RS 300 - a single-hander of sophistication

That still manages to live life on the edge of wild ...
The RS300 is an innovative boat, with its wide wings and narrow waterline. It not only takes dinghy design forward, but is also great fun to sail. The Clive Everest and RS-developed single-hander has a choice of two rigs - it is supplied with only one - and on the madforsailing test we used the larger B rig. This mast is normally suited to crews over 75-80 kg, but our light weight test-pilot Shirley Robertson tried the boat on a predominantly soft Solent day. A few good puffs came through though, and weighing only 58 kg the boat accelerated from two to ten knots in as many seconds. The team was certainly impressed with the simplicity of the rigging. Control lines are easily lead and the sail hoists effortlessly. The toe-straps adjust quickly and the hiking is comfortable (if such a thing can ever be said). Offwind, the RS300 flies in all breezes, and is noticeably quick to plane. The unstayed rig offered the opportunity to run by the lee, Laser-style, although we got the most spectacular speeds by sailing a little higher. The racers will need to work out if this gives a faster VMG, but there’s no question that overall the RS 300 is an exceptionally pacey single-hander. We had our gripes, such as the difficulty in getting the RS 300 off the slipway. She's a bit tippy and was constantly powered up by the fully-battened sail - you need some help to get waterborne which is unfortunate for a single-hander. Getting the centreboard down in the case - which was a little too tight for it - was complicated by a clever elasticated hold-down device. This did at least allow the board to cant aft in the event of grounding. Although easy to right from a capsize, getting