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420 light air performance

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CT249 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 Aug 22 at 6:09am
How does a well sailed 420 go on the water against equally well sailed Lasers in confined waters and light winds? I know the 420 prefers a breeze, but can it hang in with say a Radial in 5-8 knots or glassy patches or will it be left minutes astern?

Iíve seen a couple up against Lasers recently but both have had very heavy adult crews with no real dinghy experience and the static rig tune etc has been way off the pace, so they arenít proper yardsticks. Iím trying to do a long-term plan for our little club and need to look for a boat for teens. Itís either Aus Cherubs ( even more one-dimensional than a 420), a minor local ply boat similar in performance to 420s but
Dying as a class, or perhaps Tasars.

Cheers.
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andy h View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote andy h Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 22 at 10:28am
Neither the 420 nor the Laser are real drifting machines in all honesty.  I've no first-hand experience of Tasars, but maybe some modern NS14s go better than Tasars in light winds?  Not sure if a development class would tick all your boxes.
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 22 at 12:09pm
By UK standards none of those boats are great in light airs. When I was doing the major open handicap events the 420 was mostly only reckoned to be competitive in F6 and above.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mark Aged 42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 22 at 12:10pm
Good boat might ne Feva
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 22 at 1:46pm
Originally posted by CT249

How does a well sailed 420 go on the water against equally well sailed Lasers in confined waters and light winds? I know the 420 prefers a breeze, but can it hang in with say a Radial in 5-8 knots or glassy patches or will it be left minutes astern?

Iíve seen a couple up against Lasers recently but both have had very heavy adult crews with no real dinghy experience and the static rig tune etc has been way off the pace, so they arenít proper yardsticks. Iím trying to do a long-term plan for our little club and need to look for a boat for teens. Itís either Aus Cherubs ( even more one-dimensional than a 420), a minor local ply boat similar in performance to 420s but
Dying as a class, or perhaps Tasars.

Cheers.
I don't think many people in the UK have ever sailed 420s in light air, confined waters racing.
They've generally been a niche boat for young olympic hopefuls. You might get some useful info from the Americans on Sailing Anarchy as 420s  and Club 420s are AIUI, commonplace over there.
  FWIW, I'd say they are similar LWL and a reasonable hull shape but will be carrying two bodies to the radial's one. So it will suffer upwind but not so much downwind where the kite comes into it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rich96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 22 at 1:53pm
A standard Laser is ok in the light (but also ok in the medium and ok and the heavy stuff) - obviously a good alround shape 9 (as you know) 

420 - truly awful when not trapezing against similar handicapped boats

Tasar sticky (as you will know) in light

420 must be one of the slowest (in light) and fastest (in breeze) against its handicap of the traditional boats  ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote drifter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 22 at 3:32pm
I think the 470 is even more extreme. More hull to stick in the light stuff, more length for windy stuff. I can remember lapping 420s and keeping up with 470s in light winds in my old rules Graduate. Now there's a light wind boat, especially a new hull and big rig!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 22 at 3:41pm
Did the RS200 ever make it down under? Less binary through the wind range, and good fun for teens, who will, I assume, enjoy being spat out the back when gybing in breeze.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 22 at 3:42pm
Otherwise, just go for 420s, ignore other boats in drifters and see how they do as a OD fleet.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A2Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 22 at 11:21pm
Iím not sure he 420 is actually bad to sail in light winds, itís just that itís excellent when it windy. Therefore it performs poorly against its handicap in light wind, but it still roll tacks etc. 

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