Being the longer boat the N20 does have a higher handicap, but depending on wind conditions the F18 is sometimes faster. On most WRSC races the two sail together without handicaps, but on the Tuesday Night WRCRA races they do use a handicap system to score races. These are the fastest boats on the bay that you can buy without being rich; if you like sailing fast catamarans like these are the way to go.
The Nacra 20 fleet joined the WRSC in the 2000s and we later expanded the fleet to include the more modern F18 class which is 2 feet smaller but of similar speed. We usually go to a bar after races to discuss what a fun time we had. We are always happy to have new sailors in the fleet. I am glad to show beginners what these boats are about.
THE NACRA 20/F18
The N20/F18 fleet consists of two similar catamaran designs: the Nacra 20 and the Formula 18. The N20 is a 20-foot one design catamaran made by Nacra. The Formula 18, abbreviated F18, is a non-foiling, restricted development, formula-design sport catamaran class. It was started in the early 1990s and quickly grew getting class recognition by World Sailing, with large racing fleets all over the globe. Both the F18 and N20 sail with 3 sails: main, jib and Spinnaker, and they both sail with a 2-person crew.
I learned most everything I know about sailing here at WRSC and its sister organization where I started in 1999 (the West River Catamaran Racing Association ). I started with the WRCRA racing a Hobie 18. Even though the WRCRA uses a handicap system, many of us kept wanting faster sail boats so I progressed to a Nacra 5.8, then Nacra 6.0 and finally like most of the fleet settled on the Nacra 20.
The A Class catamarans are a part of the West River Catamaran google group. It's easy for anybody to join! This is how the fleet captain, the fleet, and others at WRSC communicate specifically to each other! All important fleet specific information is sent through this group. To join, send a blank email to for the admin to approve you.