Tiny 12s

America's Cup spawns replicas

Racing for the America's Cup is no cheap thrill. When the 12-meter sloops Liberty and Australia II begin tacking toward the Cup this week near Newport, R.I., multimillion-dollar investments will be on the line. With a length of about 65 ft., a sail area of 1,800 sq. ft. and a crew of ten, a yacht of this class needs a captain who is courageous with a checkbook. The Liberty and Australia II each cost an estimated $500,000 to build, excluding sails.

Boatbuilders, though, have now discovered a way for less wealthy...

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