Here are some interesting e-mails and good reviews from our customers.
Hunts Sailing Club test day
D-Zero vs Laser – comparison and thoughts
At the D-Zero Demo day held at Hunts SC we managed to do some direct comparisons with a D-zero against a Laser. Whilst it was expected that the D-Zero would be much faster the observations were surprising.
The comparison took place in a light F2 with occasional puffs to F3. The helms doing this were myself and a guy I usually have a close fight with on the water in his Laser.
Upwind it was immediately noticeable how much higher the D-Zero would point than the Laser, a good 5-10 degrees. It did not slip sideways as quickly as the Laser either and did maintain boat speed better when the wind dropped off. There was no way the Laser could get to a windward makr faster unless they nailed the beat and the D-Zero got it wrong. It was also noticeable how much easier the D-Zero looked to sail and the lack of fuss when sailing. In the puffs the boat heeled and accelerated and came flat with a little trimming.
Tacking the boat seems to tack very quickly indeed with very little loss of speed. Acceleration out of the tacks were noticeable even when there was no ‘pump’ from a roll tack.
We also started with the D-Zero some 10 yards downwind of the Laser. In a very short space of time the D-zero had climbed above the Laser and was some 10 yards upwind and going faster despite the high pointing angle.
Offwind – Reaching
Reaching the boat was a delight. Accelerating quickly in any puff even without taking a pump. The transition to planning was very smooth, soon leaving the Laser far behind. Which could get planning but had to be worked much harder. When it came to gybing the boat was much better mannered than the Laser, a bit of heel to windward to induce the bear away and the boat gybe smoothly, inciting confidence as the sail popped across to really get the boat moving on the exit of the gybe.
Offwind – Running
This was the only point of sail where the Laser boat speed was anywhere near the D-Zero. The D-Zero accelerated much quicker in the puffs due to the light weight but did slow down quicker in the lulls. The Laser (by virtue of being heavier) took much longer to slow in the lulls so would catch up. The D-Zero felt much more secure downwind with the sail kited up though (sitting on the chine) and was also a lot more comfy even when you moved well forward to be alongside the daggerboard case. Whilst the Laser tended to rock around unless you really were in control the D-Zero felt as if you could almost let go of the tiller and the boat would not change course.
The rudder loads were light and the cassette rudder arrangement is great for coming ashore as you can raise it half way ready for the shallow bits.
The sail controls were nice but it was felt that they should be a little longer so they can be tied off further back so they are in reach and ready to adjust (a Laser sailors opinion, Adrian did say that Dan usually attached his to the daggerboard).
The hiking position was very, very comfortable. Even after several sails (in varying winds) I felt very little fatigue in my calf muscles despite not wearing my hiking pads.
Overall the boat was a joy to sail. Everyone who got out came back with a big smile on their face. We even had one visitor who could not sail due to a foot injury but had come to have a look and speak to people prior to ordering one for himself.
Oxford Sailing Club test day
‘I took one out at Oxford on Sunday in 15-20kts and loved it. Really easy to sail, and utterly delightful. The rig is genuinely great, amazingly low loads on the main to go block to block and the controls were all very effective and well sorted. And the hull is fab, so narrow at the bow but perfectly stable and it feels small, like you’re the boss of it rather than a passenger, but carried my 90kg no problem. Very simple but very well engineered.
Like a Laser but with Finn quality.
A big thumbs up from me!’
Grafham Water Sailing Club test day
Thoughts on the Devoti D-Zero
I sailed the D-Zero at the Jamboree Regatta at Grafham on 29th June 2014. The weather was a dull wet day force 3 to 4.
The rudder and dagger board fit easily and it is possible to get out with both only partially down.
The boat looks good. The lack of a gunwale makes it look modern. I was in a white boat. There was a grey one sailing as well which in my mind looked better. The hull looks neat and tidy. The black weave material was nice. The mast and boom looked very nice – quality kit.
Rudder loading was very light indeed and the sheet loading with the kicker on was fine. The hiking position is brilliant – it was so good it felt like cheating! Upwind the boat was lovely to sail in the conditions we had, it tracks well and didn’t feel like the fight you have in the Laser.
Downwind was fantastic when the wind was up. The boat planes easily and very fast. There is some spray but you feel on top of it rather than in it. I went past Flying Fifteens under full kite with ease. Gybing was very straightforward. The boat is stable and didn’t rock at all. The power comes on with an audible bang which is a bit of a shock but otherwise no drama. On the run I sailed it like a Laser – running by the lee with the top of the sail “panting” – no drama. Wasn’t too sure how muck kicker to use downwind – no doubt that would come with time?
