PURSUING SPEED THROUGH INNOVATION
30th December, 2013
YEAR END UPDATE ON THE mxNEXT
As 2013 draws to a close it’s time for a little reflection. One of our goals for the year was to launch the mxNext, the newest iteration in high performance single-handed skiffs. Fast small boats have been around for a long time but they really took off two decades ago with the introduction of the mxRay, the first single-handed skiff to carry an asymmetrical spinnaker. Adding a spinnaker and coming up with a way where one person could easily hoist and douse the sail took sailing into new territory. The mxNext, a newer, more modern and much more sophisticated version of the mxRay is now pushing the boundary even further and we could not be more delighted with the way the boat has turned out and performed.
We launched the first prototype in early spring with the goal of getting as many people of differing sailing skills to take it out sailing. We got relative amateurs to take the boat out in good sailing weather and they reported that it was a blast, a perfect boat for a fun summer afternoon on the water. We also got some world class Moth, International Canoe and catamaran sailors, those more familiar with high speed and performance, to take it out in more challenging conditions. Their assessment; the mxNext really is the next generation of high speed single-handed skiffs. Matt Knowles, a top Moth sailor had the boat out a few times. "It’s a neat little boat,” he said. “It’s very powerful and quite comfortable to sail. It is a fair amount of work to keep it moving fast but that’s to be expected. Sometimes you have to earn your reward. In a breeze you are going to have to hike really hard, but the rewards are there I can assure you. You will get some amazing speeds and have a whole lot of fun in the process."
In October we introduced the mxNext to the general public at the Annapolis Boat Show. It was the first time that a mass of people had a chance to see the boat and it was fun to watch the looks of surprise and astonishment when some people saw the mxNext for the first time. The futuristic carbon hull with a striking orange cockpit really stood out among a crowd of, dare we say it, same old, same old boring boats. We liked it when people asked, “Is that something put out by NASA?,” or some that said simply, “I want one where do I sign?” We liked that!
Another frequently asked question was, “Is this a baby SpeedDream?” And the answer is, yes. The mxNext design benefitted greatly from all the R&D performed for our super fast record setting SpeedDream concept. Naturally, our signature Flying Keel is not there and mxNext sailors have to provide Righting Moment on their own, but the rest, the powerful yet slender hull, the sharp wave piercing bow and futuristic looks all came scaled down from the bigger version.
As result of the summer testing, we have now taken the original design and tweaked it a bit to build a second prototype. The hiking wings are now more comfortable making it easier to hike for long periods of time. The mast bridge is a more sculpted to allow easier access for the spinnaker. The mainsail has received new camber inducers making the sail plan even more powerful and versatile.
International MX Composites have a new facility where the boats will be built. At the moment they are making new molds from the second generation prototype and full production will start early next year. They will be able to manufacture two boats a week with a lot of room for increasing production when the highly anticipated demand hits. It’s going to be great to see just how much speed the mxNext can produce and just how much fun it will be for people of all ages and different skill sets to sail.