The 18HT is an open class of high performance catamaran carrying a mainsail and spinnaker and sailed by two persons. The 18HT boats are often designated as A-Cat for two persons. The boats have outstanding sailing characteristics, are light, dynamic and offer pure sailing fun. Like the A-Cat class, the 18HT class is an open class which means that everything that is not expressly prohibited is permitted.
This latest generation of 18 feett catamarans draws through its performance and speed and this mainly because of its high-tech hulls and its highperformance mast. Even under most difficult conditions these boats are extremly fast, agile and precise to handle. 18HT catamarans represent the latest evolution in technology.
Internationale 18HT Katamaran Klasse:
Length: 5,50 m
Contrary to other classes, the 18HT class is an open class. Only a few constructive caracteristics are defined. Because of these minimal construction rules like for example length, beam, sail area and weight, the manufacturers have the possibility to search for new and innovative construction solutions. Other constructive caracteristics like the form of the hulls or the sailcut are not predefined. Reagarding the construction quality of these boats, prices seem to be more than reasonable. For a 'ready to race' boat including the spinnaker system, prices are between CHF 21000.- and CHF 26000.- depending on the choosen model. Unfortunately for instance there are only very few used boats on the market. But do not hesitate to contact us, if you are interested and in search of one of them.
What means High Tech?
High-Tech depends esentially on the following four factors:
What are the origins of the class?
The basic idea was speed. The new catamarans of the X-class should be fast and easy to use. In 1990 Raymond Cattin from Biel (multiple champion on Hobie and Tornado) had the idea to build a measured sports catamaran whithout respecting any class construction rules.
Which dimensions to choose?
A maximum length of 20 to 21 feet seemed to be correct because of the stock possibilities in winter and the transportation limits in most of the european countries.
History went on in 1990 whith the 6,5 Hurricane Olma of Reg White. Under the deep impression that gave the new Ventilo 20 of Christian Favre and Gino Morelli the idea came up to build a catamaran which could be trailered whithout dismantling it. In 1995 Christian Favre reduced the beam of his Ventilo 20 from 3m to 2,5m. The fact that there was no measured mast for this new boat, he just took a 10m Hobie Miracle mast.
This 'new' boat was very fast on almost all winds but nevertheless the one-handed A-Cat still dominated on upwind courses. So the A-Cat mainsail of Giorgio Zuccoli was projected to the bigger mast and the Ventilo won in 1996 the Multilario on the Lake of Como in front of 80 other concurrents.
After several tests and a few major damages the swedish manufacturer Marström built two new, more rigid masts and Christian Favre delivered brandnew and lighter hulls in carbone. The initial trim was realised with GPS and the result was really impressive. The new Ventilo was fast, very fast. It won almost every regatta and so the F20 Association banned this beautiful boat from the class.
But nevertheless the different manufacturers continued their developpment and wanted to push their construction even further. The ultimate aim was to build the fastest 20 feet catamaran ever built. Therefor the beam of the boats was increased again to 2,70m and 3,05m.
This project would never had been possible whithout the help of Christian Favre, Goran Marström, Reg White, Giorgio Zuccoli, Michelangelo Petrucci und Gino Morelli. All this developpments combined whith the experience out of the A-Cat series leaded to the new 18HT catamarans.
Remains here to list the manufacturers of this newes generation of 18 feet catmarans: Ventilo (Switzerland), BIM (Italy), Eagle (Germany), Stealth (UK) und Tomcat (France).