Historic & Classic Rules

Here is the Submission as passed in its entirety at the Conference. In saying that, it is now up to us to submit any remits for any changes or clarifications that may seem fit.

Proposed New Class

Proposed Remit for new class / section to be added to NZPBA membership.

The following rules which have been modified from a somewhat extensive American set of regulations are a starting point I think will make for some good discussion. I think we should welcome classic boat people along and allow them to be members or our clubs and if they want their own club then by all means they can join our Association as well. I think a boat registration fee of $20 shall apply. This is the same as our current racing class boats and is totally acceptable as a minimal fee that covers registrations from our administrative position. A license to partake in on-water activities such as demonstration runs or display racing shall be $80 per annum. That gives a round figure of $100 to register and drive your classic boat for the year. This will give them and our clubs full insurance cover to legally run without silly water closures at lunchtime and other dubious things we all have done over the years to close the water and allow demonstrations of non-member boats, skiers and jet skis etc to occur at our events. If we make it too much more economical than that (ie nearly free!) then we could see a handful of our current drivers opt out of racing and sit on the bank to be a classic craft. We do not want that.

We want to have a new direction and an injection of new members. By all means boats in sheds that are non-competitive and aged will more than likely be encouraged to be polished up and brought along. Lastly in the following I have not put a date on what a classic boat should be. I do not know that and my feeling is we should be a bit loose with this and perhaps not have a hard and fast age.

After all is it measured from when it was built, when first raced or when last raced? Or is it the date on the plans? There may be newer copies of old boats? There will be a truck load of “ifs”“buts” and “maybes” around all of this so perhaps we just start things up and see where we go with a good intention. We can change what we need to as we progress like we do with a lot of other classes. Anyway bring your ideas and thought on this to conference and we will make it work.

Ben Ryan

(President NZPBA)




All H&C events sanctioned by the NZPBA shall have the following requirements that are the same as for all current classes and member clubs.

The following rules are for on-water craft only.

Boats must be registered in the H&C class with the NZPBA. Drivers must have a current H&C license (or Full NZPBA Race Licence) and be financial members of one of the NZPBA clubs.

Scruitineering shall be done on the day, prior to going on the water.

All current on course driving rules shall apply.

Helmets and Life Jackets must worn by drivers and passengers.

Passengers must be at least 15 years old.


1. The purpose of this Division shall be:

A. To provide a means by which individuals sharing a common interest in vintage and the history of race boats and racing can meet, share experience and information, exchange ideas and generate enthusiasm for all aspects of their interest.

B. To promote the preservation of the New Zealand Power Boat Association’s (NZPBA) racing history.

C. To promote, further and encourage a love and enjoyment of historic & classic boats at its highest level in all of its aspects.

D. To promote Historic & Classic Race Boat Shows and rendezvous (possibly in conjunction with NZPBA sanctioned races) for the benefit of the public at large, and to educate members of the Association and the public by conducting research. In the long term, maintaining a library with information regarding classification, restoration and authenticity of historic and classic boats. In general, to promote sponsored activities designed to create an interest and educate the public at large about historic & classic boats.

E. To promote safety in the operation and display of Historic and Classic boats and assist in the planning and organisation of H&C Division events.


The membership of the NZPBA H&C Division shall consist of persons or other entities who are interested in and willing to be active and participate in furthering the aims and purposes of NZPBA and H&C. The members of the H&C of NZPBA will receive a membership and registration card for their historic & classic boat(s).

1. The H&C is open to all classes of former racing boats from Outboards, Inboards through to Unlimiteds. The expanding popularity of historical activities makes it appropriate to clarify the types of boats that can be categorized as NZPBA H&C. The mission of the H&C Division has been to promote and preserve the rich history of NZPBA boat racing. To accomplish this, it is important that standards are in place to help participants restore, replicate or create boats that will reflect that mission. The goal is not to create a series of rules to enable static judging contests or inhibit participation, but rather to offer guidelines to members, participants, restorers and boat builders that will make it possible to continue the growth of H&C and thus achieve the Division’s stated mission.

2. Historic Class Boats: A “Historic” boat is designated to have been a hull style that was used for racing prior to ???YEAR.

3. Additionally, Vintage and Historic Class boats will fall into one of the following construction


A. Un-restored Original: Self-explanatory. (Note: An un-restored original boat may not meet safety requirements and may only qualify for static display.)

