Boat Pursuits Logo

What Is a 420 Sailboat? (Here’s Everything You Need To Know)

a 420 sailboat

Have you ever wondered what a 420 sailboat is? Are you looking for a boat thats perfect for racing and sailing? If so, youve come to the right place! In this article, well explore all aspects of the 420 sailboat, from its features and benefits to important tips for sailing and racing.

Well also discuss college sailing programs and their use of the 420 sailboat.

Whether youre a beginner sailor or an experienced racer, youll learn all you need to know about the 420 sailboat in this article.

So lets get started!

Table of Contents

Short Answer

A 420 sailboat is a two-person dinghy designed for racing.

It has a 14-foot hull and is designed with a wide beam for stability.

It is typically rigged with a spinnaker and jib, and is often considered to be a good choice for novice and intermediate sailors, as well as for competitive sailing.

What Is a 420 Sailboat?

A 420 sailboat is a two-person dinghy designed for sailing competitions and recreational sailing.

It is a lightweight and agile boat with a unique trapezoid-shaped sail that allows it to be used in a wide range of sailing conditions.

It is an incredibly popular model of boat among sailors of all ages and skill levels, making it a great choice for both competitive and recreational sailing.

The 420 sailboat is a versatile boat that can be used in a variety of different sailing scenarios.

Its trapezoid sail is designed to catch the wind and provide superior maneuverability and control, making it a great boat for racing and sport sailing.

The boat is also designed for easy handling and maneuverability, making it a great choice for novice sailors.

The 420 sailboat is also a popular choice for college sailing programs.

Its agility and maneuverability make it an excellent choice for aspiring sailors looking to take their sailing to the next level.

With its lightweight and easy to control design, the 420 sailboat is a great introduction to the world of competitive sailing.

In addition to its use in college sailing programs, the 420 sailboat is also used in a range of other sailing competitions and events.

Its trapezoid-shaped sail and lightweight design make it a great choice for a range of sailing scenarios, from racing to recreational sailing.

Overall, the 420 sailboat is a great choice for any sailor looking to take their sailing to the next level.

With its lightweight design and unique trapezoid-shaped sail, this boat is perfect for competitive and recreational sailing alike.

Whether youre a novice sailor or an experienced racer, the 420 sailboat is a great choice for any sailing enthusiast.

Features of a 420 Sailboat

a 420 sailboat

The 420 sailboat is an excellent choice for those looking to take their sailing to the next level.

It is a high-performance two-person dinghy designed for racing and sport sailing, making it an ideal boat for a wide range of sailing conditions.

Its lightweight, agile build and unique trapezoid-shaped sail give it an edge over other boats in terms of speed and maneuverability.

Some of the features that make the 420 sailboat stand out include its long waterline length, low profile design, and its unique sail plan.

The boat has a hull length of around 13 feet and a waterline length of around 11 feet, giving it a longer waterline than most other dinghies and sailboats.

This helps it to perform better in longer races and on larger bodies of water.

Its low profile design makes it easy to handle, while its trapezoid-shaped sail provides plenty of power and stability, even in strong winds.

The 420 sailboat is also designed with a spacious cockpit, allowing for two crew members to sail the boat comfortably.

It also includes a self-draining cockpit, making it easy to bail out water in the event of a capsize.

Additionally, the 420 sailboat is equipped with adjustable outhauls and jibs, allowing for easy and precise sail trimming.

This makes it a great choice for both competitive and recreational sailing.

In addition, the 420 sailboat is popular with sailors of all ages and skill levels, making it a great boat for both beginner and experienced sailors.

It is also used in college sailing programs around the world, giving aspiring sailors the opportunity to hone their skills and take their sailing to the next level.

The boat is also a great choice for competitive sailing, as it is designed to be fast and maneuverable, giving it an edge over other boats in races.

Overall, the 420 sailboat is an excellent choice for those looking to take their sailing to the next level.

Additionally, its spacious cockpit and adjustable outhauls and jibs make it an ideal boat for both competitive and recreational sailing.

With its popularity among sailors of all ages and skill levels, the 420 sailboat is a great choice for aspiring sailors looking to hone their skills and take their sailing to the next level.

Benefits of Sailing a 420 Sailboat

Sailing a 420 sailboat offers a wide range of benefits, making it an ideal boat for competitive and recreational sailors alike.

For starters, the 420 sailboat is lightweight and agile, making it perfect for a range of sailing conditions.

The trapezoid-shaped sail also makes the boat easier to control, allowing sailors to make the most of their sailing experience.

In addition to its agility, the 420 sailboat is also incredibly durable and reliable, meaning it wont let you down in the middle of a race.

This makes it ideal for competitive sailing, as sailors can rely on their boat to perform consistently and reliably.

Lastly, the 420 sailboat is popular with sailors of all ages and skill levels, making it a great boat for both experienced and beginner sailors.

This means that aspiring sailors can start learning to sail on a 420 sailboat without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated.

Furthermore, the 420 sailboat is used in college sailing programs around the world, making it an excellent choice for aspiring sailors looking to take their sailing to the next level.

Overall, the 420 sailboat is an ideal boat for a range of sailing needs, whether youre a competitive sailor, recreational sailor, or an aspiring sailor looking to take their sailing to the next level.

With its lightweight and agile design, durable construction, and wide range of skill levels, the 420 sailboat is an excellent choice for any sailor.

Choosing a 420 Sailboat

a 420 sailboat

When it comes to choosing a 420 sailboat, there are a few things to consider.

First, decide what type of sailing youll be doing.

If youre interested in competitive racing, then look for a boat that has a good reputation for performance, such as the Laser or the Optimist.

If youre more interested in recreational sailing, then the 420 may be the perfect boat for you.

It is lightweight and agile, making it ideal for a wide range of sailing conditions.

Next, consider the budget youre working with.

There are a wide range of prices for 420 sailboats, so its important to know what you can afford before making a purchase.

You should also look into the maintenance costs associated with owning a 420 sailboat.

Its important to factor in any additional costs associated with the boat, such as repairs, sails, and other equipment.

Finally, consider the skill level of you and your crew.

The 420 sailboat is designed for two people, so make sure you and your partner are able to work together as a team.

It can be a great way to learn the basics of sailing, as the boat is highly maneuverable and forgiving.

However, if youre looking to take your sailing to the next level, then the 420 is an excellent choice for aspiring sailors looking to hone their skills.

Choosing the right 420 sailboat is an important decision, and you should take the time to evaluate all of your options before making a purchase.

With the right boat, youll be ready to hit the water and explore the exciting world of sailing.

What Sailing Conditions Is a 420 Sailboat Good For?

The 420 sailboat is designed to be agile and lightweight, making it well-suited for a wide range of sailing conditions.

It is often used in college sailing programs, so it can handle a variety of weather and water conditions.

The trapezoid-shaped sail gives the boat an advantage in light winds, making it well-suited for lighter winds.

It is also able to handle heavier winds, as long as the sail is reefed appropriately.

The 420 sailboat is also great for racing, as the agile design and lightweight construction make it fast and responsive.

The boat is also suitable for recreational sailing, as it is an easy-to-maneuver boat that can be handled by sailors of all skill levels.

The 420 sailboat is also designed to be durable, making it a great choice for long-term sailing and racing.

All of these factors make the 420 sailboat a great choice for a wide range of sailing conditions.

College Sailing Programs and the 420 Sailboat

a 420 sailboat

The 420 sailboat is an excellent choice for budding sailors looking to take their sailing to the next level and compete in college sailing programs.

This versatile and agile boat is popular with sailors of all ages and skill levels, making it a great option for recreational and competitive sailing.

With its unique trapezoid-shaped sail, the 420 is designed to perform well in a wide range of sailing conditions.

The 420 sailboat is used in college sailing programs around the world.

These programs are designed to provide aspiring sailors with the skills and knowledge they need to compete in collegiate sailing regattas.

The boat is also well-suited for team racing, a more advanced form of sailing in which two teams of sailors race against each other on the same course.

In college sailing programs, crew members learn the basics of sailing, including boat rigging, maneuvering, and racing tactics.

They also develop their knowledge of the rules and regulations of sailing, as well as the proper safety procedures.

