small sportboat demo day atlanta may 17

jsam31

Anarchist
bump?
surely someone went and can at least tell us how it went?
On Friday, I got an email from cat328. Viper and 570 were on the water. 15-20 knots of breeze. 570 got 14 knots of boat speed with 4 on the boat (I guess they took as many as possible for demo) and viper was moving along quite well as well.

I am not sure how today and yesterday went. I have not heard anything else.

cheers

jerome

 

svitale

Anarchist
592
85
the lake was still down

down.jpg

These were taken on the chase boat that we used to rotate crews on and off the boats

Viper

viper.jpg

SB3

sb3.jpg

570

570.jpg

U20

u20.jpg

The wind wasn't high enough to plane the boats like Friday, which meant that no one went for a swim. (I'll let someone who was actually there report on that). The wind was 5-10 and there were about 20 people on the water.

The typical sail was a tack or two to windward, downwind with the asym with a gybe and then back to windward for a crew change. I got rides on the 570, 2 on the U20 and then the Viper. I would have hopped on the SB3 but by that time I was fried and headed in.

The bad thing about the demo is that it didn't make picking a boat any easier. Taking the three that I sailed for what they are, I'd be happy to own or sail on any of them as they were easy and fun to sail. There are big differences in the boats, but what it really comes down to, is where you're going to sail, local OD or PHRF, and how much & how far are you going to travel with it.

 

HSG

Member
99
0
It was a gorgeous day to sail. I have not seen any pictures from the afternoon. The breeze picked up to 8-12knots. My general thoughts on the boats (I did not get to sail the Ultimate 20 but it received good reviews from everyone who sailed it):

1. SB3- Very well built- best build quality of the three. It could take a beating and keep on ticking. The mast and boom are oversized. It does not carry much width in the middle (slab side look)- narrow. Makes sense though as you cannot hike from the middle. It was difficult to steer in 5 knots and under. No response. It may have been the rig- it was too tight for the conditions, with no sag in the forestay. Very stable and, thus, less responsive in general than Viper in light air. In my opinion, it would be a great boat to own in a big breeze location or if you want a performance oriented boat that was stable and easy to sail. Great performance oriented boat that you could sail with the family. Good straight line speed but not as quick out of tacks and transitioning. Good overall boat. That said, for $35-40k a used Melges 24 is a better value in my opinion. However, it will appeal to sailors looking for a stable platform, good performance, no hiking, less expense, and easy to maintain. I did not get a chance to sail the SB3 when the breeze built. It seemed to have similar speed to the Viper when the wind was consistent and above 8 knots but did not change gears nearly as fast.

2. Viper 640- It is a quick, performance oriented boat. Accelerated fast in puffs and in 10-12 knots it got up on a plane when pushed hard and shot out on the other boats. The foot hiking strap was nice and the crew could hike the boat down up and downwind to a clear speed and height advantage. It had more gears than the SB3 up and downwind. The build quality is not as nice as SB3 or 5.07. It is a different market from the Melges 24 and SB3 in my opinion. It is much lighter, more responsive and truly a big dinghy. It is more like a modern Thistle. Great group of guys associated with the Class, owner controlled class (class owns the mold), one set of sails per year, and easy to set up, launch and trailer. It will appeal to a different set of owners and is a fun boat.

3. 5.07. Interesting boat. It was the slowest of the three but by far the most comfortable. It has a big open cockpit. The twin rudders and wide backend make it very stable. I liked the sail plan and the feel. It is not as performance oriented but sails extremely well and is responsive. It would be a fun boat to own and sail on a regular basis. It would be a good choice if a sportboat fleet develops in the SE.

 

solvacc

Member
142
0
It was a gorgeous day to sail. I have not seen any pictures from the afternoon. The breeze picked up to 8-12knots. My general thoughts on the boats (I did not get to sail the Ultimate 20 but it received good reviews from everyone who sailed it):
1. SB3- Very well built- best build quality of the three. It could take a beating and keep on ticking. The mast and boom are oversized. It does not carry much width in the middle (slab side look)- narrow. Makes sense though as you cannot hike from the middle. It was difficult to steer in 5 knots and under. No response. It may have been the rig- it was too tight for the conditions, with no sag in the forestay. Very stable and, thus, less responsive in general than Viper in light air. In my opinion, it would be a great boat to own in a big breeze location or if you want a performance oriented boat that was stable and easy to sail. Great performance oriented boat that you could sail with the family. Good straight line speed but not as quick out of tacks and transitioning. Good overall boat. That said, for $35-40k a used Melges 24 is a better value in my opinion. However, it will appeal to sailors looking for a stable platform, good performance, no hiking, less expense, and easy to maintain. I did not get a chance to sail the SB3 when the breeze built. It seemed to have similar speed to the Viper when the wind was consistent and above 8 knots but did not change gears nearly as fast.

