International Nacra Class Catamarans

Nacra 15 – Pathway for Youth Sailing

Designed from scratch to the ISAF criteria to become the new official ISAF youth catamaran. The older catamarans in this program need replacement as the youth of the world wants to sail in a catamaran that can carry more crew weight and is a modern design than the current ones. The Nacra 15 resembles a lot to its bigger sister, the Olympic Nacra 17. In fact, the Nacra 15 is a mini version of the Olympic Nacra 17, creating a pathway towards the Olympics.

Especially young and eager ones. The whole idea of the NACRA 15 is to catch youth for life, so they choose sailing as a life sport! The official World Sailing youth multihull has to be an exciting but safe product where new generations have fun with and enables them to take the best out of themselves as a team. Not an easy goal but the Nacra 15 is the answer.

The Nacra 15 carries also two curved dagger boards that provide lift. This provides an extra dimension in sailing, as the Nacra 15 is a semi-foiling catamaran. More lift means; drag reduced means; more speed and excitement.

Production started in 2015. If you or your organisation has interest to start up the program and to be part of this, please contact one of our Nacra dealers or Nacra direct to consult us what the options are.

The Nacra 15 and the Nacra 17 will represent the future of cat sailing at the highest level around the world. Nacra 15 acting as “steppingstone” for youth and the Nacra 17 to use at the Olympic Games.



Technical Data

Boat length 4.70 m/15.4 ft
Boat width 2.35m/7.7 ft
Mast Lenght 8.10m/26.5 ft
Area mainsail 13.6m/146 sqft
Area Jib 3.3m/36 sqft
Area Spi 16.5m/177.6 sqft

F16 Class History

Formula 16 is a multi-manufacturer class for beach catamarans, designed for the 21st century.

The F16 design is modern. Gone are the days when a seaworthy 16 foot catamaran had to weigh 150kg and when the use of carbon meant spiralling costs. F16 minimum weight is just 107kg (104kg 1-up) with few restrictions on materials and yet costs are no more than for other race catamarans. The inclusion of an asymmetric spinnaker adds to the excitement.

The F16 design is practical. Do you enjoy sailing as a team but hate getting stranded on the shore when the crew doesn’t show? Do you sail on your own but want the option to take friends and family out occasionally? The F16 is designed to sail equally well 1-up and 2-up, and what’s more both configurations race each other on elapsed time. And at 104kg, the F16 can not only be sailed singlehanded – you can launch and right it on your own too!

The F16 design is fast. A light-weight platform, generous sail areas and an asymmetric spinnaker can mean only one thing: speed. In 2-up mode the F16 races the F18 class on elapsed time – first in wins. In 1-up mode, with asymmetric spinnaker, it races the A-cats on elapsed time.

The Beginning

Early in 2001, a small group of sailors felt the Formula 18/20 and the A-cat classes left a part of the sailor community wanting. A need was felt for a design that could be sailed effectively in both singlehanded and doublehanded. Some expressed a concern that an affordable entry into modern spinnaker sailing was missing. Others felt that the existing Formulas could be improved upon, in particular by reducing weight.  However lightweight classes had been created before and went without much impact. This time something special had to be done to make the newly born Formula 16 class a stayer.

At the time a group of catamaran sailors from the USA, Australia and the Europe were already experimenting on their own with F16 alike setups. These sailors saw the common ground and joined forces in order to work out the international F16 Formula framework and build up the class. Thus, in the spring of 2001 the F16 class was born and the first draft ruleset was made public in July 2001. The “special character” to make the class a stayer was found some months later. It was discoverd that the F16’s were capable of performing on a level with the A-cats and F18’s in respectively the singlehanded and doublehanded setup. F16’s could race both of them without the need for handicap calculations. Also the two setups of the F16’s can race each other on a first in wins as they are that close in overall performance.

The Spirit of the Formula 16 class

The Formula 16 class is building a class that sees competitive sailing on the water and a open relax feel on the beach afterwards. We also seek cooperation between the Formula 16 class and other the formula classes. The Formula 16 class does not believe that the creation of many seperate and mutual exclusive sailing groups is the path to full sailing enjoyment or even improvement of personal sailing skills.

The Formula 16 class also strives to make the F16 racing scene bigger than just racing against other F16’s. Formula 16 is both an open class (handicap) racer as well as a class racer. And recreational sailing is also considered an important part of the F16 sailing. Afterall, we all start out as recreational sailors before we become racing crews and it is what we still do on lazy friday afternoons.These three scenes complement eachother fully and none interferes with the full exploitation of another.

The Formula 16 class aims at helping crews see beyond the self limiting conviction that the chance on success is somehow significantly linked to the type or age of a boat. This policy is based on the realisation that even in one-design classes the difference between the winner and the last finisher is at least 40 % of the elapsed time, while the differences between Formula boats of different age, condition or make is measurend in a few % at maximum;  well maintained boats differ less.

The setup of the Formula 16 class

The target group of the Formula 16 class is a combination of doublehanded and singlehanded sailors. The class aims for the lighter and medium weight crews and especially the mixed crews that typically fall into this weight range. A singlehanded sailor that occasionally or regulary takes somebody along fall right into the target group of the Formula 16 as well.

