The F16 class has quickly established itself as one of the fastest growing multihull organizations. This is primarily due to the class’s unique combination of performance and versatility. The design concept has and continues to prove itself.
Following the very successful introduction of the Blade F16, the Falcon Marine team has now introduced the latest in F16 technology and development; the FALCON F16. Continuing with the tradition of the F16 class and what was started with the Blade, we have continued to refine the state
of the art in hull design, rig technology and manufacturing processes.
The F16 has a huge power to weight ratio and this allows it to be sailed very fast. Initial feedback from sailors racing these boats in a variety of conditions was that in steady winds and low chop, they felt they could really go on this platform regardless of the wind speed. In a short steep chop with gusty wind conditions, the boat became a handful to sail off the wind. Working with the latest trends in hull design philosophy the Falcon Marine team developed the new F16, the Falcon. Lowering the placement of the hull volume to help with dynamic lift, raising the freeboard to prevent beam slap, moving the rocker to prevent tripping in waves and significantly increasing the bow volume while moving the rig aft have all contributed to making a platform that is significantly easier to drive off the wind in rough conditions. The boat has a very balanced volume distribution to help minimize pitching and smooth lines to shed waves. The freeboard and volume changes make the Falcon feel much larger than previous designs, is capable of being pushed much harder off the wind and should make this model capable of competing with an even larger range of effective crew weights. Combine all of this with some very sharp styling, and the Falcon is the new benchmark in F16 development.
The engine in any rig is the sails. The Falcon Marine team has a long standing relationship with Pease and Jay Glaser of Glaser sails in developing and refining the sail package for these boats. Glaser sails is one of the leaders in performance sail design technology, making World champion sails for classes such as the 505, I14, A Class and Tornado. The Glasers' hands on approach to providing the sail and rig development matching the boats performance with mast and sail combinations, combined with their attention to detail and consistent loft quality, means the sail packages provided on the Falcon Marine boats is second to none. The materials are chosen for performance and durability. Even if you do not plan to race, all sailors will appreciate a well designed rig layout. Balance and the ability to be able to tune the sails to a wider range of wind conditions are but a few of the advantages to a properly designed sail set.
Matched to the sail combination is the wing section mast on the Falcon. This light weight, high proven performance section helps give the rig its power. Wing section masts provide two main advantages over the more traditional tear drop section masts. First, the wing section provides a much smoother transition of the wind over the leading edge of the sail aiding the lift and reducing drag. In addition, because the wing section has such differing chord lengths, by adjusting the mast rotation, the rig is much more tunable to varying wind conditions than the tear drop sections. With the advent of the new big head sails, the useful range of the sail package has been greatly increased. Being able to power up much sooner in lighter winds, while also being able to depower in big winds, all with the same set up, makes the Falcon a joy to sail. A carbon wing section mast developed for this boat is also available for those looking for added features.
The selection of hardware, the layout and operation of the sail control systems for the Falcon F16 have been developed not only from input of several professional catamaran racers and National champions, but by the Falcon marine team using these systems in races. Matt McDonald with his wife Gina have raced the F16 since its major introduction in the US. While being competitive around the race course, we like to refer to these boats as being “Gina friendly”. Creating the systems that are not only the fastest for racing, but easiest on the crew and in locations that make sense has been our priority. Racing crews appreciate not having to work as hard, but keeping mixed crews, youth and most importantly single hander’s on a platform that is manageable is key to getting people to come back. A happy crew is a fast crew and the F16 concept is about performance fun.
A focus of the composites industry is move towards manufacturing processes that produce fewer emissions into the atmosphere. Traditionally close molded techniques such as infusion and RTM were not capable of providing the part consistency and extremely high fiber ratios required in producing the light weight hulls of the F16. Vacuum bagging and vacuum consolidation were used to fabricate the lightest, highest fiber ratio laminates. As Falcon Marine works extensively with the development of new products and new materials for a variety of industries, we are continually working with new materials and advancements in processing technology. We continually are working with the newest in materials and supplies as they become available, and in some cases are involved directly in the development of the new technology or processes. Following an extensive 2 year R&D effort, Falcon Marine has developed a laminate and process to build the newest F16 hulls using a modified infusion process. Our process now is able to use a new thermo-formed 33% thicker core for added hull stiffness. No less than 5 different fiber styles and orientations are used in the laminate to provide the strength but keep the finished weight of our boats at the minimum. Continued refinements to the molding system and the joining/manufacturing processes means the Falcon F16 is the premier F16 platform on the market.