do you think the melges 14 will catch on?

jeffers

Member
280
1
UK
Based on the happy-go-lucky, bathing suit-clad, barefoot models, the Melges appears to be targeting a bit more casual user, so perhaps lower performance than the Aero, but the proof will be in the pudding. The Devoti Zero, btw, targets a higher performance market (and has the lower boom to prove it).
Not sure how you work that out. Boom height on the D-Zero is more than a Laser so even a tall guy like me has no issues getting through even on max kicker (or vang as you like to call it).

 

Daniel Holman

Anarchist
568
134
Based on the happy-go-lucky, bathing suit-clad, barefoot models, the Melges appears to be targeting a bit more casual user, so perhaps lower performance than the Aero, but the proof will be in the pudding. The Devoti Zero, btw, targets a higher performance market (and has the lower boom to prove it).
Not sure how you work that out. Boom height on the D-Zero is more than a Laser so even a tall guy like me has no issues getting through even on max kicker (or vang as you like to call it).
The zero, like it's prototype was always intended to be a bathing suit off the beach boat first and foremost and is perfectly suited to that application. Myself and plenty of owners enjoy taking wives and / or kids (in my case just turned 2 at her youngest) out sailing in the zero.

It was launched at the end of a uk winter and consequently getting anyone to take one out in the grey weather in bikini and 9deg sea temperature for some marketing shots would probably end in a manslaugter charge.

It just so happens that the class has a large enthusiastic racing contingent that like to travel to handicap events.

Check Minorca sailing for off the beach pics of zero.

 

Daniel Holman

Anarchist
568
134
Last summer had 2 of my wife's mates kids out. 6 and 10yrs I think, never sailed before or met me before for that matter. Got them helming, they loved it.

IMG_5607.JPG

 

WestCoast

Super Anarchist
Why no tour events west of the Mississippi? Seems like they are missing a large group of sailors.

But Aeros are already taking over from the lasers here. Not sure a third would have any uptake. Really its not about the boat as much as its about the community and number of boats racing
There are ~30 Aeros in the Seattle area alone, and close to 100 on the west coast.

Imagine that's why they didn't bother. (we're also far away from the rest of the world).

That said, I've sailed the Melges 14, it's a pretty nice boat. Comfortable and roomy.

I am sure they will sell 50-100 in the US, but, the market for a $9k singlehanded boat is fairly limited (trust me, I know, been there, attempted that).

Even Aeros get up there in price when you add extra sails, lots of accessories.

I am biased (sell lots of Aeros), my two main issues with the Melges 14 were

a) sleeved sail? I can't for the life of me figure out how someone deals with that in big breeze. Lots of our customers struggle with the Laser mast in 15+

B) heavy. Now, I get it, the Aero is on the extreme end of light. But from a usability/car top/launching, every pound out of the boat helps.

I liked sailing the Melges 14, and it's clear they know what they are doing, well balanced and fun...zero argument there.

Limited to no dealers (that matters on a small boat, maybe not as much on a Melges 24), and a big lead from the competition.

I can see them selling up to a 100 or so, but, it's a lot of coin, for a big dinghy.

But, you never know, it says Melges on it, and that is worth something.

 
Its funny, but as someone who sails a Finn? Y'all talk about $9k being a lot for a brand new boat? For those of us in Finns, thats a gift! For us, even a good used boat is $8k-$12k. I'm not even sure any more what a new boat costs, but I'll bet its $25k all up and shipped over.

 

torrid

Super Anarchist
1,068
419
As someone who spends maybe a little too much time online and maybe should sail a little more, the Melges 14 seems to have little online presence. I see RS Aero stuff all over the place.

I think there is room for a Laser replacement, especially after almost 50 years. However, I don't think the declining sailboat market will support multiple new classes.

 
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flyhigh

New member
40
11
I signed up for the Melges 14 newsletter last year. In the email Melges sent out in February, they wrote that "Last year we built over 100 Melges 14s! This year is shaping up to be another great year for the new fleet with lots of 14s already in production. We recently shipped out 3 of these speed machines to Japan, and in the current production line we're building 10 bound for Germany."

 

DTA

Anarchist
746
12
San Antonio
Melges 14 is heavy, has a sleeved sail, and is more expensive than many of the options out there.

Obviously, most Melges customers = money is no object, so they will sell 100 or so to their loyalists.

But as a mass market success? Seems silly.

Sleeved sail on a boat in 2017?

