As a carry over from the Yahoo group site where you can’t post photos, a discussion is underway about using the mandated sail number sizes on small jibs. Some impossible to do - others just plain “ugly” if added in specified (too large) size.

As an alternative - I’m posting the layout I’ve done of sail numbers (much smaller in size) added to a jib - which meet the intent of the rule, but look less overbearing. At work right now but will edit this afternoon when I scoot home and measure the size. Looking at photos it “looks” like they are same size as the national authority name (USA) Photos added to show relative size comparison.

I would recommend something in this alternate size to retain the nice looks of the RG design lines. I even “HATE” the size of the IOM numbers on the jib as well - they just seem too big for size of sail and boat - of course only my opinion.


I don’t disagree on the basis of esthetics. However, numbers and their sizes are not specified for their artistic merit, but for visibility needed by Race Committee’s for race management, scoring and racing rule compliance.

Classes that accept the dictates of the ISAF Equipment Rules of Sailing are bound to use the stipulated sizes if they wish to remain in compliance with these rules. Usually, AMYA Class rules which are for International Classes, like the A-Class, 10-Rater, Marblehead and IOM accept the ISAF Rules without having to spell out the details. Other AMYA Classes that are not International Classes like the EC-12, US12, SOLING 1-M and so on, may accept the ISAF rules as an easy way to handle their numbering requirements by reference, but could if they wished, and some have, modify the sizes of the numerals to harmonize with the size of the jibs.

As new classes of smaller boats appear on the water, rule writers need to keep in mind that somewhere, sometime, somebody who has put their transmitter down and picked up the Regatta Director clipboard is going to have to read the numbers on the sails as the boats start and finish. Don’t make their job harder with tiny, tiny numbers. Number size affects legibility, and ultimately the size of a course that can be accomodated in fleet sailing. Numbers that are too small can cause operational problems, something to keep in mind as rules are written or modified.

Rod Carr
AMYA #002

I agree that the jib numbers should be as large as possible, but the Class mandated sizes simply will not fit on some of the smaller jibs we have in the RG65. Swing rigs are especially bad as the jibs tend to be smaller in comparison with conventional rigs.

It was interesting looking at the RG65 regatta photos from the event in Germany. Many of the boats had no sail numbers at all on the jibs - including boats from Norway, GBR and Germany. I wonder if the Sailing Instructions were written to modify the Class rule.

Dear Friends:
We are discusing this on the ICA forum.
I think that the number is very important.
I agree with RodAcarr,
numbers and their sizes are not specified for their artistic merit, but for visibility needed by Race Committee’s for race management, scoring and racing rule compliance
I have been Race officer many times, and the jib number are vere important to see pass boat in a start.
The size on the numbers have to be visible for all competidors and Race officer.
I think that if the number not fit on the jib, we can use the ISAF rule.

(f) Where the size of a sail makes it impossible to comply with the
minimum dimensions in rule E6(d) or the positioning
requirements in rule E6(e)(3), exceptions are permitted in the
following order of priority:
(1) omission of national letters;
(2) position of the mainsail sail numbers lower than the line
perpendicular to the luff through the quarter leech point;
(3) reduction of the shortest distance between sail numbers
on opposite sides of the sail provided the shortest
distance is not less than 20 mm;
(4) reduction of the height of sail numbers

We are working on this.



At some point someone should suggest that bow numbers should be used at large regattas. They would allow instant recognition of the bow that is OCS, and there would not be a problem seeing sail numbers as you look down the line of a downwind finish. Maybe that is why large international “big boat” regattas have gone to them!

Then you would not even need a jib #, only a mainsail # for other competitors to identify boats.

HEW - I concur with you on bow numbers on the hull - and why I have gone to them for my builds. (The black/yellow boat still had graphics to be added - but it will have a number 4 on bow - similar to the red one in photos above)

Also not visible, is the red boat has a large number on the bow deck (much like VOR boats). Decided to apply for any “helicopter aerial photos” - :rolleyes: :smiley:

In real life, other than “over early calls” the boats would still have large class rule compliant numbers on mainsail. No one is suggesting making any changes to those numbers/sizes - but we also have to remember that there is a draw for “real boat” mainsail artwork by some owners and the canvas to do that on gets smaller with the larger sail number. My International class allowed sponsorships and boats were often identified by sponsor name - not sail number, which was a benefit to the Michelob sponsor when they saw the final standings. Boat was entered and scored as the “Michelob” boat - and I found instances where the race committee simply referred to my boat as the “Beer Boat” on their finish line crossing placement forms.

Would it not be just as easy to identify the “Audi” boat as being over early instead of boat “127” based on sail graphics?

I really think this issue needs to be viewed in terms of being practical instead of bureaucratic using a priority schedule as Maximo is suggesting. After all - it is the responsibility of the owner to assure the race committee can read sail numbers - and having it in 3 different places (in case of the red sails) should cover the possibility of being covered by a boat in the foreground.

