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Three F18s starting a downwind leg at the 2006 North-American Championship
|Boat Weight||180 kg (400 lb)|
|Hull weight||130 kg (290 lb) min|
|LOH||5.52 m (18 ft 1 in) (maximum)|
|Beam||2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) (maximum)|
|Mast Length||9.15 m (30 ft 0 in) (maximum)|
|Mainsail area||17 m2 (180 sq ft) (mainsail and mast combined area maximum)|
|Jib / Genoa area||4.15 m2 (44.7 sq ft) (maximum) 3.45 m2 (37.1 sq ft) (maximum for lightweight crews)|
|Gennaker area||21 m2 (230 sq ft) (maximum) 19 m2 (200 sq ft) (maximum for lightweight crews)|
|Class is a member of World Sailing|
The Formula 18 class, abbreviated F18, is a formula-design sport catamaran class. It was started in the early 1990s and quickly grew getting class recognition by World Sailing, with large racing fleets all over the globe.
Because the F18 class is a Formula class, any boat that adheres to the limited set of general design specifications may participate in all F18 races. This has led to a score of homebuilders and professional builders to design their own F18 boats and race them in this class. However it is the mainstream production F18 designs that have dominated the top of class.
The boats are equipped with asymmetric spinnakers, and as a result they require a skilled and physically fit crew to be competitive. However, many crews also use this catamaran for purely recreational sailing. The relatively high platform weights lead to robust construction and limit the benefits from fragile advanced construction techniques, keeping costs down and increasing longevity. The level and popularity of the class draw former Olympic Tornado sailors to it.
Background class rules
The F18 class also uses an equalizing system to keep heavy crews competitive with light crews. Lightweight crews are required to sail with smaller jib and spinnaker sails, giving them less sail drive.
The F18 class has full racing circuits in many places around the globe. Several thousand boats have been sold over the years. The F18 class is a fully respected member of the main international catamaran classes, alongside the A-cat, Tornado and Hobie 16. These four classes make up the top in a sports catamaran scene that contains tens and tens of sub classes. The F18 class had earned this position within a timescale of only seven years (1993 - 2000) and continues to grow.
The success of the F18 class during the 1990s quickly led to a proliferation of other formula classes like the Formula 20 and F16 classes. In addition a number of Formula 18 have gone on to have competitive one design racing including the Hobie Tiger, Hobie Wildcat, Nacra Infusion and Nacra F18.
- ISAF F18 Microsite
- International F18 webpage
- North American F18 webpage
- UK F18 webpage
- Dutch F18 webpage
- Australian F18 webpage
- German F18 webpage
- Italian F18 webpage
- Canadian F18 webpage
- Norwegian F18 webpage
- French F18 webpage
- Finnish F18 webpage
- Swedish F18 webpage
- San Francisco Bay Area F18 webpage