A number of illusions have changed hands over the summer - if you have a boat for sale or are looking for one please let me know and I will match you up. I aim to publish a list of illusions for sale at the end of each season - May 2018 - Mike Toogood -


Racing calendar for 2017/18 - please click here



Illusion class


The Illusion is a one-design keelboat, based on a scaled version of Lionheart, the British 12 Metre Class yacht and designed by Jo Richards and Neil Graham in 1981. These peformance single-handed boats offer superb racing in nearly any conditions, by sailors of all weights and ages - with tested racing performance up to Force 6! Boats are equipped with a standard main, roller furling genoa and spinnaker, plus running rigging


To find out more and try out loan boats click here



BSC website -

Race Reports - 


Past trophy winners - trophy history

Final 2015-16 results - click here


LIVE - Weather in Bembridge harbour (thanks to Brading Haven YC) now

then enter u/n p/w w34th3r




The full title of the Association shall be the National Illusion Class Association – Bembridge



2.1 The Association is formed with the object of promoting and facilitating the sport of

Illusion sailing and also to provide social and other facilities for members as may from

time to time be determined.

2.2 This constitution is intended to cover all Illusion Fleets, but is written with particular

reference to the Bembridge Fleet.

2.3 Illusion Fleets based elsewhere are invited to adopt the principals behind this

Constitution and the Rules attached hereto as Appendix A so that all Illusions conform

to the same set of designs and measurements with the aim that yachts from each fleets

are as nearly alike as possible and may sail against each other on an equal and fair basis.

2.4 If other Illusion Fleets adopt this Constitution and its Rules then the setting up of a

National Association will be considered.


3.1 There shall be two categories of membership of the Association:

- Full Members and

- Associate Members.

3.2 Full Membership shall, upon payment of the prescribed annual subscription, be open to

any owner or part owner of an Illusion Yacht.

3.3 Associate Membership shall, upon payment of the prescribed annual subscription, be

open to other interested persons such as those who may wish to sail Illusions from time

to time by borrowing a yacht.

3.4 Members shall be bound by this Constitution and the Rules attached hereto as

Appendix A.

3.5 Each Full Member of the Association shall be entitled to one vote at a General Meeting

of the Association. Associate Members shall be entitled to attend and speak at any

General Meeting, but not to vote.


4.1 The affairs of the Association shall be managed by the Committee consisting of the

Officers of the Association, the Bembridge Sailing Club Illusion Class Captain, and

two or more other Full Members so that the Committee consists of a minimum of seven

and a maximum of nine members.

4.2 The Officers of the Association shall be Full Members and shall consist of: The

Chairman, The Secretary, The Treasurer, and The Technical Officer (who may also be

the Measurer).

4.3 The Committee shall, within these Regulations, have entire control of the Association

and their decision on all maters shall be final.


5.1 The Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) of the Association shall be held each year

during October or early November.

5.2 The year for the Association and for such purposes as subscriptions shall run from 1 st

October of a year until 30 th September of the following year.

5.3 A Member of the Committee shall circulate to Members notice of any General Meeting

or AGM with an Agenda at least four weeks before the date of such meeting.

5.4 At any General Meeting or Committee Meeting decisions shall be limited to matters on

the Agenda and shall be carried by a majority vote. Voting shall be by a show of hands,


unless a poll is demanded by not fewer than three of the Full Members present. At any

meeting the Chairman shall have a casting vote.

5.5 The presence of ten Full Members at an AGM and four Committee Members at a

meeting of the Committee shall form a quorum. Only Full Members shall be able to

vote at a General Meeting.


6.1 The Officers and other Committee members shall be elected at the AGM and shall hold

office for one year, retiring at the next AGM. All Officers and Committee members

shall be eligible for re-election over five consecutive years, after which they must stand

down for at least one year before being eligible for re-election..

6.2 Any Full Member may be proposed or propose themselves as an Officer or Member of

the Committee for election at an AGM.


Subscriptions for each category of membership shall be proposed by the Committee to

Members at the AGM in each year for approval.


8.1 The Committee shall cause true accounts to be kept giving particulars of all monies,

assets and liabilities of the Association, all monies received and expended by the

Association and the reasons for such receipts and expenditure.

