These F18 boats are equipped with asymmetric spinnakers, and as a result
they require a skilled and physically fit crew to be competitive. However,
many crews also use this catamaran for purely recreational sailing. Despite
their heavy construction, the F18 boats are quite fast, and the skill level
in this F18 class is second only to the Olympic Tornado class. Olympic
catamaran sailors can often been seen participating in F18 racing.
The F18 class has full racing circuits in many places around the globe.
Several thousand boats have been sold over the years. The F18 class is
a fully respected member of the main international catamaran classes,
alongside the A-cat, Tornado and Hobie 16. These four classes make up
the top in a sports catamaran scene that contains
tens of sub classes.
The Formula 18 class was the first sports catamaran class to use the
identifier "formula" and "F" in
the name. In this respect, and in its government of boats, it is similar to
the F1 car and motor racing. The success of the F18 class during the 1990s
quickly led to a proliferation of other formula classes like the F20 and F16
classes. The identifiers "formula" and "F" were first
well known in the early 1980s in relation to the bigger boats like
the F40 catamaran, F60 trimaran, F28 and others. None of those classes,
classified as sports or beach catamarans.