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Old 21-01-2010, 17:29   #1
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Numbers on Mainsail?

My boat has 7453 on the mainsail. Why/what does this mean?
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Old 21-01-2010, 17:31   #2
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Mine has hull number on it
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Old 21-01-2010, 17:33   #3
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it's a racing thing. the sail number lets the race committee know which boat is which, so it can record their finishing order.
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Old 21-01-2010, 18:28   #4
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it's a racing thing. the sail number lets the race committee know which boat is which, so it can record their finishing order.

I'm sure that you are right, but my Nor'Sea 27' has a number on the main that corresponds to the hull number.
That's probably what the racing committee will use when I start racing her.
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Old 22-01-2010, 01:40   #5
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LOL... I used to have a nor'sea 27 aft cockpit. The last thing I would say about that boat was its fine racing style... as you would too!
For a pic check out the link in my sig.
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Old 22-01-2010, 06:11   #6
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it's a racing thing. the sail number lets the race committee know which boat is which, so it can record their finishing order.


Agree with that. It should be your more or less unique "sail number" including your "country code" as well. One really should not be able to participate to any major race without it. On some countries the registry is not very well kept, so double numbers are known to exist. That sail number is not just any number. At least here, you have to be a member of a registered yacht club, and you have to formally apply the number from a national registry and you even have to pay a fee to get the number. Then again, it is an official number that is certainly unique.

Based on the above, not all boats have a sail number, it is hardly mandatory in any country. It is simply needed for racing. I also suppose that there is no law against putting some other numbers or figures to your sail. Maybe the previous owner - or manufacturer - of your boat just thought putting a hull number on it was a good idea.
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Old 22-01-2010, 06:41   #7
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The number on my main is the hull number.

I suspect that's what it is in most cases.

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Old 22-01-2010, 16:41   #8
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The same... Every boat I have owned had a 'subset' of the hull number on the main. Typically, it has been the 'serial #' of the particular model boat.

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Old 22-01-2010, 18:45   #9
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that's how most do it, but not all

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The same... Every boat I have owned had a 'subset' of the hull number on the main. Typically, it has been the 'serial #' of the particular model boat.
my previous boat was hull #49 of a production model labeled "410," so I registered 41049 as the hull number. The current boat is hull #350 of a production model "46," so I chose 46350 as the sail number.

But, as a general rule, you can choose any sail number not previously assigned. At least that's the way it works in most jurisdictions.

If you're choosing a sail number, common wisdom is that it's best to go with a five-digit number to avoid duplications. Otherwise, if you're entered into a race as "70" and there's already a "70" registered for that race, you'll have to change your number for that race. This is usually done by adding a strip of black tape to change 70 into 701.
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Old 22-01-2010, 19:19   #10
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My Endeavour 37 has E37 on the mainsail. How did they come up with that? duh.
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Old 22-01-2010, 19:26   #11
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my previous boat was hull #49 of a production model labeled "410," so I registered 41049 as the hull number. The current boat is hull #350 of a production model "46," so I chose 46350 as the sail number.

But, as a general rule, you can choose any sail number not previously assigned. At least that's the way it works in most jurisdictions.

If you're choosing a sail number, common wisdom is that it's best to go with a five-digit number to avoid duplications. Otherwise, if you're entered into a race as "70" and there's already a "70" registered for that race, you'll have to change your number for that race. This is usually done by adding a strip of black tape to change 70 into 701.
Good point! I have also known a few (racers) who used their US documentation number as their sail numbers... Mine is "17", I was too cheap to pay for the model number digits

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Old 27-01-2010, 15:39   #12
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As long as the sail number is unique (in the country of origin), you can choose just about any combination of letters and numbers. It is typical / traditional here, in Oz, to use a letter or letters to designate your yacht club, followed by a unique number, which you would get from the club, as the next available number... my boat has sail number S.79; being Sandringham Yacht Club 79... I could (possibly should) change it to a BYC number, but I can't be bothered removing the "S.79" from all my sails and putting on a new number.
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Old 27-01-2010, 16:19   #13
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U S Sailing Association provides sail numbers on request and by paying a fee. This is obviouly for racing allowing boats to be easily identified particularly in large class races when the boats are nearly identical. Saying that, some sailors save the minimal fee by making up their own numbers such as hull number.
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Old 27-01-2010, 16:20   #14
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Sorry forgot something. The numbers should be on any foresail greter than 100% of the fore-triangle.
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