I. General CRF MkII Questions

Q. My new rating is different from my old rating, and my measurements are the same.  Why?  What caused the change?

A. The factors and formulae underlying the CRF MkII ratings are reviewed each year and refined as appropriate based on an in-depth analysis of the sailing conditions and race results experienced during previous seasons.  The intent of any resulting refinements is always to provide more equitable racing by addressing any perceived rating biases due to specific yacht characteristics or combinations thereof while maintaining the overall competitive balance across the fleet. For 2019, the rig factors for “split rigs” (yawls, ketches and schooners) were reduced, the keel factors for full keels were increased very slightly, the rig factors for wooden masts were reduced, and small adjustments were made to both the Draft and Length/Beam Ratio corrections.

Typically, any year-to-year refinements are quite small, however, for 2019, there are two more significant changes to CRF MkII:

  1. A Stability Correction has been added that is based on currently-declared data and assesses the stability generated by both the hull and the crew. This correction essentially “speeds up” the ratings of yachts with high stability.
  2. Modern yachts with broad, powerful afterbodies have been observed to have been rated too slow under previous versions of CRF MkII. To address this bias, for yachts designed after 1990 with unusually broad aft beam only, and increment to rated “L” has been included to address the higher effective sailing length of these more powerful stern shapes. In order to implement this refinement, yachts designed after January 1, 1990 will be required to declare a “Bm10″, a new deck beam measurement at the aft end of the waterplane.


Q. What additional information is needed for the 2019 application, and will that new data impact my rating?

A. For most yachts, the data declarations for 2019 will be the same as those required in 2018, and that data will auto-load for your 2019 application. For catboats and some additional inputs will be required, and yachts designed after January 1, 1990 will now need to also declare a “Bm10″ measurement (see above). There are two new declarations which will be required for 2019 (ballast weight and standing rigging material), however, they are for data-gathering purposes only and will not affect your 2019 rating.

Q. How much will it cost?

A. A CRF MkII certificate costs $50. In addition, membership in the Classic Yacht Owners Association will be required for a CRF MkII certificate to be issued. An annual CYOA membership is $100. To join CYOA, please visit www.classicyachts.org.

Q. I only compete in one local regatta a year. Why do I have to pay to join CYOA to get my CRF MkII certificate?

A. CYOA provides numerous benefits to classic yacht owners including underwriting the costs of administering of the CRF MkII rule and maintaining the CRF website.  CYOA has also taken over the administration of the Classic Yachts Challenge Series.

Q. Does my CRF MkII certificate allow me to compete in all classic yacht regattas?

A. To compete in a classic yacht regatta, you must have a CRF MkII certificate.  Individual events, however, may have differing eligibility requirements, so you will need to check with the regattas in which you plan to race. For instance, some events allow fiberglass boats while others may only allow wood.

Q. How long will it take to get my rating certificate?

A. Although the application is processed automatically for a rating, to ensure accuracy each certificate will be manually reviewed before it is issued. Plan on at least 5-7 business days, and if applying during July and August, it may take longer due to a larger number of certificates being issued.

Q. How do I send my certificate to regattas?

A. Once processed, your will receive a link to your certificate. You may send that link to regatta organizers so they have a copy of your ratings certificate.

Q. How often do I need to renew my rating?

A. Ratings will need to be renewed annually.

Q. I would like to switch my declared headsail choices and their related dimensions back and forth between events, depending on the expected conditions. Can I maintain more than one CRF MkII certificate at a time, and choose which one to use in advance of an event?

A. No. A boat will be allowed one configuration change only during any one season. A new CRF MkII certificate reflecting that one change must be issued at least 10 days before the next race in which the boat competes, and the boat may not revert back to her original configuration later in the same season. (This ‘one change’ limitation does not preclude correcting errors or making minor updates to declarations, which may be accepted and a new certificate issued, at the discretion of CRF administration).

Q. I’ve made a mistake on measurements on my application, and my certificate has been issued.  What do I do?

A. File an inquiry (click DATA INQUIRY tab above). Your request will be reviewed by CRF handicappers, and if there is an error, they will notify you, make the change in the data, and reissue your rating with the corrected measurements.

Q. I believe the rating on my yacht is wrong.  How can I confirm if the rating is accurate?

A. While it is possible that an input error has been made, be aware that the ratings for most yachts will change somewhat relative to previous years, and the factors and formulae that underlie the rating calculations are refined annually. With this in mind, if you feel that an error has been made, file an inquiry (Click DATA INQUIRY tab above) and CRF handicappers will review your rating. If an error is found, they will notify you, correct the rating, and reissue you a new certificate.

Q. I believe the rating on a competitor’s yacht is wrong.  How can I confirm if the rating is accurate?

A. File an inquiry (Click DATA INQUIRY tab above). CRF handicappers will review both the declared input data and the calculated outputs. If an error is found, they will notify the yacht owner of the error and any resulting change in rating.   If the measurement in question needs verification from an independent outside source, a measurer will be hired at the expense of the appealing party.