2. Viper 640- It is a quick, performance oriented boat. Accelerated fast in puffs and in 10-12 knots it got up on a plane when pushed hard and shot out on the other boats. The foot hiking strap was nice and the crew could hike the boat down up and downwind to a clear speed and height advantage. It had more gears than the SB3 up and downwind. The build quality is not as nice as SB3 or 5.07. It is a different market from the Melges 24 and SB3 in my opinion. It is much lighter, more responsive and truly a big dinghy. It is more like a modern Thistle. Great group of guys associated with the Class, owner controlled class (class owns the mold), one set of sails per year, and easy to set up, launch and trailer. It will appeal to a different set of owners and is a fun boat.

3. 5.07. Interesting boat. It was the slowest of the three but by far the most comfortable. It has a big open cockpit. The twin rudders and wide backend make it very stable. I liked the sail plan and the feel. It is not as performance oriented but sails extremely well and is responsive. It would be a fun boat to own and sail on a regular basis. It would be a good choice if a sportboat fleet develops in the SE.
First, let me say thx to Gary, Justin, Winn, and LLSC (and whoever else was responsible for this event). You guys did a great thing. Second, I must say that HSG's comments mirror my own. I think all boats had there pluses and minuses. No boat really stood out to me. I liked the SB3 because it was so stiff and forgiving. I like the viper for its ability to squirt ahead in a puff. I like the simplicity of the 570 and the cabin of the u20. I disliked the SB3's price tag, the Viper's need to always be hiked, the 570's mast collar assembly, and the u20s control lines over the chute. I think the jury's still out and everyone is waiting to see what the other guy does.

Some pics

DSC09663.JPG

DSC09661.JPG

DSC09604.JPG

 

jh26

Member
181
0
Georgia
if a sportboat fleet develops in the SE.
I don't think the question is "if" for the SE - there were owners of 5 Vipers at the demo in person Saturday, and 6 more within a few hours drive. And the U20 has a big presence at Lake Norman and good numbers at several regattas in the SE. These boats are already here and ready for growth.

As an owner of an old Viper, I'm biased, but what the hell, here's my impressions from Saturday...

U20: Won the "exceeds expectations" prize - many folks had underestimated this boat before sailing one in person. Simple rig, comfortable, easy to sail, nice feel. Sails well to its rating and easily carries a motor, cooler, rain gear and whatever. I've loved these boats ever since I first sailed one ten years ago and still do. Class needs to publicly address the mast issues - being an outsider, I'm not sure what's going on there.

SB3: unbelievably complex rig; I'd hate trying to tune that thing. Must be bullet-proof with all those wires. I didn't get to sail it, so I can't say more, but at that price and weight, I would rather have a U20 and spend my time sailing instead of trying to get that multi-spreader rig in column.

Open 5.70: compact and fun. Wish the rig was carbon and more simple. Must be sailed well heeled to reduce wetted surface. A bit underpowered for inland lakes. Noticeably slower than the Viper and not really easier to sail. Comfortable to hike. Hiking required. Has a high fun-to-dollar ratio.

Rondar Viper: my old boat had a rough life before I got it, so it was easy to love David's brand new boat. Light, fast, and easy to sail. Trivial to tune and easy to "change gears" without retuning anything, so excels in the widely variable conditions of most lakes. Comfortable to hike. Carbon mast responds well to the typical gusty wind of inland lakes. Has the best fun-to-dollar ratio. On the downside, hiking is required to win races (but is well rewarded), storage is limited and doesn't stay dry, and it's possible to get knocked over if two crew are sitting on the lee rail in a squall (but they proved the self-righting bona-fides at least).

Bottom line: my personal preference lies with the two "big dinghies": the Viper and the 570. Between the two, it's still the Viper for me.

Again, many thanks to the folks who put this together and hosted everyone at LLSC. And many-many thanks to the out-of-town folks who took the time and gas money to drive own personal boats to the lake for everyone to enjoy.

 
P1000434_1_.JPG P1000450_1_.JPG

ultimate 20 in light conditions ------------------------------ 570, sb3 and viper640

P1000467_1_.JPG

sb3 in 12+

P1000405_1_.JPG

viper upwind

P1000383_1_.JPG P1000381_1_.JPG

open 570 friday evening------------------------------570 upwind

P1000428_1_.JPG

sb3 in the light stuff

P1000416_1_.JPG

viper planing

a few pictures from friday and saturday. at the appointed starting time for the event the wind was at 5 or so. as the day wore on the wind increased to 12+ by 3pm making the last few rides more exciting. thanks to all who came to see and try out these boats as well as those who took the trouble to bring them here and share them with us. all the participants were enthusiastic and complimentary . it was a beautiful sunny day and we got lucky as sunday brought winds in the 20's that would have made things more exciting perhaps but much more difficult to manage

:lol:

 
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BarePoles

Super Anarchist
2,213
1
Los Angeles, CA
Like many have said already, it was a great day out on the lake. Lots of fun sailing, sun, and enough wind to keep things interesting.

