RS Marine Group expands to make Picos, Bahias and more

Bug complete boatRS Marine Group is expanding with the newly formed Ocean Play. The new company, which is collaboration between RS and Jo Richards, is now manufacturing Picos, Bugs, Bahias and Vagos, with delivery expected in late January 2023.

Sailingfast to retail Pico, Bug, Bahia & Vago

Sailingfast is appointed one of the Ocean Play UK dealers for the sale of boats and spares. Duncan first worked with these iconic boats when they were manufactured by LaserPerformance back in 2002. Duncan says, ‘We are excited to be back working with these boats again, looking to service the corporate market of sailing clubs, schools and outdoor centres both in the upkeep of their existing fleets, or to refresh their fleets’.

New look for the sailing school classics

Pico complete boat

Alex Newton-Southern, technical CEO for RS’ marine group of businesses, says that elements of the Pico, Bug, Bahia and Vagos have been updated where appropriate, ready for the customers in the UK and overseas who have been seeking to replace their favourite classics.

“All of the sail designs are refreshed, and the Picos’ and Bugs’ mainsails now come with vertical batons. This gives a more stable sail shape and makes them much easier to furl.”

“There is also a vast opportunity in the spares business,” says Jon Partridge, commercial CEO for RS’ marine group. “We’re not underestimating the 50,000-ish boats already in use that all need replacement parts.

Access to spare parts for sailing schools

Vago complete boat

“Sailing schools are very attached to these boats. I grew up in a sailing school environment. In fact, that was my entry point to the trade. We used six Picos like every other school around the world. At the time they set a new benchmark in sailing school equipment.”

Partridge says the appeal to sailing schools is multi-faceted. Schools are often wedded to the boats they’ve evolved with and have a raft of spares available. Some schools have 20-30 identical boats in a fleet, and when they need to replace just a few, they understandably don’t want to go to a new craft. He believes bringing the old classics back to the production line, coupled with RS Sailing’s experience in delivering high-quality, high-volume dinghies worldwide, is a recipe for success.

Bahia complete“Hundreds of thousands of young people learned to sail in Picos. We’re excited that hundreds of thousands more will as well,” says Partridge. “These boats, designed by Jo Richards (also the designer of many RS boats), are incredibly simple and create a safe and comfortable environment for learning to sail. That’s why they are so popular with clubs and, more importantly, with children and novice sailors.”


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