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Accordion Widget
Part I. Organization
Part I. Organization
Part I. Organization
 Last Updated: August 13, 2017
1. NAME: The name of this organization shall be the Ensign Class Association.


A. To promote and develop Ensign class racing under uniform rules and to maintain rigidly the one-design feature of the Ensign.

B. To promote the use of the Ensign as a family boat for recreational sailing.

C. To promote the education of the public, and particularly the youth in sailing in general and sailboat racing; to promote safe sailing and boat handling, to promote compliance with the Rules of US SAILING known as "Racing Rules of Sailing" (RRS); to educate the public and particularly the youth on the proper and necessary equipment of sail boats.

3. Emblem/Burgee: The Emblem of the Ensign Class Association shall be the red block letter “E” surrounded by six blue stars arranged as shown (see Emblem Diagram). The burgee of the Ensign Class Association shall be a white dovetailed burgee having a red stripe along the upper and lower edge and the Ensign Class Emblem vertically centered in the field. The dovetail angle shall be 120 degrees. The red stripe width shall be approximately 10% of the height of the burgee at the center of the Ensign Class Emblem. The block E is 25% of the height of the burgee at the location of the block letter E. The diameter of the circle of the centers of the stars on the burgee shall be twice the height of the block letter E. The upper and lower edges on the burgee are tapered 4 degrees towards the center of the dovetail.

4. CLASS DESIGN: The boat is a 22 1/2-foot fiberglass keel-type sloop designed by Carl A. Alberg, originally manufactured by the Pearson Corporation, introduced in 1962 as the Electra Day Sailor, and subsequently renamed the Ensign.


A. Any owner or bona fide charterer of an Ensign may apply for membership in the Association. They shall join, if possible, through an Ensign fleet on whose waters they normally sail. The power to accept or reject an application for membership is vested in each fleet, but any application is subject to refusal, for cause, by the Governing Committee.

B. The fleet, a territorial branch or unit open to all eligible individuals, shall elect its own officers, always to include a Fleet Secretary. It shall be self-governing in all local matters that do not conflict with the Association's rules.

6. FLEET CHARTERS: The Governing Committee may grant Fleet Charters to each fleet consisting of three or more owners upon application to the Association Secretary. Charters shall be revoked by the Governing Committee upon failure of a fleet to maintain a minimum number of members in good standing or other adequate cause.


A. Regular Members of the Ensign Class Association shall be owners, part owners and bona fide charterers of Ensigns registered upon payment of dues. However, in all matters requiring representation and voting, each boat shall be limited to a single vote.

B. The organization may accept as Associate Members all persons interested in the class, but no Associate Member shall be entitled to representation or to vote.

C. The Governing Committee shall determine the dues.

D. Applicants who are not members of local fleets shall remit dues directly to the National Ensign Class Association Treasurer.

E. Fleets may collect National dues and in turn remit them to the National Ensign Class Treasurer. This includes both Regular and Associate membership. With remittance the following information should be included:

1. Boat number and name

2. Member's name

3. Address

4. Fleet

5. Phone numbers (home, work, FAX)

6. E-mail address

7. Class tax deductible donation

8. Other information as may be requested

F. Dues notices should be mailed by the Executive Secretary or Treasurer at the first of the year.

G. After initial dues collection efforts by the fleets, the Executive Secretary will conduct follow-up national dues collection directly, keeping fleets informed periodically of the results.


A. The powers of the Association shall be vested in and administered by a Governing Committee, consisting of the six (6) elected officers as listed below and the immediate former Officers.

B. The six officers shall be elected at an Annual Meeting for a two-year term.

C. The Governing Committee shall uphold the Association rules, grant or revoke fleet charters, sanction or ban Ensign races, fill vacancies in office, conduct all business and determine the policies of the Association.

D. The current Officers shall each have one vote. The immediate former Officers, called the National Advisory Committee, shall have one vote as a group, determined by the simple majority of such Former Officers voting. If their votes were tied aye and nay, there is no resulting "one vote." If only one immediate former Officer votes, that Officer's vote shall be counted as the "one vote" of the National Advisory Committee.

E. An affirmative vote of four of the seven votes of the Governing Committee shall decide all questions.

F. Elected Officers and their Duties:

1. Commodore: The Commodore shall preside at meetings, shall rule on procedure and appoint special committees, and shall be empowered to call meetings.

2. Vice Commodore-Regional Affairs: The Vice Commodore-Regional Affairs shall, through appointed correspondents, communicate with an appointee in each of the various fleets, in order to reflect the fleet's views at Governing Committee meetings, and shall also be responsible for the promotion of Ensign activity on the inter-fleet level.

3. Vice Commodore-Rules: The Vice Commodore-Rules, shall with the aid of the Rules Committee, respond to all questions relative to eligibility of boats and equipment, interpret the rules and specifications, and recommend to the Governing Committee any advisable alterations or additions to the class rules.

4. Vice Commodore-Publicity: The Vice Commodore-Publicity shall be responsible for public relations and advertising of the Association, and shall act as class liaison with the interested public.

5. Secretary: The Secretary shall keep the minutes and write national bulletins to the membership and shall be responsible for corresponding with members.

6. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall deposit all funds, keep financial records, make necessary disbursements and maintain the membership and mailing lists.

G. Appointed Officers and Their Duties

1. Rear Commodore – Editor: The Rear Commodore-Editor shall publish the Ensign Class Newsletter and/or the Ensign Class Yearbook.

2. Rear Commodore – Boat List: The Rear Commodore-Boat List shall be responsible for advertising the availability of Ensigns on the market.

3. Rear Commodore – Webmaster: The Rear Commodore-Webmaster shall be responsible for maintaining the Ensign Class Association Website.

The Commodore with approval of the Governing Board appoints the above officers annually. These officers have a non-voting status relative to the Governing Board.


A. THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Shall consist of three members, each from a different fleet, appointed by the Commodore at an Annual Meeting, which committee shall nominate the Officers for the following term.

B. THE RULES COMMITTEE: Shall be appointed immediately after each Annual Meeting by the Commodore. The Vice Commodore-Rules shall chair it and its other members shall hold office for one year. It shall assist the Vice Commodore-Rules in carrying out the duties of that office.

C. TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE: Shall be regular or associate members appointed by the Commodore to oversee the construction of non-Pearson built Ensigns. The purpose of the committee is to assure new boats are built to the same or equivalent specifications as the Pearson built Ensigns in order to maintain the “one design” characteristics.

D. ENSIGNS FOREVER COMMITTEE: Shall be regular or associate members appointed by the Commodore to promote the Ensign in the sailing community and be responsible for ensuring that a plan is in place to maintain the ability to produce non-Pearson built Ensigns. To support this, the Ensigns Forever Committee will raise voluntary funds from the sailing community and ECA members in excess of dues. The Committee will communicate with the Ensign builder in regards to contracts, the preservation of ECA assets and forecasting potential expenditures that may be requested from the ECA.


A. Annual Meeting:

1. The Annual Meeting shall be held between October 1st and March 31st at a time and place to be designated by the Governing Committee. The members shall be notified of this meeting at least thirty days in advance of the date selected. A quorum shall consist of the presence of at least five Regular Members. Voting shall be by Regular Members who shall be entitled to one vote for each boat enrolled, and the majority vote of those present then in good standing in person or by proxy shall be sufficient. A proxy must be in writing.

2. The order of business at an Annual Meeting shall be as follows:

a. Call to order.

b. Roll call.

c. Reading of the minutes.

d. Report of the Officers.

e. Discussion of Governing Committee Rulings.

f. Other Business.

g. Election of Officers.

h. Adjournment.

B. Special Meetings:

1. A Special Meeting shall be called by the Commodore upon request of the Governing Committee or upon written request to the Secretary by members of at least twenty-five percent of the total number of active chartered fleets.

2. The Secretary shall give to all members not less than two weeks written notice of the purpose, time and place designated by the Commodore for any Special Meeting.

11. AMENDMENTS: The Association rules may be amended only at an Annual or Special Meeting by two-thirds vote of the total number of boats represented at the meeting in person or by proxy provided, however, that the proposed amendment shall be set forth in the notice of the meeting.

12. DISSOLUTION: In the event of dissolution of the Ensign Class Association, all of the remaining assets and property of the Association shall, after payment of all necessary expenses thereof, be distributed to US SAILING or to other organizations that qualify under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent Federal tax laws, or to the Federal government or State or local governments for a public purpose, subject to the approval of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.


A. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, the Ensign Class Association (the Association) is organized exclusively for one or more of the purposes as specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from Federal income tax under IRC 501(c)(3) or corresponding provisions of any subsequent law.

B. No part of the net earnings of the Association shall inure to the benefit of any member, trustee, director, officer of the Association, or any private individual (except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for the Association), and no member, trustee, or officer of the Association or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the Association’s assets on dissolution of the Association.

C. No substantial part of the activities of the Association shall be carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided by IRC 501 (h) or participating in, or intervening in (including the publication or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office.

D. In any year in which the Association is a private foundation as described in Section 509(a), the Association shall distribute its income for said period in such time and manner as not to subject it to tax under IRC 4942, and the Association shall not:

1. Engage in any act of self-dealing as defined in IRC 4941(d),

2. Retain an excess business holding as defined in IRC Section 4943(0),

3. Make any investments in such a manner as to subject the Association to tax under Section 4944, or

4. Make any taxable expenditure as defined in IRC 4945(d) or corresponding provisions of any subsequent Federal tax laws.

 Amended February 8, 2014,  August 13, 2017
Accordion Widget
PART II. Rules and Specifications
PART II. Rules and Specifications
PART II. Rules and Specifications
 Last Updated: January 18, 2020
1. INTERPRETATION: Specifications, however complete, cannot anticipate every possible situation that may arise. If a point is not herein covered, a ruling shall be obtained from the Rules Committee. In interpreting the rules and specifications, the Rules Committee shall consider the intent rather than any technical construction that might be derived from the wording, and shall bear in mind at all times the basic principle of the specifications, which is to maintain the Ensign Class as one-design class. Nothing is optional in these rules and specifications unless so stated.

General Rules: In the absence of specific rules to the contrary, the ISAF rules (RRS) shall apply including the US Sailing Prescriptions.

2. STANDARDS: The original plans and specifications on file with the Ensign Class Association, or a certified copy of these plans acquired by the Association, as modified by the Technical Committee and these Rules, shall be considered as setting forth the official standards with respect to hull, spars and rigging.


A. It shall be the responsibility of the individual fleets to insure that their member boats abide by the Association’s rules and specifications for local competition. The Rules Committee will rule on any matter submitted to it by a fleet. The measurement and certification of Ensigns to be sailed in the National or Regional Class Championships shall be under the control of the Governing Committee or its appointees.

B. An Ensign may be challenged by means of a protest, in writing, stating the grounds thereof, submitted to the Secretary, who shall refer it to the Rules Committee for decision. Any such protest shall be accompanied by a check for $10 that shall be refunded if the protest is sustained and otherwise paid into the Association treasury.

C. The Rules Committee shall have the power to declare a boat ineligible.


A. All hulls shall conform to the design and specifications of the Ensign as built in 1962 by the Pearson Corporation so that the one-design aspect of the boat shall remain unchanged.

B. Fairing and or removal of the head outlet and intake fittings are permitted.

C. A yacht shall not have a specially textured hull surface, the intention of which is to reduce drag in the water. A conventional smooth hull surface is permitted. Drag reduction films and/or hull etching are not permitted.

D. Hiking straps are permitted.


A. No change in the dimensions, location, weight, shape or materials of the keel, rudder, hull, or spars from such dimensions, location, weight, shape and materials which are standard for the 1962 Ensign shall be permitted, except such changes as are incidental to the upkeep of such items.

B. The trailing edge of the rudder may be faired starting from a line not more than 8" from the trailing edge. When the fairing is completed, the rudder must be at least 1/2" in thickness at all points along a line drawn 1.0" in from the trailing edge.

C. The rudder may be fiberglassed (using cloth and resin) as long as the rudder dimensions are not changed. The gap between the top of the rudder and the hull shall not be less than 1/2".