8.2 The Committee shall cause an annual financial statement to be prepared and presented

at every AGM of the Association.


9.1 It is the responsibility of all Full Members to ensure that when racing their Yachts at all

times comply fully with the current Rules of the Association, including carrying out

buoyancy tests to ensure their boats meet the buoyancy requirements contained therein.

Full Members will be asked to self-certify on a yearly basis that their Yacht complies

with the buoyancy regulations in the Rules.

9.2 All Full Members must also ensure that their Yachts carry comprehensive third party

cover as is recommended by their insurance broker.

9.3 It is recommended that when racing Members wear personal buoyancy.

1st December 2002




Bembridge Fleet


The Objects of these rules, specifications and official plans is to ensure that Illusion One

Design Yachts are as nearly alike as possible as regards:

a hull and deck shape and weight

b. shape of rudder

c. shape and area of sail plan

d. size and weight of spars and rigging

e. weight distribution, and

f. any other matter which may influence the speed, performance or

seaworthiness of the yacht


The administration of these Rules shall be the responsibility of the Committee of the Illusion

Class – Bembridge Fleet (the “Association”) or such person who the Committee shall



Illusion Yachts shall be built only by builders licensed to do so under copyright of Jo

Richards, Cowes, Isle of Wight, and shall comply with the Building Specification detailed by

the copyright holder and attached to these Rules as Exhibit A. A building fee of £50 shall be

payable to Jo Richards when the moulding of the hull commences.


4.1 No yacht shall be deemed to be an Illusion until it has been completed with a Building

Number assigned by the Builder and attached to the hull on a plate.

4.2 The sail number shall be assigned by the Builder. Each Illusion shall have consecutive

sail numbers starting from 1 and proceeded by the national letters – GBR.

4.3 No yacht shall race unless a current valid Measurement Certificate has been issued by

the Association or Self Measurement Certificate completed by the owner Exhibit C.

4.4 Change of ownership shall invalidate the Measurement Certificate unless such change

is registered with the Association.

4.5 Any alteration, replacement or major repair to an item of equipment may require

measurement in accordance with the rules.

4.6 It is the responsibility of an owner to ensure that the Yacht complies at all times with the

Class Rules in force at the time of certification.


4.7 No yacht shall race unless the owner(s) is a Full Member or a guest of the Bembridge


4.8 Alterations and modifications to these Rules shall only be permitted by such alterations

or modification being presented to a General Meeting of the Association by the

Committee and approved by such Meeting.


5.1 Yachts shall only be measured by the Measurer appointed by the Committee

5.2 The Measurer shall not measure a yacht, spars, sails or equipment owned or built by

himself, or in which he is an interested party, or has a financial involvement.

5.3 The Measurer shall report on the Measurement Form, attached as Exhibit B, anything

which is considered to be a departure from the intended nature and design of the

yacht, or to be against the general interest of the Class. A certificate may be refused

even if the specific requirement of these Rules are satisfied.

5.4 The method of measurement, unless otherwise stated, shall be in accordance with the




The hull, deck, interior layout, ballast, rudder, sail plan and deck layout shall conform

to the building specifications, class rules and official diagrams.

6.2 HULL

a. The hull and deck flange shall be moulded by a licensed builder, in glass reinforced plastics

to the building specifications of lamination.

b. The cockpit, deck, interior bulkheads and buoyancy tanks shall conform to the details of the

official Diagram A – attached.

c. The deck and bulkheads shall be constructed from Glass Reinforced Plastics, G.R.P. Decks

and bulkheads shall be constructed on an approved mould to the building specifications of


d. The deck shall be flat in section with no camber either positive or negative, with a tolerance

of minus 5mm to plus 20mm.

e. The cockpit coaming shall be as detailed in official Diagram A, and shall not exceed a height

of 30mm from deck level, the fitting of skirts or cockpit cover during racing not allowed.

f. A watertight deck recess shall be fitted in the forward section of the deck (as shown in

Diagram A ) with a minimum depth of 35mm.

g. Chainplates shall be fixed in line with the mast step and there shall be a minimum shroud

base of 580mm and a maximum shroud base of 630mm.