B. Restored Original: A boat that raced in NZPBA sanctioned events at the time of its original construction. A measurable part of the original hull structure, hardware, engine or appendages (cowlings, etc.) must be included in the restoration of the boat. The engine type used in the restoration must resemble one found in the original. If, due to scarcity of original components, a later engine is used, the type and approximate power output of the original must be maintained.

C. Spirit of Vintage or Historic: A boat resembling a race boat from the Vintage or Historic eras.

The dimensions, configuration, and date of construction should be similar to boats that could have participated in NZPBA events of that era. The engine type must resemble one found in the original. If, due to scarcity of original components, a later engine is used, the type and approximate power output of the original must be maintained.

A Spirit of Vintage or Historic boat can be named and numbered after a vintage or historic boat that it resembles if the original boat is not in existence. The NZPBA Secretary should be contacted prior to naming the boat to ensure the Name/Class Number’s eligibility.

D. Re-creation (Complete reproduction or replicas): A recently constructed boat that closely resembles a racing boat that could have participated in NZPBA sanctioned events from the Vintage or Historic eras. The original boat that is being re-created must no longer exist. No apparent content or components from the original boat are used, but all dimensions, basic construction technique, engine type, hardware, paint scheme and name/number accurately closely replicate the boat that it is patterned after.

The engine type must resemble one found in the original. If, due to scarcity of original components, a later engine is used, the type and approximate power output of the original must be maintained.


1. Capsule, cage or reinforced cockpit Inboard hydroplanes and runabouts are not permitted to participate in active running at H&C events. The NZPBA Executive will have the final judgment should disputes exist concerning capsule, caged or reinforced cockpits.

2. All modifications to H&C hulls must be made in the “spirit of Vintage”. Hull modifications are subject to review by the H&C Chairman and if deemed not in the “spirit of Vintage”, the hull will be designated for static display only. Examples of modifications not in the “spirit of Vintage” include, but are not limited to, overpowered engines, technological advances not period to the hull, enclosed cockpits, safety cells, cages, driver’s restraints, etc.

3. Boats would be eligible for any class letter, number and name that the original hull may have had in its racing career. It is highly suggested that to maintain the relevance of the historic preservation mission of H&C, the boat’s most famous or noteworthy name be used. The owner can use the name and number of his choice as long as he does not attempt to recreate a boat currently registered in H&C. The NZPBA Secretary should be contacted prior to naming the boat to ensure its eligibility.

4. History and restoration photos are strongly encouraged to be displayed with the boat.

5. Certain boats may be eligible to participate as both a competition boat (class racing) and as a Historic &Classic boat. Under no circumstances shall the same hull participate as both in the same event. This includes participating with different drivers.


1. Driving former racing boats is an inherently dangerous sport and each participant assumes the risk when he/she participates in an event. While everyone involved - owners, drivers, crew members, officials, promoters, and the sanctioning body - can take, and have taken, measures to reduce the risk of serious injury, the risk cannot be eliminated and, in fact, will always be present. It is the participant’s responsibility to advise their spouses and next of kin NZPBA cannot be, and is not, responsible for all or even most aspects of the safety effort. That responsibility instead rests with the various participants in the events as follows:

A. NZPBA: NZPBA officers, officials, agents, and representatives are not present at NZPBA events

With sufficient frequency to make any representations or warranties of safety to any participant or other person. As a result, NZPBA cannot and does not take responsibility to ensure the adequacy – for purposes of safety - of the racing facility, safety personnel or equipment, or conditions of the premises including the waterway. The participants are solely and ultimately responsible for satisfying themselves as to the safety of the premises, pit areas and event course.

B. Participants: All participants are obligated to inspect the facilities, including the pit area and event course, including all of the conditions that would affect their participation in, before and the event. Participants are solely and directly responsible for the safety of their craft and equipment, are obligated to perform their duties whether as an owner, driver, or crew member in a manner designated to minimize, to the degree possible, the risk of injury to themselves and others.


2. The Steward of a sanctioned regatta must require that:

A. All proper officials are present and functioning during the conduct of the regatta.

B. Adequate facilities are available for the efficient conduct of the regatta before the on the water activities begins.

C. A properly equipped ambulance will be used and a doctor, registered nurse, paramedic, or an EMT will be in attendance at all times while boats are under power.

D. Two patrol boats as an absolute minimum and more if conditions warrant, are available for duty on the course at all times. Only authorized personnel shall man safety and/or patrol boats.

