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I installed Raptor Deck last summer. Before that I sailed with knee pads but had a knee replacement and the pads caused too much pain. Now I sail in shorts barefoot and it is much more enjoyable.
The install process requires a completely clean surface with several soapy washings followed by denatured alchohol wipedown. Then carefully apply with a pressure roller no bubbles allowed. The adhesion continues to improve over the next few days, and I did not sail the boat until I was satisfied with that process. Reply
Great solution! I also would like to have it, but did not find a dealer in Germany / Europe. What's about RS do they plan to sell something like this in their web shop? Thanks in advance for tips! Reply
Has anyone fitted the 3mm padding on their Aero as per latest rules? Any insights would be appreciated. Reply
We are working on a couple updates to the Class Rules. These then need to be submitted to World Sailing for approval. Sorry but it will be a little while
Mark J Cole
Good to know thanks David. I used RaptorDeck on my A-Class which worked very well. Would be great if it can be installed in the Aero as well by option.Reply
Mark J Cole
We have had a number of discussions with various people, including at the Worlds. We are formulating a position and will let everyone know shortly
Out of interest - Is there any update on this discussion ?Reply
Mark J Cole
Have Knee pads, which can move around and slide off the knees. Also the shins can take a beating. I am in favor of deck padding.Reply
Having had a total knee replacement last fall I find that the knee pads are too painful to wear. So, I took and old yoga mat and cut it to fit. Wonderful. No knee pads, however I worry about leaving the pad in place and causing osmosis blisters so I religiously roll it up around the mast sections for transport. I support some sort of padding to eliminate the loss of skin. Reply
Having skinned my elbow yesterday sailing in a tee shirt(+shorts!) , I do wonder why the non slip is needed. I presume at some stage in development there was a boat without it and helms fell off. I would think fine on the floor, but do we need in on the decks? It seems a pity to have to fit padding, but I would support a change. Sailing in this hot weather , I have much sympathy for those in climates always warmer than ours!Reply
You don't need to change the class rules or modify the moulding as the abrasive non slip is just not a problem if you do the following:
Most UK towns are stuffed with charity shops selling jeans for a few quid. Go and get a few pairs in different sizes that you can wear over anything from swimming trunks to dry-suits. Cut the legs off at knee level and you have a cheap solution.
The other advantages are that in the current UK heat wave it protects your upper legs from UV, and you can get them nice and wet when launching which keeps your lower half cool. In winter they also protect you expensive wet or dry suit from wear damage.
Apologies to those dedicated followers of skin tight fashion that wouldn't be seen dead in anything so cheap without the appropriate go faster makers label!Reply
Some sailors do sail downwind totally on their feet, but this is tiring and cannot be sustained for long periods (longer than a race downwind).
Other sailors go for a one knee down technique. I’m one of those. From a Laser school, it is best to be locked into the boat so you can S-turn with leverage. One knee down allows you to get lower in the boat and press against the side of the deck. When you are on your feet, you are higher and less balanced, albeit perhaps a bit more nimble.
For knee down sailors, you wear through the knee pretty quickly of your suit, or your skin if you are in a shortie. I need to wear a knee pad to protect my knee.
I believe my downwind technique is reasonably good and optimal for my body type. If I could use RaptorDeck, I would install it.
For newer sailors, this is a frequent complaint about the deck being too rough or wearing out their suit. I believe this would be in the interest of the class to support this change and would enhance the appeal of the boat for new and existing sailors without offering any competitive speed advantage to those that install it.
I strongly support this change. Reply
Progrip would be excellent. An outline recess on the boat would protect the edges of the progrip. Reply
Thanks for the feedback guys/ladies. It is much appreciated. This has some potential implications that need to be discussed with the builder. We have already arranged to discuss this in more detail and will revert after the Worlds. Sorry but various factors mean that it cannot be changed before then.
I fully support updating the rules to allow the use of these deck pads. The non-skid is the only thing I don't like about the boat.
Tony C. Reply
I would absolutely support a rule change to allow the padding. No speed advantage gained, more comfort for the racer means more potential racing, and they look great in the boats as well!Reply
I agree that the non-slip texture is a problem. In fact, I would say that it is the one and only feature that does not compare favorably to the Laser. A bit of sanding helps some (and it only takes a few minutes to knock down the worst of it), but it would be far better to change the texture altogether to something that does not remove skin so easily. It should be possible to sail in shorts without fear of putting a knee down!Reply
to echo facebook posting posting....
"If it can be kept cleaner looking than the anti-slip, then I am all for it."
+. not everybody is able to sit at angles that avoid kneeling for various reasons and this should be respected. The current anti-slip not only acts like sandpaper on the knees but also tears wetsuit boots apart and makes the anti-slip dirty from the rubber that comes away from the soles of the shoes, which is a nightmare to clean.Reply
Mark J Cole
Keeping knee pads in place can be challenging. My Musto ones seem to want to be shin or ankle pads. I have recently learnt to wear my hikers or neoprene shorts over , instead of under, them and hope this will be more successful. Deck padding sounds attractive but may need regular replacement, perhaps?Reply
I recently bought knee pads to protect my knees in the Aero so I can see why this has been raised. I can't heel the boat in an aft position for long otherwise as it is too painful. It might be a good feature for light wind sailors.
I think this would be a sensible rule change to allow. The non-slip is very skin un-friendly. I'd say it is the worst part of the boat (which I love). Knee pads are essential for me at the moment either to protect knees or to protect wet-suit.
many people have given the current finish a light sand to reduce the abrasion but allowing modest padding (could limit thickness and weight) would be great.
I strongly support allowance of deck padding as an owner choice option. At 70 years of age and subject to easy skin tears and bleeding this is more than a matter of comfort. Albeit the Aero is a fabulous boat, the abrasive deck nonskid is harsh and results in road rash or worse on every sail. For those that sail in cold environments and who wear a lot of protection this may be an unfamiliar issue but for those of us who sail in warm or hot environments, me in Florida, and of necessity have little in body covering the deck is abusive to our bodies. As a deck pad does zero to change boat performance and provides no advantage to how well a boat is sailed this should be a non issue and open for adaptation. I will add that the universal complaint about the boat by first timers is the abrasive deck and this is deterring acceptance here in Florida. Deck pads as an option would benefit Class growth here where we sail with minimal protection. Appeal is made for this sensible improvement.Reply
I agree that this is a great option for the Aero and is legal. On most sportboats. I would support this change to the rules.Reply
I would like to request that foam padding a la Raptordeck be made class legal for installing on the cockpit floor and sides of the daggerboard trunk to cover the non skid areas. This adds around 6 ounces to the boat and provides comfort but no speed advantage. It also makes the boat more appealing to many. Reply
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