We have a fleet of 20 420s. 1 is an old beater but we use 19 in rotation for high school and summer programs (420 prep and race teams.) We bought our first 6 LPs in 2009, then bought 6 more 2010. We began doing a rotation of buy/sell 6 every year. Two years ago we added 7 Zims and now how 6 LPs left and 13 Zims. After this spring season, we will sell our last 6 LPs (I will miss them) and continue with Zim (very happy with customer service and prices). Our oldest boats are 3 years old. After 3 years, they find new homes.
We buy the fleet new, direct from Zim with modifications. For example, we have them made with no autobailers. Yep, my kids hate me. We generally sell them to institutions and programs as a fleet instead of 1 or 2 here and there but we have split the sell occasionally. We buy a club race package but strip everything for high school and then up-rig for the jr summer season. We do not open the supplied sails. Instead, we have a set of 12 Winters mains/jibs that we used exclusively for high school for the first 5 years that are now our training sails. We got a complete set of custom sails from North last year exclusively for high school which we use only for regattas (they are brightly colored custom and made of a thick, ballistic dacron – I don’t know the weight off the top of my head.) We use separate sails for our race programs in the summer. When we sell our boats, they come with new sails in plastic.
We do not fill rails or install rub rails; since we use the boats for travel race teams and then sell them off, we want them to have the greatest resale value. Instead, we have created our own “bumpers” which are pool noodles applied with shrink wrap tape. Labor intensive (that’s what high school volunteers are for) but effective. We used to do bow and transom corners; now just bow and bow rail. We are experimenting with Triton fenders that will be removable when we want to sell. Those will likely be installed for the fall season.