LTFF

Used 49er

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I'm considering getting a used 49er (preferably with a FX rig). Preferably on the cheap end as I really only want it to playground with and maybe take a few of the more advanced junior sailors out on to get them more excited about sailing. I don't care if its beat up or need work as long as it floats. Anyone have suggestions on where to start looking?

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2 hours ago, LTFF said:

I'm considering getting a used 49er (preferably with a FX rig). Preferably on the cheap end as I really only want it to playground with and maybe take a few of the more advanced junior sailors out on to get them more excited about sailing. I don't care if its beat up or need work as long as it floats. Anyone have suggestions on where to start looking?

Where are you based...? Besides online stuff, 2nd hand 49ers show up at spots where there's races, teams or fleets...

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40 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

Where are you based...? Besides online stuff, 2nd hand 49ers show up at spots where there's races, teams or fleets...

I'm in NJ but I'm willing to drive

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3 hours ago, LTFF said:

I'm considering getting a used 49er (preferably with a FX rig). Preferably on the cheap end as I really only want it to playground with and maybe take a few of the more advanced junior sailors out on to get them more excited about sailing. I don't care if its beat up or need work as long as it floats. Anyone have suggestions on where to start looking?

A 49er to get juniors excited about sailing is something like a Lamborghini to get a kid excited about their learner's permit.

LOTS of very breakable parts-masts, sprits, tiller extensions, brittle mylar sails, that add up quite quickly.

http://49er.ca/na-class/classified cheapest there is in Montreal for $5000, minus a mast, so unlikely to get into one for less than $10k.

If you're looking for something hotter than the c420 I'd point you towards the 5o5, F-18, or 29er if your club doesn't already have any-all with at least one trap and huge kites. Those can all be had complete under $5k and are a little sturdier and less squirrely.

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6 hours ago, LTFF said:

I'm considering getting a used 49er (preferably with a FX rig). Preferably on the cheap end as I really only want it to playground with and maybe take a few of the more advanced junior sailors out on to get them more excited about sailing. I don't care if its beat up or need work as long as it floats. Anyone have suggestions on where to start looking?

I run a similar program on a similar style of boat.

It is actually quite successful in changing the demographics of our sailing club and expanding the fleet of twin wire skiffs. I mainly target 20 to 30 year olds and many of my trainees come with no prior sailing experience at all. But it works because it grabs the generation who want a bit more excitement than they are going to get.

Our boat have a similar sail area to the 49er FX's but without the wings don't trip as easily with a bit of heel.

I can't comment on the breakability of the 49ers. It's not really a problem with our boats unless someone goes through the sail in a capsize; very rare in training mode.

Here's a link to the Facebook page for the training group https://www.facebook.com/SVs-Mr-Bond-The-Ballina-Skiff-Sail-Training-Group-110226546310465/?view_public_for=110226546310465

Here's a link to the clas site least you want to study the differences more https://www.facebook.com/Australian15footers/

You will see most of the trainees end up being women. Don't ask me why. It's an outcome not a target, although Australian Sailing are very pleased - it's one of their objectives. In parctice all full graduates who have moved into the racing side have been women. Only problem is they are lighter than the class design weight.

PM me if you want more information.

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The Pres of the class lives in NYC, so he may have some ideas, you get to him via the 49er.org site.

And as someone already mentioned Trevor in Montreal, or Ben who is in Vancouver and is the Exc Sec of the class could also help.    again via the web site.

People get put off by wings until you try them, they infact make it so much easier, give you lots of room to move to without having to "hook-up".

18teen where near impossible, and only a very few could sail them until they went wings, moths, like wise (pre foiling).

Multihulls are often know as mono hulls with training floats, very derogatory I know (and I have won 9 OMR nationals, so I am almost more multi than mono) but wings have all the +++ of multi's without the extra hull(s).     Plus mono's un-stick and plane, Multi's carve, and very rarely plane.

I know everyone is going foiling, but there is something quite special about skittering across the water surface in a mono at warp speed, never leaves you!

          jB

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3 hours ago, JulianB said:

The Pres of the class lives in NYC, so he may have some ideas, you get to him via the 49er.org site.

And as someone already mentioned Trevor in Montreal, or Ben who is in Vancouver and is the Exc Sec of the class could also help.    again via the web site.

People get put off by wings until you try them, they infact make it so much easier, give you lots of room to move to without having to "hook-up".

18teen where near impossible, and only a very few could sail them until they went wings, moths, like wise (pre foiling).

Multihulls are often know as mono hulls with training floats, very derogatory I know (and I have won 9 OMR nationals, so I am almost more multi than mono) but wings have all the +++ of multi's without the extra hull(s).     Plus mono's un-stick and plane, Multi's carve, and very rarely plane.

I know everyone is going foiling, but there is something quite special about skittering across the water surface in a mono at warp speed, never leaves you!

          jB

Hi Julian

I was hoping you might comment on 'breakability'.

Some of the women in my group are getting quite ambitious and one of the things I'm thinking about to progress them is getting a 49FX to let them have that experience and learning.

