Royal Dart Yacht Club

Dartmouth Classics ®

the next will be on July 9th-11th, 2016


Is my boat eligible?

The Dartmouth Classics Weekend is open to classic yachts which were designed before December 31st 1974 and approved more recent yachts of classic and traditional design. All rigs and hull materials (including g.r.p.) are accepted.

A boat’s eligibility to enter the regatta is defined by the classes set out below.

The Classes are:

Class 1 (pennant No 1):

Yachts designed before December 31st 1968 which are maintained to their original design without any significant changes. (Yachts built in a limited series are eligible, but those built in an industrial scale series are excluded from Class 1, but are eligible in Class 3.)

Class 2 (pennant No 2):

Class 2: Yachts as per Class 1, but which have had significant changes made to their original design and/or materials. Replicas built to an original design created before December 31st 1968 are also eligible in Class 2.

Note: In both Classes 1 and 2, changes in the material of spars, hull, ballast and major changes in the sail plan are considered as significant changes.

Class 3 (pennant No 3):

Yachts designed between December 31st, 1968 and December 31st, 1974 built as a one-off or in series production and yachts designed before December 31st 1968 built in an industrial series.

Any series production boat must be at least 25 years old from its build or first launch date on the first day of the regatta.

Yachts designed after December 31st 1974 whose design and build, including hull, spars, rig, sails, etc., are considered equivalent to pre-1969 classic yachts may be eligible in Class 3.

All yachts potentially eligible for class 3 must be of an approved classic design and are subject to acceptance by the regatta organisers.

Class 4 (pennant No 4):

Any yacht eligible in classes 1-3 with high tech sails (that is any material other than woven cloth with traditionally sewn panels and homogeneous colours) or any material other than wood, aluminium or steel for spars (apart from topmasts) will sail in class 4 regardless of year of design.

Notes on Classes and Eligibility:

The cut-off date for class 3 is now the end of 1974 (it was 1976 for previous regattas).

The class structure does not separate boats depending on hull material – this is taken into account in the rating – so boats built as a one-off or in limited series of all types of construction launched before the end of 1968 sail together in classes 1 or 2. As most g.r.p. boats will have been designed after 1968 or built in an industrial scale series, almost all of them will be in class 3.

Classes will be divided into divisions according to the number of yachts entered in each, and classes 1 & 2 or 3 & 4 may be amalgamated.

The minimum length on deck for the inshore races at Dartmouth is 5.4 metres.

Originality and modifications:

It is important for the integrity and heritage of classic yachting that owners strive to maintain the original character of the yacht’s design and the JCH Handicap takes this into consideration by favouring originality. We accept that many yachts have been modified through the years and provided such modifications to the hull, rig and accommodation are in keeping with ‘the spirit of the period’ they are acceptable. We also accept that sail handling gear and deck hardware can be sympathetically updated to improve ease of handling and safety. However, the organisers may exclude any yacht that they deem to have been inappropriately modified.

For a yacht constructed after 1974 to a pre-1975 design to be eligible it must be as true and faithful to the original design and construction specification as possible. Major alterations to the design and use of inappropriate modern materials and construction techniques may constitute the boat being considered a new design and so render it ineligible. Both the spirit and letter of the eligibility rules must be honoured – if a boat is constructed or modified to give it an unfair advantage in racing against the genuine and original classics of the period, then it will be deemed to the ineligible.

The term ‘limited series’ applies to a design built in small quantity, normally of traditional hull materials in a traditional boatyard. ‘Industrial scale series’ applies to a design where the hulls have been made in volume, normally in a factory. Download a list of approved ‘industrial scale’ production designs.

If you have any doubts about the eligibility of your boat, either contact us at with details and a picture of your boat.

Acceptance of entries is at the discretion of the regatta eligibility committee – its decision is final.

The JCH Classic Handicap

Getting this handicap is easy to do online – and costs you nothing.

Since 2011 we have successfully adopted the JCH Classic Handicap (Jauge Classique in France) for the Classic Channel Regatta and we will be using it for the all races at Dartmouth Classics Weekend 2015. This handicap system has been developed and refined over the past 15 years by the Yacht Club Classique and is now used in almost all classic regattas on the Atlantic and Channel coasts of France and has recently been adopted for classic races in Galicia in NW Spain. No handicap can be perfect, but we believe it is the best handicap available as it is designed specifically for classics and has proven to give fair results. Also, the formula is transparent and in the public domain, it is self-certifying, it is easy to get a rating from the dedicated website, and (very importantly!) it is free. If you already have an IRC rating all the data you need to get a JCH rating is on that certificate, otherwise you will need to have to hand certain hull and sail measurements to get your rating online. You can find full information on the JCH Classic Handicap and the online measurement form (all in English) on the links below.

Full information on the JCH Classic Handicap »

get your JCH Classic Handicap rating »

If you have any queries about getting your handicap please contact

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