Safety Information 2019

2019  Safety Information


The following categories and lists are extracted from YR9/06 Racing Yacht Safety (A Royal Yachting Association Publication) and ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Offshore Special Regulations 2006-2007.

A brief explanation; the ISAF is the worldwide governing body regarding yacht racing, as such they 'lay down the rules' The RYA as the governing body in the UK are responsible for the implementation of the ISAF rules and are the first and last stop for queries regarding these rules. The author has been in contact with the RYA on many occasions via both telephone and email requesting clarification on numerous points. Unfortunately, the RYA in their infinite wisdom have not given definitive answers to queries raised. Your club as a member of the RYA is endeavoring to find clarification of various points, I suggest that you, if members of the RYA require clarification on any issues regarding safety contact the RYA direct and the information can be shared via the PCRC website @



Responsibility of Person in Charge

The safety of a yacht and her crew is the sole and inescapable responsibility of the person in charge who must do his best to ensure that the yacht is fully found, thoroughly seaworthy and manned by an experienced crew who have undergone appropriate training and are physically fit to face bad weather. He must be satisfied as to the soundness of hull, spars, rigging, sails and all gear. He must ensure that all safety equipment is properly maintained and stowed and that the crew know where it is kept and how it is to be used.

Neither the establishment of these Special Regulations, their use by race organizers, nor the inspection of a yacht under these Special Regulations in any way limits or reduces the complete and unlimited responsibility of the person in charge.

Decision to race -The responsibility for a yacht's decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone - RRS Fundamental Rule 4.

Below are listed the ISAF Categories:

Category 0 Trans-oceanic races, including races which pass through areas in which air or sea temperatures are likely to be less than 5 degrees Celsius other than temporarily, where yachts must be completely self-sufficient for very extended periods of time, capable of withstanding heavy storms and prepared to meet serious emergencies without the expectation of outside assistance.

Category 1 Races of long distance and well offshore, where yachts must be completely self sufficient for extended periods of time, capable of withstanding heavy storms and prepared to meet serious emergencies without the expectation of outside assistance.

Category 2 Races of extended duration along or not far removed from shorelines or in large unprotected bays or lakes, where a high degree of self-sufficiency is required of the yachts.

Category 3 Races across open water, most of which is relatively protected or close to
shorelines, including races for small yachts.

Category 4 short races, close to shore in relatively warm or protected waters normally held in daylight.

Category 5 special Regulations are intended for use in short races, close to shore in relatively warm and protected waters where adequate shelter and/or effective rescue is available all along the course, held in daylight only.

As can be seen from the above list racing within the Haven and PCRC longer distance races could fall into one or more of the categories. The RYA has declined to give definitions of open, protected or unprotected shorelines. On close inspection of this Handbook you will notice that all references to category of race and safety list have been deleted.

On close inspection of the categories most of our racing could be seen to fall into categories 2 to 5; the list of portable safety equipment to be carried and indeed the structural features, stability and fixed equipment of the yacht is too long to publish in this Handbook but full details are available in YR9/06.

Below is a suggested (from the RYA) equipment to be carried when racing category 3 and 4 races:


Suggested equipment to be carried when racing categoery 3 and 4 races
ItemCat 3Cat 4
ISAF Valise/Canister for total persons on board 1  
Horseshoe lifebuoy in bracket 1 1
Lifebuoy drogue and pocket 1 1
Throwing line sock type and holder 1 1
Lifejacket including crotch strap 1 per crew  
Lifejacket   1 per crew
Lifejacket light (water activated) fixed 1 per jacket  
Splashguard for lifejacket 1 per jacket  
Safety Line 2 hook 1 per crew member  
Safety Line 3 hook 1 per 30% of crew  
RORC Flare pack 1 1
Galley Strop 1  
Water Tank 25lt. 1  
Bucket with Lanyard 2 2
Hand bearing Compass 1  
Emergency navigation light bi-colour 1  
Emergency navigation light stern 1  
Spare bulbs for navigation lights 1 Set  
Fixed VHF transceiver 1  
Emergency VHF antenna 1  
Softwood plug set 1 1
Jackstays 1 Pair  
Dry powder fire extinguisher 2 2
Waterproof torch c/w bulb 2 1
Torch batteries and bulbs Sufficient for 2 torches For 1 torch
First Aid Manual 1 1
First Aid Kit 1 1
Fog Horn & Canister 1 1
Retro reflective Tape 2m 2m
Radar Reflector   1
Hacksaw 1 1
Spare hacksaw blades 10 10
406 EPIRB 1  
Bracket for 406 EPIRB 1  
12v 50 watt Searchlight 1  
Replacement bulb for searchlight 1  
Handheld VHF 1  
Floating torch 1  
Strobe light 1 per crew member  
Radio receiver capable of receiving weather bulletins 1  
Anchor with suitable combination of chain / rope 2 1
(vessels <8.5m 1 anchor only)    
Method of emergency steering    
Storm Sails 1 set 1 set
Grab Bag Contents
Watertight VHF Transceiver with spare batteries 1  
Watertight torch with spare batteries and bulb 1  
Red Parachute Flares 2  
Red Handheld Flares 3  
Watertight GPS 1  
SART Search & Rescue Transponder Beacon 1  
Dry Suit or Survival Bag 1 per crew  
Safety tin openers 2  
406 EPIRB 1  
First Aid Kit 1  
Water 1/2 lt. per crew  
Signaling mirror 1  
High Energy Food 1 portion per crew  
Nylon line for fishing & polythene bags 1  
Sea sickness Tablets 1 pack