I Agree with Phill, Prevailing sailing conditions and local influences could play a large roll in design acceptance. For instance, here in East Coast Florida USA our summer season has predominantly light winds 6-8 mph. If you set sail sizes based on conditions in some higher wind areas in Europe or Australia the USA boats will end up being a dog. Vice versa, if they were set to the light wind standards of Florida USA the same boat may be vastly overpowered in the higher wind regions of the world. This has been a problem with other catamaran classes has it not? Where there was a European Rig and a Larger Rig for the USA?
Same might be said of hull design to a lesser extent. An area where a surf launch is necessary might need a different hull design (more freeboard/beam clearance) than some that sail on protected waters.
In the USA the trend seems to be more “Turn Key” as opposed to areas in Australia which seem more inclined to home build. The more options available to optimize for the local conditions, the broader the appeal.
Let the designers bring their a-game to the F-12 table. Let them build and test their prototypes against each other; the cream will rise to the top. The consumer will ultimately determine which designs they will choose to support. Problem solved.
Keep in mind that kids are all about “tricking out” what ever they are involved in… be it their clothes, skate boards, bicycles, school note books, and as they get older their cars…A boat that allows them the freedom to customize and individualize will be more attractive than some vanilla flavored ho-hum one size fits all. If this under taking is really about getting kids on catamarans then its main thrust has to be about the excitement. Forget the optimist class mono slugs…there is an opportunity to reinvent entry level sailing for kids, if done properly this could be huge…it is going to be mostly about PR…but the product has to be exciting enough to give the PR element something to work with.
While safety always has to be a major factor with any children’s event, remember kids this age are doing skateboard “kick flips while jumping over 4 or 5 concrete steps. The design must not be neutered by the “Nervous Nellies” to the point where it is so “safe” that it offers the excitement on par with watching the grass grow.
All that needs to be agreed upon is a maximum length.
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