470 (dinghy)

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Current Specifications
470 dinghy.svg
470 blue.svg
Class Symbol
Crew 2 (single trapeze)
LOA 4,700 mm (15 ft 5 in)
LWL 4,400 mm (14 ft 5 in)
Beam 1,690 mm (5 ft 7 in)
Draft 500 mm (1 ft 8 in)
1,066 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Hull weight 120 kg (260 lb)
Mainsail area 9.12 m2 (98.2 sq ft)
Jib / Genoa area 3.58 m2 (38.5 sq ft)
Spinnaker area 13 m2 (140 sq ft)
D-PN 86.3
RYA PN 973
Olympic Class

The 470 (Four-Seventy) is a double-handed monohull planing dinghy with a centreboard, Bermuda rig, and centre sheeting. The name is the overall length of the boat in centimetres (i.e., the boat is 4.70 metres long). The hull is fibreglass with integral buoyancy tanks. The 470 is equipped with spinnaker and trapeze, making teamwork necessary to sail it well. It has a large sail-area-to-weight ratio, and is designed to plane easily.

The 470 is a popular class with both individuals and sailing schools, offering a good introduction to high-performance boats without being excessively difficult to handle. It is not a boat designed for beginners; however, its earlier designed smaller sister, the 420, is a stepping stone to the 470. The 470 is an International Sailing Federation International Class and has been an Olympic class since the 1976 games. The Class was initially an open class, but since the 1988 games there have been separate events for men and women.


The 470 was designed in 1963 by the Frenchman André Cornu as a modern fibreglass planing dinghy to appeal to sailors of different sizes and ages. This formula succeeded, and the boat spread around the world. In 1969, the class was given international status and it has been an Olympic class since 1976. In 1988, the first Olympic women's sailing event used the 470.

The sailor

To sail the 470, good physical health is enough; strength is not crucial, while world class 470 sailors spend a large portion of their time on fitness. The competitive crew weight is 110 – 145 kg, making it ideal for both women and men.


470 al via.jpg

World and Continental Championships are organised every year with separate starts for women and men/mixed teams. There is also a World Championship for juniors and a Master World Championship. The 470 is used in regional championships such as the Asian, Mediterranean, and PanAm Games. Entries are limited in important international races, encouraging more competition by requiring qualifying races in most countries.

2008 470 World Champions Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving sailing upwind.

In the World Championships more than 30 countries have been represented. There are 65 member nations in the International Class Association and more than 40,000 boats have been built in 20 countries on all continents.

The 470 may be raced in a mixed fleet of boats, its performance being adjusted by the Portsmouth Yardstick handicapping scheme. In the RYA-administered scheme, the 470 has a Portsmouth number of 973.1 In the US Sailing-administered scheme, it has a D-PN of 86.3.2


As a strict one-design class, the 470 is required to be built by a licensed builder. Class rules require that construction use materials of the 1960s era, most notably glass reinforced plastic for much of the hull.3

Additional Specifications.4

  • Mast height: 6.78 m (22 ft 3 in)
  • Boom length: 2.65 m (8 ft 8 in)
  • Spinnaker Pole length: 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)

While the hull speed is just 5.1 knots, the 470 readily planes at much higher speeds.


Olympic Games

At the Olympic Games, there are separate 470 events for men and women. Each consists of a 10-race series, with teams being awarded points on a point-per-place system, and each team's worst result being discarded. The top 10 boats qualify for the medal race, in which double points are awarded. The Australian team of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page are the current Olympic champions.

World Championships


  1. ^ "RYA Portsmouth Yardstick List 2010". Royal Yachting Association. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Centerboard Classes". US Sailing. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  3. ^ 470 Class Rules, available at http://www.sailing.org/1893.php
  4. ^ 470 Class Homepage, http://www.470.org/content.asp?id=347

See also

External links

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