Safety Information

SER and World Sailing Special Regulations


It is important for racers and race organizers to be included in the SER development process. For that reason a website was established to collect input from the sailing community. The website was as widely publicized as possible. Ultimately, over 130 comments from the racing community were received in regards to the proposed SERs. A diverse subcommittee was formed to analyze the input. This committee included people from many different race venues from across the country as well as some of the individuals who crafted the existing SER and its preceding document.

The committee compiled the comments and, after reviewing them, chose to concentrate on suggestions that were independently proposed by multiple groups. After thorough discussion and analysis, the committee considered 20 changes and subsequently approved 17 of them. Most of the alterations were implemented for the purposes of clarification or to reduce the requirement. No new requirements were added. Several of the changes were necessary to include non-US venues in the wording with terms like “USCG or applicable government authority”. Others were removed because they were merely suggestions that are required to be specified in the Notice of Race. The proposed changes were then forwarded to the US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee and others at US Sailing for their approval.

The SER continues to be a very flexible set of requirements that organizing authorities are encouraged to modify as needed to fit their race and venue. Below are links to the 2018 SER Documents.

The key differences between the Safety Equipment Requirements (SER) and the World Sailing OSRs are as follows:

  1. The requirements are easier for yacht owners and pre-race inspectors to understand.
  2. The requirements are self-contained and do not refer to external documents.
  3. The number of race categories has been reduced from seven to three: Nearshore, Coastal, and Ocean. Race organizers can then add or delete gear requirements based on the nature of their individual races.
  4. The requirements are more specific about certain pieces of gear that lacked definition in the OSRs.
  5. The OSRs contained both recommendations and requirements which proved confusing to users, and which increased the size of the document. The recommendations have been removed from the new version.
  6. The requirements are far more compact, and can easily be included in their entirety in a Notice of Race or on a yacht club website.

Chuck Hawley, US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Committee Chairman:

“One of the functions of the Safety at Sea Committee is to promote equipment requirements that are appropriate for the conditions, easily verified, and not excessive. I believe that the new SERs meet those criteria, and will serve offshore sailors well. We encourage all Organizing Authorities to use them, edited if the local conditions warrant, so that races are sailed under consistent equipment rules.”

As with any standards document, the USSER will be modified over time. Select the 2016 SER Documents tab to view and download the new requirements.


The Extracts of the 2014-2015 World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations (OSR). Questions should be sent to Ron Trossback, US Sailing Safety At Sea Committee and/or Nathan Titcomb, Offshore Director


ISAF Offshore Special Regulation (OSR 6.05) – Medical Training.

US SAILING has submitted to ISAF the following MNA recognized courses that are accepted in the U.S. as meeting the first aid training requirements for Categories 1 and 2:

  • American Heart Association: Heartsaver FACTS – includes Heartsaver first aid course and AED (Automated External Defibrillator ) training. Certification for 2 years.
  • American Red Cross: First Aid, Standard First Aid (taught with Adult CPR at a workplace), and First Aid Basics (when taught alone as a community course). Certification for 3 years.
  • American Safety and Health Institute: Basic First Aid. Certification for “up to” 3 years.
  • National Safety Council: First Aid or Standard First Aid (when taught with CPR). Certification for 3 years.