D. Rudder straps may not be removed from the keel. Fairing of the rudder straps into the hull is permitted. The edges of the straps may be rounded only as is incidental to maintenance. Rounding involving the removal of 1/8" or less material from the original edge of the strap is considered rounding incidental to maintenance.

E. The forward tangs of the masthead assembly may be cut off and rounded to conform to the altered Pearson pattern. The maximum cut shall be controlled by a 1-15/16" radius with center 1/4" above the top edge of the mast proper and 1-15/16" aft of the forward mast edge. The horizontal distance from the edge of the after tang to the forward extremity of the fitting, after cutting, must be at least 5-7/8".

F. The Governing Committee is authorized to request and approve changes in the mast specifications to achieve greater stiffness through increasing the wall thickness and designing a stiffening kit for older masts.

G. Crank roller reefing devices may be installed in the forward end of the boom. After installation, the boom must be banded so that the inner edge of the band is 11' 1-1/2" from the after side of the mast. Cutting a section from the boom to make it conform to the above is permitted, but the dimension from the aft side of the mast to the aft end of the boom or attachments to the boom must be maintained at 11' 6" maximum.

H. A small-geared winch is permitted inside the boom for adjustment of the outhaul.

I. The location and length of the spinnaker/whisker pole track shall be optional.

J. Ensigns shall weigh at least 2800 pounds, including the hull, all screw-captured or bonded in place (attached) parts, standing rigging, and all installed running rigging. Standing rigging is defined to include the mast and boom and their fittings, but not the spinnaker/whisker poles. Boats weighing less than 2800 pounds shall add screw-captured or structure bonded weights as necessary to obtain a minimum weight of 2800 pounds. A maximum 150 lbs of corrector weight shall be added as follows – 50% of the weight at the base of the mast, and 50% located 45 inches aft of the main bulkhead, fastened to the top of the floorboards or to the bottom of the seats, split 50:50 port and starboard.


A. No change in the location, strength of dimensions of the standing rigging which are standard for the 1962 Ensign shall be permitted. The official length of the Ensign forestay from eye center to eye center including turnbuckle, toggle(s) and any stretch when turnbuckle is pinned in its maximum extended position shall be no greater than 26' 3-3/4". The lengths of the other standing rigging are eliminated from the class rules. The standard spreaders may be no shorter than 26-3/4" each, measured from the inboard end of the spreader tube to the extreme tip of the fitting that receives the shroud.

B. No adjustments to, nor any device which would facilitate adjustment of, the standing rigging while racing is permitted except for emergency and/or temporary repairs and except for the backstay turnbuckle or its equivalent. The backstay turnbuckle shall be as supplied by Pearson Yachts, or a replacement which is identical in size and shape, with the exception that a short, non-ratcheting lever arm may be added. As an alternative, a remotely adjustable device may be installed in lieu of the backstay turnbuckle, whose purpose is to facilitate backstay tension, provided that it cannot be adjusted more than three (3) inches. Magic boxes or other similar devices may be used as long as total backstay adjustment is limited to 3 inches. Any other variation will require approval of the Rules Committee in accordance with Part II, Rule 1. “Interpretation”.

C. Installation of an intermediate stay from spreader tip to the midpoint between the spreader socket and the point of attachment of the upper shrouds is permitted. The sole function of this option is to restrain the upper portion of the mast from excessive lateral bending. Selection of hardware and installation shall be optional, but should be equivalent to the design approved by the Rules Committee. This design and installation instructions are available from the Ensign Class Association Secretary. (All installations should use care to fix the spreader tip to the upper shroud to avoid spreader failure.) Deviations require the approval of the Rules Committee.


A. The fittings for halyards may not be altered insofar as their character and points of attachment to the mast are concerned. An exception is the spinnaker halyard-turning block, which may be fastened on the cabin top. Halyards and the sheaves shall bear the weight of the sails. Halyards may not be run internally through the mast. No part of any halyard, including the tail, may be led through the cabin top.

B. The bottom of the attaching hole of the spinnaker halyard block tang shall be no more than 28' 6-1/2" from the heel of the mast and no more than 4 -3/4" above the jib-stay tang.

C. Halyard latches or hooks may not be attached to the mast above a point 7' 10" from the heel of the mast.

D. The arrangement of the working jib and spinnaker sheet and guy leads; sheet blocks and cleats shall be optional. The arrangement of the toppinglift and foreguy for the spinnaker and whisker poles shall be optional.The No. 1 and No. 2 Genoa sheet leads and blocks shall be confined to the toe rail. Adjustment of the Genoa sheet lead angle by means other than a car held in place by a pin and not remotely controlled is prohibited. Barber hauling of the No. 1 and No. 2 genoas is prohibited. The use of a cunningham on the tack of the jib, or of a winch on any halyard or sheet shall be optional. If used, the cunningham grommet must be placed within 2" of the luff tape, and no more than 12" (center to center) from the tack grommet.  Geared sheet winches and self-tailing winches are permitted. Magic boxes may be used on halyards, boom vangs and outhauls.

E. Blade jib sheet lead blocks shall be confined to the cabin top. The tracks for these blocks shall be no less than 16" long. The centers of each track (length and width) must be 14" abeam of a point on the centerline measured 7' 6" aft of the foremost stemhead-fitting hole. Each track must be aligned toward this same hole. The track position may be adjusted up to 1/2" forward or aft to avoid drilling bolt holes through the cabin top ribs.

F. The type and arrangement of mainsheet deck fittings shall be optional. All deck fittings except cleats and blocks for lines controlling the traveler shall be located aft of the cockpit.

G. Mainsheet boom fittings may remain at the end of the boom or, optionally, the sheet may be led forward to a fitting on the boom to allow mid-boom sheeting. In no case shall the fitting be closer than 5’-6” to the mast. The fitting may be attached directly to the boom or to a track on the boom. Cleating for this option shall be only to the fitting on the boom. This option is intended to provide a sheet lead in a convenient mid-boom location. It is not intended as a means of bending the boom or for sail shape change. In no case shall the sheet be attached or cleated to the cockpit floor, the deck or any deck bridge arrangement.


