Questions/Interpretations

Question:
Is the batten bowsprit (used to prevent keel hauling spinnaker sheets) part of the boat?

Response:
No. After some research and discussion with several knowledgeable people at the Worlds, the Measurement Committee ruled that they are not part of the boat: they are not required and they are not on the plans of the Lightning. Date: 1999.

Clarification:
Since a batten bowsprit is not part of the boat, it is not to be considered for overlap or finishing concerns. Sailors wishing to use a batten bowsprit may do so, but they are not required and not subject to any measurement.
Date: 2007

Question:
Can any device be used to attach the chain plates and the shrouds in order to move or offset their relative position?

Response:
No.The drawings indicate that the shrouds should attached directly to the chain plates. The measurement and technical committees also believe that the intent of the original design was not to create the potential for an adjustment to the rigging at this location. Date: May 20, 2004
Question:
Can I use a watch that provides GPS related information?

Response:
No. Any electronic device shall not provide wind information, boat speed, GPS-related information or compute correlation between time and bearing.

Question:
Is the batten bowsprit (used to prevent keel hauling spinnaker sheets) part of the boat?

Response:
No. After some research and discussion with several knowledgeable people at the Worlds, the Measurement Committee ruled that they are not part of the boat: they are not required and they are not on the plans of the Lightning. Date: 1999.

Question:
Can machined aluminum gudgeons with a stainless pintle be used?

Response:
No. Former Chief Measurer Cal Schmiege made a ruling that was posted in the August 1998 Flashes. That ruling is reprinted here for your review:

"The Measurement Committee has had inquiries recently concerning the use of aluminum for pintles and gudgeons. Article IV paragraph 72 states, "The use of aluminum for essential fittings is limited to spinnaker sheet and halyard brummel hooks and to cam-action jam cleats. All other essential fittings must be of metal weighing not less than 6.9 g/cc (0.25 pounds per cubic inch)." Since pintles and gudgeons are essential fittings, they cannot be made of aluminum. Also, it should be noted that titanium has a density of 4.5g/cc, and is therefore also illegal for use in essential fittings."  Date: October 10, 2001

Question:
Can Nigeria Lagos Yacht Club, Fleet 510 Lagos, Nigeria, Africa utilize lifting/tilting rudders for non-sanctioned regattas (e.g. local fleet races) since the depth of the waters that their sail in warrants it (considerable shallow water that is resulting in repeated boat damage)?

Response:
Yes, as a fleet exception to the Lightning Rules and Specifications. The class set this precedent a number of years ago by allowing a select fleets to use short boards and lifting/tilting rudders for local fleet races since their sailing waters were very shallow. The lifting/tilting rudder used by any boat should replicate, as possible, the intent of the Lightning design and intent of the specifications. The final decision for the use lifting/tilting rudders will reside with the regatta's or fleet's organizing body.  Date: November 12, 2001

Question:
Can a lifting/tilting rudder be used in an open multi class regattas not sanctioned by the ILCA when the depth of the waters that the event is being sail on warrants it (considerable shallow water that will likely result in repeated boat damage)?

Response:
Yes. The class set this precedent a number of years ago by allowing a select fleets to use short boards and lifting/tilting rudders for local fleet races since their sailing waters were very shallow. The lifting/tilting rudder used by any boat should replicate, as possible, the intent of the Lightning design and intent of the specifications.

The final decision for the use lifting/tilting rudders will reside with the regatta's organizing body. 
Date: November 12, 2001

Question:
Is my spinnaker pole legal?