I only sailed the Open and the Viper, sadly missed out on the other two. I sailed the Open earlier in the day when the wind was light but still managed to maintain around 6 kts up and downwind in the light breeze we had. Boat sails nicely through the chop and seemed to really move nicely through the water on a slight heel. It seemed to find the groove on its own. Definitely not as quick as the Viper, but a very different boat in my opinion. I like the keel boat feel of the Open, it felt stable and responsive yet still had a kick in its step, especially when we heated it up downwind.

I sailed the Viper later in the day when the breeze picked up and it was a blast. Very dinghy like, really reminded me of the way a laser moves through the water. Very responsive, all driven by mainsail, and one think that amazed me was the minimal loads on the sheets and tiller when the boat loaded up. We managed to get the boat planing downwind and you could really feel the boat take off as the wind piped up. I expected the boat to feel similar to sailing a M24 but it doesn't at all, seemed more delicate and squirrelly than the melges, but that was probably because of my driving. ;)

Both boats have great features, for me it would really come down to OD racing. What fleets are where? I still love the looks of the Open and the French build quality was just exceptional. Overall fantastic day, thanks to everyone and I hope to see a few 20' SB fleets build in the SE. Probably good the demo day was yesterday and not today as we say a high gust of 38 kts on the lake today!

 

Atomic Wedgy

New member
35
0
Both boats have great features, for me it would really come down to OD racing. What fleets are where?

Go VIPER!

Charleston Race Week - 10 boats

Savannah currently at 3 boats

GA/SC approx 8 boats in region

about a dozen interested in purchasing the Viper within the next 6 months in the same area.

Great price point, set-up, speed.

OD racing on the way. Look for 30 boats at Charleston Race Week next year. It only took one weekend for me... be careful - it's infectious.

Wedgy - "feel the pull" (aka:roo)

 
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GybeSet

Super Anarchist
will there be a demo there

saw teaky yesterday and he has enough 'frequent flyer' points to get there

maybe some 'fun tickets' too if he breaks into the 'beagle' slush fund :lol: :lol:

 
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What a day yesterday - I had my J/29 out for fun in the breeze...

Saw the Viper under way. Had a short spin run then doused it, and ran back in without the kite up at all. Anyone know why?

 

jacobsen1

Anarchist
557
1
Bozeman MT
Thanks for the reports guys. I wish I could have made it down, but as we'd already voted with our feet what was the point? :lol:

I agree on everyone's comments between the viper and the 5.70 though as those are the 2 I've sailed. We went with the open because it's easier to sail alone and has more of a baby keel boat feel. Both a great little boats with awesome fun/$ factors and each has their own reasons as to why you'd buy them. It just comes down to what you're looking for in a boat.

Thanks for the impressions, photos and videos. I'd love to do this here in RI (I'd bring my open, we have a viper coming here via a SA member, and there is an SB3 at sail newport already, who has a U20?)...

 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
3,656
2,119
It is interesting that sailors themselves and SA community are filling the void left by the published magazines who seem relunctant to do boat vs boat comparisons.

Sounds like you guys had a good day. We had a similar 3 way demo on Long Island Sound last fall between the Laser SB3, the Viper and the RS-K6.

I thought it would be interesting to compare notes to see where we agreed and disagreed.

Changing Gears:-

This is important to us in New England because we want to race in 5 knots (we get a lot of that) and 25 knots. The demo day was breezy, 18 -20. All the boats went well but I was blown away by how light and easy the loads were on the Viper and K6. The carbon masts on these two clearly made a difference, absorbing the puffs and converting the energy into forward motion rather than loads on the sheet and tiller. I have not seen the SB3 in light air but I was sitting on the rail of a leadmine at an AYC series and saw a Viper and a K6 effortlessly carving their way upwind in less than 5 knots. To me, one of the key attractions of the new generation of sportboats is the ability to sail well in light and heavy air.

Conclusion:- K6 probably has the best range of gears but has the most controls. Viper has excellent range of gears, peforming well in light and heavy and is simpler than K6. The SB3 lags these two in this respect. However, the Viper/K6/etc may not be the benchmark in many places. The SB3 has more gears than many existing keelboats of this size.

