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                           RC DRAG AIRBOAT RACING LEAGUE

                          At this time this is for Florida Races Only.

                                            RULE BOOK







Mono hulls

Hydro hulls

Size limit of the hull

Inspection of hull and controls

Engine Classes

Nitro engines

Gas engine



Track  Specifications

Bracket Racing

Pro Tree

Qualifying Times


II. Racing Rules and Procedures

Starting Formats


Ladder Charts


Single Passes

Break-Out Rules


Staging and Lane Choice

Bracket Racing

Break-Downs/No Shows

National Records

Radio Equipment

Class Specifications

General Rules and Guidelines

Class Specifications

Radio Equipment

Radio Receiver Power Switch



The rules set forth herein shall apply to all RCDARLsanctioned events


RCDARL EVENT Preparation and Disclaimer

Participants Agreement : Each member and/or participant agrees to familiarize themselves with the RCDARL rules and guidelines prior to competing in any RCDARLsanctioned event. Each member and/or participant expressly agrees that the act of entering an RCDARLsanctioned event shall constitute an agreement to be bound by all the rules and specifications covering the event. Each member and/or participant must sign an agreement/waiver form prior to entering any RCDARLevent.


Liability:  RCDARL, race facility owners or operators, event sponsors or any officials shall not be held responsible or liable for loss, damage or injury resulting from competing in an RCDARLsanctioned event.


Cancellation: Events cancelled due to weather or acts of God will be rescheduled  if possible. Entry fees will be refunded. 

Contest Officials and Authorities:


Contest Director: The designated Contest Director (C D) has the authority to render decisions regarding all aspects of safety and competition, the suitability of the track, and behavior of the contestants. This authority includes the right to suspend, bar, expel, or disqualify any contestant from the event. The member and/or participant agree to be bound by the decisions of the designated Contest Director or their appointed representative. The Contest Director shall make every effort to base their decision on their knowledge as to the original intent of the rule in question, and whether it renders a

competitive advantage to the individual subject to the dispute.


Race Director: The designated Race Director or designated appointed representative

shall be responsible for the conduct of all qualifying and elimination rounds. This includes the operation of the timing system, radio frequency separation, and posting of the competition results.



Boat class:

The boats will have 2 basic styles, mono and hydro.

Mono hulls are boats with one wetted surface. Ex: flat bottom, V bottom.

Hydro hulls are boats that have 2 or more wetted surfaces. Ex: Tunnel, 3 or 4 point hydros, outrigger, canards and stepped hulls.

The 2 basic hulls will be divided into 2 classes, water rudder and air rudder, boats.

The race class will be divided by engine size and fuel burned. Ex. Gasoline or Nitro fuel.

Size limit of the hull.

The max. length of any hull will not exceed over 54 inches.

The max weight will not exceed over 40 lbs.

Inspection of hull and controls.

All boats in any RCARL race/meet are subject to inspection. Any boat that may impose a safety hazard will not be allowed to race. While during any race, if a boat becomes out of control, that boat will not be allowed to race anymore races until it is proven controllable.

Worn or damage propellers will not be allowed.

Engines missing mounting bolts will not be allowed.

Boats with propellers that are not secured correctly will not be allowed.

Wood propellers will not be allowed.

Propellers designed for electric motors will not be allowed on nitro or gasoline powered engines.

A water brake is allowed .

Engine Classes:


Nitro engines.


Class A = .10 - .61 nitro
Class B = .62 - .90 nitro

Class C = .91 - 2.2 nitro
Class D =  2.3 – 3.0 nitro
Class D =  2.3 – 3.0 nitro

G1 = up to 25cc
G2 = 26cc - 40cc
G3 = 41cc - 65cc
G4 = 66cc -112 cc

Open Class: the open class will be for any style or class of RC airboat, hydros and monos.


Boat Identification Requirements:

All Airboats will be labeled with a permanent RCARLIdentification number. This number will consist of member ID and Motor Class ie: Member # 1 racing a boat with 25CC Gas engine will be labeled with the identification of 1G1.

The number can be on the rudder.



Radio Equipment:

Radio control equipment used in RCDARLcompetition shall conform to the applicable FCC regulations at all times, and is subject to the following additional requirements: (ground frequency only)


1.) All competitors shall use the frequency assigned by the Race Director. There

shall be no frequency changes unless approved by the Race Director.

There shall be a frequency board and clips with channel number for Transmitters

 2.) All transmitters shall be impounded and placed under the physical control of the

Race Officials. Transmitters will be released at the conclusion of the days’ race.

