The gap in the RS model numbers is no accident. The RS500 is on its way

The gap in the RS model numbers is no accident. The RS500 has been planned for years and it is now in development. Following extensive consultation with sailors, international dealers and designers, LDC Racing Sailboats have built a prototype boat and as we go to press are testing the boat in the hands of a range of people across the full wind spectrum.

So, where will the RS500 fit into an already crowded market? LDC’s Nick Peters reports: “We have identified a significant gap for a very manageable yet exciting, single trapeze boat with an asymmetric spinnaker – small enough to cater for youngsters graduating out of boats such as the Feva, but with sufficient power and volume for teams of up to 145kg to race competitively. A boat that will transcend the usual break point in racing dinghies at age 19 because it is designed to appeal to adults as well – for racing or simply for a great blast.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the current boat launch climate is the choice of GRP as the material for the RS500. “Polyethylene is absolutely great for smaller racing boats and it is good for all-rounders where the durability scores, hence why we chose it for the Feva and Vision. But despite many claims, the material cannot (yet anyway) offer the stiffness to weight ratio essential for the kind of feel and performance the 500 will deliver.

“Yes, polyethylene is less hassle to manufacture, but we have not lost our original passion to offer the best boat in each of their sectors – truly The Sailor’s Choice. So, the RS500 will be built in GRP and we’ve designed it systematically for economical production. The price will surprise everyone.”

The prototype RS500 will be on the RS stand M1728 at the London Boat Show and production should be on stream by early summer 2006.