SAIL’s Best Boats 2014: RS Cat 16
Talk about timing! No sooner does Oracle Team USA stage a comeback for the ages than the veteran UK sportboat and dinghy builder RS unveils a performance beach cat with wave-piercing bows just like those on an AC72!
The RS 16 is available in three flavors: “Club” (mainsail only) and “S” versions for juniors and families, and a hopped-up “XL” version for more experienced hands. All versions use the same rotomolded hulls and one-piece, rotating, boomless Selden aluminum rig, while the XL is equipped with dual trapezes and a genneker (optional on the S), in the interest of speed.
Fully modular, the RS CAT 16 can be easily disassembled for SUV-topping or storage, and uses a clever attachment system that employs just eight bolts to secure the sturdy, extruded-aluminum crossbeams. Under sail the boat is both remarkably stiff (a true testament to the ability of the RS design team) and an absolute gas. A single glance at those wave-piercing bows in action and the twin wakes streaming aft will be all it takes to awake the inner Jimmy Spithill in sailors of all ages—and when it comes time to launch that A-sail and get out on the wire, all we can say is, look out!