rs aero

tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,182
2,473
Rhode Island
The Zest is a sailing centre boat designed for beginners. Sailing centre means designed down to a price, that's how sailing centres work. The Aero is for adult sailors who own their own boat. It isn't a beginner's boat, if you bash it you will ding it. They aren't built for the same market.
I once heard the RS Aero described as being for sailors who have got beyond the stage of sailing their boat into docks at full speed. I think that's fair. It's not indestructible but it is a well designed boat that is surprisingly tough for such a lightweight boat.

However I would take issue with one point in @dogwatch's post. The RS Aero is not only for adult sailors. From what I read, the RS Aero is very popular with youth in the UK with an active youth training scheme. It's not for total beginners who are still in the "OMG I lost control and rammed the dock at full speed" phase. But for competent youth sailors ready to race, the RS Aero 5 (and 7 for older/heavier youth sailors) can be excellent choices.


 

 
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dogwatch

Super Anarchist
16,457
1,349
South Coast, UK
I can't say I'm aware of many youth sailing Aeros. Maybe at other clubs but not at mine. I think the Aero is definitely easier to ding than, say, a Laser, I know some very experienced helms who have managed to do it.  It's a light boat, what do you expect? I'll take the lightness and accept I need to be careful or pay the price. The Aero would be OK as a youth boat if dad likes to demonstrate how to do the repairs. Shades of 29er dad syndrome  (which is much in evidence at my club).

 

A CheeseHead

Member
163
11
WI
The Zest is a sailing centre boat designed for beginners. Sailing centre means designed down to a price, that's how sailing centres work. The Aero is for adult sailors who own their own boat. It isn't a beginner's boat, if you bash it you will ding it. They aren't built for the same market.
Got it.  Nevertheless, if the boat designed for beginners isn't particularly robust, one might reasonably suspect that the pricier boat would lack the same weaknesses.  The Zests have shown a propensity to losing their rudders, and the designs of the rudders appear to be pretty damned similar.

In a mild defense to my college's sailing program, we take pains to teach folks not to attack the pier at full speed ... and are reasonably successful at that.  To be fair, the reason we've bought the Zests is because the built-to-be-bulletproof MIT dinghies are costing too damned much.  Once the Harken brothers stopped building the club's boats, prices have climbed startlingly.

 

Board skiff

Super Anarchist
1,606
672
Comparing the RS Aero and the RS 100 would be an interesting case study.  One is a roaring success, the other less so.  One focussed on lightness, simplicity and inclusivity.  The other on speed, tech and adrenaline.  One had a champion incentivised to promote it, the other was a pioneer of development via social media.  There's a lesson for ILCA somewhere there.

 

WGWarburton

Anarchist
993
741
Scotland
I can't say I'm aware of many youth sailing Aeros. Maybe at other clubs but not at mine. I think the Aero is definitely easier to ding than, say, a Laser, I know some very experienced helms who have managed to do it.  It's a light boat, what do you expect? I'll take the lightness and accept I need to be careful or pay the price. The Aero would be OK as a youth boat if dad likes to demonstrate how to do the repairs. Shades of 29er dad syndrome  (which is much in evidence at my club).
 I'm aware of sailors that have moved off the Laser Junior/Youth Pathway to the Aero-  if they are not at the front of the 4.7/Radial fleet they will soon be aware that closing the gap is going to be very, very hard. I understand the Aero offers class-supported training and less intense events, so appeals to those that want to develop their sailing but not commit their whole lives to success.

https://www.rsaerosailing.org/index.asp?p=news&nid=10821

Cheers,

               W.

 
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dogwatch

Super Anarchist
16,457
1,349
South Coast, UK
Comparing the RS Aero and the RS 100 would be an interesting case study.  One is a roaring success, the other less so.  One focussed on lightness, simplicity and inclusivity.  The other on speed, tech and adrenaline.  One had a champion incentivised to promote it, the other was a pioneer of development via social media.  There's a lesson for ILCA somewhere there.
I test sailed an RS100 a couple of years before I got the Aero. It didn't take very many minutes to figure out the RS100 was much too much boat for me. There were a few at my club but they seem to have faded away.