Q. I’d like to compare my yacht’s measurements and ratings with other yachts.  How do I do that?

A. Certificates of all currently registered classic yachts may be viewed by going to the CERTIFICATES tab above.


II. Hull and Underbody Questions

Q. How do I make an appropriate declaration for Displacement on the CRF MkII application?

A. The intent of CRF MkII is to rate your boat in the condition in which you typically race her. WRT Displacement, this implies a Displacement (DSPS) declaration equal to the estimated weight of your yacht in the condition that you typically present her for racing, in pounds, excluding crew weight. For yachts that are primarily raced and daysailed, this would be similar to a ‘light ship’ flotation (empty tanks, with minimal food and gear). For yachts that are equipped and provisioned for regular cruising and that race perhaps one race per year, this would be similar to ‘half load’ floatation (tanks half full, with ordinary food and gear). Be careful to check that the displacement that you declare is consistent with your LWL and Draft declarations.

Q. The only information that I have on displacement for my yacht comes from original design specification. How can I update that to a current ‘as raced’ weight?

A. Designers and builders typically provide displacement data referenced to the ‘design waterline’ that most often resembles a ‘light ship’ condition, with empty tanks and minimal food and gear. The weight added in equipping and provisioning for coastal cruising can increase that displacement by 10%. The boat hauling equipment in some yards can provide a boat weight, but these weights are typically not especially accurate, and should be used as a rough reality check only.

Q. I have determined that the displacement of my yacht is heavier than that shown in the designer/builder specifications. How does this affect the other CHR MkII data declarations that I need to make?

A. If you are declaring a displacement that is heavier than the designer/builder specification, it follows that your declaration for the LWL that corresponds to that heavier displacement should be longer, and that your declaration for Draft should be deeper, than the designer/builder specified values. One way to quantify the differences in LWL and Draft (DM) would be to estimate the sinkage resulting from the difference between the designer/builder spec and the declared displacement (DSPS). The ‘Pounds per Inch Immersion’ (sink) for most boats can be approximated by: Lbs/in Immer = 1.1*LWL^2. It follows that actual sinkage (in inches) = delta DSPS/Lbs per In Immer. This estimated sinkage would equal to the amount added to the designer/builder specified Draft (DM) in inches , and for most boats multiplying this sinkage by 6 approximates the amount added to the designer/builder specified LWL, also in inches. Keep in mind that it is critical that the displacement that you declare is consistent with your LWL and Draft declarations.

Q. The ‘Underbody Type’ declaration is new with CRF MkII. Why has this been added to the rating application?

A. Stability and wetted area are critically important performance parameters, but it is not reasonable or practical to ask owners to declare appropriate values for them. The 6 underbody types displayed on the CRF rating application work as surrogates for stability (via related keel volume, VCB and VCG), and for wetted area more directly. In addition, the various underbody type options help account for the advantages of a high aspect ratio fin with separated spade rudder over a lower aspect ratio configurations, including a full keel with an attached rudder.

Q. I am unsure of whether the underbody of my yacht should be declared as a ‘Type 3’ (fin keel with a separated spade rudder) or ‘Type 4’ (fin keel with a skeg rudder).  Please elaborate.

A. The critical detail that would imply a ‘Type 3’ underbody would be the fact that the rudder is a free standing spade, with little or no fixed skeg area at the leading edge of the rudder.  In contrast, a ‘Type 4’ underbody features a skeg hung rudder, typically with a pintle and gudgeon type bearing near the rudder tip, and with a substantial area of fixed skeg at the leading edge of the rudder.  The presence of a shallow ventral fin (sometimes termed a ‘fence’, or  ‘bustle’, or ‘skeg’) such as those typical of IOR or International Rule yachts with a fixed skeg area over less than 50% of the leading edge of the rudder does not  qualify for a ‘Type 4’ underbody designation.

Q. Do the CRF MkII rating formulae deal directly with draft and displacement?

A. Yes. The effect of draft on performance is addressed via a draft correction (DC) based on a comparison between actual draft (DM) and a base draft that varies with length. The effect of displacement (DSPS) is addressed via both a displacement/length factor (DLF) and a sail area/displacement factor (SaDF). 

Q. I have a yacht with a centerboard, and none of the keel profile sketches displayed in the rating application show a centerboard. What keel type should I declare?

A. Check the box corresponding to the underbody profile that most closely resembles the fixed portion of your keel. CRF MkII accounts for the effect of the centerboard via the declared value for ‘Draft Centerboard Down’.


III. Rig and Sail Questions

Q. Can you clarify the difference between the declared heights of jib headed and gaff headed mainsails?

A. The height of a jib headed mainsail is declared as ‘P’, which is essentially the luff length of the sail. The height of a gaff headed mainsail is declared as ‘PG’, which is the height from the mainsail tack to either the peak halyard block, or to the head of a topsail (if carried), whichever is higher.

Q. Some previously ‘square head’ mainsails in the Spirit of Tradition (SOT) class were converted to gaff headed sails and were rated as such in 2016. How will such conversions be dealt with under CRF MkII?

