F16 Class, and a Challenge

Check it out:



(Photos courtesy F16 Class Association, www.formula16.net and Wouter Hijink)

It’s the F16 — aka Formula 16 — class.  Traps, spinnakers, 16′ LOA, for a crew of one or two.  And it’s a development class, which means any design, any builds within certain parameters.  Yes, wood construction is permitted.

Max LOA — 5 meters, ex- rudder

Max Beam — 2.5 meters

Sail Areas:  Main — 15 sq meters; jib — 3.7 sq mtrs; spinnaker — 17.5 sq mtrs.

There is no minimum or maximum crew weights.

The dry weight of the boat shall be not less than 104 – 107 kg.


From the website:  “Formula 16 is a multi-manufacturer class for beach catamarans, designed for the 21st century.

The F16 design is modern. Gone are the days when a seaworthy 16 foot catamaran had to weigh 150kg and when the use of carbon meant spiralling costs. F16 minimum weight is just 107kg (104kg 1-up) with few restrictions on materials and yet costs are no more than for other race catamarans. The inclusion of an asymmetric spinnaker adds to the excitement.

The F16 design is practical. Do you enjoy sailing as a team but hate getting stranded on the shore when the crew doesn’t show? Do you sail on your own but want the option to take friends and family out occasionally? The F16 is designed to sail equally well 1-up and 2-up, and what’s more both configurations race each other on elapsed time. And at 104kg, the F16 can not only be sailed singlehanded – you can launch and right it on your own too!

The F16 design is fast. A light-weight platform, generous sail areas and an asymmetric spinnaker can mean only one thing: speed. In 2-up mode the F16 races the F18 class on elapsed time – first in wins. In 1-up mode, with asymmetric spinnaker, it races the A-cats on elapsed time.”

And here’s the part that excites me:

“Home-build F16’s


Believe it or not but both boats in the picture on the right are marine ply-epoxy F16’s. Build by amateur home-builders. Of course several parts were sourced from professional suppliers, like the mast and sails. But the platforms are typically fully home build.

The orange red boat in the picture is a Blade F16 design and the illustrated building plans are sold by Phill Brander. Contact Phil via this address: bladecatamarans@gmail.com.

Do not be fooled by the “marine ply” usage in the hulls. These are stiff and high performance boats comparable to the best glass boats out there on the market. The dent resistance of epoxy saturated ply is noticeably superior to that of glass laminate. Additionally, a reasonably handy homebuilder can build these boats down to the minimum F16 class weight.”

I have contacted Phil Brander to learn about his plans, but I haven’t heard back from him yet.

Cool boats, no?

So, here’s my challenge to you:  Let’s get more wooden boats out building and racing in development classes.  They can be every bit as strong and as light as boats made of other materials.  Maybe I’ll come up with an award?

What do you think?

Again, here’s the association’s website:  www.formula16.net.

Thanks so, Carl

This entry was posted in My Wooden Boat of January 2014 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to F16 Class, and a Challenge

  1. Rick says:

    These cats look terrific and I particularly like the capacity for single and double handing. Development classes that somehow strike a formula that enables home builders to produce competitive craft at low cost, really capture the spirit of dinghy sailing, in my opinion. The F16 is a boat that I’d really love to build and sail.


  2. Richard says:

    Wonderful article! These are great boats for families and youth because they are light enough to pull up a beach or ramp. The World Championship regatta will be in Rhode Island this June. There is an American builder in Florida so it is easy to get parts. Join the fun!

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