / tera design timeline, they're probably the most similar. 

Vareo... hard to pin that as a copy. Really a mark1 rs100. 

RS500 maybe like a Laser 3000 / 4000.

RS800 is somewhere in the Cherub / Int14 / 49er region. Hull more like a 49er, ideal weight more like a cherub. Probably most dissimilar to the 14. But it's also got 100% weight and leverage equalisation. A fractional kite with low sheet loads and decent helm sheeting options which make it very friendly for mixed sex or parent child teams (obviously it's still a tricky boat). 

RS700 is very very like the Musto Skiff.

RS100 like the D1, but to be fair they were both developed similar time and RS had already been in that market area with the vareo. 

I think the aero, although going for a similar demographic to the laser (ICLA?) but after 50 years there's plenty different in systems, construction and hull form. 

Clearly they target existing niches. But I think each time they've brought something new the area to be worth while. 

 

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3 hours ago, The Q said:

Oh I forgot the little flying cat, the UFO which does seem to be original, but whether it takes off  internationally will be interesting.. 

They don't seem very interested in that. Which is fine, they don't have to be. 

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38 minutes ago, Martin T said:

The designer of the RS300, Clive Everest, was inspired to produce a one design version of the International Moth that he also did some designs of. So yeah a copy of sorts.

Hmmm. Yes he was a Mothist but the RS300 would not measure as an Int Moth and it doesn't look very much like an Int Moth. A good review here https://www.boats.com/reviews/a-single-hander-of-sophistication/ which doesn't mention the M-word. It doesn't, in any case, feature on the RS Greatest Hits album.

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The RS300 - a lovely boat, but not for the ham handed, is quite similar in concept to the Moths of about ten years before where they were when the 300 came out. Clive's own Moths were far more radical than the 300. 
The RS700 and the Musto Skiff both came out at much the same time, and as a response to an ISAF specification. The RS700 hull is based on an RS800 prototype, and the Asymmetric fitted Int Canoe was a much greater influence on the RS700 than the Musto Skiff.
The low powered RS asymettric singlehanders arguably owe more to the Cherub than the Musto.

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2 hours ago, JimC said:

The RS700 and the Musto Skiff both came out at much the same time, and as a response to an ISAF specification. The RS700 hull is based on an RS800 prototype, and the Asymmetric fitted Int Canoe was a much greater influence on the RS700 than the Musto Skiff.

I think the 600 went to those trials with a kite fitted. The 600 hull is quite different to the 700. So the musto was definitely 2 years ahead in design, although not sure exactly when production boats rolled out.

What's the link between the 7pp and Asymmetric Canoe? I think it was a direct response to the musto Skiff plus building on the early success of the 800, which they then cut up a prototype of?

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16 hours ago, Mozzy Sails said:

The original RS boats (400, 200) their radical USP point wasn't some revolution in the type of sailing, but to eliminate hull, sail and systems choices as an area of competition in return for slightly cheaper costs.

Slightly cheaper costs:lol: I can remember being in Spud Rowsell's workshop looking at the 400 plug under construction, chatting with Spud and Phil about the whole idea. Even at that time, they weren't building a lot of Merlin's because Jon Turner had left them and was doing his own thing. They commented they were pleased they weren't so heavily tied into Merlins any more because the 400 price was going to mean you could buy 3 boats for the price of a JT Merlin. Even if you considered what R&M were building Merlins for, the 400 was half price.

That was the whole point of a whole range of new boats that started with the ISO and 5000. The ISO sold for half the price of a new Fireball (and about 40% of a 505). The 5000 was about 60% of a 14. The 200 was about 60% of an N12. Even now, consider the RS800 vs the 49er or I14. They are a lot cheaper.

I think to say "slightly cheaper costs" is an understatement!

And it was a revolution. Up until the new generation of boats from Topper Int, Laser and RS came along, new boats usually fitted into their own niche in the market. Even the 5000 was really in it's own niche as it was aimed to be a new Olympic class. However, the ISO, which really was the first of the new generation, was specifically designed to compete against the Fireball and 505 with the intention of taking market share away. That was unheard of at the time and while it seems very obvious now, we were told that it was madness to take on those major international classes with a cheap one design. 

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7 hours ago, SimonN said:

That was the whole point of a whole range of new boats that started with the ISO and 5000. The ISO sold for half the price of a new Fireball (and about 40% of a 505). The 5000 was about 60% of a 14. The 200 was about 60% of an N12. Even now, consider the RS800 vs the 49er or I14. They are a lot cheaper.

I think to say "slightly cheaper costs" is an understatement!

And it was a revolution. Up until the new generation of boats from Topper Int, Laser and RS came along, new boats usually fitted into their own niche in the market. Even the 5000 was really in it's own niche as it was aimed to be a new Olympic class. However, the ISO, which really was the first of the new generation, was specifically designed to compete against the Fireball and 505 with the intention of taking market share away. That was unheard of at the time and while it seems very obvious now, we were told that it was madness to take on those major international classes with a cheap one design. 