h. The following are not permitted:

- coring, drilling out, rebuilding, replacement of materials, or grinding in any

way to reduce weight, and

- reshaping of the hull profiles or contours.

i. The maximum beam, at any point on the sheerline, shall not be more than 830mm.



a. The all up weight in full racing rig, including crew corrector weights and ballast shall not

be less than 330 Kg nor more than 340 Kg.

b. Ballast shall be made up of solid lead ingots, and/or bags of lead shot. No individual ingot or

bag shall weigh more than 15kgms. The ballast shall not weigh less than 160kgs save

where rule 6.3(c 2) applies.

c. Crew weight is deemed to be 100 Kg and shall corrected by the following means:

a.1) Crew weighing less than 100 Kg shall carry corrector weights in lead shot bags of no

more than 15 Kg each.

a.2) Crew weighing more than 100 Kg shall remove ballast.

d. Trimming ballast may be placed in the forward buoyancy compartment to allow correct

sailing trim.

e. No ballast with a greater specific density than lead shall be used.


a. An adequate bilge pump shall be fitted.

b. The bilge pump shall drain from the lowest point in the keel and shall exit through the deck

at a point between the forward edge of the coaming and the aft edge of the mast.

c. In addition to the bilge pump fitted under (a), an electric bilge pump may be fitted.


a. The external dimensions and configuration of the rudder shall comply with the official rudder

drawing and table of offsets contained on official Diagram D.

b. The rudder shall be constructed of either solid timber or glass reinforced plastic or a

combination of both.

c. The rudder stock shall be constructed of aluminium or stainless steel tube, with a minimum

outside diameter of 25mm, fitted parallel to the skeg and at right angle to the deck sheerline.

d. The rudder bearings shall consist of simple plastic or nylon rings.

e. The steering system must be controlled by means of a foot-bar as indicated but additional

control lines to facilitate hand steering by rope and pulley are permitted.

f. Steering control lines shall be of synthetic ropeĵ not less than 2mm in diameter.

g. Solid linkages in the steering system are not permitted.


6.6.1 Mast

a. The mast shall be of aluminium extrusion. The sections supplied by Hawk Marine Products,

Needlespar, conforming to diagram E shall be standard. No alteration or modifications to

the mast extrusions are permitted except to facilitate the attachment of rigging and fittings

as specified in these Rules.

b. Permanently bent masts and rotating masts are not permitted.

c. The distance from the forward surface of the mast at deck measured horizontally to the

stem at sheerline shall not be more than 1,550mm nor less than 1,530mm.

d. The mast shall be deck stepped.

e. Bands of minimum width 10mm shall be put on the mast in contrasting colour to the mast as


No 1 whose upper edge shall be minimum 350 above deck level;

No 2 whose lower edge is maximum 3840mm above the upper edge of No 1.

f. Not more than two spinnaker boom attachment fittings shall be fixed to the forward surface

of the mast. The maximum height shall not be more than 280mm above deck level. The

fitting shall project not more than 35mm horizontally from forward surface of the mast.

6.6.2 Standing Rigging

a. The mast standing rigging shall only consist of one backstay, two upper shrouds, two

intermediate shrouds and two lower shrouds.


b. The standing rigging shall be 2mm in diameter 1x19 grade stainless rigging wire.

c. The shrouds shall be attached at their lower ends and shall not be adjusted while racing.

d. The backstay shall be fixed to the masthead crane which has a max length of 100mm from

the aft face of the mast.

e. The intersection between the sheerline and the extension of the genoa luff shall be such

that the genoa furler fits within the deck recess (6.2 f).

6.6.3 Running Rigging

a. One spinnaker halyard of synthetic rope not less than 2mm diameter which shall not bear

more than 5mm forward of the mast or more than 2710mm above the upper surface of the

lower black band.

b. One mainsail halyard of synthetic rope not less than 3mm diameter.

c. One genoa halyard which shall not bear more than 2550mm above the upper surface of the

lower black band. The genoa halyard may be adjustable in length. d. One kicking strap.

e. One spinnaker boom downhaul.

f. One mainsail outhaul.

g. One Cunningham control of synthetic rope.

h. One backstay adjuster tackle of synthetic rope.

i. One mainsheet of synthetic rope.

j. Spinnaker and headsail sheets of synthetic rope.

k. One spinnaker boom uphaul of synthetic rope.

