SAIL's Best Boats 2017: VX-Evo

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VX-Evo: Best Performance Boat under 30ft


Best Performance Boat under 30ft

When it comes to downwind sailing, it’s an asymmetric world, especially at the upper levels of the sport, like at the Olympics. The problem is becoming adept at handling an A-sail and/or becoming comfortable enough with one that every gybe and take down isn’t a cause for concern. Enter the VX Evo, an evolution of the red-hot VX One, which is, in turn, an evolution of the predatory Viper 640—each one of them the brainchild of Kiwi-born sailor Brian Bennett. Looking a bit like a 21st-century version of the hallowed Finn heavyweight dinghy, the VX Evo can be either singlehanded or doublehanded by a pair of lighter-weight sailors. Three different mains can also be flown from its carbon-fiber rig to further accommodate crews weighing from 165 to 250lb. The result is a boat that you can gybe to your heart’s delight, whether you’re alone or with a buddy until it becomes second nature. Beyond that, the lightweight hull is expressly configured to get up onto a plane and is vacuum bagged in E-glass, carbon and epoxy with a foam core to minimize weight while maximizing stiffness. The boat’s high-aspect carbon foils kick up for easy launching from any location, and the boat can be rigged or de-rigged in about 15 minutes. Double stacking trailers are available for transport to regattas, and a VX Evo training and regatta series is currently in progress for those looking to get a head start on the competition. One of the downsides to top-flight racing is the complexity and commitment required to master the finer points of the sport. With the VX Evo, anyone can hit the water and work on their skills whenever it suits them—something that will not only make you a better sailor but sounds like a heck of a lot of fun as well.

December 2016



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