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23 March 2011, 11:10 am
ISAF In-House Certification Expands Into New Territories
IHC Sticker
ISAF In-House Certification

ISAF In-House Certification

2010 was a very busy year for the ISAF In-House Certification (IHC) scheme with several new classes, manufacturers and Authorizing Authorities taking up the scheme.
2011 has started in the same manner with manufacturers in two new countries already and further manufacturers in Italy, the USA and Great Britain showing a keen interest. With over 11,250 IHC sail stickers issued to date, the scheme is going from strength to strength.

North Sails Manufacturing - Sri Lanka

On 8 March 2011 Rob Taylor, ISAF Technical Co-ordinator travelled to Colombo, Sri Lanka to meet Paul Davis, Ike Bowen and the team at North Sails Manufacturing in order to initiate the In-House Certification scheme.

Located approximately 45 minutes drive outside Colombo, North Sails Manufacturing employs nearly 1,200 staff who build around 16,000 sails every year and produces a large number of sails for around 100 different classes including the International Melges 24, the International 420 and the International J24 classes.

During the five day visit, the North Sails team undertook a training course in sail measurement and following the successful completion of the subsequent audit of procedures, ISAF is pleased to announce that North Sails Manufacturing will be issued an ISAF In-House Certification License.

China Sail Factory - PR China

An important part of the ISAF IHC scheme is the periodic audit of the manufacturers involved in the scheme and how they build equipment that is in compliance with the class rules. On 15 March it was the turn of China Sail Factory, situated just outside Dong Guan in the Guang Dong Province of China, to undergo their annual audit.

The format of the audit is in two parts: firstly is the traceability aspect which is essential to the scheme and focuses on making sure every aspect of any sail built under this scheme can be traced. Secondly is the practical aspect, as it is equally important to ensure that the measurement methods learnt as part of the sail measurement training course are still being applied on a day to day basis as part of the certification of sails.

"It is very encouraging to come back to China and find the staff at China Sail Factory are as meticulous about sail measurement as when we were here last year," said Rob Taylor.

UK Halsey Sailmakers - Hong Kong

On 16 March it was the turn of UK Halsey Sailmakers in Hong Kong. Owned by Frank Pong and managed by David Yeung, the UK Halsey loft is located in Tuen Mun in the New Territories area of Hong Kong and employs approximately 60 members of staff.

During the three day visit, the UK Halsey team undertook a training course in sail measurement and following the successful completion of the subsequent audit of procedures, ISAF is pleased to announce that UK Halsey Sailmakers will be issued an ISAF In-House Certification License.

Rob Taylor highlighted the importance of measurement training and why even experienced sailmakers are attending these courses in order to get involved in the ISAF IHC scheme, "The sail measurement training courses are key to the success of the ISAF IHC scheme as it ensures all sail lofts around the world are trained to the same standards which can be applied to a wide range of different boat classes."

IHC Updates from around the World

The Federazione Italiana Vela continue to progress the IHC scheme in Italy with successful audits of their existing manufacturer Ullman Sails and new sail lofts in the pipeline for inclusion in the scheme later this year.

The Japan Sailing Federation recently completed a successful audit of North Sails Japan, who continue to produce a large number of sails for the International 420 and International 470 classes. We wish them all the best following the terrible disaster that struck Japan recently.

The Royal Yachting Association have attracted three further sailmakers to the ISAF IHC scheme in recent months, mainly to deal with the demand for sailmakers who submit sail data for British owned boats requiring an IRC Endorsed Certificate to be a licensed manufacturer under the ISAF In-House Certification scheme.

How It Works
In-House Certification (IHC) centres around a Certification System allowing the manufacturer to self-certify the equipment they produce at the point of manufacture - but only once their have met a designated standard. Each nation or region has an IHC Authorizing Authority (AA) approved by ISAF (normally the MNA), which approves, contracts and audits manufacturers with Certification Systems. Classes involved in the IHC scheme ensure their class rules are suitable for IHC and assist the development of control methods.

Get Involved!
Classes wishing to be involved in the Programme will need to ensure that their class rules and other equipment controls lend themselves to IHC. The most positive way to achieve this is by the application of the ISAF standards for class rules (SCR) and the Equipment Rules of Sailing (ERS).

Any class association wishing to become involved in the ISAF In-House Certification Scheme should read Section 8 of the Criteria and Responsibilities document before contacting the ISAF Technical Department for further information

MNAs and manufacturers wishing to become involved or find out more about the ISAF In-House Certification scheme should also contact the ISAF Technical Department , visit the ISAF IHC microsite or check out the ISAF IHC Facebook page for further details.

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