The Falcon F18 made its debut at the 2012 Globaltech World Championships in Long Beach, California as the newest F18 design. While the F18 class has very tight restrictions in materials allowed in the manufacture of the boat, and limits on most all of the boat dimensions, when we decided to design and produce an F18 it was done with two goals in mind. The first was to design a boat that is easily pushed hard, especially under rough conditions, while still performing well across the full range of sailing conditions. The second was to produce a better, more quality boat than is currently available on the market.
The Falcon F18 felt comfortable right away, we could feel the speed of the platform.
The team at Falcon Marine has been involved with many different hull and propulsion design and development projects, but our previous sailing catamaran development experience has been with the very light weight of the F16 and A performance classes. We approached our F18 design from a very different perspective. While the F18 class rules do not allow for ultra light weight boats, it was important for us to have our design perform and feel like the other classes we have been involved in. The trend in catamaran design over the last few years has been to produce designs with larger volume and flatter keel sections. These boats operate at semi-planning speeds and using fatter, flatter sections can allow the hull design to take better advantage of this phenomenon and carry more power and crew weight efficiently. At Falcon Marine we used computer modeling and design when developing our shapes, but more importantly we used real world testing to verify all our theories. We never see conditions where we sail that are identical to what is simulated in a computer program. Volume in a hull has limits, the amount and type of excess drag in a shape that is out of trim vaires, full planning hull shapes produce significant drag at low speed, sharp chines hinder turning; these are all features tested to produce a shape that performs across the full range of sailing conditions that everyone sees over the course of any sailing season. The result in the Falcon F18, is a boat that rides high on the water avoiding beam slap, moves well through waves and slop, tracks well, can be driven hard off the wind, yet still is extremely responsive on the helm.
Another trend in the catamaran industry, although not an exciting one, has been the export of the manufacture to low cost Asian shops. At Falcon Marine we take pride in building our products in house and in the USA. We use close molding processes (Rtm, infusion and prepreg) for all of our production fabrication. Besides building catamarans the Falcon team has years of experience developing composite products and the processes to build them. Many of the processes we employ and the tooling we use are specially geared for our end product. We often hear the phrase “resin is cheap” and it does not absolutely require the use of aerospace or commercial military processes to build an 18 foot 180 kilogram cat, but these processes are what we do use. Our process yields consistent, very high fiber content parts made with all directional aligned fibers and premium resins. Stronger hulls and a stiffer platform are the result.
A huge part of putting together a fast yet easy to use sail boat is the rig. We worked with Jay and Pease at Glaser Sails from the start of this to make sure we had a system that was the best. They have great experience in producing fast catamaran designs and were an integral part of the team to make sure we balanced the rig with what were designing the rest of the boat to be able to do. Their long standing involvement with the F18 class from the beginning as a sail builder and racer was a big boost to our projects success.
- Polished gel coat with all seams faired and finished
- Spin rigged and race ready
- Wing section mast
- Turn buckle adjustment on all stays
- 10:1 main
- 16:1 downhaul
- Continuous jib system
- Continuous downhaul with removable base at mast for easy storage or travel
- Self tacking jib system
- Adjustable jib halyard
- Quick release mast rotation system
- High aspect foils
- Long dagger boards (Regular size also available)
- SNU snuffer system
- Glaser Pentex sails
- Spectra trap wires
- Recessed dagger board trunks
- EVO foam decking, in a selection of colors
- Adjustable foot straps
- Dagger board pullup lines
- Premium lines