Yachts of the Class are not identical but have to be strictly built as per the Class Rating Rules.
The 5.5mIC World Fleet Online Database estimates that approximately 800 boats have been built around the World.
The Class is divided into three divisions: Modern, Evolution and Classic
The Modern division in 5.5m racing is offering pure regatta excitement, which the current World Champion is commenting as
“.. Having sailed a lot of different sailing boats in my life the 5.5 mR is probably the best of them all. All the sailors in the class are fantastic people! The speed is more or less the same in all the modern boats. What makes the different is trimming the boats constantly to keep the speed up. The boat is also very tactical and sensitive how you steer and maneuver it. This is how it should be!…”
The Modern division includes all the boats with original measuring certificates dated after Januray 1st, 1994. The lines of the hull have been stretched to their maximum, the keel has become very small and includes a trim tab to generate a higher lift. The rudder has a larger surface to compensate that reduced of the keel. This is a new balance between these two appendices. The carbon fiber mast and boom are a must, the ballast keel has winglets and a trim tab. Most modern boats of recent years have been designed by Seb Schmidt (Geneva), other designers involved in producing fast lines for Modern boats are Doug Peterson and Ian Howlett. More designers are standing by to offer their ideas. Why 1994? A major breakthrough took place in 1990 when Chlika-Chlika SUI-169 hit the water in Geneva. Designed by Sébastien Schmidt and Philippe Meier, this boat was the symbol of a radical change in conception and approach. The hull had a different shape, the keel had winglets and a trim tab, every detail had been checked and optimized. With different crews Chlika-Chlika won many World and Swiss championships. As the Modern boats have developed further since, the Class has proposed to pass the earliest date of Modern boats to 1994.