Yacht measurement and its necessary companion, time allowances, form the spice of the sport of yachting and cannot be over-looked,” - N.G Herreshoff. By sport of yachting he meant, of course, racing. Yacht measurement, rating, has had a continuous influence on yacht design since handicap yacht racing began a century and a half ago. Beginning with custom measurement, yacht ratings have evolved to linear ratings, thus lending themselves to a semi-rational system of time allowances based on speed-length ratio. The complex laws of yacht behavior preclude the probability of a perfect handicapping system under which skill alone will determine the winner among dissimilar yachts.

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