A. A boom vang (hold down) may be used, and permanent fittings for attaching the vang to the boom and to the boat or mast may be installed. Vang fittings on the boom must not interfere with roller reefing, but a boom bale may be installed in connection with the vang where jiffy, rather than roller reefing is used.

B. The vang shall be affixed to the boom no further aft than 5' from the mast, and the forward end shall not be below the cabin roof and shall be on the centerline of the boat and no farther than 6" aft of the mast.

C. Use of main boom preventers off the wind is not permitted.


A. Sail measurements listed herein shall, as specifically noted, be made from the outside edges of cloth,  luff tape or boltrope, as the case may be. All measurements shall be taken with the sail laid flat on the floor, with tension adequate to remove all wrinkles in the line of measurement.

B. On jibs and genoas where the luff and leech intersect, head measurements shall be made from the point of intersection. On jibs and genoas where the luff and leech do not intersect, head measurements shall be made by extending the luff and leech lines to a projected point of intersection and measuring from that point, disregarding any part of the sail extending beyond this apex. This same technique applies to locating the tack and clew point measurements of jibs, genoas, mainsails, and spinnakers.

C. Except as otherwise specifically permitted or required no battens or other means of artificially stiffening the sails shall be used. Windows are permitted in mainsails and all headsails.

D. Loose luff designs (as defined without hanks attached and fastened to the forestay, or without luff tape not contained within the headfoil) are prohibited on all jibs. A sail with the cloth bound to the luff wire at the head and tack only shall not be considered a loose luff sail. Taped and glued seams in conjunction with stitching are permissible providing the construction does not violate the above.


1. The Emblem shall be positioned on the mainsail between the first and second battens, toward the top of that area, and square with the mast. The starboard Emblem shall be the higher. On each side, the Emblem shall be centered between luff and leech. The Emblem shall be the size designated in the specification issued December 1963. Diameter of the overall emblem is 25". (See Sail Emblem Diagram)

2. All past and present Commodores of the Ensign Class Association may replace the top blue star of the Emblem with a gold star.

3. Numerals shall be 15" high, shall be the same shade of blue as the stars, shall be positioned in the upper part of the area between the third and fourth battens, and shall be square with the leech. The starboard numerals shall be higher.

4. Numerals of contrasting color on spinnakers are required and shall be 15" high located in the approximate center of the sail. The bottom of the numerals on one side of the sail shall be approximately 6" above the top of the numerals on the other side of the sail.

5. Numerals on jibs are permitted.

6. The Emblem and numerals may be glued on sails, rather than sewn. This permission does not eliminate the prohibition of a circular-backing disc as specified in the official Emblem diagram.

7. All Ensign sails manufactured after June 30, 1992 are required to have an official "Ensign Sail Patch" attached to them. The sail patch will be produced and distributed by the Ensign Class Association directly to the sailmakers.


1. Honor awards may be displayed on the mainsail and shall be of the color and numbers as indicated below:

a. National Championship: Gold Awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Skippers are entitled to display 3, 2, and 1 gold chevrons respectively.

b. Regional Championship: Red Awards, wherein at least three fleets are represented. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place skippers are entitled to display 3, 2, and 1 red chevrons respectively.

c. Fleet Championship: Black Awards. The Winner of Fleet Championship is entitled to display 1 black chevron.

2. Awards rank in the following order: Gold, Red and Black. Thus, one Gold outranks three Red, etc. Only the highest award ever won shall be displayed. Awards are made to the skipper and not to the boat. The skipper retains them, if the boat is sold, for use on any other Ensign owned.

3. The apex of the top chevron on the port side shall be 3" directly under the lowest star of the Ensign emblem on the port side and centered below the emblem. Second and third chevrons, where applicable, will be 1-3/4" directly below the top chevron. Starboard side chevrons shall be placed back-to-back to the port side chevrons.


1. Each mainsail shall be equipped with a headboard, 4" wide, measured at right angles to the luff. The peak of the mainsail, when measured at right angles to the luff must not exceed 5-1/2" from a line extending from the forward side of the boltrope, or extension thereof, to the leech.

2. Each mainsail shall have four battens. The top and bottom battens shall be 25" long and the two middle battens 27" long. Batten pockets shall not be over 2" longer than their respective battens. Batten pockets to be approximately evenly spaced.

3. All mainsails shall, when in use, be attached to the spars for the full length of the luff and foot, by having the boltrope or slides run in slots in the spars. No loose footed or miter cut sails shall be used. The mainsail shall have a functional tack.

4. Normal gear for head, tack and clew with outhaul are permitted. Jiffy reefing is permitted. Rows of reefing grommets (or tie lines) may be placed anywhere on the sail beyond a vertical distance of 12" from the boom. These shall be used exclusively for reefing purposes and never for tensioning purposes. Moreover, a partial reef is not allowed; if a reef is taken, it must be taken all the way to a row of grommets. A jackline is permitted on the mainsail in conjunction with crank roller reefing, provided it does not apply a vertical tension on the luff of the sail. Under no conditions will a jackline be used to modify the draft.

5. A Cunningham Hole may be used for tensioning purposes. Its grommet must be placed on the luff within 2" of the luff rope, and no more than 9" (center to center) from the tack grommet.

6. No other devices are permitted for adjusting the draught or set of the sail.

7. Mainsails shall be made of Dacron cloth, of a weight not less than 214 g/m2 (5 oz./sm.yd.).

8. A band 1" wide of contrasting color shall be painted around the mast, with its top 25' 5" down from the bottom of the main halyard sheave. When a mainsail is set, the top of the footrope shall not be brought below the top of the band.

9. A band 1" wide of contrasting color shall be painted around the outboard end of the boom. The inner edge of the black band shall be 11' 1-1/2" from the aft side of the mast. The clew of the mainsail shall not be pulled out beyond the inner edge of the band.

