There are two different boats based on a similar design.
The International 420 and the Club 420. Both boats are a double-handed, monohull planning dinghy. Both have a centerboard and Bermuda rig. Both feature center sheeting and are equipped with a spinnaker. An optional trapeze is available on both.
Examining the specifications:
Both boats are 4.2 meters in length which is where the 420 name is derived. That translates to 13 ft. 9 inches.
Have a beam of 1.63 meters or 5 feet 4 inches.
They both draft 0.965 meters (3 ft. 2 inches.)
The mast height for both is 6.26 meters (20 ft. 6 inches.)
The jib area is 2.8 square meters (110.3 sq. ft.)
The spinnaker area for both are 8.83 square meters (95.0 sq. ft.)
There are two area of difference:
The International 420 has a hull weight of 80 kilograms (180 lbs.) whereas the Club 420 has a hull weight of 110 kilograms (230 lbs.)
The International 420 has a mainsail area of 7.45 square meters (80.2 square ft.) whereas the Club 420 has a mainsail area of 10.25 square meters (110.3 square ft.)
The International 420 is recognized by the International Sailing Federation and was designed by French engineer Christian Maury. He designed this as a stepping stone for the 470, an Olympic Dinghy.
The Club 420 is a derivative created by the Harkin Brothers for Vanguard Boats. They had acquired a license to build the International 420, but changed it slightly.
There are now over 7,000 Club 420 used by in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The Club 420 is the basis for many local high school and collegiate programs in North America. The boat is considered safe for beginners yet challenging for collegiate sailors.
In the United States, college sailors do not use the spinnaker when racing. They term it the Collegiate 420. Junior Sailors racing with 420 Association may have two to three sailors. They often use a trapeze. The trapeze may support the weight of only one crewmember who cannot be the helmsperson.
Either boat, with or without the trapeze are great fun to sail. They offer good learning opportunities. These are good boats for junior sailors moving out of the Opti to consider sailing.
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