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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 06-15-2005
CES CES is offline
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Ensign for small boat

I have a 17'' New Jersy Skiff from Gig Harbor Boat Work that I sail on Puget Sound and many of the like of wetern Washington. I''d like to fly an ensign and pennant. Can anyone give me advise on the proper way to do it? Thx
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Old 06-15-2005
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Ensign for small boat

The standard is one inch per foot of boat length. Therefore, with your 17 foot boat, your flag should be at least 17 inches long. You can fly this from the backstay. You fly any burgee on the starboard (Ithink) side of the mast under the lower spreader. All of this is somewhere here in sailnet, I have looked it up here before.
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Old 06-16-2005
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Ensign for small boat

Technically, the "Yacht Ensign" is flown to identify a vessel as a pleasure yacht that does not have to pay a harbor''s commercial landing fee. And is to be flown by vessels documented by the USCG as such. It''s an old custom, dating back to the days when the majority of sailboats were working boats, and only a few were "For pleasure only". The distinct "Yacht Ensign", 13 red/white stripes, a fouled anchor inside a circle of 13 stars on a blue background, would separate the pleasure boats from the working boats, and save the harbor master the trip out to collect fees. It should only be flown in the US Territorial Waters.

So if you are looking to be correct, your vessel must be documented to fly an Ensign, and 17'' is to small for that. But as most fly them ''cause they look very "Boaty", just get one that looks in proportion, and hang it from a nice teak stern pole.
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Old 06-16-2005
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Ensign for small boat

Oh, and if the pennant you are flying is a yacht club burgee, is should be raised on a "Burgee Mast" and raised to the head of the highest mast on the vessel. If racing rules allow, you may raise it on the flag halyard attached to your starboard lower spreader. Your flag halyard should be used to raise any signaling pannants you wish to display.
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