I sailed an ISO back in 94-97, I think. Weren’t the ISO/Boss, laser 2000/4000, 49er then 29er and vanguard vector all built in response to a call for a new Olympic dinghy and a stepping stone class for younger crews? The ISO really took off in France, Italy, and the UK in part because of its price, but also because it was a really well designed, well build boat, and a pleasure to sail. 

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1 hour ago, bourdidn said:

I sailed an ISO back in 94-97, I think. Weren’t the ISO/Boss, laser 2000/4000, 49er then 29er and vanguard vector all built in response to a call for a new Olympic dinghy and a stepping stone class for younger crews? The ISO really took off in France, Italy, and the UK in part because of its price, but also because it was a really well designed, well build boat, and a pleasure to sail. 

ISO, well built? You're fucking joking. I worked for a Topper dealer in those days and did a lot of boat fixing. Those Sobstory sails were done in one breezy weekend.

The RS boats look like existing classes because RS approach some of the best designers in the niche they're targeting to design their boats.

Whatever you do or don't like about RS their marketing machine is unmatched in the sailing world.

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4 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

ISO, well built? You're fucking joking. I worked for a Topper dealer in those days and did a lot of boat fixing. Those Sobstory sails were done in one breezy weekend..

Nope not joking. After 4 intensive season my boat was like new, but we had gone through 3 jibs and 2 spinnakers. We were careful with the boat but sailed it really hard in heavy seas. In comparison, our 470 would have started to fatigue after the same schedule. Out of curiosity, what point of failure did you see on these boats? Did the build quality go down later? My sail number was 939. 
 

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Problem with JT Merlins and 14s was that they elevated prices to stratospheric levels and were faster than anything else in those classes, so you if you wanted to win you had to have one, and if you couldn’t afford one you left the field … or perhaps bought an RS/IS0/4000/5000.  Really only the RS classes have survived the test of time, the Laser and White Formula products are no doubt surrounded in nettles in dinghy parks up and down the country.

I suspect that the White Formula and Laser classes engineered out too much cost to achieve price points, be it sails or construction, whereas Martin and Nick were/are seriously good dinghy sailors at heart and were not prepared to compromise on what mattered. 

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1 hour ago, bourdidn said:

Nope not joking. After 4 intensive season my boat was like new, but we had gone through 3 jibs and 2 spinnakers. We were careful with the boat but sailed it really hard in heavy seas. In comparison, our 470 would have started to fatigue after the same schedule. Out of curiosity, what point of failure did you see on these boats? Did the build quality go down later? My sail number was 939. 
 

All sorts. Mostly cracking in high stress areas. Around the wing attachment on boats with wings, around the frame/shroud attachment, DB case, all down the gunnels on boats sailed without wings. We also had gel coat coming off in sheets on the floor area. Buzz wasn't so bad,I think the loads were just that bit lower and the people less elephantine.

I'm not sure about the numbers, it was earlier rather than later, but not the very first boats.

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11 hours ago, bourdidn said:

I sailed an ISO back in 94-97, I think. Weren’t the ISO/Boss, laser 2000/4000, 49er then 29er and vanguard vector all built in response to a call for a new Olympic dinghy.

I cannot talk for the 49er (JulianB will know) but the ISO/Boss and 4000 certainly weren't in response to the call for a new Olympic class. The 5000 was a provocative move to highlight the potential for a new type of Olympic class and the prototype even had the zeros in the 5000 logo joined like Olympic circles, but it was well before the call for a new Olympic class. The 4000 was a direct response to the success of the ISO and one of the reasons why it was a lot harder to sail was because part of the design brief was that it needed to be faster than the ISO. Despite a lot of negativity later in life, the ISO was remarkable in terms of how fast it was for such an easy boat to sail, which made it difficult for the development of the 4000.

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21 hours ago, SimonN said:

I cannot talk for the 49er (JulianB will know) but the ISO/Boss and 4000 certainly weren't in response to the call for a new Olympic class. The 5000 was a provocative move to highlight the potential for a new type of Olympic class and the prototype even had the zeros in the 5000 logo joined like Olympic circles, but it was well before the call for a new Olympic class. The 4000 was a direct response to the success of the ISO and one of the reasons why it was a lot harder to sail was because part of the design brief was that it needed to be faster than the ISO. Despite a lot of negativity later in life, the ISO was remarkable in terms of how fast it was for such an easy boat to sail, which made it difficult for the development of the 4000.

I’d be curious to hear the background story @JulianB @Dave Clark, do you know how this generation of boats came to be? Do you know what would have made the ISO easy to sail? It sure felt easy 25 years ago, but we were also younger, fitter, faster, and stronger. 

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1 hour ago, bourdidn said:

I’d be curious to hear the background story @JulianB @Dave Clark, do you know how this generation of boats came to be? Do you know what would have made the ISO easy to sail? It sure felt easy 25 years ago, but we were also younger, fitter, faster, and stronger. 

