Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Will the real PHRF please stand up
...While the actual ability to sail to a rating may vary with the items that you mentioned, PHRF ratings are supposed to be based on a boat loaded in a specific manner, fully and properly prepped, and sailing a specific course stipulated course in the prevailing conditions. In that regard, there is a real and valid PHRF for that a properly prepared and loaded boat.
What no current scoring rule can do is to adjust the rating for each individual boat in the specific sailing conditions it is racing in on each leg; although SYRF (Sailing Yacht Research Foundation) is trying to come up with a way to do that...
As I know you agree, no one is likely to ever replicate the PHRF rating in real life. At best, one might consider them relative measures between boats, which is also suspect, when the difference is in a few seconds over a mile, IMO. As you also know, a boat with a faster PHRF might very well be slower on any given leg than it's closely rated neighbor.
If one was interested in racing the PHRF game, I get why it matters. As to buying a cruising boat, unless one has no clue that an old bullet proof full keeler is going to drag behind a modern light fin keel, I think they're worthless measures.
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