49er Shroud Base reinforced to improve longevity
Over the Christmas break, both Ovington Boats and Mackay Boat have updated the moulds to incorporate a small revision to the builders manual.
This change should should offer greater protection from the degradation that occurs in the area where the shrouds attach to the gunwales over time, extending the competitive life of boats.
The aluminium rod under the shroud attachment has been removed. The Gunwale has been thickened in this area and the
chainplates will now be attached with a stainless steel washer and nuts underneath.
There are some small changes to the localized laminate in this area to support the new method of attachment. These changes should not make the boats any stiffer as there is no changes to the tension carrying straps, only small changes to the localised laminate to facilitate the change.
For existing boats, there will be a retrofit kit available that will accomplish a portion of the benefit new boats will have.
The proposal came from our Sustainability Working Party, and was unanimously endorsed by the executive and approved by World Sailing in the last weeks of December.
While the initiative would have been better timed right after the Tokyo games, it was felt that since so few new boats had been built in the past two years, and since the change should not impact top end performance of the boats, it was acceptable to make the trade
off of disruption now to have the boats last longer for the sailors. As the parable says, the best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago, the second best time to plant a tree is today.
All boats built in 2022 will incorporate this new addition, and all previous boats will be able to add the retrofit kit.
Retrofit kits will be available from Ovington and Mackay, and sailors will be able to make the change themselves with about 60 minutes of labor if they have some skill, or hire a boat hand with experience for a very reasonable cost.
Top picture is current, lower is new.