Through sailing in college sailing programs, aspiring sailors can build their confidence on the water and hone their skills, all while competing with teams from other colleges.

The 420 sailboat is also used in various high school sailing programs.

These programs provide students with the opportunity to learn the basics of sailing and prepare for college sailing regattas and team racing.

High school sailing programs also help build teamwork and communication skills, as well as provide an introduction to the sport of sailing.

Overall, the 420 sailboat is an excellent choice for aspiring sailors looking to take their sailing to the next level.

It is a lightweight, agile boat with a unique trapezoid-shaped sail, making it ideal for a wide range of sailing conditions.

The boat is popular with sailors of all ages and skill levels, making it a great option for recreational and competitive sailing.

The 420 sailboat is used in college sailing programs around the world, making it an excellent choice for aspiring sailors looking to take their sailing to the next level.

Tips for Racing and Sailing a 420 Sailboat

Sailing a 420 sailboat is a thrilling experience, and it requires a special set of skills and knowledge to get the most out of the boat. Whether youre a competitive racer or a recreational sailor, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your 420 sailboat:

1. Learn the Basics: Before you even get in the boat, take the time to learn the basics of sailing. Knowing the ropes, how to trim the sails, and the basic rules of sailing will help you get the most out of your time on the water.

2. Practice Makes Perfect: Once you feel comfortable with the basics, its time to get out on the water and start practicing. The more time you spend practicing, the better youll become at sailing the 420.

3. Tune Your Boat: A properly tuned boat will perform better and be easier to sail. Make sure to check your rigging and sails for proper tension and trim.

4. Take Advantage of the Trapezoid: A 420 sailboat has a unique trapezoid-shaped sail, which gives it great performance in a wide range of wind conditions. Be sure to take advantage of this feature when youre sailing.

5. Balance the Boat: One of the main goals of sailing a 420 sailboat is to keep the boat balanced. Practice sailing with your weight evenly distributed across the boat, and move your weight to the windward side when tacking or gybing.

6. Use the Wind: A 420 sailboat is designed to take advantage of the wind, so be sure to use it to your advantage when sailing. Look for shifts in the wind and use them to your advantage when racing or just out for a leisurely sail.

7. Have Fun: Above all, dont forget to have fun! Sailing a 420 sailboat is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends. So, dont forget to enjoy it!

Final Thoughts

The 420 sailboat is an excellent choice for both recreational and competitive sailing.

With its lightweight and agile design, it is perfect for sailing in a variety of conditions.

It is also popular with college sailing programs, making it an ideal boat for aspiring sailors.

If you’re looking for a great boat for your sailing adventures, a 420 sailboat is a perfect choice.

So go ahead and explore the world of sailing with a 420 sailboat today!

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

Recent Posts

Does Your Boat License Expire? Here's What You Need to Know

Are you a boat owner looking to stay up-to-date on your license requirements? If so, youve come to the right place! In this article, well cover everything you need to know about boat license...

How to Put Skins on Your Boat in Sea of Thieves? (Complete Guide)

There is a unique sense of pride and accomplishment when you show off a boat you customized to your exact specifications. With Sea of Thieves, you can customize your boat to make it look like your...

  • 420 Sailboats: Exploring the Thrill of Dinghy Sailing

Sailing has been an adventurous and captivating water activity enjoyed by enthusiasts around the world for centuries. Among the various sailing boats, the 420 sailboat stands out as a popular choice for dinghy sailing. In this article, we will delve into the exciting world of 420 sailboats, understand what makes them unique, explore different sailing dinghy types, and discover the thrill of dinghy cruising. So, hoist the sails and let's embark on this thrilling journey!

What are 420 Sailboats?

1.1 the origins of the 420 sailboat.

The 420 sailboat originated in France in the late 1950s as a two-person dinghy designed for competitive racing. Its design was based on the popularity of the larger 470 sailboat and was intended to create a more accessible racing boat for young sailors.

1.2 Design and Characteristics

The 420 sailboat typically measures around 4.2 meters (13 feet 9 inches) in length, featuring a single trapeze, a mainsail, and a jib. The boat's hull is often made of fiberglass, ensuring durability and performance on the water.

1.3 Sailing Community and Competitions

Over the years, the 420 sailboat has garnered a strong global following, becoming one of the most popular dinghies for youth and amateur sailors. The boat's versatility allows both beginners and experienced sailors to enjoy thrilling competitions and hone their skills.

The Fascination of Dinghy Sailing

2.1 understanding dinghy sailing.

Dinghy sailing involves sailing small boats, often single-handedly or with a crew of one or two. It offers a more intimate connection with the water, providing sailors with an immersive experience of being one with the elements.

2.2 Advantages of Dinghy Sailing

Dinghy sailing offers several advantages, such as affordability, portability, and maneuverability. Sailors can easily transport and launch dinghies, allowing them to explore various water bodies and remote sailing destinations.

2.3 Challenges and Skills Required

While dinghy sailing is exhilarating, it requires a certain level of skill and adaptability. Sailors must learn to handle the boat in changing weather conditions and use their body weight to maintain stability.

Exploring Dinghy Cruising

3.1 escaping to serene waters.

Dinghy cruising offers a unique opportunity to explore secluded coves, tranquil lakes, and winding rivers. Sailors can escape the bustling city life and immerse themselves in the serenity of nature.

3.2 Navigating the Seas with Confidence

Before embarking on a dinghy cruise, sailors must acquaint themselves with navigation skills, weather patterns, and safety procedures. Proper planning and preparation are essential for a safe and enjoyable journey.

3.3 Preparing for a Dinghy Cruise

Preparing for a dinghy cruise involves packing essential supplies, inspecting the boat's condition, and ensuring all safety equipment is onboard. Additionally, sailors should inform someone about their sailing plans for added security.

Different Types of Sailing Dinghies

4.1 traditional sailing dinghies.

Traditional sailing dinghies often have classic designs and are cherished for their historical significance. They offer a nostalgic sailing experience, appealing to enthusiasts looking to reconnect with the past.

4.2 Modern Performance Dinghies

Modern performance dinghies, like the 420 sailboat, are designed for optimal speed and maneuverability. They are favored by competitive sailors and those seeking an adrenaline-fueled sailing experience.

4.3 Choosing the Right Dinghy for You

When selecting a sailing dinghy, consider your sailing goals, experience level, and preferred type of sailing. Consulting with experienced sailors or boat dealers can help you make an informed decision.

Unraveling the Mystery of Dinghies

5.1 defining a dinghy.

A dinghy is a small boat, often with a shallow draft, suitable for short trips near the shore or larger vessels. Dinghies serve various purposes, such as transportation between a yacht and the shore.

5.2 Brief History of Dinghies

Dinghies have a rich history, dating back to ancient times when they were used as lifeboats and for short excursions from larger ships. Their design and purpose have evolved over centuries.

5.3 The Role of Dinghies Today

In the modern era, dinghies continue to play a crucial role in recreational sailing, racing events, and as safety boats for larger vessels. Their versatility and ease of handling make them an essential part of the sailing community.

Read our top notch articles on topics such as sailing, sailing tips and destinations in our Magazine .

Check out our latest sailing content:

a 420 sailboat

Currents and sailing: the Atlantic Ocean

a 420 sailboat

Yachting Away from Ourselves: A Voyage to Inner Peace

a 420 sailboat

Sail to the 7 most beautiful sights in Greece

a 420 sailboat

What skipper's licence do I need?

a 420 sailboat

From Lefkada or Corfu to Paxos and Antipaxos

a 420 sailboat

Discover the paradise of Paxos and Antipaxoss

a 420 sailboat

Discover Corfu: sailing adventure in the Ionian

a 420 sailboat

Sextant and navigation: survival without GPS

a 420 sailboat

5 best sailing routes in the Bahamas

a 420 sailboat

Yachting guide to the Bahamas

a 420 sailboat

The ultimate yacht cleaning kit

a 420 sailboat

Traditional sailor tattoos: Meaning of the swallow

a 420 sailboat

The most popular catamarans of 2023

a 420 sailboat

Fishing and sailing: where to sail for the best catches?

a 420 sailboat

Lighthouses you won't forget

a 420 sailboat

New Year's resolution: let's sail more eco

a 420 sailboat

British Virgin Islands: sailing paradise

a 420 sailboat

How to get kids to enjoy sailing?

a 420 sailboat

How to sail a yacht on a tailwind

a 420 sailboat

How to sail a yacht in crosswinds

a 420 sailboat

Götheborg: the greatest sailing ship

a 420 sailboat

How to have a nautical Christmas

a 420 sailboat

What to pack for a tropical sailing

a 420 sailboat

How to sail a yacht against the wind

a 420 sailboat

Sailing the Maldives: paradise

a 420 sailboat

Interview: is ocean pollution irreversible?

a 420 sailboat

How to gear up for the 2024 sailing season

a 420 sailboat

Medicanes in Greece

a 420 sailboat

Top 10 reasons boaters contact their insurers

a 420 sailboat

New boats for rent in 2024

The versatility of the 420 sailboat, 6.1 thrilling racing experience.

