Thursday, May 14, 2015

Re the Melges 14: Melges Perfornance Replies

When you tweak a company just a little - like I did in the post Melges 14 Vaporware?, it is only fair to allow the company to reply. So I emailed Melges Performance and Andy Burdick replied that they are indeed producing the Melges 14:
"We were early on our showcasing of the Melges 14 at the Chicago Strictly Sail Show. We have had such a response on the boat though that we felt as though we need a boat on display for people to see. The response was fantastic. After over 2 years of testing, tuning we feel like the Melges 14 is a great boat for one-design sailors but also for people that just want to go out and enjoy the sport of sailing. The Melges 14 is fast, modern, well built and has the ability to take a child or friend with you for a sail. Exposing people to the sport we love. Melges is excited about the future of the Melges 14. Excited for singlehanded one-design sailors and excited for the aspiring sailors that want to just go out and have fun.

Since January we have been building and distributing new Melges 14's. We have a container of boats headed to Europe soon, we had our first boat go to California yesterday. Boats are being sprinkled around the county with anticipation of further excitement.

We have been pretty "nose down" here in our boat production due to the popularity of our other one-design classes. We build 10 one-design classes now. Thus, through the winter and spring we have been working hard at getting our boats built and complete for spring deliveries.

Once we free up the current build schedules we will be more mainstream with the pushing and marketing of the boat. This is coming soon, real soon!"
There you have it. You can order a Melges 14 at this very moment. Melges Performance will build it. For the present it looks like they are depending on those "early adopters" to market the Melges 14 with Melges putting their corporate clout into more concentrated advertising and class organization of the Melges 14 later in the year, after they get through the busy spring boat building season.

On a slightly different note, but still involving Melges Performance, I realized two days after making this comment in my post about Retro Singlehanders:
"I must admit the North American market is an anomaly here with not a lot of singlehanded classes under the Laser - still king by a long-shot-, and the Sunfish - a solid runner-up, The other singlehanded classes in North America - like my Classic Moth - are mustering small numbers."
- that I had got it wrong. The retro MC Scow, has slowly but surely - mostly under the radar - become a national singlehander class in the U.S.. Mea Culpa. This seems as good a time as any to correct the error.

To most of the world, the MC Scow, at a length of 4.9 meters, a weight of 190 kg., and a sail area of 135 sq. ft. is a big hulking SUV of a singlehander (some may question whether we could correctly identify the MC Scow as a singlehander as you are allowed to take a hiking crew when the breeze is up). Nonetheless, it has become very popular in the U.S. with fleets springing up well outside the normal Midwest scow territory. My good friend, Bob Blomquist, is now racing one out of Sarasota, Florida. Following is another well done video promo for the Melges MC scow (looks to be done by the same guy who did the Melges 14 video).

The Melges MC from Nick Bowers on Vimeo.

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