FAQ’s – 49er and 49erFX North Sails Changeover and Mast Changeover
New Sails Changeover
When will the sails be available to purchase?
We are currently in discussion with North regarding finalising the design details, along with the mould build and the build schedule. We will announce the timeline for availability in the coming months.
Will there be any sail trialing opportunities prior to the sails being released to the market?
20 sails will be made available for trialing by sailors prior to the release date – 10 x 49er and 10 x 49erFX. The Class Association will help to distribute these sails out to sailors in various nations. These sailors in the trialing process will be required to purchase the sails and provide feedback to the selection panel. The date for when these sails are available is still being worked through with North Sails.
Will the gennakers be released at the same time?
The intention is to release all sails at the same time.
Who will I purchase the sails from?
Purchase of the sails will be made through the same process that is currently in place – dealers and current class manufacturers. Strictly no direct purchase opportunities will be done through North Sails. This is to protect the one design nature of the 49er and 49erFX Class.
When do the sails need to be completely changed over?
This decision will be made by the International 49er / 49erFX Executive Team once the exact roll out dates are known. The existing sails will be allowed to be used at the 2021 worlds.
Will there be a price change from the current sail price?
An increase to the sails price is expected. However, given the longevity of the sail life, it is expected that the total sail program cost for a campaign will decrease significantly.
What can I do with my old sails?
An investigation into how to re-purpose the existing sails is taking place.
49er and 49erFX Mast Changeover
When will the new mast be available?
New masts are becoming available in the next few months. The new parts are being built and shipped to the builders so teams can place pre-orders. Supply will begin as product becomes available.
Where can I purchase the new mast from?
Purchase of the mast can be made through Bethwaite Design, Ovington Boats and Mackay Boats.
How much will the new mast cost?
The new masts will cost less than the existing masts.
The total rig price (new mast and new sails) is expected to incur a small increase.
When does the mast need to be completely changed over?
The Class Executive Team will need to finalise the mast changeover policy with World Sailing. However, as the new masts are so similar to the old masts, the plan is to allow the old masts for use for the whole quadrennial except for Paris 2024. However, if the old masts are determined to be faster or provide some sort of advantage over the new masts, we will have to retired the old masts as new sailors should always have access to world class equipment. It is doubtful this would be determined before the end of the 2022 season, if ever.
This FAQ will be updated regularly over the next month as new information comes to light.