good or bad?
So this is what happens when somebody has an idea, and somebody else doesn’t think it is such a good one. Apparently back in 2002 at the Annapolis Boat Show, Flying Scot Boats was approached by a Chinese builder to see if they
would sell a set of tooling to establish the class in China. Royalties to FS Boats and the FS Class
were to be included. They declined. So Red Dragon Boats, who have built a number of power and sail boats over the years in China, and are also builders of the S-20, built the D5.8, which was clearly based on the FS. Some would say a rip off. It did incorporate some changes, including deck non-skid and modernized centerboard uphaul system, and it sold well, but…
Now, in an effort to build an affordable "do-everything" boat for emerging markets with higher performance, the D5.9
is ready to roll. So copy or not, improvements or not, export price is USD $10,000 complete ready-to-sail. It is also available for fleet purchases to sailing schools and yacht clubs worldwide and sales are direct from the Red Dragon factory in Xiamen, China. Dealer inquiries will apparently not be considered as at 10k a pop, they have pared margins to the bone.
So is this a great offering and opportunity for sailors, or is it a classic Chinese copy/rip off? We know David Winter at Red Dragon and we lean very much toward the former. What do you think?