The RYA Technical Department are an Authorising Authority of the World Sailing IHC scheme and license Sail Lofts as part of the scheme to self-certify sails.
The In-House Equipment Certification (IHC) programme is a World Sailing scheme that allows manufacturers to carry out certification control and subsequently certification on equipment they manufacture through a quality management scheme.
As a part of this programme World Sailing have authorised the RYA to licence sail manufacturers in the UK and Ireland that are and wish to be a part of the growing programme.
The main aim of the programme is to ensure that all sails manufactured by a licensed loft will be checked for class rule compliance right the way through the various stages of manufacture and a high level of traceability will exist if any faults are later discovered. Subsequently if any faults are found, the relevant manufacturer will be able to recall all affected sails and rectify the fault.
Joining the Scheme
UK or Irish Sail lofts wishing to join the scheme need to create a Certification System Manual (CS Manual), have one or more IOM's appointed by the RYA and have an IHC Audit.
The purpose of the CS manual and audit is to state the control measures the sail loft executes to ensure that all sails manufactured are class rule compliant and that there is a high level of traceability, so that any non compliances can be easily tracked down and corrected. The audit will be undertaken by a member of the RYA Technical Department and the aim is for the RYA to meet the Sailmaker and check that all elements of the CS manual are in place.
If your Sail Loft is interested in joining the scheme please contact the RYA Technical Department: email@example.com / 02380 60 4200
IHC Measurer training
In-House Official Measurers (IOM's) go through the same training that RYA appointed sail measurer’s take. The World Sailing sail measurers course. This one day course which aims to give a standard method of measuring sails worldwide. By doing this all Sails to be certified by this scheme shall have gone through the same scrutiny regardless as to which manufacturer they have come from.
Classes interested in the scheme
In order for a class to have their sails certified under this scheme they must be either a World Sailing international class or a RYA national class. Their class rules must also be written in the World Sailing Standard Class Rules format and have a term in the sails section stating "an In-House Official Measurer may certify sails", or similar.
Classes wishing to join the scheme should contact the World Sailing Technical Department: firstname.lastname@example.org
As of the 1st January 2011 it was a requirement that any Sail maker wishing to submit sail measurements for boats looking to obtain an IRC endorsed certificate shall be an IHC licensed loft.
This stance has been taken to increase the quality of data coming to the RORC Rating office, as the measurements are coming from IOM's that have all gone through the same training and the data being submitted is thus uniform across the board.
An IHC loft can submit data for any sail regardless as to the manufacturer.
Classes and Manufacturers
For a list of current IHC licensed lofts please download the PDF document in the downloads tab to the right.
For more information on the scheme please contact the Technical Department either by email or phone: email@example.com / 02380 60 4200.