While the world is crazy and unpredictable at the moment and any plans or thoughts I might have had are in abeyance while I see how things develop, my initial thought was to consider a boat which might at least be taken to the Nationals without being laughed at (whether the crews can be good enough is a different question, but that's how you learn and expand your experiences and inspire others to follow). I'm not suggesting I have a future Olympian in training, but there are some good sailors and the  more women in the class, surely the more likely it is that future champions will emerge.

It is a bit sad we seemed to have had more women sailing twin wire skiffs at our Nationals than they had at the ones for the Women's Olympics class (not from our point of view but that of the women's Olympic class). But part of this derives from what seems to be the lack of club racing for them, and the way our skiff fleet has developed it wouldn't be impossible that in time we could end up a small club racing fleet of 49FX's within the group. Partly that's because, with a group full of 50 kg women, I'm having trouble with two of them trying to sail a skiff designed for 140 kg and up crews weights in anything but light airs.

But I can run my present training skiffs on a relative shoe string and with little time spent on repairs and simply by putting the good rig back on, render them fully competitive for the Nationals. I wasn't sure how the 49FX's would compare.

Mind you it had occurred to me that you might be a good place to test the concept and get guidance on what sort of boat to look for and whether I should be aware of 49FX specific techniques.

So, to go back to the issue originally raised,  how much work and money it requires to keep one in operation at a club racing level is a very relevant question.

Because I completely agree with your final comment and that is what seems to have made the training group successful (that and making it look 'easy' but challenging when you teach them).

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I'm not really sure what it is your asking????

If you do the maths, last year there where 180 boats built, times that by a factor of 3-6 (years) so there are say 800 boats out there at top level.

100 of them being sailed at elite level, so 700 of them are being sailed by Weekend Warriors [WW].

Yesterday in full lock-down a squad of 4-6 hopefulls (WW's) all went sailing, 500m away from my house, that is repeated 4 days a week, 40 weeks a year.

Most of these WW only have one boat.

Put a RA [Rank Amature] into any boat, Laser, 49er, 420, they will break it.

The thing about a Olympic boat is they have to stand the trial and tribulations of Olympic squads and Olympic level sailing which is 8-10 levels above any other boat and you only need to see what happened to the Laser initially, also the 49er, and the Nacra to see that is 1000000% true.

If a WW can keep a non Olympic boat in one piece, then they will have no issue with a Olympic boat!

           jB

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6 hours ago, JulianB said:

 

Yesterday in full lock-down a squad of 4-6 hopefulls (WW's) all went sailing, 500m away from my house, that is repeated 4 days a week, 40 weeks a year.

In a way, that is addressing my question, because in terms of use that's what is happening up here with my boats (twice a week, 45 weeks a year). Absent abuse, and ignoring sails, what suffers fatigue (for want of a better word) damage through constant use? (The answer may be nothing, although I gather spreaders have been a problem, for instance). Wing roots? Rudder mountings? (Making these up). In short, what are regular sailors often fixing on well used, less than new boats? What do they have to carry spares of (other than the usual bits box)? What will stop me just putting a boat away after a sail knowing it will be ready for the next?

I'm really just looking for an honest evaluation of what problems I will face if I have a 49FX in my training fleet; because at this stage this is a volunteer, unsponsored, one man show where I'm carrying the cost (and effort) of a very successful program in terms of getting women into high performance skiff sailing. 

As I say, the answer may be nothing.

I don't set two RA's off in a boat. I teach them to crew and then after a season or two I transition them to skipper.

What club was this squad sailing out of?

What other clubs have active racing fleets?

I'm sure a lot of boats have been sold, but my guess of the numbers of women at the nationals was based on looking up results; four to five boats with a fair sprinkling of male sailors. So a question, not being cheeky, but seeing how realistic my plan might be, is why weren't this squad at the nationals?

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If you are looking at buying a good 2nd hand FX, then 99% of the problems, and at Olympic level or would be Olympic level, there will always be issues to any boat, even a Laser, but all of the problems will have been solved.

Highly probably you will buy the boat with 2 sets of sails, possibly a spare topmast.

Spreaders have gone hot and cold, treat them well and you don't have a issue.  Drop them on the ground a few times, then you have a problem.    The biggest issue is the trapeze tearing throuh the top one, especially if its been dropped a few times.

We are presently re-modeling the whole system to employ a alloy collar so it simply can't happen anymore.   The other option is to just go to a key-plate, and if your non-racing (at Int level) you can put a std RF or Harken spliced loop through the Shrouds key-way.

That alloy collar, we will also make a part to go on the existing mast, so spares wil not be a issue.

Rudder mountd, you buy a few new bushes, and it's fine.    Lower plate is 3mm, it's there for life.   just like the spreader, treat the upper frame well, its there for life also.

Wing roots, by the time you get the boat, any issue is long gone, if you want to replace the pins, they are std 8mm SS rod.

Boom only die if you hit them (really hard)

Have not really broken a foil since Helsinki which was 6-8 years ago.   If you use billar-table felt in the c'case and rudder stock, you will be OK.    Put hard epoxy in there, you will break foils.

The squad sails out of MHYC in Mosman.

The people who sail a 49er tend to go sailing by themselves, at time when they can, which is more often than not, mid-week (rarely week-ends), so there are 2-3 49ers at WSC, they are up and down the cost, from Townsvile, a few in Brisbane, Lake MacQuarie and Melboure has quite a few fleets, but they tend not to club race.   Perth also and I know of 2 in Hobart that sail often.

