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.

Destinations

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At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
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 ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
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The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
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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 ...
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The Marina at Blind ChannelOne of my favourite places

By Marianne Scott

Sailing north of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and the Broughton Archipelago offer cruisers a bevy islands with ample anchorages. Tides cause swift currents to run through the islands’ waterways. Few marinas are found in this large, sparsely populated region but one that provides all the services boaters need and especially enjoy is Blind Channel, a marina and resort operated by the Richter family located on Mayne Passage on the east side of West Thurlow Island (50 24. 82N, 125 30. 00).

Read more about the Blind Channel Resort...

 

Lifestyle

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Swift Trawler 47By Andy Adams

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!

With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat.

Read more about the Swift Trawler 47......

 

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1When Beneteau introduced their new Oceanis 46.1, they were inspired by the fact that their previous Oceanis 45 was one of Beneteau’s best sellers and the new 46.1 had to be a clearly superior boat. The Oceanis range is about space and comfort for cruising while still delivering strong performance.

The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

Read More about the Oceanis 46.1......

DIY & How to

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Sea to Sky SailingSea to Sky Sailing has just been approved as the only Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recognized training centre on the west coast of North America just in time to deliver an epic 2019 season!

“This transition from our previous International Yacht Training (IYT) certification to RYA is a huge benefit to our students as it provides them certification that is known globally as the gold standard for yacht training.  The RYA requires training centres to undergo annual inspections of their vessels, business practices and training delivery in order to maintain a strong standard and guarantee a high quality experience for students. 

Read More about Sea to Sky Sailing......

 

  

Marine Products

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