Over the years, I have been pleased to be involved with the upgrades to this design. Most of these upgrades are to make the boat more robust, and easier to maintain.
Below are the features of this boat that stand it apart from other RC sailboats in this price range. These features are definitely owner benefits right out of the box.
The Box itself is a work of art. Packing a ready-built sailboat is difficult at best, but Nirvana makes it look easy. Inside the box is a full size foam clamshell-pack molded to accept each part of the boat in its own secure place. That includes the transmitter. Even the top of the two-part mast comes mounted in the top of the mainsail, and fit in the box in such a way as to allow the sail to curve around the rounded end of the clamshell to protect it from creasing. Polyester film makes a terrific sail, but it holds creases – thus the extra attention to the design and installation of these special sails. Loosen a few pieces of tape, and assemble according to little letter tags stuck to the pieces – all according to the diagrams in the manual, and you are out sailing in 30 minutes!
Sails Nirvana sails are made of the same material pioneered by the RC Laser in 1996. They are made from a polyester film bonded to a polyester fiber. The result is a sail that will not tear, stretch or mildew. So the only enemy is sunshine. However, even sailing every day, these sails will last for many years. Most other model sails in this price range are almost throwaways – but not these sails, they are terrific.
Attractive Oh yeah, a lot of boats are nice looking, but my ongoing attraction to this RC sailboat is that it looks like a real racer/cruiser like the majority of sailors have crewed on all their lives. A cabin trunk with portholes, realistic main hatch decals, and a cockpit with seat boards. How cool. And the toe rail sets off the deck line and gives that real-boat look. (Toe rails keep real sailors from sliding off the edge of the deck) And the paint job is just terrific, shiny and bright. The only thing I personally don’t like are all the Megatech and Nirvana decals all over the place. So the first thing I do is to peel them all off and leave the boat looking sleek instead of like a floating billboard.
In the picture above you see the owner’s boat name on the side (having removed many of the original decals). BTW, you can remove the sticky from the decals with Goo Gone, works great and it doesn’t damage the paint finish.
Keel The first thing that struck me about the keel was how deep it is. It’s simple. To keep a sailboat on it’s feet, you need a counterbalance to the wind in the sails. The deeper the keel, the less lead you need at the bottom. The less weight the boat carries, the faster it will go through the water. So deep is beautiful! Oh, and the lead is cased in a hard plastic shell to protect it (lead is soft), and to give it a smooth surface. Very nice touch.
Rigging Did I say modern yet? Well this boat has a modern rig – meaning it has the high aspect (tall) rig of the go-fast full sized boats of today ~ it’s authentic, cool looking, efficient, and powerful. Remember what I said about the deep keel?? This is the rig to match. And it is clean, aerodynamically speaking, with a foil sleeve along the leading edges of both sails. No other boat has that.
Mast & Booms I love the sheet length adjuster arrangement (easily sets the sheet length for proper trimming by the servos). And the spars (mast and booms), are gorgeous. Highly polished black carbon fiber reinforced tubes are seeeexxxxxy! And they are strong and light. Not some wimpy aluminum tube like you get on others. The mast is two part and it is tapered, getting smaller at the top ~ something else you won’t find on any other boats in the price range.
Balanced Unlike many little boats (boats under 36″), this boat is amazingly well balanced. Only a racing skipper knows what this means to performance. But to the first time boat owner it means easy control with the boat doing all the right things when the skipper makes a mistake. This boat is a joy to sail and will leave other slugs in her wake as she slides gracefully through the water.
Sits Well This is no good term for this feature – the boat just sits in the water well. Upright and alert, properly ballasted fore and aft. This hull has a “bustle” in her “git-along” that allows her to carry her weight aft (which helps keep the bow up when sailing downwind) and yet she puts her hull lines to work sailing to windward in just the right way. What am I talking about??? I won’t bore you with the technology here, but when you see this boat sail, you will know what I mean.
Performance Nirvana is really impressive. I did all the test sailing against a race warrior CR 914. The boat points very well, tacks fast and clean, tracks like she is riding a rail, and has bursts of speed to equal much larger boats. And down wind when many models look like submarines in full dive mode, she keeps her head up and flies over the waves.
Tell us how you feel Steve! – Do you get the idea I am impressed with this boat??? Well, I have sailed just about all of the models on the market at one time or another, and I race some of the best at the national level. But when I get my Nirvana out, I am always impressed with her good manners, her good looks, and her surprisingly good performance. You will love this boat – or I will take it back, simple as that.