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Question Why are boat weights and lengths not required to be checked at certification control (measurement)?
Question Details

Why are boat weights and lengths not required to be checked at certification control (measurement)?


It used to be normal for class rules to require all equipment to be checked for compliance with the class rules. It was also normal for the certificate or class rules to state that alterations would invalidate the certificate. Yet it was commonplace for owners to make alterations to their boat/equipment without returning to the measurer to have it re-checked. This made it tedious for scrupulous owners to enjoy the freedom to develop their boats in the same way that less scrupulous owners did.

Clearly, when a boat competes at an event it is important that it complies with the class rules in all aspects. However at certification control (measurement) it makes no sense to check the overall length or draught of a boat because those dimensions necessarily depend on the weight of the boat and its flotation which are in turn affected by the weight and placement of removable items (rudder, fin, ballast, rc equipment). By removing those checks from certification control a tank and accurate scales are not required before a certificate can be issued. Only at an event when those items are in place need, and can, those dimensions be checked. If a tank and accurate scales are available at certification control measurers are encouraged to monitor those checks if owners wish. But owners need to be made aware of their continuing responsibilities after the certificate has been issued.

The freedom granted to the owners to alter equipment is balanced by their responsibility to ensure that their boat complies with the class rules when competing at an event. It follows that equipment inspection at an event (always difficult when flotation has to be checked) is the only way to monitor correct compliance with the class rules. At an event a tank can be used to check all the boats, far more efficient than at each boat's certification control. 

Should a boat be found not to comply with the weight and dimensional limits the responsibility lies clearly and solely with the owner for failing to ensure compliance. Altering the boat and failing to take steps to ensure continued compliance with the class rules might be taken as a breach of RRS 69 by a jury.