Shrimper Racing - Rules - Ethos


Above all else -  when Shrimper racing...... our ethos ....   'Fast but Fair'


SHRIMPER CLASS RULES (as amended 1st April, 2002 and lst April 2004)

CONCEPT To keep all shrimpers equally competitive, requiring no extra expense beyond the purchase of a Standard Shrimper but to allow freedom to tune the rig and carry out personal alterations to the interior, or to deck/cockpit fittings for comfort, ease of handling and optimum performance.

SHRIMPER RACING ETHOS "Fast but fair" is the motto. We shall remain a self-policing Association of competitive helmsmen, complying with the accepted "Racing Rules of Sailing", and any local Rules that may be in force, and applying the above "Concept" rigorously and honestly to maintain a one-design racing fleet in which no boat has been given a material advantage over the "Standard Shrimper". A "Standard Shrimper" is the original basic outboard Shrimper specification, designed by Roger Dongray and built by Cornish Crabbers Ltd. No subsequent alterations to the design by Designer or Builder are deemed to have enhanced its performance. All Class racing is based upon the "Standard Shrimper".

1. HULL including bilge-keels, CENTREPLATE, RUDDER AND PLATE: No alterations or modifications except the addition of anodes, log, echo sounder (e.g. No re-profiling, smoothing or fairing).

2. ENGINES: as a mandatory safety rule, the boat's principal engine must be available at all times to propel the boat. With an outboard motor, this may be stowed in the aft locker or cabin and must be a minimum of 3.5 hp (local rules may require an outboard to be positioned in the well whilst racing, ready for immediate use in an emergency , e.g. in Poole Harbour). Inboard engines must be fitted with the standard fixed 2 or 3 bladed propeller or feathering 3 bladed propeller.

3. DECK, COCKPIT: mast tabernacle, mainsheet horse, and bowsprit mountings must not be moved.

4. INTERIOR, LOCKERS: no supporting or structural members may be cut away or removed. No ballast may be removed; extra ballast may be added, but may not be moved during racing.

5. MAST, BOWSPRIT, BOOM AND GAFF: there may be no alterations to any dimensions of spars, to positions of gooseneck, mast band, gaff jaws or bowsprit end fitting. Mast and spars may not be hollow, except for the standard wiring groove in the mast. Additional blocks, eyes and cleats may be added to aid reefing and sail adjustments, and for hoisting flags, radar reflectors etc.

6. STANDARD RIGGING: there may be no alteration to shroud positions or chain plates, and shrouds may not be adjusted in length during a race. The outer forestay may be varied to facilitate jib luff tension and roller-reefing operations.

7. RUNNING RIGGING: alterations may be made if required to purchases of halyards, mainsheet, kicking strap, and types of blocks and ropes.

8. WHISKER POLE: the pole for poling out the jib is unrestricted, and the inboard end may be attached to mast or halyard fall as required.

9. SAILS: these must be made as close as possible to the dimensions of the standard sail plan ( see link below), but these dimensions are an absolute maximum and must not be exceeded. The Shrimper motif and correct number to be on both sides. Sail material to be of woven sailcloth with a minimum weight of 200 gms/sq.m. (equivalent to 6 U.K. ozs or 4.75 U.S. ozs). All jibs must be roller reefed and fitted to a luff foil, with the lower end attachment fixed to the bowsprit end-band. The mainsail tack cringle must be attached to its gooseneck eye by a shackle or lashing of no more than 5cm (2 inches). All sail measurements must be in accordance with the I.S.A.F. Equipment Rules of Sailing (including the Guide to Measurement).

10. GENERAL: any Shrimper, when racing, shall conform to the relevant safety requirements as laid down in the SOA One-Design Rules and local Rules of the organising body. A boat should carry an engine (as specified in para 2 above), and at least one anchor and chain of a minimum combined weight of 7kg/15lb. A boat should also carry adequate warps, fenders, lifejackets for all aboard, lifebelt, fire-extinguisher, first-aid kit, flares, fog-horn, at least a hand bearing compass, and (optional but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) a boarding ladder.

NB Although the SOA ethos requires that Owners be self-policing in observance of the above, most Race Committees' local Rules will invariably state that a boat "may be scrutinised". It is deemed, as a condition of acceptance of SOA Rules that Members accept that their boat is liable for scrutiny.

Also, under the Rule referring to "Sportsmanship and Fair Play", any person may refer a matter to a Race Committee who will "consult the relevant authority". In the case of a query regarding possible breach, either materially or of the spirit of the above One-design Rules, the "relevant authority" shall be the SOA One-design Class Rules Committee convened by the Hon. Sec. (or his representative) with a least three Members. This committee shall also advise on any other queries from Members regarding interpretation of the above Rules. However it is not a "Protest Committee" which, within the meaning of the "Racing Rules of Sailing" is the Committee formed by the relevant Race Committee or Organisation.


If you have any queries regard the rules or measuring sails please contact our

SOA Rules Panel Trevor Heritage and Mark Osborne


Poole Area Racing

In recent years the SOA Poole Section has amended the SOA Racing Rules to take account of specific conditions pertaining to Poole Harbour.   These rules apply to all Shrimper racing organised by yacht clubs within Poole Harbour.    The rules also apply to visiting boats taking part in Poole events.  

Further information can be found on the Poole Area pages here.  Alternatively, you can access the latest version of the rules using the link below.  

Poole Area Racing Rules


National SOA  sail measuring specifications have been adpoted. Click here to view.

This link is to the sail measuring form.