Image is a racer / cruiser. Since there is no Catalina 38 one design fleet in the Seattle area, the way to race image is under PHRF handicap.
PHRF stands for Pacific Handicap Racing Fleet and was established in Southern California as an alternative to the Cruising Club of America (CCA) and International Offshore Racing (IOR) rating systems. In order to allow different boats with different performance characteristics to race competitively, each boat gets assigned a handicap in seconds per mile. Image will most likely rate between 130 and 140 seconds a mile. This means that if Image is racing a J/35 (which rates 72 in One Design configuration), the J/35 needs to beat image by 58-68 seconds per mile in order to win. So on a 12 mile course you are looking at 11 to 13 minutes.
PHRF ratings are based on the dimensions of the boat and it’s sails such as Length over all, Length of the waterline, Beam, Displacement, Ballast, Length of the luff, leech and foot of the sails, etc. Some credits are given for not using spinnakers, propellers which induce additional drag, etc.
To my knowledge, Image has not participated in a bunch of races in the past. Therefore it is time to get her rated. Here is how that works on Puget Sound:
- Join a yacht club that is member of PHRF NW. This is actually optional, one could get a boat rated by working directly with PHRF NW, however, for me it made a lot of sense to join STYC since they put on a lot of races and their membership dues are very affordable. Check out their website for details.
- Join PHRF-NW.
- Submit a rating form and get a rating from the handicapper. This is what I filled in for Image.
I hope to receive a rating by the end of this week along with an assignment for sail numbers. Once that is done, the new sails can go on the boat.