(Spelling fixes and minor edits April 19, 8am EST)

I was highly impressed with the RS Aero. Here a quick summary that I will expand on soon.  The Aero has a number of unique attributes that no other single handed one design has.  The boat was clearly FAR better thought out than any other ‘modern” single handed racing dinghies that I have sailed to date.  In some ways, the RS Aero was superior to an almost embarrassing degree.

RS Aero – simple single-hander with three rig size options for youth and adult sailors.

  1. The all up weight.  66 lbs all up vs. 125 for the Laser and the M14.  That is a game changer in both beach and car top handling but in the performance, liveliness, and thrill of sailing the boat.  With the RS Aero, every small body movement and trim adjustment was rewarded with instantaneous feedback.
  2. The main halyard.  The ability to raise the mast separately from the sail is very convenient.  Lifting a sizeable full batten rig (M14) or massive Laser aluminum rig in strong wings, or even light winds with a smaller sailor is a feat of strength that I can do without.  Rigging the RS Aero is relaxed and comfortable.
  3. Spar quality.  The quality and fit and finish of the RS Aero spar makes the others look crude in comparison.  The RS aero spar and boom design is brilliant from both an engineering and build quality perspective.
  4. Sailing position comfort.  Again, a game changer.  I find the small difference between the deck and floor height in the M14 to be very awkward, also the colossal cockpit makes it a long step between sides when tacking and this can cause the sailor to become unstable and fall.  The Aero offers an improvement over the Laser in terms of comfort and stability which is a strong characteristic of the Laser.
  5. Dacron sail (5, 7 and 9 meters).  The dacron sail shapes beautifully around the significant bend of the free-standing mast and is very forgiving.  Mylar is an abysmal material choice for a free standing rig as it is unable to stretch and gets quite distorted.  Laser offers only a 5 and 7.  The nine makes the Aero a fantastic boat for a 200-240 lb sailor.
  6. Rigging.  RS Aero is simple and brilliant.  A step above the others who simply copy the Laser setup.  Love it.
  7. Speed and Excitement.  Unmatched.  We blew the Olympic Finns sailing nearby away with ease upwind.  In breeze, downwind, the RS Aero is so superior that it is in a class all by itself.
  8. Stackability.  The boat is designed to be stackable making trailering and shipping much more efficient and simple.
  9. Class Management.  The RS Aero is already a deeply supported and strong international class with World’s attendance over 150 boats expected in 2018.  Marc Jacobi is the best fleet coach, supporter, sales manager that I have ever seen in sailing.
  10. PRICE!  $1000 cheaper than the M14.  Same as a race Laser.  Demo boats readily available for $6800.  All of this value makes the RS Aero a complete NO BRAINER.  What are we waiting for.  Life is too short to sail Laser’s forever.

The RS Aero is the best single-handed dinghy that I have ever sailed, by far, PERIOD.  More photo’s soon as well.

Sean Fidler
March 20, 2018