Extracted from the AMYA IOM Class Page:
The International One Metre class is the fastest-growing class in the world. This class is distinct and different in purpose from the US One Meter class, and complements the International Marblehead Class as a simpler, less expensive boat. The International class has a one-design rig, and has minimum weights on the keel and overall, and restricts the hull material. The net effect of these differences is that the typical cost spiral of lighter weight, and more expensive materials and manufacturing processes, is arrested. This allows amateur designers and builders a chance to design and build with little concern that they are building in a disadvantage due to weight. This is a feature not found in any existing AMYA class, and is one of the reasons that the class is so popular around the world.
Where did the IOM class come from? The following information was posted on April 13, 2004 in the Wind Power forum by username IanHB in Wellington, New Zealand. It was in response to a discussion about the current high cost about new IOM's and the complexity of the rules.
The International One Metre was invented as a result of a questionaire to the radio yachting skippers of the time, back in the late 80s The results indicated to the "Technical Committee" of the time, led by Jan Demjo and including myself, that a new class of model yacht was considered desirable. It was IMHO influenced by the skyrocketing costs of the Marblehead class at that time. Nine rigs with carbon aerofoil masts etc.
The basic concept evolved by you the sailors was to be :
Low tech. (Anyone could build one)
Low cost. (No exotics allowed in construction)
Minimum number of rigs. (Cost again)
Simple sailplan. (For home building)
Removable fin. ( Easy check weighing)
Sensible weight requirements. (Durable, by unskilled builders)
The early rules as written, were simple, for a simple class. They would still be simple if it wasn`t for all you keen competitive types out there who want their boat to be just that little bit faster than the rest of the fleet. That is pretty well most of us really. (Boatspeed makes one look a clever tactician) So all the rule changes and clarification are as a result of somebody pushing the envelope. The ruling body is still trying to keep the class simple. I think they are doing a fine job and would suggest they deserve your full support and assistance. Look at the BIG picture. Be part of the numericaly largest model yacht class in the world. Lift up your eyes and look beyond just one metre in front of you.
There you go.