Offshore Sailboat Handicap Ratings

Handicap and Rating Rules all attempt to level different boat sizes, shapes, weights, and speeds.   When wind direction, wind speed and wave heights are thrown into this complex mathematical computations, we learn that different designs simply perform differently in different conditions.  Just remember, the keyword is "attempt!"

Handicap and Rating Rules
Learn what they are and how they work

Lake Michigan Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (LM-PHRF)
Features: easy, quick to get handicap, requires some measurement, easy to understand, handicap determined by a Committee based on performance of the boat and its sisterships; cheap, started in late 1940’s.

Offshore Racing Rule (ORR)

Features: sophisticated, requires some or all measurement, quick to get rating if sistership on file, if no sistership on file it requires full measurement in and out of the water, takes some reading to understand, computer 3D modeling based Velocity Prediction Program determines boat’s rating, moderate to expensive, evolved from the “Measurement Handicap System” which began in 1976.

Offshore Racing Rule-ez (ORR-ez)
Features:  ORR-ez is a hybrid Velocity Prediction Program (VPP), with both scientific and observed factors used to create handicap ratings.

Great Lakes Multihull Racing Association (GLMRA)
Features: Easy, PHRF-based, quick to acquire a handicap, easy to understand, inexpensive.

Midget Ocean Racing Club (MORC)
Features: Easy, designed for cruising boats up to 24’ in length, inexpensive, founded in 1954.

International Rating Certificate (IRC)
Features: Easy, requires moderate measurement, while measurement data is public, a secret committee makes adjustments to boats' handicap. Takes some reading yet easy to apply, moderate cost.  Founded early 2000's. 

North American Portsmouth Yardstick Ratings (Portsmouth Numbers)
Easy, quick to acquire handicap, fleets nationwide turn in race results annually that recalculates the One-Design handicap number, intended for small boat One-Design Classes, inexpensive. Introduced in the 1950's.

High Performance Rule (HPR)
Features: Lighter boat construction materials have been developed, boats feature deeper keels and bigger sail plans for same size boats than in the past, leading to these more modern designs surfing and planing, riding on top of the water (Sportboats). Other handicap rules do not take in account these factors. Moderate cost, founded 2012.

LMSRF Measurement Rules Committee
See "Contact Us" above for the listing of the current members of the LMSRF Measurement Rules Committee.  You may contact them with questions or for guidance.