I may not be an RS Aero owner yet but I have been watching with interest the launch of the boat around the world and especially its huge success in the UK. More on that in another post.
It's clear that RS Sailing know exactly how to successfully design, build and bring to market a new sailing dinghy, and they have the process worked out down to the smallest details. As an example, I found, via a link on the RS Aero Class website, the RS Aero Rigging Manual, the 59 page instruction book that is mainly about how to set up and rig your boat the first time.
I suppose that you, like me, have suffered in the past with instruction manuals. "Easy self assembly" are words we dread to see when we purchase any product. I have puzzled for hours over instructions for the assembly of everything from boat trailers to garden furniture, model airplanes to IKEA furniture. Almost all of them seem to be poorly translated from the original Chinese (or Swedish) and have incomprehensible diagrams that seem to bear no relation to the items in the box. I usually prevail (stubbornness is one of my more admirable traits) but I had to admit defeat recently with a tent that someone in the family had bought my granddaughter for Xmas.
I also remember recently offering to help a poor fellow at the sailing club who had just taken delivery of a new sailboat with which I have more than a slight familiarity. He couldn't work out how to rig the damn thing with the bits of string in the box and zero instructions. After puzzling over it for a while I had to give up; I couldn't figure out either how to possibly rig the beast with those particular bits of string.
Where was I ? Where am I? Oh yes. The RS Aero Rigging Manual.
Now I haven't actually used it to rig an RS Aero yet but the manual is so well organized and clear and superbly illustrated that it should be a piece of cake (provided, of course, that the right bits of string are in the box.) By the way, have you noticed that LEGO, no matter how complex the kit, ALWAYS manages to get exactly the right bits in the box. How do they do that? If you discover you are short of a piece it's always because your kid has already used it in the wrong step. But I digress. Again.
Here are just a couple of examples of the clarity, level of detail and quality of illustrations.
Hey, that's a trick I could use on my Laser too. I never thought of using cable ties to compress that spring that holds up the mainsheet block. Or am I the last sailor on the planet to learn this trick?
And there are five whole pages (only one of which is below) that guide you through the process of rigging the outhaul and downhaul so that you don't get your knickers -I mean strings - in a twist.
Whoops. Anyone spot the deliberate mistake in step 16? Well, nobody's perfect.
It really is a very impressive job. They even call a vang a vang and not a kicker.
There are also a few paragraphs on how to launch and sail the boat… and look at this, an explanation on how to do a capsize recovery.
my struggles to do an "over the side" capsize recovery in Minorca. Yes, it is possible to "capsize the boat back on top of oneself in spite of the form stability." After over 30 years of doing countless successful capsize recoveries in a Laser without that problem, I didn't even think to test out whether "this can be counteracted with a little mainsheet tension somewhat like water starting a sailboard."
I need another session on an Aero to practice my "water starts."
Seriously, congratulations to whoever produced this rigging manual. Great job!