No doubt Julian will be along shortly to tell me where I've got it wrong.

But my memory, and the class website ( https://49er.org/class-info/the-boat/ ) suggest the 49er was designed with the intention of being selected for the Olympics.

But it is worth remembering, from an Australian context, the 49er was simply (not dissing it) another high performance skiff in a crowded field of similar boats in Australia; 12ft skiffs, 14 ft skiffs, 16 ft skiffs, 18's, Javelins, Cherub, VS's and probably others I've forgotton about. And some of them were even crazier to sail than the 49er (12ft skiffs, I'm looking at you)

Where it was different for Australia was that, among all the above, it was the only one design production boat. Traditionally all of the above  started as home built plywood boats that hadn't entirely worked out what to do as the classes moved to foam sandwich well over a decade earlier (solid glass never having being a common Australian dinghy construction method). So it also should have easily filled a niche in what was otherwise a crowded market on the club racing scene; which for a time it did.

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One of the reasons the Iso was easy to sail was the hull shape with rocker aft, which according to my theory at least tended to keep the bows out of the water and slug the top speed. This kept the speed down to sort of 505 pace, which was within reach of club sailors, whereas a more efficient hull shape would have got many sailors in more trouble than they can cope with. 

They were based on the i14s of the day, which were similarly slugged. On the other hand the 14s were also the most popular they have ever been. After the amalgamation with the Australian 14s all the rules that compromised the performance of the northern hemisphere boats were swept away, performance soared and popularity plummeted. Go figure. 

One of the most interesting questions for future historians will be what happened to performance dinghy sailing. The new wave asymmetric boats are mostly gone, and Fireball and 505 a shadow of what they once were. When JB brought out the 29er I thought it was going to lead to a new golden age for high performance boats with all those highly trained kids coming into adult classes with skills my contemporaries often failed to acquire. But instead they mostly get into moderate performance classes. I don't pretend to understand. 

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Part one, the 49er.

In 1987 I did the then Exocet, later re badge B14 and it spread across Australasia and into Europe via UK and France.

Un-beknown to me, about the same time, Peter Johnson did the J14, which spread quickly across USA and into Scandinavia.

The boats hit (so to speak) northern Germany and it was obvious to all that it was likely to be a long-protracted conflict.

1991 - 2, I did an audit, on behalf of my father WRT the Laser ii on my way back from Europe, came home the long way, and dropping in on Laser-SunFish and Peter.

Peter and I had a liquid lunch in a funny restaurant under a railway bridge, in Rhode Island, and rather than berate each other we decided to combine.  And we did draw up what was to become the 49er on a napkin there and then.

Takao joined us (the group) immediately.

The first boat was designed to be thermo plastic and we built a FRP hull with a full space frame mimicking the Thermo plastic format.

image.thumb.png.a8513a67d4bb5653f068976a8700ab3d.png

Jonathan McKee and Chris Lanzinger, probably the 5th outing Jan 1995, you can see the entire alloy space frame, that took the whole rig loads.   Sails where by Anders Lewander, Norths Sweden.   Norths Australia did not want to know about it.  

Not sure when Paul Henderson (Pres of the then ISAF, now WS) made his pontification, probably May 95, but I do remember a phone hook-up, that must have been before the pontification, and it was Peter, Takao, Dad, Mum and me, and within 2 mins we decided to go for it (the potential Olympic slot).

We came up with a wish-list, things like rolled out gunwhales, traditional FRP construction, no wish bone, and all threw quite a lot of $$$ into the kitty, Takao flew to Sydney (not the first nor the last time he did that) and we went for it.   Peter made a few trips to Sydney also.

Within 18- 20 months we took the above hull, turned it into a plug briefly, did all the mods, went into production and had sold 176 49ers by the time of the trials.

January 1996 we where in southern Florid with 6 x 49er during that snowstorm.   We where also sailing in the sth of France, Switzerland, Scandinavia Japan, and South Africa.

About May 1996, Peter cut a deal with Peter Holtman (UK) as a marketer,  Dave Ovington started building 49ers in Newcastle mid 96 but was too tied to I14’s to commit to being a partner.   Martin Wadhams (LDC (later RS)) also came in working for Holtman.    Ovigy meet me on the way to Brighton Nov 96 wanting in.   He brought out Holtman/Wadhams 2 years latter.   (about the time of the 29er)

So the 49er was conceived as a 2 person Hi-Performance fun boat, it morphed into a contender and subsequent successful Olympic boat, but had already sold 176 boats by the time of the trials and at a worlds, and Europeans, there a far more than 50% of the fleet that have no Olympic aspirations other than they are very happy to be buying and sailing a boat that is built to Olympic standards.

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1 hour ago, JulianB said:

Part one, the 49er.

In 1987 I did the then Exocet, later re badge B14 and it spread across Australasia and into Europe via UK and France.

 

Un-beknown to me, about the same time, Peter Johnson did the J14, which spread quickly across USA and into Scandinavia.

