Jump to content



Recommended Posts

When can we expect some final rules for this F14 class.

Nacra are very keen to build a boat but have a few issues.

That there is no restriction on carbon etc,so if they do not build the boat out of this ,then in time it will be out of date.

The 75 kg min weight .

They feel unless they use some carbon etc they will not make the weight.

Just food for thought, and they can get one ready for this season, but need to know the set rules, not the maybe rules.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried to get some input from this forum but no one responded to the actual post frown.gif Probably too much reading.

I'm not sure just what else to do?

posted 09 August 2004 09:13 PM


The basic F14 rules as detailed in my post are adapted from the A class rules which is a class to which the F14's will likely have much in common, a point which prompted me to look at using them in the first place, (why re-invent the wheel?) Their rules have stood the test of time at international level and are very basic and uncomplicated. The only variations I see necessary are boat length and width measurements and sail area. Even the min. weight is adaptable because, as I see it, F14 boats should be much cheaper than A class boats and much more robust than A class boats which are generally stuffed after four or five years. I don't see any argument for making the F14 an ultra-light catamaran, except for that it might favour the cashed up high flyers, something I think we should strive to avoid.

IMHO F14 should be about boat design and sailing ability and the only way boat design can be a serious contributing factor is if several manufacturers are supplying boats which is the significant variation between formula racing and one design racing and most crucial to the concept.

Formula racing is principally successful because it depends not only on sailing ability but also on several marques competing against each other. If the boats can only be built competitively using exotic materials and processes, the number of manufacturers will be restricted and the prices will escalate as a result. The very reason the A class has endured is they keep to realistic materials and production processes.

So what do we have? We have the concept of a formula catamaran class i.e., a catamaran with two mirror image hulls located parallel to each other with a single mast built to a formula. What will the formula be? We have a 4.3m maximum allowable length (with a tolerance for existing boats) to start with.

If we embrace the A class basic principles and provide for some development, what we now need to decide on is maximum allowable beam, maximum allowable sail area and minimum allowable weight, and do we really want a spinnaker.

Over to you guys but be warned, if you make it too expensive, to complicated, to difficult, you'll be restricting possible participation and I think we need to keep the concept accessible to as many participants as possible for it to be a success. That's why I posted the mission statement Darryl, to foster continuing, constructive, on-going discussion.


IP: Logged


Old Salt posted 11 August 2004 05:09 PM


Ok then, lets take this a step further;

The maximum beam should probably be set at 2.5m which seems to be a sensible dimension given that the RTA's max. towing width is 2.5m. (Who wants to have to tow a 14ft cat on a tilt trailer??) The 430 is 2.4m wide (a decision which took some balls I might add) but it works and works well.

Any objections or alternative suggestions??


[This message has been edited by berny (edited 31 August 2004).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In consultation with warren Guinea, and Phill Brander, among others, this is the "box rule for the F14 as it appears in the "class rules" section of the constitution of the "International Formula 14 Catamaran Association" (F14 for short) which has now been Incorporated by the "office of business and consumer affairs".

So it is now official! there is a duly authorised, legal, formula 14 association.

Just as a note Berny the minimum weight of 75 Kg's all up weight was mainly from your direction from previous postings. If we were really going to adopt a "high tech only" building material formula, then the minimun weight would have to be no more than about 50kg ALL UP!! At 75 Kg we have already put a 4.3 cat on the water at that weight without any so called exotics (apart from the rudder stocks which we would do in carbon anyway) and if we can do that without any major considerations towards getting "the minimum weight possible", then I am sure that any other builder worth their salt can do the same!

The “Box rule” governing an F14 catamaran is

The craft must be a catamaran, having two identical hulls of equal volume, with the rudders attached at/to the transom/s i.e. not extended out from the stern of the craft so as to effectively “extend” the waterline length of the hull/s.

1. Length Over All.

L.O.A. of the hulls (excluding only “T foils, rudders, all rudder fittings, and spinnaker pole with fittings) 4.34 metres

2. Maximum Beam (Overall)

2.5 metres

3. Mast Height

Mast height is unrestricted, although the mast can only form a percentage of the mainsail area of no more than 15%, albeit that the circumference of the mast shall not exceed 400mm, i.e. no “solid” wing mast/sail (articulated or not).

