EXPRESS 27 CLASS RULES

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I. Intent of Rules

It is the intention of the rules to provide a standard by which Express 27s can race as a one-design class in which boat tuning and sailing skill determine race results. Deck hardware and its placement shall not be restricted in order to allow skippers to tailor their boat to individual sailing styles. Exotic and potentially expensive equipment will be prohibited as specified in "II. General Clause." It is the further intention of these rules that the racing/cruising capabilities of the Express be maintained. Nothing in these rules is intended to limit the Express 27 from being competitive in events not sanctioned by the Express 27 Class Association.

II. General Clause

The Express Class Association reserves the right to interpret these rules as will best provide one-desing racing for the class. Anything not covered in these rules will be subject to a ruling by the Association as becomes necessary. It is the responsibility of the owner and skipper of the yacht to check with the Class Association before making any changes to the stock "Express" as it comes from the factory. Any modification to hull and deck to improve performance will not be accepted. Boats that benefit from some unforseen development not covered in these rules may have their elgibility determined at the discretion of the National Association Board (NAB). The wood prototype known as Hull "0" is grandfathered as a legal Express, so long as she retains her original hull shape and no other material changes are made to the boat.

III. Specifications

A. Tolerances

Any dimensions not defined as a maximum or minimum shall have a standard boat builder's tolerance of plus or minus 1/4 inch. A maximum or minimum dimension shall be an absolute measurement that is not to be exceeded or less than as applies. The keel weight is allowed to vary plus or minus fifty pounds. Sail measurements are to be considered maximums and minimums except that sails that have at one time been certified by a proper measurer shall be given a two inch tolerance for stretch if subjected to a protest.

B. Hull and Deck

Hull and deck shall be built of fiberglass from molds as originally produced by Alsberg Brothers Boatworks and approved by the Express Class Association. Any modification to the hull or deck to improve performance will not be accepted.

Boats shall have an all up weight of not less than 2,450 pounds, including rudder, keel, mast, boom, spinnaker pole, standing rigging, halyards, and cabin cooler/step. The boat shall be stripped of sails, safety gear, personal gear, tools, battery, outboard motor, cushions, etc., before weighing. The boat shall be weighed dry. The boat shall be out of the water a minimum of 24 hours; there shall be no standing water on board; and all running rigging, including halyards, mainsheet, and reef liens shall be dry to the touch. Any weight, as determined by the Class Measurer, used to attain minimum boat weight, known as "corrective weight", shall be permanently attached to the boat. One half of the weigh shall be located at the underside of the cockpit sole, the remaining half shall be located at the underside of the deck, forward of the mast. Weighed boat hardware shall not be removed from the boat after weighing. When making repairs, the boat shall be returned to its original shape and weight. Failure to meet these requirments shall invalidate the weight certificate.

C. Rudder

The rudder is to have a stainless steel rudder post no lighter than 1-3/4 inch O.D. x 1/8 inch wall with sleeve of two inch O.D. x 1/8 inch wall at lower bearing. The profiles and location to conform with Carl Schumacher, N.A. drawing 16-1.

D. Keel

The keel shall be standard as supplied with the boat. The lead ballast shall neither be increased or decreased. Nominal weight to be 1100 pounds. The section, profile and location to conform to the liens plan and table of offsets on Carl Schumacher, N.A. drawings 16-1 and 16-2.

E. Spars and Rigging

The mast shall be aluminum alloy of no less than 1.4 pounds per foot, stepped on the deck. Minimum dimensions are 3 inch x 4-1/2 inch, maximum dimensions are 4 inch x 6 inch. The top five feet of the mast may be tapered. Two sets of spreaders are required. The upper spreader to be a minimum of 20 inches long and located 20 feet 2-1/2 inches above the deck; the lower spreader to be a minimum of 32 inches long and located 11 feet 2 inches above the deck. Spreader length shall be measured from the mast wall to the extreme spreader tip. Vertical tolerance shall only be plus or minus 2 inches. The deck at the mast step is used as a base for all measurements. The thickness of the tabernacle to be added to the mast length. The upper point of the "I" to be defined as the highest of:

  1. The intersection of the center line of jibstay with the forward face of the mast.
  2. The bearing point of the highest headsail halyard.

The upper point of "I" to be a maximum of 28 feet 6-1/2 inches above the deck. A one inch contrasting band to be painted on the mast to limit the mainsail luff length. The lower edge of this band to be a maximum of 32 feet above the deck. The goose neck to be fixed so that the upper edge of the boom, when projected at right angles to the mast, is a maximum of 28 feet 6 inches below the lower edge of the contrasting band. The forward face of the mast shall be 10 feet 2 inches from the bow.

The boom to be of aluminum alloy shall have a maximum depth of 6 inches. There shall be a one inch contrasting band to limit the mainsail foot whose inner edge shall not be more than 10 feet 5 inches from the aft face of the mast.

The aluminum alloy spinnaker pole shall be measured with the pole on the mast ring in a horizontal position at 90 degrees to the fore aft centerline of the hull. It shall be no more than 9 feet 10 inches from the most extreme outboard end of the pole fitting to the forward, center face of the mast.

The standard rigging, with the exception of the upper shrouds, shall be 1 x 19 wire. The upper shroud can be either 1 x 19 or solid rod. The upper bearing point of the upper shroud can be a maximum of 29 feet above the deck. The maximum length of the jibstay including turnbuckle, link plate, tang and chainplate is not to exceed 31 feet 4 inches. Running backstays are not permitted.