Will be interesting to see comments - or examples. I would “suggest” the numbers on my jibs in photos above are of sufficient size to be read at a distance during a starting line sequence - but not necessarily on the turning mark furthest from the start.

Here is my JIF-2. I think it’s pretty obvious that “78*” would not fit on the jib in the correct location which is 1/2 way down.

Thanks for posting the photo

Clearly defines the issue.


As a matter of interest, I can’t remember seeing anything about the orientation of the numbers on the sails. Why not place the number vertically on the jib, i.e. for “78”, with the “7” above the “8”.

The correct location is in the lower third of the jib.
So if you put your numbers as low as possible they will fit very well and make the job of the “Race Officer” so much easier as he/she scores you over the finish line.

RG-65 Rule:

6.3.1 The boat number will be marked mid-height on each sail, starboard above port side, with clearly visible numbers at least 10 cm high of and 1 cm thick.

(boild-italics mine)

That is not the lower 1/3

Beyond this I also own an EC-12 and a Victoria. The numbers on the EC-12 are 10 cm high and the sails are just about twice as tall as the RG’s. The numbers on the Victoria are 7.5 cm. It is a larger boat yet the letters are smaller. I have never heard a complaint from a race official that Victoria numbers are too small to be seen. In the Victoria the numbers are in the lower 1/3 of the jib:

Victoria Rules:

12.3 Sail numbers shall be at least the last two digits of a boat’s registration number (as assigned by the Class Secretary) and shall be at least 3 inches (76mm) in height and shall be solid Arabic Numbers of an easily readable font.

12.4 Sail numbers shall be placed in the middle 1/3 of the mainsail and on the bottom 1/2 of the jib.

bob betts

Sorry my friend, I was quoting the instructions as practised by most other classes.
If the RG65 officials have changed the position of the numbers in their wisdom then as you suggest we are stuck with them.
I personally would be tempted to place my RG65 numbers as you have done on your Victoria or even as instructed in the EC12 regs.
It makes so much better sense, does it not?
Maybe it is a regulation that needs attention?
O dear here we go again…

I didn’t mean to be abrupt, I just wanted to present the rules and also make a case for aesthetics. There is no reason that one has to sacrifice aesthetics to make sure race officials can see who has won. In just about all photo-finishes the officials can see it coming for at least the leeward marker to the finish line. A jib number is not really needed. The officers know which boat is which.

The RG-65 has been around for a long time in international competitions, though they are somewhat new in the USA. I do think that the Victoria rules for marking sails make more sense and that the RG rules committee should consider loosening the rules. To make them backwardly compatible they could say the numbers must be at least 75 mm and that they can be placed low on the jib. This is more aesthetically pleasing being of a proportion where the number’s size doesn’t overwhelm the boat and sail.

Personally I doubt very much that I’ll ever be in any national or international competition so I will either leave my boat as is or follow the Victoria lead and use smaller numbers fitted low on the jib. I suppose it is possible though, since my local club is hosting the Victoria Nationals this November.

bob betts

Not that it matters, but I (personal opinion) find any rule that plays no part in the performance of a yacht “suspect” for review, change or deletion - after open discussion by owners.

To mandate an item within the rules that neither enhances or reduces the performance of a yacht, especially in an open and development class such as this seems to question its intent.

The onus seems to be on the owner to assure the race committee can identify each yacht. This could be by color, or it can be by graphics, or it can be by sail number - or all three. While it is “nice” to have the “65” logo at the upper portion of the sail, it does not have any effect on the speed or performance of the yacht. Not only is there a discrepancy of sail number size, location or even application with the German fleet photos - but I would also point out the lack and inconsistency of the class logo. I am sorry, but if we are going to clutch at reasons to protest and eliminate competitors, it certainly should not be over the fact that the Germans have elected to have the Circle with the 65 inside of it.

In the interests of why most of us take part in this hobby, I would suggest that any protest of the logo, placement of sail numbers, or lack of “full size specified” numbers on the jib is not in the spirit of why we race these little boats - and while it may be a technicality, it opens the door to protests that are not part of the actual on-water performance of the boat or its owner.

Are we going to be lawyers - or hobbyists?
Do you want to disqualify a boat for too much sail area - or because they have the wrong logo on the top of their sail, or the jib number, while on the sail is of improper size or location?

I understand a “rule is a rule” - but shouldn’t we question why such a rule exists in the first place, before blindly moving forward with disqualification?

I do understand the issue, it is just my personal opinion, that if the owner’s best effort/attempt is made to identify the yacht with sail numbers on jib and main, and to identify which class it is in with a class logo (or close to it), I would ask if that is the true and honest “MAJORITY” opinion of owners that they intend to treat those violations in the same manner as they would treat on-water infractions, or illegal equipment/building dimensions, weights and sizes? Based on a variety of posted photos, there are a good number of RG-65 yachts that fall outside of this compliance - both internationally, and also here in the US.

