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CMBA Deck Height Rule Change
By:Walt Collins


The CMBA membership voted on 15 September to eliminate the current rule setting the top of the lower sail limit mark on the mast at 12 inches. This means that boats may extend mast lenght as desired as long as limit marks for sails remain 15' 0" apart. No new limit was set, and no existing boats became illegal as a result of this change.

The change was made to eliminate the current difficulties in measurement resulting from efforts by boat designers to raise the booms to levels which permitted easier movement by skippers, especially when life jackets are being worn, within our rules. In as much as wearing life jackets is to be promoted and numerous capsizes have resulted from snagging the jackets on our traditionally low booms, the CMBA has been considering action to alleviate this problem for several years. New or refitted boats began appearing with higher and higher foredecks for this purpose. Rather than continuing the current rule and having the hull/deck shape be the only way to accomplish additional clearance, the 12 inch rule was eliminated, freeing designers and owners of current boats to choose a method of adding clearance if desired. In some cases, more clearance can now be achieved by simply hoisting the sail as much as possible with current mast length and then relocating the limit marks on the mast. The class measurement diagram will be revised to reflect this change as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact the class measurer

Walt Collins