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The evaluation report for the new equipment selection is out and the RS Aero is a fairly convincing winner in terms of the weighted criteria that were defined, scoring 80% overall with the closest rival, the Laser, at 69%. The evaluation panel included one Kiwi, Jo Aleh, though she wasn't present at the sailing trials. The final decision has yet to be made, but it's hard to imagine it going any other way after the process they've been through.

 

https://www.sail-world.com/news/217019/RS-Aero-wins-Equipment-trials

http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/EQCSP4biiiMenWomenOnePersonDinghy-[24944].pdf

 

One of the interesting things to me is that it's by far the lightest contender, with hull weight 30kg vs the Laser's 58kg, yet scored particularly well in the evaluation for quality and durability...

 

RS Aero’s finished product exceeded all others in terms of quality and durability. The hardware and

systems are well designed to function easily for the sailor and are proven in international
competition. The spars are built to a specification and quality control standard that is producing
consistent equipment for this international class. The lightweight hull is engineered with modern
materials and modern composite building expertise bringing consistency of manufacture that is
performing in the current marketplace. These have yet to experience Olympic competition however
their World Championships were held in 2018 in high winds and waves at the London 2012 Olympic
Venue with no breakage reported.
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Laser out and RS in? I bet Laser are kicking themselves with their current fiddling, what utterly crap timing.

 

Finn our to a 2 handed mixed gender Keelboat. Not too sure the proposed night racing lines up that well with TV.

 

"What ya watching? that looks like just a black screen"

"Na, they reckon it's a pile of keelboats on a power reach but I think it's really 2 Black panthers shagging at midnight"

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I have an Aero with a 9 and a 7 rig. 

It's an awesome boat but it has not taken off here as it has overseas yet.

Fingers crossed it does as I'd love to race it properly like my Zephyr with big fleets.

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Interestingly, a comment dated Monday on a current TM ad for an Aero (I'm guessing a demonstrator) reports "a huge amount of interest in this boat since the weekend."

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/boats-marine/yachts/centreboard/auction-2029723104.htm

 

And if I'm not mistaken the price for a new one has gone up around $2k since I last looked.

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/boats-marine/yachts/centreboard/auction-1632741513.htm

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Some interesting analysis here of the evaluation process, suggesting that the validity of many of the ratings assigned to the boats are a bit questionable. Overall (my interpretation) he seems to suggest that the panel have tended to understate the deficiencies of the Laser relative to the alternatives.

 

https://optimist-openbic-sailing.blogspot.com/2019/05/evaluation-of-singlehanders-by-world.html

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Dollar is down a bit but that seems a hell of a lot of money for not much

Yea, that’s a ridiculous amount of money for a one person dinghy. Someone is taking the Micky, surely?

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By comparison, the evaluation report gives a retail price for the Aero of GBP6k, so around NZD12k. Around NZD2300 of the NZ price is GST, so the right comparison is NZD15,200. Obviously shipping from the UK factory to NZ is something, and I guess with the current low volume might be fairly significant, though $3200 seems a lot.

 

To compare with the Laser, the evaluation report has them at GBP5k, around NZD10k. The current retail in NZ is NZD13,400. If you take out the GST it's NZD11650. Again the difference has to account for shipping, but I assume these come from Australia so should be quite a bit less to ship.

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By comparison, the evaluation report gives a retail price for the Aero of GBP6k, so around NZD12k. Around NZD2300 of the NZ price is GST, so the right comparison is NZD15,200. Obviously shipping from the UK factory to NZ is something, and I guess with the current low volume might be fairly significant, though $3200 seems a lot.

 

To compare with the Laser, the evaluation report has them at GBP5k, around NZD10k. The current retail in NZ is NZD13,400. If you take out the GST it's NZD11650. Again the difference has to account for shipping, but I assume these come from Australia so should be quite a bit less to ship.

Would the GBP price include 20% VAT?

If exported from Britain that wouldn't apply, but GST would when entering NZ, and possibly a duty? (5% on sails isn't it? so possibly 5% on something like a sports dinghy, just a guess).

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From the petition blurb (emphasis added)...

 

The Laser is the most popular adult one design around the globe, offering the most competitive and cost-effective one-design racing to aspiring Olympians.

 

An alternative perspective, from the article I linked to earlier... https://optimist-openbic-sailing.blogspot.com/2019/05/evaluation-of-singlehanders-by-world.html

 

Regarding the Laser, although the report mentions the low longevity of the Laser sails, the cost associated with the multiple sails that must be bought by top sailors (easily 10 or more sails per season) is not factored in the analysis, and it is known that the price of the Laser sails is excessive for what they are. This helps the Laser get a high score of 4.5, while the reality is that Laser sailors spend unnecessary large amount of money on the sails, that typically are only competitive for one or two regattas. 

