NORTH AMERICAN SAIL NUMBERING SYSTEM FOR OFFSHORE BOATS
US Sailing’s Offshore office issues sail numbers which are critical for racing and recommended for cruising yachts venturing to sea. Sail numbers are an important way of uniquely identifying a yacht for search and rescue purposes, and are a requirement for those boats categorized as ‘ISAF Class boats” (see the Racing Rules of Sailing as specified in Appendix G, Rule 1 and refer to www.sailing.org for information about ISAF classes). Additionally, “Other Boats” as described in Appendix G, Rule 1 may also require a US Sailing number, particularly those participating in international races. “Offshore” sail numbers may be required in any race that is not a one-design race.
Aside from contacting US Sailing directly, sail numbers are issued by the Canadian Yachting Association. Other geographic regions listed below, through delegation of authority by US Sailing, can issue sail numbers as well. In instances of ambiguity with regard to a sail number, first contact the nearest local authority. The owner of a boat that permanently transfers from one area to another shall notify both authorities; the original number, however, shall be retained. The number assigned to an offshore boat shall be unique, and no other boat shall bear that number except for those boats whose sail numbers are assigned by an ISAF Class.
Typically, sail numbers are assigned in sequential order for a $100 fee to US Sailing members and a non-member fee of $125. It is also possible to obtain an out of sequence sail number or a ‘high profile’ sailing number (eg. two, three, and four digit numbers as well as sail numbers with a sequence of three or four adjacent numerals). Please contact the Offshore Administrator for information and availability of high profile numbers.
Except in regards to ‘high profile’ sail numbers, a sail number stays with the boat even in the event of a transfer of ownership. If you are transferring or receiving a boat with a registered US Sail Number, please notify US Sailing so that the boat’s records can be updated. In the event that a yacht is lost or destroyed, please contact US Sailing so that the database can be updated and the sail number returned to circulation.
Please note that high profile numbers revert back to the ownership of US Sailing when a yacht is no longer actively racing, upon transfer of ownership, or in the event that the boat is lost or destroyed.
To obtain a sail number issued by the US Sailing office please click Sail Number Application
Sail Number Assignment Authority
For areas not otherwise designated US SAILING is the sail number authority.
** All assignments within the national boundary of Canada are under the authoriity of the CYA.