Hilarious.
Having sailed both Lasers and the Aero, I thought I'd prefer a halyard, but after over a year of sailing the Aero, I actually do prefer a sleeved sail. Way less that can go wrong.

 

DTA

Anarchist
746
12
San Antonio
Why no tour events west of the Mississippi? Seems like they are missing a large group of sailors.

But Aeros are already taking over from the lasers here. Not sure a third would have any uptake. Really its not about the boat as much as its about the community and number of boats racing
There are ~30 Aeros in the Seattle area alone, and close to 100 on the west coast.

Imagine that's why they didn't bother. (we're also far away from the rest of the world).

That said, I've sailed the Melges 14, it's a pretty nice boat. Comfortable and roomy.

I am sure they will sell 50-100 in the US, but, the market for a $9k singlehanded boat is fairly limited (trust me, I know, been there, attempted that).

Even Aeros get up there in price when you add extra sails, lots of accessories.

I am biased (sell lots of Aeros), my two main issues with the Melges 14 were

a) sleeved sail? I can't for the life of me figure out how someone deals with that in big breeze. Lots of our customers struggle with the Laser mast in 15+

B) heavy. Now, I get it, the Aero is on the extreme end of light. But from a usability/car top/launching, every pound out of the boat helps.

I liked sailing the Melges 14, and it's clear they know what they are doing, well balanced and fun...zero argument there.

Limited to no dealers (that matters on a small boat, maybe not as much on a Melges 24), and a big lead from the competition.

I can see them selling up to a 100 or so, but, it's a lot of coin, for a big dinghy.

But, you never know, it says Melges on it, and that is worth something.
On the point of sleeved sails, I have found the Aero halyard unreliable in big winds and in big waves after capsize. Unless you're constantly replacing the halyard cleat rope (which you won't), it's going to wear down around the area where it cleats, and its going to uncleat/loosen fairly easily in 25+ mph conditions. I end up having to attach the sail head to the top of the mast w/ a shackle, which essentially turns it into a sleeve sail of sorts.

There's lots of reasons to love the Aero over the Melges and the Laser, but if you're going to sail in big winds, I don't think the sleeved sail vs halyard is a winning point for the Aero.

 

flyhigh

New member
40
11
Here is an observation:

Based on reported RS Aero regatta results, all three rig sizes are actually sailed, but the 7 rig draws the majority of sailors and has the deepest fleets.

Watching the video from day 2 of the Melges 14 midwinters (https://www.melges.com/?p=news&id=3072), I only spotted one mid-size 7 rig, no 5 rigs, almost all boats used the large 9 rig.

So, maybe the Melges rather attracts the larger sailors whereas the RS Aero rather targets the Laser crowd.

 

BR3232

Member
273
2
How many new single handed One Designdinghies that have come out in the last 5 years really catch on? VX Evo? D-One? Stealth? MC Scow? RS Whatever? etc

These classes are shitloads better than Lasers and no doubt fun a bit of fun to take out in a good breeze but do they ever reach the aspirations of the creators? This niche has a bandwagon feel about it in recent times.

 

sunseeker

Super Anarchist
3,692
629
How many new single handed One Designdinghies that have come out in the last 5 years really catch on? VX Evo? D-One? Stealth? MC Scow? RS Whatever? etc



These classes are shitloads better than Lasers and no doubt fun a bit of fun to take out in a good breeze but do they ever reach the aspirations of the creators? This niche has a bandwagon feel about it in recent times.
It's incredibly hard to build any new class. J70 obviously knocked it out of the park on boats sold, and the regattas still draw big numbers, but they canabalized a lot of classes too.

Dinghies are even harder because there's not the same dealer network or sail maker support.

We'd probably all be better off with something other than FJ's or 420's, but good luck changing the high school and college culture.

All these new boats will sell a couple of hundred units. Maybe Melges has the financial stamina to outlast and out market a couple of them. Maybe they combine a 14 regatta with a 20 regatta and it's good for both classes.

 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,639
2,794
Rhode Island
How many new single handed One Designdinghies that have come out in the last 5 years really catch on? VX Evo? D-One? Stealth? MC Scow? RS Whatever? etc

These classes are shitloads better than Lasers and no doubt fun a bit of fun to take out in a good breeze but do they ever reach the aspirations of the creators? This niche has a bandwagon feel about it in recent times.

One.

 

BR3232

Member
273
2
How many new single handed One Designdinghies that have come out in the last 5 years really catch on? VX Evo? D-One? Stealth? MC Scow? RS Whatever? etc



These classes are shitloads better than Lasers and no doubt fun a bit of fun to take out in a good breeze but do they ever reach the aspirations of the creators? This niche has a bandwagon feel about it in recent times.
It's incredibly hard to build any new class. J70 obviously knocked it out of the park on boats sold, and the regattas still draw big numbers, but they canabalized a lot of classes too.

