Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Rule 40 and Throw-able Device

J. Conal Lancaster
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Race Officer In Training
While reviewing a NOR for a forthcoming Regatta for multihulls I was drawn to the requirement placed in the NOR for PFDs to be worn at all times while on the water. There were also specific types of PFDs that were allowed. Since all my racing experience has been in monohulls I had questions for the members of the Race Committee regarding PFDs and anything unique to multihulls. Upon further review I discovered that these 16 ft., 18 ft. and 20 ft. cats don't sail with any throwable devices (Class IV PFDs). Since the Prescription to RRS 40 requires conformance to all government regulations regarding life-saving equipment how do the 16 foot plus multihulls race with no throwable? Are they considered two canoes or kayaks strapped together? (racing canoes and kayaks are exempt under CFR 175.15 (b). Can NORs or SIs handle the lack of throwable?   
Created: 20-Jun-17 11:21

Comments

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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Created: 20-Jun-17 11:47
Leo Reise
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
In Canada, the boat regs are federal laws.  They have a specific exemption for boats other than canoes, kayaks etc. in or preparing for competition.  The safety equipment is that which the governing body of the sport requires.
Created: 20-Jun-17 13:49
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
I'll preface this by saying I've raced small catamarans ("beach cats") at a high level for almost 50 years.  I still do.  I'm the current Race Director for the North American Hobie Class.  I was a judge at the Hobie 16 Worlds in Florida last year and conducted the PFD inspections prior to competitor check-ins.  You would be appalled at the condition/size of some of the PFDs I inspected.  (We weighed competitors and ensured the PFD was appropriately sized.)

Non-USCG approved "buoyancy aids" made to the 50N CE standard are extremely popular with beach cat racers. They're less cumbersome on boats that can be very athletic.  Type IV  cushions are almost never carried on racing beach cats.  Mine have long since been relegated to gardening seats, especially since I race single-handed boats now.

Note that I'm distinguishing racing (typically around buoys) vs. day sailing.  Racing tends to be a fairly controlled environment; there's lots of other boats, including dedicated safety boats.  Day sailing is a completely different thing, as are point-to-point distance races.  Full compliance with USCG regulations is required for those activities - no argument.

There are three levels of requirements for PFD usage in the US for the Hobie Classes:
  • US Coast Guard (and sometimes state law enforcement) requirements.
  • The RRS, specifically, the US Sailing Rx to RRS 40
  • International Hobie Class Assn. Class Rules, specifically General Class Rule 8.1 - "The boat shall be equipped with a personal flotation device (PFD)/life jacket at the correct weight category for each crew member to the minimum standard ISO 12402-5 (CE 50 Newtons), or USCG Type III, or Level 50 (previously AUS PFD 2) or Level 50S (previously AUS PFD 3). The IHCA strongly recommends that life jackets or PFDs be worn at all times."

For small events, competitors look the other way and take their chances with law enforcement.  The RC will not protest and there is rarely a jury on site.

For Hobie Class North American events, we declare them to be "International Events" and via the US Sailing Rx to RRS 88.2, the Rx to RRS 40 is deleted.  This is done in the NOR, so that competitors know that they can bring their 50N Zhik PFDs (by far and away the most popular).  PFD protests involving class rule 8.1 are made not protestable by a boat, TC or the RC, only the PC.  The Chief Judge is briefed beforehand by the class that only the most egregious violations should be considered for protest.  And again, we take our chances with law enforcement.  To my knowledge, no one has ever been issued a ticket by law enforcement nor has there ever been a PFD protest at a major Hobie event in the last 15 years.

Is it right?  Not 100%, but it's what the competitors want.  If the intent is to enforce full compliance with USCG regs, then put it in the NOR so people know to bring their Type III PFDs.  Good luck with the Type IVs.  I haven't seen one on a racing catamaran in many years.

Zhik introduced a USCG approved vest late last year.  I tried it for the first time about 2 weeks ago.  It's a bit bulkier than the 50N version (yes, I own one of those too), but not much.  That may make some inroads to the current policy, but it's going to take a long time.
Created: 20-Jun-17 14:54
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Matt .. when reading the Hobie article .. it would seem to me that rigging a way to strap a tossable seat someplace out of the way would be an easy way to tick a box and be done with it.  Given the need in the US, I would have thought (not being a Hobie sailor, but my inner engineer talking) that a pocket of some sort would be build into the design of the trampoline.
Created: 20-Jun-17 15:31
J. Conal Lancaster
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Race Officer In Training
0
Thank you everyone. I can relax knowing as a member of a RC or PC I can overlook the grey area of Type IV PFDs based on precedent and common practice. I love this forum!! 
Created: 20-Jun-17 19:27
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
Ang, I agree it sounds simple - but not really in practice.  Class-legal Hobie Cat trampolines are only made by Hobie Cat.  They're the highest quality (nobody else has heat-welded seams), but they don't have Type IV pockets.  You would have to take it to an upholstery or canvas shop to add one.  Anything on top of the trampoline would get in the way, so for many years, we strapped them under the center lacing, as far forward as they would go (at least on the Hobie 16).  And there they stayed.  In all the years I carried one, I never used it. Ever.