 

WGWarburton

Anarchist
993
741
Scotland
I test sailed an RS100 a couple of years before I got the Aero. It didn't take very many minutes to figure out the RS100 was much too much boat for me. There were a few at my club but they seem to have faded away.
This seems to be a pattern- UK dinghy parks are often littered with demanding boats that owners are struggling to invest sufficient time in.

 It's one of the main reasons people keep coming back to Lasers. You can sail a Laser badly (you won't win anything but you can have some fun doing it) but the more exciting a boat is the more commitment it takes to enjoy it... there's a constant flow of new, exciting boats- IC, moth, contender, RS-100, RS-600, waszp(?), Musto Skiff... even less extreme examples come & go. Some never catch on, some get their 15-minutes. Few build an enduring base where there are enough people with enough time & enough money to keep the class at the critical mass necessary to sustain an ongoing fleet.

Cheers,

              W.

 

Rambler

Super Anarchist
1,029
609
East Coast OZ
Comparing the RS Aero and the RS 100 would be an interesting case study.  One is a roaring success, the other less so.  One focussed on lightness, simplicity and inclusivity.  The other on speed, tech and adrenaline.  One had a champion incentivised to promote it, the other was a pioneer of development via social media.  There's a lesson for ILCA somewhere there.
RS100 and RS Aero seem to about level peg in Australia judging by numbers at title races (can't comment on number sold). Average age of RS100 sailors in not young (I would guess 50's). But then we have a stronger skiff background.

 

rb_stretch

New member
33
4
UK
The Aero 5 seems to be very popular with teenage girls at our club and very good they are too. Often beating good adult sailors and last year one of them was the top placed in the Bloody Mary from our club (something like 22nd, but could be wrong on that). Another of our club girls was at the Aero worlds in Australia. 

 

Mozzy Sails

Super Anarchist
1,145
924
United Kingdom
The RS100 looked a very nice boat, and sailed very well. Comfortable and well laid out. It was so rapid downwind.  

The difficulty is, the faster you go off wind, the more time you spend hiking it back upwind. The racing then becomes less about downwind sailing and speed, and more about hiking it back upwind. 

Also, the more powered up you are for those reaching downwind legs, the more difficult it is to carry sail area and speed on tighter angles. And so the boat becomes less adept at 'round the cans' racing. 

Regarding rudder stocks, I would be surprised (although kind of not) if RS haven't recalled the Aero rudder gudgeons. They fitted the same screw on gudgeon to the RS200 which were ripping out of transoms and a product notice was emailed out just before Christmas.

The gudgeons had been pulling out of 200s for a few years, and I'd seen similar reports with Aeros online. So I was a little surprised that when I went to pick up my new 200 last March that the gudgeon still came screwed on. I asked them to replace with bolts and washers before I took it away. I mean, if RS had even one half credible report of a rudder pulling off, why not just fit bolts and washers to all new boats as a precaution? It's hardly a massive expense on $10k+ boats!

RS make some fantastic boats, but they can be a little 'head in the sand' when it comes to quality. They see any report of a product failing as an attack on the brand, whereas mostly their customers are just trying to help them make the best products!  The way they handle faulty products is a little lacking too. Sending emails out to addresses years old is never going to reach all the affected sailors. It's just damage limitation and keeping things out of the press as much as possible. But what they fail to realise is that although no one wants to hear of faulty parts, leaving dodgy parts out on the market is far more damaging to the brand. A well publicised, timely and professional recall is the best way to maintain your reputation (see how quick Southern Spars and 49ers Class were with their spreader recall, via public notice).

These plastic gudgeons do wear a little quick as well. Already got a bit of play in mine after a season on the 200. One broke on a new RS800 at the nationals, although we broke an older design alloy one on the 800 at the euros. 

I would recommend any RS owner follow this guide if they have screw on gudgeons. RS guide to screw replacement (link sent in RS200 product notice).