It's very much like Moth sailing, the boat is so different to everything else, it's a bit hard to get excited about club racing on PYS.

This trend to getting more and more females into hi-end sailing is happening more and more around the world.    The FX fleet number are not at the same level as the 49er, mostly from stigma that they can't sail them, or they will get lumps in the wrong places.    But go look at the FX fleet, and you dis-spell that rumour.

Even prior to Covid-19 the future of sport through-out the world was changing.

Post COVID-19 we are in for a fundemental reset.

               jB 

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42 minutes ago, JulianB said:

If you are looking at buying a good 2nd hand FX, then 99% of the problems, and at Olympic level or would be Olympic level, there will always be issues to any boat, even a Laser, but all of the problems will have been solved.

Highly probably you will buy the boat with 2 sets of sails, possibly a spare topmast.

Spreaders have gone hot and cold, treat them well and you don't have a issue.  Drop them on the ground a few times, then you have a problem.    The biggest issue is the trapeze tearing throuh the top one, especially if its been dropped a few times.

We are presently re-modeling the whole system to employ a alloy collar so it simply can't happen anymore.   The other option is to just go to a key-plate, and if your non-racing (at Int level) you can put a std RF or Harken spliced loop through the Shrouds key-way.

That alloy collar, we will also make a part to go on the existing mast, so spares wil not be a issue.

Rudder mountd, you buy a few new bushes, and it's fine.    Lower plate is 3mm, it's there for life.   just like the spreader, treat the upper frame well, its there for life also.

Wing roots, by the time you get the boat, any issue is long gone, if you want to replace the pins, they are std 8mm SS rod.

Boom only die if you hit them (really hard)

Have not really broken a foil since Helsinki which was 6-8 years ago.   If you use billar-table felt in the c'case and rudder stock, you will be OK.    Put hard epoxy in there, you will break foils.

The squad sails out of MHYC in Mosman.

The people who sail a 49er tend to go sailing by themselves, at time when they can, which is more often than not, mid-week (rarely week-ends), so there are 2-3 49ers at WSC, they are up and down the cost, from Townsvile, a few in Brisbane, Lake MacQuarie and Melboure has quite a few fleets, but they tend not to club race.   Perth also and I know of 2 in Hobart that sail often.

It's very much like Moth sailing, the boat is so different to everything else, it's a bit hard to get excited about club racing on PYS.

This trend to getting more and more females into hi-end sailing is happening more and more around the world.    The FX fleet number are not at the same level as the 49er, mostly from stigma that they can't sail them, or they will get lumps in the wrong places.    But go look at the FX fleet, and you dis-spell that rumour.

Even prior to Covid-19 the future of sport through-out the world was changing.

Post COVID-19 we are in for a fundemental reset.

               jB 

Thanks Julian

Very much what I was looking for.

Yes, the girls in our fleet are very much used to the bumps and bruises. One of ours had to justify to her doctor why she wasn't suffering domestic violence (showed the doctor the Facebook page to prove the issue). The Zhik kollision pants are very popular and great for minimizing the damage (although frightfully expensive and short lifed).

If, when things settle down, this is still a viable plan, I might revert for guidance on what to look for in a boat and any special techniques or tricks I should know about when converting from the present boats to the 49er.

The older FX in our club, (sailed by a pair of skilled young males) has reasonable VYC racing against our boats. As some of the photos on the Facebook page will show, it can take him a while to get free of the other boats on light to medium days; the FX is often slower downwind, faster up. But he generally crosses the line first; although has trouble beating the VYC. The previous full size 49er (sailed by a class stalwart who then trained the present skipper of the FX when he crewed for him) was too far ahead for it to be interesting and has moved on to a foiling moth (hopeless in the river) and now kite surfing. 

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3 hours ago, JulianB said:

 

   The FX fleet number are not at the same level as the 49er, mostly from stigma that they can't sail them, or they will get lumps in the wrong places.   

               jB 

I add this as much for the benefit of the original poster as Julian.

This is the very thing we are both proving (that girls actually can sail them - very well actually) and changing (because they are growing in number at our club). Mind you, we might also be proving the concern about bumps and bruises - although the girls seem to be able to live with that, more so with protective pants.

The whole point of the training is to show that even a non sailor (usually a keen surfer), women or not, can quickly get the hang of it and be keeping the boat flat and pulling off a quick succession (in a 200 meter wide river) of nice sets, takedowns and blow through gybes within a reasonably short time. From there the improvement is more incremental, but they're keen to learn. And by the way, when starting from scratch, more often than not, the women are the faster learners.

That's one of the reasons I'm focused on Nationals. Getting them to one as soon as possible; often in their first season as a racing crew  (initially with an experienced skipper but as they progress to being a skipper, eventually with an all trainee crew) lets' them see that they can do it and inspires them to work to bridge the gap (plus gives them an idea of how delightfully social these events can be; at least how I try and organised it). Several of them expressed almost a sense of let down and disappointment that the last ones were over - they'd been on such a high; and not because of good results.

