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A new class of dinghy?

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turnturtle View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 18 at 9:41am
Originally posted by davidyacht


Originally posted by Presuming Ed

Sounds like an MRX

And there lies the problem; excellent products have been developed by good people to fit into identifiable niches, notably the MRX, Icon and 59er, which have failed to gather critical mass probably due to conservatism and a desire on the part of buyers not to forgoe the class racing and structure offered by the established classes.
In the boom times of the 70s and 80s these classes would have gotestablished.
The Hadron 2 appears to be getting some critical mass, possibly because itís target market is the group of people with some disposable income, who are looking for something exciting to sail while they still can, and donít wish to be dependent on a crew.
I have sailed an H2 and loved it, and would buy one if it were not for the fact that I can club race with 15 Solos every weekend, and can go to Nationals and venues like Garda and race with lots of similar boats. †Should this change I look forward to sending my (metaphorical) cheque to Keith.


Thatís my take on the H2 ... a nice boat for a potential early retirement - assuming Iím back in the U.K.! And Assuming it develops and prospers over the next 15 years then why not? Hopefully thereíll be class racing for it somewhere localish ... the prospect of sailing Lasers at 55-60 just seems a little too hardcore for my expectations.
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iGRF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 18 at 9:47am
Have you noticed despite what all the latter day marketeers think and are currently pushing at us hard..

Nobodys even mentioned foils.
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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 18 at 10:09am
Too fast, too difficult to launch, simple as.
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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 18 at 10:25am
Originally posted by davidyacht

 
And there lies the problem; excellent products have been developed by good people to fit into identifiable niches, notably the MRX, Icon and 59er, which have failed to gather critical mass probably due to conservatism and a desire on the part of buyers not to forgoe the class racing and structure offered by the established classes.


Yes, arguably, the "conservatism" label is thrown around way too often. When you look at the people who sail some of the oldest and strictest of classes and compare them to those who sail the wildest, it's hard to see any evidence of conservatism on one side and free thinking on the other. In my own experience, many of those who sail the "wild" classes are quite conservative people generally - many of them have old-fashioned ideas about gender and family roles, for example, so their wives will mind the kids while they build new boats. And are the real innovators interested in dinghies at all? If they are interested in the leading edge of windpowered design, wouldn't they be out there on foiling kiteboards?

The deeper I have dug into the history of the sport, the fewer examples I can find of people being really conservative, and the more examples I can find of people making intelligent, reasoned and well-informed choices. As you note, that leads to many people ignoring new classes and sailing the established ones, for good reasons.

A lot of the time, the thinking seems to be shallow and circular; "why did people not buy type X? Because they are conservative. How do we know they are conservative? Because they did not buy type X".

sailcraftblog.wordpress.com

The history and design of the racing dinghy.
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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 18 at 10:29am
Originally posted by 423zero

Too fast, too difficult to launch, simple as.

And too expensive and complex. Not to mention that what they do is make you go fast, and if speed mattered to the average racing sailor they would have spent the last 40 years sailing tris, cats, skiffs and boards on reaching courses, and not Beneteaus, Dragons, Lasers and RSs on windward/leewards.
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The history and design of the racing dinghy.
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 18 at 10:36am
Originally posted by davidyacht

which have failed to gather critical mass probably due to conservatism


Or simply that the niche wasn't there.

The MRX was really a solution for a problem that only existed if you wanted to sail a Merlin that wasn't a Merlin.

The 59er was a superfast high performance two hander after the boom in high performance boats had ended.

And to my mind the Icon got too caught up in development, forgot that ten 1% improvements make you 10% faster, and missed their intended niche completely.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 18 at 10:45am
Boat designers, unsurprisingly focus on very small details and improvements. But actually, for me, this is quite far down the list. I don't think it's conservatism, just the marginal 'improvements' don't rank highly in my decision making. When I think about the boats I've chosen, it's been like this:

1) What will this be like for my social life? Will I be able to meet lots of fun people regularly?
2) How accessible is fair racing (physically, financially and geographically)?
3) What are the broad skills being tested, do I excel or want to learn them?
4a) What is the prestige of winning / doing well (for the competitive)?
4b) Whats the 'rush / thrill' of sailing it (for the less competitive)?
5) How good is the boat design specifics?

I think most boat designers pick a broad 'game' or set of skills from question 3, then go to point 5 and refine it to make improvements to how the boat functions. But they're pretty low down on the list of reasons people choose a dinghy to race. 

Over history I think people will move to better designs. But having a good design with neat systems isn't enough to build a fleet when existing classes do so much better for questions 1, 2, are often similar on 3 and much better on 4a.  


Edited by mozzy - 31 Aug 18 at 10:57am
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RS400atC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 18 at 11:26am
Originally posted by Chris 249

Originally posted by 423zero

Too fast, too difficult to launch, simple as.

And too expensive and complex. Not to mention that what they do is make you go fast, and if speed mattered to the average racing sailor they would have spent the last 40 years sailing tris, cats, skiffs and boards on reaching courses, and not Beneteaus, Dragons, Lasers and RSs on windward/leewards.

Speed matters, but it isn't everything.
If I'm going out jsut to sail for fun, give me the fastest thing I can cope with.
If I'm going out to race, give me something that allows me to actually race against the other boats, not a clock and a spreadsheet.
At its best, in the right conditions the 400 can meet both those purposes. Other times, not so.
After a week of pure tactics and tidal knowledge in something weighing over a ton, blasting down waves in a fast dinghy is fun.This is sport, we do it for fun, and there's probably more future in it if it's fun and offers a few thrills to the people who aren't winning the racing. There's not much reward or satisfaction in coming last in race that is slow and all about tactics and tides.

Maybe if organised racing in faster watercraft was on offer within cycling distance of my house, I'd get involved, but the kites and boards rarely race. And I'm too old for it to be accessible to me.
Likewise foiling boats at present don't offer most people good racing. There is a cost barrier. There is only a small pool of people to race against. The practicality issues also keep the pool small.
Also there is the perception of speed. 10knots in a Laser on a short course in waves can feel quite hectic, 10 knots in a big yacht can be quite dull. 10 knots in a cat is nothing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 18 at 11:45am
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by davidyacht

which have failed to gather critical mass probably due to conservatism


Or simply that the niche wasn't there.

The MRX was really a solution for a problem that only existed if you wanted to sail a Merlin that wasn't a Merlin.

The 59er was a superfast high performance two hander after the boom in high performance boats had ended.

And to my mind the Icon got too caught up in development, forgot that ten 1% improvements make you 10% faster, and missed their intended niche completely.


Absolutely- not to mention seemingly quite public spats when it came to a build partner... when a design has more threads on Y&Y than pre-orders or boats sold, you do have to question the viability of the project, despite however well it was intended from the outset.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fab100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 18 at 12:07pm
Originally posted by RS400atC

 
Also there is the perception of speed. 10knots in a Laser on a short course in waves can feel quite hectic, 10 knots in a big yacht can be quite dull. 10 knots in a cat is nothing.

Agreed

Velocity is relative; we are flying around the sun at about 67,000mph and the earth spins us on its axis at about 500mph in the UK. Anyone noticed either of those?

Likewise a planning firefly seems really fast, but if you can see through the spray, seagulls are paddling past, overtaking and wandering what all the fuss is about
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