Monday, January 12, 2015

RS Aero Rigging Guide

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.

I wish I had seen that before 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!


Litoralis said...

I'm confuse...on the port side do I use the front cleat or the rear cleat.

my2fish said...

that diagram for the stand-up spring install is fantastic! I did learn about the zip-tie method on the Sunfish Forum a while back, it makes the install so much easier.

Tillerman said...

Well spotted Litoralis. The diagram (including the text on the diagram) and the text at the side of the diagram say opposite things. I think the diagram is right.

But apart from that mistake, I still think the manual is exceptional.

There you go my2fish. I used to read the Sunfish forum but gave up after I sold my Sunfish back in 2006 or thereabouts.

George A said...

Using zip-ties to compress the ratchet block stand up spring is a great tip that I had not seen before. I wonder if there's a similar trick for for ratchet block stand-up boots?

Tillerman said...

Thanks George. Pleased to hear I was not the last sailor in the world to hear about the cable-tie trick.

George A said...

Just next to last.

Unknown said...

Hi Tillerman,
Glad you like the Manual! Whilst 60 pages might seem lengthy much is trivial and once you get stuck in you will be turning the pages pretty quickly. An initial rig can be done in about 90 minutes, plus sail numbers - just about right to properly bond with your new boat!

RS have been accumulating edits for an updated version. Your above find is corrected in the latest version re-posted here;

Naturally there are a couple of corkers left in there, just so they know if people are actually reading it!

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