F18 Marks First Decade

For more on the class, please click here.his month, one of the world’s leading high-performance catamaran classes is holding its world championship regatta in Erquy, France, marking the event’s 10th anniversary. A fleet of 150 boats is expected to take part, with 10 slots reserved for boats from the United States.The
Author:
Updated:
Original:
F18

For more on the class, please click here.

his month, one of the world’s leading high-performance catamaran classes is holding its world championship regatta in Erquy, France, marking the event’s 10th anniversary. A fleet of 150 boats is expected to take part, with 10 slots reserved for boats from the United States.

The Formula 18 was launched in 1994 as a restricted design class for 18-foot catamarans with identical SCHRS (Small Cat Handicap Rating System) measurements. The result has been a fleet that allows multiple designs to compete on equal terms. This, in turn, has encouraged multiple manufacturers to get into the game, which helps keep boats affordable and ensures that sailors have multiple designs to choose from.

Crew weights from 250 pounds to over 330 pounds are equalized with lead corrector weights, which makes the class attractive for mixed crews. A new boat costs under $20,000 and a competitive second-hand boat can be had for around $12,000. Not bad for racing at the bleeding edge.

Over the years, a number of different designs have come to the fore. One of the most successful has been the Hobie Tiger, developed and built in France, and the winner of six world championships.

More recently, the Nacra Infusion, designed by Morelli & Melvin and built at the Nacra plant in Santa Ana, California, has come to the fore, winning the worlds in 2008 and 2009.

“The best thing about the F18 class is the level of competition worldwide, and the size of the fleets….The F18 is the strongest multihull class worldwide and is raced competitively on all continents,” said Pete Melvin, who along with his 14-year-old son, James, took fourth aboard an Infusion at the 2009 North American Formula 18 Championship regatta.

Related

Beneyteau-Excess12

Boat Review: Excess 12

Groupe Beneteau, builder of Lagoon catamarans, has introduced a new multihull line called Excess. The first of the boats to reach U.S. shores at the Annapolis boat show was the Excess 12, a 38ft 6in design based on the popular Lagoon 40. The thought process behind this new boat ...read more

Spindriftracing

Extreme Sailing: No Piece of Cake

It can be easy to take for granted the incredible performance of today’s most cutting-edge grand prix racing boats. The latest crop of full-foiling 75ft America’s Cup monohulls, for example, were all up on their foils and even successfully tacking within hours of their first ...read more

Solar-Dinghy-pump-photo

Gear: Solar Powered Dinghy Pump

Tired of forever finding your dinghy or open daysailer filled with water when you arrive to go sailing? For years, sailors and engineers have sought a solution to this seemingly eternal problem, and now it appears the folks at Sea Joule Marine may have finally found it in their ...read more

BestBoatPromo-03

Best Boats 2020

How’s this for a thought experiment: imagine setting a diminutive Tiwal 2 inflatable dinghy alongside a Catalina 545 cruiser? It would be hard to imagine two more different watercraft, and yet they are both still very much sailboats. They are also both winners in this year’s ...read more

Hanse-675

Video Tour: Hanse 675

This past fall at the Annapolis Sailboat show, we had a chance to catch up with Hanse’s  Maxim Neumann, who kindly provided us a tour of the company’s new flagship, the Hanse 675. An impressive, well-built production yacht that boldly ventures into maxi-yacht territory, the ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Be thrifty with propane  If you like to cook on board, the propane tanks supplied as standard with many modern yachts won’t get you far. Whether we bake bread or not, the one thing we all do is boil ...read more

xBOM2019_Loris-von_Siiebenthal01588.jpg.pagespeed.ic.MhB0Vm5anP

Mirabau Photo Contest Winners

Swiss photographer Loris von Siebenthal has been named winner of the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image photo competition for 2019. Von Siebenthal bested no less than 133 other photographers from 29 countries submitting shots of everything from regular weekend regattas to junior ...read more