The 420 sailboat offers an exhilarating racing experience, with its responsive design and competitive class association events worldwide. Sailing enthusiasts can participate in friendly regattas or challenging competitions.

6.2 Casual Sailing and Cruising

Beyond racing, the 420 sailboat is equally enjoyable for leisurely sailing and cruising. Its stable and forgiving nature makes it suitable for novices, families, and friends seeking quality time on the water.

6.3 Ideal for Novices and Experts Alike

The 420 sailboat strikes a perfect balance between beginner-friendly features and high-performance capabilities. Novice sailors can develop their skills with ease, while experienced sailors can explore advanced techniques.

420 Sailboat vs. Flying Junior Sailboat

7.1 a closer look at flying junior sailboat.

The Flying Junior (FJ) sailboat is another popular double-handed dinghy known for its competitive racing and sailing programs in schools and clubs worldwide.

7.2 Key Differences and Similarities

While the 420 sailboat and Flying Junior share similarities in terms of size and purpose, they have distinct design elements, which affect their handling and performance.

7.3 Choosing Between the Two

Choosing between the 420 sailboat and Flying Junior depends on individual preferences, training programs available, and desired sailing experience. Both boats offer thrilling adventures for sailors of all ages.

Yacht vs. Boat: Understanding the Distinction

8.1 what defines a yacht.

A yacht is a larger and more luxurious vessel, often used for recreational purposes, cruising, and leisure activities. Yachts are known for their opulence, amenities, and long-range capabilities.

8.2 How is a Boat Different?

Boats, including sailing dinghies like the 420, refer to smaller watercraft used for various purposes, such as sailing, fishing, transportation, and sports.

8.3 Determining the Right Vessel for Your Needs

Selecting between a yacht and a boat depends on factors such as budget, desired activities, number of passengers, and the kind of sailing experience you wish to have.

The Thrill of 420 Sailing Competitions

9.1 the competitive spirit.

420 sailing competitions are known for their competitive spirit and camaraderie among sailors. Participants challenge their skills and tactics to outperform their rivals.

9.2 International 420 Class Association (ICA)

The International 420 Class Association (ICA) is the governing body that organizes and regulates 420 sailing events worldwide, fostering a vibrant and inclusive sailing community.

9.3 Notable 420 Sailing Events

From local regattas to prestigious international championships, 420 sailors have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of events that cater to different skill levels and age groups.

Owning a 420 Sailboat: A Dream Come True

10.1 factors to consider before purchasing.

If you're considering owning a 420 sailboat, factors like budget, boat condition, and available storage space should be carefully evaluated to make the right investment.

10.2 Maintaining Your 420 Sailboat

Proper maintenance is essential for keeping your 420 sailboat in top-notch condition. Regular inspections, cleaning, and timely repairs contribute to its longevity and performance.

10.3 Cherishing the Sailing Memories

Owning a 420 sailboat is not just about the vessel itself but the unforgettable memories created on the water. Cherish the moments spent sailing, racing, and exploring new horizons.

420 sailboats have captivated sailors worldwide, offering a versatile and thrilling sailing experience. From competitive racing to leisurely cruising, the 420 sailboat has proven its mettle as a reliable and exciting dinghy. Whether you're an experienced sailor seeking a new challenge or a novice eager to learn the ropes, the 420 sailboat is ready to take you on a memorable adventure on the open waters.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at our range of charter boats and head to some of our favourite  sailing destinations.

FAQs more about 420 sailboats

I am ready to help you with booking a boat for your dream vacation. contact me..

Denisa Nguyenová

Denisa Nguyenová

Great choice! Your favorites are temporarily saved for this session. Sign in to save them permanently, access them on any device, and receive relevant alerts.

  • Sailboat Guide

420 insignia

420 is a 13 ′ 9 ″ / 4.2 m monohull sailboat designed by Christian Maury and built by Rondar Raceboats, Fountaine Pajot, Snapir Sailing Craft Ltd., MacKay Boats Ltd., Lanaverre, Johnson Boat Works, Far East Boat Co., Whitecap Composites, Xtreme Sailing Products, and Nautivela starting in 1959.

Drawing of 420

Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

One of the most successful sailing dinghies ever. (Only the SUNFISH or LASER can be considered in the same league.) Originally designed and built by Lanaverre of France. (They built 32,000 according to one source.) Licenses were later granted to other builders around the world. In 1996, the International Class agreed to amend the deck layout. 1 Trapeze permitted. Spinnaker: 97 sq.ft. There is a ‘Club’ version of heavier construction and slightly different dimensions.

Embed this page on your own website by copying and pasting this code.

Discover Related Sailboats

a 420 sailboat

United States Sailboat Show 2019

The sailboat show in Annapolis runs Oct 10—14, 2019, and features over 130 sailboats, including the premiere of 30 models over 30 feet.

  • About Sailboat Guide

©2024 Sea Time Tech, LLC

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Boat Care And Upgrades

Buying And Selling

Destinations

Header image - 420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

420 Sailboat: An In-depth Analysis

The 420 sailboat, a classic in the sailing world, is known for its versatility and performance. Loved by both beginners and seasoned sailors alike, this craft offers a unique sailing experience. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into its features, functionality, and overall value.

The History of the 420 Sailboat

The 420 sailboat has been a staple in the boating community since its creation in 1959. Designed by Christian Maury, this French-made dinghy has gained a reputation for being a top choice for youth training, high school and collegiate sailing, and even for competitive events. Over the decades, it has proven its worth and stood the test of time, making it a much-loved choice for many sailors.

Design and Construction

When it comes to design and construction, the 420 sailboat is nothing short of impressive. Its 4.2 meters of length coupled with a light hull weight of around 80 kg allows for easier transportation and storage. The boat's construction materials have evolved over time, with modern versions often featuring a durable fiberglass hull and an aluminum mast.

Sails and Rigging

The 420's sailplan consists of a mainsail, a jib, and a spinnaker. This configuration offers a balanced performance in various wind conditions, allowing sailors to efficiently manage and adjust sails as necessary.

Performance on Water

The 420 sailboat's performance is noteworthy, as it strikes a perfect balance between speed, stability, and maneuverability. Its responsiveness, combined with the simplicity of its handling, makes it an ideal boat for a wide range of skill levels.

Handling and Maneuverability

The 420's handling and maneuverability is where this vessel truly shines. Its lightweight design and efficient hull shape allow for quick tacking and gybing, while the adjustable rigging system enables sailors to modify the boat's performance according to changing conditions.

Comfort and Safety

Although primarily designed for competitive sailing, the 420 sailboat doesn't compromise on comfort and safety. The cockpit is spacious enough to accommodate two people comfortably, while the hull's robust construction and the boat's inherent stability offer peace of mind to the crew on board.

The 420 sailboat is truly a gem in the sailing world. With its enduring design, commendable performance, and solid build, it promises an enjoyable sailing experience. Whether you're a beginner looking for a reliable boat to learn on, or an experienced sailor seeking a versatile craft for competitive racing, the 420 sailboat certainly warrants consideration.

Price and Value

When it comes to value for money, the 420 sailboat stands tall among its competitors. While the initial investment may seem significant, its longevity, performance capabilities, and the enduring demand in the second-hand market make it a worthwhile investment for the serious sailor.