6.6.4 Main Boom

a. The boom shall not be tapered or permanently bent.

b. The boom shall be of aluminium extrusion round section of not more than 50mm diameter.

c. A contrasting coloured band of minimum width 10mm shall encircle the boom. The forward

edge of the band shall be not more than 1350mm from the aft surface of the mast, when the

boom is held at right angles to the mast.

6.6.5 Spinnaker Boom

The overall length of the spinnaker boom, including fittings, shall not be more than




(a) Mainsail (b) Headsail


(c) Spinnaker



(a) Sails shall comply with the class rules in force at the time of certification. (b)

Mainsails may be measured with battens inside the batten pockets


(c) The measurer shall certify mainsails, headsails and spinnakers in the head and shall sign

and date the certification mark.

(d) The Committee may appoint one or more measurers to measure and certify sails.

A sailmaker may be appointed to certify sails he has made. This provision

constitutes an exemption to the conflicting provision at Rule 5.2 and may be

revoked at the discretion of The Committee at any time.

Alternatively sails may be certified by a current RYA Approved Sail Measurer.



(e) No licence is required. The choice of sailmaker is optional


(a) Notwithstanding provisions within Rule 7.2.2 (a) and 7.3.1 (a) concerning sail

materials, sailors aged 65 years or over may use sails incorporating clear

monofilm material in the body of the sail.



National letters and distinguishing numbers shall be placed on the mainsail. The class

emblem on the mainsail shall be as in Diagram B in Exhibit C, and contained within

two 140 x 130mm rectangles located starboard on top of port but separated by a

30mm space. The rectangles shall be located immediately below the midpoint of the

top batten.

The class insignia shall conform with theand be positioned in accordance with the RRS .

dimensions and requirements as detailed in the diagram contained in Appendix I

National letters and sail numbers shall comply with and be positioned in accordance with the

RRS except where prescribed otherwise in these class rules.


(a) The sail shall be a soft sail manufactured from a single woven ply except for permitted

reinforcements, constructional seams, tabling, camber lines and genuine repairs to damage,

and shall be of woven material. The ply fibres shall consist of polyester

(b) Stiffening shall consist of:

(1) Headboard of plastic

(2) Battens fibreglass

(d) Sail reinforcement shall consist of the same materials permitted in the body of

the sail


(a) The body of the sail shall be made from flat panels made from the same ply except for the

panel adjacent to the foot, which may be of a different woven ply.

(b) The sail shall have 4 batten pockets in the leech. They shall be spaced equally +/- 30mm

along the cord of the leech, from the Aft Head Point to the Clew Point, measured to the

centreline of the batten pocket. Battens may be permanently fixed or removable.

(c) The following are permitted: Stitching, glues, tapes, bolt ropes, corner eyes, headboard with

fixings, Cunningham eye/pulley, batten pocket patches, batten pocket elastic, tell tales,

sail shape indicator stripes and clew side.

(d) The leech shall not extend aft of straight lines between:

(a.i.1)the aft head point and the intersection of the leech and the upper edge of the nearest

batten pocket,

(a.i.2)the intersection of the leech and the lower edge of a batten pocket and the intersection of

the leech and the upper edge of an adjacent batten pocket below,

(a.i.3)the clew point and the intersection of the leech and the lower edge of the nearest batten


(e) Sails with a loose foot are not permitted



minimum maximum

Leech length 4050 mm

Half width 900 mm

Three-quarter width 530 mm

Top width and any extension of from head point

90 mm

Primary reinforcement 250 mm

Secondary reinforcement:

from sail corner measurement points

for flutter patches for

chafing patches for

batten pocket patches

Tabling width (leech & luff)

