Tuesday, March 4, 2014

AH-WOOGA! AH-WOOGA! Laser Market Sector under attack!

Given the current uncertainty in who has the right to produce the Laser, combined with the feeling that it's time to modernize the mass-market hiking singlehander, two manufacturers unveiled hiking singlehanders (RS Aero and the Devotti D-Zero) smack-dab in the Laser size range during the U.K dinghy show this past weekend. Both are considerably lighter than the Laser with a more "modern" hull shape. I have my opinions about whether one of these two will eventually achieve the Laser mantle in the future - I'll save that for a future post. First, as a background, let me direct you to Tillerman's more detailed post on the RS Aero. For the rest of the post I'll let the readers of Earwigoagin absorb the design concepts as explained by the designers/builders behind these two new dinghies, as voiced in YouTube interviews during the dinghy show.

First the RS Aero design team:

Hmmm! Well, that video disappeared from public consumption after one day. Oops! No it hasn't, it's back again. TOH to the chaps at Yachts and Yachting.

And Dan Holman, designer of the Devotti D-Zero, courtesy of the RYA roving reporter:

Another recent singlehander around the same size of the Laser, though not designed with the upper end performance criteria of the RS Aero or Devotti D-Zero, here is my post on the Australian GO 4.8 singlehander.


Tillerman said...

Wouldn't it be great if there was a Dinghy Show like this in the US?

Tweezerman said...

There was one. I think in the 1980's or early 1990's. Memories are hazy but I think it was part of the Atlantic City Boat Show. I think I attended twice. I will have to check with some of my buddies to refresh the grey cells.

Joe said...

The Richmond Yacht Club has Sail a Small Sailboat every March. You get to actually sail the boats rather than ogle them. The Weta was a big hit this year.

Tillerman said...

You are right Tweezerman. Those shows at Atlantic City did include a lot of dinghies but also larger sailboats too. Were they run by Strictly Sail? And then that show moved to Philadelphia. Is it still running there? It was certainly better than your average US "boat show."

Joe, I have Sail a Small Sailboat every March too. If you come to Rhode Island you can actually sail my Laser rather than ogle it.

Anonymous said...

The early days of the Atlantic City Boat Show had a One Design section at a special rate. 505s, Fireballs, 210s, Atlantics, Thistles, etc etc. were represented and mostly by Class, not builder.
Certainly a great idea and good for the sport. If USSailing had a brain, it might consider sponsorship of a One Design expo - sort of a real life version of the Harken One Design pages in Sailing World. Subsidize the classes to some extent, charge builders a bit more. Could this be combined with the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis? Maybe a winter event when everyone is ripe for something new? What would be really cool would be to combine it with a "Yachting One of a KInd" event. That was always a neat thing to see how the Classes did against each other and the Portsmouth ratings worked fairly well.

Tweezerman said...

I checked with George over at Mid-Atlantic Musings and he confirmed what Tillerman already said, there was a dinghy class section at Atlantic City that then moved to Philly. As Anon commented it was class that sponsored the booths and displays, just as it is at the London Dinghy Show. The fee for the class to participate was very reasonable. I dimly remember the International Canoe being one of the classes for one of the years and working their booth at the Atlantic City show. This is about as close as we in the U.S have approached what the English have been doing for donkey's years.

johnz said...

One year at the Atlantic City boat show Steve Clark brought one of his C Class cats and I got to fondle it and chat with him for an hour - a life event for me. In defense of our Annapolis show, it was there that I got to meet Rohan Veal and check out his new Bladerider Moth when they first came out - there are nuggets buried in every show.