The sail(s) shall be of a single “laminate” fabric.

4. Maximum Sail Area

The sail(s), including half the area of the mast bounded by the luff length of the main sail without having any wrinkles or folds, shall not exceed

300 sq feet. 27.87 sqm

(Albeit that the maximum allowable area of a spinnaker/reacher shall be no more than

14.37 sqm

and the combined “working sail(s)” including half the area of the mast bounded by the luff length of the main sail shall not exceed 13.5 sqm)

The maximum total area includes the combination of the areas of ALL sails. The measurements of all the sails shall be by the calculation of the “actual” sail area.

5. Construction

Materials are unrestricted

6. Minimum Weight

All up sailing weight, excluding only the crew.


7. “T” foils

(As opposed to “hydrofoils”) used only for the stablelization of pitch, and only of a symmetrical profile, without having any adjustment to the angle of “attack” of the foils whilst sailing (i.e. not independent of the movement of the hulls), and only if attached to, or forming part of the rudders, or attached to the underside of the hull(s) within 300mm 0f the transom(s), are

allowed. No foil(s) shall protrude to any point wider than the maximum allowable beam of the class (i.e. 2.5 metres).

“Hydrofoils” that are used to “lift” the hull(s) due to the forward movement through the water of the catamaran, (i.e. these foils are of an asymmetric profile, designed to generate

upwards lift by the action of their movement through the water), are not allowed.

8. Built in buoyancy

Closed cell foam is required to be fixed internally in the hulls, sufficient to maintain the vessel, and its crew, in the upright position,

with the hulls at, or above the surface of the water, when one or both hulls are completely full of water. (Safety rule)

9. Centre/Dagger boards, Rudders and Hulls.

The centre/dagger boards shall be set at 90 degrees to a line projected across the catamaran between the centre of the centre/dagger board cases and only be movable in the vertical plane I.E. sides way cantered or sides way raked foils are not allowed. The same applies to the rudders I.E. the rudders shall only be set vertical to the hull(s) and the hulls shall also, not be “angled”, but be parallel to each other in the vertical plane.

10. Number and weight of crew

Weight and number of crew is unrestricted, (with reference to “Crew and Crew Weight” in the preceding section of the class rules)

11. Spinnaker pole

Any spinnaker pole and/or fittings shall not protrude further forward of the forward most point of the bows (measured at 90 degrees from the centre of a line connecting the two most forward parts of the bows of each hull), by more than one metre.

12. Pre existing 14’ catamarans

Any catamaran designed and “on the water”, before the incorporation of this constitution, that have a hull length no greater than 14'6", and carry a sail area, (inclusive of all the working sails, including half the area of the mast bounded by the luff length of the main sail, and a spinnaker/reacher) no greater than 300 sq ft IN TOTAL, may race with, and compete against, the F14

catamarans designed and built to conform within this "box rule", on an equal, "across the line first wins". Albeit that they, (the pre

existing 14' catamarans) may be allocated an appropriate handicap/rating (per class of catamaran), for their finishing times against each other (that is the pre existing 14' designed catamarans) for competition within their own "division", exclusive of the "new" F14


13. From time to time

By an agreed vote by the executive of the F14 catamaran association, those catamarans that do not fit within the preceding “box rule” definitions (from item no 1. through to item 11. inclusive) may be allowed inclusion to sail/compete with and against all those

catamarans that comply to the afore mentioned items 1. through to and including item 11, by being afforded an appropriate

handicap/rating, designed to keep all racing results fair and equitable between the different “classes” of catamarans so competing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Berny you use the A class as a good starting point and an example for the defining rules for an F14, but you keep writing that

"The very reason the A class has endured is they keep to realistic materials and production processes",

well the A class has been made of ALL carbon fibre for ages, that's everything, the hulls, the mast, the beams, the boom, and anywhere else that carbon can be used! so I am not at all convinced that the use of "exotics" really have any detrimental effect on the sales of new boats, I think it is more a resistance to the thought (or fear) of change.

