Crew weighing is becoming increasingly common throughout the sport when a maximum total weight of a boat's crew is specified in the Class Rules and/or Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions.
The boat owner's objective is to have a total crew weight at or near the optimum. This can mean starving and exercising the crew before the weigh-in to be under the maximum weight, then feeding them again for the races.
The best practice is a system where crews weigh in before the regatta and at some stage during the regatta. At a high-level event, daily crew weigh ins for all crew should be considered. At other events, sufficient weight ins should be done to prevent the practice of starvation and binge eating.
Some class rules require random weighing of a set percentage of the crews periodically through the regatta.
A typical sailing instruction would be 'the total weight of the boat's crew dressed in a minimum of shorts and T-shirts shall not exceed 450 kilograms at the time of weighing. Crews shall present themselves for weighing between [time] and [time] on [date].'
The organizing authority must provide an accurate weighing machine (either a balance arm weighing machine, or pressure pads fed to an electronic read-out), and make it available for use by competitors for checking their own weight. If a spring balance is to be used, a standard test weight near to the critical weight should be on hand to verify the accuracy of the weighing machine. The current practice is to have the scales calibrated and certified by the local government authority who certifies the scale’s accuracy.
The responsibility for weighing rests with the race committee or the technical committee. However, it is wise for the protest committee to monitor the method and equipment. In this way, any shortcomings can be corrected before they cause problems which may result in a request for redress.
When stated in the class rules or Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, the race committee or the technical committee should carry out the weighing of clothing after racing to check the limit imposed by rule 43
, in accordance with Appendix H. A wise protest committee will monitor the method and equipment used.