Initial Cost

The price of a new 420 sailboat can vary significantly depending on the manufacturer, equipment included, and the specific model. As of 2023, you can expect to pay anywhere between $8,000 to $12,000 for a new 420 sailboat.

Maintenance and Operating Costs

The 420 sailboat's maintenance costs are relatively low compared to other similar vessels. Due to its robust construction and simple design, regular cleaning and occasional rigging adjustments are generally all that's needed to keep a 420 in top shape. Additionally, being a small sailing dinghy, it doesn't incur mooring fees and its transportation costs are minimal.

Resale Value

One of the standout aspects of the 420 sailboat is its strong resale value. Given its popularity in sailing schools and racing events, there is always demand in the second-hand market. Well-maintained boats often retain a significant percentage of their original value, making the 420 a financially sound choice.

Final Thoughts

The 420 sailboat is a true classic that continues to hold its own in the contemporary sailing world. With its perfect balance of performance, durability, and value, it offers a versatile sailing solution for enthusiasts of all skill levels.

In conclusion, the 420 sailboat ticks all the right boxes for both recreational and competitive sailing. From its clever design and excellent performance to its safety features and overall value, it offers everything a sailor could ask for. For those in the market for a reliable, efficient, and enjoyable sailing vessel, the 420 sailboat is indeed a worthy contender.

Author image - Poppy Harvey-Fitzgerald

You may also be interested in:

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

The Westerly Centaur: A Classic Cruiser for Modern Sailors

By Derek Caldwell

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Review of Honda 2.3 Outboard Motor

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Exploring the World of Schooner Boats: A Comprehensive Guide

By Ben Hunter

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Review of the Seawind 1370 Catamaran

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Review of Azimut 43

By Poppy Harvey-Fitzgerald

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Honda Boat Motors: In-Depth Review & Buying Guide

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Azimut 50: A Comprehensive Review

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Pilot Boats: A Comprehensive Review

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Tracker Jon Boats: A Comprehensive Review of the Versatile Lineup

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Highfield Dinghy Review: A Rigid Inflatable Choice

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Review of Cedar Strip Canoes

420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

Review of the Bayliner 285 Cruiser: The Spacious Seafarer

  • AROUND THE SAILING WORLD
  • BOAT OF THE YEAR
  • Email Newsletters
  • America’s Cup
  • St. Petersburg
  • Caribbean Championship
  • Boating Safety

Sailing World logo

Z420: New School Dinghy

  • By Sailing World Staff
  • Updated: January 14, 2014

Z420

College sailing is a punishing environment for dinghies. Fleets are sailed nearly every day in season, and boathandling drills in close quarters, heated team races, and full-contact mark roundings contribute to excessive wear and tear, leading to constant maintenance. These demands, plus the desire for a faster, fun, and more nimble steed, prompted LaserPerformance to rethink the C420. With the new Z420, says Adam Werblow, LaserPerformance’s director of institutional programs, they’ve developed a faster boat that can better withstand the abuse while retaining the C420’s simplistic platform.

LP has built more than 6,500 open-molded C420s over the past 40 years, says Werblow, which has given the company insight on how to best optimize the design. Issues with earlier LP-built C420s included pressure cracks on the hull, both on the rounded deck and around the air tank underfoot, and the flexing and bending of the centerboard trunk over time. To improve upon these areas, the Rhode Island-based builder now uses Soric core material and an infused molding process. As a result the Z420 hull is said to be 50 pounds lighter and 40 percent stiffer than LP’s C420. “Soric has a higher sheer resistance,” says production manager Matt Braitsch. “We should see fewer holes, a longer repair life, and more contained failure points.”

The Z420’s hull geometry should also make cracks and flexing a thing of the past. Whereas a C420 hull is composed of six pieces, the Z420 has only three molded components: the hull, the deck, and the mast partners. To strengthen where there will most likely be impact pressure, such as the foredeck and the rails, foam is infused in parts of the hull and deck early in the building process. For better hardware installation, backing plates are also integrated into the hull during the early stages of the build. What was once a buoyancy tank at the bottom of the hull is now a structural rib that runs nearly the entire length of the hull.

“The boat now has a spine,” says Werblow. “It’s a game-changer.”

The Z420 deck has more of a Vanguard 15 look; it’s angular instead of rounded, which should eliminate cracking, says Werblow. The centerboard trunk, frequently torqued by the crew’s feet during roll tacks, shouldn’t flex because it’s narrower and has additional reinforcement.

Another major change in the look of the boat is the addition of a forward bulkhead. Long Island Sound Youth Sailing Team director Steve Keen, who sailed the 420 Omega prototype—which has the Z420 hull with upgrades including a variety of more technical components (tapered mast, fathead laminate sails, adjustable mast ram, etc.)—says the bulkhead change is important. “It allows the boat to be significantly safer than some of the other boats out there,” he says. “If you take a wave over the bow of a Club 420 or a boat like that, which doesn’t have a bulkhead, and you’re going downwind, all the water rushes to your bow. It’s a vicious cycle; now the bow is taking on more water.”

The lighter hull weight also makes capsize recovery safer and faster, says Keen. “When you capsize, it comes up dry, which means you can go racing straight away, and you’re not sitting there continuing to bail. It’s going to make life that much better.”

In addition to less time spent bailing, college sailors can expect to have a faster, more enjoyable platform on which to race. I sailed the 420 Omega prototype with my fellow St. Mary’s sailing alum Megan Magill on Long Island Sound in June. Though the breeze was light, the boat was highly responsive and accelerated with the slightest puff. While it still liked a big roll tack, we were able to maintain speed through shallow tacks—like we might do during a double tack on the starting line—just as well as through wider-angle tacks.

Zach Leonard, head varsity sailing coach at Yale, noticed the quicker speeds through tacks after sailing several prototypes, both with the standard collegiate rig and the bigger 420 Omega rig. “In light wind, the boat is going to come out of tacks really quickly,” says Leonard. “In the past, the FJ has always been the team-racing boat of choice because the 420 was not such a quick tacking boat. I think you might see more team racing in this boat than you did in 420s before.”

Graham Landy, a rising junior at Yale, also had the opportunity to test out the Z420. “It’s much more responsive as far as changing your sheeting on the main,” he says. “You get more modes because it’s a lighter boat, and you can get planing in a lower wind range.”

Jib leads were moved inboard to the International 420 position on the SCV (school/collegiate version) Z420s, which will allow for narrower sheeting angles. “You don’t have to windward sheet as frequently,” says Leonard. “You only do it in a smaller wind range. The boat just points higher; it’s a different boat.”

Leonard sees the variety of modes allowed by the quick-to-plane hull as the most obvious difference between the Z420 and the C420: “You’re going to be able to put the bow down a little bit and go substantially faster.”

Brown head coach John Mollicone lined the Z420 up with his team’s C420s at a few practices in the spring. “Anytime there was a puff over 10 knots, the boat would just get up and sail away from the regular C420s,” he says. “It was definitely more lively and accelerated quicker.”

While we didn’t get enough wind during our test sail to plane, Leonard explains some of the implications. “The new boat planes upwind in not that much wind,” he says, claiming that planing upwind is possible in 10 to 11 knots. “Downwind it’s quite a bit quicker, and reaching will all of a sudden be fun. I think you might see more trapezoid courses run than we’ve done in the past.”

Landy also highlighted the tactical possibilities of reaching legs in the Z420. “Downwind it actually felt pretty similar to the current 420s when we were wing on wing,” he says, “but at our venue, which is a little wavier, we could un-wing [jib reach]. In breeze we can make big gains doing that just because we can plane on all points of sail. We can be more dynamic with the boat, which opens up the racecourse a lot more.”

While the SCV Z420s on the water this season won’t have taller masts or bigger sails, lighter hulls will power them up more quickly. “For a variety of reasons, they’re not going to upsize the sails,” says Leonard, “but I think the boats will be more overpowered in breeze, not because the sails are bigger but because the boats are going faster and creating more apparent wind; 420s are so stable it’s not a big issue.”

Landy felt more powered up during his test sail than on a C420: “I had to sail a bit heavier [with crew weight] than normal just because there was a benefit to keeping the boat flat, keeping full power longer, and planing.”

