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US Sailing announces new multihull safety equipment requirements and revisions for monohulls

by Jake Fish 4 Apr 2019 03:48 PDT
Offshore sailboat races © US Sailing

The US Sailing Safety Equipment Requirements (SER) for monohull sailboats have been revised and new multihull SERs have been approved and will be implemented in 2019.

The SERs describe the gear required to be used on sailboats when racing in most nearshore and offshore sailboat races in the United States. This information is intended to be used by race organizers, owners and boat inspectors. This list of equipment and boat characteristics will serve the needs of the majority of coastal and offshore racers in 2019.

The multihull SERs have been in development for over two years through the efforts of a group of dedicated rules and multihull experts who have collectively worked on this project and approved the final multihull SERs. Both the 2019 monohull and multihull SERs have been approved by US Sailing's Safety at Sea and Offshore Committees in February.

Although there is only one minor change to the monohull SERs this year, the multihull SERs are entirely new. The multihull SERs will likely be amended next year after it has been used in various events by those Organizing Authorities welcoming multihulls to their events.

The US Sailing SERs were initially compiled, with input from sailing communities around the country, to provide race Organizing Authorities an option to clearly specify safety equipment requirements and to provide the ability to modify those requirements for their particular event and venue.

The key differences between US Sailing's SERs and World Sailing's Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) are as follows:

  1. The SERs are simplified for yacht owners and pre-race inspectors.
  2. The SERs are self-contained and do not refer to external documents.
  3. The number of race categories has been reduced from seven to three: Nearshore, Coastal, and Ocean. Race organizers can add or delete requirements based on the nature of their individual races.
  4. The SERs are more compact and can easily be included in their entirety in a Notice of Race or on a yacht club website.
Each year the Safety at Sea sub-committee, comprising sailors from around the United States, considers possible changes to the SERs and proposes appropriate changes for final approval.

The SERs have the objectives of meeting the needs of the U.S. offshore sailing community while maintaining compatibility with the World Sailing OSRs. The goal is for offshore racing sailboats to compete internationally without modification, and for international boats to compete in U.S. events without modification.

The US Sailing SERs will be modified over time. Download the new requirements on the US Sailing website.

The US Sailing Offshore Department is led by dedicated volunteers and staff who provide guidance and services to the large-boat racing community to facilitate safe, fair, and accessible racing.

Our primary responsibilities include: Facilitating various big boat rating and handicapping services; assisting race organizers and fleet officials; issuing certified sail numbers per the Racing Rules of Sailing; contributing to World Sailing's OSRs and Equipment Rules of Sailing (ERS); and developing US Sailing's SERs.

For any questions pertaining to US Sailing's SERs or general inquiries for US Sailing's Offshore Department, please contact us at .

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