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Home >> Sailing Tips & Technique >> Launching - Carrying an RS Aero to water horizontally
Hi Gregg, 
I have never done this but I have thought about it in case of an opportunity for a picnic, pub stop or adventure....

I think some thick pipe lagging/insulation (maybe 50mm diameter similar to image) could be good as the slit side could grip the gunwale and stay in place whilst carrying on its side with. A short length front and rear of the wide part of the RS Aero would work.

Alternatively you could carry a mat or sheet.

Dont forget to post your photos from your Alaska adventures!

22/06/2022 15:40:00
Peter Barton
Posts: 3839
Just wondering if anyone has found an optimal material for gunwhale protection, e.g. plastic, vinyl tubing, adhesive-backed rubber? I'm launching solo from hard beaches in Kodiak, Alaska and it seems like a handy feature to be able to lay the boat over with out hurting anything.


19/06/2022 16:47:00
Posts: 1
Thanks for your advice Peter

07/04/2020 13:35:00
James A
Posts: 5
Hi James, 
This is an option if you are happy carrying about 48kg sailing weight.

In over 5 years I have found little need to try doing this, although I do see it as an interesting option for sailing to somewhere, like to a pub lunch or beach picnic!

Instead, if necessary I would tip the RS Aero over in thigh/waist deep water after launching whilst I deal with the launching trolley. That buys a lot more time than leaving the boat upright.

Alternatively you might find/make a shallow water mooring buoy you can tie the boat to for a moment. It does not matter if it tips over (JC straps will make the RS Aero more inclined to tip over when left as they pull the boom off centre so that can be the last thing to do before setting off).

Points to think about for single handed carrying;
- Need to find the balance point between the front of the toe strap and the boom
- keep the mainsheet tight in one hand to hold the boom central for the lift
- Keep the rig to leeward of the hull (especially if any wind!)
- Ideally try to avoid the sail going onto the ground where possible, they pick up dirt
- Consider a short length of slit pipe lagging over the gunwhale lip in case you want to rest it on the ground or to assist in first tipping it over. It should grip the gunwhale nicely and you could easily take that sailing with you.
- Unlike Matt's video you could have the dagger board half way in whilst carrying

As the RS Aero is so light and has the practicality of the gunwhales for lifting and holding, multi person lifts to launch are a really good alternative method to trolleys. This is especially useful at coastal clubs with shore breaks (Lee on Solent, Felpham, Eastbourne, Downs....) or reservoirs with steep sides and strong onshore winds (60 RS Aeros launched safely in 15 minutes by carrying in at the Bloody Mary this year).
Matt Sheahan's test sail You Tube movie for Yachting World now has an incredible Quarter of a Million views! 

29/03/2020 15:55:00
Peter Barton
Posts: 3839
Thanks Chris, that is a great example and just what I needed!

28/03/2020 08:30:00
James A
Posts: 5
Watch Matt Sheahan do an option here:-

27/03/2020 14:53:00
Chris Hughes
Posts: 16
I have almost convinced myself to buy an RS Aero to get back into sailing after way too long! As well as club racing, I also plan to sail at various times on weekdays when work and weather allow. This means that the ability to launch and recover single-handedly is vital. Resting the hull on the shingle on windy days while I pull the trolley 10m up the beach is not an option that I would be happy with though!

In my youth I raced a Laser so there was always help around at the club to launch and recover each other. I didn’t sail alone often, but on the times I did I never found a good solution to this problem and I usually pushed the boat out and then frantically dragged the trolley some way up the beach before racing back to the water.

Obviously the RS Aero’s light weight of around 50kg all up is a massive advantage so carrying the boat around fully rigged seems to be a real option. Despite the Aero having been around for 6 years or so, I can’t find info about people carrying the boat in and out of the water in a similar way to an International Moth. There is a brief shot in this Youtube video though (RS Aero Spotlight: Hull). I did read somewhere that lifting with the daggerboard and boom was a good balance point, although in this clip the daggerboard seems to be elsewhere.

My thoughts on a technique that might work for launching:

Position head to wind where you want to leave the trolley
Rig normally
Manoeuvre Aero into a capsized position with the hull still on the horizontal trolley (I have an idea how to adapt and pad a trolley for this purpose)
Lift and carry the boat on its side, heading into the wind, into the water and float it upright

And recovery:
Jump out, hold the Aero head to wind and capsize it in shallow water, standing between boom and daggerboard
Carry it out of the water to the trolley or perhaps just leave it resting on its side on the beach whilst getting the trolley separately (I’m cringing a bit at this thought!)
Right the boat when back on the trolley

My questions to all you Aero sailors are, even if you have never carried your boat like this before:
How feasible do you think this method is and can you foresee problems?
Do you have other thoughts or suggestions?
What are your experiences of lifting and moving an Aero around generally when rigged, even if not launching?

I would appreciate your views!

26/03/2020 13:46:00
James A
Posts: 5

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