10. The size of each mainsail shall be governed by the following:

Luff............................................................................ band on mast

Foot on boom

Leech...................................................................................... 27'-4"

Mid-girth....................................................................…..... 6' 6-1/2"

11. A minus tolerance of 3" is allowed on the leech and mid-girth measurements.


a. The length of the leech shall be measured from the aft edge of the top of the headboard to the clew.

b. The mid-girth shall be measured across the sail from the mid-point of the leech to the mid-point of the luff. The width of the luff rope or tape shall be included in the mid-girth measurement.

c. The mid-point of the leech shall be determined by folding the sail back on itself, bringing the head to the clew and putting a spike or pencil through the eye of the headboard and the clew thimble, and drawing the middle of the leech taut with the same tension on each half. The mid-point of the luff shall be determined the same way except with the spike or pencil through the eye in the headboard and tack.


1. All working jibs shall be fitted with either metal and/or plastic hanks, all of which, when the sail is set must be attached to the forestay, or with a luff tape for use in a roller furling headfoil as described in Part L of this Rule.

2. The use of one or two battens, of maximum 16" in length each, in the leech of the sail is optional.

3. Working jibs shall be made of Dacron, of a weight not less than 214 g/m2 (5 oz./sm.yd.).

4. The size of each working jib shall be governed by the following:

Luff ...................................….................................................... 20' 3"

Leech .................................................................…................... 17' 3"

Mid-girth half luff, half leech ..............................…….............. 3' 9"

5. A minus tolerance of 3" on all measurements is allowed.


1. All No. 1 Genoas shall be fitted with either metal and/or plastic hanks, all of which, when the sail is set, must be attached to the forestay, or with a luff tape for use in a roller furling headfoil as described in Part L of this Rule.

2. All No. 1 Genoas shall be made of Dacron, of a weight not less than 192 g/m2 (4.5 oz./sm.yd.).

3. The size of each No. 1 Genoa shall be governed by the following:

Luff ........................................................................................ 23' 9"

Foot ....................................................................................... 13' 6"

Leech ..................................................................................... 23' 0"

Head to Mid-Foot .....................................….................... 22' 8"

4. A minus tolerance of 3" is allowed on all measurements except the head to mid-foot which will have no minimum.

5. A sail made prior to January 1, 1979 shall be considered legal if it measures in under the above measurements or the old measurements. (The old procedure provided a 3" foot round measurement and a head-to-mid-foot dimension of 22' 1".)


1. All No. 2 genoas shall be fitted with either metal and/or plastic hanks, all of which, when the sail is set, must be attached to the forestay, or with a luff tape for use in a roller furling headfoil as described in Part L of this Rule.

2. No. 2 genoas shall be made of Dacron, of a weight not less than 214 g/m2 (5 oz./sm.yd.).

3. The size of each No. 2 Genoa shall be governed by the following:

Luff ........................................................................................ 20' 3"

Foot ...........................................................…......................... 12' 0"

Leech ..............................................................….................... 19' 2"

Foot Round .................................................………..................... 3"

4. A minus tolerance of 3" on all measurements is allowed.


1. All Blade Jibs shall be fitted with either metal and/or plastic hanks, all of which when the sail is set must be attached to the forestay, or with a luff tape for use in a roller furling headfoil as described in Part L of this Rule.

2. Blade jibs shall be made of Dacron, of a weight not less than 214 g/m2 (5 oz./sm.yd.). 

3. The use of up to four battens, equally spaced, and of a maximum 12" in length, each in the leech of the sail is optional.

4. The leech and foot of the sail shall be straight or a fair curve. Clew and/or headboards are prohibited.

5. The size of each blade jib shall be governed by the following:

Luff ........................................................................................ 24' 5"

Leech .............................................................................. 22' 8-1/2"

Mid-girth half luff, half leech ............................................... 3' 11"

Foot round maximum ................................................................. 9"

6. A minus tolerance of 3" on all measurements is allowed. There is no minimum measurement for mid-girth half luff, half leech.

L. ROLLER FURLERS AND HEADSAILS: A roller furler of optional, above-deck design may be fitted to the forestay. The use of a roller furler system, if fitted, shall conform to the following rules:

1. Headsails for roller furler systems that incorporate an operational headfoil shall be fitted with the appropriate luff tape, and set through use of the headfoil.

2. Material, weight and size specifications for roller furled headsails are defined by Part II Rule 9 H., I., J., and K. An exception is provided for any UV protection fabric applied to the leech. The selection of UV protection fabric is optional.

3. No additional halyards may be fitted. The jib halyard, its attachment point, hardware and fittings must conform to the specifications in Part II Rule 7.

4. The length of the forestay is as specified in Part II Rule 6 and shall include all roller-furling hardware.


1. Spinnakers shall be of the parachute type, with equal luffs. Taped and glued seams without stitching are permissible. Venturi types shall not be used.

2. Spinnakers shall be made of woven Nylon. The material shall weigh no less than 40 g/m2 (0.93 oz. / sm.yd).

3. The size of each spinnaker shall be governed by the following:

Luff and leech, measured to the uppermost point of the head .......…..… 25' 0"

Foot, from clew to clew ............................……..................….................. 15' 0"

Maximum girth at any point ..……........................................…............... 15' 0"

4. A minus tolerance of 12" on all spinnaker measurements is allowed.


1. Only one suit of sails, including a spinnaker, whether new or used, shall be added to any boat's equipment in any one season.

2. In case of accident, the Governing Committee may waive this rule, and there shall be the following exception: Any new boat may add one extra suit of sails at any time during the first two years afloat, i.e., at the end of the first two years any boat may have three complete suits of sails, including the suit that came with the boat.

3. Two complete suits of sails may be carried and used when racing.

4. Each fleet shall have the choice of which standard Ensign headsails shall be used in intra-fleet competition. The host fleet shall designate the headsails to be used for inter-fleet events. The announcement of which sails are to be used in any such competition shall be made no later than the time of the official announcement, the NOR, of the event. In the absence of any specific announcement, it shall be presumed that participants may make their own choice among the standard Ensign headsails without restrictions. For National and Regional Championship Regattas, the provisions of Part III and Part IV respectively shall apply.