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Not sure if it's any better but most of the boys in the park have switched to Vaikobi wetsuits, harnesses and that sort of apparel.

I understand Vaikobi is very big in Surf-Skies, because they put padding where it matters and they are doing the same now in the sailing world.

I did see it up at PSA (so Laser's) about a week ago, so obviously they are making in-roads there also. 

The FX girls are bloody tough, and had a extreme learing curve (no different from the Nacra or the 49er), all power to them.

Those Nacra girls are another level again~!

And the 49er boys don't seem to mind it either!!!!!!!!!!

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Thanks.

I'll have a look at the Vaikobi range (i need a replacement for my Zhik pants at the moment). But we're far enough north that even just thin wetsuit pants are too hot for all but late Autumn through to early Spring. It's why the bruising was so bad for the girls before they got into the protection gear (the first versions of which were imitation ones I sewed up for the first three girls who moved onto regular crew positions starting with a pair of legging I split and sewed foam pads into).

I had one crew in a full length light wetsuit who, on a day of a black NE'er, I had to deliberately dunk multiple times because he was in danger of getting heat stroke. : )

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what about a 29er?

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1 hour ago, Trovão said:

what about a 29er?

If he is actually dealing with "juniors" (say, under 16 or 17) I might agree that the 29er might be more suited to purpose (depending on the size/weight of LTFF). It does give great, exciting rides in a fresh breeze and a skilled skipper can make up for a lot of errors by an inexperienced crew. And probably cheaper too. But you need a decent breeze to really get it to kick up its heels.

What we quickly found (because I started with one in our river club) was they didn't have the power to get out and play with the tidal current in anything under about 12 to 15 knots. As a result you were left trying to run square through the shallows, wobbling around in among a whole lot of classes that were slower, but could do that better than you. Very frustrating and not a great way of inspiring people. In tide less conditions the position might be better.

Bigger/older than that, then a 49erFX is stepping it up again and a worthy ambition. I was mainly trying to push back against the broad idea underlying Onepointfivethumb's assertion that ..."A 49er to get juniors excited about sailing is something like a Lamborghini to get a kid excited about their learner's permit". With that I disagree. I'd go the opposite and say, if you're trying to interest someone in Formula 3 racing, you don't take them for a ride in an old VW Beetle.

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Rambler, I have some Bethwaite wetsuits, they are 10 year old but still in there original wrapper.

The girl who used to work for me and did all that development, when off and worked for Zhik.

Happy to donate some if you give me some sizes, and can see if I have any.

                       jB

 

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Sailing aparent wind boats in tidal estuaries requires shift gears outside the norm.    Same is true sailing AW boats in very light airs.

On the Brisbane rive in 1989-90, we had this with Banana Republic, we could go over the sand bank if we lifted the centerboard 400mm and you then had to adopt a higher hull-speed lower side-load model up-wind which meant lots of attention to sprung sheets (as in 30-40mm) but hell it worked.

Down wind, it was all about how low you could go while keeping the sails un-stalled.   So off the wings, massive twist in the mainsail, lots of ease on the outhaul, and steer just to keep the spin un-stalled, ease mainsheet to settle heel iregularities. 

Canberra with AAMI in 92, down wind, the gust (1-2 knts) hit and the boat accelerated to 5 knts, then gust went away, did not matter which way you pointed, you where head to wind, so it was a queastion of not letting the boat accelerate, slow it right down and stay in the gust.

It's completely abnormal sailing for 90% of the world, but for those in tidal rivers, espcially in the UK and USA it's mother's milk.

The P-W [Power to Weight] ratio of a 29er is a far bit less than a 49er or FX so it takes a bit more to un-stick.

The flip side, is when it's blowing "oysters off the rocks" mere mortals go out and have a ball!

Given the evoloution of the world of sailors, all boats could do with up-scaling their P-W ratios!

              jB

 

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13 minutes ago, JulianB said:

Rambler, I have some Bethwaite wetsuits, they are 10 year old but still in there original wrapper.

The girl who used to work for me and did all that development, when off and worked for Zhik.

Happy to donate some if you give me some sizes, and can see if I have any.

                       jB

 

That's very kind of you Julian.

I must admit, in our lower middle class demographic, where many of my trainees are Uni students or in the hospitality/service industries or running their own micro business, they aren't exactly flash with cash; which is why I try and run a couple of training or lending boats (and maintain a supply of 'lending' clothing and sailing gear too).

Most of the girls (I would guess extrapolating from my wife's size) are in the range of a woman's dress size 8 to 12 (50 to 65 kg and everything from 5 ft to 6ft tall). There might be one 14. The four right hand women in the picture on the top of the training Facebook page are pretty typical. https://www.facebook.com/SVs-Mr-Bond-The-Ballina-Skiff-Sail-Training-Group-110226546310465/?view_public_for=110226546310465

I realize you might not have been producing to cater to smaller women at that time.

I'm 6ft and a size M in most brands, but are the least in need - even if i ma looking to buy a new pair of pants : )

I looked (on-line) at the Vaikobi gear. They are interesting. Hard to tell how good the knee protection is and I'm not sure what the 'not too hot, not to cold' story is all about; but obviously relevant to our semitropical location. Pity they don't have shin protection as that's where we get a few injuries if they are unprotected. One pr the problems up here is not being able to "look and feel" before you buy.