The boat I race now (Hobie 17) is so low to the water that putting a Type IV under the trampoline isn't an option - it would drag in the water downwind.  Sure, I could put it on top, but then it interferes with the boom (which attaches at the base of the mast) and the mast rotation control.  It's also unrealistic to carry a throwable on a singlehanded boat that doesn't like to sit still unless there's a hand on the tiller.  By the time I got it free, I'd be tearing off out of control downwind and in danger myself.

The Type IV "one-size fits all" standard has never really worked for high-performance boats.  When was the last time you saw a 49er, an A-Class Cat, F-18 or a NACRA 17 carry a Type IV? (They are all over 16 ft. long.)  
Created: 20-Jun-18 03:50
Gordon Davies
Nationality: Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Here in Ireland PFDs must be worn at all times when afloat on boats under 7 metres. ISO standard buoyancy aids are considered appropriate for dinghies, including racing multihulls, keelboats and on inshore cruiser racing. At internationa events we often have to remind visiting competitors, and especially coaches of this rule.

As an IJ I have been at events were the Measurer/Equipment Inspectors have refused certain PFDs because they did not have the correct certification.

Another example, French regulations specifically exempt small boats racing or training from certain regulations, including carrying 'throaways' and applying the class rules. This on condition that there is appropriate patrol boat coverage.

Gordon


Created: 20-Jun-18 08:47
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Conal re: “I can relax knowing as a member of a RC or PC I can overlook the grey area of Type IV PFDs based on precedent and common practice.”

I’m very uncomfortable with that as a conclusion. 

Certainly, it’s common for an RC to decide what rules they are going to protest a boat.  Rule 28? 31? but not 10 or 11.  Likewise, if the PC is on the water, agreeing to what they will call and the parameters of the infractions.   In that context, I think it’s fine for an RC or PC to decide they are not going to proactively protest a boat for the lack of a throwable. 

That said, IMO a PC can not ignore a rule infraction that comes before them because a majority of the competitors agree it should be ignored.  If a protest comes before the PC, they would have to call the balls and strikes based on where the ball crosses the plate. 

Since this is a US thing, US Sailing should be working with US Coast Guard to get more leeway. 

PS: an exemption for a throwable when all crew are required to wear a USCG PFD at all times seems to be the easy fix. 
Created: 20-Jun-18 10:58
J. Conal Lancaster
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Race Officer In Training
0
This string of comments is exactly why I brought it up in the first place. What am I supposed to do as a PC Judge and I know of CFR Subpart B 175.15 (b), the Prescription to RRS 40, Hobie International Class Association Rule 8.5, and then comments from Judges that the competitors don't like the throwables and it's too difficult to carry/stow them. I don't want to stir up anything here. I don't believe throwables are necessary for these types of boats and races. I would never protest as a competitor, but what are my options as a Judge or PRO? Can I change the throwable requirement with the NOR or SIs? Thank you Ange for picking up on my casual blow off of the rules. It worked. Now someone please advise me what to do about Type IV PFDs for my forthcoming Multihull Regatta.
Created: 20-Jun-18 13:41
J. Conal Lancaster
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Race Officer In Training
0
This string of comments is exactly why I brought it up in the first place. What am I supposed to do as a PC Judge and I know of CFR Subpart B 175.15 (b), the Prescription to RRS 40, Hobie International Class Association Rule 8.5, and then comments from Judges that the competitors don't like the throwables and it's too difficult to carry/stow them. I don't want to stir up anything here. I don't believe throwables are necessary for these types of boats and races. I would never protest as a competitor, but what are my options as a Judge or PRO? Can I change the throwable requirement with the NOR or SIs? Thank you Ange for picking up on my casual blow off of the rules. It worked. Now someone please advise me what to do about Type IV PFDs for my forthcoming Multihull Regatta.
PS. Back to you Ange. The requirement for wearing PFDs at all times is invoked in the NOR for the forthcoming Regatta so can I exempt the throwable requirement in the SIs?
Created: 20-Jun-18 13:52
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Con, the US Sailing Prescription which ties in the "life saving equipment" modifies Part 4, Rule 40 .. neither of which are listed as excluded from change in Rule 86.  Seems to me that makes it fair game for modification in the NOR/SI's.  It won't make it "legal" .. and the harbor police could still hand someone a ticket for failing a safety inspection.

As Matt points out, you'd also need to look at the OD rules to the extent that they speak to it, changing an OD rule with an SI/NOR requires cooperation and sign-off from the fleet governance.  Not that it can't be done, but you'll have to get a "Rule 87 Letter" and coordinate the change with those OD Rules.
Created: 20-Jun-18 14:25
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Matt, I'm not that familiar with the details of beach cats generally or Hobies specifically, but I wonder if the Type IV problem could be approached from the other direction - could someone design a type IV compliant device that could be stowed in a readily accessible place on a beach cat?

