Cocktail Class Wooden Boat Racing Association Email Us

Here are answers some of our most frequently asked questions.  If you still have questions, contact any one of our leaders by sending them an email found on the About page, or post your question on our Forums and our members will be glad to help.

How are racing numbers assigned?

Racing numbers are assigned when you register your Cocktail Class Runabout with the CCWBRA.  Racing numbers are assigned in chronological order, beginning with the lowest number currently available.  However, we do our best to accommodate specific requests.  If you register online, there is space to make this request.

What if someone else is already using my boat name?

That’s ok!  A racing number is assigned to a single CCR, names are not.  When the founding family built their first few Cocktail Class Runabouts, there were more drivers than boats.  Each person had their own set of nameplates with a cocktail name that was attached to the boat’s side decks by Velcro strips.  If a driver switched boats, they would take their nameplates with them.  The racing number was specifically for the Cocktail Class Racer; the cocktail names were for the different drivers.

During the last couple years, more and more CCR owners have had their cocktail names painted onto their boats or have used decals.  This is perfectly fine!

Does anyone sell pre-built Cocktail Class Racers?

There are not currently any builders manufacturing Cocktail Class Racers for public sale.  Owners that choose to sell their CCRs may post them in our Classifieds, so be sure to check there often if you’re looking for a pre-built CCR.

What’s the difference between a “Cocktail Class Runabout” and a “Cocktail Class Racer”?

Based on the 8-ft. plywood skimmer Skua, designed in 1939 by Charles G. MacGregor, the Cocktail Class Runabout is an economical and simple-to-build runabout.  When constructed according to CCWBRA specifications and registered with the CCWBRA, the Skua is known as the Cocktail Class Racer™.

What are the differences between a CCR built using the Building Manual (Ver. 3) sold by the CCWBRA and a CCR built from a kit sold by Chesapeake Light Craft?

Both construction methods should provide hulls that have very similar running surfaces, within building tolerances.  The Chesapeake Light Craft-kit versions have four built-in air chambers, fiberglass-epoxy encapsulation, a different bottom support structure, and use an external frame during building.  The builder doesn’t have to cut out the parts but there is a lot of fiberglassing to do.  The extra materials in a CLC CCR generally make it slightly heavier.

A CCWBRA-plans-built CCR uses an inner frame during its build, all parts must be hand fabricated; any fiberglass work, in addition to necessary structural support at seams, is up to the builder; the hull could be lighter than a CLC CCR (depending on the materials chosen and the builder’s care during construction), but the hull might not be as stiff (even if true, this has not prevented these CCRs from winning a fair share of trophies).

The initial cost for a CLC CCR kit could be more than the materials needed to build a CCR from CCWBRA’s plans, depending on the resources locally available to a builder.  If you are a novice builder, or have little experience with stitch-and-glue boatbuilding, and you want to build from plans, you might want to download the free, illustrated, 143-page CLC CCR building manual.  Use this manual, as well as other boatbuilding references, to help you understand the CCR building process.

How do I get help when building a CCR?

Join the CCWBRA and post questions on our Forum.  You can also contact our Engine Committee and Safety Committee chairmen with questions or concerns by sending them an email found on the About page.

How do I get help when rigging my CCR?

Join the CCWBRA and post questions on our Forum, or attend one of our events to get ideas from others.  You can also contact our Engine Committee and Safety Committee chairmen with questions or concerns by sending them an email found on the About page.

Can I modify a CCR and still race?

The external shape of a CCR’s hull may not be modified if it is to be raced in CCWBRA events.  Minor changes in material and shape of the cockpit coamings are allowed, as are internal structural details.  Modifying the spacing or external shape of frames is not allowed.

Who will teach me how to drive my CCR?

Attend a CCWBRA race near you!  Members are always ready to help out with pointers, tips, guidance and one-on-one training.

What are you supposed to take in your CCR when racing?

First, the personal safety equipment that you’ll need to wear includes: a life jacket, a helmet, and a whistle, tethered and tucked into a life jacket pocket (if it has a pocket).  Racers should review the Racing Handbook for requirements on the life jacket and helmet.  And don’t forget footwear (fancy water shoes or old sneakers) to protect your feet during a rough ride, and floatation straps for your eyewear or safety goggles unless they’re tied to your PFD or clothing.

Other standard equipment you’ll need for the boat includes: (tied down) floatation bags (unless your boat’s floatation method is air chambers or foam), and a paddle (secured in place).

If you are under the minimum weight limit for a particular race class you will need to carry an ample amount of water jugs to “ballast up”.

Also, it’s a good idea to throw in a dock rope for towing or tying up between races (coiled and stowed to avoid entanglement in the event of an overturned boat).  A bailing sponge, scoop, or hand-powered kayak bilge pump, properly secured, can be handy.

Throw in a drinking water bottle, too – you can get thirsty between race starts on sunny days.

Why the color orange on personal safety equipment?

Orange is internationally recognized as a color that is easier to spot on the water than most, if not all, other colors.  Our racing rules clearly state that if driver goes overboard during a race, that race is stopped immediately to allow aid to be provided to the driver as needed.  We want all drivers to be constantly alert for anything in the water that is orange.

What does driver ballast mean?

