All this started in the extremely popular "Youth Recreation Trend" thread on the Open Forum. It was really very exciting, because people were talking about a very simple, inexpensive, lightweight, cartoppable boat, that anybody can build in their garage, to introduce young children (ages 7-12) to catamarans.
And then the idea of a Formula 12 class came up. I assumed this meant the boats in that class would be 12 feet or less.
And then the discussion turned to a design for a specific boat that would be called an F12.
And the next thing you know, it turned out that the specific boat was actually going to be almost 13 feet long and will be as fast as Hobie 16's. And it is going to cost supposedly $3,000 even if you build it yourself? Whoa!
Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture?
Doesn't this totally defeat the purpose of starting a Formula 12 class, which was to keep the designs small and simple and light and home-buildable and inexpensive and relatively SLOW for the benefit of kids who have never even been on a sailboat before? And also inspire people to design and build their own boats within the Formula 12 parameters, if they ever happen?
Isn't the Formula 12 for kids supposed to be an alternative to the Optimist Dinghy? THAT is the competition (not the Hobie 16). And, obviously, any cat, no matter how primitive, is going to be faster and more fun than the Opti.
I am retracting my suggestion about a separate division for boats longer than 12 feet. Forget it. What was I thinking?? If there is going to be a Formula 12 class, it should be for boats at maximum 12 feet long, period.
It is pretty obvious, from the existing 12-footers in Australia, that it is possible to build good-performing boats within that length. If somebody wants to build a longer boat that is a lot faster, fine, but it should not be a Formula 12. And a Formula 12 Class should not be formed at all unless it has an upper parameter of 12-feet for length.
This is just my own opinion, of course.
P.S. If you want to review the Youth Receation Trend thread on the Open Forum, I have brought it back up to the top.