What's happened to the VX One ?

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
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I tried getting online to their website home page yesterday and it was blank. From what I can piece together the factory in Savannah has definitely closed down.

I heard a rumor a couple of months ago that Devoti might step in and build it. At the same time there was rumors of a Polish builder. Then somebody posted on here that the molds were going to Ovingtons in the UK. Then that post was pulled down. Now someone from Newport said they saw Brian Bennett and that the word is that Ovingtons are definitely going to pick it up.

At first this sounded like a Viper Redux, when Brian went belly up on the Viper, the molds went to the UK and the US class faltered until the Class Association and Rondar picked it up and the Viper rose phoenix like from the ashes, (and is now built in the US again). But apparently Brian is alive and well and will be marketing the VX on behalf of Ovingtons from a travelling trailer.

So how do we contact VX One? Where is Brian Bennett based? Is the VX going to be built in New Zealand and UK? What does this mean for someone from the US?

Not gossip - any hard facts?

Edit.....in absence of hard facts, we can make do with gossip

 
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Brian Bennett

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Hi all,

We are in the middle of a major move, and launch of building and marketing in Europe to be followed in October with the launch of an Australasian builder. These builders are working closely with us to generate and maintain the strict One design nature of the VX, and in my opinion are the best building partners a designer could hope for. We will all be working to establish the VX ONE as a well run, and well supported international class.

We are also in the middle of a move to Rhode Island, our old home, and the hub of one design sailing in the North east.

A press release will be out shortly. Our website is currently down as it is getting a major overhaul.

Thanks to everyone for your patience as we bring about these improvements.

Brian

 

MR.CLEAN

Moderator
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I live just outside Detroit. So now they're closer!

I get the feeling that it was just too tough to get the kind of infrastructure and personnel together down south to do the kind of volume Brian believes the VX can do. I do know they are selling like hotcakes, with I think over 50 boats delivered and some very happy customers. I am still anticipating my first VX regatta - in a couple of hours of testing I did, the boat was fan-fucking-tastic.

 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
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The idea that the South is not a good place to build volume boats doesn’t explain the factory closure. The largest production sail boat building facility in the US is in Marion, South Carolina (Beneteau). There are many marine component suppliers and boat builders who run very successful nationwide businesses out of the South.

Whichever way you look at it, England is further away from any US customers than Savannah.

 

Streetwise

Super Anarchist
1,728
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Lake Champlain
I know Brian has been providing excellent support for the new owner in Vermont, and even offered to come up and run a clinic. The VX is right next to my Viper and it looks great. One of these days I am going to get a ride on it.

 

Speng

Super Anarchist
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Cincinnati, OH
Might be a bit difficult to hold onto labor in Chucktown what with a decent amount of boatbuilding and aerospace composite going on? It's a great location though - a test sail in a harbor sea breeze would be worth a plane flight.

 

MR.CLEAN

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I'll just shut my mouth since I don't know much at all about the new changes. happy that Brian is doing well, happy to see another fleet of cool sporties, and love the boat.

 

Vgree

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OKC, Oklahoma
I am curious to see the build quality of the boats that are going to be built. The ones that have been made have been amazing and I hope they can continue that

 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
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JBSF said:
Hi all,

We are in the middle of a major move, and launch of building and marketing in Europe to be followed in October with the launch of an Australasian builder. These builders are working closely with us to generate and maintain the strict One design nature of the VX, and in my opinion are the best building partners a designer could hope for. We will all be working to establish the VX ONE as a well run, and well supported international class.

We are also in the middle of a move to Rhode Island, our old home, and the hub of one design sailing in the North east.

A press release will be out shortly. Our website is currently down as it is getting a major overhaul.

Thanks to everyone for your patience as we bring about these improvements.

Brian
So will VX still be built in the USA in addition to Europe and AUS/Asia? Or is all manufacturing going overseas?
It is 100% certain that the US Factory has been shuttered.Here is the listing for the building:

www.loopnet.com/Listing/17851420/4110-Meding-Street-Savannah-GA

Ovingtons have announced that they will have the molds in about two days.

My guess is that it was tough to make a living from building 48 boats (if that is the right number) over two years. As part of Ovingtons, the overhead is spread over several other classes.

 
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tedrules

Member
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32
Sydney
No need to speculate any more.

This is the official press release from Brian Bennett today.

Bennett Yachting Inc. teams up with Ovington Boats (UK) and MacKay Boats (New Zealand) for International VX ONE class drive.

Brian Bennett, CEO of Bennett Yachting, Inc and Lead Designer of the state-of-the-art One Design VX ONE announces a collaboration that will bring the VX ONE firmly onto the international stage and provide high quality, tightly controlled production of this multi award-winning design by two of the world’s best production small boat builders.

The VX ONE was the unanimous winner of the 2012 Sailing World “Overall Boat of the Year” and “Best One Design” as well as Sail magazine’s 2012 “Best Boat” award. The VX is a robust, easy to sail high performance 19’ “ballast assisted” dinghy that is highly responsive and powerful, with the conveniences of furling and self-tacking jib. On an ideal day, speeds in excess of 24 knots have been recorded.

The class association is professionally run and backed by an executive committee of owners with considerable One Design experience. Class rules are written to ISAF guidelines for easy crossover in the next few years.

The VX One is supported by three established brands with decades of experience, Ovington Boats, MacKay Boats and Bennett Yachting, Inc.. With fleets growing throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, this collaboration will further set the VX One on a firm platform for significant international growth.

Both Ovington and MacKay are world renown for their high quality Olympic and world championship race boats - Mackay for their 470’s, 49ers and 420’s, and Ovington for their 49er, 29er, 505, Flying Fifteen, I-14, and Musto Performance skiff.

“Ovington and MacKay are ideal partners in this project. While they compete on the 49er, there is a lot of quality collaboration and exchange of information that is hard to find elsewhere. Both are thoroughly established, experienced, and proven in the field of international classes and their development” notes designer Brian Bennett.

Production ramp-up will be under way in Ovington’s Newcastle, UK, factory in July, in time for deliveries to the US North Americans in November and a major European launch this winter. MacKay will follow suit, with deliveries targeted for later in 2013.

Bennett Yachting (BY) will focus on full-scale support of the growing NA VX ONE fleet, with a major Gold Cup style circuit planned for 2014. BY will oversee and coordinate international marketing and quality control as well as maintenance of measurement procedures. As a licensed dealer, BY will also market and distribute the highly regarded International Musto Performance Skiff throughout North America.

The all-new www.Bennettyachting.com website will be launched mid-August, revealing comprehensive information on the VX ONE and Musto Performance Skiff. The new site will also debut advanced and sustainable regatta support systems that will revolutionize the way we sail, travel and compete. Bennett Yachting can now move as many as six VX ONE’s, or 16 Musto skiffs utilizing a new 48’ event trailer, with on-board spares, service, rigging, and customer support to every event.

This will pave the way for a new standard in affordable grand prix sailing, giving time back to the sailors and providing an energy-efficient solution with one truck and trailer doing the work of as many as 15 vehicles, plus countless hours of driving.

Brian Bennett

 


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