 

The boats hit (so to speak) northern Germany and it was obvious to all that it was likely to be a long-protracted conflict.

 

1991 - 2, I did an audit, on behalf of my father WRT the Laser ii on my way back from Europe, came home the long way, and dropping in on Laser-SunFish and Peter.

 

Peter and I had a liquid lunch in a funny restaurant under a railway bridge, in Rhode Island, and rather than berate each other we decided to combine.  And we did draw up what was to become the 49er on a napkin there and then.

 

Takao joined us (the group) immediately.

 

The first boat was designed to be thermo plastic and we built a FRP hull with a full space frame mimicking the Thermo plastic format.

 

 

 

image.thumb.png.a8513a67d4bb5653f068976a8700ab3d.png

Jonathan McKee and Chris Lanzinger, probably the 5th outing Jan 1995, you can see the entire alloy space frame, that took the whole rig loads.   Sails where by Anders Lewander, Norths Sweden.   Norths Australia did not want to know about it.  

 

Not sure when Paul Henderson (Pres of the then ISAF, now WS) made his pontification, probably May 95, but I do remember a phone hook-up, that must have been before the pontification, and it was Peter, Takao, Dad, Mum and me, and within 2 mins we decided to go for it (the potential Olympic slot).

 

We came up with a wish-list, things like rolled out gunwhales, traditional FRP construction, no wish bone, and all threw quite a lot of $$$ into the kitty, Takao flew to Sydney (not the first nor the last time he did that) and we went for it.   Peter made a few trips to Sydney also.

 

Within 18- 20 months we took the above hull, turned it into a plug briefly, did all the mods, went into production and had sold 176 49ers by the time of the trials.

 

January 1996 we where in southern Florid with 6 x 49er during that snowstorm.   We where also sailing in the sth of France, Switzerland, Scandinavia Japan, and South Africa.

 

About May 1996, Peter cut a deal with Peter Holtman (UK) as a marketer,  Dave Ovington started building 49ers in Newcastle mid 96 but was too tied to I14’s to commit to being a partner.   Martin Wadhams (LDC (later RS)) also came in working for Holtman.    Ovigy meet me on the way to Brighton Nov 96 wanting in.   He brought out Holtman/Wadhams 2 years latter.   (about the time of the 29er)

 

So the 49er was conceived as a 2 person Hi-Performance fun boat, it morphed into a contender and subsequent successful Olympic boat, but had already sold 176 boats by the time of the trials and at a worlds, and Europeans, there a far more than 50% of the fleet that have no Olympic aspirations other than they are very happy to be buying and sailing a boat that is built to Olympic standards.

 

Well this is astounding back ground previously unpublished together stuff. Terribly small world. Haha.

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On 9/6/2021 at 11:30 AM, JulianB said:

1991 - 2, I did an audit, on behalf of my father WRT the Laser ii

That's a huge coincidence....

The story of the ISO hasn't really been told, but the Laser II played a part in it.

In 1991 John Caig and myself teamed up to do the Laser II worlds that were held at Hayling Island that year. We both usually sailed Fireballs. One day during the worlds, there was a long, on the water delay and as usual, we were just talking shit. We both wanted new Fireballs, but were complaining how expensive they were. I have no idea which one of us said that it was a shame there wasn't a cheap, affordable one design available that was something more than the Laser II, which we both considered deeply flawed, but by the end of the postponement, the concept was born and by the end of the week we had a full spec to take to a designer. John was full time in the small boat industry (No 1 Topper dealer) and I had a "real" job, so he moved forward with the idea. Ian Howlett was one of the leading I14 designers at the time and that experience meant he was highly focused on hull forms that were easily driven but which had a high level of stability. We never capsized the prototype in all the development sailing we did, having to do it on purpose just before the boat launch at the London Boat Show to ensure there wasn't a problem.

The ISO might have had it's faults, but when it was launched, there was nothing like it. I was unable to go to the first day of the show (a Friday), so rolled up on Saturday morning, walked on to the Topper stand and there was Rob White. I asked him how the boat had been received and whether they had taken an order. Rob replied absolutely deadpan with "we didn't get a single order", followed by a silence as I didn't know what to say and then he said, reinforcing the point "not one order............

......

........

but we did get 20"!

I will never forget that. While I am proud to have been in on it from the very beginning, credit really goes to John Caig for driving the whole process and having the faith to convince firstly Martin Fry of Topper International and secondly, Rob White to build the boat. He also sold the idea to Ian Howlett, developing a relationship which led to a further load of boats, such as the Buzz, Boss and Blaze. People like to knock all those boats now, but it is easy to forget that the Buzz was a great little which became an international class and was used for a Youth Worlds while the Boss came second to the 49er at the Olympic trial and was kept "on standby" in case the 49er proved unable to meet certain deadlines needed to be confirmed as the Olympic class. Thankfully, Julian and his team managed to  meet all the dealines and the rest is now history.

