Review: 60168 Sailboat Rescue

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60168 Sailboat Rescue is among the smaller sets in the latest Coast Guard wave but appeals to me a great deal as it includes a unique sailing boat, the like of which are rarely found in CITY sets. Pleasure craft have definitely become more prevalent recently but yachts with sails have remained consistently elusive, until now.

The set is priced at £19.99 in the UK so competes with 60165 4 x 4 Response Unit which offers excellent value for money. However, the distinctive subject matter should work in favour of this set and I hope it will prove sufficiently popular to justify further models of this kind in the future, assuming the sailing boat is as impressive as I am hoping it will be.

Minifigures

This set includes two minifigures, the more interesting of which is the sailor in my opinion. His black hair piece has only appeared in six previous sets and is intricately textured while the head features a simple frown on one side and a frightened expression on the other. I like the dark azure hooded jumper and a red mug completes the figure, indicating that he had been enjoying a leisurely cruise before getting into difficulties out at sea.

View image at flickr

Thankfully, a member of the Coast Guard has come to rescue the sailor. He wears a blue cap and trousers which nicely complement the sand blue jacket on the torso. The Coast Guard's life ring symbol is featured on both sides of the torso, although it is partly obscured at the front as the collar is turned back to reveal an orange jumper underneath. You can also choose to cover the torso entirely as a pair of yellow life jackets are included, although I prefer to put these aside as they extend the neck to an awkward degree.

View image at flickr

The Completed Model

The Coast Guard vessel is constructed around an orange hull so matches the boat found in 60165 4 x 4 Response Unit which we reviewed a couple of weeks ago. This allows it to float but I would be reluctant to do so for fear of damaging the stickers on each side. Nevertheless, it is a fun feature and I appreciate the effort which has been made to distinguish this craft from that which appears in 60165. The rotating searchlights fitted to the hull are not present on the other boat and the A frame towards the stern is also quite different.

View image at flickr

However, the most significant feature is definitely the enclosed cabin. This includes a large trans-light blue windscreen which was introduced in 70905 The Batmobile, although there the element appears in trans-yellow. It looks very sleek but seems out of proportion when compared with real boats of this kind as most feature a smaller windscreen. However, the present configuration allows the skipper a wide field of vision as he approaches the rescue site so in that respect a large windscreen seems sensible, particularly since he is the lone crew member.

View image at flickr

The roof is decorated with the Coast Guard symbol and can be removed to reveal the steering wheel inside. A little more internal detail would have been welcome but there is room for a minifigure to sit at the controls and you can store equipment, in this case a red megaphone and a radio, on either side of the cabin. It is accessed through a curved hatch which looks a little odd, although it further differentiates this craft from others which have been available in recent years.

Two more stickers are applied to the A frame supports and there are navigation lights situated on top. Twin outboard motors propel the craft with spinning propellers and each one is mounted on a hinge so you can raise them out of the water. They look fine but I think a little more mechanical detailing would have been beneficial.

View image at flickr

I was drawn to this set by the sailing boat which occupies roughly a third of the total piece count. Leisure vessels are not hugely rare but this one is quite unusual, featuring a single mast with a large sail as well as a rudder which you can really steer using the tiller! The white hull allows the boat to float but is decorated with a sticker which could be damaged by contact with water, as on the Coast Guard rescue craft.

View image at flickr

The mast is simply constructed using a couple of rods which are plugged into Technic elements at the base. The sail is attached in three places and hangs very naturally, even at the top where the plastic sheet is not secured. One side is printed with a vivid lime green and green pattern so matches the design on the hull and this shows through the sail quite well, although the same printing on both sides would have been even better.

View image at flickr

Not only can you rotate the boom to change the angle of the sail but it can also be toppled using a click hinge, as though a collision has occurred. This is a fun feature and you can still rotate the sail even when it has collapsed, perhaps knocking the sailor overboard in the process. Impressive though the sail is, I would have liked to see a headsail included too as that is generally a more common configuration than this single-sailed design.

View image at flickr

The deck is furnished with two benches and a functioning tiller. The upper deck towards the bow features a green sun lounger, shown in the image above, as well as two black rails which are attractively curved to match the shape of the hull. A pair of white sloped panels give the impression that a hatch leads to some interior space but in fact there is very little room at the base of the mast, perhaps just enough for a few accessories. Nevertheless, I think the yacht looks reasonable on the whole and it remains the highlight of the set for me.

View image at flickr

The sailing boat appears to have collided with some rocks which are also present in the set. These are simply constructed using grey bricks and slopes but also include a few leaves and are built on a blue plate to represent the ocean. It is quite unusual to see an item of scenery like this in a CITY set but it offers some additional play value, allowing the sailor to take shelter from the circling shark should his boat sink. This version of the shark was introduced in 2010 and features an opening mouth along with moulded gills and printed eyes.

Overall

I always enjoy CITY sets like this one as they are perfect for play but could also become part of a larger display very easily. The Coast Guard vessel and rocks are good but the sailing boat is undoubtedly the most interesting aspect of the set in my opinion. The sail looks marvellous and I like the unusual mixture of green and white but there is some room for improvement, especially concerning the detail on the deck which does not match the standard set by previous vessels such as 60147 Fishing Boat.

