Black Sails

Words: Inge Strompf-Jepsen Image: Panda Man | Takumi Images


Black sails were the preferred colour of pirates during the 18th and 19th century helping camouflage them from the authorities that were chasing them.


At the RHKYC the number of ‘pirates’ is steadily increasing. Sails made of Aramid or Carbon Fibers amongst racers are very popular for both speed and performance - they are even perceived as looking cool!


But, there’s a problem!


RRS Appendix G - Identification on Sails specifies types of letters, location on the sails and sizes. It states they have to be clearly legible, each of the same colour and of a contrasting colour to the body of the sail. Unfortunately which colour can be used isn’t specified and it’s entirely in the eye of the beholder.


We do have very creative owners in the Club, deciding to use red, blue and even dark grey on black sails. While they might look good on black it is virtually impossible for the Race Committee to see which boat is crossing the finishing line. Light colours on white sails are also hard to read.


Our plea, please do not hide from the Race Committee! Help us to find you!