A few control-line updates will make the boat more tunable for the college sailor, such as the 6-to-1, double-ended vang, which is led to the skipper’s position. The new vang system and Sta-Master turnbuckles—used to quickly adjust shroud tension—were requested by the six colleges that had ordered fleets as of press time: Dartmouth, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Stanford, St. Mary’s, and Yale. The various features of the 420 Omega are also available à la carte. College sailors can expect to race Z420s this fall, and they will be used in collegiate national championships in 2014.

Tabor Academy and Wayzata (Minn.) Community Sailing’s high school program have also ordered Z420s. Tabor coach Rob Hurd says, “We think this’ll be the wave of the future for high school and college sailing.”

Leonard is excited that the project, which was undertaken with input from coaches like himself and Mollicone, came to fruition. “This is something a lot of us have been talking about for a while,” says Leonard, “how we need to sail boats that are training us more for the types of boats we’re likely to sail after college sailing.” Keen, who watches his youth International 420 sailors transition to college, is also enthusiastic. “They go off to college and say, ‘No, this sport isn’t the same as a 29er or an I420 or 470,’ or something they’ve already been sailing—whereas this [Z420] is more in line with that,” he says. “Those who haven’t been exposed to this type of boat before are going to be wowed by it.”

A Class Perspective While you’ll see the new LaserPerformance Z420 on the college sailing circuit this fall, the redesigned boat will not have an immediate effect on the large and established Club 420 Class, says John Vandemoer, the class association’s executive director. “The Z420 that LaserPerformance is producing is really geared to the high school and college market,” says Vandemoer. “It’s a very different boat; that new boat is not going to be able to compete with a Club 420 on a Club 420 line.”

However, the redesigned youth favorite might give the class some new ideas. “Will there be some changes to the Club 420 in the next few years? There’s a possibility of that,” says Vandemoer. “But are we going to change the hull and make it 50 pounds lighter and everything else? No, we probably won’t be doing that anytime soon because it would be way too cost-prohibitive. But I think the board would be open to some changes and some upgrades of the technology where it makes sense cost-wise and would be easy for the class to adapt to.”

  • More: College Sailing , Dinghy , LaserPerformance , Sailboats
  • More Sailboats

ClubSwan 28 rendering

Nautor Swan Has A New Pocket Rocket

Pogo RC Visuel

Pogo Launches its Latest Coastal Rocket

The Storm 18

A Deeper Dive Into the Storm 18

a 420 sailboat

2024 Boat of the Year Best Recreational Racer: Z24

a 420 sailboat

Regatta Series Returns to Detroit

illustration of two people looking at a lake with sailboats on it

Sailing’s Health Starts At Home

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli AC75

Luna Rossa’s New AC75 Marks Its Silver Age

a 420 sailboat

Emirates Team New Zealand Splashes Defense Yacht

Sailing World logo

  • Digital Edition
  • Customer Service
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cruising World
  • Sailing World
  • Salt Water Sportsman
  • Sport Fishing
  • Wakeboarding

International 420 Class Association

Class contact information.

Click below

Class Email

Class Website

One-Design Class Type: Dinghy

Was this boat built to be sailed by youth or adults? Youth

Approximately how many class members do you have? 150 in the US.

Photo Credit:Michael Rudnick

a 420 sailboat

Photo Credit: Michael Rudnick

a 420 sailboat

About International 420 Class Association

The US International 420 Class Association is dedicated to the support, development and growth of International 420 Class sailors in the United The International 420 is an established performance two-person trapeze and spinnaker racing dinghy. The I420 is a youth development boat in 43 countries and is the boat used for the two-person boys dinghy, and two-person girls dinghy events at the Youth Sailing World Championships, the pinnacle youth sailing event in the world. In the US the boat is used in the US Sailing Youth Championship, the pinnacle youth sailing event in the US. The I420 is sailed at yacht clubs, open, national and international levels. There are many second hand boats available, and active fleets across the United States. The 2018 World Championship was held in Newport, RI with 500 sailors from over 25 counties attending.

Designed by Christian Maury in France in 1960, the I420 celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2020. The I420 is recognized by World Sailing as an “World Sailing Learn to Sail Training Program Recommended Boat”, which endorses its use by Member National Authorities for developing and teaching sailing. All boats recognised by World Sailing have been independently assessed by World Sailing to be ideal for developing and/or teaching sailing within the World Sailing Learn to Sail programme. The class is managed at a global level by the International 420 Class Association, and by the local class association in each country. In the US that is the US I420 Class Association.

Boats Produced: 26,000

Class boat builder(s):

Full list at: http://www.420sailing.org/content/420-licensed-builders

Approximately how many boats are in the USA/North America? 150

Where is your One-Design class typically sailed in the USA? List regions of the country:

New England (Newport, CT, NYC, NJ), Annapolis, Miami, Houston, San Francisco & Southern Califorina.

Does this class have a spinnaker or gennaker? Yes

How many people sail as a crew including the helm?  2

Ideal combined weight of range of crew:  250 – 325 lbs

Boat Designed in  1960

Length (feet/inches): 13′ 9″

Beam: 5′ 4″

Weight of rigged boat without sails: 100 kg/220 lbs (80kg/176 lbs Bare Hull)

Mast Height: 20′ 6″

Tuning Guides

Back to One-Design Central

Copyright ©2018-2024 United States Sailing Association. All rights reserved. US Sailing is a 501(c)3 organization. Website designed & developed by Design Principles, Inc. -->

SailZing.com Sailors Helping Sailors Logo

Dinghy Roll Tacking – High School Coach Breaks it Down

High school sailing coach Gary Werden has published a detailed video showing dinghy roll tacking, using the 420. Gary shows three phases of the tack and the elements of each phase. This is the most helpful online video we have found on roll tacking.

Dinghy Roll Tacking Phases and Steps

Initiation is from the beginning of the tack to the point the jib starts to back.  Key elements:

  • Rudder moved slowly from center to edge of the tank, and then to the middle of the tank. Do not move the rudder further than this.
  • Mainsheet is trimmed in tighter than close-hauled to preserve speed and assist the turn.
  • Crew moves in slightly to uncleat the jib. Werden’s video says not to tighten the jib, but other resources say to tighten the jib just before it begins to luff, to keep it backwinded longer.
  • Skipper and crew may lean in a little, but not so much as to induce leeward heel. In a soft chine boat, leeward heel won’t help with the turn much and will lead to slipping. In a harder chine boat, like the X boat or Opti, leeward heel may be more effective.

Turn and Roll

This phase begins when head to wind and ends when you are on the close-hauled heading.

  • Rudder and mainsheet remain in the same position as at the end of initiation.
  • Lean out to the old windward side when the boat is head to wind – not sooner.
  • Skipper and crew must lean out in perfect unison to induce the roll.

This phase begins when you are on the close-hauled heading.

  • Bring rudder smoothly to center and place tiller extension on the new windward deck to prevent further motion.
  • Ease the mainsheet 12-18″ as you cross.
  • Ease the jib to a close reach setting and re-cleat it.
  • Skipper and crew cross in unison and hike on the new windward side to flatten the boat. Skipper does not yet switch hands and the tiller extension remains behind the skipper’s back. The Werden video does not mention re-trimming the main at this point, but the Zim Sailing Blog , says to begin re-trimming the main at the highest point of the roll.
  • Skipper switches hands when boat is flat.

Related Content:

Zim Sailing Blog – explains importance of many of the steps Optimist Tacking – Video Collection Avoid Tacking in Lulls – Be Prepared to Tack in Puffs – SailZing

Sailors Helping Sailors

Will you share your knowledge with your related Comments below?

Related Posts

Practice the Body Mechanics of Tacking to Improve Your Sailing

Practice the Body Mechanics of Tacking to Improve Your Sailing

Leave a comment cancel reply.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Insert/edit link

Enter the destination URL

Or link to existing content

ZIM SAILING

C420 - Club

Zim C420 Ex Charter Boat

C420 - Ex Charter

C420 - Pro

C420 - Race

‘It’s a phenomenon’: How 4/20 grew organically from a group of Northern California high schoolers into marijuana’s holiday

The Waldos

Saturday marks marijuana culture’s high holiday, 4/20, when college students gather — at 4:20 p.m. — in clouds of smoke on campus quads and pot shops in legal-weed states thank their customers with discounts.

