RYX Class

Dick is the man… he has been to the rodeo more than once.

I don’t know why it is… I guess because every day someone is banging me about carbon… but each time I write the check for that stuff… man… it is expensive for what you get.

Just returned from a trip to Michigan. Visited my friend and local catamaran dealer, and while there I had a chance to eyeball both the new Formula 17 from NACRA, and then peeked in his barn. Lo & behold - one of the original NACRA “A” Class boats! Almost wet my pants. Seems the owner is a guy who used to own a sister boat to my cat.

For those unaware - the A Class is an 18 foot (5.5 meter) long catamaran. It is 7.5 feet wide (narrow) and has a 31 foot tall carbon fiber mast with a single uni-rig. Wave piercing bows, and lots of carbon, Larry ! Being one of the first out of the Morrelli/Melvin design Shop, it was built of carbon, but with a balsa core. It has rather flat, wide cross beams with radiused edges but NO dolphin striker to support compression loads from the mast. The boards are very thin - less than 1/2 inch, and not very long - maybe 5 feet. What was interesting, is that the boards are only aboout 6-8 inches from front to trailing edge. They like the rudders, and rudder heads are all carbon as well. The hulls are canted outward slightly - maybe 10 degrees maximum, and go from super slim to very full just in front of the forward beam. Dealer indicated that while most think the bows would be down and slicing through the water, that upwind with skipper on the trap, the bow wave is nearly 12-18 inches back from the bow - behind the forestay tangs. The hull is pretty flat on the bottom, and of course has radial traveller with carbon hiking stick/tiller. Here is the “scary” part - this 18 foot platform, with sail, mast, two boards, two rudders, blocks, crossbeams, sheets weights ALL UP - 168 lbs. I picked up one bow with my bad left hand and was amazed to see the other bow rise in unison. I didn’t even feel the extra weight. I just can’t describe how light this boat was. Of course - new, the NACRA A-2 will run about $21,000 (U.S.) so I guess you are right Larry.

Anyway - we are going back for a graduation in late June, and I am going to take camera and see if he will let me carry it out of barn and onto the lawn to grab some photos.

Oh yea, the F-17 was pretty cool too! But being a two person cat, with spinnaker, I wasn’t too interested in that. Need a crew all the time !

Now if you could just find some grunty servos and maybe replace those centre boards with some Doug Lord type foils and then work out a system for moving a weighted dummy as moveable ballast, man that would be one fast RYX class craft.:bag::hammer::witch:

I know what you mean about the weight, it is stunning to pick up something that large and it weighs almost nothing. We had a picture at the other shop of my girlfriend holding the fuselage of my airplane with ONE HAND. The Fuselage, the entire thing, 26 lbs and it was 14’ long. (and it was NOT carbon… I can’t afford that stuff)

Larry - the details of major components - hulls are about 38 lbs.( or less) each and the 31 foot carbon Hall mast weighs in at a mere 25 lbs. !

Simply amazing - I still can’t comprehend the lightness of the entire boat.

ummmmm - thanks there Ian ! (I think ?) :icon_tong

Hmmm, looks like he assembled the hulls upside down Dick :devil3:

Muzza -
looks worse when viewed in real life. Actually, my 18 Square class boat or two that had hulls like this back in the early 1980’s (do things ever change?) - just not quite so radical. Even then other class sailors used to tease about upside down hulls. Took the Germans with their “Flyer” series of boats to prove less hobby horsing (and masts swinging too and fro) made for a generally faster boat.

In the case of the above photo - I posted one that I thought you guys from “almost down under” (You, Ian and a few others) - as opposed to the Aussies who are really down under if my geography serves me well …

Anyway - the sailor shown in the photo is Murray Philpott who won the New Zealand Nationals in 2005 and 2006 - this year with all “bullets” for finishes. Even with the leeward hull loaded up, and coming out of a wave - note how high the bows are out of the water. Only need them when the water is really rough.

Here is another photo (of Pete Melvin- designer) sailing in lighter winds and flat water. Note how far back the first bow wave is - and where the buoyancy is located in the hulls. I like this photo and use it to study the trim of a hull in the water. I think from the hull wave, it is a hull that is easily driven through the water. It also has the sterns free of the water which is releasing the water from any drag before it gets sucked back by a dragging transom.

I am wondering if there isn’t a VOR boat out there somewhere that will look like this? Although, I concede being a bowman trying to handle head sails could be a bit of a problem ! :sly: