This is one of the most interesting small boat racers coming on the American Market. The boat comes after the Viper 640 designed by Brian Bennett, much similar in design criteria to the 10 year old Open 5.70 and Open 7.50 by Finot. The objective is almost the same even if the boa has some differences, being the Finot boats more pointed to easiness and short crew racing, even solo with better offshore potential.
The relatively new VX one corresponds to the Open 5.0 and points to a more accessible and less expensive boat, an initiation boat but also a fast one.
The hull design proved to be a great one and there is a lot of noise about who is responsible for that hull that is many times incorrectly fully attributed to Bennett himself. Putting the record straight: "The VX team includes lead design and concepts by Viper 640 designer, Brian Bennett, naval architecture and design engineering by Ross Weene and Rodger Martin"
That of course if it makes clear that the lead was from Bennett (following a simplified Viper concept) does not say who actually designed that hull that is very different from the one from the Viper, a hull here chines have an important role.
The Ker type of transom and hull on the 640 with absence of chines allows the boat to sail with heel taking advantage of all hull surface giving a max RM at considerable heel, coming not only from hull form stability but from the 84kg of ballast and weight of the crew on the rail.
VIPER 640 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
On the VX one even if the boat has a not very different B/D ratio, for a similar keel, the hull is designed to provide max hull form stability at a much lower angle.
VX ONE-DESIGN sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
In fact very different approaches and while on the Viper that would provide a better upwind performance, on the VX one that approach should provide an easier and faster downwind performance.
The downwind performance potential is evident on these videos:
Brian Bennett says about the boat:
“Designer Brian Bennett says the idea behind the VX One Design was to build the fastest possible sportboat …while delivering serious value for your money. If you’re familiar with the Volvo Open 70 class, you’ll recognize the similarities: a nearly plumb bow, carbon-fiber spars, chines that run from the transom to the bow section, a flat-top mainsail and a surfing-friendly undercarriage.”
Regarding the hull, if it has some similarities with the VOR ones it as also some differences in what regards chines and their use. In fact the chines on the VOR allows for a much bigger heel upwind before coming into action:
More like the ones on an Open 60 even if on the VX one they seem more extreme in what regards the heel angle where they become effective, with very little heel:
Anyway the boat seems to sail at least reasonably well upwind:
from Onne van der Wal on Vimeo.
I would love to hear about sailors with experience sailing the VX one regarding upwind performance and if they have also experience in the Viper, about the comparative performance.