"Nacra" redirects here. For North American and Caribbean Rugby Association, see North America Caribbean Rugby Association.

NACRA (North American Catamaran Racing Association) is a class of racing catamarans originating in the USA with adoption in Europe, Australia, and many island nations. Within the NACRA class are a variety of catamaran sizes and styles ranging from resort hire boats to performance racing.


NACRA Catamarans since 1975

(California) 1968, Geoff Prindle decided to get into catamarans. The year that he founded Surfglas with his partner, Sterling Santley. He really got into the catamaran scene heavily and placed second at the USA nationals

1971, Prindle 16 goes into production – light, strong, and fast. The Prindle could cut smoothly through the water because of its fine bow entry and was not as susceptible to pitch poling as other similar designs. Two years straight, the boat won the “Most Efficient Catamaran Trophy” award at the Pacific Multihull Association’s World Speed Trials. 1972, NACRA started out as an Alpha cat besides Prindle, the first boat was the Alpha 18 and then the Alpha 15, which was a single handed boat, was to sail in the One of a Kind regatta in Newport Beach. Within this time frame Tom Roland had made a 18 foot cat that became the Nacra 18 square.

1975, Performance Cat Inc. came up with the NACRA 36 to promote the North American Catamaran Racing Association which is where the name NACRA came from. A 36 foot speed machine that did lot’s of promotion and is still going strong. The NACRA 5.5 was born as one up cat. NACRA in the early 80′s developed the 5.0 to also sell cats in the recreational market and this was quickly followed with the 5.7. and 5.8

1985, Roy Seaman made all the original NACRA hull plugs and developed the 6.0 to be the ultimate boat especially for the Worrell 1000 Extreme race, and won this race numerous times. The first NACRA 6.0’s had a self tacking jib and spinnaker. At the end of the eighties the 5.5 rig was changed into the 5.5 sloop.

1996, The formula 18 class was growing in Europe so NACRA launched the Inter 18. The NACRA Inter 20 was only a matter of time and sometimes sold by the dozen. By now importers and NACRA dealers all over the world were distributing NACRA catamarans; being super successful in racing and recreational sailing cats.

The Nacra 17 catamaran was selected for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the sailing category "mixed multihull".


  • A fully battened, boomless mainsail
  • Adjustable diamond spreaders
  • Mesh trampoline
  • Adjustable kick-up rudder system
  • Early models featured vertically split molds with hand-laid fiberglas which evolved to molded foam sandwich hulls. Newer boats are made from Vinylester foam sandwich.
  • One piece extruded masts and beams
  • Dacron sails
  • Foam core battens

Current and notable past models

Model Period Length Over All Beam Weight Sail Area Spinnaker Crew Comments
14sq late 1980s-Early 1990s 4.5m 2.44 105 kg 14m² Optional 1 Daggerboards
4.5 4.50 m 2.44 m 120 kg 17.5 m² Optional 1-2 Skegs
460 4.50 m 2.35 m 142 kg 15.2 m² - 1-2 Skegs
Blast 4.80 m 2.45 m 159 kg 15.6 m² 12.55 1-2 Skegs. Design: Alain Comyn
16sq 5.0m 2.5m 130 kg 16 m² Optional 1 Daggerboards
5.0 1985 5.0 m 2.44 m 130 kg 19 m² - 2 Skegs. Design: Roy Seaman
500 5.0 m 2.44 m 150 kg 17.6 m² 17 m² 1-2 Skegs
5.2 1979-mid-80 5.2 m 2.44 m 170 kg 20.43 m² - 2 Daggerboards
F17 5.20 m 2.44 m 156 kg 15.25 m² 17 / 19 m² 1 Daggerboards
Nacra 17 2012 5.25 m 2.59 m 132 kg 18.25 m² 18.5 m² 2 curved Daggerboards. Design: Morelli und Melvin
18sq 5.48m 3.35 m 18m² 1 Daggerboards
F18 Inter 18 5.52 m 2.6 m 180 kg 20.45 / 21.15 m² 19/22 m² 2 F18 class boat. Design: Morelli und Melvin
F18 Inter 2 5.52 m 2.6 m 180 kg 20.45 / 21.15 m² 19/22 m² 2 F18 class boat. Design: Alain Comyn
F18 Infusion 5.52 m 2.6 m 180 kg 20.45 / 21.15 m² 19/22 m² 2 F18 class boat. Design: Morelli und Melvin
5.7 5.67 m 2.44 m 163 kg 21.3 m² - 2 Skegs
570 5.65 m 2.44 m 163 kg 21.1 m² 21 m² 2 Skegs
5.8 1985 5.8 m 2.5 m 160 kg 22.8 m² - 2 Daggerboards. Design: Roy Seaman
580 5.8 m 2.44 m 188 kg 22.1 m² 23 m² 2 Daggerboards
6.0 6.10 m 2.59 m 191 kg 24.5 m² 2 Daggerboards
N20 6.12 m 2.6 m 192 kg 20.45 / 24.9 m² 25 m² 2 Formula 20 class boat


External links

  • NACRA class association
  • Nacra Europe
  • Brisbane Catamaran Centre, Australian NACRA manufacturer
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