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I do remember, it was typically really fresh day that we gave our presentation, we where in a room at Torbole doing just that to "the original Micheal Jackson".    Our 2 "girls", Dr Abby parkes and Libby McKee, had a 49er each out sailing and if I may add, winning (boys where not impressed).

And we heard this almightly bang, sounded like a cannon going off.

It was the Boss's Carbon mast breaking in truly spectacular style!

Made an impact in more way than one.

                   jB

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48 minutes ago, JulianB said:

I do remember, it was typically really fresh day that we gave our presentation, we where in a room at Torbole doing just that to "the original Micheal Jackson".    Our 2 "girls", Dr Abby parkes and Libby McKee, had a 49er each out sailing and if I may add, winning (boys where not impressed).

And we heard this almightly bang, sounded like a cannon going off.

It was the Boss's Carbon mast breaking in truly spectacular style!

Made an impact in more way than one.

                   jB

Perhaps I am mixing up my memories… was there a story of you (by yourself) out in the 49er and the breeze picked up?

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That's pretty acient story and I was 25 years younger, but yes, I did go out one up, becuase the likes of the Boss and the 5 Tonner where spreading stories about the 49er being "to extreme".      So even with our 2 "girls" show the boys up, the Pom's where being particularly savage, as would I have been, had the shoe been on the other foot, "probably".

But yes, all started well, 7-8 knots, nice one up sail, few tack, out to the point, but the Aura came early that day, so it was a kite up, "b-lls to the wall" ride back to the ramp, got the kite off, excuted a near fautless round up in 15-16 knts, right infront of the 2 Kings and Henderson, then Raimondo Tontenelii save my bacon, by launching himself on board demanding to go for a spin, before I had a chance to capsize or work out how I was going to get it ashore.

My team had gone off to lunch, no one had expected the Aura early, and as Raimondo and I put the hammer down on the way out, you could see them all runing back hoping to advert disarster.

The stuff dreams are made of!

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6 hours ago, SimonN said:

but we did get 20"!

And one of those was mine! The sail material was crap, it was heavy and the space frame had to be re-cut so it didn’t overlap the chute mouth and shred the kite.  But it was so fresh, cheap, easy and innovative.  Terrific cockpit layout.

When the ISO and 4000 both started to dwindle they should have got together to form a super-class, co-operation rather than competition might have seen both evolve and survive.

And the best sensation of speed I ever had was in a Buzz, 15kt felt like 30!

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3 hours ago, JulianB said:

That's pretty acient story and I was 25 years younger, but yes, I did go out one up, becuase the likes of the Boss and the 5 Tonner where spreading stories about the 49er being "to extreme".      So even with our 2 "girls" show the boys up, the Pom's where being particularly savage, as would I have been, had the shoe been on the other foot, "probably".

But yes, all started well, 7-8 knots, nice one up sail, few tack, out to the point, but the Aura came early that day, so it was a kite up, "b-lls to the wall" ride back to the ramp, got the kite off, excuted a near fautless round up in 15-16 knts, right infront of the 2 Kings and Henderson, then Raimondo Tontenelii save my bacon, by launching himself on board demanding to go for a spin, before I had a chance to capsize or work out how I was going to get it ashore.

My team had gone off to lunch, no one had expected the Aura early, and as Raimondo and I put the hammer down on the way out, you could see them all runing back hoping to advert disarster.

The stuff dreams are made of!

Thanks… that was the yarn… give it a few more years and it will be 25 knots gusting 35 :lol:

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3 hours ago, JulianB said:

That's pretty acient story and I was 25 years younger, but yes, I did go out one up, becuase the likes of the Boss and the 5 Tonner where spreading stories about the 49er being "to extreme".      So even with our 2 "girls" show the boys up, the Pom's where being particularly savage, as would I have been, had the shoe been on the other foot, "probably".

But yes, all started well, 7-8 knots, nice one up sail, few tack, out to the point, but the Aura came early that day, so it was a kite up, "b-lls to the wall" ride back to the ramp, got the kite off, excuted a near fautless round up in 15-16 knts, right infront of the 2 Kings and Henderson, then Raimondo Tontenelii save my bacon, by launching himself on board demanding to go for a spin, before I had a chance to capsize or work out how I was going to get it ashore.

My team had gone off to lunch, no one had expected the Aura early, and as Raimondo and I put the hammer down on the way out, you could see them all runing back hoping to advert disarster.

The stuff dreams are made of!

If it was a knot over 12 knots I need to recalibrate my whole sailing career! Credit where credit’s due because, having said that, it was still very impressive. Almost as impressive as you and Warwick sailing back in on the big wind day at the first Hyere. Only boat not towed home. 3 broken masts, a couple of badly brown crew and a lot of scared sailors! We all had so much to learn and you made it look easy. Thankfully everybody caught up

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Anything but easy, quite a few swims, and in the end, I took all the purchase out of the mainsheet, so it was 1:1, that was the only way I could react fast enough.   Of-course, it also absoutly f--ked me.     Plus I had the added benifit of Warwick being a bloody good helm (to use the english), but we had more than out far share of dramas, so we were not that good.

