The 29er is a junior, high performance, one design skiff catering for those kids moving out of Opti/P Class/Starling that are looking for an exciting 2 person boat to progress their skills further.

The 29er is one of the ISAF Youth class boats and Yachting NZ hold selection trials annually to select one male and one female crew to represent NZ at the ISAF Youth Worlds Regatta (must be under 19 years old) .


Ideal weight guideline: 110-130kg combined crew
Kids moving out of of Opti / P Class / Starling fleets
It can be sailed in all combinations – male/male, male/female, female/female.


Wednesday nights and Saturdays
Club Points Racing Sunday afternoons

  • Check rig – the older boats rigs get soft and once being used frequently again, can have failures
  • Check Mainsail track is fastened properly to mast
  • Cockpit drains – these will require maintenance – major source of leaks on old boats as they flex – Simple to remove existing sealer and re-seal with new
  • Cockpit toe rails – check tightness of fastenings – in fact check all deck fittings for tightness
  • Condition of foils – water tightKeness and fairness
  • Condition of sails – old sails although fine for training but do require a lot of repairs and maintenance – especially when crews “go through” them in capsizes! Make sure the jib battens are not broken – North Sails (Derek) does an excellent repair service

All class equipment can be bought from MacKay Boats – rigs, sails, fittings. Cordage, blocks etc from Harken (Fosters) Burnsco, Watershed etc.


The 29er is a two-man high performance sailing skiff designed by Julian Bethwaite and first produced in 1998.

It is targeted at youth, especially those training to sail the larger 49er. It has a single trapeze and a fractional asymmetric spinnaker. The Class is a more modern replacement to Frank Bethwaite’s previous Laser 2 replacing it in the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships. A self-tacking jib decreases the work load of the crew, making manoeuvres more efficient and freeing the crew to take the mainsheet upwind and on two-sail reaches. The spinnaker rigging set-up challenges crews to be fit and coordinated, and manoeuvres in the boat require athleticism due to its lack of inherent stability and the high speed with which the fully battened mainsail and jib power up.

The hull construction is of fibreglass-reinforced polyester in a foam sandwich layout. The fully battened mainsail and jib are made from a transparent Mylar laminate with orange or red Dacron trimming, while the spinnaker is manufactured from ripstop Nylon. The mast is in three parts – an aluminium bottom and middle section, with a carbon-fibre composite tip to increase mast bend and decrease both overall weight, and the capsizing moment a heavy mast tip can generate.

The 29er is able to reach high speeds fairly quickly by having a sleek and hydrodynamic hull and will often exceed the wind speed when planing both up and downwind.