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49er FX mixed crews, potential class newbie

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Hi all, 


I've been looking for a boat ever since I moved to Auckland about 3 months ago. I am a hobie 16 and F18 sailor. However, catamarans are relatively dead here. I'm addicted to trapping and double handed sailing is my thing. I don't want to go single handed sailing because I like to share my experience with someone else and I like the teamwork aspects. Non-double trapeze boats are out because I just don't want to let one person have all the fun!


Anyways, there's a 49er FX on trademe that's peaked my interest. However, I have a few reservations, and would like to reach out to anybody sailing the 49er (and FX) class for their opinions. 

1) I'm a 73kg, 173cm tall man. I know the 49er FX is mainly sailed by two women. As a mixed sex crew will I be competitive, or still too heavy?

2) Maintenance costs... what's your take? I know the hobie 16 was really durable of a boat, am wondering if the 49er FX is more fragile or not. Would hate to capsize and swan dive through a sail, a new one costing $1000 or something. 

3) It's a 15 year old boat. Was wondering if newer boats have any upgrades done to them which makes things better performance wise, or easier maintenance wise. For example, the Hobie 16, although one design, had a lot of updates over the years, and I wouldn't race a boat older than 2003. Hobie started making the hulls different in 2003, and all boats after that were significantly lighter. 

4) If I wanted to convert to a regular 49er setup, would it be a matter of just purchasing the larger mast/rig? I'm assuming both boats have the same hulls etc. right?


There was a number 5, but it completely slipped my mind... it's a smaller reservation though. Maybe I'll think of it again in a little bit.


I'm not afraid of any hard learning curve about a boat. The hobie 16 was difficult too, but really, I'm into sailing because the whole sport has a hard learning curve. So the harder the learning curve, the better for me!


Otherwise this boat on trademe looks beautiful, and I'll probably get super involved with 49er (FX) sailing if I purchase. 


Also please include any other tips you guys might have. Would like to know what I am potentially getting myself into. :)




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Oh yeah, number 5 was how long does it take to set the boat up from being on the trailer? It was soooo easy to set the H16 up, and I know F18s would take a whole friggin hour (if you knew what you were doing) to set up. I'm not really into the whole taking forever to set up thing. 

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According to some UK friends of mine,there's very little crossover between cats and dinghies. The couple I know, she owned and was forard on a Spitfire, twin wire, asymmetric, very high performance etc, and he owned and helmed a 49er. When they sailed together, whichever boat, they didn't do overly well, but on their normal boats, near the front of the fleet.

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