All sails proposed to be used in the National Championships shall be measured not more than one week before the first race of the series, and only such sails as meet all of the requirements of Part II of the rules shall be used. Each sail shall be stamped to indicate the fulfillment of these requirements and the date of measurement. Measurement of sails used in inter-fleet races or intra-fleet races other than the National Championship shall be determined by the fleets involved.

10. CREWS: The number of persons required or permitted to be carried as crew shall be decided by the local fleets, and in the absence of any local rules, shall be two or more in addition to the skipper. In intra-fleet races, the crews may be decided by the competing clubs or fleets or by the deed of gift of the cup or trophy competed for. For National and Regional Championship Regattas, Part III and Part IV will apply respectively.

11. HAULOUTS: The local fleets may decide the number and duration of haul outs. It is, however, the intent of the Association that Ensigns not be dry-sailed in race competition, and fleets are urged to see that this does not happen.


A. Outboard motors may be carried, but must be detached and stored before the preparatory signal of a race and not be reshipped until after the finish. Storage place of an outboard motor during a race is left to the skipper's discretion, but cannot be shifted during the race, and the motor must be detached from the outboard bracket.

B. Any Ensign can compete without an outboard motor, provided 30 pounds in weight are placed at the foot of the mast as fixed ballast. The ballast must be fixed on the cabin deck, forward of, aft of, and/or either side of, the mast step, or around or inside the mast itself and is not to be placed in the bilge.

C. For fleet racing, outboard motors may remain attached to the bracket at the fleet's discretion.


A. Standard equipment shall include seats and interior bunks in their proper position as manufactured. The removable portion of the bunks, which covers the headspace, need not be carried aboard during racing.

B. Heads and associated plumbing may be removed.


A. Every Ensign shall carry a compass, ground tackle, life preservers, a pump and other necessary safety gear as outlined by U.S. Coast Guard regulations. An electric bilge pump may be installed provided that the outlet is above the waterline and that a manual pump is also carried aboard.

B. Electronic compasses and instruments are permitted as long as they are:
1. Not interfaced or integrated with another on-board electronic component.
2. Not able to have the location of marks (starting line, course, or other) inputted.
3. Not able to display on board velocity made good (VMG) or position.
C. Flotation materials must be present in specified locations in accordance with plans of the 1962 Electra Day Sailor (later named the Ensign). Additional flotation may be added. Flotation material shall be a rigid closed cell material such as:” Styrofoam” or equivalent. Boats that sink during a race are deemed to be in violation of rule Part II. 14.C due to inadequate flotation, and are therefore to be disqualified from that race and all previous races in that series.

15. PULPIT RAILS: Pulpit rails or other protective shields are permitted, provided no such rail extends more than 12" beyond the extremities of the boat, and provided it is raised no more than 24" above the deck.

16. RENDERING ASSISTANCE: Particular emphasis is to be placed on the need to render assistance to another yacht in distress, and full penalties will be applied in case of violation of RRS Part 1 - Fundamental Rules - Rule 1.1


A. The spinnaker pole length shall be no more than 7-1/2 feet in overall length. When in use with a spinnaker or as a whisker pole with a jib, the spinnaker pole must be attached to the mast.

B. The whisker pole may be of variable length, and shall not exceed more than 12.0 feet in overall length.

C. A whisker pole may be used provided:

1. It is only used with jibs, never with a spinnaker.

2. It is attached to the mast when in use.

3. It is not used at the same time as the spinnaker pole.

18. BALLAST: Ballast is not permitted except as required in Part II, Rule 12.


A. Substitutes for the standard Pearson items required by Part II of these rules are permitted provided they are reasonably close equivalents.

B. Rule II-1. Interpretation shall be applied in case of doubt.

C. Exceptions to Part II, Rule 19 A, such as specifying particular alternate source(s) for particular item(s), such as a mast, may be authorized and incorporated into Part II by the Governing Committee.

D. The intent of this rule is to reflect the effect of the cessation of Ensign production by Pearson and the drying up of its spare parts inventory, while preserving the one-design feature of the Ensign.

Revised February 9, 2013,  August 13, 2017, June 24, 2019, January 18, 2020 
Accordion Widget
PART III. National Championship Rules
PART III. National Championship Rules
PART III. National Championship Rules
 Last Updated: January 19, 2019
1. PURPOSE: The purpose of the annual National Championship Regatta of the Ensign Class Association is to determine the National Champion of the class by competition among the leading skippers who represent the Ensign Class Association fleets.

2. ORGANIZATION: All matters involved in the holding and administration of the Championship Regatta shall be the responsibility of the Championship Committee. The Governing Committee, in consultation with the host fleet, when the location is decided, will appoint a Championship Committee. This committee should consist primarily of Ensign skippers from the host fleet and will have at least three members. The Championship Committee shall be assisted by two sub-committees: Judges and Race Committee. An officer of the Ensign Class Association will be designated each year to be a member of the Championship Committee and will provide liaison with the Governing Committee.


A. The Pearson Perpetual Ensign Trophy, symbolic of the Class Championship, shall be awarded to the winner of the annual National Championship Regatta.

B. The Most Beautiful Ensign Trophy, to recognize pride and enthusiasm in the upkeep of one's Ensign, shall be awarded at the National Championship Regatta. Any Ensign owner may compete for this trophy, the winner of which will be selected by a panel of judges. The criteria for this award will be based on but not limited to rigging, ingenuity, surface finishes, and overall presentation. No boat may win this award two years in succession.

C. The Sea III Trophy, given in honor of Charles R. Sligh III by the Ensign Class Association, may be awarded annually at the National Championship Regatta to recognize a person who has exemplified outstanding sportsmanship or made exceptional contribution for the benefit of the Ensign Class Association. Any member of the Association is eligible for selection. The selection committee shall be appointed by the Commodore and chaired by the immediate past Commodore of the Association.

D. The Faget Trophy, given in honor of Past National Champion William Faget, by the Faget family and North Sails, shall be awarded annually to the boat winning the last race of the National Championship Regatta

E. The Ray and Ann Torpey Award, presented by the Torpey Family, in honor of their parents who introduced them to sailing, is awarded annually to the winner of the first race of the National Championship Regatta

F. The Doug Wood Mid Fleet Award, offered in honor of Doug Wood by his family, will be presented annually to the skipper who finishes “mid fleet” in the National Championship Regatta. Mid Fleet shall be determined by the number of total contestants divided by two. If there is an uneven number of contestants the award will be presented to the contestant with the higher placement. (i.e. if 41 boats… half is 20.5… award goes to skipper in 21st place.)

