Class History

Designed by Australian Julien Bethwaite, the 49er is a blazingly-fast double-trapeze, high-performance skiff designed for sailors that like living on the edge.

The 49er weighs only 275 lbs (125 kg) when fully rigged and features a slender, low-drag hull and powerful 632 ft2 (59m2 ) of sail that allows this 16-footer to reach speeds approaching 25 knots. Crew trapeze from retractable, nine-foot composite wings to keep the boat flat and under control. In puffs, the flexible topmast depowers the leech of the main allowing more sail area in light air. An Olympic class since 2000, the 49er is considered the "Formula 1 race car "of the Games.

New Rig Introduced
Based on a class vote, a new sectioned carbon rig was introduced after the 2007 Olympics and will be used at the 2012 Games in the UK. Because of the smaller, lighter-weight carbon rig, the main will increase in size, allowing crew to race the boat at its optimum without having to lose a considerable amount of weight (5 kg). 49er_sailplan.gif

Boat Specifications

LOA: 4876 mm-16 ft 4 in
Beam: w.o/w wings-1752 mm/2743 mm (5 ft 9 in/9 ft)
Draft: 1447 mm (4 ft 9 in)
Weight: 74.25 kg (210 lb)
Main/Jib: 19.97 sq. m (215 sq. ft)
Spinnaker: 37.16 sq m (400 sq. ft)



49er Mainsheet SystemStainless Steel Eyestrap - 073Stainless Steel Eyestrap - 07340 mm Carbo T2 Single Loop Block - 214840 mm Carbo T2 Single Loop Block - 214840 mm Carbo Ratchet - 260816 mm Block w/ Eyestrap Assembly-44216 mm Block w/Eyestrap Assembly - 44216 mm Fixed Single - 404

Link to Larger Image

Mainsheet System

The 49er has a floating block that can be raised or lowered depending on wind conditions. To avoid sheeting out in heavy air, raising the block opens the leech by pulling the boom towards the centerline rather than downwards. In lighter wind, lowering the block closes the leech and creates an efficient sail shape.


The double-ended 8:1 vang allows adjustment from either side of the boat. A 2:1 gnav (which pushes boom down instead of pulling it down like a vang), makes it easier for the crew to move under the boom.

49er Spinnaker LayoutMicro Cam-Matic Cam Cleat - 46840 mm w/Spring/Eyestrap - 265216 mm Cheek Block - 41616 mm Fixed Single - 40440 mm w/ Spring/EyestrapMicro Cam-Matic Cam Cleat - 468Aluminum Cam Cleat - 150Low Profile SS Eyestrap - 20129 mm Carbo T2 Single40 mm Carbo T2 Single Loop40 mm Carbo Cheek - 2644

Link to Larger Image

Spinnaker Launcher and Retrieval System

The starboard lead of this powerful T2 spinnaker system raises the sail quickly. The port lead pops the cleat and pulls the spinnaker back into the sock.

  • United States
  • Australia
  • France
  • Italia
  • New Zealand
  • Polska
  • Sverige
  • UK