I had forgoten about that, thankyou,   jB

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On 9/6/2021 at 3:30 AM, JulianB said:

Part one, the 49er.

In 1987 I did the then Exocet, later re badge B14 and it spread across Australasia and into Europe via UK and France.

 

Un-beknown to me, about the same time, Peter Johnson did the J14, which spread quickly across USA and into Scandinavia.

 

The boats hit (so to speak) northern Germany and it was obvious to all that it was likely to be a long-protracted conflict.

 

1991 - 2, I did an audit, on behalf of my father WRT the Laser ii on my way back from Europe, came home the long way, and dropping in on Laser-SunFish and Peter.

 

Peter and I had a liquid lunch in a funny restaurant under a railway bridge, in Rhode Island, and rather than berate each other we decided to combine.  And we did draw up what was to become the 49er on a napkin there and then.

 

Takao joined us (the group) immediately.

 

The first boat was designed to be thermo plastic and we built a FRP hull with a full space frame mimicking the Thermo plastic format.

 

 

 

image.thumb.png.a8513a67d4bb5653f068976a8700ab3d.png

Jonathan McKee and Chris Lanzinger, probably the 5th outing Jan 1995, you can see the entire alloy space frame, that took the whole rig loads.   Sails where by Anders Lewander, Norths Sweden.   Norths Australia did not want to know about it.  

 

Not sure when Paul Henderson (Pres of the then ISAF, now WS) made his pontification, probably May 95, but I do remember a phone hook-up, that must have been before the pontification, and it was Peter, Takao, Dad, Mum and me, and within 2 mins we decided to go for it (the potential Olympic slot).

 

We came up with a wish-list, things like rolled out gunwhales, traditional FRP construction, no wish bone, and all threw quite a lot of $$$ into the kitty, Takao flew to Sydney (not the first nor the last time he did that) and we went for it.   Peter made a few trips to Sydney also.

 

Within 18- 20 months we took the above hull, turned it into a plug briefly, did all the mods, went into production and had sold 176 49ers by the time of the trials.

 

January 1996 we where in southern Florid with 6 x 49er during that snowstorm.   We where also sailing in the sth of France, Switzerland, Scandinavia Japan, and South Africa.

 

About May 1996, Peter cut a deal with Peter Holtman (UK) as a marketer,  Dave Ovington started building 49ers in Newcastle mid 96 but was too tied to I14’s to commit to being a partner.   Martin Wadhams (LDC (later RS)) also came in working for Holtman.    Ovigy meet me on the way to Brighton Nov 96 wanting in.   He brought out Holtman/Wadhams 2 years latter.   (about the time of the 29er)

 

So the 49er was conceived as a 2 person Hi-Performance fun boat, it morphed into a contender and subsequent successful Olympic boat, but had already sold 176 boats by the time of the trials and at a worlds, and Europeans, there a far more than 50% of the fleet that have no Olympic aspirations other than they are very happy to be buying and sailing a boat that is built to Olympic standards.

 

There's a lot of terrible noise in this place, but it is so worth it for gems like this.

as a teenager in south africa sailing our dabchick class (basically a plywood topper), we had looked the 18ft skiffs series on tv like it was formula 1 to our go-karts. the whole skiff design race for the high performace dinghy at olympics was fun to watch from afar. Someone even shipped in a fleet of Laser 5000 but they never took off.

I'll never forget the day the first two local 49ers sailed in one of our regattas and we could see the boat in the flesh. They shared a course that included oppies and it was breezy. the guys had never sailed anything like it (i think 470 olympic campaign was the previous option), but picked their way through a crowded fleet when not upside down. we all had only half an eye on our own races and boats.

 

the fact that it is still the olympic class today really speaks for the design.

 

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13 hours ago, SimonN said:

That's a huge coincidence....

The story of the ISO hasn't really been told, but the Laser II played a part in it.

In 1991 John Caig and myself teamed up to do the Laser II worlds that were held at Hayling Island that year. We both usually sailed Fireballs. One day during the worlds, there was a long, on the water delay and as usual, we were just talking shit. We both wanted new Fireballs, but were complaining how expensive they were. I have no idea which one of us said that it was a shame there wasn't a cheap, affordable one design available that was something more than the Laser II, which we both considered deeply flawed, but by the end of the postponement, the concept was born and by the end of the week we had a full spec to take to a designer. John was full time in the small boat industry (No 1 Topper dealer) and I had a "real" job, so he moved forward with the idea. Ian Howlett was one of the leading I14 designers at the time and that experience meant he was highly focused on hull forms that were easily driven but which had a high level of stability. We never capsized the prototype in all the development sailing we did, having to do it on purpose just before the boat launch at the London Boat Show to ensure there wasn't a problem.

 

@SimonN: Following up on @JimCand @fastyacht comments, do you have any explanations on what made the ISO easier to sail than its competitors? We were just better sailors ;)?

