Traditional PHRF Racer/Cruiser

What is the "Traditional PHRF Racer/Cruiser?

Performance Handicap Racing has its origins in the late 1970s and has been designed around fleets of traditional racer/cruisers and cruiser/racers. These yachts have relatively similar performance characteristics on the various points of sail (beat, reach and run) and in varying sailing conditions (wind strength and sea condition).

In the last decade there has been an infusion of light displacement and radical design racers (sport boats) into the traditional PHRF fleet. As sport boats become lighter and more radical, they have sailing characteristics growing far different from the traditional PHRF displacement boat. This makes handicapping a mixed fleet (traditional and sport boats) increasingly more difficult, especially since PHRF provides just a single handicap multiplier, used for all sailing conditions. To help address the PHRF racer/cruiser – sport boat issue, it is appropriate to define the traditional PHRF racer/cruiser. It is also important to discourage mixed (traditional & sport boat) fleet racing.

The traditional PHRF Racer/Cruiser is a keelboat meeting all the following conditions: a displacement to waterline length (in lbs/ft) of greater than 90 (for yachts under 200 sec/mi handicap); a rated sail area to displacement (RSA/D) of 25.00 or less; lifelines (single or double) and bow and stern pulpit surrounding the working deck or affixed jacklines (at all times while racing); self-draining cockpit; permanently or semi-permanently mounted head; appropriate sleeping accommodations below; galley (sink and permanently or semi-permanently mounted stove); and designed for an engine that propels the boat at hull-speed.

Bob Porter
PHRF-LO Assistant Chief Handicapper
March 2012