Overall I was very impressed with the D-Zero. It sailed like a turbo-charged Laser but with all the Laser’s vices removed. I was racing off a handicap of 1010 and came second in one race (race was won by some Laser hot-shot!). It felt like it could reach this handicap as long as it was a good force 4 and the boat was planing freely.
Grafham Water Sailing Club test day
A group of us test sailed the D-Zero at the weekend on Grafham Water, our home club, one of the larger lakes in the centre of England. We were fortunate in that it was also an RS-Aero demo day, enabling us to compare the boats in similar conditions, and on the same stretch of water. On the Saturday we sailed in 5kts, gusting up to 8kts at times and on the Sunday it was blowing between 10 and 14kts. A couple of the guys also raced the boats on the Sunday in the club regatta, with others sailing during the lunch break and also 3 people going for a sail after the racing.
The net result was that 3 of us were impressed enough by the boat to place orders at this early stage, with quite a few others showing initial interest.
Some of the comments overheard:-
“It answers all the questions that the Laser never has”
“It sailed like a turbo-charged Laser but with all the vices removed”
“The hiking position is brilliant – it was so good it felt like cheating!”
The boats we sailed were the pre-production prototypes and looked good, very neat and tidy. Mast and boom looked very nice quality kit, with a very well made North laminate sail, of 8.1 metres. Rudder and sheet loading were very light and the boat tracked very well upwind, with great response. Downwind the boat was very rewarding, with impressive acceleration. There is some spray but you feel as though you are over the top of it, rather than in it. On the dead run the boat sailed well deep by the lee like a Laser.
Overall the boat is a very impressive package and we felt a degree of comfort with the reputation of the builder and the UK distributor, in my case enough to commit to the class after 40 years in the Laser.
(sadly his boat developed cracks yesterday but he is very supportive and I will supply a new boat to him)
I just wanted to thank you and Sue for your help yesterday when we collected my D-Zero.
As anticipated, I didn’t manage to sail yesterday – by the time I could have done, the wind was down to 5 knots and dropping – but I did find time to have a good look at the boat. I must say that the quality seems terrific; it has that “engineered” feel about it, a bit like a German car. As you know I was impressed with the original demo boats, but with the production boats they have moved into another league!
Well done Devoti, Suntouched and everyone else who has worked to hard to bring the boat to the market.
Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club test day
Well we had a demo at our club over the weekend, a bit of a weird wind day, there had been this mental storm the night before that looked like the aliens coming in that scene from Independence Day and the wind was all over the place varying from light to quite breezy and lots of our club guys n gals got out.
Then the following day a couple of them entered the Zero and the D1 into the club Race which enjoyed similarly swirling around breeze. The end result the D1 lead pretty much all the way around and the D Zero was third boat, way ahead of our Laser hotshots in fact we even had trouble getting by him in the Alto (It’s kind of a 505 derivative) on the fetchy course that it turned out to be.
I’ve got to say every time I sail it, it’s like putting on a well fitting glove or pair of slippers, it just fits and everything is where it should be and the hull shape positively encourages a decent sailing stance.
D-Zero first sail in anger
Having waited (im)patiently for a delivery date for my D-Zero I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that I could collect my boat from the Grafham demo day on the 26th July. As you can imagine I was excited and keen to get out in the boat ASAP. Turning up at Graham and wandering over to see the guys as they got ready for the demo day I got chatting to a member from Grafham who had not sailed for 2 years due to a foot injury and was a little nervous about taking the boat out. He got over that pretty quickly and soon disappeared out into the lake in the light winds. Then came the time to take ownership of my new boat, one of the ex-demo boats (and the one from the stand at the dinghy show with the rather nice black carbon foils). It has just come back from Devoti having been back to the factory for refurbishment prior to me taking ownership. I just wanted to unpack it all there and then and go for a sail. Sadly time did not permit this as my good lady wife was expecting me home. I did have a full day sailing pass for the Sunday though.
Sunday dawned. The gods according to Windguru gave the wind as being light to moderate in the morning and dropping off a little through the day, how wrong they were!
The first race was hardly representative as the wind was up and down and from random directions. After a reasonable start and rounding the windward mark in 2nd behind a Fireball the wind proceeded to shut down and shift randomly. Position in the race depended more on luck than anything else. Still the boat felt good in the puffs of wind and definitely showed potential. Despite the wind I managed to squeeze out a 3rd in the Fast Handicap fleet being beaten by 2 Lasers and came off the water with a big grin on my face.