Dinghies are even harder because there's not the same dealer network or sail maker support.

We'd probably all be better off with something other than FJ's or 420's, but good luck changing the high school and college culture.

All these new boats will sell a couple of hundred units. Maybe Melges has the financial stamina to outlast and out market a couple of them. Maybe they combine a 14 regatta with a 20 regatta and it's good for both classes.

How do you make a small fortune selling boats? Start with a big one.

 
With all the talk ( from some informed and some uninformed ), why has there been no direct comparison between the Melges 14, the RS Aero, the Devoti One and the Laser. Seems easy enough to get four boats, four sailors - rotate the boats and sailors and then compare. The results might end the ENDLESS speculation. Just askin'

 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,639
2,794
Rhode Island
With all the talk ( from some informed and some uninformed ), why has there been no direct comparison between the Melges 14, the RS Aero, the Devoti One and the Laser. Seems easy enough to get four boats, four sailors - rotate the boats and sailors and then compare. The results might end the ENDLESS speculation. Just askin'
The Devoti One is an asymmetric singlehader with a 13.2 square meters gennaker, so not really comparable to the the other three boats. Perhaps you meant the Devoti D-Zero?

Steve Cockerill did test drive the Aero and the D-Zero and compare them to the Laser. See https://www.roostersailing.com/blog/d-zero-and-aero-testing-in-20-knots/

His conclusions were...

RS Aero = Judy Murray

Devoti D-Zero = Caroline Flack

Laser = Anne Widdecombe

 
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torrid

Super Anarchist
1,068
419
With all the talk ( from some informed and some uninformed ), why has there been no direct comparison between the Melges 14, the RS Aero, the Devoti One and the Laser. Seems easy enough to get four boats, four sailors - rotate the boats and sailors and then compare. The results might end the ENDLESS speculation. Just askin'
The Devoti One is an asymmetric singlehader with a 13.2 square meters gennaker, so not really comparable to the the other three boats. Perhaps you meant the Devoti D-Zero?

Steve Cockerill did test drive the Aero and the D-Zero and compare them to the Laser. See https://www.roostersailing.com/blog/d-zero-and-aero-testing-in-20-knots/

His conclusions were...

RS Aero = Judy Murray

Devoti D-Zero = Caroline Flack

Laser = Anne Widdecombe
I had to Google all those names.

 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,639
2,794
Rhode Island
With all the talk ( from some informed and some uninformed ), why has there been no direct comparison between the Melges 14, the RS Aero, the Devoti One and the Laser. Seems easy enough to get four boats, four sailors - rotate the boats and sailors and then compare. The results might end the ENDLESS speculation. Just askin'
The Devoti One is an asymmetric singlehader with a 13.2 square meters gennaker, so not really comparable to the the other three boats. Perhaps you meant the Devoti D-Zero?

Steve Cockerill did test drive the Aero and the D-Zero and compare them to the Laser. See https://www.roostersailing.com/blog/d-zero-and-aero-testing-in-20-knots/

His conclusions were...

RS Aero = Judy Murray

Devoti D-Zero = Caroline Flack

Laser = Anne Widdecombe
I had to Google all those names.

LOL. As a Brit who has lived in the USA for almost 30 years, so did I.

I don't usually promote my own blog posts here, but for those lacking in knowledge about a certain British TV show and the ladies who have appeared on it, here is a an explanation of what Steve meant (with pictures.) I do think he was a little unfair to the Laser!

 

Looper

Anarchist
I say good luck to them, but unless Laser Performance continues to shit the bed even worse than it already has, it's going to be a very long very steep uphill battle for Aero or M14 to knock off Laser. With nearly a quarter of a million boats made to date, Olympic class status, expert clinics and coaching available for reasonable fees, several local and regional regattas run year round, and global distribution of boats and parts it's definitely the 2 ton gorilla of dinghy racing. I wish them well, but i'm sure the byte or force 5's stories can pretty much forecast it all.

That said, we can't be too far away from the release of the J/41 dinghy as well. (That's 13.5 feet converted to decimeters in typical J fashion for those playing along at home) I suspect it will be slightly heavier than all of those listed in the thread above, cost about 25% more than the competition, and 6 years later it will become obsolete because the everyone will be jumping ship to the new J/41s.

 




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