We all know a lot more about the VX One than we did a few weeks ago. We are continuing to test, and refine. The hood (fore-deck cap) has received the most review as there is a lot going on in this area, and we all want a boat that is simple and quick to rig, and operate, and economical to own. For example, the jib car control is now adjustable from a central location, and with such little need for cunningham we are testing an “on the mast” config. which keeps the boat very clean.
Sailing in 18-23ish the other day brought home some realizations that the VX one is a phenomenal performer, and probably one of the easiest and well behaved boats I have ever sailed at 18-20+ boatspeed. We thought the short LP kite would be undersized, but the furling jib provides perfect slot geometry, and she accelerates so effortlessly as a result. She also planes very early in lighter air, and is a delight to roll jibe.
Marketing: There is obvious conjecture around a craft that has three rigs. To clarify:
The VX One is THE one design format. 2-3 crew. Hiking. 135# lifting keel (with removable bulb for travel and SS Vs.). Total crew weight target 425 – 475#. This works well. The boat powers upwind impressively, and vang sheeting off the boom is comfortable, and responsive. It works well in 2 or 3 person format. A little more dinghy-esque than the Viper which is what you would expect in a lighter boat. The clean lines produce very little wake. She is quick and weatherly. We will be supporting VX One regattas from the factory as they come on line next year, and we are completely focused on making this a large and successful class.
The VX JS. This is simply a sail plan adaptation for junior and collegiate performance sailing, and recreational sailors. The Gennaker LP is shorter than the VX One, and the main hoist, while the same as the One, has a reduced squaretop and subsequently less area. The whole package being a degree more manageble as a result. This boat uses the same appendages, and self tacking jib as the VX One.
The VX SS is a change up, high horsepower sailplan. 2 traps, and 2 masthead check-stays plug in to support a Masthead kite. The bulb comes off (and a filler cap is installed), the boat sheds 135# and gains 30% more sailplan, and you can guess the result.
This format is intended, not to compete with the VX One, but to provide a simple, low cost avenue to top level pro-am, and sponsored events, without breaking the bank to do so. This format will be very challenging, but safer, simpler, and less expensive than a 49er, I 14, Intl 18 etc. The SS is also the “Lure” to hook the younger generation, and keep them in the sport, by offering an attainable solution to high performance sailing. They may ultimately choose to sail skiffs, but this is a great way to understand the concepts, and the thrills/ performance that is available if they stick with it. While we are testing the SS, we will not be promoting this package until the VX One is firmly established.
I can’t speak for all us older small boat sailors, but I have been, and always will be a speed freak. Now at 51 and 235# it is still a blast to pop the kite and be doing 22 Knts without any effort worth speaking of.
These concepts may be considered a little revolutionary, but I cannot think of any better way to bring performance sailing to the widest possible audience at the best possible scale of economy and efficiency. “One boat for life”.