“…I’ve given this some thought, and you may well find my choice for a modern-day timeless classic an odd one.
I looked through every dinghy design I knew of, and thought which boat incorporates modern and rugged hull construction, is relatively cheap, can be sailed by both kids and adults, is simple and quick to rig, and my conclusion landed on the RS Zest.
I’ve had quite a bit of experience now, both sailing the Zest and more importantly watching how much fun the kids have in the Zest, and I think it’s the ideal boat for clubs and beach holidays. With its vertical battens the mainsail can be rolled around the mast, it is equally balanced with or without the jib, the boom is high enough for adults to comfortably pass underneath, the rudder is easy to put down and up and (most importantly) it has a centreboard rather than a daggerboard, even though it is of rotomoulded construction. Also, the fittings have been kept to an absolute minimum, which is vital for club-owned fleets to keep the maintenance down.
Watching the Zest racing, it is surprisingly fast for such a stable boat, and is also easy to right when capsizes do happen. With the high boom visibility is good, so those who are newcomers to racing have an excellent view of everything going on around them, making it the perfect boat to introduce sailors to club races”.