Best Boats 2012 Winner: The VX One Design (Performance 30ft and Under)


Designer Brian Bennett says the idea behind the VX One Design was to build the fastest possible sportboat that fits inside a 20-foot shipping container, while delivering serious value for your money. If you’re familiar with the Volvo Open 70 class, you’ll recognize the similarities: a nearly plumb bow, carbon-fiber spars, chines that run from the transom to the bow section, a flat-top mainsail and a surfing-friendly undercarriage. Given the right breeze and angles, says Bennett, the VX One Design will plane at 20-plus knots.

And it’ll stay easy on the crew, thanks partly to a clean cockpit layout and a self-tacking jib with a recessed furler. The boat follows the KISS approach, promoting eyes-out-of-the-boat sailing, and is ideal for one-design fleet racing. Foot braces and hiking straps are where you want them and a gennaker bag sits on the cockpit sole, just to port of centerline. A single line hoists the fractional kite—via the gennaker-launching aperture—and extends the carbon “prod”: pull a different string while releasing the first and the gennaker retracts and self-packs.

Hull construction is light but tough, featuring PVC-cored resin-infused vinylester and e-glass. All VX One Designs are being built and serviced in the United States, complementing the boat’s feel-good pedigree. Bennett and his team have employed ISAF guidelines and templates to ensure strict one-design compliance and tight build tolerances worldwide.

Thanks to the extruded aluminum lifting-keel, three boats can fit into a 20-foot container, or eight can be shipped in a 40-foot container. Class rules stipulate that only four new sails can be purchased per year, nullifying war-chest campaigns. Game on!

LOA 19ft?
LWL 18ft 10in
Beam 7ft 2in?
Draft 4ft 4in
Displacement 450 lb
Sail Area 215 ft2

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