Still, they are well priced. I was tempted to buy myself a pair to see what they are like 

 

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2 minutes ago, JulianB said:

 

 

The flip side, is when it's blowing "oysters off the rocks" mere mortals go out and have a ball!

 

 

Yes, sailing the 29er in heavy weather was an absolute joy. Some of the best rides ever. 

Just because so many boats are sailing under weight, the Fifteens tend to come a cropper in winds we'd still be having a ball blasting around in the 29er in.

3 minutes ago, JulianB said:

Sailing aparent wind boats in tidal estuaries requires shift gears outside the norm.    Same is true sailing AW boats in very light airs.

On the Brisbane rive in 1989-90, we had this with Banana Republic, we could go over the sand bank if we lifted the centerboard 400mm and you then had to adopt a higher hull-speed lower side-load model up-wind which meant lots of attention to sprung sheets (as in 30-40mm) but hell it worked.

Down wind, it was all about how low you could go while keeping the sails un-stalled.   So off the wings, massive twist in the mainsail, lots of ease on the outhaul, and steer just to keep the spin un-stalled, ease mainsheet to settle heel iregularities. 

Canberra with AAMI in 92, down wind, the gust (1-2 knts) hit and the boat accelerated to 5 knts, then gust went away, did not matter which way you pointed, you where head to wind, so it was a queastion of not letting the boat accelerate, slow it right down and stay in the gust.

It's completely abnormal sailing for 90% of the world, but for those in tidal rivers, espcially in the UK and USA it's mother's milk.

The P-W [Power to Weight] ratio of a 29er is a far bit less than a 49er or FX so it takes a bit more to un-stick.

The flip side, is when it's blowing "oysters off the rocks" mere mortals go out and have a ball!

Given the evoloution of the world of sailors, all boats could do with up-scaling their P-W ratios!

              jB

 

All hard learned lessons.

Although if the last sentence suggests sailors are getting heavier, that's the opposite of the issue I'm dealing with

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Sailors evolving, in the Laser class it was coaches impaitent to get their charges home and towing them at 15-20 knts behind RIB's that require people to ask that Laser be modified.

In the case of the general sailing population, the skew is to faster, more "extreme" boats.

Just look at the AC, 40 years ago it was 12m's, max speed 11 knts!     A 49er dose that going upwind and it's not even foiling.   Then you have foiling moths, 49er now regularly go down wind at 25-26 knts, even 30 years ago that woud have been a world record, 29er have been known to crack 30 knts, and not a one-off, but by many!

When I started sailing, the FD and the Sharpie was the fastest boat on the face of the globe,  18teens took that off those boat in the mid 60's and in 1976 my sister and I won the cock of the harbour in a Cherub.   Now, on a short course I am guessing it would be a moth.

What the kids of today demand to remain enthused is a rush, and a celebrial experience.

In 90% of the cases a 29er needs more area.    Occasional in places like HK, they will get the rides of their lives that they will tell their kids about.   But that's pretty unique!

Just try telling your kid that their first car should be a 20hp sedan!     They will tell you to go ------ yourself!

                     jB

 

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17 minutes ago, JulianB said:

Sailors evolving, in the Laser class it was coaches impaitent to get their charges home and towing them at 15-20 knts behind RIB's that require people to ask that Laser be modified.

In the case of the general sailing population, the skew is to faster, more "extreme" boats.

Just look at the AC, 40 years ago it was 12m's, max speed 11 knts!     A 49er dose that going upwind and it's not even foiling.   Then you have foiling moths, 49er now regularly go down wind at 25-26 knts, even 30 years ago that woud have been a world record, 29er have been known to crack 30 knts, and not a one-off, but by many!

When I started sailing, the FD and the Sharpie was the fastest boat on the face of the globe,  18teens took that off those boat in the mid 60's and in 1976 my sister and I won the cock of the harbour in a Cherub.   Now, on a short course I am guessing it would be a moth.

What the kids of today demand to remain enthused is a rush, and a celebrial experience.

In 90% of the cases a 29er needs more area.    Occasional in places like HK, they will get the rides of their lives that they will tell their kids about.   But that's pretty unique!

Just try telling your kid that their first car should be a 20hp sedan!     They will tell you to go ------ yourself!

                     jB

 

Ah, a completely different evolution from what I thought you meant. My bad.

And yes, in a way, it's the wave I am riding with my program.

Mind you, if Dad's buying the car, they can take it or leave it : -). Our's had to be happy with a series of base level Mazda 2's - in dad's chosen 'safety colour'. There's no public transport to speak of in the country, so it's that or walk. They seemed to have survived the trauma of it. 

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Even you Mazda 2 has a 100hp motor.

I'm talking a 2CV type car, you would not even put them in it these days.    Super cute, but!!!!.     

I had a 50cc capuccion Vespa, Bright Red, they started taking it across the bridge to Uni, that did not last terribly long.

             jB

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3 hours ago, JulianB said:

In the case of the general sailing population, the skew is to faster, more "extreme" boats.

