29erBy Steve Killing

“The 29er will be to sailing what snowboarding was to skiing", says the boat's co-developer Ian Bruce. He and others, who have already tasted the 29er's performance, enjoy the rebel-yell style of this boat. With its almost non-existent stability at the dock and its 20-knot sailing speeds, it is not for the sedentary sailor; athletic types looking for an adrenaline-rush will absolutely love it.

Why design a boat for this specific group of sailors? Well, for Julian Bethwaite backed by his father Frank, English designer Dave Ovington, Japanese designer Takao Otani, and Canadian details-man Ian Bruce, it 's quite simple. The 49er, the high performance big cousin of the 29er, was recently granted Olympic status for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. That decision was immediately followed by the question: "How are young sailors going to train for this boat?" The 49er is too complex a boat for smaller novice sailors to jump into, and the untrapezed Laser and comparably low-powered Laser II are inappropriate training vessels. The 29er, however, bridges the gap perfectly and its creators are not bashful about claiming that it is a boat for those with big dreams and above average skill levels.

The hull shape of the 29er is nothing like the common fare at the local launching ramp. As you move aft, the narrow rounded sections in the bow end flatten out to gently curved sections. Chines develop about halfway along the length of the hull to give the water a natural point to break clean when the boat planes - and it will spend a lot of time planing. The interior is clean, smooth and contoured.

The 29er had the luxury of an ideal development schedule - two years of drawing, prototyping and testing, with significant changes along the way. Between the first and fifth prototype, the floor height of the self draining cockpit was raised to keep the boat drier, the hull was extended in length and slightly in width aft to increase the weight capacity, and the rig was reduced in size for manageability by smaller crews. Initially the larger rig was designed to keep the speed in the supersonic region, but it put the boat out of the range for the youth sailors it was intended to serve, so the area of the sail plan was reduced.

29er - designSurprisingly, the smaller rig turned out to be faster. It just doesn't sound logical, does it? I have seen this happen before. It 's understandable that the smaller rig is faster in heavy air when one wants a more controllable, less powerful sail. But how could it be faster in light to medium air? Well no one is quite sure, but I recall that in the days of 12-metre America's Cup boats that the spinnaker size was unlimited -as long as you could hoist it up and fly it from the pole it was legal. The temptation was to go very large, but racers soon discovered that the fastest spinnakers were not the largest sails. The suspicion was that the larger sail did not present as efficient a sail shape. 1t was also heavier physically and therefore did not lift as well in light air. Something of the same phenomenon may be happening with the already large asymmetrical sail on the front of the 29er. There’s a limit to what will fly well, be controllable and fit between the end of the sprit and the hoist on the mast.

Early boats for North America were either built in England or Australia, but new tooling is now being prepared for production in Montreal. Bruce's shop, which also builds the popular Byte, will pump our four boats per week to the tightly controlled class specs. Those specifications keep the hull construction material to fibreglass cloth (no carbon fibre or Kevlar) with polyester resin, for easy repairs at the sailing club. Watch for these spectacular little boats and future Olympians to go screaming by the docks of a high-performance sailing club near you.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s Summer 1999 issue.

Specifications:
Length 14.6'
Beam 5.8'
Weight (unrigged) 155 lb.
Rigged 185 lb.
Sail Area (jib and main) 135 sq. ft.

Related Articles
Profiles
  • 12 September 2018
  • By Ethan

Bruce Kirby given Order of Canada

On Thursday last week, at age 88, Bruce Kirby has been invested into the Order of Canada for his contributions to the sport. Besides representing Canada three times at the Olympics, Kirby's biggest...

Destinations

  • Prev
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...

Thornbury on Georgian BayJennifer Harker

To borrow a line from Monty Python, “and now, for something completely different”.

Normally, our boating adventures are spent weaving our way amongst the picturesque backdrop of the 30,000 Islands of eastern Georgian Bay aboard our Sea Ray Sundancer 268. This time we’ve traded power for sail as friends welcome us aboard their 38-foot Irwin for the Canada Day long weekend.

We’ve set our sights on a decidedly different destination for this journey, charting a course for Thornbury. This small town, located in the southern reaches of Nottawasaga Bay, is an oft-overlooked area of Georgian Bay - but it shouldn’t be. Although we’ve explored this shoreline on countless road trips, this will be our first visit from the waterside.

Read more about the Thornbury on Georgian Bay...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with ...
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...
Readers give us a bit of feedback on the 60th anniversary of the Shark 24
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 46The Cantius 46 is the latest evolution of Cruisers Yachts’ Cantius line – now there are five models from 42 to 60 feet. The new Cantius 46 is a great example of “easy boating” the way Volvo Penta imagined it and how Cruisers Yachts has executed it. The idea is that you just come on board, unlock the glass doors, fire it up, cast off, and enjoy - alone, with a spouse, or with a huge group.

Since the first Cantius model was introduced, Cruisers Yachts has continued to refine the concept for ever-greater convenience, more clever and innovative features, and also greater performance.

Read more about the Cantius 46...

 

 

 

 

Sun Odyssey 410By, Zuzana Prochazka

The revolution continues – with a twist

The Jeanneau 410 is the eighth generation of the Sun Odyssey line, but even with that long history and umpteen years of tweaks and iterations, what the French builder has done in the latest revamp will make you say, “Wait, what?”

 Last year, Jeanneau turned the sailboat deck layout on its ear with the introduction of their Sun Odyssey 490 and 440, and the concept of the ‘walk-around deck’.

Read More about the Odyssey 410...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Electrical ground is a term used to describe the reference point in an electrical circuit from ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...

Ask AndrewAndrew McDonald

Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods needed to make connections between components and wiring.

When planning out electrical work, one of the more common questions that I address is on the set-up, installation and sizing of breakers and fuses.

Fuses and breakers are collectively called ‘overcurrent protection’ – and these come in many different shapes, styles and sizes. Their purpose is the same: to prevent a situation where a larger than intended electrical current is running through the circuit, which puts the circuit at risk of overheating, fire and damage to equipment. 

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...
Making it’s global debut at the Toronto International Boat Show the new Mercury 5hp Propane ...
Most of us have heard of fuel additives, whether it be for gasoline or diesel. But which one to ...
While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be ...
Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, ...
Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...