 
And regarding the Laser hulls, the report indirectly admits there is an issue with the longevity of the hulls, but this is not factored in the cost analysis either. Instead, the report comes with the astounding assertion, on page 5: « The hull is durable beyond its competitive life making cheap boats available to many sailors. » This is an admission not only that the boats don’t last long, but also that they loose substantial value after their competitive life, as they are then « cheap » to buy by other sailors.
 
...
 
It’s worth commenting here on the Laser. There is a well documented history of inconsistent building of the boat. This is recognized in the report, which states that « although compliant with their construction manuals and quality controls, the presented tolerances were considered by the Evaluation Panel as too high. » And to continue:  « The supply of equipment for Olympic events and other major events mitigates the poor standardization, however tighter tolerances and higher controls are deemed required. »
 
In addition, recent developments have brought to the fore that Lasers may have been voluntarily built at a higher specification in Australia. A « Defect Notice » by the laser class ILCA states that 2,280 boats produced between 2006 and 2015 are « known not to comply with the manufacturing specifications of the Laser Construction Manual. » « The defect is an additional layer of approximately 300g/m2 chopped strand mat (« CSM ») included in the hull laminate forward of the centerboard case to the bow of the boats …. the existence of which has been confirmed by visual inspection and technical analysis of a deconstructed sample PSA boat. » This information was not taken into account in the WS report, although it was public prior to its release.
 
What are the implications? It seems much easier to implement consistency in production when only one builder is involved, which is the case for the Aero and the d-Zero. When several builders are involved, there was no attempt by the evaluation team to assess the consistency between the various builders.
 
...
 
As previously indicated, it is known that the Lasers produced by the now dominant builder - Performance Sailcraft Australia - have significant variability in their mast rakes and can actually be bought with a specification of the mast rake, defying thereby the very concept of strict one design sailboat.
 

Just to be clear, I've never sailed any of the boats evaluated, so I don't have a particular barrow to push. I just think the arguments are interesting.

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Regarding the Laser, although the report mentions the low longevity of the Laser sails, the cost associated with the multiple sails that must be bought by top sailors (easily 10 or more sails per season) is not factored in the analysis, and it is known that the price of the Laser sails is excessive for what they are. This helps the Laser get a high score of 4.5, while the reality is that Laser sailors spend unnecessary large amount of money on the sails, that typically are only competitive for one or two regattas. 10 sails in a season should ring alarm bells on an environmental level alone. Easily fixed by limiting sails.

 
And regarding the Laser hulls, the report indirectly admits there is an issue with the longevity of the hulls, but this is not factored in the cost analysis either. Instead, the report comes with the astounding assertion, on page 5: « The hull is durable beyond its competitive life making cheap boats available to many sailors. » This is an admission not only that the boats don’t last long, but also that they loose substantial value after their competitive life, as they are then « cheap » to buy by other sailors. We don't know how long Aeros will last nor what their eventual second hand value will be but a second hand one on trade-me is $5000 under new without details of age. I know of Lasers 50 years old still getting kids into sailing.
 
...
 
It’s worth commenting here on the Laser. There is a well documented history of inconsistent building of the boat. This is recognized in the report, which states that « although compliant with their construction manuals and quality controls, the presented tolerances were considered by the Evaluation Panel as too high. » And to continue:  « The supply of equipment for Olympic events and other major events mitigates the poor standardization, however tighter tolerances and higher controls are deemed required. » As said, not a problem at top levels as the boats are supplied by one manufacturer
 
In addition, recent developments have brought to the fore that Lasers may have been voluntarily built at a higher specification in Australia. A « Defect Notice » by the laser class ILCA states that 2,280 boats produced between 2006 and 2015 are « known not to comply with the manufacturing specifications of the Laser Construction Manual. » « The defect is an additional layer of approximately 300g/m2 chopped strand mat (« CSM ») included in the hull laminate forward of the centerboard case to the bow of the boats …. the existence of which has been confirmed by visual inspection and technical analysis of a deconstructed sample PSA boat. » This information was not taken into account in the WS report, although it was public prior to its release. The firms and their principals and everyone involved should be banned for life. It's not the boats fault
 
What are the implications? It seems much easier to implement consistency in production when only one builder is involved, which is the case for the Aero and the d-Zero. When several builders are involved, there was no attempt by the evaluation team to assess the consistency between the various builders. In 50 years time, will all 217000 Aeros and their components be made by one firm? I doubt it
 
...
 
As previously indicated, it is known that the Lasers produced by the now dominant builder - Performance Sailcraft Australia - have significant variability in their mast rakes and can actually be bought with a specification of the mast rake, defying thereby the very concept of strict one design sailboatVery easy to measure
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wow looking at these prices reminds me what good value the National Solo is, watched them racing in the UK last year and thought as an Adult size boat -what a nice performer and looker.

OK we have the Zephyr for looks but for speed those Solo look great.

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