Who needs the 'X' Factor when boats are being assessed for the 'Taste' Factor
The IRC Rating Authority recently published guidelines on how to photograph your boat if the Rating Offices in Britain or France request images to help them assess the design. What they didn't mention is that in line with Issue 1 of the new ISO 130401 Avoidance of Visual Harm directive, they will be using photographs they receive for a new input added to the IRC program called TF: Taste Factor.
When we contacted the RORC Rating Office in Lymington, who jointly own and administer the IRC rule with UNCL in France, their official comment was that they were bound by international directives just like everybody else. However, a member of staff when pushed for confirmation, explained:
'We sometimes get applications from boats that have no taste in decor, are filthy dirty or are downright ugly; of course we also get some that are really, really nice. We think that pretty boats with nice upholstery should be encouraged, and the Taste Factor is one way of controlling what the boats on the race course look like.'
It has yet to be confirmed whether there will be a grandfathering clause in the new Taste Factor, but perhaps now is the time to give your boat a spring clean and order some new upholstery! It might also be wise to think pretty hard before applying those tasteless graphics, and if you're looking at purchasing a new boat, consider this: just how attractive is it?
You can find the IRC photograph guidelines here: http://tinyurl.com/irc-photo-guide