Raptor 16, Raptor 17.5, Slatts 22


The Raptor 16, Raptor 17.5 and the Slatts 22 were all made the companies associated with John Slattebo. The distinguishing feature of all three craft was a pivoting foil, which on one tack created lift, and on the opposite tack provided downforce. The Slatts 22 came first and was sold under the company Hydro-flight, at a later time John started a new company called Hydrovisions. Hydrovisions sold a craft called the Raptor 16, this company went out of business in 2009

One individual(EddieVB) bought a Raptor 16, and extended it to 17.5ft and called it the Raptor 17.5 expedition

As the Hydrovisions company is no longer, information on these boats in limited. Currently by far the best available information can be found at this website, raptor-uk.net, which is created by a Raptor 16 customer, David. Thus David's website is presently the best information on the Raptor 16. His website can be found HERE

The Raptor 16 is a very narrow craft, and thus is sleek enough to be paddled at a reasonable speed. The hull is fully enclosed and is thus watertight. Because it has low freeboard, windage is minimised, all these features combined make the Raptor 16 a very easy craft to paddle. Thus an engine is totally uneccessary. The rig is modern, large and powerful, with a high aspect ratio, logic suggests that it would point quite high into the wind. Looking at the photos it seems that lateral resistance is due to a high aspect ratio dagger-board.

What can we say about these craft. First the concept undoubtedly works. The foil is apparently rotated so that when the outrigger is to windward, it slopes down thus creating downforce. When the boat tacks, the angle of the foil is adjusted slightly to create lift. In theory this gives a very high performance boat. Once the system has been worked out and people know how to use it, the boats were apparently quite popular with those who used them. One thing of note is that because the foil only provides downforce when the boat is moving, it is essential to keep the boat moving through a tack in stronger winds, otherwise there will not be sufficient downforce to provide stability for the boat.

Note that there was one Slatts 22 bought by Charlie Magee, he made some modifications and he renamed his boat as a Different 22,

At risk of overstating my postion, lets try and work out why the company folded. It seems that the boats were quite expensive and being unusual looking that probably limited the number of people that would buy them. When the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2009 apparently the company was not able to survive. My personal opinion (for what it is worth) is that these were/are well designed boats, fast and no doubt fun to sail, but perhaps a bit too expensive and complicated for what the market could bare.

Some information on sailing canoes can be found at the Open Canoe Sailing Group, which is based in Britain, the link for this group can be found HERE

STOP PRESS - I have had an email from John Slattebo, and it seems that he may be restarting production of the Raptor 16 Some more information can be found HERE
Please note that John's email address is raptor16 at sbcglobal.net