Let’s get on with sailing and determining the winner by the owner’s performance - not where or what size his sail number or logos look like. Again, a personal opinion for some practical reasoning and considerations. Do you ( as potential race officer) want to be the guy to tell three of your local sailors they are disqualified over an issue such as this? Worse yet, are you the kind of sailor who would lodge a protest over this? Just wondering.


ADDED: A photo showing probably every conceivable possibility - from no sail numbers, to main only to jib lower location to jib mid-location. There appears to be (at minimum) five boats subject to disqualification - more if one wants to look at location and jib number size. To me, the clear transparent sails are harder to read than translucent or solid colors.

Yes Dick, we are all on the same page I feel.
Your photo is a brilliant one to illustrate the sail number question.

If I was the race officer for that regatta I would be well pleased with the fleets attempt to make my job easier, they are some of the best sail number markings I have seen.
Well done that man. :graduate:

10cm hight / 1 cm thick - sometimes impossible even in the main, if you have a 3 digits number …

I have the 253 and 453. This is why I had to go for 7.5 cm for my last boat. I think it is worthwhile to lighten this rule a bit at least to meet the ISAF rules, where the sailnumber hight isan be modified, if necessary.

10 cm is fine, somewhat around 7.5 cm is still good and even smaller numbers do work. Look at the MicroMagics. They are are use something around 5cm and it works well.

Dick, just a comment on the German class logo. It is not fully correct, that the Germans have a different class logo. The Germans have a slightly different class rule which allows for a little bit more freedom. For example, hull length is only an upper limit. The logo with the circle around the 65 identify boats, which are built under the German modifications. Boats complying to the international rule are using in most cases the internatonal logo.

Thank for clarification - I seemed to remember that the smaller boats could join in - but did not realize the difference in class logo identified the “open” class of boats.

In reality - neither/none of these make much difference in the overall outcome of things - just something else to cause a bunch of hard feelings should the protest of the rule be invoked.

Again - isn’t it the responsibility of the owner to assure his number (or numbers) can be read by the race committee? And also let me remind readers that a jib IS NOT mandatory - it is optional -since a uni-rig, solid wing sail both would be examples of only a single sail number on which to base “over early” and “finishing position” calls by the race committee. If a single sail number is fine for a boat with a single sail - why do we want to worry about the size of a number if jib is optional?

Much ado about nothing ?

I don’t know if it’s nothing. We agree the issue should be enforced by the spirit of the rule rather than the letter.

Larger numbers have a better chance of being legible at a distance. It’s not just for calling the start/finish line. I’ve heard plenty of mark rounding situations where a skipper wanted to protest a boat but could not read the number (legal Victoria sails). We have a great diversity of eyesight in this sport.

Shrinking a number because is cannot fit would be acceptable. Moving it lower on the sail to make it fit may be acceptable if it’s near the correct location. Shrinking a number because it would look better with some empty sail space around it is not acceptable in my view. I would not like to see 7.5 cm numbers if 10 cm will fit.

I’ve only seen one example of truly improper sail numbers in a regatta. 2 cm numbers on a Footy is too small. He was often called as “no number”. It was unique but that was its only saving grace.

Hi Dick:
In your last post, I found a little mistake.
The number in the jib is mandatory.

here is the rule:

6.3 Identifications marks.
The boat number will be marked mid-height on each sail,
starboard above port side, with clearly visible numbers at least 10
cm high of and 1 cm thick.
The measured surface of each sail will be marked in an
indelible way close to its tack point.
The boats of the Class shall exhibit the Class insignia on
their sails.
The Class Insignia will be placed in the superior quarter of
the main sail in the upper part starboard and the lower part port
side with a prescribed measurement of 4 cm by 4.5 cm.

The numbers and the insignia are in the rules, the position of the “nation” is missing in the rule.
This , and the dimension of the numbers, especialy on the jib is what we are discussing in the ICA forum.



Maximo - since I am not a class officer in the US any longer, and if I disagree with what has been posted so far, can I still participate on the International Forum - or is it reserved only for class leaders?

Too many sails already marked to make a change “after the fact”
Too hard to read transparent (clear) sails with numbers
See my photo above and the wide variety of sails already being used. - Does everyone have to build a new set of sails due to the pending vote if their current sail numbers are not in the “correct” position or height?
Can the rules exempt previously built/marked sails?

I am suggesting you stay with the rules for the main sail and let the jib numbers, size and location be optional for the owner.

I also would vote to eliminate clear sails which are too hard to read - and which is why we are discussing sail number size.

My opinions only as an owner. They do not reflect the opinions of our USA Class leader(s) or other owners.

You may post on my behalf on the international forum as a response from me as an owner, if you want to keep discussion posts only to international class leaders.

Dick Lemke