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10 hours ago, bourdidn said:

@SimonN: Following up on @JimCand @fastyacht comments, do you have any explanations on what made the ISO easier to sail than its competitors? We were just better sailors ;)?

It's a good question and probably relevant to the whole Laser Topper, 9er, RS story, not least because the hull form, which was developed further for the Boss, opened the door to the 49er.

The ISO would never have been designed like it was if it had been an Australian boat. It was the result of how British I14's were designed. The I14's were so over canvassed that the hulls had to have a fair amount of stability. In Australia, they had a simple solution - when it got windy you put up a smaller rig and as it was windy most of the time, you used the smaller rig a fair amount. However, in the UK, sailing is predominantly in lighter winds and there was no history of classes with 2 rigs. So I14's were designed to have an easily driven hull for with high form stability, which of course was countered by a ridiculously big rig on such a small boat. So the ISO was a 14 with the "problems" removed - it was based on probably the best all round 14 at the time but was made longer and the rig was made manageable. Basically, being the first and having no constraints, the ISO used all the "low hanging fruit" and the boats that came after, such as the 4000 had to compromise something in order to be faster, which was one of it's design goals. They also had to put a bigger rig on it than they intended, to get the performance. I believe that in the end, the 4000 would have been a better boat without the goal of being faster than the ISO.

This contrasted with the 14 footers (and other skiffs) in Australia. because of the long tradition of changing rigs depending on conditions, Australian hull shapes weren't constrained by having to sail with a big rig throughout the wind range. The other advantage the Australians have is that there are only 2 wind strengths - light and shite or fresh to frightening. In the sailing season, it's light and shite in the morning before the sea breeze kicks in and it's windy in the arvo, so nobody sails in the morning and everybody sails when it's windy. It'[s why Australians generally struggle in lighter conditions and are probably the best high wind sailors you will find anywhere. That gives them the skills to sail extremely unstable boats. So we developed the Boss so that it could be sailed by all, Julian developed the 49er so that Australians could manage it;). Look at how Chris Nicolson dominated the early years.

In the UK, we did have classes with unstable hull forms, such as the N12, Merlin and Moth, but they had small rigs and the Moths even reefed up until the late 1970's . And it was out of that heritage that we saw one of the hardest to sail of the new classes, one which was superseded fairly quickly - the RS600, which was designed by a Moth sailors on the basis of "if it floats, we can learn to sail it. It was a fantastic boat, probably ahead of its time but ultimately, too hard to sail compared with what followed. I think RS learnt a lot from the 600 and this showed with the 800. The 800 is a classic RS boat - giving those with ambitions of sailing a 14 or 49er but without the skills (or money) a boat they could achievable what they wanted - a twin trapeze, asymmetric apparent wind boat that could be managed by mere mortals! 

 

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14 hours ago, shebeen said:

There's a lot of terrible noise in this place, but it is so worth it for gems like this.

as a teenager in south africa sailing our dabchick class (basically a plywood topper), we had looked the 18ft skiffs series on tv like it was formula 1 to our go-karts. the whole skiff design race for the high performace dinghy at olympics was fun to watch from afar. Someone even shipped in a fleet of Laser 5000 but they never took off.

I'll never forget the day the first two local 49ers sailed in one of our regattas and we could see the boat in the flesh. They shared a course that included oppies and it was breezy. the guys had never sailed anything like it (i think 470 olympic campaign was the previous option), but picked their way through a crowded fleet when not upside down. we all had only half an eye on our own races and boats.

 

the fact that it is still the olympic class today really speaks for the design.

 

The crazy South Africans where William Voerman, Alex Langham-Love, Clynton Wade-Lehman & Joe deKock.     William, Joe and Clynton now all live in Australia, Clynton worked for me for 10+ years, he has now been responsible for the new CST 49er and FX masts, Joe run/owns a biggish boatyard in Newcastle, and William, I believe is on the Gold Coast (just south of Brisbane).    There was a Montgomery in there also.

Alex was one of the final 3 bidders in the recent 49er/FX sail tender.

I remember them all well sailing in Teewater, Durban, Capetown and ofcourse the Val Damm with Phillip Baum, who drove down from Harare for the occasion with his GF (now wife) in some Jaguar towing a discheviled 49er through the Africa dust!   He is now a VP of WS (for his sins).    We (Phillip and I) used to catch up at confrences, really looking fwd to doing that again, maybe early next year.

We may have been crazy skiff sailors but you guys learnt very very fast and you where "special" in your own way!

                      jB

BTW, my mate, Dave Surmon (also a yarpie) has a Dabchick in Brisbane, sails it with his daughters on the cannals near Clevland.

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What I mean is that the origional post is so far off base that with a little experience (hense:"lurk for a few years") he may be able to answer his own question. "NO" being the answer to every segment That would be as himself or as a new poster.

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On 9/8/2021 at 6:16 AM, JulianB said:

The crazy South Africans where William Voerman, Alex Langham-Love, Clynton Wade-Lehman & Joe deKock.     William, Joe and Clynton now all live in Australia, Clynton worked for me for 10+ years, he has now been responsible for the new CST 49er and FX masts, Joe run/owns a biggish boatyard in Newcastle, and William, I believe is on the Gold Coast (just south of Brisbane).    There was a Montgomery in there also.