Transmitters shall not be removed from the impound area without the permission

of the Race Director.

3.) Race Director will be notified if a Racer is utilizing a 2.4 GHz digital radio system. Due to their operating characteristics they are not subject to impoundment

4.) The Race Director shall provide a secure and protected area for the impounding

of radio equipment. Proper procedures shall be followed such that only 1

transmitter on a specific frequency is allowed out of the impound area at any time,

(with the Race Director’s permission). The Race Director shall insure that all

transmitters in the impound area are in the OFF position.

5.) Failure to comply with these requirements will be cause for disqualification at

the discretion of the Race Director.

Radio Receiver Power Switch:

All Airboats shall be equipped with a radio receiver power switch with clearly marked "On" and "Off" positions. The switch must be easily accessible and visible from outside the Boat. The switch must operate in such a manner that a bump or crash with another boat could not turn it off, making the boat uncontrollable.

Drivers are cautioned to avoid starting the motor while the Boat is being handled.


Engine Kill Switch:

Engine kill switch mandatory. Must be clearly marked and accessible from outside the   cage.


Prop Cage:

A Prop Cage or Gard is mandatory on all boats. This is required for the safety of all participants and will help protect the prop if the boat comes in contact with another.





Track Specifications: Tracks will be measured to an exact 165’ long and minimum 20’ wide per lane. Measure an ”X” pattern of equal distance to ensure square on all four corners. There are several ways of measurements to ensure a perfect square.


Shut Down Area:   An additional shutdown area of 50 feet minimum shall extend beyond the finish line.

Starting Formats:

There are 2 starting formats that can be use in RCDARL competition:


Pro Tree - in which, following staging, three Amber lights will activate simultaneously,

followed by the Green start light .400 seconds later for both lanes. All classes run Pro

Tree start.


Bracket racing:

Bracket racing is a form of drag racing whereby boats of different performance levels can compete on a potentially even basis. The anticipated elapsed times are compared for each vehicle, with the slower boat receiving a head start equal to the difference of the two. With this system, virtually any two vehicles can be paired in a competitive drag race. The light tree will consist of three Amber lights of .400 seconds each followed by the Green start light. The first amber light for each lane will start at different times giving the head start allowed by the dial-in time difference.


General Qualifying:

All Airboats must start from a start gate (no pushing on the gate allowed at full rpm) in order to constitute an official qualifying attempt. Contestants are permitted one boat per class entered in any event.

The Contest Director may permit a contestant to change boats under the following conditions:

1.) All previous qualifying times are voided.

2.) The contestant must re-qualify the new boat within the time period allotted in the event schedule for qualifying. No changes are permitted after qualifying has been completed.

3.) Once a contestant enters a class, he/she must remain in that class for the entire

duration of the race.


Ladder Charts:

Competition pairings are based upon the established RCDARL"ladder" charts. Qualifying elapsed times determine the ladder positions. In a 16 car field for example, the ladder chart may look like this: 1 vs. 16; 2 vs. 15; 3 vs. 14, etc. Once the pairings are established, they are not changed unless the designated Race Officials determine there is sufficient justification. In situations where the field is not filled, the ladder chart type is
determined by the number of contestants.


Single Passes:

A competitor is declared the winner of a Single Pass once the boat has staged and the

Green start light is activated. If a competitor crosses a lane boundary during a Single

Pass, the elapsed time is voided for lane choice determinations.


Additional Qualifying for Bracket Racing:


Dial In Times:

Each boat will have three qualification runs. The participant will choose which of the three times is the appropriate “dial in” time to use for competing. This dial in time will determine the handicap for each heat.

For example: boat "X" has recorded times of 17.78, 17.74, and 17.76, and the participant feels that a "dial-in" of 17.74 is appropriate. Meanwhile, boat "Z", has recorded times of 15.27, 15.22, and 15.26 during their qualifying runs, and has opted for a dial-in of 15.22. Accordingly, boat "X" will get a 2.5 second (17.75-15.25=2.5) head start over boat "Z" when the Tree counts down to each boat's starting green light.



Handicapping will be determined by comparing the margin between the two competitors’

individual dial in times, the same system used in bracket racing competition.


Break- Out Rules:

When competing under either Bracket format, a contestant who has an elapsed time

below (quicker) than his/her predicted dial in is disqualified. The following exceptions apply:

1.) An opponent foul starts or crosses the center lane boundary or, at the discretion of

the Contest Director, the outside lane boundary;

2.) They are on a Single Pass

3.) Both competitors run below their predicted dial in (in which case the competitor who

runs below the dial in by the least margin is declared the winner); or

4.) If both competitors run below the dial in by the same margin, the competitor crossing

the finish line first is declared the winner.



