|Crew||2 (double trapeze)|
|LOA||4,876 mm (16 ft)|
1,752 mm (5 ft 9 in)
2,743 mm (9 ft 0 in)
|Draft||1,447 mm (4 ft 9 in)|
|Hull weight||74.25 kg (163.7 lb)|
|Main & Jib area||19.97 m2 (215 sq ft)|
|Spinnaker area||37.16 m2 (400 sq ft)|
The 49er is a two-handed skiff-type high-performance sailing dinghy. The two crew work on different roles with the helm making many tactical decisions, as well as steering, and the crew doing most of the sail control. Both of the crew are equipped with their own trapeze and sailing is handled while "flying".
The 49er was designed by Julian Bethwaite, the son of Frank Bethwaite, designer of the popular Laser and Laser 2 classes. The boat was selected by the International Sailing Federation after a series of trials for a high performance two person skiff and has been in every olympics since its debut in Sydney Olympics of 2000.
The 49er's name comes from its hull length of 4.99 metres. It incorporates ideas developed in Julian Bethwaite's 18ft Skiffs, notably the Prime Computer series of boats, which were double handers.
For a controllable and fast gust response, the mast was carefully tuned to deflect from the top downwards with an increase in wind speed, causing the upper main to twist, reducing the heeling moment. The use of solid wings, rather than tubes as on similar boats (RS800 etc.), aids sailors new to the world of skiff racing while facilitating rapid movement across the 49er during maneuvers.
The 49er made its first Olympic appearance at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and has continued to grow in popularity ever since.
With a Portsmouth yardstick Handicap of 740 the 49er is the fastest two person one-design monohull dinghy.
In 2009 the boat received a new rig design, including a larger fully carbon mast and square top mainsail.
The 29er is a smaller, single trapeze trainer to the 49er. It has become popular in North America, Europe and Australia as a fast exciting youth boat. Recently the 29erXX, a twin trapeze version of the 29er, has been produced with a rig very similar to the 49er.
The 59er dingy was put into production in Australia and the UK in 2002. The 59er is a non-trapeze, 4.7m sailing dinghy, rigged with an asymmetric spinnaker. It is designed for a crew weight of 145 kg to 180 kg. Performance expectations are that it be similar to the 49er/29er model.
- "Centerboard Classes". US Sailing. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "Portsmouth Number List 2012". Royal Yachting Association. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
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