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Catamaran… learning to fly


This Formula flies!
We’re interested to see if a ‘high-speed sailor’ can cross over to the ‘dark side’…he he ha ha

Well it’s certainly worth a try especially since we have to wait for the next windy season to kick in, mind you there’s plenty of ‘wind’ on the lake, like 110 kmh worth! There’s a F3000 Race coming up in June, just about the time that the SW Monsoon should be kicking in. So in a sense Formula 16 and Formula 3000 share a common boundary – when it’s windy its great for F16 but when it’s as flat as a tack, well the F3000 kicks ass!

But back to back on the season front is not all the similarities
I’m really interested in the aerodynamics side of things. When we get people into F16’s for the first time we say “once you get your head around the aerodynamics of the mast/sail interaction, you’ll be on your way”.

Well the aerodynamics of the F3000 are just as intriguing.
The whole upper surface is really a wing to generate lift and get the boat out of the water and into the air for, more speed. Between the cat hulls, air is rammed in and under the cockpit sole, creates a high-pressure zone. The low pressure generated on the upper surface couples with the hp zone and up you go!

Speed is your friend
With any of the Formula cats (F16, F18, F20) speed really is your friend – it provides a level of hydrodynamic stability, NO JOKE! That’s what the planing pads are for on the back of the boat. Sit it at speed on these, and your platform will be as stable as anything, even though the sailplan and rig try to topple it over!
HINT. Flat is fast with the spinnaker up!

On the F3000 naturally there’s a LOT more speed involved. It’s a platform that bridges the gap between boat and plane. There is hydrodynamic lift from the sponsons but there’s more lift from the craft surfaces! Now, if there’s enough lift from the air to lift a 400 kg craft out of the water, imagine what the force is on a 20 sqm sailplan – A LOT is the answer.

We’re still learning how to go real fast….

There should be a couple of F3000’s ‘performing’ in front of the National Day Parade so you be able to get a good view of aerodynamics in action..!

Plus the F3000 is making a great platform for testing some of our other things… but you’ll have to read about that on the new web site due for release very soon. Meanwhile there’s a teaser site up at

Now, back to the lake to explore more lift. more speed… Go Fast or…Go Home! – I just might have to eat my own words in the near future… gulp!

About prosailing

In Southeast Asia a long time and all the while, sailing cats. But the cat love-affair began when I finished building my first catamaran at age 15... "never again". After building 2 more Formula 16 cats in Malaysia it's really 'never again'. Now we have a large fleet of high-tech speed machines including the Nacra 20 Carbon. Then we decided to spread our wings a little more and imported the Corsair Dash 750. Now we are well on the way to establishing a Coastal One Design Dash Class. As a test bed, we had 4 Dashes take part in the Neptune Regatta and now the plans are rolling out.


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