An Introduction to Predicted Log Racing

As a premier boat brokerage in San Diego, we’re always looking for new boating activities and stories to share with our readers, and this month we wanted to highlight boat racing. Some people are competitive by nature – and for those who are also powerboaters, there haven’t been many opportunities to battle with other enthusiasts. While rowed and sailed water craft regattas have dominated the boat racing industry for years, a new activity has emerged on the scene, pleasing powerboaters around the nation: predicted log racing.

Although it sounds like an activity that takes place in the forest, the predicted log race is an event designed to allow any kind of boat, whether sail or power, the opportunity to participate in a timed event. The race works much like a rally for cars. Instead of basing the course on speed, a log race has each boat predict its own time through a course of buoys based on their cruising speed. The closest boat to its own “logged” or predicted time wins.

Because a log race is as much about knowing what kind of a boater you are as it is about skill, beginners win as often as experienced skippers. This can make it fun for everyone involved, as there is rarely a “ringer” who wins every time. On the day of the race, boaters are only allowed to use their tachometer, compass, depth sounder, radar, and autopilot compass; the GPS, speedometer, loran and radio timekeeping device must be disabled. Running the course ahead of time is against the rules, but if you want to practice, you’ll need to be confident and comfortable navigating without your usual electronics.

If you’re thinking about participating in a predicted log race, there are two things you need to know: the cruising speed of your boat and the time to execute a turn of different angles. Your speed needn’t be fast, but an easy speed to navigate to each buoy. Successful boaters are able to pinpoint a speed where they don’t have to throttle up and down, as well as a speed they are comfortable reaching. This helps ensure that a consistent pace is kept so the track is completed as close to predicted times as possible.

Whether racing a used Grady White boat in San Diego or a Palm Beach Motor Yacht, participants are not only given a better understanding of their boat’s performance, they are able to increase their confidence in their own boating skills. Winning a trophy or possibly two doesn’t hurt either.

Yacht clubs across Southern California have dozens of these races, many open to the public so keep your eyes peeled as the season is just about to begin. Want to kick off the predicted log racing season with a bang? Upgrade your old model and buy a boat in San Diego! To check out local inventory, contact Ballast Point Yachts at 619-222-3620 and speak with an expert broker today.