Definitely not the case here in Britain, Julian. Both extremes of the range have tailed off, leaving just the moderate performance boats. I thought when you brought out the 29er it would be the trigger for a new boom in high performance boats, because all these youngsters would be growing out of the class with amazing boat handling skills, and would of course want to sail in high performance boats. What's happened though is that they come out of 29ers and sail RS400s, RS200s, Merlins and the like. I'm at a loss to understand it, but can't argue with the numbers.

I see the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick data, and for every race result from a 49er there are 60 results from Merlins, and, even more remarkably the Foiling Moth, which has similar numbers recorded to the 49er, has barely a quarter of the numbers of the 1930s survivor the British Moth.  Go back to when we were young and there were several trapeze classes amongst the most active ones in the country. Nowadays the only trapeze boat in the top 30 is the venerable Fireball.

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I don't have a definitive answer to that Jim, but my thoughts are.

A 200 is relatively cheap yachting. You can take a competitive boat sailing in a big fleet and enjoy a good party.  

In the Merlin a rich old bloke takes you yachting in a really nice boat, and then you have a good party with a lot of your mates.

To be vaguely competitive in a Moth costs a metric shit load. You need to go sailing a lot. That's hard if you have a real job. The people who do it are pro or rich middle aged men who don't mind getting spanked by the pros. Similar comment on the 49er, and there's no party, so even fewer do it.

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JimC, because there (were) a plethorith of events where you could go play with your mates sailing the same boat as you, rather than PYS where you bolt out of the blocks, finish 10 mins before them and are packed up and ready to go home, long before they are finished, people sailing up-range boats tend to be event focused.

Same happenes here, I don't think there is a 49er club race schedualled anywhere, but go to a event and you get 50-60 x 29ers all spending a month in Melbourne with the full family sailing every day.

Not saying either is right or wrong, but say 25 day of sailing once a year at a event and then that again sailing (very often) mid week is more than most club races get in, in a year.

When my office was at WSC (in Sydney) there where always 2-3 times the number of people sailing mid-week, with no organised racing, just going blasting.

My point was the game has changed and clubs need to re-think what they are about, and if its weekend racing, then they are unlikely to be around for a long time.

And yes, points off the graph, my bothers Laser club regularly has 25 - 40 boats each weekend, but most of them are 60-80 and that's what they have done their whole life.   The 16teen clubs in Australia (or NSW at least) make it very financially attractive to sail each weekend out of the club, as do the 18teens.

So numbers recorded on PYS, tell only a very small part of the story!   The skew is there and it is true across most hi end sports.     More hi-end, the more prelevant!

As for your Merlins and RS 400's, I bet you even they are being pushed harder these days and going faster.

 

           jB 

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Well maybe Julian, but the same trend is also visible in Championship turnouts in the UK. The higher performance boats are way down on what they used to be.

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On 3/26/2020 at 11:05 PM, Rambler said:

That's one of the reasons I'm focused on Nationals.

That's a big difference from the OP. 

Maybe my view is tinted by what I see here in Miami, but AFAIK 49er circuit is dominated by folks on the olympic pathways. I'm sure you can buy, and keep in sailing shape a no-longer-competitive "beater" 49er for getting into skiffs. With. bit of crafty composite work, you can keep the costs low, but probably not-in-class.

To stay within class, and to be "in the mix" at nationals, you need a boat in pretty good shape, because the crowd is in olympic pathways, even budget teams spend a ton of time on their boats.

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7 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

That's a big difference from the OP. 

Maybe my view is tinted by what I see here in Miami, but AFAIK 49er circuit is dominated by folks on the olympic pathways. I'm sure you can buy, and keep in sailing shape a no-longer-competitive "beater" 49er for getting into skiffs. With. bit of crafty composite work, you can keep the costs low, but probably not-in-class.

To stay within class, and to be "in the mix" at nationals, you need a boat in pretty good shape, because the crowd is in olympic pathways, even budget teams spend a ton of time on their boats.

[Not sure what OP is, so I'll bypass that comment]

What you say is something I struggle with in relation to my proposal.

I would expect them to come last; the question is by how much.

There were only 4 boats at the 2019 FX Nationals, 5 at the 2020 ones in conjunction with the Worlds. Two of the names I recognised as being on Olympic pathways and seemed to dominate the racing. Among the others were mixed (M/F) crews who's performance was inconsistent, so maybe were just WW. You've reminded me I have a (tenuous) link into one of the hopefuls, so that might offer me a chance to check it out.

My essential problem is that while the Fifteens are fantastic boats and easy to keep at Nationals level while still dropping in an old alloy mast and sails for training and club level sailing, my training group is dominated by light women. When I put two of them in the boat together, they just get blown off the water in a slightly fresh breeze. The FX was (from what I've read) intended for women with a crew weight of 120 kg. That may still be too much, since most of the training group women seem to be in the 50 to 55 kg range.

But I combine that with the fact that an important part of the group dynamic is the social side. It is something I work hard to foster (although being twice their age isn't a good starting point) and the last Fifteen Nationals definitely achieved that aim, while at the same time unleashing the competitive instincts and inspiring them to come back and increase their skills. The level of skill at the front end of the Fifteen fleet is no pushover. The winner this year (the class builder) had more Australian National championships in more popular classes than you can throw a stick at, but most years is relegated to second by one of our members. Lindsay Irwin - former World and multi time Australian I 14 champion - only managed third in the last series he sailed.