F. Sails

It is the intent of the rules that the class sails conform with the various measurement rules. The boats shall be raced with a maximum of six sails. These sails shall consist of:

  1. One Main
  2. Two Spinnakers, the second of which shall be a "Used Spinnaker".
  3. Three jibs

One of the jibs shall have an LP no greater than 13 feet 11 inches and no less than 13 feet 5 inches. The second jib shall have a maximum LP no greater than 8 feet 7 inches and no less than 8 feet 0 inches. A number four jib may be carried provided that it has an LP no larger than 7 feet 7 inches. "Headfoils" and "twin stays" are allowed but their width (1 inch nominal) shall be added to the jib LP. In any jib the mid girth measured between mid points of luff and leech, shall not exceed 50 percent of the foot length plus 4 inches. Nor shall the length of the intermediate girth at 25 percent and 75 percent of the luff and leech exceed values similarly proportioned to their distance from the head. No battens are allowed in jibs with LP greater than 8 feet 7 inches.

All sails manufactured 30 days after the passage of this amendment shall conform to the amended rule (8/90). Within 30 days of passage of this amendment members shall notify the chief measurer by mail regarding which three preexisting, legal jibs they wish to have grandfathered. The total weight of the largest jib shall be no less than eight pounds. It is the intent of this rule to prohibit excessively light jib sail cloth weights and specialty sails such as staysails, drifters, and bloopers. Devices such as overweight sailmaker's hardware will be dealt with under the General Clause (Section II).

The spinnaker shall have a maximum width of no more than 17 feet 9 inches and a mid girth of no less than 13 feet 0 inches. The spinnaker shall be symmetrical and the luffs shall be no longer than 28 feet 7 inches. The material shall be no lighter than 30 x 30 denier, nominal 3/4 ounce per sailmaker's yard woven polyester, also known as 0.6 oz. polyester spinnaker material.

A "Used Spinnaker" is defined as one measured 18 months prior to the date of its classification as a "Used Spinnaker" and substantially used during that period. The sail shall be certified and signed off as such by the measurer, with the word "used" written at the head. The intent of this rule is to not allow a yacht to carry different special purpose spinnakers. Any yacht which does not have a sail which qualifies as a "Used Spinnaker" may use a spinnaker from another yacht that qualifies as a "Used Spinnaker". In the event of a dispute, the NAB has the full authority to determine if the intent of this rule is being served.

The mainsail headboard as measured from the luff of the sail to the leech shall be no greater than 6 inches. The mainsail shall have four (4) battens. The length of the upper batten is not restricted, and shall be located a minimum of 5 feet 8-3/8 inches from the top back edge of the headboard down the leech to the bottom of the batten. The two middle battens shall be no longer than 3 feet 6-1/2 inch. The lower batten shall be no longer than 2 feet 7-1/4 inch. The mainsail shall have a 1/2 girth no greater than 7 feet 1/2 inch and an upper 1/4 girth no greater than 4 feet 2-3/4 inch. Total weight of the mainsail shall be no less than sixteen pounds weighed dry and without battens. Cloth concentrations used to bring the sail to minimum weight shall be defined as excessively heavy sailmaker's hardware. It is the intent of this rule to prohibit excessively light mainsail cloth weights. Devices such as overweight sailmaker's hardware will be dealt with under the General Clause (Section II.)

G. Sailmaker's Specifications

These specifications are from the original sail plan and are intended for use in clarification of points not covered in these rules. Any measurements for sails that appear elsewhere in these rules will supersede the specifications.

I 28.5'
J 9.0'
JC 9.9'
P 28.5'
E 10.42'
LP 13.95'


IV. Interior

The interior may be altered to suit individual tastes. However it must contain:

  1. Four berths 6 feet 6 inches long or three berths if one is large enough for a double.

  2. Counter space for a galley and a chart table.

  3. A sitting area for four people. An area the size of the stock settees is sufficient.

V. Minimum Equipment

  1. An appropriate combination of anchor, chain and line weighing at least 14 pounds.

  2. Either:
    1. An operating motor which can propel the boat at a speed of at least 4 knots in smooth water and one (1) gallon of fuel with the motor secured directly to the support post under the cockpit while racing, or
    2. 45 pounds of weight secured directly to the support post under the cockpit while racing.



  3. Bow and stern pulpits made from 1" diameter stainless steel tube. Minimum height of 18". The stern pulpit may consist of two corner braces connected by a wire similar to those provided by the factory.

  4. Life lines are required. They must meet the following criteria:
    1. Minimum height 12".
    2. Not be bent outboard of a projection of the factory installed socket.
    3. Combined maximum deflection between the pulpit and the forward stanchion and between the forward stanchion and the aft stanchion when supporting a 5 pound weight at the middle of the aft span shall be 5 inches total.
    4. They shall be continuous from the aft stanchion to the bow pulpit on each side. Minimum size is 1/8" stainless.

VI. Prohibitions

  1. Intergrated electronics. Masthead navigation lights, masthead fly light, strobe light, VHF radio, position location devices, and non-integrated knotmeter, log, and depth sounder, and electric compass are allowed.

  2. Standing rigging capable of adjustment under sail other than with screw turnbuckles. The exception being the backstay.

  3. Thru deck spinnaker launcher.

  4. Mast bending devices such as struts, rams or midstays, except a mid-stay used in conjunction with and no higher than the spinnaker pole.

  5. Altering the scantlings to improve pitching moment.

  6. Any form of hiking or mini-hiking or equipment used for hiking. A member of the crew's torso must be inside the lifelines and shall not lean outboard of vertical unless effecting temporary repairs. When facing inboard the crew member shall not lean outboard of vertical.

  7. Total crew weight in excess of 880 pounds while racing one-design class races.

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