1933 APBA Rules

At a meeting of the Council of the American Power Boat Association on April 3, at the Hotel Lexington, New York, with President George H. Townsend presiding, the A. P. B. A. adopted the new rules for non-stock runabout racing submitted by William F. Crosby, chairman of the Runabout Contest Board. The new "Haywire" class, as it is facetiously called, provides space on regatta programs, in various engine classifications, for runabouts with home-built hulls unrestricted except as to minimum length and beam and any type of engine inside or outside the marine field. It is expected that the new rules will call forth a considerable number of amateurs and others who desire to take part in the thrills of racing in unorthodox boats of their own design and at a minimum of expense. The following are the rules adopted for the "Haywire" class of non-stock runabouts for the coming season:



1. Unless otherwise specified in these rules or in the circular of instructions, the American Power Boat Association racing rules shall be followed and on any point in question the rules of the stock inboard runabouts shall be used. The rules outlined herein are as complete as possible under the circumstances but the very nature of the classes to be raced shall make it necessary to make allowances for the sake of development.

2. All local races and all boats taking part therein shall be under the control and direction of the Racing Committee of the Club or Association conducting the race. All matters shall be subject to its approval and control and all questions and disputes which may arise shall be decided by it and its decision shall be final except in sanctioned races, where an appeal may be taken in accordance with the rules governing sanctioned races.

3. The decisions of the Race Committee shall be based upon these rules, but as no rules can be devised capable of meeting every incident and accident of racing, the Race Committee should be guided by the ordinary customs of the sea, and discourage all attempts to win a race by other means than fair racing and superior skill and speed.

4. The racing of non-stock runabouts with stock runabouts is not to be encouraged but in certain cases, at the option of the local race committees, such racing will be permitted provided boats of similar piston displacement are classed together.


1. Each competing boat, to be eligible to race as a non-stock runabout, must have an engine of known piston displacement and the owner must be prepared to furnish this information to the Regatta Committee at least twenty-four hours before a given race in order that such non-stock boats may be suitably classed. The classifications shall be the same as for the stock runabouts and as outlined in the listing below but regatta committees are authorized to reclassify so that boats may be grouped in classes of logical contenders. Thus if a boat has an engine slightly in excess of the most popular class present, she may, upon occasion and with the sanction of the Race Committee, race with this group if it is deemed desirable.


Class A—Up to 100 cubic inches piston displacement.
Class B—Up to 126 cubic inches.
Class C—Up to 152 cubic inches.
Class D—Up to 201 cubic inches.
Class E—Up to 230 cubic inches.
Class F—Up to 325 cubic inches.
Class G—Up to 420 cubic inches.
Class H—Up to 700 cubic inches.
Class I—Up to 825 cubic inches.
Class J—Unlimited piston displacement.

2. Non-stock runabouts may consist of home-made boats and engines, out-built and out-moded stock runabouts in which engines have been changed to other than those usually supplied by the maker and in fact almost any kind of a boat that complies with the meaning of the word runabout.

3. In heat races there shall be no changes of motors, hulls or crews during or between heats. (Minor changes and adjustments only are permitted.)

4. No form of outboard motor (installed inboard or outboard) shall be permitted. (See definition of outboard motor in outboard rules.)

5. Engines may or may not be equipped with self-starter and reverse gear.

6. The form of power plant shall be one or more internal combustion motors of either 2 or 4-cycle stroke. Where more than one motor is used, the classification for piston displacement shall include the total piston displacement of both motors. Piston displacement of 2-cycle motors shall be multiplied by the factor .8 and the resultant figure shall determine the classification. Since the class is purely for development purposes, mechanical super-chargers or other similar devices may be used to increase power, so long as piston displacement is not changed. Non-stock runabouts that are permitted to race with stock runabouts of similar piston displacement, though, cannot be equipped with mechanical super-chargers, etc.


1. The boat hull may be in any form or shape provided she meets the following requirements:

(a) The hull must have no breaks in the transverse or longitudinal continuity of the immersed surface. Lap strake construction is permitted but there shall in no sense be a step and no lap or "shingle" shall exceed one (1) inch in depth. All boats must conform to the requirements of what is known as a displacement type hull.

(b) The boat must have a length overall of at least sixteen (16) feet and a beam of not less than four (4) feet.

(c) Boats may be built of any type material desired.

(d) There are no weight restrictions whatever.

(e) Boats must have seating accommodations for at least two persons who must at all times wear approved life jackets. Two persons must be on board during all races.

(f) Boats may or may not have windshields.

(g) Exhausts from engine may be run at option of builder but must be suitably muffled at all times.

(h) Hatches, watertight bulkheads, decking, etc., entirely optional.

(i) Equipment as required by state or Federal laws must be carried at all times together with whatever license or license numbers are required by law.

(j) Racing numbers will be issued upon application by the Chairman of the Runabout Contest Board.


1. Owners and drivers shall be divided into two divisions exactly in the manner used for stock runabout racing. Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Rule. IV and the definitions of Division I and Division II, drivers and owners as outlined under the rules of the standard runabouts, shall apply to the non-stock runabouts in full.


1. The regulations covering the non-stock runabouts shall follow exactly the regulations as given under Rule VI of the rules for stock runabout racing. Sections 1 to 20 inclusive shall apply equally to both classes.


1. The regulations covering the non-stock runabouts shall follow exactly the regulations covering entries and affidavits as given in Rule VIII under the rules for stock runabout racing. Sections 1 to 6 inclusive shall be regarded 'as in force for the non-stock runabouts.


1. Official American records for inboard engined non-stock runabouts will be allowed for competition only and for all classes for distances, in competition, of five miles only.

2. Records to be official. must have been made on a two and a half or five mile course.

3. No records shall be allowed unless made in accordance with these rules.

4. No competitive records shall be allowed unless there are at least three bona fide starters in the heat or race in which such record shall be made.

5. There shall be no records allowed for lap speeds.

(Reprinted from The Rudder, May 1933)