The Viper F16

 

The amazing bit about the F16 platforms is their ability to be sailed solo or two-up with a crew. FORMULA 16’s are really three boats in one! ONE, sail it solo. TWO, sail it crewed. THREE, add a spinnaker in either mode and it becomes a pocket rocket. These platforms are highly evolved, high powered and a pleasure to sail... fast! We were lucky in that we got Viper No. 1 first and so had a couple of good years with it before it caught on in the rest of the world!

 

Formula 16 is a box rule.
 

Parameters are set and as long as the boat measures within the ‘box’, it’s in the Class. It allows high-tech materials to be used in the construction of the platforms with the average weight across the Class now being 120 kgs fully rigged in two-man mode with three sails included. The original Taipan 4.9 was the platform from which the Class took its inspiration. Then an adaption of the F18 Rule set saw the new class introduced. The Taipan was also the first production cat to make it to the paltry weight of 105 kgs (without the spinnaker gear).

 

The Viper F16 was probably the first 16 foot design to be optimised for the Class.
It continues the lineage started by the Taipan and introduces design elements from her bigger sister - the Capricorn F18. It’s a product of Greg Goodall and encompasses some 40 years of cat racing experience at the highest levels of A Class and the formidable F18 Circuit.

 

The solo-sailor has a platform that is light, points extremely well upwind and the rocks downwind with the spinnaker. In sloop mode, the F16 really powers up with the addition of a crew and the jib. A lot of folks are still mistaken, the jib does not aid in pointing ability. Cat rigged F16’s will outpoint their sloop-rigged brethren. The only time a jib will really help is when cracked off-the-wind a little!

 

Knowing this fact, designers have now made the jibs into “blades” (as small as the rules allow) and then placed the ‘extra’ sail area onto the tops of the mainsails i.e. the big square heads! The squarehead main not only adds more power to the overall package it also induces twist easier so it’s a lot easier to de-power when the breeze gets up.

 

 

If you don’t have a self-tacker - you’re SLOW!
 

The best rig development has come in the form of self tacking jibs. If you’ve never experienced it you can’t possibly imagine what a difference it makes! When we first fitted one onto a Taipan the difference was quite an eye opener! The bit we really like about it is, the jib ‘pulls’ all the way through the tack..there is no back winding, no ‘fluffing’ jib - just a clean side-to-side transition. Downwind the self-tacker means you can really concentrate 100% on the main driving force - the spinnaker. Jibes are accomplished at will as the jib is so unobtrusive as to not be there!

 

But the F16 is really about versatility
 

You can take just about anybody out on one, experienced or not, and have a great day on the water. Technology and especially modern materials are wonderful things. 

 

They make our platforms stiffer and lighter at the expense of price. Depending upon currency fluctuations, an F16 can cost almost as much as an F18, the F18 costs almost as much as an N20... and so on... But the one sure thing that won’t change is... the way a well tuned Viper F16 accelerates!..

 

 

The Viper is addictive to sail

 

When we received Number One as the first production Viper in the world it caught on and our fleet soon grew. Now we have the ‘oldest Viper Fleet’ in the world in Singapore. But old does not mean slow!

 

 

Limited but available

We normally have a couple of very good condition Vipers on hand looking for good homes! Email us

 

Tips and tricks

If you'd like to know how to set the rig up, look in our Blog for that and more tips and tricks.

 

About the only drawback is...
The horn on the top of the rudder blade. Unless you are very careful when launching, this will com ea drift at some point. The way to avoid the situation is, when you are ready to sail off the beach,
- take the upper rudder arm
- unhook it from its retainer
- throw the arm upper rudder arm through 180 degrees so that it is almost into the water
- when you are really ready to lock the rudders down
- then grab the arm and in one movement, lock th eblade down

 

DO NOT do as most sailors do and just un hook the upper arm and let it lie alongside the tiller arm. The wave action sends the rudder moving from side to side and that's what snaps th ehorn off! You've been told!

The Viper is an evolution of the Taipan 4.9 which is an astonishing little boat. Although they are sister ships, there is 20 years of design process in between the two and the Viper gained the benefit of experience from the Capricorn F18. 
 

We love the Viper F16. It was the first 16 footer that we sailed that can give the hurry up to much bigger boats. Its got all the right 'goodies' - lift generating hulls, wave piercing hulls, high lift Carbon foils, wing section mast, 16:1 main down haul, 2:1 jib luff, squarehead main, self tacking jib etc...

 

When there were only 11 Vipers in all the world, we had 10 of them. That included Number One that is still sailing in our fleet now. 

 

The Viper is addictive. 

Throw the spinnaker up and take a step back on trapeze. The hulls generate lift and it'll soon be sitting up and planning like mad! The Viper is very deft in her handling. Sensitive on the helm the catch phrase for her is "steer by millimeters".

 

But the best way to experience the Viper is... In the hot seat! Contact us if you want to get bitten by the Viper!

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Designer

Greg Goodall

Length

5.0 m / 16.4 ft

Beam

2.5 m / 8.2 ft

Weight

Sloop 129 Kg / 284 lb

Uni 125 kg / 275 lb

Mast Height

8.5 m / 28 ft

Main Sail

15 m² / 162 ft²

Jib

3.7 m² / 40 ft²

Spinnaker

17.5 m² / 188 ft²

Builder

AHPC

 

GOODALL Viper F16