For race 2 the fleets change. Lasers and Solos went off in to their fleets and there is 1 handicap start so this time the line was much busier with boats ranging from an X1 right through to several British Moths, Comets and a few Optimists. The wind had increased a little from the morning race and had steadied but I decided that being over the line was the place to be so went back to restart losing about a minute and a half and getting to the windward mark almost dead last. As the wind was steadier and I was getting a better feel for the boat and what was likely to make it go and not go I made good progress through the fleet ending up 3rd on the water by the finish. Once the spreadsheet had done it’s work it came out I was 5th behind 3 British Moths and the Comet. Not a bad result given I had gone back at the start. I did get a much better feel for the boat and was starting to work out the transitions between points of sail much better and working out where to sit. It was surprising how much further back you can sit when going upwind without causing the stern wake to become all messed up indicating excessive drag.
For the final race of the day the wind has picked up a little more and planing was possible in the gusts. The boat was really starting to come alive and the grin on my face was definitely evident and the boat was really starting to come alive. The boat responded well to being worked upwind with trimming the order of the day to keep the boat flat and moving fast. I had a great battle with a Fireball that lasted for most of the race. Offwind they were (usually) faster but upwind I found I could make some really big gains by outpointing them and having similar boat speed (yes I was surprised, Fireballs usually fly upwind). We did have a little chat as we went round, they were commenting on just how ‘right’ the boat looks on the water and eyebrows were raised when they found out I was sailing off 1044 PY. The boat felt really good for the entire race. My only real mistake was not moving back during a couple of the mark rounding in the puffs where the nose had a tendency to bury. It popped back up readily enough once I moved back though, one thing to make a note of. I finished second on the water behind the X1 but ahead of a Fireball and won on the spreadsheet. I am wondering how long they will let me keep 1044 (although 1 day of racing was hardly representative).
Needless to say there was a lot of interest and several people wanting to have a go, some just to see if it goes as good as it looks and other with a possible interest in buying one.
So the first outing was a resounding thumbs up from me, I have not enjoyed my sailing that much in a very long time and cannot wait to get out in on the water again. I was not even that annoyed about having to go back in Race 2 for being over the line!
Here are some ramblings.
I had not seen a D Zero until my boat arrived in Guernsey as a replacement for my Finn.
Looked fantastic in the dinghy park but how would it be on the water?
First sail to be the annual race across the Little Russel, around the island of Jethou and back, yachts, cats and dinghies all together but I will not be given a handicap. It is going to be a reach out and back with a force 3-4 wind. Not a comprehensive test but should be good fun.
On the water.
Crickey she is small after the Finn!
Time to get acclimatised before the off. Light on helm and sheet, feels light and lively yet very stable. Looks good so far. Do some gybes; rock steady.
We are off. Picking up speed and going boat to boat with a Contender and an R100. travelling fast and easily. Good fun. Various types of Lasers and others trailing behind. Mid Little Russel and a typical chop. Rodney says this boat is good in waves. Lets test it. Let the boat go straight into a few waves, bow dips, a bit of water splashes over the nose and, pop, up the bow comes. A real test now, an inter island ferry. Hit it wrong in the Finn and a big wave travels along the foredeck and into the cockpit. Push the d Zero straight into the wake, wave comes about 6 ins back along the foredeck and up the bow pops. Never doubted you Rodney. This boat is just not for nose diving.
Lost a bit with this nonsense and RS100 and Contender have escaped. Time to chase them hard. Play with a Pogo 40, they are simply not having the fun I am.
A run down the back of Jethou and the wind is light between the islands. I start to pull back the RS100 and Contender. Then loose big time round the corner by showing respect to the rocks. Gel coat too shiny.
Back in the Little Russel. Wind now about 15 knots and we are really tracking. Some nice waves as well. All very under control. It is Fun Fun Fun. I have got what seems the D Zero affliction; a simply massive grin.
Too soon the finish line appears and I must head in. Two cats and a yacht take the chocolates with the RS100 first dinghy. I would probably have come next on handicap.
Simply a great sail and the most fun I have had in a boat for a long long time. Thanks Devoti and Rodney.
Did not get ashore scot free. Rudder too stiff to get up. I do not recommend standing at the very stern, then losing one’s balance , falling overboard and capsizing the boat. but never mind, the daggerboard is in very easy reach and one small pull brings the boat upright.
Its low tide and a 10 metre vertical rise to the top of the slipway but even this is a pleasure (after a Finn)!
This is a great little boat and just simply fun. Lively, responsive, controllable, did not find any vices. I think though that she will reward hard sailing and good technique. She certainly has that something special about her.
Downside – you keep walking around with a stupid grin on your face.