Seam width

Batten pocket length:

uppermost pocket: inside

10 mm


500 mm

100 mm

100 mm

100 mm

35 mm

20 mm



Intermediate and lowermost pockets: inside 310 mm

Batten pocket outside width

30 mm

50 mm

Class Insignia, National Letters and Sail




Sail numbers and letters shall be of a contrasting

colour to the mainsail

95 mm

15 mm

105 mm

20 mm



(a) The sail shall be a soft sail manufactured from a single woven ply except for permitted

reinforcements, constructional seams, tabling, camber lines and genuine repairs to damage,

and shall be of woven material. The ply fibres shall consist of polyester

(b) Sail reinforcement shall consist of the same materials permitted in the body of the sail

(f) Windows shall consist of a single ply of transparent material


(a) The body of the sail shall be made from flat panels made from the same woven ply


(b) The leech shall not extend beyond a straight line from the aft head point to the clew point.

(c) The following are permitted: Stitching, glues, tapes, corner eyes, windows, tell tales, sail

shape indicator stripes, flutter patches, luff wire



minimum maximum

Luff length 2860 mm 2890 mm

Luff Perpendicular 1660 mm 1700 mm

Foot median (Dimension to be Verified) 2780 mm

Top width - 32 mm

Primary reinforcement 100 mm 250 mm

Secondary reinforcement:

from sail corner measurement points 250 mm 500 mm

for flutter patches - 100 mm

for chafing patches - 250 mm

Tabling width (leech & foot) 10 mm 35 mm

Seam width 9 mm 20 mm

Window: number of unlimited

Total Window area

- 0.2 m2



(a) The ply fibres shall consist of Nylon

(b) The body of the sail shall consist of the same woven ply throughout; (c) Sail

reinforcement may be of a Polyester material.


(a) The construction shall be: soft sail, single woven ply sail.

(b) The body of the sail shall consist of the same woven ply throughout.

(c) The following are permitted: Stitching, glues, tapes, corner eyes.


minimum maximum

Leech length 3250mm 3330


Difference between leech lengths Foot


1940 mm

25 mm

2000 mm

Foot Median 3690 mm

Half width 1880 mm 2000


Primary reinforcement 250 mm

Secondary reinforcement:

from sail corner measurement points

310 mm

Tabling width

9 mm

20 mm

Seam width

9 mm

20 mm


There shall be a standard deemed weight for crew of 100 Kg which each

helmsman shall weigh in at with the aid of corrector weights or removal of ballast.



9.1 There shall be four separate buoyancy compartments as detailed in Diagram A in

Exhibit C. Air bags are permitted in hulls built before 2000.

9.2 All buoyancy compartments shall be capable of being drained through watertight

hatches or with bungs.

9.3 No part of a side buoyancy compartment shall be more than 500mm below the

level of the sheerline when measured on a perpendicular plane.

9.4 Yachts, having been fully flooded, must float for at least 30 minutes without

sinking. A flotation test to be undertaken annually at the beginning of each season

and witnessed by a member of the General Committee, a sticker will be issued to

evidence the boat passing the test.


Two headsail sheet tracks, each not more than 235 mm in length, located in the

positions as indicated on Diagram A.


The following are not permitted:

11.2 Hydraulics;

11.3 Running backstays or devices to simulate such;

11.4 Spinnaker chutes through the deck;

11.5 Bushed or unbushed holes or slots to feed halyards or control lines through the

hull, transom or buoyancy compartments;

11.6 Levers or other equipment that may increase the power ratio of the running


11.7 Hiking – at no time while racing shall the majority of the crew’s torso be above

deck level;

11.8 Trimming of genoa sheets by means other than by a sheet from the clew directly

to the block fastened to the headsail track. Trimming by hand is allowed off

the wind;

11.9 The use of barber haulers and similar devices is prohibited;

11.10 Angling of headsail tracks, or athwartships movement is prohibited. The tracks

are to be approximately parallel as shown in diagram A; 11.11 Reef points fitted to

either the mainsail or genoa are prohibited and

11.12 Electronic compasses or similar electronic navigational equipment.



Measurement shall be carried out in accordance with the ERS except where varied in this


Building Specification Diagram A

Class Emblem Diagram B

Measurement Certificate Exhibit B

Self- Measurement Certificate Exhibit C

Illusion Mast





No:…………….. Name:…………………………… Owner:………………………..

