US Sailing's SER's: A new tool for safety
A new set of Safety Equipment Requirements (SERs) replaced the ISAF (formally ORC) Offshore Special Regulations in the US, effective January 2014. These new requirements were adapted and successfully used in the 2014 Pacific Cup and the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race and have since been adopted broadly in a wide range of offshore races.
The advantages of the SERs are that they are written in American English and simplified, so yacht owners can make their own decisions how best to comply. Instead of seven different categories there are three: Near-Shore, Coastal and Ocean, all presented without added recommendations, prescriptions, comments and procedural interpretations.
One of the most attractive aspects of the SERs is that they apply to both racing and cruising yachts. Simply pick the type of sailing that you will be doing and download a list of required safety equipment at http://www.ussailing.org/safety/equipment-and-requirements/