Formula 16

Yet another new 'Formula' for dinghy cats

Sunday March 3rd 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: None
The new Formula 16 High Performance class looks set to follow on from the successful Formula 18 and 20 classes and has been set up by a number of manufacturers of boats of around this size, such as the Spitfire, Stealth, Bim 16 from Italy and Taipan 4.9 from Australia. Boats are designed to be sailed solo or with crew, although the former configuration is likely to be the most popular.

Like the Formula 18, the Formula 16 is based around a box rule:

Max platform length (ex genniker pole) 5m (16.4ft)
Max effective beam (wings allowed) 2.5m (8.2ft)
Minimum weight (solo/double handed) 95kg/100kg (210/221lb)
Max mast height 9m (29.5ft)
Max height mast foot 0.1m (0.33ft)
Max circumference of (wing)mast 0.5m (1.64ft)
Max length genniker pole 0.8m past bows (2.62ft)
Max hoist height of spinnker 7.5m up from forebeam (24.6ft up)
Allowed sail plan - solo Main and genniker
Allowed sail plan - double handed Main, jib and genniker

There are also maximum rated sail areas for the main and jib, genniker. There is no minimum crew weight.

Additional rules include:
- mid girth measurement of the gennaker is a minimum of 75% the foot length
- boat must be rightable by any crew
- rig may not be trimmed between start and finish by other means than the sheets or downhaul, outhaul, traveller, most rotation and halyards.
- only soft sails allowed

At the Sailboat and Windsurf show at Alexandria Palace yesterday John Pierce manufacturer of the racey-looking Stealth catamaran told us that little was going to happen with the class this year, although the first F16HP regatta was going to be held on Lake Hartwell in Georgia, USA.

The Stealth comes with a tapered carbon fibre wingmast and has been updated for this year to comply with the new rules. As a result some sail area has been shifted from the jib to the main and they have increased the beam by 20cm. They have also reduced weight in the main beam by adding a dolphin striker.

Other features include painted seamless hulls, carbon beams and boom, self tacking jib, spinnaker chute and hulls that are inclined by 4.5. The boat still has T-foil rudders (to keep the stern in the water and the bows from burying), longer spinnaker poles and taller spinnakers, wider lighter beam, modifications made last year.

21 Stealths have been built to date. Price is £8,400 inc VAT.

The Stealth with creator John Pierce

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