Response:
The Measurement Committee has issued an interpretation, ratified by the Governing Board at the 2002 NAs, which makes most poles legal. This Ruling will be a Proposed Amendment to be voted on at the Governing Board Meeting in St. Pete in March 2003, but for now, it makes your pole legal.  
Date: August 2002

ARTICLE III - RUDDER, CENTERBOARD, SPINNAKER POLE 66. The spinnaker pole:

  1. May be made of wood, fiberglass, foam, aluminum (alloy), or any combination (of wood, foam, fiberglass, or aluminum (alloy)).
  2. May be tapered or a uniform section throughout its length. The maximum diameter pole shall not exceed 2-1/2" (63.5 mm). The minimum diameter of the pole is 1-1/2" (38.1 mm) at its center and 1" at its end prior to the end fitting.
  3. When installed perpendicular to the front face of the mast in line with the centerline of the hull, and pushed lightly against the mast fitting, will not exceed 2083 mm (6'10"0 as measured to its extreme outer edge.

Question:
Are carbon fiber spinnaker poles legal?

Response:
No. Date: 2002

Question:
Is it legal to tape over transom ports?

Response:
Yes. Date: 2000

Question:
Can sail numbers be different colors?

Response:
No. They must all be the same color. Our interpretation, consistent with ISAF, is that all of the numbers must be the same color.  Date: 2000

Question:
Can sail numbers and country designation be stenciled on the sail?

Response:
No. Sail numbers must be made from cloth. Stenciled on numbers are illegal.  Date: 2000

Question:
Is Dyform rigging legal?

Response:
No. Date: 2002

Question:
Are aluminum tillers legal?

Response:
Yes. A few years ago, all tillers were made of wood. Today, aluminum seems to be the material of choice for this essential fitting. Therefore, the Measurement Committee rules that the use of aluminum is acceptable for tillers.  Date: 1999

Question:
Are lever systems allowed to assist with changing the mast blocks?

Response:
No. The lever systems allowing adjustments to the mast is not intended by the specifications.
Date: 2000

Question:
Do you need to have country designation on the spinnaker for the worlds?

Response:
No. While this is a requirement of the ISAF, the ILCA has a waiver.

Question:
How should upper shroud tension be measured?

Response:
This interpretation is based on the Lightning Plans and Specifications Article II SPARS, 56. Upper and lower shroud tension shall not exceed 113.4 kg (250lbs) with the forestay slack, backstay off and mast blocks removed. The measurement process is:

  1. Applicability:

    1. For sanctioned regatta:  all boats will follow this procedure and will be checked for compliance prior to the start of the regatta.
    2. For sanctioned events, it is at the discretion of the event's governing body. We assume that their intentions and the identification of the official gauge occur prior to the skipper's meeting.

  2. Gauges:

    1. Type: It is preferred that the latest gauge available is used.
    2. Number of:

      1. Preferred: A single new measurement gauge should be used to check all boats. It should be recalibrated after every 10 boats against two previously measured boats.
      2. Alternative: For large events, multiple gauges may be used to measure boats. These gauges must be calibrated using the first three boats measured.

    3. Damaged gauges: If for some reason a gauge is damaged during the measurement process, a new gauge may be substituted but must be first calibrated against three previously measured boats.

    4. Definition of "calibrated:" This measurement process is followed and:

      1. The gauge(s) can be made to or interpreted to read the same.
      2. The gauge(s) can be made to or interpreted to read 250 pounds.

  3. The boat should be measured on the trailer with the top of the centerboard trunk as level as possible. All boats measured should have the same level and orientation to the wind as possible. (Boats can be spot-checked on the water as long as the condition closely approximated the condition when the boats were originally measured).

  4. Assure that the blocks are out, backstay is off, forestay slack and base of mast is within specifications.

  5. The upper shrouds MUST be attached. The lower shrouds can be attached or slack or unattached hanging freely.

  6. Measure the upper and lower shrouds to make sure that they are within the specifications (250lbs). The measurement point should be approximately 4 feet from the deck. The gauge should be positioned upright such that it is pulled toward the mast.

  7. Once the shrouds have been measured, the upper shrouds should be taped so that they cannot be adjusted. The measurer should mark the tape using a permanent pen with a distinguishing mark.

  8. Spot checks can be performed during the regatta to check to assure that the tape on the upper shrouds has not been changed. If the tape has been altered then the boat can be remeasured using this procedure.