Q: Is this boat the ‘Laser replacement’?
A: Some people call it that, and thousands have been sold to customers who traditionally sailed Lasers. It's not quite a 1:1 comparison, as the Aero is faster, lighter and 40 years more modern in design. But, they both tend to target the same sailors.
Q: Does the boat really only way 67 lbs?
A: Yup - which is less than an Optimist dinghy weighs
Q: Will it be in the Olympics?
A: Stay tuned :)
Q: How many have been sold in the US, or the world?
A: A few hundred are sold a year, and by early 2019, the fleet size was around 2200 boats worldwide.
Q: How does it compare to a Laser?
A: Again, they are somewhat different... the Laser is like driving an old muscle car, the Aero is like driving a Tesla Roadster. You have to be 'ahead' of the Aero more, and be on your toes - but it's quite rewarding in that regard. Laser is much lower tech, much less nimble and very much a dated design (which isn't 'bad' but just what it is)
Q: Does this boat foil?
A: One or two manufacturers make foiling kits of the Aero... but this does void the warranty. Despite the light weight, foiling boats are purpose designed to foil, and the Aero was not designed with that in mind.
Q: Is the boat fragile?
A: Sometimes lighter boats get a reputation for being delicate. The Aero is made of e-glass, carbon fiber and epoxy resin, making it one of the strongest boats we sell. That said, because it is so light, it needs to be cared for different than much heavier and older designs. Most damage we see happens during launching and retrieving. Again, if you treat it like a sports car, there isn't much you need to do different than other boats. If you treat it like a daily driver commuter car, you'll find it is a bit more susceptible to dings and dents in that role. In our years of selling them, we've had a handful of boats with issues in the early days, but nothing lately, and no more than most of the other boats that we sell.
Q: Trailer Options?
A: If you have a Seitech or Dynamic Dolly for your boat, the Right On Trailer for the Aero is an economical method. It’s a painted trailer, so, not as durable as a galvanized trailer, but, it works well. https://westcoastsailing.net/right-on-laser-and-sunfish-trailer/
If you are after a custom trailer - the best one available is the Trailex 'Laser' version: https://westcoastsailing.net/trailex-laser-trailer/ When you order it, let us know it's for an Aero, and we swap out the trailer bow piece so it fits the Aero perfectly. Off you go!
Q: Tell me about the 3 sail sizes?
A: There is a 5, 7 and 9 meter option for the Aero. Depending on sailor weight and prevailing wind conditions, one of the three rigs will be most appropriate for you. The boom and top section are interchangeable between all three sail sizes. The only thing that changes is the sail itself, as well as the corresponding lower mast section. The 7 is the most popular, followed by the 9. Probably half of our customers have two rigs so as to have the appropriate sail for a broad range of conditions.
Q: Can I leave the mast up?
A: We have a few customers that do this... and you can, but we don't love it. You'll need to make sure the mast is covered by a canvas protectant of some kind long term, and also that the boat is secured properly to the dolly/dock. We don't recommend it, but a select number of customers do keep their boats this way for convenience.
Q: The Aero looks cool, but might be overkill for me, what is my next best option?
A: If you like everything about the Aero, but are concerned it might be a bit much for you, you'll want to give a hard look to the RS Neo: https://westcoastsailing.net/rs-neo/ It uses similar rigging to the Aero, in a more durable 'institutional' hull that is perfect for leaving on a beach or handing over to aspiring new sailors.