E. Two designated rescue boat capable of carrying one or more accident victims in a supine position shall be present and the craft shall be staffed and ready for use at all times when racing boats are under power. A patrol boat, properly staffed and equipped, may be used as a rescue boat. It is recommended each boat carry a qualified diver

F. All persons on the water in patrol boats or rescue craft must be 18 years of age or older.

3. It is mandatory that all courses have outside course marker/buoys and it is recommended that these are to be different than the markers used to mark the course.

4. A driver or rider who is ejected from their boat and is in the water uninjured should signal the rescue craft by clasping their hands above their head as an “okay” signal.

5. The areas in which the cranes are located shall be separated from all other pit areas. Access to the crane area shall be restricted and limited to authorized personnel.

6. With regard to weather conditions, the event shall take place at the Referee’s discretion.

7. The Referee shall immediately submit incident (accident) report forms following the event and follow all instructions contained in the current form. This does not pre-empt local authorities from reporting those accidents required by state and federal law. Event officials will assist local authorities in completing reports if necessary.

8. No participants are allowed in a H&C event with any type of splint, including, but not limited to, a cast or brace applied to his body without showing written authorization from a medical doctor and approval by the Referee at the particular event.

9. The minimum age for drivers or riders to participate in an exhibition run is 16 years old. A waiver must be signed for the underage participant by their parent or legal guardian.

10. All boats participating in a H&C regatta must be safety inspected at each event and will comply with Article VI Safety Rules. Boats and/or drivers found in non-compliance with these by-laws will not be allowed to participate in in-water activities. The H&C scrutineers shall prohibit use of any equipment he/she deems unfit for service.

11. An approved H&C safety checklist will record any discrepancy found.

12. Kill switches are mandatory for all H&C boats. The kill switch shall render the ignition and electric fuel pump (if so equipped) inactive.

13. A driver (and passenger, if any) when operating registered equipment at any time on water while at a sanctioned event, must wear complete safety equipment, including helmet and life jacket, with the following exception: Helmets may be removed only (a) when the boat is stopped or operated off-plane at idle speed, and (b) when there are no other boats operating on plane on the course or in the vicinity so as to create a danger, or (c) when the driver’s boat is tethered to a tow boat. Considering the fact that there is no safest life jacket and helmet that will eliminate all risks, the participants are solely and ultimately responsible for selecting a suitable helmet and life jacket.

A. Helmets must fit the current NZPBA helmet rule.

B. Cameras and other protruding devices may not be mounted on the helmet.

C. Lifejackets must either fit the current NZPBA general rules or if a classic style period piece they must have a crutch strap and be proven to actually float. A demonstration with the proposed wearer shall be performed in the water prior to use, in front of the officials of the day before it is allowed to be worn in an on-water display.

D) Every driver shall demonstrate that his life jacket will function properly when requested by the steward.

14. All participants must wear closed toe footwear when driving or being a passenger in H&C racing boats.

15. Each boat shall have a fire extinguisher readily available during fuelling and engine trailer starting and firing as per NZPBA rules.

16. Engines shall not be run or turned over on the beach or trailer, unless the propeller is disengaged. If the prop shaft is direct driven, the propeller and all accessories (spacers, splines, and nuts) shall be removed for dry firing. Props shall be covered, if mounted on the prop shaft, while in the pit area. A hull with a through-hull rudder post aft of the prop shaft is considered adequate cover, as is a hull which has the propeller at least one foot ahead of the trailing edge of the covering transom.

17. Inboard H&C boats: A safety collar must be placed on the propeller shaft to prevent it from moving rearward should the thrust bearing come apart or loose on the shaft. Exceptions to this rule would be:

A. Boats using a marine transmission and coupling assembly. The shaft coupling must have a minimum of two safety-wired setscrews; or

B. A propeller shaft retention system, such as racers that have the propeller shaft gimballed and connected.

18. All lifting straps and hardware on the hull must be of sufficient strength and attached properly to support the entire weight of the boat from any one of the lifting points. Lifting hooks must have safety spring loaded or gravity type retainers or some other method of positive retention such as secured screw shackle.

19. Lifting points on the boat must be of full circle enclosed construction preventing slings from becoming inadvertently detached.

20. No person shall participate in an event nor shall any official serve in an official capacity, after having consumed alcohol or controlled substances or while intoxicated.

A. Intoxicated means under the influence of:


A controlled substance

Any drug, or

Any combination of the above, such that there is an impaired condition of thought and action and loss of normal control of a person’s faculties to such an extent as to endanger any person. 

 Copyright © 2016,  Merv Sowden  All Rights Reserved.