Why Choose the Viper?
In Australia the choice among sports boats is many and varied. At last count the register for the sports boat measuring system had 22 different designs on their handicap list and that was only the boats that had registered to be measured.
The sports boats could be broken into two catagories:
• Development Classes
• One design
Development classes allow tolerances in hull dimensions and other restrictions to cater for home builders and people that want to tinker with design parameters, rig styles, etc to develop a “better, faster design.
The only trouble with this route is that it may become an “arms war” – someone will always come up with a “better, faster design”– lighter, more sails or sail area, racks, wings, trapezes etc.
Some equivalent 650 development designs come with the standard three sails......... and then in options you buy an extra number 2 jib and reaching spinnaker you need to be competitive in different breeze strengths..
The Viper 640 is strict one-design with no changes permitted to the factory supplied boat.
The only option is sails, strictly controlled through class rules. There are only three sails –Mainsail, jib and asymmetrical spinnaker.
Being 30 to 40% lighter than the equivalent international one design classes theViper doesn’t need to carry mast head kites or large working sails. Because of this the Viper has a simpler rig than equivalent international one design classes. The Viper has a carbon mast with single spreaders and lowers.
The others have a combination of either lowers, intermediates, diamonds, double spreaders and backstays to support their rigs.
The rig setup on the Viper 640 is simple because of the use of modern technology. The strength and lightness of the carbon fibre allows the simple staying system. The Gnav vang system opens up the cockpit and further supports the mast downwind. The spinnaker prodder is also carbon fibre.
While it carries less sail area than equivalent international one designs, the Viper 640, being lighter, has proven to be faster than other 6 metre one designs racing at Charleston Race Week in the US.
The Viper is currently proving to be very competitive under the Australian Sportsboat Measuring System (SMS) It has won regattas in Australia that have included Melges 24's, T 7 and 750's, Shaw 650's and many other sportsboats.
The boat is simply set up.
Rondar raceboats from the UK are the sole builder of Vipers. Rondar has been in business making racing sailboats continuously since 1965. They have earned a reputation as a builder of fast one-design race boats including the Contender, 420, Fireball, and the highly competitive 5-0-5 class.
The Viper is cheaper than equivalent international one design classes and half the price of the larger 24 foot classes.
The Viper 640 including all sails, trailer and boat covers comes in at a price that is about $12,0000 dollars cheaper than similar 6.5 meter development sports boats.......and then you still have to buy essentials like a trailer, boat covers and those optional sails to be competitive.
At 6.4m long (21feet) and only 340kg (748 lbs), it combines the stiffness of a keelboat with the acceleration and planing abilities of a dinghy. The open transom bails water instantly, even in extreme conditions.
The Viper has a strong fleet in United States and Canada. It has a developing fleet in Australia and Europe.
There is the opportunity to travel overseas and compete in regattas such as:
• CORK Regatta,
• Bacardi Miami Sailing Week and
• The Charlston Race Week.