Build Quality:-

I was suprised by some of the comments from Lake Lanier. Despite having some fun at their expense, I found that the Laser SB3 build quality is reasonable. It is polyester and glass. This is not the lightest technology but it is used for many existing US keelboats. The fittings were not top end but good quality. Laser have recieved a bad rap for the build quality of the SB3 but I thought it was fine. However the Viper and K6 were in a different league. Comparing the build quality of the SB3 to the Viper was like comparing a well built Ford or Honda to a Porsche. The K6 and the Viper were clearly race boats with expensive light weight, stiff hulls (Foam core + Vinylester/epoxy resins), carbon masts and high end lightweight strong fittings. Time will tell, but I would guess that the a Viper/K6 will remain competitive for a longer time than an SB3.

We reached a different conclusion.

Audience. Dinghy vs Keelboat:-

There is a niche for the SB3. It should certainly appeal to those sailing Leadbellies in PHRF looking for something smaller and lighter. Nothing wrong with that. At our demo on Long Island Sound, the ex-dinghy sailors clearly preferred the Viper and the K6. Interestingly, I have a leadmine and race PHRF. I learnt to sail as an adult and never did the dinghy racing thing. The SB3 was familiar territory for me but the Viper and the K6 grew on me, especially the Viper. The K6 will be too dinghy like for some. The SB3 will not be exciting enough for many ex-dinghy sailors. Each will have their niche. I like the Viper for its cross-over appeal.

The Other Boats:-

I am not familiar with the Open 5.70. I am close to Rhode Island so I like Ben's idea of a 3 way demo.

I am familiar with the U20. Its not on my radar screen. Nothing wrong with the boat but the cabin is the negative. I dont want it. Been there, done that. We have the lead belly weekender. We want a dayboat to race. When we pull it out , I want to shoot the hose at it, clean it stem to stern, done! All cockpit-No interior is a must.

 

U20guy2

Super Anarchist
12,330
3
Nice feeback. Sorry to see that those giving pretty big feedback didn't sail all the boats. As it would be interesting to see their take on each boat after sailing all of them.

Regarding the mast thing with the U20 - there isn't really a mast thing. The sail development over the years for the class sails on the U20 have greatly increased the power and we are learning that better wire Dyform is needed the class passed the allowance of Dyform use. Also US yachts has a slick wire kit which can be quickly added to the mast via the mast track just above the goose neck which is still being tested but initial reports is that its simple - works well by keeping the side to side boom impact minimized in heavy winds to address any possible side to side failure at or near the boom.

I have U20 #27 which has sailed SF bay "alot" in less than kind conditions over the years and we have our original mast. The new high wind kit is only needed when you know your in a location with steep chop and 20+ knots etc and its simple enough to toss on using the mast track as a connection point. There are maybe 2-4 events a year where I would use this simple high wind kit on my U20 - all of them are on SF Bay. Non of the travel events I attend would need the kit.

So no issues to address. Due to the nature of all these boats being quite drivable in conditions that have had boats like the J/24's and a few others that are much larger heavier etc being more of a broach and non fun wipeout ride we are seeing people taking small light boats out and having fun in pretty heavy conditions. Which is great! But at the same time people need to realize that they are small light boats and sailing in 20-25-30 knots of wind can and will break stuff at some point. Shoot we see a few broken J/24 masts and M24 masts every year in SF its just part of the game.

 

solvacc

Member
142
0
Can someone comment on the Viper's knock down on Friday? I had heard that someone had to stand on the keel bulb to get it rightside up. Is that true? Is this typical for most sport boats? Thx.

 

SADSAK

New member
4
0
Can someone comment on the Viper's knock down on Friday? I had heard that someone had to stand on the keel bulb to get it rightside up. Is that true? Is this typical for most sport boats? Thx.
I was not on the boat, so i can only give you my perspective from the shore. No one stood on the keel or the keel bulb. One person pulled themselves up to the high side and at that point the boat stood up. If you zoom in on the attached picture, you can see a little bit of orange/yellow which is the person about to haul themselves up. I stopped shooting that that point and just watched the boat right itself. I was at the club house when the pic was taken, so sorry for the poor quality.

Untitled_1.jpg

 

SADSAK

New member
4
0
I was not on the boat, so i can only give you my perspective from the shore. No one stood on the keel or the keel bulb. One person pulled themselves up to the high side and at that point the boat stood up. If you zoom in on the attached picture, you can see a little bit of orange/yellow which is the person about to haul themselves up. I stopped shooting that that point and just watched the boat right itself. I was at the club house when the pic was taken, so sorry for the poor quality.
I am not sure on the exact time. I did have time to take a drink of beer, put down can, get camera, take 2 pics, put down camera, pick up beer and take a drink or two. so probably 20-30 seconds :)

 

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