G. The Youth Championship Award offered by Ensign Fleet 35, Marquette, Michigan, for the highest finishing youth boat at the National Championship Regatta. A youth boat is one crewed entirely by sailors 24 years of age or younger on January 1st, the year of the Regatta. The Youth Championship award will be presented annually when two or more youth boats compete."
H. The above seven trophies shall remain the property of the Association. Custody will be awarded to the respective winners each year and remain in their possession until awarded to their successors.

I. Other trophies shall be awarded as determined by agreement between the Championship Committee and the Governing Committee.


A. The Championship Regatta shall be conducted between mid-August and mid-October, and the host fleet in consultation with the Governing Committee will determine the exact date. Preferably, the Regatta dates should be determined in time to be announced by February 1st preceding the Regatta.

B. The Championship Regatta will be sailed in the waters of a host fleet, to be selected by the Governing Committee. The championship may not, however, be contested on the same waters in two consecutive years. In choosing a host fleet, the Governing Committee should be guided by the following factors:

1. Facilities adequate to conduct a regatta and to handle at least 35 boats on the starting line.

2. Sufficient potential for borrowed boats to meet the estimated demand.

3. Past contribution to the Ensign Class Association and past participation in Championship Regattas.

4. Past interest of in the Class membership, geographic dispersion of fleets, and overall advancement of the Ensign Class Association.


Any Ensign Class Association fleet in good standing has the right to select or hold a competition for representatives in the Championship.

A. Under the terms of these National Championship Rules, the helmsman of each competing yacht is considered to be the contestant. The helmsman is defined as the person who must steer the boat at the start and on each windward leg, but who at any time may be relieved for emergency situations.
B. All contestants must be:
1. An Ensign owner, co-owner, charterer or co-charterer, or the son, daughter, brother, sister, spouse or parent thereof, or a person who sails an Ensign in an organized sailing program. Co-ownership must be documented and available for inspection.
2. A paid-up member of the Ensign Class Association.
3. A member of an Ensign fleet in good standing. Ensign owners who reside more than fifty miles from an established fleet may petition for an exemption.
C. A charterer is defined as one who has complete control of the vessel for a period of at least three months. This charter is to be evidenced by an agreement in writing. In order for the charterer to be eligible to compete, the charter must be entered into by July 1st.
D. Contestants may charter or borrow a yacht during the Regatta, but must use their own sails.
E. No contestant may enter or use more than one yacht during the Regatta, except if the entered yacht shall have suffered severe damage. The consent of the Judges must be obtained before another yacht may be substituted.
F. Up to two qualified contestants may register as co-contestants on one yacht. Each must meet the requirements set forth in 6. B. and both must also observe the following requirements:
1. Their intent to be co-contestants must be provided to the host fleet in writing prior to the close of registration for the National Regatta. At that time, the helmsman for each race must be identified on a schedule that alternates them as helmsmen in successive races including any tune-up races. This schedule may not be altered except as provided in F.3. below.
2. In the event a race is postponed, abandoned or canceled, the contestant scheduled as helmsman for that race shall be helmsman for the next race, and the alternating schedule shall be adjusted accordingly.
3. Permission for any co-contestant substitution after the close of registration must be obtained in advance of such substitution from the Championship Committee and such permission shall be denied if the Committee concludes that unfair advantage is gained thereby or that the substitution is not an absolute necessity.
4. Both co-contestants must sail the complete series. Failure of either to be aboard in every race of the series, including any tune-up races, will result in disqualification of the yacht for each such race upon protest.
5. If the yacht of the co-contestant is involved in a protest arising out of an incident during a race, only the helmsman for that race may be the contestant representing the yacht at the protest hearing. If the protest involves a matter other than an incident occurring during a race, the two co-contestants shall decide between themselves which one, and only one, of them will represent the yacht in the hearing.
7. BOATS: All boats and equipment must conform in all respects with the rules and specifications of the Association, and any boat not so conforming shall be disqualified. The Championship Committee may inspect the boats at any time before, during or after the Regatta.


A. Sails must comply with the rules and specifications of the Ensign Class Association and shall be measured by a person authorized by the Championship Committee.

B. No restrictions will be placed on choice of headsails.


A. The Race Committee shall schedule a series of at least six races in three days. At least one race must be completed to constitute the Regatta.

B. The Championship will be sailed under the current issue of The Racing Rules of Sailing as amended by the Ensign Class Association Rules.

C. In addition to the contestant, there must be a crew consisting of not less than two nor more than four persons.

D. The total number of crew in each yacht shall remain the same throughout the Regatta.


A. Courses shall be as free as possible from headlands, shoals, obstructions, aids to navigation or serious tidal currents.

B. Courses shall be windward-leeward, triangular, Olympic, modified Olympic, Gold Cup, or modified Gold Cup patterns. Courses should be laid out so as to have the marks left to port; Leeward starts should be avoided, if possible.

C. Ordinarily, courses shall not be less than 4 and 1/2 or more than 9 nautical miles in length.

D. The Race Committee may shorten the course at its discretion if the following minimum course has actually been sailed: a windward leg, a leeward leg and a windward leg. This condition refers to legs that have been sailed and not necessarily as originally signaled.


A. Championship Committee: The Championship Committee shall directly or through other committees:

1. Make all arrangements for the proper conduct of the Championship Regatta.

2. Appoint a Committee of Judges and the Race Committee (in cooperation with the host fleet.)

3. Coordinate the work of all committees.

4. Arrange for local publicity and coordinate with the Vice Commodore-Publicity, Ensign Class Association, to provide national publicity.

5. Conduct the Championship Regatta

B. Judges:

1. There shall be three Judges.

2. The Judges will have authority to receive, initiate and to decide protests involving the racing rules or other rules.

3. The Judges shall have the freedom of cruising at will in a powerboat specifically assigned for their use, apart from the Race Committee.