I can see where getting the USCG cert and a relatively small market slice might make it cost-prohibitive, but just throwing out an idea. 
Created: 20-Jun-18 14:52
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
Ang - the US Sailing Rx to RRS 88.2 "prescribes that the sailing instructions shall not change or delete ... its prescription(s) to rule(s) 40 . . ."  So unless it's an "international event," you can't touch the RRS 40 Rx.

Come to think about it, It says nothing about the NOR doing that, though. I'll bet that oversight gets corrected in about 6 months, when the new book comes out.  Obviously an oversight, since the current book is the first one that allows the NOR to change rules.

Con - you can't make the Type IV requirement go away in the SIs.  What you can do it make it non-protestable/redressable by a boat or the RC.  Something along the lines of, "The USCG requirement to carry a Type IV throwable shall not be subject to protest or a request for redress by a boat or the race committee.  This changes rules 60.1(a), 60.1(b), 60.2(a) and 60.2(b)."  Another thing in your favor is that multihull sailors in general are very laid back and there's a lot of peer pressure not to file "BS protests."  There have been several professional monohull sailors that attempted to "infiltrate" the Hobie 16 class - when they didn't immediately do as well as they thought they should, they started stretching the equipment rules. They were encouraged to find another class that suited their culture.  No protests were ever filed - they just went away.

Tim - if you want to go down the deep, dark world of PFD specifications, may I present the USCG page on PFDs - https://www.dco.uscg.mil/CG-ENG-4/PFD/  And the attendant specification for just one type of a Type IV throwable - https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=fbdbc2b937863fa9d3f1db073cd757eb&mc=true&node=sp46.6.160.160_1049&rgn=div6.  In short, the USCG recognizes only 3 basic shapes of throwable - ring, horseshoe and cushion.  It would take years and lots of $$$ to get a new type approved.

I should also mention that US Sailing receives significant funding from the USCG.  In 2018, they reported $312,491 of "Federal, State and Local Grants."  That represents about 3% of their income that year.  They are not going to bite that hand.
Created: 20-Jun-18 15:43
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Thanks Matt ... bad miss on my part. 

Well, back to getting USS to work with USCG to mod the throwable req in open boats where PFD’s are req’d at all times. 
Created: 20-Jun-18 16:10
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Yeah, I figured that the specs and approval process would be the rub. Interesting that they make one of the required form factors ideally suited for use as a seat cushion, but then say you should never ever sit on it...

Another thing that might be thrown in to the mix - could the SI's make a breach of the US Rx to rule 40 a discretionary penalty where, if protested, the PC would have latitude to just issue a warning or admonishment to the competitor?
Created: 20-Jun-18 16:10
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
The US Prescription which prevents the change of USSP 40 is shall not "change or delete". It's an interesting question if one can be clever and find a way to establish a [DP] for this specific offense without crossing the line of " .. shall not change  ...".  Typically, assigning a rule to [DP] is done by declaring that the NOR/SI changes the rule in doing so.
Created: 20-Jun-18 16:45
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Matt re:  "The USCG requirement to carry a Type IV throwable shall not be subject to protest or a request for redress by a boat or the race committee.  This changes rules 60.1(a), 60.1(b), 60.2(a) and 60.2(b)." 

That might work.   I'd add 60.3(a,b) in there too for good measure.
Created: 20-Jun-18 16:54
J. Conal Lancaster
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Race Officer In Training
0
Thanks again, Guys. RRS 88.2 clearly states: "The notice of race or sailing instructions may change a prescription." The Prescription to that rule only excludes the sailing instructions from changing the prescriptions to rule 40. Being specific to the SIs indicates to me that NORs can change those rule 40 prescriptions. These competitors don't have throwables and never protest so it won't be an issue to put this change into the NOR.
Created: 20-Jun-18 17:35
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Con .. I'm not sure about that.  J2.2(4) states that it's the SI's that have to list changes to Prescriptions .. not the NOR.

PS: Matt's SI change to 60.1/.2/.3 is your best bet I think.
Created: 20-Jun-18 18:04
J. Conal Lancaster
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Race Officer In Training
0
"Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in." I don't think I have studied my rule book as much in a long while. The first sentence to 88.2 was new to RRS 2017 - 2020 so the authors were intent on letting the NOR and SIs change the prescriptions, just like 86.1(b) allowed them to change rules (with exceptions) and 87 allowed NOR and SIs to change Class Rules (also with caveats). I also believe the suggested wording from Matt and yourself covers it without messing with prescriptions so I will incorporate it and hope I'm not chastised by my RAJ. Lots of discussions over a throw cushion! 
Created: 20-Jun-18 22:16
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
Ang - I believe you can make a breach of the US Sailing Rx to rule 40 a discretionary penalty since you're not changing the rule - you're changing the penalty for breaking it - RRS 64.1.
Created: 20-Jun-19 02:21
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
I don't think you're even changing 64.1 since it explicitly says "unless some other penalty applies." 
Created: 20-Jun-19 03:32
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