This year’s edition provides an occasion for activists to reflect on how far their movement has come, with recreational pot now allowed in nearly half the states and the nation’s capital. Many states have instituted “social equity” measures to help communities of color, harmed the most by the drug war, reap financial benefits from legalization. And the White House has shown an openness to marijuana reform.

Here’s a look at 4/20’s history:

The origins of the date, and the term “420” generally, were long murky. Some claimed it referred to a police code for marijuana possession or that it derived from Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35,” with its refrain of “Everybody must get stoned” — 420 being the product of 12 times 35.

But the prevailing explanation is that it started in the 1970s with a  group of bell-bottomed buddies  from San Rafael High School, in California’s Marin County north of San Francisco, who called themselves “the Waldos.” A friend’s brother was afraid of getting busted for a patch of cannabis he was growing in the woods at nearby Point Reyes, so he drew a map and gave the teens permission to harvest the crop, the story goes.

During fall 1971, at 4:20 p.m., just after classes and football practice, the group would meet up at the school’s statue of chemist Louis Pasteur, smoke a joint and head out to search for the weed patch. They never did find it, but their private lexicon — “420 Louie” and later just “420” — would take on a life of its own.

The Waldos saved postmarked letters and other artifacts from the 1970s referencing “420,” which they now keep in a bank vault, and when the Oxford English Dictionary added the term in 2017, it cited some of those documents  as the earliest recorded uses .

HOW DID ‘420’ SPREAD?

A brother of one of the Waldos was a close friend of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, as Lesh once confirmed in an interview with the Huffington Post, now HuffPost. The Waldos began hanging out in the band’s circle and the slang spread.

Fast-forward to the early 1990s: Steve Bloom, a reporter for the cannabis magazine High Times, was at a Dead show when he was handed a flier urging people to “meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais.” High Times published it.

“It’s a phenomenon,” one of the Waldos, Steve Capper, now 69, once told The Associated Press. “Most things die within a couple years, but this just goes on and on. It’s not like someday somebody’s going to say, ‘OK, Cannabis New Year’s is on June 23rd now.’”

While the Waldos came up with the term, the people who made the flier distributed at the Dead show — and effectively turned 4/20 into a holiday — remain unknown.

HOW IS IT CELEBRATED?

With weed, naturally.

Some celebrations are bigger than others: The Mile High 420 Festival in Denver, for example, typically draws thousands and describes itself as the largest free 4/20 event in the world. Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has also attracted massive crowds, but the gathering was canceled this year, with organizers citing a lack of financial sponsorship and city budget cuts.

College quads and statehouse lawns are also known for drawing 4/20 celebrations, with the University of Colorado Boulder historically among the largest, though not so much since administrators banned the annual smokeout over a decade ago.

Some breweries make beers that are 420-themed, but not laced, including SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta, which is throwing a 420 music festival this weekend and whose founders went to the University of Colorado.

Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, California, releases its “Waldos’ Special Ale” every year on 4/20 in partnership with the term’s coiners. That’s where the Waldos will be this Saturday to sample the beer, for which they picked out “hops that smell and taste like the dankest marijuana,” one Waldo, Dave Reddix, said via email.

4/20 has also become a big industry event, with vendors gathering to try each other’s wares.

THE POLITICS

The number of states allowing recreational marijuana has grown to 24 after recent legalization campaigns succeeded in Ohio, Minnesota and Delaware. Fourteen more states allow it for medical purposes, including Kentucky, where medical marijuana legislation that passed last year will take effect in 2025. Additional states permit only products with low THC, marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient, for certain medical conditions.

But marijuana is still illegal under federal law. It is listed with drugs such as heroin under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it has no federally accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

The Biden administration, however, has taken some steps toward marijuana reform. The president has  pardoned thousands of people  who were convicted of “simple possession” on federal land and in the District of Columbia.

The Department of Health and Human Services last year recommended to the Drug Enforcement Administration that  marijuana be reclassified  as Schedule III, which would affirm its medical use under federal law.

According to a  Gallup poll  last fall, 70% of adults support legalization, the highest level yet recorded by the polling firm and more than double the roughly 30% who backed it in 2000.

Vivian McPeak, who helped found Seattle’s Hempfest more than three decades ago, reflected on the extent to which the marijuana industry has evolved during his lifetime.

“It’s surreal to drive by stores that are selling cannabis,” he said. “A lot of people laughed at us, saying, ‘This will never happen.’”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

McPeak described 4/20 these days as a “mixed bag.” Despite the legalization movement’s progress, many smaller growers are struggling to compete against large producers, he said, and many Americans are still behind bars for weed convictions.

“We can celebrate the victories that we’ve had, and we can also strategize and organize to further the cause,” he said. “Despite the kind of complacency that some people might feel, we still got work to do. We’ve got to keep earning that shoe leather until we get everybody out of jails and prisons.”

For the Waldos, 4/20 signifies above all else a good time.

“We’re not political. We’re jokesters,” Capper has said. “But there was a time that we can’t forget, when it was secret, furtive. … The energy of the time was more charged, more exciting in a certain way.

“I’m not saying that’s all good — it’s not good they were putting people in jail,” he continued. “You wouldn’t want to go back there.”

Associated Press writer Claire Rush contributed from Portland, Oregon.

Latest in Lifestyle

  • 0 minutes ago

Mount Fuji

Japanese town with near-perfect shot of Mount Fuji hates tourists so much it’s building a giant black billboard to block the view

Jim Beam bourbon

Jim Beam’s Japanese parent thinks it can double sales by 2030 with a focus on ‘ready to drink’ canned cocktails

San Francisco

California’s population just increased for the first time since the pandemic

A girl is sitting at a table and looking at an iPad.

The hottest Gen Alpha obsession right now? Using parents’ money for online shopping, report finds

Rapper, songwriter, and icon Drake attends a game between the Houston Rockets and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Toyota Center on March 16, 2024 in Houston, Texas.

Drake’s fake Tupac, a $50,000 Elon Musk romance scam, and AI-generated racist tirades: Deepfakes are terrorizing society

Chipotle is one of many chains raising menu prices across California.

Livable wages mean more expensive burgers as California fast-food chains hike menu prices

Most popular.

a 420 sailboat

Gen Z job seeker refused to do 90-minute task because it ‘looked like a lot of work’—now the CEO who complained about it is being slammed

a 420 sailboat

Elon Musk publicly dumped California for Texas—now Golden State customers are getting revenge, dumping Tesla in droves

a 420 sailboat

The 5 best supplements for healthy aging, according to a longevity expert

a 420 sailboat

The meteoric rise and stunning fall of Prime, Logan Paul’s energy drink that was once resold for almost $1,500 a can: ‘A brand cannot live on hype alone’

a 420 sailboat

Elon Musk says any company that isn’t spending $10 billion on AI this year like Tesla won’t be able to compete

a 420 sailboat

The U.S. economy is actually a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ as the weak GDP report masks underlying strength, Wells Fargo says

a 420 sailboat

  • NCA’s login

Olimpic Sails

  • 420 World Championships
  • 420 Junior European Championships
  • 420 European Championships
  • Youth Sailing World Championships
  • 2022 Eurosaf 420 Cup
  • Regional Games
  • Results archive - 420 World Championships
  • Results archive - 420 Junior Europeans
  • Bid for a Championship
  • Latest news
  • 420 Newsletter
  • Why to Sail a 420
  • Introduction to the 420
  • Tips for buying a 420

Getting into Racing

  • Buy and Sell Marketplace
  • 420 Superstars
  • 420 National Class Associations
  • Sustainability
  • 420 Executive and Technical Committees
  • Constitution
  • 420 General Assembly Meetings
  • Membership Fees
  • 420 Class Privacy Policy
  • 420 Class 50th Anniversary
  • Privacy Notice
  • 2023 420 Class Development Programme

420 to the Max - Free online training video

New 420 tuning video.

