Every year I wait patiently to hear the results from the BOTY competition, and this year was no exception...especially with the competition heating up in the 20 foot sport boat class. Is there any chance the guys (and girls) at SW will put together a true 20 foot sport boat challenge? The crappy threads over on SA are beyond obnoxious, and Id love to see what some real on the water comparission would be like...Please please please do a 20 something shoot out sometime this year. Im sure there are plenty of readers out there that would like to see the past BOTY winning Viper 640 with its new class carbon rig put head to head against the SB3. In a blind test, I would have thought the SB3 was developed in 1997 and the Viper was in 2007. Funny how things change...err...dont change over ten years. And while youre at it, throw in the T590, Open 5.7, and a U20. Whats that, you want me to come along for part of the challenge?!?! I thought you'd never ask.
Viper 640 http://youtube.com/watch?v=-MPzjyNafTs
Open 5.70 http://youtube.com/watch?v=NjH8YhQDeYY
sorry..couldnt find a vid of the ultimate 20. I sure wish i could include imbedded links above.
And is anyone else surprised by the inclusion of a below deck furler on the X boat...after all it has a traditional pole?
Last edited by anotherusername; 12-14-2007 at 10:42 AM. Reason: included video links
I think the real battle is going to come when the Melges 20 hits the water. That boat and the SB3 will be fighting to see who dominates the 20-foot category. I just don't see any of the other options—and this isn't a comment on their merits, merely their market share and their marketing power—really making an impact.
Plus I don't think it's really fair to compare the Viper and the T-590 to the SB3. The Viper and the T-590 are really dinghies with keels while the SB3 is much more of a keelboat. The Viper is a two or three person boat, and crowded with three decent sized men. I like the idea of the SB3 being a weight-limit boat as it opens up the game to any size people. Small, go with four, big, sail with three.
Senor--We'll see if Melges actually makes the 20 a reality, and even if they do, i dont know that it would be any less dinghy like than the viper, T, or SB3. I got a chance to check out the viper and SB3 at the boat show and i just dont see what all the fuss is about with the SB3. I think both boats are like souped up versions of an etchells, and meant to fill a similar void. Neither boat has a cabin, they are around a similar weight, but for the money, you seem to get a cooler boat....carbon rig, front launcher. I agree that the creation of a strong one design class is crucial to success, but why do we think the SB3 or Melges can do it any better? I havent seen people throwing down deposits on them in Annapolis.
SW--People want to know. Get on the phone with the wizard of zenda give us a real show down a la car and driver.
We agree there. Hopefully the magazine will get someone from Zenda to shed some light on the Melges 20 situation. However rumor central has them feverishly working to get the M 20 ready in the first half of 2008. If anything, that speaks to the concern they have for the potential of the SB3.
We'll be talking to someone from the Melges team as part of our Key West preview. We'll be sure to ask them about the 20. Stay tuned.