C. Race Committee:

1. The Race Committee shall consist of at least three persons who shall be experienced yachtsmen familiar with the waters in which the Championship is being held.

2. The Race Committee shall run the races, providing circulars, establishing courses, starting the races, recording the order and times of finishing, etc. It will welcome suggestions on these matters from the Judges.

3. No race shall be started unless in the judgment of the Race Committee there is sufficient wind (preferably at least 5 knots), and no race shall be started after 5 PM.


A. A contestant starting in any race of the Championship Regatta is an entry in the series.

B. Points will be awarded as using the low point system as described by Appendix A of RRS.

C. Boats failing to finish within 30 minutes after the first boat finishes or within the time limit, whichever is later will be scored as TLE. TLE's will be scored points equal to one-half the number of yachts not finishing, rounded to the next highest number, plus the number of yachts that finished. [I.e. if there are 40 boats in the fleet and only 13 finish; the score for each of the 27 TLE yachts would be (27/2) = 14+13 (the number of finishers) = 27. Each TLE yacht gets 27 points.]

D. With advice and consent of the Governing Committee, the Championship Committee may provide for a throw-out race in the Regatta, but this shall only be permitted where at least five races are completed.

E. The winner of the Championship Regatta will be the contestant with the lowest total point score.

F. In case of a tie, the tie breaking method as published in the current racing rules of sailing as distributed by the Governing Body of sailing for the United States, shall be used to break the tie.


A race in which no contestant shall have finished in 2.5 hours shall be abandoned.


A. Team tactics are barred and shall be grounds for protest or disqualification. An example of team tactics is the act of deliberately and willfully sacrificing one's chances or place in a race for the purpose of injuring or improving the chances or place of another or others.

B. Breakdown points will be awarded an entrant on the basis of average points per race, when the entrant has been forced out of a race or otherwise substantially disadvantaged by:

1. Damage caused by a foul and later upheld by a sustained protest; or,

2. Gear failure attributable to poor condition of a borrowed boat.

C. The Judges will conduct a redress hearing in accordance to Rule 62 of the RRS upon receiving a proper request from the claimant, Race Committee or by themselves as a finding through a protest hearing. In any case it must be properly submitted. They shall have discretion to decide whether the damage or gear failure is sufficient to have forced the entrant out of the race or to have otherwise substantially disadvantaged the entrant.

D Notices when posted by the Race Committee on the host yacht club bulletin board shall be considered to have been delivered to each contestant provided, however, that such instructions may be superseded by oral instructions of the Race Committee on the water duly given by it to each contestant prior to the warning signal.

E. No yacht entered for the Championship Regatta may be hauled out or laid on shore during the period of the races, except in case of accident or for necessary repairs and then only by permission of the Judges.

15. AMENDMENTS TO CHAMPIONSHIP RULES: Rules for the conduct of the Championship Regatta can be amended by five affirmative votes of the Governing Committee.

Revised February 9, 2013, February 8, 2014, January 19, 2019
Accordion Widget
PART IV. Regional Championship Rules
PART IV. Regional Championship Rules
PART IV. Regional Championship Rules
 Last Updated: February 8, 2014
1. PURPOSE: The purpose of the Regional Championship Regattas of the Ensign Class Association is to determine the Regional Champion of the respective Regions and to offer an alternative method of qualifying for the National Championship Regatta.

2. ORGANIZATION: Each Regatta shall be organized and administered by a Regional Championship Committee. The Committee shall consist of the Vice Commodore-Regional Affairs, the Regional Commander and a host fleet chairperson or their delegate. The Committee shall also include at least two subcommittees or their equivalent, Judges and Race Committee.


A. Each Region shall have its own perpetual Championship trophy.

B. The perpetual trophies shall remain the property of the Association and will be awarded to the Regional Champion each year and remain in their possession until awarded to the successors.

C. The number of other trophies to be awarded at the Championship shall be left to the discretion of the host fleet.


A. The location and time of each Regional Championship Regatta can vary from region to region. The Vice Commodore-Regional Affairs, the Regional Commander, and the chairperson from a host fleet will determine the location and date of the Regatta. The announcement of each Championship shall preferably be made at the Ensign Class Association Annual Meeting.

B. The Regional Championship will be sailed in waters of a host fleet. The same location shall not be sailed in for two consecutive years.

C. The selection of a site shall be based on the ability of the host fleet to run a regatta of high quality and size to attract the largest number of entrants.


A. Each region may select the manner in which contestants are allowed to participate.

B. Contestants from fleets outside the region in which the Regional Championship is held may be invited to participate.


A. Eligibility shall be governed by Part III, Rule 6 of the National Championship Rules.

B. The Treasurer of Ensign Class Association and the Regional Commander, prior to the Regional Championship, shall resolve questions of membership.


A. All boats and sails must conform to Part II of the Ensign Class Association Rules. Any boat not conforming shall be disqualified.

B. The manner in which boat and sail inspection shall be conducted shall be left to the discretion of the host fleet.

C. Unless otherwise specified in the sailing instructions, there will be no restrictions on headsails and then only if it was communicated in the Notice of Race.


A. The number of races to be sailed shall be determined by the Regional Championship Committee. This includes the number of races required for a throwout, but not less than five.

B. Rules of Part III Rule 9 B, C and D are the same for the Regional Championships.


A. Courses shall be as free as possible from headlands, shoals, obstructions, aids to navigation or serious tidal currents.

B. Courses shall be windward leeward, triangular, Olympic, modified Olympic, Gold Cup, or modified Gold Cup patterns. Courses shall be laid out so as to have marks left to port if possible. Leeward starts should be avoided.

C. Ordinarily, courses shall not be less than 4 and 1/2 or more than 9 nautical miles in length.

10. SCORING: Scoring will be the same as Part III, Rule 12.

11. TIME LIMIT: The time limit will be the same as Part III, Rule 13.

12. GENERAL RULES: Part III, Rule 14 of the National Championship Rules shall govern.


Rules for conduct of the Regional Championship Regatta can be amended by five affirmative votes of the Governing Committee.

Amended February 8, 2014

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