 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,182
2,473
Rhode Island
RS Aero Florida State Championship 2020

jensen beach 2020.jpg

https://sailinganarchy.com/2020/02/19/you-and-your-aero/

 

Peter Barton

Member
101
26
Mid Solent
Mozzy,
Well that was a thread swerve onto gudgeons...
Sorry to hear of your experience in the 200 & 800, however, you are speculating without experience regarding the RS Aero.
The account you refer to is 2.5 years old, half of the age of the Class!  The Class is quick to give constructive feedback to RS when necessary and in my experience they are quick to investigate and respond. I understand RS added some extra structure there early on. I heard of a few stories of lose screws, but not for a long time now and there are already over 2,200 RS Aeros out there.
I have no experience of the plastic gudgeons either breaking or wearing. If they did wear the expense to replace is not prohibitive. I love my blue button.
I don't think your recommendation to replace screws is necessary and it also presumes an access hatch is available, which there is not.
However, if anyone wanted to use their RS Aero for foiling then bolts are recommended and we amended the Class rules a few years ago to enable butterfly bolts to be used.

 

Mozzy Sails

Super Anarchist
1,145
924
United Kingdom
@Peter Barton it was a reply to @A CheeseHead #1544; they were talking about the zest having the same stock and having issues, so I thought it was relevant to talk about the 200 and the solution there, as it's quite simple... but alas you have no hatch on the Aero, so not so simple, but if it's not a problem, they hey ho. 

Yeah, no experience of the Aero, but certainly experience of the same rudder and same fitting. 

Maybe the lay up that your rudders are tapped into is stronger? Either way, attaching with self tapers takes a little more care as you have to drill the pilot hole the correct width and be very careful not to over tighten or allow them to come loose. When you replace you'll want to be careful to get the screw in to the same threads and tighten just the right amount again. A self taper isn't really designed to be replaced too many times.

All gudgeons wear. Personally, I hate the feeling of a sloppy rudder and will happily spend £20 a year to get them nice. But if replacing them increases the chance of screws pulling out, then it becomes an issue. A sacrificial nylon/plastic insert would be a nice feature, so slop can be removed without having to disturb self tapers which are happy where they are... I'm glad my 200 has an access hatch and bolts. 

One of the plastic ones broke on an 800 at the nationals (the actual plastic part snapped). But then didn't your alloy one break before the last race too? Our alloy one broke in Garda. So, it's not like the old alloy pintals are amazing. They tend to crack next to the bolts where the alloy is at it's thinnest, possibly helped by a bit of corrosion between steel bolt and alloy gudegeon.  But both our pintals were a few years old whereas the plastic one was new. This is all on 800s though, and I'm sure the loads are a bit different to the Aero! But it's an example of the extreme. 

The actual rudders themselves do allow the full kick up which is nice. The blue button is okay, but is it really better than a clip? I'm also not too sure about the join between carbon and alloy. On the other hand the old rudders got loads of corrosion in all the pop rivets between stock and tiller... so for me the jury is out on whether the new style RS rudder are much of an improvement. 

The carbon tiller looks nice though, so there is that. 

 
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WestCoast

Super Anarchist
The Zest is a plastic boat for kids to learn to sail - but if you wish to compare it to an Aero - ok....

The Zest was one of the most popular club boats launched in my memory (our company has been selling dinghies for 15 years now).
RS replaced a dozen or so rudder units for clubs that got Zests due to an issue in manufacturing that caused a weak spot and some failures in the field.

Not ideal, but,  issue identified and issue fixed at no cost to customers.
Just like the handful of original Aeros that had transom issues (I think it was 3 total out of 2000+ so far).

Anyway, 2019 saw 400+ new Aeros sold into the market. 
Pretty damn impressive for a new singlehander if you ask anyone.

It’s happening.
It’s really happening. 

 

RedTuna

Super Anarchist
4,837
1,241
Texas
Dead thread but Spring is just around the corner.  Anyone know of any used Aero 9s in Texas?  One also with a 7 rig would be even better.  Chartered one at Wurstfest '16 and regret not buying one of the boats immediately afterward.

 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,182
2,473
Rhode Island
Dead thread but Spring is just around the corner.  Anyone know of any used Aero 9s in Texas?  One also with a 7 rig would be even better.  Chartered one at Wurstfest '16 and regret not buying one of the boats immediately afterward.
I suggest you post your interest in buying a used RS Aero in Texas in two other places...
a) in the RS Aero Class North America group on Facebook
b) on the For Sale and Wanted forum on the RS Aero Class Association website https://www.rsaerosailing.org/index.asp?p=forum&fid=9

Good luck!

 
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