Over on the thread “Racing Question for Anyone” thread I wrote up a little background about YRA (response #20). This might be helpful. Can you provide me some details such as your boat’s model/make, location, and what the mods were? If you have never requested a PHRF rating before, you need to go to your local YRA website and download and fill out the form. Send it in with your YRA membership dues and they will assign you a PHRF rating. Chances are, your local YRA has already rated other boats in your class so you will be getting the same base number that they have. If not, your YRA might go up the chain to US Sailing and get the base number from them. They might even work out the regression formula using your builder’s data. Rarely will they make you haul the boat so they can tack physical measurements. You will receive adjustments to your Base number if you modified your boat vis a vis the “standard” for your class. The most common adjustment is the 3 – 6 seconds for a two or three bladed fixed prop. If you feel that your mods are outside the “standard” you need to go to the US Sailing and download the “Equipment Rules of Sailing” and consult it. “Little” things like backstay adjusters, high tech running rigging or exotic sails won’t effect your rating. These are called optimizing your boat.
Generally, the game is to try and get the highest rating you can. Oddly, I have never heard of somebody modifying their boat to go slower so they could get a higher rating. Some YRA organizations will post their base ratings but not all (they want you to be a paying member before they let you look at the goodies. Whereas the San Francisco/ Northern California YRA are a bunch of stand-up folks, I’ve heard that other ones are highly political. You will most likely have a positive experience – I did. What are your racing plans?