IJSBAIJSBA is issuing the following statement to clarify the proper procedure for weighing watercraft as part of a technical inspection.  Weight control is an integral focus of IJSBA’s competition program in 2013.  IJSBA would like to remind the PWC Racing Community that there are two times weight is calculated: 1) minimum weights for homologation 2) legal weights for competition.

When an PWC is homologated, the OEM published weight is the official weight of a particular unit unless IJSBA issues an official weight.  Where an official weight is posted on the website, this shall supersede any posted weight for a unit irrespective of the source.

In Stock Classes, runabout PWC, powered by four stroke engines, may reduce weight by a maximum amount of 35lbs (15.88kg).  All other PWC may reduce weight by the amount achieved by any and all legal modifications to the unit.  When there is doubt whether a PWC is within the legal limit, the PWC must be drained of fuel and compared against the dry weights to determine compliance.

In Limited Class, all PWC may reduce weight by the amount achieved by any and all legal modifications to the unit except for four stroke powered engines which are subject to minimum weights of 550lbs (250kg) or 600lb (272kg) as outlined in section 5.5.4.

In Open Classes, runabout PWC, powered by four stroke engines, must weigh a minimum of 750lbs (340.2kg).  All other PWC must way no less than 10% of the weight as determined by IJSBA.  The weight of an Open Class PWC is determined by 8.1.5 as a comprehensive section.

The proper procedure for weighing an Open Class PWC is to begin by draining the unit of any residual water.  Reasonable amounts of water that rest in the areas of compartments (i.e. trace water that tends to accumulate in areas such as hull corners, between seams, behind mirrors, etc.) do not have to be removed before weighing.  Any ballast weight may be added prior to competition only.  In addition to ballast, all fuel and oil tanks/reservoirs may be completely filled with respective fluids accordingly (only the functioning tanks that were used during competition may be filled, fluid may not be used as ballast other than in functioning fuel and oil tanks/reservoirs or where some water is allowed to exist in the hull and waterbox).  Waterboxes do not need to be emptied of water unless the waterbox is modified or aftermarket and allows for a disproportionate amount of water to be stored or remain in the waterbox.  The battery used during competition shall be included in the determined weight of the PWC; batteries damaged during competition may be replaced only with the exact make and model of the damaged battery.

IJSBA has received numerous inquiries as to whether the 750lb minimum weight for four stroke PWC is a constant weight, a weight prior to competition, or a weight after competition.  IJSBA notes that Rule 8.1.5 requires that the weight of the determined dry weight, minus 10%, is required to be maintained at all times while the weight of 750lb is not specifically mentioned to be maintained at all times.  IJSBA further notes the 8.1.5 allows the weight of watercraft in Open Class to include fuel and oil when being compared against the dry weight (as opposed to Stock Class where dry weight is compared to dry weight).  8.1.5 is silent in whether the allowance for fuel and oil includes the fuel and oil that exists when the PWC is being weighed or whether it includes the fuel and oil that would be in the PWC if the PWC were filled to capacity with both fuel and oil.

IJSBA acknowledges the ambiguity and uncertainty in the language that exists in the rule book.  IJSBA will take this ambiguity into account for any appeals pending prior to this clarification.  As of May 14, 2013, IJSBA clarifies the following is the policy set forth in the 2013 Rule Book:

  1.  The 750lb minimum weight for four stroke runabout is a substitute for the criteria of OEM dry weight, minus 10%, that exists for all other PWC as the weight which must be maintained at all times.
  2.  The provision for fuel and oil includes only the fuel and oil that remain in the respective tanks/reservoirs at the time the watercraft is being weighed.*
  3. The provision for adding ballast prior to competition refers to the first time that PWC competes at an event.**

Therefore, the IJSBA determines that, from this day forward, Rule 8.1.5 shall mean that if a four stroke powered PWC, competing in the Open Class, ever weighs less than 750lbs  then that PWC shall be disqualified from all prior Open Class competition at that event and shall be ineligible for any further Open Class competition at that event.

*IJSBA acknowledges that, previously, fuel tanks have been allowed to be filled in order to make minimum weight during the weighing process even where completion has already occurred at that event.  This shall no longer be acceptable policy.

** IJSBA acknowledges that, previously, ballast has been allowed to be added to correct a PWC that has not met the minimum weight.  In these cases, the PWC was disqualified only from the moto where minimum weight was not met.  This shall no longer be acceptable policy.  However, in a case where a PWC is competing in several classes (ie GP and Open) at the same event, and ballast is used to make minimum weight in the Open Class, that ballast does not have to be used in other classes where the minimum weight may be less than 750lbs.

This ruling and clarification is effective immediately wherever the 2013 IJSBA Rule Book is being implemented.