RS Aero

About the RS Aero

RS AeroThe RS Aero is an ultra-lightweight single-hander from RS Sailing. The boat has three rig sizes available (called the 5, the 7 and the 9) aiming to make the boat suitable for a very wide range of sailors, both in terms of physical size and fitness.

The lightness of the boat makes it easy to transport and maneouvre, and also makes for high performance on the water.

Although it won't want to be defined by comparisons to another boat, it is impossible not to mention the Laser dinghy, with which it almost directly competes. Already the Aero has developed a strong following, and its more comfortable hiking position, quick acceleration and on-water performance compare favourably to the ubiquitous Laser. As fleets continue to grow, the RS Aero is the first genuine contender for the Laser's single-hander crown for a long time, and perhaps ever.

Videos for RS Aero Sailing

Pete Barton is the main man as far as the Aero is concerned, and this video is packed full of advice for new Aero sailors:

Marc Jacobi is a top Laser sailor who has won multiple championships. It's fair to say he knows a little about sailing. So when someone like Marc shares his knowledge it is well worth a listen:

And while we're on the subject of Marc sailing an Aero, this video is a really good look at him racing, with drone and on-board footage. Very useful stuff:

I don't know how useful this video is for improving your performance (although there are some nice strong wind gybes), but it is an enjoyable watch all the same.

This is a good video review of the RS Aero to give you an idea what it is all about

Books for RS Aero Sailing

Specific for the RS Aero

It's too early even for the highly organised RS guys to have a class-specific book for the Aero. If the class continues to grow at this pace though, then it won't be long before someone produces a book. Watch this space...

General Books Useful for RS Aero Sailors

The Bestsellers

These three books will help any sailor improve in any class of boat.

Sailing Fitness

You need to be physically fit to do well - even just a little bit of all-round fitness can improve your results a lot. These books are all helpful in designing a program that works for you. My favourite is Sailing Fitness & Training by Michael Blackburn.


Getting your head right can be as important as getting your technique right. These books will all help with this area, and the Eric Twiname book, Sail, Race and Win is possibly my all-time favourite book on how to improve your sailing

Books for Self-Coaching by Olympic Coach Jon Emmett

Jon Emmett coached Lijia Xu to an Olympic Gold Medal,and is a multiple World Champion himself. These well written books share the secrets of how to coach yourself and improve your sailing.

Sailing Technique and Performance Books by Frank Bethwaite

Frank Bethwaite is a bit of a legend - relentless in his pursuit to understand high performance race craft. His two bigger books (High Performance Sailing and Higher Performance Sailing) can be quite dense to read while Fast Handling Techniques is lighter and easier to read. All are hugely important.

...and finally, Three Absolute Classics

These three books are nailed-on classics - books that have helped generations of sailors and are still relevant today. Start to Win is a good, relatively basic book that will help get you to the front of the fleet; Winning in One Designs is widely regarded as essential reading for one-design sailors; and Advanced Racing Tactics is more in-depth, is a tougher read, but will help with a lot of in-race strategy.

Links for RS Aero Sailors

Class Information

Boat Set-up, Boat Handling and Other Tips

Your best bet is to look at the videos above - they have all the information you'll need to get you going well.

Blogs and Blog Posts

Whatever your thoughts on how good the RS Aero is (and the general consensus is that it is pretty damn good) - it would be hard to deny that its launch has been a triumph of modern marketing. Part of this has been its appearance very quickly in the blogosphere, and chief champion has been Tillerman on his most excellent blog Proper Course. Perhaps a sign of the potential changing of the guard, Proper Course was originally very Laser focused, but recently it has become much more about the Aero, and the popularity of the Proper Course blog has undoubtedly helped grow the fleet particularly in North America. Whether you decide to sail an Aero or not, though, Proper Course is always worth reading.

Marc Jacobi is only an occasional blogger, but what he does write is generally worth reading. As he's now an RS Aero owner, I imagine they'll be a few bits and pieces turning up on his blog to add to what is already there.

There's also this blog, called AeroNautic, which is focused completely on the Aero. So far there isn't loads of information, but hopefully it will grow as time goes on.

Want more? Of course you do! Here's the knowledgeable and always readable Steve Cockerill's thoughts on the RS Aero, and how it compares to another new single-hander, the D-Zero. And another member of the Rooster Team also reviewed the Aero - here's what they thought.

And finally, Earwigoagin on the Aero.

(Actually, and this really is the last one, here's a much-needed review that points out the shortcomings of the RS Aero. I think we can all agree that the lack of a sunbathing area is a serious oversight).

The Vital Statistics

  • Length: 4 metres
  • Beam: 1.4 metres
  • Mainsail Area: 5.2 or 7.4 or 8.9 square metres
  • Hull Weight: 30 kg

Who's Who in RS Aero