I am looking at possibly getting in to the class at the moment. Can I assume that fittings such as deck hardware, blocks, travellers and other systems are free to change around at will and supplier?
Thanks for being interested in the Sonata and possibly joining our fleet…..where are you based and do you have any idea where you would keep the boat?
Regarding the specific question you ask, there are some required items listed in the class rules but no restrictions on where anything is sourced from, so you can do Barton, Lewmar, Ronstan, Harken or home made without any restrictions. Most racing boats now have the full width mainsheet track, with the posher ones having it custom curved.
Masts are predominently Selden (was Proctor) but the odd IYE mast survives and there are a few Z Spars around……most of the fast boats are on Selden, just because that is what is usually in stock when you break the previous mast. The association own a brand new mast which is available so you don’t lose too much of the season awaiting a new mast……there is at least one instance of someone re-rigging his boat mid event after a breakage!
Sails generally come from Goacher, Nicholson & Hughes and Hyde, although there are other lofts also cutting Sonata sails. Certainly the 2013 Nationals at Strangford Lough had race winners from both of the first two lofts.
Basically, as long as the basic systems (kicker, outhaul amd backstay) work easily and have enough purchase then it really does come down to time on the water and going the right way………..plus lots of time getting the bottom. keel and rudder smooth!
Hope this helps!!