Force 5 Class Association

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Rules Corner - Issue 5 Posted THE RULES CORNER - Issue 3 Summar of Class Rules Changes
THE RULES CORNER - Issue 3 Summar of Class Rules Changes



Section 4.01 clarifies that any Class-authorized part or equipment not manufactured by or exclusively for an authorized manufacturer (Harken traveler system, blocks or hiking straps, for example) may be obtained from any source. It also clarifies that all new/replacement spars, sails and blades, as well as any other standard parts or equipment manufactured by or for an authorized manufacturer, must be obtained from or through authorized manufacturers—even if self-fabricated items otherwise would conform to authorized manufacturer specifications. These clarifications (i) ensure continued Class support to authorized parts/equipment manufacturers (Weeks/Cullen), (ii) maintain one-design integrity, and (iii) expressly grant some flexibility in part/equipment sourcing where such sourcing will not undermine authorized manufacturer markets or one-design integrity.


Section 4.04 now permits Cunningham and Outhaul purchase to be increased up to a 4:1 ratio. Blocks may now be added for this purpose. [Note: Cunningham and Outhaul control lines still must be a single continuous piece of line.] This is a combined safety/performance-related revision. It facilitates easier & better sail adjustment—especially in high wind conditions.


Section 4.06 clarifies that the Tiller must pass under the preventer line when the Rudder is mounted to the boat, and adds that the preventer line shall not permit the tiller/rudder to rotate more than 70 degrees from centerline. These are safety requirements.


Section 4.07 addresses electronic equipment advancements. First it updates the outmoded “stopwatch” reference to “count-down/count-up Timer”. Second, it clarifies that any type of dial card compass (e.g., 360 degree card, tactical card) may be used, and for the first time permits electronic digital bearing display compasses. Digital bearing display compasses also may incorporate a count-down/count-up timer function, but may not have the capacity to display lift/header information or have bearing memory capability. Section 4.07 now expressly prohibits any GPS-capable device (including cell/smart phones) from being carried aboard a boat that is either racing or intending to race. It also prohibits electronic speed measuring devices.


Section 4.09 now acknowledges that it may be necessary to remove a small amount of internal flotation/foam adhesive in the course of installing an inspection port or making interior hull repairs. Note that any such removal must be both necessary and kept to an absolute minimum. Also note that you still cannot permanently remove any floatation/bonding foam that you might only need to detach temporarily to effect interior hull repairs.


Section 4.10 establishes an express presumption that all Weeks-manufactured Daggerboards and Rudder blades—including reinforced foam core and composite mahogany core models—comply with Class Rule specifications.


Section 4.11 now expressly permits window telltales. These enhance sailors’ ability to see their leeward telltales—especially on colored sails.


Section 4.12 clarifies that the wear-reducing Cunningham tack block may be located either above or below the boom, and also that it may not be used to increase Cunningham purchase beyond the 4:1 ration now permitted under Section 4.04.


Section 4.18 now permits port and starboard hiking straps in lieu of the standard single center-mounted strap. While these straps must utilize the existing thwart attachment, an additional eyestrap (but no cleat) may be installed on the rear cockpit wall to facilitate the second strap’s attachment or to facilitate hiking strap adjustment. Hiking straps may be held up with shock cord, and a third eyestrap may be installed above the manufacturer-installed eyestrap for this purpose. Any additional eyestrap installation(s) must be watertight and at least 4" below the cockpit lip. Hiking straps still may be covered with padding


Section 4.19 clarifies that spacers may be added to the Tiller attachment bolt between the Rudder head and the Tiller straps to equalize the Tiller-to-strap and Rudder head-to-strap spacing.


Section 5.03 has not been substantively revised, but the sail number location specified in Section 5.03(e) is not generally being followed or enforced. Is it time for a rules change here?


Section 8.01 clarifies that increasingly popular non-Coast Guard-approved “buoyancy aids” do not satisfy that section’s safety requirement that U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices be carried on board at all times while racing. It also clarifies that U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices must be worn whenever the sailing instructions or the Race Committee so indicate.


Section 8.02 establishes a new safety requirement that a bow line (painter) not less than 12 feet long and ¼ inch in diameter shall be attached to the bow handle at all times while racing.