The Formula 16 catamaran class launched in 2001, filling an important niche in beach cat sailing. The key desire was flexibility in a high performance racing cat—one that could be sailed effectively with a crew of two, or solo. In either configuration, the boat would have a spinnaker, for thrilling downwind rides. And all of this would be delivered in a boat with modest weight and an attractive price.
The Formula 16 is typically sailed by crews weighing less than 330 lbs., often making it a good choice for mixed and/or lighter crews. By contrast, the Formula 18, which is another popular choice, is typically sailed by crews over 330 lbs. The smaller sail plan on a Formula 16 also demands less sheet load, once again, making the boat easier to handle for those with less weight/strength.
The racing performance of the Formula 16 and Formula 18 are actually quite similar, so it's common to see both fleets racing on the same course together.
What really separates the Formula 16 is the flexibility. No crew for the weekend, no problem—sail solo. Want to sail with your wife or girlfriend —perfect. She wants to steer—cool. Teaching the kids to sail—even better. Kids sailing their own boat—doesn't get any better than that!