So to have an FX which is merely 'club level' would be cheap (good for me, since I'm paying  the bills), but ultimately may let down my plans. But another worry is that if I buy an FX which is towards the end of its fully competitive life, it may quickly fall out of that anyway. I don't know enough about the FX's at this stage to make that judgement. The Fifteens have been good because they last forever and only need new sails and a modicum of TLC to stay up there.

But they also may find the social side of an FX event very disappointing compared to the Fifteens' one. Again, I don't know.

Some of the women are intensely competitive and ambitious. Two have wrangled themselves into crew spots in the Sydney Hobart Race (even after being told they wouldn't be able to because they didn't have enough sailing background). After the 1998 disaster, that is no easy thing to do. The yachts don't suffer passengers any more and both had to put themselves through the sea survival course and demonstrate their skills before getting the spot.

I'd like to have a boat that will let them challenge themselves to an even higher level. But none of them have the money or life path that will let them join an Olympic pathway (which I regard as toxic anyway). So it will be merely be an exposure, not an immersion.

In the end, the weight problem (and a shortage of available Fifteens) is the essence of my problem. Apart from the Fifteens and the 49ers, there are only I 14's and 12ft skiffs in the twin wire  department and neither of those solve my problem (or are affordable for my objectives).

So then I ask myself do I drop the twin wire requirement? That would be a bit of a comedown for many of them. Plus single wire boats are definitely much less fun in a river environment where you're stuck playing the shallows in a gennaker boat not designed for that because they don't have the power to go out and challenge the tide until the wind is well into the medium range.

I'm rambling, I know. Because your point is valid but I don't have an answer.

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@Rambler - sounds like you're doing amazing stuff there. "Good problem to have".

OP was meant about the "Original Post" or "Original Poster" who seemed just wanted a beater 49er to fire up people's imagination, and swim/sail/learn/enjoy a lot, but not stretching into Nationals ambition. 

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1 hour ago, martin 'hoff said:

@Rambler - sounds like you're doing amazing stuff there. "Good problem to have".

OP was meant about the "Original Post" or "Original Poster" who seemed just wanted a beater 49er to fire up people's imagination, and swim/sail/learn/enjoy a lot, but not stretching into Nationals ambition. 

Yes it is a big difference from the OP

But I might end up in the same place. If you're not sure which way to go, sometimes the cheap way is to be preferred :-)

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So at my Club in Sydney, Hunters Hill, we've grown a fleet of 13 29ers over the past season and a bit. We've worked with the NSW 9er Association and continually run "Skiff Skills" training sessions at the Club building the pool of skilled Opti and F11 kids who can get going as helms on the 9ers... we also built a temporary storage cage outside which now has the 13 9ers, 4 Nacra 15's (largest concentration in Australia), 4 Quests and some odds and sods. Our first couple of teenagers who were ahead of the current group and flying solo (much to their credit)  have now graduated into the 49er and had a go down in Melbourne.  Our vision is to have a fleet of 4-6 FX' or 49ers club racing over the next couple of years.

We've started that off last spring by getting our uni aged female instructors / coaches working on the NSW 9er Association FX under the tutelage of Coach Harry Morton .... they have now got to the point of actively looking for a FX to buy themselves which is great.  We have some year 12 kids getting close to making the same decision as well...

Rambler - happy to have a chat sometime - sounds like we are heading to the same destination via different routes - both in waters that the East of the Harbour Bridge clubs would turn their noses up as "not ideal skiff waters"!!! Hahahahha - F*** em!!

Cheers

Chris

 

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1 hour ago, Stanno said:

So at my Club in Sydney, Hunters Hill, we've grown a fleet of 13 29ers over the past season and a bit. We've worked with the NSW 9er Association and continually run "Skiff Skills" training sessions at the Club building the pool of skilled Opti and F11 kids who can get going as helms on the 9ers... we also built a temporary storage cage outside which now has the 13 9ers, 4 Nacra 15's (largest concentration in Australia), 4 Quests and some odds and sods. Our first couple of teenagers who were ahead of the current group and flying solo (much to their credit)  have now graduated into the 49er and had a go down in Melbourne.  Our vision is to have a fleet of 4-6 FX' or 49ers club racing over the next couple of years.

We've started that off last spring by getting our uni aged female instructors / coaches working on the NSW 9er Association FX under the tutelage of Coach Harry Morton .... they have now got to the point of actively looking for a FX to buy themselves which is great.  We have some year 12 kids getting close to making the same decision as well...

Rambler - happy to have a chat sometime - sounds like we are heading to the same destination via different routes - both in waters that the East of the Harbour Bridge clubs would turn their noses up as "not ideal skiff waters"!!! Hahahahha - F*** em!!

Cheers

Chris

 

Yes.

I grew up in the days there were a fleet of Cheurbs at every club which was not only good sailing but a good way of making friends and keeping out of trouble. Maybe I'm a sentimental old fool but my ambition is to recreate that same environment, whatever JB says in the practicalities of today. Sailing out of Double Bay, I did a few regattas at Hunters Hill; nice club.