Official Formula 16 class racing is devided into two sub groups, one doublehanded and one singlehanded setup. Both use a spinnaker. The difference between both setups is found in flying a jib or not.
For recreational sailing or open class (handicapped) racing,  three more setups can be added.: doublehanded or singlehanded sailing without a spinnaker and singlehanding a sloop rigged F16 without a spinnaker but with a selftacking jib. The versatility of the class will be evident. When a crew cancels at the last moment then a sailor can just take off the jib and attend the event in singlehanded mode. When a crew is found at the last moment then switching to the doublehanded setup is a matter of minutes. Many more scenario’s can be thought up. The Formula 16 class box rule regulates then all.

The Formula 16 box rule only limits those dimensions that have an impact on performance and leaves the rest open to personal preference. Gear can be acquired from all suppliers as long as it conforms to the general limits as specified in the Formula 16 rules. Compliance is checked when acquiring a class certificate and at events.


Nacra 17 - Olympic Class race machine

In May 2012, World Sailing selected the Nacra 17 as the equipment for the mixed multihull event at Rio 2016. It was the first time there has a mixed discipline on the Olympic sailing program.

After the Rio Olympics, the class and Nacra Sailing agree to evolve the boat to become a fully foiling catamaran. Between hull number 338 and 339, the transition occurred to a 4-point fully foiling multihull. Boats older than 338 had the option to retrofit themselves into the fully foiling configuration.

Nacra Sailing International is a Dutch company and based in Scheveningen (The Hague). Morrelli & Melvin designed the Nacra 17 fully in line with the specifications given by World Sailing for the Olympic multihull 2016. The curved dagger boards ad a distinct dimension to the catamaran sailing. In February 2013, the Nacra 17 was selected HISWA Boat of the Year.

The NACRA 17 is used as the exclusive Olympic Multihull equipment in the “mixed multihull class” running up to the Olympic Games. Every year there are several ISAF World Cups, World Championships and other continental championships where the elite sailors of the world in the catamaran are racing one another.

Why a Nacra 17?

The NACRA 17 was designed from scratch to meet the specific criteria set out by ISAF for the 2016 Olympic multihull. NACRA also produce a Formula 16 and a Formula 18 catamaran and we had initially considered entering these products, but with some changes in order to more closely match the ISAF requirements. Since ISAF’s specification did not require the design to conform to any existing class rule, we were considering adding performance-enhancing features like a carbon mast and curved dagger boards. The F16 class and F18 class rules do not allow either of these features.

After doing some further research into the ISAF requirements and what was possible within this design space, we determined that neither the F16 nor F18 platforms would be ideal within the set ISAF criteria and for Olympic Athlete’s.

Design Nacra 17 

Since no existing design or class fits the ISAF specs, we decided to create an all-new design that is about 17 feet long, called the NACRA17. Compared to an F16 class catamaran, it is 250mm longer, 100mm wider, has a taller mast and more sail area, and curved dagger boards.

For the design the Nacra team again joined forces with world famous design office Morrelli & Melvin from Huntington Beach, California as we have been doing for many years. Morrelli & Melvin are known for their America’s Cup involvement and many other successful multihulls projects such as: PlayStation, Gun boats and many others.

Letter of the Designer Pete Melvin on the Nacra 17

The design chosen for the Olympics results into a full compliance with World Sailing criteria and no interference with any other successful multihull class today. 

Wave piercing design – Wave piercing designs have a minimum draft resulting in a boat which has less drag and tends less to rock, creating a more constant high speed than conventional designs

Stiff platform – The Nacra 17 is the stiffest production platform available in their class, resulting in direct response in the boat and the energy of wind is maximum being transferred into forward motion

Light boat – The Nacra 17 being light for its length ensures superb handling on and off the wate, broader wind range during regatta’s, Resulting in a agile and therefore challenging boat to sail

Robust – Strongly build in epoxy/glass/carbon and therefore durable and long lasting

Modern rig – Powerfull carbon mast to ensure both safety (re-righting moment versus crew weight) and performance, modern High aspect ratio cut sails, easy power up/power down, engineered by one of the most experienced multihull sail makers in the world

Nacra 17 particulars compaired with the F16 and F18


Formula 16

 Nacra 17

Formula 18

Hull Length

5.00 m

5.25 m

5.55 m


2.50 m

2.59 m

2.60 m

Mast Length

8.50 m

9.00 m

9.00 m

Total upwind sail area

18.70 m2

20.10 m2

21.15 m2

Spi Area

17.50 m2

19.00 m2

21.00 m2

Crew Weight (optimum)

130 kg

135 kg

150 kg

Relative Righting Moment with optimum crew weight

681 kg*m

754 kg*m

881 kg*m


F18 Class

Looking for a boat without too much hassle? The Nacra F18 Infusion is the best pick, you put her together and start racing. Don’t spend hours sanding and cleaning, she is ready for you. This boat is a real winner, it became World Champion in 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the F18 class.

The Nacra F18 Infusion is named after the method used in construction. It’s one of only two production catamarans made with a modern infusion system, the other being the Nacra F18 Evolution. This allows better material weight distribution within the hulls, yielding greater stiffness where it is needed. And stiffness equals speed.