If you are looking for the ideal class of boat to sail or build a fleet around, we suggest that before reading this section you first look at How to Choose a Class, to acquire perspective from which to interpret the discussion of the CR 914 that follows.
The 914 millimeter-long CR 914 is based on the original design of the International America's Cup Class. Because the CR 914 is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased fully built or can be assembled from a kit without special skills or tools, it qualifies as an entry-level class. But it is also a high performance racing machine that accelerates quickly, turns on a dime and points like a tour guide.
It sails well in an extremely wide range of wind velocities, without having to use multiple rigs for light and heavy air like some other classes must do. Weighing only 6.25 pounds and carrying 658 square inches of sail area, it ghosts amazingly well in the lightest of air. Ballasted by over four pounds of lead in the streamlined bulb at the end of its deep fin keel, however, this remarkable little boat readily handles a 20 knot wind and can keep racing in gusts to 30 without shortening sail.
The hull and deck are cast as one piece of ABS plastic. The high-aspect-ratio foil-shaped rudder and keel fin are molded with their shafts installed. The spars are made of aluminum tubing, the keel bulb is a shaped lead casting, and the sails are dye-cut from lightweight rip-stop polyester spinnaker cloth. Kits come from the US distributor with complete electronics, a boat stand, epoxy and cyanoacrylic glue, and an "upgrade package" that has been developed in the United Stares to overcome a few minor shortcomings in the original kit that were identified early in our experience with the boat. You get all the parts, reinforcing materials, fasteners and everything else you need to build and sail the CR 914 except sandpaper and batteries—oh, yes, before you can go sailing you also need some water. Kits, partially built boats, finished boats ready to sail, and boats with custom paint jobs and special graphics can be ordered from the US distributor, Chesapeake Performance Models, which also carries a full line of parts and accessories.
OUR CLASS ORGANIZATION
In a one-design class the objective is for the performance of the boats to be equal. The CR 914 is one of only a very few truly one-design classes in which you can be completely confident that when you win or lose a regatta it's because of how you sailed and tuned your boat and not whether someone bought or built a faster boat, spars or sails, thus defeating you in the "arms race" that often complicates sailboat racing. It takes more than a set of rules to achieve this sort of truly level playing field. From the beginning, both the leaders of the CR 914 class organization and the companies that have marketed the boat have been dedicated to true one-design principles. The CR 914 class, like all the classes in AMYA, is administered by the class secretary. In addition, however, our class benefits from the wisdom and experience of the immediate-past class secretary, who in his newly created role as class measurer is responsible for issuing interpretations of the class rules, and seven other members of the Class Advisory Committee who help the secretary make decisions about class issues, select host clubs and venues for regional and national championship events, etc. At present the class leadership consists of the following CR 914 sailors:
Ernest Freeland Annapolis, Maryland