Anyhow, the A class is an 18' long boat with a 30' mast and the class weight for them is 75kgs ALL UP sailing weight (and there is a strong international movement to reduce that further). keeping that in mind it shouldn't be too great a difficulty to build a 14' boat to the same weight (75kgs) as an 18' A class cat (there is, after all considerably less material in a 14' hull than an 18' one and no 14' cat will carry anything like a 30' mast).

So if F14' cats can be produced without so called "exotics" to the minimum weight and some others are built (also to minimum weight) but using "exotics" what's the problem? as long as their weights are the equalising factor any difference in their performances (if there actually is any differences) will not be due to differences in construction materials.

(I thought that you wrote in an earlier posting that your 430 weighed in at 75kgs?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whats the deal with banning hydrofoils???

If you didnt ban them you would have the only cat class that condones thier use. a uniqueness in itself that could draw many poeple into the class.

looking at the moth class the new technology is certainly attracting a lot of attention.

the other bonus would be the recycling of old boats, if they are not in the water what would it matter what shape they were?

go the [F]lying 14's !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darryl, the A class has traditionally been a very conservative class with few changes to the rules over the years and only in recent times have they adopted exotic mayerials in their construction. In any event, it matters little what materials they allow when the min. weight remains at 75kg. The reason they have kept the 75kg rule is to keep existing boats competitive and to prevent the cashed up high flyers from 'buying' a championship.

"(I thought that you wrote in an earlier posting that your 430 weighed in at 75kgs?)"

Yes that's right, the first one out of the moulds at 75kg but I don't see your point here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It wasn't "a point" berny just a question!

Hydrofoils are a completely different principle for travelling over the water from "floating" catamarans, and as such they fall within an entirely different "class". If an F14 formula incorporated hydrofoils then it may as well incorporate trimarans and all and any other type of sailing craft that are only bounded by their overall length, beam, and sail area. The F14 is, like the F18, the F16, the A class and many others - a formula for CARAMARANS - inextricably "connected" to, and dependent on the water surface

Hydrofoil bourne craft, which, once they "lift" clear of the water, are not catamarans (or any other type of "floating" craft) regardless of the number of hulls that they have. Its like having a formula one racing car that used foils to actually lift it off the ground, once it was in the air (independent of the ground) would it still be a car? or would it become a plane?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the hydrofoil rule. The Windrider Rave is a fantastic machine that totally flies, and I have used one a few times, but I would not want to race one.

As soon as one bloke turns up to the park with a Paper Tiger with hydrofoils that work well and it blows about 12-15 knots, he will change the class totally and then everyone will need to have them to compete.

I don't think they would help a Maricat as they are probably a little too heavy and not enough power to get them going unless it was about 20 knots.

We just have to make sure the rules are finalised so manufacturers can get on with making a boat,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some minor corrections about A Division Catamarans

There have been some assumptions made in this thread and others about A's whic I would like to correct.

There seems to be an inference that A's are a formula class. They are an ISAF (originally IYRU) development class with very limited restrictions. Originally length, width and sail area. Subsequently the IACA has introduced (and had IYRU endorse)two more limits on weight and banning of hydrofoils. THere has never been any limit on material use for any part of the boat including hulls, beams, masts or sails. New materials have been experimented with as they have become available and some have been adopted. Innovations such as flat top sails were tried and adopted in the late eighties. This differs slightly from the formula classes in that restrictions are few and development is stringly encouraged, whereas formula rules seem to provide for more measured development within a detailed set of prescriptions.

Good luck with the F14 class

John Dowling

AUS 824

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Berny the A class never "adopted" exotics" within their class, they were always allowed!