  • 420 e-Book - Performance Training

420 Boat Settings - Beginner's Guide

  • I-420 Sailing Academy
  • Learn to Sail - Recommended Boat
  • 420 Class Rules
  • 420 Licensed Builders
  • How to become be a Licensed Builder
  • 420 Technical Documentation
  • 420 Sail Stickers and Boat Plaques

420 Sails and Spars Manufacturers Guides

  • 420 Sailmakers and Equipment Suppliers
  • International Measurers
  • The Racing Rules of Sailing
  • Equipment used at 420 Championships
  • Media office

DEVELOPMENT 420 Boat Settings - Beginner's Guide

a 420 sailboat

© Event Media

Courtesy of the British 420 Class Association , below is information on some basic boat settings written by Matt Burge:

Guide to Barber Hauling

Guide to Mast Rake

Guide to Changing Mast Rake on the Water

Guide to using Mast Chocks

Guide to Spreaders

Guide to Main Sheet Bridles

Guide to Tuning

Barber hauling is the name given to tensioning the windward/slack jib sheet. This is not done in all boats (e.g. the Mirror) but in the 420 it helps to achieve a faster jib slot / leech shape. You apply barber hauler simply by pulling the windward jib sheet and cleating it. It is very important to know how much to pull it on though.

Barber hauling makes the jib fuller and therefore more powerful. It has the same effect on the jib as chocks do to the main, and therefore follows a similar pattern:

  • In very light winds and when you are overpowered you want the jib flat, so none is needed, however it often pays to put on half an inch in strong wind because it makes the leech more stable.
  • In wiring conditions before flat-wiring you again want power, so it is good to pull on about an inch and a half. If it is choppy as well up to two inches is good. Exceeding two inches however will close the slot and is not fast so be careful.
  • Putting marks on your jib sheets in both the sheeting positions and the barber-hauler positions will help you to judge how much jib sheet and/or barber hauler you have on.
  • Pull on rig tension until it reads 30 on the tension meter. (Always take the reading at shoulder height up the shroud).
  • Tie the tape measure to the end of the main halyard and pull to the top of the mast. Then lower it slightly until it measures 16’1½” at the top of the black band at the gooseneck.
  • Pull the tape measure to the transom & take the measurement at the top edge of the transom. We are aiming for a reading of 19’11” here (with 30 on the rig tension). So if it is 19’11” leave it and put a pen mark on the mast lining up with where the rig tension block/hook is. Label this mark ‘L’ and record which hole the shrouds are in on the chain plates. This is your light wind setting.
  • If it does not read 19’11” then take the rig tension off & move the shrouds down the chain plates if the reading is above 19’11”, and up the plates if it is below. (Each hole on the chain plates will make a difference of roughly 1½” to your measurement).
  • Repeat steps 1-4 until you achieve 19’11” with 30 on the rig tension.
  • Then, repeat steps 1-4 but to get a measurement of 19’9¾”. Once achieved mark the mast with ‘M’ and again record the hole number (which is usually a hole down from the light wind setting). This is your medium wind setting. Don’t worry if a rig tension of 31 is needed to achieve this measurement.
  • Then, do the same again but to get 19’8½” using 31-32 on the rig tension. Mark this as ‘S’ on your mast and record the hole number, (which is usually a hole down from the medium setting). This is your strong wind setting.
  • If you & your crew are very light you may like to set up 19’7” with 31-32 on the rig tension. Use this only in very windy conditions.

The strengths of wind at which you should change settings depends entirely on your crew weight:

Use the light wind setting upto the point where you become overpowered. i.e. your crew is flat wiring and you are having to play more than 6” of mainsail.

Then change to medium wind settings. If you are then having to play more than 6” of mainsail all the time on medium settings then change to strong wind settings.

Always choose the setting that best suits the strength of the lulls.

  • Go ‘heave-to’. (Back the jib, let the main sail go completely & put the tiller down to leeward).
  • Completely let the rig tension off & pull the kicker on hard. This will make the leeward shroud go slack.
  • Change the leeward shroud to the new hole.
  • Tack & go ‘heave-to’ on the other tack.
  • Change the leeward/other shroud to the new hole.
  • Release the kicker and pull the rig tension onto the new mark on the mast (that corresponds to the new hole numbers).

This process will take a few minutes and so is not practical to do in a race. However it is useful to be able to do before a race and in between races should the wind get up or die.

It is a good idea to tie your shroud plate pins onto the plates so that you do not loose them whilst changing holes on the water. It is also safer to buy shroud plates that the shrouds cannot come out the top of should things go wrong!

Chock are the small ‘mushroom-shaped’ plates that you can put in front of the mast. They affect the pre-bend and as a result affect the amount of power you have in the mainsail:

Less pre-bend = Straighter mast = Fuller mainsail = More power More pre-bend = More curved mast = Flatter mainsail = Less power

Chocks alter the pre-bend by pushing back on the lower mast, therefore straightening it. So the more chocks that you put in the straighter the mast becomes and the more power you achieve.

Therefore; more chocks = more power

If you set up your light wind mast rake you will find a gap in front of the mast where the chocks go. If you fill this gap with chocks so that they are touching the mast but not pushing back on it this is your neutral number of chocks. Record/remember this number of chocks.

When you have neutral chocks in your sail is at its flattest, so neutral chocks are good when the wind is very light or if you are overpowered. As soon as you get on the wire there is enough wind for the sail to cope with being a bit fuller & more powerful put one more chock in (we call this +1). When you are well out on the wire (but not flat wiring/overpowered), and especially in choppy conditions put two extra chocks in (+2) for maximum power. However, as soon as you become overpowered (i.e. flat-wiring & playing the mainsail all the time) then go back down to neutral chocks because you do not need any extra power.

Also, do not exceed two extra chocks – putting in three extra chocks is likely to invert the mast!!!

It is not always practical to change chocks in a race so make sure they are right before you start. If the wind does change in a race such that you need to change the chocks then the best time to do it is on a run – there is less forwards pressure on the mast on a run & the crew is in the boat and able to reach the chocks.

NOTE: If you are very overpowered in very strong wind then you can remove one of the neutral chocks (-1). This will help to flatten/de-power your sail even more.

If you set up your light wind setting you will notice that your mast has a slight bend/curve going up it, this is called the pre-bend. The amount of pre-bend is controlled by the spreaders. You can measure pre-bend by following these steps:

  • Set up your light wind setting & make sure there are no chocks in.
  • Get the heavier of the two of you to pull and hold the main halyard tight against the gooseneck on the back edge of the mast.
  • Meanwhile the lighter one of you needs to climb onto the boat (carefully) and stand next to the mast where the chocks normally go.
  • From this position measure (using a ruler) the distance between the halyard and the back edge of the mast where the spreaders join. (This is the point where the pre-bend is greatest).

Different makes of sails require different pre-bends, these are:

Pinnel & Bax – 35mm Olimpic – 33mm Speed – 32mm North – 32mm

If your pre-bend measurement does not equal your sail’s requirement then release the rig tension, adjust the spreaders so that they are angled further back if your measurement is too small or further forward if it is too large. Then re-measure the pre-bend using steps 1-4 and keep adjusting until its right!

a 420 sailboat

The bridle is the piece of rope that holds your mainsheet block and joins onto each end of the bar behind the centreboard. The lengths of the bridle are very important because they control the mainsail leech tension when block to block. The rules state that you are allowed two settings on your bridle length, so we set up one to be used with the light wind mast rake and one to be used with the medium & strong wind mast rakes. (The bridle length is changed with mast rake like this because the boom height alters with mast rake).

To set up the light wind bridle:

  • Choose a day with a force 3-4 wind & set up your light wind mast rake.
  • Check that the bridle ropes are equal in length by lining the block up along the centreboard. Adjust them so that they are.
  • Hoist the main sail and set it up as if you were going sailing (eg outhaul on etc but no kicker on). Also, turn the boat 45 degrees to the wind so that it’s in the close hauled position. You will need to get your crew to hold the side of the boat so that a gust doesn’t blow it off the trailer!
  • Pull the main in block to block and look at the leech. If none of the telltails are flying & it’s straight/tight then your bridle is too short. If the leech is very bowed/slack and all the telltails are flying then your bridle is too long. If your leech has a slight curve and the top telltail is flying 50% of the time then your bridle is perfect. (Make sure the kicker is off all the time).
  • Adjust your bridle until this perfect leech is achieved, making sure you make equal adjustments to each side so it always lines up with the centreboard. Once achieved this is your light wind bridle setting.