A. Under CRF MkII, gaff headed mainsails in the SOT class will be rated as ‘square headed’. Exceptions to this approach are possible in cases where the sail configuration is very intentionally designed to have an entirely traditional appearance, with the gaff length on the order of 2/3 that of the boom length. However, any such exceptions shall only be made after special consideration by, and at the discretion of, the CRF MkII rating authority.

Q. What is the difference between a spinnaker and a headsail?

A. A spinnaker is any sail set forward of the foremost mast whose width, measured between the midpoints of its luff and leech, is equal to or greater than 75% of its foot length. (See RRS 50.4)

Q. In light air, I plan to fly a headsail whose mid girth is less than 75% of its foot length, but it is too big to fit inside the nominal foretriangle. What should my declarations be for foretriangle height (IG), foretriangle base (J), and longest perpendicular, LP?

A. This sail is by definition a headsail and not a spinnaker (See RRS 50.4), and CRF MkII will rate it as a headsail. For such a sail, ‘IG’ would be declared as the vertical distance from the sheerline to the top of the sheave supporting its halyard, and not to the upper end of the nominal foretriangle headstay. Similarly, for such a sail, ‘J’ would be declared as the horizontal distance from the forward face of the mast to the attachment point for its tack on the deck or bowsprit, and not to the nominal forestay headstay tang at the deck. And finally, the LP of this sail would be the distance from its clew to its luff, measured perpendicular to the luff, and not the LP of a smaller sail set in the nominal foretriangle. Note that CRF MkII will rate the speed potential of the boat with this sail in its best condition, and that the rating with such a sail will be ‘faster’ than it would be with a smaller headsail set in the nominal foretriangle, even when only that smaller sail is flown. Note further that some race organizers will require that such a headsail must have its luff attached to a stay, and that it cannot be set free flying.

Q. The declaration for the tack point of an asymmetrical spinnaker (TPS) is new. Can you explain its definition and use?

A. ‘TPS’ is the distance from the forward face of the mast to the attachment point for an a-sail tack to the deck, to an anchor roller, to a bowsprit, or to a similar fixture. If an a-sail is tacked to the stem near the headstay tang, ‘TPS’ is nearly equal to ‘J’, the length of the foretriangle base. If an a-sail is tacked further forward to the end of an overhanging stem or to a bowsprit, ‘TPS’ will be significantly larger than ‘J’, the rated area of that a-sail will be bigger, and the rating will be faster. Under CRF MkII the change in rating for increasing ‘TPS’ is generally in line with that of other handicapping systems.

Q. Can you explain the difference between a spinnaker pole and a whisker pole?

A. Any pole used in trimming a spinnaker is a spinnaker pole, and it is rated as such with its overall length declared as ‘SPL’. A whisker pole is a pole used to wing out headsails only, and its length is limited to not more than 1.1*’J’. A spinnaker pole with a declared length not longer than 1.1*’J’ can be used as a whisker pole to trim headsails. A boat can use a spinnaker pole with either symmetrical or asymmetrical spinnakers, but if a spinnaker pole is declared, the boat will be rated for an s-sail spinnaker area, whether or not she actually carries any s-sails.

Q. Can I include both symmetrical and asymmetrical spinnakers in my inventory?

A. Yes, as long as you declare a spinnaker pole length ‘SPL’. If you declare both a pole length ‘SPL’ and a spinnaker tack point ‘TPS’, CRF MkII will calculate a spinnaker area for both an s-sail via SPL, and an a-sail via TPS, and it will calculate rating on whichever area is larger.

Q. Can I use a spinnaker pole in flying my asymmetrical spinnaker? A. Yes, as long as you declare a spinnaker pole length ‘SPL’. Note that a whisker pole can only be used to wing out a headsail, and not to trim a spinnaker. Also, be aware that if you do declare an ‘SPL’, your calculated spinnaker area will be larger, and your rating will be faster, than it would be if you declare just a centerline a-sail tack point ‘TPS’ with a length equal to that ‘SPL’. This higher rating is due to the fact that being able to square back a spinnaker pole increases projected spinnaker area and in some conditions it allows a boat to sail at deeper true wind angles off the wind, resulting in potentially higher downwind VMG.

This page will continuously be updated. Please continue to refer back to this page for additional information on CRF MkII.


Classic Yachting in New England 2019


© Cory Silken/Panerai

Sonny sailing in the Newport Classic Yacht Regatta. copyright Cory Silken/Panerai
Black Watch sailing in the Opera House Cup Regatta. copyright Cory Silken/Panerai
Marilee sailing in the Newport Classic Yacht Regatta. copyright Cory Silken/Panerai
Adamant sailing in the Opera House Cup Regatta. copyright Cory Silken/Panerai
The Blue Peter sailing at the Opera House Cup regatta. copyright Cory Silken/Panerai
Dorade, Neith, Fortune sailing in the Newport Classic Yacht Regatta. copyright Cory Silken/Panerai