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  #1  
Old 11-03-2011
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Phrf

I have a question about how a boats PHRF is determined. It seems that it is done just by observation in racing conditions (round the buoys)
Is this correct?
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Old 11-03-2011
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In general, yes. It's problematic when mixing displacement and sport boats, but as a whole warts and all, it's about the longest lived handicap rating system in use.

Last edited by puddinlegs; 11-03-2011 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 11-03-2011
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It depends on who you know as we have the worlds slowest J80s and J105s on Long Island sound
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Old 11-03-2011
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It is not just by observation. There are PHRF measurement rules, and if you look at any application for a PHRF rating you will see them. The basic "first" rating is from observation, but that is modified locally based on local observations, and modified every few years based on results and experiences, and modified further for each boat based on any variations in equipment or sail plan, i.e. do you have a 3-blade fixed prop? Or a folding prop?

PHRF numbers aren't "fair" and everyone knows that. They are an attempt to be as fair as practical without placing great expenses on the measuring system and the owners. If you've got a fast boat but don't sail it well, your position in the fleet goes down and the boat might be re-rated to compensate. If someone else buys the same model or the same boat and sails it up to potential...that's not fair, but that's eventually supposed to be accomodated in the reratings.

If you look at ratings lists, sometimes you will see "Number of years in fleet" listed with each boat, for that reason.
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Old 11-03-2011
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So, if for instance, a particular model of boat is hardly ever raced then it is conceivable that the PHRF rating of that particular boat might be quite misleading.
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Old 11-03-2011
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You are correct - the more popular the boat, the better chance the boat's PHRF rating is accurate. If you have a one off boat - the rating could be off. There is a process for review.

Check out this page which has some good resources on how that review process works

Race Analysis
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Old 11-03-2011
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"might be quite misleading. "
Might be. But then the question is, how did that initial rating get to be misleading in the first place?
It starts with one boat, one certificate, and if someone is interested enough to get that first certificate, the odds are they are interested enough to appeal in unfair rating. Or that SOMEone who has one of the same boats has appealed it and they've been modified accordingly.

If you want "fair" racing, you buy a one-design boat and only race in that fleet.
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Old 11-03-2011
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I wasn't complaining, rather making an observation. Many people use a boats PHRF as the deciding factor when looking at purchasing....if buying a cruising boat the PHRF (based on round the buoys racing) the buyer might be surprised when his planing (cruiser/racer) sails like a dog after loading it for a long passage, whereas the heavy displacement boat is not affected much by being loaded the same amount.

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"might be quite misleading. "
Might be. But then the question is, how did that initial rating get to be misleading in the first place?
It starts with one boat, one certificate, and if someone is interested enough to get that first certificate, the odds are they are interested enough to appeal in unfair rating. Or that SOMEone who has one of the same boats has appealed it and they've been modified accordingly.

If you want "fair" racing, you buy a one-design boat and only race in that fleet.
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Old 11-03-2011
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And remember, the single PHRF number is an average, covering a wide range of wind strengths and points of sail. Most boats will have a set of conditions where it is easy to sail to the rating, and another set where its almost impossible. Nature of the beast. I still think its a useful measure for those purchasing a new boat to get a handle on its sailing performance.
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If you race enough every dog has his day

For example a Tartan 372 gets killed in 1 mile leg W/L races BUT on the other hand on a distance race with reaching legs the long water line lets it do great
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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