Not my idea - but I'm going to do what I can to help build interest and spread the word among the tinkerers, inventors, and other creative small boat builders and sailors.
This class is modeled after the small boat class in Italy called "Classe Diecipiede" which essentially is just a 10 foot rule, nothing else. More simple then the already simple PDR class.
But, as you can see from the photos shown here of the boats in their 10-foot class - they get an enormous amount of interest in a wide range of boat types.Born from a discussion on the multihulls maillist (steamradio), where there were questions raised about what would stimulate new participants in sailing and racing which degenerated, as is typical when there's a variety of persons with strong interest and ideas, into various debates on what the rules should be.
The discussion - not the conclusions - pointed to a split between those looking for rules governing everything (including attempts to control costs), or a design contest for a new and better one-design (multihull naturally), or some new small boat development class. I favor the latter so I'm throwing my oar in and starting it off by outlining the rationale (as I see it) and a proposed rule.
The above mentioned Classe Dieci Piedi struck me especially in the way that their rule was very little rule at all and clearly included all types of boats - and strangely enough, had a wide range of types involved in the races. From scows to trimarans and even proas.
To my way of thinking that is a great development class that a lot of people can bring their preferences to the design game and not be excluded -- thereby not ruling out folks that might be interested otherwise.
So back to the intentions behind the rule... boats will be able to be built with 8 foot plywood panels based on a single scarf and most boats can be built in a standard car garage. Small enough and light (weight & $$) enough to be a reasonable parent/child project. Simple enough to be able to pirate rigs and gear from a variety of existing small boats. Open enough rule to bring in a wide range of existing boats. Big enough to be useful for family sailing, weekend gunkholing, and raid events.
And not to be forgotten - the good old days, when we long in the tooth multi-hullers were uniformly ruled out of most organized racing - this rule will NOT rule any boats out based on hull type, period.
The point here is NOT a specific length, its about picking a length that includes LOTS of existing boats (two sheets of plywood long is a popular cutoff for home builders) and is a length that would attract new builders of beach cruisers and expedition sailors as newcomers.
So, to a rule:
BOA includes everything fixed or movable.
No trapeze/hiking/wings outside the 15 ft boa (i.e. crew inside the gunwale)
No fixed ballast. Water ballast may be allowed when singlehanded.
No limitations on hull shape, number of hulls, etc.
Underwater foils limited to vertical surfaces only. The class is not intended to promote 'moth foiler' type boats.
If sail area becomes part of the rule, then it would include the area of the mast in profile to account for wing masts / solid sails.
Some of the already popular and well proven small boats that would fit inside the class rules.
Michael Storer: fabulous "Goat Island Skiff" -or his currently under development "Raid41"
Graham Byrnes: "Core Sound 15" -pump it up-
John Welsford: "Saturday Night Special" -not officially released yet- which is a slick design that would stretch to the class limit nicely.
Richard Woods: builds his "Strike 15" shows (see YouTube) that it's fast.
Already have a boat up to 15.9 feet long? It probably meets the class rules - just bring it to any Quindici Regatta and come sailing! If it is close to the limits then ask for a vote of the attending skippers and you will probably be welcomed to join the racing as a "friend of the family" contestant.
My working title for the class is "Classe Quindici" (class 15) - paying homage to the Italian pioneers of the basic framework.