Because driver weight is a significant part of a CCR’s in-water, race-ready weight, there are four weight classes in CCWBRA races.  In three of the weight classes there are minimum driver weights that can be met by ballasting the driver up to the minimum.

In the Women’s 6-hp Class, minimum weight is 130 lbs:  a woman weighing 122 lbs would be required to carry a one-gallon milk jug full of water (equals about 8 lbs) to ballast up to the minimum race weight of 130 lbs.

In the Mixed 6-hp Class, minimum weight is 165 lbs:  a teenager (minimum age 16) weighing 149 lbs would have to carry two milk jugs full of water (about 16 lbs) to ballast up to race weight.

In the 8-hp class, minimum weight is 200 lbs:  a man weighing 180 lbs would have to carry one half-full and two full milk jugs (about 20 lbs) to ballast up to race weight.

There is no provision to ballast up to race weight in the 6-hp Heavyweight Class.  All drivers in this class must weigh a minimum of 200 lbs.

Why is there a minimum hull weight for racing?

Boat racing will stress any boat.  We hope the minimum hull weight of 80 pounds will encourage builders to not skimp on materials during construction (in an effort to build a lighter-weight hull).  Built as designed, CCRs that are now racing have stood up to the repeated poundings of races.

Where can I find engines, control adapters, etc.?

CCWBRA members have obtained engines from family, friends, neighbors, strangers, eBay, Craigs List, want ads, marinas, yard sales, flea markets, by asking about outboards sitting in fields, just about anywhere one can imagine.  Some are junk that are only used as parts engines.  Some run reliably, but slow.  A few make good racing engines.  Almost all need a bit of TLC to ensure they run consistently during a racing season.  Outboard maintenance is beyond the scope of this FAQ page, but there are many books and websites devoted to this subject and most marine engine repair shops will gladly take your money to fix your outboard.  Websites, such as marineengine.com, have exploded diagrams of outboards that you can search through for parts and many will answer questions to try to get you the correct part(s) you need if repairs are needed.

Steering and control adapters are found by asking other members, searching the web, or getting lucky at a nearby parts shop.  Brown Tool & Machine Company (www.btmco.com) sells hardware to boat racers and has a page devoted to CCRs.  Sources for parts clearly depend on the make and model of your engine, so you might have to do a little searching to obtain the parts you need.

What outboards are legal to race?

Any stock, 2-stroke, 6-hp, Evinrude or Johnson (OMC) can be raced in the 6-hp classes (what we call Classic 6s were built prior to 1980).  Any stock, 8-hp outboard can be raced in the 8-hp class.

How do I start a local fleet?

There is currently no program at the National level for establishing or formally recognizing individual fleets.  Local fleets are organized on an informal basis by friends wanting to build and race CCRs.  Our Member Directory, accessible only to CCWBRA members, provides a way to contact other members in your area.  Local Fleet Captains and State Contacts can help you get started and provide names of members in your local area.  You can also contact our National Fleet Captain by sending him an email found on the About page.

I’d like to host a regatta. How do I get started?

The CCWBRA Racing Handbook contains all the racing rules, safety information and checklists you need to get started hosting your own local races.  Members are always ready to help answer questions and provide guidance via our website forum and directly via email.  You only need a few boats to have a great race.  Contact our Website Manager (email may be found on the About page) to get your race dates posted on our website.

How do I sponsor a CCWBRA sanctioned race?

Contact the National Fleet Captain (email may be found on the About page) if you would like to host a sanctioned regatta.  Sanctioned regattas are larger formal races open to all members and are covered under our accident and injury insurance program.  Sanctioned races generally require significant advanced planning on the part of the host organization, formal registration, race entry fees, race committees and support facilities.

Will the CCWBRA put on demo races in my town?

The CCWBRA is always ready to help with demonstration races, shows and displays depending on member schedules and availability.  Contact the National Fleet Captain (email may be found on the About page) with your requirements.

How do I get CCWBRA to participate in a boat show?

Contact our National Fleet Captain (email may be found on the About page) with your requirements.

How do I get CCWBRA to host a regatta?

The CCWBRA only hosts the annual National Championship.  However, considerable support and coordinating help is provided to organizations that want to host sanctioned regattas.  Contact the National Fleet Captain (email may be found on the About page) if your club or organization would like to host a regatta.

What do I get by being a member of the Cocktail Class Wooden Boat Racing Association?

Ability to purchase a racing number, access to the Forum, Classifieds and Member Directory on our website, and regatta participation/entry.

Can I mail a check for Membership Dues and/or Boat Registration?

Yes!  Please print and complete the Membership Application from the About page.  Mailing instructions are included on the Application.

Can my organization become a member of the Association?

Not at this time.  Only individuals may become members of the Association.  Our liability insurance coverage is specifically for individuals only.

How do I gain access to the Forum?

To access the Forum, you must first become a member of the Association.  You can register to become a member by paying online or printing and mailing the Membership Application found on the About page.

After becoming a member of the CCWBRA, you’ll need to create an account through our website.  You’ll then gain access to the Forum, Classifieds, and Member Directory pages of our website.

I still have questions. Whom should I contact?

Visit the About page for names and email addresses of the CCWBRA Officers – any of them will be glad to help!