The underlying purpose of an IRC trial certificate is to allow an owner to assess the effect of a proposed modification to his boat which because of the confidential nature of IRC he is unable to calculate for himself.
A parallel is what is known as a 'designer trial'. This is a trial certificate issued to a designer based on design data before construction of a boat to enable the designer to estimate to the owner what the boat will rate.
Noting IRC rule 2.4: The Rule discourages unnecessary expense at all levels, it is essential that a trial certificate system is in place. However, it is also essential that this system is controlled to prevent abuse and hence 'leakage' of the confidential elements of the rule.
The RORC Rating Office has seen an increase recently in trial certificates and specifically in designer trial certificates giving rise to cause for concern about confidentiality. In the interests therefore of satisfying both of the above, the following offers guidance on the number and type of trial certificates that will be issued.
1. The RORC rating Office reserves the right to refuse to issue a trial certificate without stating a reason and to amend these conditions at any time without notice and without stating any reason.
2. The following is given as guidance only. There will inevitably be exceptions which will be treated on an individual basis.
3. All requests for trial certificates shall specify definitive data. Trials of the form 'What must E be to achieve a TCC of x.xxx?' will not be issued.
4. Requests for trial certificates should be accompanied by a drawing showing hull, appendages, fitout, rig, etc. as appropriate. This will always be the case for designer trial certificates. The Rating Authority reserves the right to request further information before running trials
5. Discrete series of trial certificates, exploring the effect of incrementally varying a single variable, will not be issued.
6. Not more than 6 trial certificates will be permitted in any one calendar year for any existing boat. Not more than 3 of these may concern modifications to the hull or appendages.
7. Not more than 25 designer trial certificates will be issued to any one design office in any one calendar year. Within this number, not more than 6 will be issued in any 2 metre range of LH, of which not more than 3 may concern variations to the hull, appendages or weight.
8. Requests for designer trials shall clearly identify the boat and any previous designer trials issued for that boat.