THE AMERICAN CANOE ASSOCIATION.
THIS organization was formed at Lake George in 1880. The
Canoeing described in the foregoing pages has been made possible and
greatly influenced by the yearly meets, regattas and rules of the ACA A
copy of the year book containing the constitution and by-laws of the
Association, together with much other useful information to canoeists,
lists of members, racing programs, how to join, etc., can be got by
addressing the secretary, whose name and residence will always be found
in FOREST AND STREAM Canoeing Department.
As the ACA regatta rules and canoe classes have been
adopted by clubs everywhere they are here printed for the benefit of
readers not ACA members.
ARTICLE IV. (BY-LAWS).
Each Canoe may carry a distinguishing signal, rectangular
in shape, 12x18 inches. The Association signal shall be carried at the
peak of the mainsail, the officers' or private signal immediately below
it; national and club signals at discretion.
NOTE. -- This arrangement is adopted to secure uniformity,
at least in regard to the Association Signal. Lugs and gaff-rigged
sails are the only ones which have an available masthead, but every rig
has a peak to the mainsail, and this was selected as the most
conspicuous practicable point.
A canoe to compete in any race of the ACA must be sharp at
both ends, with no counter stern, or transom, and must be Capable of
being efficiently paddled by one man. To compete in ACA paddling races,
it must come within the limits of one of the numbered classes, I, II,
III, IV; and to compete in sailing races, it must come within the
limits of either Class A or B.
CLASS I. -- Paddling. - Any canoe.
CLASS II. -- Paddling. - Length not over 15 feet,
beam not under 26 inches. Depth inside from gunwale to garboard streak,
at any part of canoe, not less than 8 inches.
CLASS III. -- Paddling. - Length not over 16
feet, beam not under 28 inches. Depth as above, not under 9 inches.
CLASS IV. -- Paddling. - Length not over 16 feet,
beam not under 30 inches. Depth as in Class III.
CLASS A. -- Sailing. - Length not over 16 feet,
beam not over 28 inches.
CLASS B. -- Sailing. - Length not over 16 feet,
with a limit of 30 inches beam for that length. The beam may be
increased 1/8 inch for each full inch of length decreased.
The greatest depth of a canoe in Classes A and B, at
fore end of well, from under side of deck amidships to inner side of
garboard next to keel, shall not exceed 16 inches.
In centerboard canoes, the keel outside of the
garboard shall not exceed 1-1/4 inches in depth, including a metal keel
band of not over 1/4 of an inch deep. The total weight of all
centerboards shall not exceed 60 pounds; and they must not drop more
than 18 inches below the garboard; when hauled up they must not project
below the keel except as follows; Canoes built before May 1, 1885,
maybe fitted with centerboards which, when hauled up, may project below
the keel, provided such projection of board and case is not more than
two inches and a half in depth below the garboard, and not more than 36
inches in length. In order to be admitted in races without ballast, the
centerboard or boards, including bolts and other movable parts, but not
including fixed trunks or cases, must not exceed 15 pounds in total
Canoes without centerboards may carry keels, not over 3
inches deep from garboards, and not weighing more than 35 pounds.
Leeboards may be carried by canoes not having centerboards.
The length shall be taken between perpendiculars at the
fore side of stem and at the aft side of stern; the beam at the widest
part not including beading. In the sailing classes the heading shall
not exceed 1-1/2 inches in depth; if deeper than 1-1/2 it shall be
included in the beam.
The word "beam" shall mean the breadth formed by the
fairlines of the boat, and the beam at and near the water line in the
paddling classes shall bear a reasonable proportion to the beam at the
gunwale. The Regatta Committee shall have power to disqualify any canoe
which, in their opinion, is built with an evident intention to evade
the above rules. As the minimum in Class III and Class IV coincides
with the maximum in Class A and Class B respectively, a quarter inch
each way is to be allowed in measuring for these classes, in order that
a canoe built to come well within one class may not thereby be ruled
out of the other.
None but members of the American Canoe Association shall
be permitted to enter its races, and no canoe shall enter that is not
enrolled on the Secretary's books, with its dimensions, etc., and no
member who is in arrears to the Association shall compete in any race
or claim any prize while such arrears remain unpaid.
Any member shall enter only one canoe for races at any one
meet, except for such races as the program shall specially state
otherwise. Each canoe shall be enrolled and entered for racing in only
one sailing class and one paddling class.
The "crew" of each canoe shall consist of one man only,
unless the program of the regatta states the contrary. Members must
paddle or sail their own canoes, and must not exchange canoes for
racing purposes. A canoe which is not owned or used for racing by any
other member present, shall be deemed to be the canoe of the member
bringing it to the camp. In double canoe races, the owner may associate
any other member with himself.
All entries must be in writing on the blanks provided, and
must be handed into the Regatta Committee within such time as they may
Every canoe entering, except for an upset race, shall
carry a colored signal flag, 10 x 6 inches on a staff forward when
paddling, and her ACA number of enrollment in red block numerals 15
inches high and 2 inches broad, when sailing. The number to be on both
sides of the mainsail, to read correctly on the starboard side and
reverse on the port side. The clerk of the course will lend the
paddling signals for each race, and, they must be returned to him, but
the sailing numbers must be supplied by canoe owners.
Flags shall be given as prizes as follows: A first prize
in each race, and a second in each race in which more than two start,
and for the five best scores in a record of the regatta to be prepared
by the Regatta Committee, the five best flags at the disposal of the
committee shall be given. Prizes donated for special races or
competitions may be accepted, at the discretion of the Regatta
Committee. No prize of money shall be raced for.