I'm not sure why there aren't more 29er fleets about. They were/are an ideal boat for a certain age group. Sailing out of Pittwater when they first came out ( c,2000), we struggled to build fleets there. Kids coming out of F11's would buy them, but after spending a season on their side would just disappear. As you know. they're incredibly stable and exciting when they're going fast, but fall on their side when going slowly (especially tacks) at the slightest provocation and are diabolical to right on a wild day because they throw their mast to windward (until Rob Brewer showed me what I call when teaching it the elevator technique; absolutely fantastic solution). Plus I tried teaching what I call the 'three phase tack' (come in, execute, power up) for those transitioning to stop them capsizing so often, thinking they could just tack like they did in the F11's before they were sure the crew could follow at the same pace.

I'm not sure what the state of play on Pittwater is these days; that was 16 years ago.

In terms of building a racing fleet of twin wire skiffs, our ambitions are the same; whether Fifteens or 49er's. We've succeeded with the Fifteens and in the process I think we can safely say we have the largest club racing fleet of female twin wire skiff sailors in Australia (define it narrowly enough and you can always get to the top spot). But the 15's optimise at 140 kg and the women can't provide that; thus my looking for alternatives.

We have a few differences. Parental money - or lack thereof is one. As I think I said above, we're a lower middle class demographic. Most of my women sailors are Uni Students (mostly post grad and without parental support), or work in hospitality or have their own struggling small business. So I have to find cheap ways of doing it and be willing to  spend some of my own.

Age demographics is another. The kids at the local school have a simple saying - leave home when you leave school or you'll be pregnant and married to a bogan before you're 19. So it's pointless me targeting school kids or teenagers generally. I try and get them when they come to the area chasing a lifestyle in their 20's and 30's and many have never sailed before they step into a twin wire skiff, get out on the wire and are handed the main.

Finally the river is unfriendly towards single wire gennaker boats if you get a light season (although would have been perfect for the wild one just passed). Trying to goose wing a gennaker while running the shallows with the board right up is a nightmare in a 29er.

And last but not least, I'm the sole instructor. Not the best they can have I'll be first to admit, although always willing to learn and improve. I don't doubt some of the younger guns could layer it on better and I'm going to have to teach myself whatever 49er conversion techniques might be out there. But they're not up here and generally don't work for free, so I'll have to do. Anyway, it's fun while the body holds together.

PM me or send me a message through the Facebook site to establish contact if you'd like to compare notes or work together. And when the world is normal again, think of bringing your fleet up for a very friendly river challenge title one long weekend.

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Ahh Cheurbs, what a great boat, 100lbs (45kgs) 12ft, decent size mast a sail plan.     

As the story goes, we brought the first one to Australia from Torbay in NZ, 1959.   Peter Spencer lived just up the road, and taught the likes of Christine & Mark (my sister and brother) along with Bruce Farr and even Ron Holland commented on those times, 2 weeks ago at MHYC.

The similarities between what the 2 of you are doing and what Peter Spencer did are striking.

And I am sure there are many more.

Won my first Worlds in a Cheurb in Adelaide, 1976 with my sister (Nicky), we won the nations the year before in Perth.    Now haven't they evolved, wow, JimC, go look at that for evolution!

Hunter Hills is an enigma, but then again so is Northbridge, as is Bayview and I am sure Kurnell at the top of Gunnamatta Bay and many others.

Not sure what it is, your comment re east side of the harbour bridge rings true except for Valcuse and maybe Double Bay.

Rambler, I'm guessing your sailing on the Richmond River, beautiful part of the world, I use to regularly stop at the Ramada and do brunch on my way to or from Brisbane sailing Trilogy or Wraith of Oden, but its been a while.

Bare foot and pregnant in the kitchen, not a good look these days, you both should be commended for what you are doing.

I'm going the tech route, and see what I can do there, could be a fascinating few month.

                        jB 

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32 minutes ago, JulianB said:

 

Won my first Worlds in a Cheurb in Adelaide, 1976 with my sister (Nicky), we won the nations the year before in Perth.    Now haven't they evolved, wow, JimC, go look at that for evolution!

 

                        jB 

Yes, I was at those; although at the middle to other end of the fleet

And I reckon the Remada should pay us for entertaining the patrons; especially as the six Fifteens are engaged in a fierce gybing dual down that part of the river in a nice SE'er. They could just about chuck us a scone as we gybe right on the rocks looking for tidal advantage

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I sailed 18teen in 1990-91-92 in what was known as the Super Skiff Series out of Port MacQuarie.

The spectators did hand us beers going up or down the Hastings.    Outside assistane, maybe, it was very welcome!

You need to train your patrons better!!!!!!!!!

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7 hours ago, Werdna said:

Any other inspired (middle aged) sailors in Vancouver following this ?

 

 

I'd like to think I was middle aged, but doubt I'll live to 130.

So let's settle for inspired mature age

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2 minutes ago, Rambler said:

I'd like to think I was middle aged, but doubt I'll live to 130.

So let's settle for inspired mature age

Just to make the point. 64 year old skipper, 39 year old female crew (who hadn't sailed until a year ago)

 

DSC03870C.jpg

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