All instances of disqualification are subjected to the "First or Worst Infraction" test

with the final determination being that of the Contest Director. The following specific

infractions are grounds for disqualification, suspension, or expulsion:

1.) Failure to report to the staging area as called.

2.) Intentional delay of a run

3.) Foul start (dual runs only).

4.) Crossing the center lane boundary (or contact with the outside boundary at the

discretion of the Contest Director).

5.) Contact with any track-timing fixture.

6.) Un-Sportsman-like conduct, inappropriate or foul language, or conduct determined to be disruptive to the racing environment.

7.) Any condition deemed, unsafe, unfair, or out of order is considered worse than

a foul start. (example: Crossing center line, hitting timing equipment, loss of boat control)


Staging and Lane Choice:

1.)All airboats will start from a starting gate that will be opened by the driver with a foot switch.

2.) Competitors will have no more than 11/2 minute to stage their boats once their opponent has staged.

3.) No part of the boat shall extend forward of the starting gate when staged.

4.) Competitor with the lowest elapsed time in qualification will have lane choice.

Ties are decided by MPH.

5.) Competitor with the lowest elapsed time in qualification will have radio

frequency choice. Ties are decided by a coin toss. Competitors unable to change

frequency shall forfeit the elimination race.

6.) Competitors may not touch or assist their boat in any way once it has been

staged and the tree has been activated.

67) Once in position, Competitors may not leave the starting line area during

elimination races without the permission of the Starter.

8.) An Airboat is considered pre staged when the driver or designated person releases

the Airboat in the starting gate and returns to an upright position.

Bracket racing:

Competition in Bracket racing is decided as follows:

1.) The competitor who reaches the finish line first and has an elapsed time closest

to their dial-in is declared the winner.

2.) The competitor who has an elapsed time under (quicker) than their dial-in

automatically looses.

3.) When both competitors have elapsed times under their dial-in, the competitor

closest to their dial-in is declared the winner.

4.) First round qualifying order will be determined by the closest to a .400 light.

5.) Competitors shall notify the Race Director of their desired dial-in BEFORE

staging for an elimination round.

Break Downs/No Shows:

If the winning competitor cannot return for the next round due to mechanical or

electrical breakage, the losing competitor does not advance. The competitor paired with

the broken competitor shall receive a bye run. NOTE: The same rule applies in the

case where an opponent does not show for any reason.


III. Gas

The Gas class competition will be a 1/8 mile ¼ scale 165 foot track,

 Bracket racing


General Rules:


1. At least one dry chemical fire extinguisher must be located within the pit area.

2. Radios must be FCC approved ground systems.

3. Radio receiver and battery must be securely mounted.

4. All boats shall be equipped with a radio receiver power switch with clearly marked     "On" and "Off" positions. The switch must be easily accessible and visible from outside  the Boat. The switch must operate in such a manner that a bump or crash with another boat could not turn it off, making the boat uncontrollable.

.5. Engine kill switch mandatory. Must be clearly marked and accessible from outside the   cage.

 6. No wood props

 8. Fuel system must be secure and away from heat and moving parts.

 9. A throttle return spring must be attached at the carburetor.



1. Will be limited to an ignition type engine. Any modifications accepted. Limited to a maximum of 112 cc’s. (All Glow engines will be in a nitro class).

2. Exhaust: Mufflers or tuned pipes required.

3. Carburetor modifications accepted. Velocity stacks and air filters accepted.

4. Pump gas or race fuel permitted.

5. One Engine & One or Two props on One shaft.

6. Two Engines will be in a class of it own or open class


1. All boats must meet a maximum of 95 dB measured by a dB meter placed 50 feet back from the shoreline.

class size

A class shall consist of at least four (4) Boats. In the event that there are not enough boats in a specific class, 2 similar classes will be combined to make a full class. (Example):

if either class has less than the minimum required boat field. 4 Boat fields will not run a B-Side, must be 6 boat fields in order to run a




Drag Racing Speed and Time


1.) RCDARL Records will stand till the ET is lower for that class or the speed is faster.

2.) Speed (MPH) records must have two runs and an average of the two runs will be the speed that attempt for the record.

3.) The contestant is responsible for notifying the Race Director that the Airboat

may have set a National record. The contestant must immediately have the Airboat

return to the Race Director for technical inspection following the

run. RCDARL makes every attempt to track current records but the final

responsibility is with the racer.

4.) There will be records for all class’s ET and speed


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