I doubt if I would ever have called the A class "conservative", we always considered them the most radical of all cats (with the exception of the C class). From their earliest beginnings they had some of the least number of rules governing their development of any class of catamaran, (maybe that is why they have lasted so long and proliferated?). The original defining "rules" for an A class were that it was bounded ONLY by length, beam, and sail area, -NO MINIMUM WEIGHT, AND NO RESTRICTION OF BUILDING MATERIALS- it has only been in recent years that more "rules" governing their construction, weight, etc has been incorpoated into the class. I have sailed A class cats in the early eighties, made only in polyester resin and E glass that came in at an all up sailing weight of 62kgs, they were VERRY delicate and didn't last for much more than one season but BOY!! did they fly (and we only had to replace the hulls every season to remain competitive). It was probably this period of ultra lightly built A's of that time that influenced the class to adopt a more "conservative" outlook when it came to "minimum weights", for the good of the class, but there was no way that they wanted to stop the inclusion of so called "exotics" into the class, if anything the reverse applys, the exotics were looked on as a means of vastly improving the structural integrity of the cats while still maintaining the minimum weight. They were making the cats stronger and more robust with the exotics, not lighter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree John that the A is a development class, but I think that most people who talk about formula cats and the A class in the same context do so as the A is rightly an example of minimum defining dimensions being good for a "class" as opposed to the concept of strict "one design" classes limiting most if not all innovation. This "development class" idea bears a striking similarity to the concept of the formula which still leaves a good area for individual innovation within the formula, similar in many ways to the "concept" of the A class.

and thank's for your good wishes for the formula 14, I hope it lives up to it's potentual

Darryl J Barrett

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

75 KG?

Just want to make a comment that 75Kg seems a bit heavy for a new boat. The paper tiger has a minimum weight of 50Kg, does it mean that these boats are excluded from F14? Would personally rather a 50kg boat if going to the expense of a new high tech 14. With the rule as it is I would rather sail retro.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree, but understand through cost that is has to be 75kg's. An 18 foot A-Class is 75kg's, and most of them are built lighter than this and have weight added, and they are now bullet proof.

The problem I think we have with the F14's is cost. A new F14 on a trailer with all the go fast gear will be around 14k at a minimum according to two manufacturers I have spoken to. They could get up to 16k built with all exotics. You can get a sensational second hand "A" for that.

The value for money comes in to play now. A brand new foam sandwich fibreglass maricat with a square top exotic mainsail as well as a kite kit would be around 10k, and should weigh in at about 80kg's tops if it was not made to the class weight.

But that boat would not be able to compete with a 50kg Paper Tiger with a new rig including a kite. Or someone who has the cash to make a 14 foot boat out of all exotics that weighs in at 45kg's.

It is a major stumbling block at the moment.

I still think the maricat should get an updated rig and I am sure that it would be tough to beat, by any other popular 14 foot boat.

[This message has been edited by Emmessee (edited 09 November 2004).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we talk about ALL UP WEIGHT, thats exactly what we mean - all up boat, sails, mast, rudders etc - everything except the crew. A lot of people confuse the weight issue. Some think of the sailing platform less mast, less sails, less centreboards, rudders etc as the weight of the boat. Some think of it as the whole platform inc' rudders and attached fittings etc without the rig, but very few think of it as the ENTIRE boat. To get an entire 4.3 cat down to a minimum sailing weight less than 70kgs is a pretty daunting proposition. To get down to less than that for an F14 that carries a spinnaker etc would be to sacrifice an awful lot of strength and structural reliability and in actuality would probably not produce a cat that was any faster than one that came in at 75kgs. Once a certain minimum "threshhold" weight for a 4.3 cat is reached the performance is not so restricted by its overall weight but by its handling characteristics on the water and there is such a thing as being "too light" to be able to handle a full racing range of wind and weather conditions and the end result is that the "ultra lightwight" is at an actual disadvantage. To put it into another perspective - at 75kgs the cats will be lighter than the majority of sailors who sail them - so that the lighter the cat becomes the less critical the weight of the boat becomes and the more critical the weight of the crew and exactly what is done with that crew weight. At 75kgs we have the same minimum weight as an A class with approximately the same power in the working sails BUT we carry a spinnaker that virtually doubles the power of an A class off the wind.

Thats a fairly daunting proposition!