To make the strong wind setting just tie two loops 7cm up from where the ends of the bridle join the clips on the bar. To use the strong setting you just need to clip the loops onto the bar:

a 420 sailboat

NOTE: You will now need to set up your light wind setting again because tying the loops will have shortened the light wind settings quite a lot.

The following is a general table on how you might set up your 420 for different conditions. This does depend upon your crew weight though and so should not be followed religiously. I would encourage you however to make a table of your own personal settings built up through trail and error.

a 420 sailboat

Related content

Racing at the 2011 420 European Championships

IMAGES

  1. Zim Club 420 Sailboat

    a 420 sailboat

  2. Big China FRP Fiberglass Club 420 Sailing Boat

    a 420 sailboat

  3. Z420: New Ride, New Style

    a 420 sailboat

  4. Zim Club 420 Sailboat

    a 420 sailboat

  5. Zim Club 420 Sailboat

    a 420 sailboat

  6. Zim Club 420 Sailboat

    a 420 sailboat

VIDEO

  1. Upwind in a 420 in breeze

  2. 420a NA w/Crower Stage2 Cams and cylinder head port

  3. Otto 420 Sailing

  4. Sailing the 420 17 kts wind

  5. Harken Club 420 Intro

  6. SAILING 420

COMMENTS

  1. 420 (dinghy)

    The International 420 Dinghy is a sailing dinghy popular for racing and teaching. The hull is fiberglass with internal buoyancy tanks. The 420 has a bermuda rig, spinnaker and trapeze.It has a large sail-area-to-weight ratio, and is designed to plane easily. The 420 is an International class recognised by World Sailing.The name refers to the boat's length of 420 centimetres (4.2 m; 13 ft 9 in).

  2. 420

    One of the most successful sailing dinghies ever. (Only the SUNFISH or LASER can be considered in the same league.) Originally designed and built by Lanaverre of France. (They built 32,000 according to one source.) Licenses were later granted to other builders around the world. In 1996, the International Class agreed to amend the deck […]

  3. Introduction to the 420

    The 420 is an established worldwide performance two-person trapeze and spinnaker racing dinghy which holds status as a World Sailing International Class. There are 56,000 boats which have been built worldwide. This popular dinghy is sailed at school, club, open, national and international levels. There are many second hand boats available ...

  4. What Is a 420 Sailboat? (Here's Everything You Need To Know)

    A 420 sailboat is a two-person dinghy designed for racing. It has a 14-foot hull and is designed with a wide beam for stability. It is typically rigged with a spinnaker and jib, and is often considered to be a good choice for novice and intermediate sailors, as well as for competitive sailing.

  5. Thrilling 420 Sailboats: Exploring Dinghy Sailing

    What are 420 Sailboats? 1.1 The Origins of the 420 Sailboat. The 420 sailboat originated in France in the late 1950s as a two-person dinghy designed for competitive racing. Its design was based on the popularity of the larger 470 sailboat and was intended to create a more accessible racing boat for young sailors. 1.2 Design and Characteristics

  6. Club 420

    The Club 420 is a two person dinghy which forms the base of many local, high school and collegiate programs in North America. Simple for beginning sailors and yet challenging enough for collegiate champions. The Club 420 offers more learning opportunities than any other double-handed boat. Over 5,000 Club 420s are sailed in youth, high school ...

  7. World Sailing

    Learn about the 420, a two-person monohull dinghy with spinnaker and trapeze, and one of the most popular classes in World Sailing.

  8. Why to Sail a 420

    The 420 is a stable boat to sail which planes upwind easily, the trend in modern yachting. It will teach you how to sail in an environment of partnership with your crewmate, adding another significant element to your development as a sailor (and as a person). The 420 is a global class with great opportunities available to develop your sailing ...

  9. 420

    420 is a 13′ 9″ / 4.2 m monohull sailboat designed by Christian Maury and built by Rondar Raceboats, Fountaine Pajot, Snapir Sailing Craft Ltd., MacKay Boats Ltd., Lanaverre, Johnson Boat Works, Far East Boat Co., Whitecap Composites, Xtreme Sailing Products, and Nautivela starting in 1959.

  10. 420 Sailing

    5. ITA. Livia Ciampinelli / Marcello Miliardi. 82. 10. ESP. Pol Mateu Badia / Alejandro De Maqua Xalabarder. 126. 2024 420 World Championships - BRA - 420 Women Final results.

  11. 420 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Review

    420 Sailboat: An In-depth Analysis. The 420 sailboat, a classic in the sailing world, is known for its versatility and performance. Loved by both beginners and seasoned sailors alike, this craft offers a unique sailing experience. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into its features, functionality, and overall value.

  12. UGA Sailing: How to Rig a 420

    University of Georgia Sailing Chalk Talk 12: How to Rig a C420Welcome to our video series! Our growth has been exponential and in efforts to reach as many pe...

  13. HOME

    Welcome to 420 Sailing. This website is to support all those interested in 420 sailing in Ireland. The 420 dinghy is an ISAF International Class and two-person dinghy for young sailors. The 420 offers great development for sailors in the two-person disciplines - most of the World's top sailors sailed in this class and easily moved on to ...

  14. How to Rig a 420 Sail Boat

    In this video you will learn how to completely rig a 420 class sailboat and get it ready to put in the water.-----MUSICPolar Iris by White Morninght...

  15. How to Rig a 420

    Watch and learn as our very own Ian Bosse teaches you how to rig a 420 to be ready to sail!

  16. Z420: New School Dinghy

    Jib leads were moved inboard to the International 420 position on the SCV (school/collegiate version) Z420s, which will allow for narrower sheeting angles. "You don't have to windward sheet as ...

  17. International 420 Class Association

    The US International 420 Class Association is dedicated to the support, development and growth of International 420 Class sailors in the United The International 420 is an established performance two-person trapeze and spinnaker racing dinghy. The I420 is a youth development boat in 43 countries and is the boat used for the two-person boys ...

  18. International 420 Basic Rigging Guide

    The Club 420 design incorporates a number of modifications for intercollegiate sailing in the US. Although the two boats are different in a number of ways, many of the Club 420 sailing principals and handling characteristics are similar to the International 420. Many articles found on the Internet are for the Club 420, so be careful to identify ...

  19. Why 420 Sailing Continues to Stay Strong as the Boat of Choice

    The 420 is a proven transition class which provides sailors with excellent skills in strategy, tactics, boat handling, tuning and technique. There are 420 builders all over the world and equipment is easily available, with a 420 ready to sail costing on average EUR5,500. Choosing your Crew. As with any two-person boat, finding a crew is important.

  20. PDF 420 Racing Guide

    Sailing the Boat Upwind The 420 is most efficient when sailed as flat as possible. Excessive heel causes leeway which is slow. The skipper must work the helm and the sail controls to keep the boat at a constant angle of heel while the crew trapeze as hard as possible. In regards to steering, the boat should not be pinched unless in heavy air ...

  21. Dinghy Roll Tacking

    High school sailing coach Gary Werden has published a detailed video showing dinghy roll tacking, using the 420. Gary shows three phases of the tack and the elements of each phase. This is the most helpful online video we have found on roll tacking. Dinghy Roll Tacking Phases and Steps

  22. Zim C420 Sailboats

    C420 - Race. $12,725.00. Showing all 3 products. Zim Sailing makes the highest-performing, durable, and dependable 420's available.

  23. 2024 420 Asia-Oceania Championships on Instagram: "We had a fantastic

    30 likes, 0 comments - 2024_420_a.o.c on April 30, 2024: "We had a fantastic reception tonight! Opening remarks by Mr. Hayato Furuya the Organizing Authority Chairman ...

  24. What does get 420 mean? Marijuana holiday

    Here's a look at 4/20's history: WHY 4/20? The origins of the date, and the term "420" generally, were long murky. Some claimed it referred to a police code for marijuana possession or ...

  25. 420 Boat Settings

    Guide to Mast Rake. Pull on rig tension until it reads 30 on the tension meter. (Always take the reading at shoulder height up the shroud). Tie the tape measure to the end of the main halyard and pull to the top of the mast. Then lower it slightly until it measures 16'1½" at the top of the black band at the gooseneck.