420 (dinghy)

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Current Specifications
File:Syc usjwdc2008 2.jpg
420s under sail
File:420 black.svg
Class Symbol
Crew 2
Type Monohull
Design GRP
Construction One-Design
Rig Bermuda
Keel Centerboard
Trapeze Single
LOA 4.2 metres (13 ft 9 in)
Beam 1.63 metres (5 ft 4 in)
Draft 0.965 metres (3 ft 2.0 in)
Hull weight 80 kilograms (180 lb)
Mast height 6.26 metres (20 ft 6 in)
Main & Jib area 13.05 square metres (140.5 sq ft)
Mainsail area 10.25 square metres (110.3 sq ft)
Jib / Genoa area 2.8 square metres (30 sq ft)
Spinnaker area 8.83 square metres (95.0 sq ft)
D-PN 97.7
Year 1959
Designer Christian Maury
Role Youth trainer, racing
Infobox last updated: March, 2010

The International 420 Class Dinghy is a monohull planing dinghy with centreboard, bermuda rig and centre sheeting. It is designed for a crew of two. The name describes the overall length of the boat in centimeters (the boat is exactly 4.2 meters long).

The International 420 was designed by Christian Maury , after a specification drawn by Aristide Lehoerrff and Pierre Latxague , chief sailing instructors of the Socoa sailing school SW France near St Jean de Luz. It was built at first by french industrialist Lucien Lanaverre, a former cooper for the Bordeaux wine industry, who had converted to the then new industry of GRP polyester moulding.[1] in the 1960s as an inexpensive general purpose two sail, transom sheeted, non-trapeze dinghy, with modest easily handled sail plan. The class developed rapidly in France, being adopted nationally as a youth trainer for the larger Olympic class International 470 which was also designed by Cornu. By the late 1960s the class was adopted by a few UK university sailing clubs for training and team racing.

A License for building boats was acquired by the Harken Brothers (Vanguard Boats) in the US and the 420 started a brilliant career there, specially as a college racer. The class organisers adopted a policy of "prudent evolution" so as to allow development without making existing dinghies obsolete. The hull's seaworthiness and stability at speed proved to be better than most of its contemporaries, and this together with its modest sail area make it fun to sail in heavy weather and thus an excellent youth trainer, qualities that led to its adoption for that role by the RYA in the mid 1970's.

With its trapeze and spinnaker it provides the capability for advanced sailing techniques for international standard sailors, while still remaining affordable and accessible to beginners. The International 420 maintains a large multinational class association. The combination of effective class management, the boat's inherent sailing qualities, and prudent evolution have contributed to the class's continuing success.

A modified version known as the "Club 420" uses a stronger but heavier version hull of the International 420. The Club 420 also is rigged with a non-tapered mast for increased durability and lower cost at the expense of added weight. The Club 420 is popular in North America, largely replacing the International 420 class. The Club 420 has grown since the laser 2 class has begun to decline since the introduction of the 29er. Small fleets of Club420s each are sailed extensively by high schools and college sailing teams participating in the Interscholastic Sailing Association and the Intercollegiate Sailing Association respectively.

A third variant called the "Collegiate 420" shares the same hull as the Club 420, however the additional rigging for both the trapeze and spinnaker are absent. The Collegiate 420 was conceived as a basic training dingy for teaching basic sailing skills where the added performance and complexity of the trapeze and spinnaker are not required. The Collegiate can be upgraded to a Club 420 or vice versa where required.

The International 420 was replaced by the 29er as the ISAF Youth Worlds two person dinghy for boys and girls for the 2007 championships in Canada.

For the 2009 ISAF World Championships, The international 420 was raced, and is expected to be raced in the next 3-5 years at that event.


Participants in US Junior Women's Double-handed Sailing Championship, October 2008.  
Mythologies cresting a wave as she heads out from the shore at Brighton, South Australia  
420 GBR 39178  
420 FRA 51265  


External links

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