In reference to the paper tiger, it must be remembered that the PT carries quite a modest sail area on its own unique mast and rigging system that would simply not carry a mainsail at 150sq ft let alone a spinnaker as well, without a completely new mast and rigging set up and if that was the case quite large modifications would have to be also made to the construction of the platform to handle all the extra power. We would then end up with a PT that wasn't a PT but an entirely different cat that would be subject to the same problems as an F14, (as far as weight and structural reliability was concerned)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok, so it seems 75kg is not too bad for the F14 looking at power to weight realtive to an A.

There were 3 standard paper tigers racing with the fleet of 25+ 14s on the weekend (including Ian Marcovitch)and ZAX seemed quicker upwind than any. Ian has a spinnaker he can use on the paper tiger but will not be using it at the 14 regatta since there will be a fleet of paper tigers there.

If the new maricat comes in at around 80kg fully rigged with the new square top and kite then I guess it must be competitive? Only 5kg outside mininimum weight.

Will you have one at the weekend Dave?

Picture of ZAX ready for the retro 14 class for those that don't read the maricat postings..

Mari Squared

cheers !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do I understand it correctly, you are intending to run a spinnaker on the standard paper tiger mast and rigging??

The standard mast on the tiger is a very light section and has been known to snap under its "normal" sail when hard jybed in a strong wind, to run a spinnaker on the same rig would be something that I personally would love to see (and film). Mind you, with the tiger being so light itself, there is the possibility that with a spinnaker it would just accelerate in a gust to the point of relieving the excess load on the mast that could snap it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not intending to run a kite on a paper tiger, I have one for my maricat though. Ian M. has a kite for his tiger. He will not be using at the 14 regatta since there is a fleet of paper tigers there and he will sail standard rig. I know of one other tiger intending to run a kite.

I don't really see any problem with running a kite on a tiger. Ian will just change the stay configuration to suit it.

Since the tigers are able to adjust the lower stays while racing they are not likely to break so many masts in standard form now I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I run a masthead kite on the mari. Basically it is no problem provided you treat the main as a backstay. I use the heavier maricat mast section when using the spinnaker. You are probably right that it should be set lower. Ross from the Nacra/Maricat factory gave me the same advice that you have suggested. Just thought the masthead configuration would be more fun smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Guest Tom Serna

Emmessee : the 50kg you are reading for the PT is the unrigged weight. meaning the hull without rig, daggerboards or rudders and all the fittings that attach to the hull during sailing . usually with rig, foils systems etc it brings us up to about 75kg.

apparently a guy called Phil Snook built a "space age" PT some time ago here in WA. he used some kind of nasa-spec eggshell foil frame with a fibreglass outer. apparently he had to put a few big blocks of jarrah in each hull to bring it up to minimum weight. You could have hit the thing with a sledgehammer and done more damage to it than the boat.

I have pondered on many an occasion about adding a stronger mast section and more sail area. maybe a wire.. the thing is when you look at the big picture you will destroy what is so good about the class. the beauty is I can rig and launch my boat on my own, a heavy solid section mast would ruin all of that. and you could say go carbon but again its going to put people off, I mean we get new boats on the water for about 8 grand, a carbon stick is going to increase that to almost 10 .. and that is unfortunately the quandrary you come back to again and again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to mention the fact that with a standard PT you can go and compete against 40 or 50 others the same at your Nationals and then race against the Kiwis at the Internationals.

With a modified PT, you're on your own. If close, exciting racing on a boat that handles like a dream and is an absolute pleasure to sail is your idea of great sailing, standard PTs are hard to beat.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Did not read the rules in enough detail previously.

Rule 11 would exclude ZAX from formula 14 racing and in my opinion makes the Retro class non competitive as it favours the use of a longer than standard mast. Any chance of making rule 11 a bit more realistic? 1 meter past the bows makes the kite a bit small using a standard maricat/hobie/windrush mast.

where did the 1 meter come from?

11. Spinnaker pole

Any spinnaker pole and/or fittings shall not protrude further forward of the forward most point of the bows (measured at 90 degrees from the centre of a line connecting the two most forward parts of the bows of each hull), by more than one metre.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...