The mode of turning stakeboats, and all directions for
each race, shall be posted by the Regatta Committee on a bulletin board
one hour before the race is called; and any competitor not knowing the
course, or mistaking it, or not following these rules, does so at his
own risk. Stakeboats and buoys will be left on the port hand, when not
stated distinctly to the contrary.
No pilotage or direction from any boat or from the shore
shall be allowed, and any one accepting such assistance may be
Any canoe fouling another shall be ruled out. It shall be
considered a foul if, after the race has commenced, any competitor by
his canoe paddle, or person shall come in contact with the canoe,
paddle, or person of any other competitor, unless in the opinion of the
judge such contact is so slight as not to influence the race. In case
of a foul, the non-fouling canoe must go over the course, unless
disabled beyond the possibility of temporary repair, in order to claim
the race. Every canoe must stand by its own accidents.
Should the owner of any canoe, duly entered for a race,
consider that be has fair ground of complaint against another, he must
give notice of same before leaving his boat on the finish of the race
to the judge, and must present the same in writing to the Regatta
Committee within one hour of his arrival at the finish, if appealed
from the decision of the judge.
The sum of One Dollar shall be deposited with each
protest, to be forfeited to the Association should the protest not be
sustained. The Regatta Committee shall, after hearing such evidence as
they may deem necessary, decide the protest, and the decision if
unanimous shall be final, but if not unanimous, an appeal may be made
to the Executive Committee, whose decision shall be final.
No member of either Committee shall take part in the
decision of any question in which he is interested. In all cases where
a protest is lodged on the ground of fouling, evidences of actual
contact shall be necessary to substantiate the protest. The Regatta
Committee shall, without protest, disqualify any canoe which, to their
knowledge, has committed a breach of the rules.
Paddling races shall be started by the starter asking,
"Are you ready?" On receiving no answer, he shall say, "Go." If he
considers the start unfair, he may recall the boats, and any canoe
refusing to start again shall be distanced.
A canoe's own water is the straight course from the
station assigned it at starting. Any canoe leaving its own water shall
do so at its peril; but if the stern of one canoe is a canoe's length
ahead of the bow of another, the former may take the water of the
latter, which then becomes its own water, and it shall only leave it at
The paddle shall not be used in sailing races, except for
steering when no rudder is used, or when the rudder is disabled, for
back strokes to leeward in tacking, or for shoving off when aground,
afoul of anything, or in extreme danger, as from a passing steamer, or
from a squall.
Five minutes before the start a signal shall be given, and
exactly five minutes later a second signal shall be given to start. Any
canoe which crosses to the course side of the starting line prior to
the second signal, must return above the line and recross it, keeping
out of the way of all competing canoes, using the paddle if necessary;
but after the second signal the start shall be considered as made, and
all canoes on either side of the line shall be amenable to the sailing
rules. Canoes may take any position for starting, and prior to the
second signal may be sailed and worked in any manner (outside aid not
allowed). Should circumstances require it, the Regatta Committee may
vary the manner of starting.
All shiftable ballast except centerboards shall be carried
within the canoe, and no fixed ballast shall be carried below the keel
band. Ballast may be shifted, but no ballast shall be taken in or
thrown out during a race.
A canoe overtaking another shall keep out of the way of
the latter; but when rounding any buoy or vessel used to mark out the
course, if two canoes are not clear of each other when the leading
canoe is close to, and is altering her helm to round, the mark, the
outside canoe must give the other room to pass clear of the mark
whichever canoe is in danger of fouling. No canoe shall be considered
clear of another unless so much ahead as to give free choice to the
other on which side she will pass. An overtaking canoe shall not,
however, be justified in attempting to establish an overlap, and thus
force a passage between the leading canoe and the mark after the latter
has altered her helm for rounding.
Canoes close-hauled on the port tack shall give way to
those on the starboard tack. In the event of a collision being
imminent, owing to the canoe on the port tack not giving way, the canoe
on the starboard tack shall luff and go about, but shall never bear
away. A canoe on the port tack compelling a canoe on the starboard tack
thus to give way, forfeits all claim to the prize.
Canoes going free shall always give way to those
close-hauled on either tack.
When canoes close-hauled are approaching a shore, buoy, or
other obstruction, and are so close that the leewardmost cannot tack
clear of the canoe to the windward of her, and by standing on would be
in danger of fouling the obstruction, the canoe to windward shall, on
being requested, go about, and the canoe requesting her to do so shall
also tack at once.
Should two or more canoes be approaching a weather shore
or any obstruction with the wind free, and be so close to each other
that the weathermost one cannot bear away clear of the one to the
leeward of her, and by standing on would be in danger of running
aground, or of fouling the obstruction, then the canoe that is to
leeward shall, on being requested, at once bear away until sufficient
room is allowed for the weathermost canoe to clear the obstruction.
A canoe may luff as she pleases to prevent another canoe
passing to windward, but must never bear away out of her course to
prevent the other passing to leeward; the lee side to be considered
that on which the leading canoe of the two carries her main boom. The
overtaking canoe, if to leeward, must not luff until she has drawn
clear ahead of the canoe she has overtaken,
A canoe may anchor during a race, provided the anchor is
attached or weighed on board the canoe during the remainder of the race.
These rules may be amended by the Executive Committee, on
recommendation of the Regatta Committee.
In case of temporary vacancies in the Regatta Committee,
the senior officer present shall appoint substitutes.