ITEM No Rule No Item Measurement HULL


Length Overall 3648 +/-5

Overall to transom 3275 +/- 10

To aft side of track well 2400 max

To bulkhead aft side 1200 +/- 10

Cockpit width at 2270 530 +/- 10

Cockpit width at 2730 470 +/- 10

Overall to cockpit aft side 2885 +/- 10

Overall to cockpit fore side 2050 +/- 10

6.6.1c Overall to front side of mast 1540 +/- 10

6.7.3a Intersection jib attachment Within jib well

Overall to aft edge of jib well 410 +/-

Overall to fore edge of jib well 130 +/- 12 10.1 Length of genoa

track well 235 +/- 5

12a 10.1 Length of genoa tracks 230 +/- 5

Athwartship genoa track to track

centreline aft end 725 max

13a Athwartship genoa track to track

centreline forward end 735 max

Maximum beam at front of genoa

track well 825 +/- 5

14a 6.2i Maximum beam anywhere 825 +/- 5

Beam at front of mast 720 +/- 10

Beam at transom 625 +/- 10

Distance between skeg and transom 720 +/- 10

Distance from keel to skeg 410 +/- 10

Depth skeg to bottom of keel 350 +/- 10

Maximum depth deck to keel 940 +/- 5 21 6.2g Distance between

shouds at deck

level in line centre mast step min 580 max 630

6.2d Deck camber -5 to + 20

6.2e Cockpit coaming above deck 30 max

6.2f Depth jib well recess forward 35 min

8.3 Side buoyancy tanks below shear

to floor 500 max

Four separate buoyancy compartments YES/NO

4.1 Build No on Hull – engraved plate YES/NO

Depth of aft edge of rudder 400 max

Rudder width at top 155 max

Rudder width 200mm from bottom 255 max

Rudder width 100mm from bottom 230 max

Rudder thickness 50 max

6.5c Rudder stock diameter 25 min

Rudder stock to be parallel to skeg and at a right angle to

deck sheerline


ITEM No Rule No Item Measurement HULL



Vertical gap skeg to rudder 10 +/- 5

Skeg thickness at 140 mm from

bottom 60 +/- 3

Skeg thickness at bottom 50 +/- 3


6.3a Ballast 160Kg min

7.2 Crew + Correctors Min 100Kg

9 All up racing weight 330-340Kg


6.61a Needlespar Construction Diagram E

6.61e Upper edge of lower black band 350 max 62 6.61e

Lower edge of upper black band to upper

edge of lower black band 3800 max

6.6.1f Height of spinnaker boom attachment from deck

280 max

6.6.1f Projection of spinnaker boom

attachment 35 max

6.6.3a Spinnaker halyard above top of

lower black band 2710 max

6.6.3a Projection of spinnaker halyard

sheave 5 max

6.6.3c Genoa halyard above top of lower

black band 2550 max 68

6.6.4.b Diameter mast and boom section 50 max


6.6.4c Distance from aft side of mast to front edge of

black band 1350 max

6.6.5 Overall length of spinnaker boom

including fittings 1360 max


80 6.7 See Separate Form


90 8 Annual buoyancy test


Exhibit C


Certification of Weight & Sail Measurement

[Form to be used where original builder’s certificate or class measurement is unavailable]

Boat Name…………………………. Build/Sail Number………………….

In accordance with the Rules of Appendix A.

I ………………………….. ……. (Owner Please Print) confirm to the best of my

knowledge the following :-

a) Boat, Sail Number…………., conforms to the class measurement requirements. [A limited

list of key measurements is available for those Owners of older boats wishing to check hull


b) Overall weight of Boat plus racing rig including lead ballast …………kgs.

Crew weight …………..kgs. Corrector weight ……………kgs.

[Crew plus corrector weight to be a minimum of 100 kilograms]

c) My boat complies to the buoyancy test requirement required by The Illusion Class –

Bembridge Fleet

d) The sails have been made in accordance with and meet class measurement rules.

e) In the spirit of the class, I accept that at any time officers of the class may spot check my

boat to confirm buoyancy and measurements are correct.

Signed…………………….. Date……………………..




APRIL 2014 V2