This is undoubtedly the first Formula design to use computer software normally reserved for much larger and more specialised craft. As such the fit and finish on the hulls and platform is second to none. This clean-sheet design based upon 30 years of experience gained from the Auscat, the Taipan and the Capricorn F18.
This high prismatic coefficient hull form mimics the Capricorn hull shape. The buoyancy has been kept on the waterline where it actively resists being pressed into the water. It’s a really wicked shape, like no other – trust us!
THE DYNAMICS of the hull shape are far more advanced than what little weight difference there supposedly is! When we put the Viper alongside the Taipan it is physically much larger. There’s way more volume for starters. Then the beams are super sized! Overall this is THE stiffest 16 we’ve ever had and that makes a HUGE difference.
The Taipan set the bench mark for 16 foot cats and all the Viper has done, is to move the goal posts that much further away. In a recent regatta, ‘Yeahbaby’ found itself pointing as high as a Mumm 30 Raceboat – that’s a first for a catamaran especially considering that the wind was light. The astonishing windward ability can be partially attributed to the “tacking daggerboards” and the ‘new mast tuning setup‘.
The tacking dagger boards ‘shift’ in the dagger board wells from tack to tack – you won’t even know its happening but the effect is there! The dagger boards give a positive angle of attack in the passing water thereby increasing the pointing ability.
Downwind the boat can sit on its flat aft sections and, with the bow lifted high out of the water, boat speeds really escalate! The helm remains perfectly balanced throughout with just a hint of lee helm if you run tighter angles with the kite in lighter winds – normal!
There aren’t many cats that can go through a tack, sail a boat length and then tack again – without stopping! The Viper easily achieves this by a combination of hull design (ends free of the water), self-tacking jib and a great set of foils.