Alex was one of the final 3 bidders in the recent 49er/FX sail tender.

I remember them all well sailing in Teewater, Durban, Capetown and ofcourse the Val Damm with Phillip Baum, who drove down from Harare for the occasion with his GF (now wife) in some Jaguar towing a discheviled 49er through the Africa dust!   He is now a VP of WS (for his sins).    We (Phillip and I) used to catch up at confrences, really looking fwd to doing that again, maybe early next year.

We may have been crazy skiff sailors but you guys learnt very very fast and you where "special" in your own way!

                      jB

BTW, my mate, Dave Surmon (also a yarpie) has a Dabchick in Brisbane, sails it with his daughters on the cannals near Clevland.

thanks, jogged my memory indeed there. The regatta I remembered here was theewaterskloof, all these guys came from around the country with their "space rockets". all eyes checking them out rigging and everything when we should have been getting our own boats ready.

To think we finally had our first 49er entry at the olympics in tokyo, many guys had tried campaigns along the way. 

Philip is often on the water going very fast in our locally built cape31 sportsboat.

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On 9/2/2021 at 1:43 PM, clownsailor said:

Has anyone noticed the a lot of the boats made by RS are very similar to other boats? the areo is like a laser, a rs 100 is like a musto skiff, rs 400 is like an international 14, etc... It seems like they boats are very similar to older classes.

To revise my statement, the 88 is like a 49er and the 700 is like the musto

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On 9/2/2021 at 10:43 AM, clownsailor said:

Has anyone noticed the a lot of the boats made by RS are very similar to other boats? the areo is like a laser, a rs 100 is like a musto skiff, rs 400 is like an international 14, etc... It seems like they boats are very similar to older classes.

But the Force 5, OK, and Banshee, all competed (and lost) to the Laser years ago. Just so happens in this case the better boat (Aero) finally won. (or at least on the way)

The rest of the RS while similar to others, in reality are totally different boats in the same space.

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4 hours ago, clownsailor said:

To revise my statement, the 88 is like a 49er and the 700 is like the musto

Have you actually seen all four classes together in the flesh? The 700 s not much like the Musto at all, and the 800 significantly different from the 49er.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree about RS, not so much how they are EXACTLY in design, but in attempt to steal a market share. I’ve sailed lasers a lot and an Aero just twice.  The Aero folks push REALLY hard to get you to switch. I think if you go down the line with their skiffs (I can’t speak specifically here) as well as the 16 cat which is definitely gong for the Hobie 16 market, I’d say they see other dinghies having targets on their backs. I don’t really have a problem with that, I agree that the Aero is like sailing what the Laser would have been like if it was designed today, so why not?  I’ll stick with the bigger fleets and cheaper boats for now. 
 

I happen to think however, that the feva doesn’t follow this rule, it’s a good boat for smaller sailors to learn about asym spinnakers and apparent wind sailing on leeward legs, so sort of a trainer for a skiff, but no trapeze or symmetrical spin so not at all like a 420. Also indestructible. I think they are awesome!

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On 9/9/2021 at 4:13 PM, JimC said:

Have you actually seen all four classes together in the flesh? The 700 s not much like the Musto at all, and the 800 significantly different from the 49er.

Soithseas sailor from Falklands wrote extensively aboit these differences

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12 minutes ago, fastyacht said:
On 9/9/2021 at 4:13 PM, JimC said:

Have you actually seen all four classes together in the flesh? The 700 s not much like the Musto at all, and the 800 significantly different from the 49er.

Soithseas sailor from Falklands wrote extensively aboit these differences

YEs, I remember that discussion, made me want to go visit. He sails in a pretty hairy place IIRC.

The search function for SA is crippled but Google found it

FB- Doug

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On 9/24/2021 at 11:22 PM, Skullislandraceteam said:

I agree about RS, not so much how they are EXACTLY in design, but in attempt to steal a market share.

To some extent yes, but your statement misses what is really going on. Take the 800, for example. At the time, the dominant high performance twin trap, asymmetric boats were the I14 and 49er. Both were hard to sail and expensive, beyond the skill and wallet of most. What RS saw was a demand for the type of boat, but at a price and ease of sailing that would make it a mass market boat. Most of the people who bought 800's didn't come from I14's or 49ers.

Some of their boats are more direct competition, such as the Aero. However, there is a significant difference between the Aero and Laser. Anybody who feels that the Laser is a modern boat is kidding themselves. The only reason to sail one is because of the competition available in large numbers. Many people are over the Laser and wanted an alternative, including the world class sailors who took part in the evaluation of a new Olympic single hander, which the Aero comfortably won but because of politics, didn't get selected.

What RS are good at is understanding what the market wants. It doesn't matter how good a new boat is, if there isn't a demand, it will not sell.

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