OUR VER­DICT

Yachting Monthly - - NEW BOAT TEST -

What’s she like to sail?

She’s a real sailor's boat and a joy to helm. Even with twin rud­ders she was ever so re­spon­sive and light on the wheels She feels like a big­ger boat, partly due to the helm po­si­tion be­ing perched on the tran­som and the large, well thoughtout cock­pit ahead of you. There are plenty of con­trol lines for those who love to tweak, but it’s not nec­es­sary to con­stantly play them. Her hull is light and eas­ily driven, and get­ting over 5 knots to wind­ward in 10 knots of ap­par­ent showed her speed po­ten­tial (al­though she was with­out a typ­i­cal pay­load of cruis­ing kit).

Her deck lay­out, with the genoa winches flank­ing the com­pan­ion­way, works re­ally well for a short-handed crew. One per­son can han­dle both sheets while tack­ing with­out even mov­ing their feet or lean­ing over the coam­ing. They can also take a step for­ward and up to tend the coachroof winches while stand­ing upright.

What’s she like in port and at an­chor?

Our test boat had a sin­gle keel and twin rud­ders, but the op­po­site is avail­able too and us­ing the twin keels and sin­gle rud­der she can take the ground with ease. The fore­deck is flat, broad and ideal for sun­bathing or in­flat­ing dinghies. The fore­deck an­chor locker is vast and ideal for fend­ers, which is just as well, as get­ting kit in and out of the tech­ni­cal area, aft of the heads, on a daily ba­sis would soon lose its ap­peal – and scratch the paint­work.

The white-painted in­te­rior makes it bright down be­low, and with the mid­sum­mer sun shin­ing into the saloon, I still needed my sun­glasses (to be fair, we had re­moved the UV screens from the win­dows for the photo shoot).

She has a sin­gle bow roller in­te­grated into the op­tional bowsprit, which houses the bower an­chor. You'd need to rig a bri­dle to use a swing­ing moor­ing.

Like nearly all twin-rud­der yachts, she lacked prop­wash over the rud­ders when ma­noeu­vring in tight spaces.

Would she suit you and your crew?

The RM970 isn’t your nor­mal fam­ily cruiser and RM isn't your nor­mal boat­builder. Ev­ery­thing is a little bit dif­fer­ent: hard chines, ply­wood con­struc­tion, mul­ti­coloured hulls. About the only ‘reg­u­lar’ thing on board is the GRP deck, which is lined with wood! Not every­one will like her re­verse bow; from some an­gles she looks low and sleek, from oth­ers she can ap­pear slab-sided and boxy, but all this matters not when you start sail­ing her. Put aside any reser­va­tions and have a go at what she does best: sail­ing.

She might ap­pear ba­sic – an ar­gu­ment bol­stered by the lack of a solid door to the fore­peak – but she dis­plays many fea­tures lack­ing on more ex­pen­sive yachts: soft clo­sures on locker doors, An­tal deck hard­ware, Dyneema hal­yards and fine-tune ad­just­ment on the main­sheet led back to the helm. You may want more space and pri­vacy, or more head­room if you’re over 6ft tall. If so, check out the RM 1070. But if you’re will­ing to forego a little lux­ury for a crack­ing sail­ing boat, this one should be on your short­list.

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