Boston Harbor Sailing Club...More Time on the Water...

Boston Harbor Sailing Club Special Rules,
Starting Sequence and Scoring System 2008

Special Rules

1. Hull Cleaning – No scrubbing allowed

2. Skipper ("anti-ringer") rule. A team member must skipper the boat. Guests are allowed as crew as long as guest arrangements are made through the club.

3. Rule 30.1 (c) ("round the end rule") is in effect for all starts.

4. Alternative penalties as specified by rule 44.2 shall be in effect. The club has modified this rule because of the short courses to be only one turn (360 degrees). However racing rules do apply between the BHSC and the PHRF fleets. A foul to a PHRF boat should be exonerated with two turns.

5. Collisions - All collisions must be reported to the race committee even if the alternative penalties are performed. Failure to report a collision will result in a DSQ.

6. Time limit - There is no race time limit. At the discretion of the race committee, any boat that has not finished ten minutes after the first boat may be scored as a DNF or given their position before finishing. The RC will signal this with repeated blasts of the horn and the flying of both the red and the blue flags. This gives the RC the ability to terminate a light air race where a few boats are far behind, in the interest of getting another race in before sunset.

7. Lights - The RC will try to get the boats back to the mooring area before sunset. Coast Guard regulations require lights after sunset. It is the teams' responsibility to have lights, as the boats are not equipped.

8. Protests - Protests will be heard after the races over dinner. The protesting team must at minimum present in writing: who they are protesting, which race, where within the race, and the proper rule.

9. Standing Rigging - It is illegal to adjust any of the standing rigging.

10. Spinnaker pole - It is illegal to reach or sail to weather with the spinnaker pole on the foredeck.

11.  Do not tie stop knots in the ends of the spinnaker sheets.

12. Commercial traffic General - The tugs with tows and the large tankers have right of way.  The race committee is in radio contact over channel 13 with this harbor traffic. The ferry and fishing boat traffic tend to get out of our way. Between races, as a courtesy, try to avoid the ferry traffic. Use your best judgment

13. Commercial Traffic Lead Boat - If you are in the lead and are about to cross in front of commercial traffic, estimate to the best of your ability if the remainder of the fleet can pass. If they cannot, it is your responsibility not to cross and to signal the rest of the fleet not to cross. The race may be abandoned at the discretion of the race committee.

14. Boat Return - The backstay should be set to medium tension. boat is back at the moorings.  Boats should be secured to the mooring pennant with a bowline where possible.  Mains and jibs should be rolled following the leach of the sail. Also, take the innermost moorings first as to try to alleviate the bird problem.

15. Registration - It is mandatory that all teams register before the start. Hail to the RC the team letters and mainsail number. The boat name is not used for scoring. It is required for safety’s sake to approach the RC on starboard to hail. If you are late for the start you still must register at the RC end. As it can be hard to hear in the wind, please use the NATO phonetic alphabet . Do not include the sail number as the RC can read it easily.

16. Last Race Home -The last mark on the last race of the day may be an “H”.  The finish is between the yellow mark S.E. of the BHSC mooring area and the RC. If the RC does not get back in time, just finish leaving the mark to starboard. All boats should keep track of what boats finished in front and behind them for scoring. In case of disputes, ties shall be used liberally.

Starting Sequence:

The starting system shall be governed by rule 26 with the following modifications

A. The class flag is solid blue.
B. The preparatory flag is the I flag (black circle on yellow field).
C. The first starting sequence may not begin before 6:00 PM on Wednesday nights or before 10:00 PM on Saturday mornings.
D. The first warning signal of the day will be ten (10) minutes before the start. The preparatory will six (6) minutes later at four (4) minutes before the start. All subsequent starting sequences will be the standard five-minute sequence.
E. Paragraph D is modified if the first starting sequence is more than 5 minutes later than the scheduled start time. In that case the first sequence will be only five minutes.

Code Flags:

Answering Pennant


Letter N


Letter O

No Spinnakers


The scoring system shall be governed by rule A2.2 using the low point system. Section A5 shall be used. The term "series" will apply to each month (June, July, August, September, and October) for the monthly results, to each season (summer, fall) for season results, and to all the races for the Years results. The term "number of boats entered in the series" is the sum total of all the teams that participated at least once in a given series.

There shall be one throw out per five races. The throw outs will be recalculated on a per series basis.

Note: The Club does its best to keep all the boats in racing condition. However, on rare occasions an assigned boat might not be race ready. The team can choose to race the boat as is or not to race. In either case the team can be awarded average points for the day.

There are about 20 race days per full season. From past experience one can expect to miss one race day per season due to circumstances beyond the club’s control.

Notes from the Race Committee:

1. The RC may ask one of the members to move the pin. Please keep clear of the designated boat while it is helping the RC

2. Always check the course board before each race.

3. Stay close to the starting area between races

4. On windy days the RC may drag anchor.

5. The RC uses a trip line with float on the anchor. It is permissible to sail between the trip line ball and the RC. However, please do not sail over it

6. With a larger Soling fleet, the PHRF boats, pleasure craft, ferry’s and commercial traffic, Boston Harbor is quite crowded. Please keep a lookout at all times.

7. Remember Fundamental Racing Rule #4 - Decision to Race: The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone.

8. For safety – keep a sharp knife readily available

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Mailing Address: 58 Batterymarch Street #211 Boston MA 02110-3207
Sailing operations: The Private Marina at Rowes Wharf
Telephone: 617-720-0049 | E-mail:

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