Pacific Boat Show in Richmond CA.


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I went to this boat show with my wife to meet the guys from West Coast Sailing where I bought my Sunfish last July. They had four RS models in the showroom and the RS21 out on the dock. I had been very interested in the RS Quest and wanted to see this particular model. Also, I was very much hoping they had a new Sunfish so I could compare it to mine-no luck with that. The Quest was a good sized boat and bigger than the photos and videos seemed to reflect. They had an Aero, a Feva, the Quest and a Zest on the floor. I very much like the Quest and had some hopes that my wife would be interested as it is a two man boat with spinnaker capabilities. It could be in my future...maybe. George of West Coast Sailing talked a bit about the Zest which has an open deck and was pretty cool. I was puzzled when I asked him about performance because he seemed to say it wasn't really much better than the Sunfish. Maybe I didn't hear him correctly as I certainly would think such a new design would have increased performance. He said the Aero was really a racing boat but and not so good for pleasure sailing as it was really twitchy...hhmm. The Aero they had was leaned upright and not displayed with its sail like the others. At 66 pounds, the Aero is very light and maybe not as durable as other boats and is for a more specific purpose.
Well, we went out to the dock for our RS 21 demo ride. It was a really cool boat, very stable and smooth. There were cancellations and I thought it was going to be just me and the skipper which would have been cool. He asked if my wife wanted to go and she was ready which was a plus as I want to get her involved (RS Quest in mind). Another couple was right there and they went too. So the five of us took off into the sheltered area by the yacht club. The wind was at about 7 knots so it was a bit mild and I was wishing for a little more. The other guy had some experience as a college student and had some racing experience so I was able to pick up a few things with his interactions with the skipper Jake. He manned the tiller and then I took over. The boat was really smooth and stable as I mentioned. The steering was very responsive and it was quite a bit of fun. Jake put up the spinnaker and took it down twice on our run. This was really cool as I got to see how it worked and have only seen them from a distance as I crossed the Golden Gate bridge on my former commute to the city. When our time was over, I swung the boat close to the dock, we took down the mainsail and he took over and docked it with the jib. We got off and checked out some of the big cruising sailboats which were really awesome and beautiful. My wife was hungry and we got some catfish from one of the food vendors. It was crazy good and I remember the last time I had it was when my friend caught and cooked one back in 1986. I'm not much for fish but catfish may be on the menu more often and my wife was in heaven and now really happy she went!
It was a great trip and it was great to meet the West Coast Crew and see these awesome boats in real life. My biggest take away? Very happy with my Sunfish and so glad I bought it and happy I was able to get a new one. People have been sailing for thousands of years. When I go to Tomales, I see all the people sitting on the beach, in the restaurants or driving by in their cars. Those with sailboats can get out on the water and see it from a different perspective and explore in a way others cannot. Motor boats and kayaks are great for those that enjoy them but sailing is a really different and unique experience. I gotta say, I love my Sunfish-very happy to have this boat. 20190406_103623.jpg 20190406_103701.jpg


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beldar boathead

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The Quest sounds good for what you want it for. The description lists it as a training boat, and it’s rotomolded plastic so I doubt it’s designed for high performance. It looks nice.


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I've been wondering how it compares to a Hunter 15/17 or a Capri 14.5. It is a good looking boat but one of my flaws is spending too much money on stuff because I "like the way it looks".


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The 14.2/14.5 mistake may be mine. There are a few of them out there in very good shape for an affordable price. It would almost be worth it to pick one up for the trailer alone. It would be fun to have a stable, roomy boat that was drier than the Sunfish for my wife and family. Probably, I'll practice with the Sunfish until I become more proficient and maybe pick up a daysailer. Doubt I'll ever sell my Sunfish. It will be in my will.
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Years ago a friend asked me to find a small sailboat for her because she wanted to learn how to sail with her husband. I found a great deal on a used 13 foot Chrysler Pirateer with a trailer. The first thing I noticed the first day I sailed it was how tender it was. Due, I concluded, to the very round bottom.

The problem too was that because of the seats, it was hard to slowly adjust the amount of hiking you wanted to do as you sailed into and out of puffs of wind... in contrast to my 470 which had a constant curve from the gunnel to the cockpit floor. Plus, in the 470 we had hiking straps and of course a trapeze for the crew that I used when I single handed the boat.

Such was the tenderness of the Pirateer that I immediately had my sail loft guy put in some reefing grommets in the main. That really helped a lot. Who would ever guess that a sailboat that looked so inviting with those seats would be so tippy. If I ever got a boat like that I'd find a design with a hard chine and a flatter bottom.

Here's a picture of a Pirateer. Check out the rounded bottom.

- Andy