View image at flickr

Nevertheless, the UK price of £19.99 seems very reasonable and the yacht is a worthy addition to one's collection as it does offer something very different. I would therefore recommend this set, although 60165 4 x 4 Response Unit offers greater playability in relation to the cost so may be a better purchase for younger fans. More seasoned CITY collectors, on the other hand, will probably find more of interest here.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.

18 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Fantastic value! I might get this one

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By in United States,

Great review, thanks! I also find this set very appealing, although I'm not generally a coast guard/police/etc. type of fan. Both boats look excellent, and I do love that snazzy sail. How cool that the tiller actually works! Also those rocks and shark are a very nice addition to the set. Will definitely pick this up at some point.

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By in United Kingdom,

as a sailor, I'm not so impressed with the boat. With the single sail positioned that far aft, it would handle very poorly. In fact, even for a two sail boat you typically want the mast well forward of the middle.

The sail is also very out of proportion with the boat. It's rare for a mast (which in this case magically doesn't reach the top of the sail- eh?) to be shorter than the lengthy of the hull.

The whole thing looks more like a motor boat that someone has plonked a mast on

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By in United States,

I'm looking forward to picking up this little set, although plan to modify the boat to add a small cabin w/small bed and stove unit. Placing the mast on top of the cabin might make it appear a bit taller and better fit for the size of the boat.

PS. Any word on if/when this set will be released in the US?

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By in Ireland,

Bought this for the sail boat, the Coast Guard vessel looks terrible, I didn't bother building. The Coast Guard vessel from 60165 is far superior.

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By in New Zealand,

Nice review CaptRex101.

I recently purchased 60149 4x4 with Catamaran which came with a spare sail. Does this set have two sails? I agree with Al_S in that the sail boat is poorly designed. My interest in this set would be to MOC a better yacht using that nice sail.

I want to make a set of small vessels to use when teaching COLREGS. My Maersk Triple E, Cunard Queen Victoria cruise ship and Hamburg Sud San Christobal container ship are too unwieldy for that purpose.

I will be making a set of vessels at the Creator scale like 31045 Ocean Explorer so that I can have some table-top close quarters scenarios.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Regulations_for_Preventing_Collisions_at_Sea

"offers excellent value for money"

60168. 195 parts. £19.99 = NZD $35.39. Retails in NZ at $59.99. Available for $47.99 with 20% discount
60149. 198 parts. £17.99 = NZD $31.85. Retails in NZ at $39.99. Purchased for NZD $31.99 using 20% discount.

So a set with 3 less parts costs £2 more! And the prices offered internationally bear very little resemblance to European prices or set contents.

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By in United States,

Cool set! Might get one off of Amazon, this set is not sold in my country.

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By in New Zealand,

@FlagsNZ : Yep, the "value for money" in NZ is missing, yet again. I'm completely bewildered by the random number generator that LEGO goes through to get to the pricing point here. What's particularly galling is that even though we have virtual parity against the Australian dollar, sets here cost 10% more. I've reached the point where I won't buy unless there's at least 25% off the price - at which point it almost brings NZ prices down to the standard UK price.

So ... as good as this set is (and 60165, and a whole bunch of other recent City sets) it looks likely that I won't be adding them to the collection. Once again, LEGO's pricing policy has ensured that they lose business.

I wonder if they'll ever realise just how much bigger their already enormous profits would be if they adopted a pricing policy that was fair across *all* international markets?

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By in United States,

I second the comment, when is this coming to the USA?

Personally I will buy this for the coast guard boat, which I find superior to the one in 60165. I assume it will work with trailer from 60165 as well.

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By in Australia,

I have always wanted a small/medium sized closed cabin Coast Guard ship (and police ship too). However, the one in this set I don't like at all. The cabin takes over the entire ship and only seats 1 minifig and has no detail whatsoever.

The sailboat is alright, I can see why AFOLs would want it but more detail would have been better.
I am still waiting for a Lego designer to realize that they could use the hull used for the sailboat in this set for police, coastguard and fire boats, instead of always using that stupid giant dinghy hull.

(it was a great choice for the boat in 60165 though, due to its likeness to the Atlantic 95)

Another Coastguard person would have been better and the only thing I like in this set is the sailor's face print and hair. The face print would be very useful when making Lego stop motion films.

For play value in the case of children and for AFOLs wishing to have a medium sized coast guard boat I would definitely recommend 60165 instead of this set.

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By in Australia,

By the way, the comments glitched again before. (where a comment just disappears upon clicking 'post comment'. Please fix this!

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By in Australia,

I immediately thought of this set in the bottom of a fish tank, like it had sunk.

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By in New Zealand,

^ Yes that has happened to me quite often. I work around it by saving the post to the clipboard before posting. But this fault obviously affects other people as well.

Perhaps Huw can look at this soon. He is currently in Austria.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Trigger_ and Minnesota Nice - I would imagine the set will be released in North America on the 1st of August.

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By in Sweden,

The sailboat doesn't look very realistic (it would've looked so much nicer with two sails) but I still quite like this set, it's certainly very good value for the price. Too bad it's one of those sets that don't show up in all stores.

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By in United Kingdom,

Re comments disappearing... I also copy my comments before hitting "post comment" in case they vanish. The problem seems to be due to someone else posting a comment between the time I started writing my comment and submitting it. This is naturally more likely to happen when typing a longer comment so could explain BrickChap's vanishing (long) comment.

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By in New Zealand,

^ I agree with you suspicion.

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By in United States,

@CapnRex101 Thank you for the info! It looks far better than the Fishing Boat is all I can say.

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