FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT THE APBA
Founded in 1903, the APBA celebrates a phenomenal 114 years of organized boat racing competitions and is the oldest governing body in motorsports. Whatever your need for speed, APBA is sure to have a place just for you. Competition, thrills, victory and honor can be found in all 13 of APBA's racing categories, comprising a broad selection of inboard and outboard engines and countless hull configurations. From Offshore powerboats and Unlimited Hydroplanes to smaller Junior class hydroplanes, APBA is the place to be. The APBA is the only recognized authority for boat racing in the United States representing the worldwide sanctioning body the Union of International Motonautique (U.I.M.).
HOSTING A RACE
I am interested in getting a race to my city. Who do I contact? If you are interested in hosting a race in your city please contact the APBA Executive Director Patrick Mell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at APBA National Headquarters at (586) 773-9700.
The most efficient way to join or renew your membership is online at . You can also download and print a membership application here and mail it in.
There are three (3) types of membership: Racing, Participating (Non-Racing) and Associate.
- Racing Membership: Subscription to APBA's Propeller magazine, annual APBA Yearbook, membership card, decal, APBA racing insurance program, full voting privileges, racing license and category rule book (online), National Highpoints, eligible for Hall of Champions, discounts on rental cars, and other member benefits. Cost of membership is a function of categories you join and boats you have registered.
- Participating (Non-Racing) Membership - Subscription to APBA’s Propeller magazine, annual APBA yearbook, membership card, voting privileges, discounts on rental cars, rule book, reference book, insurance program, decals. For the race official, referee, inspector, scorer, race director, crew member or the dedicated fan! An application with membership statement will be sent and will have to be returned to APBA before membership is accepted. The price of this membership depends on which categories you join.
- Associate Membership - Subscription to APBA's Propeller magazine, membership card, APBA decals and various discounts. Cost only $25 per year .
Our membership year ends October 31 of each year. If you sign up on October 1 you will receive a 13-month membership at no additional charge. All Racing and Non-Racing memberships expire on October 31 of each year. Associate memberships are 12 month memberships from the day you sign up.
A Single event membership application is ONLY available at the event you are going to participate in. You will sign up and pay for the membership at the event. You cannot pay for a Single event membership before the event.
What do I get for my membership with APBA? APBA provides many things to our members, including: over 100 years of racing history; a full time professional staff; legal help in times of trouble; $5 million in liability coverage at each regatta; participant accident insurance; established safety, racing and technical rules that allow members to race across the U.S. with a known set of rules; UIM records that are recognized worldwide; true national championship regattas and national high point titles, access to UIM world championship events, and the APBA Hall of Champions.
All membership registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable.
If you join online, your membership packet (which includes your membership card) will typically arrive in approximately two weeks. The fastest way to join is ONLINE! If you join by submitting a paper membership application, your packet will arrive in approximately two weeks from the date we receive the membership at APBA National Headquarters. If you join at a race you will typically receive your membership packet with two weeks after the race site has sent in the paperwork and your application to APBA National Headquarters. Please make sure you have signed the Waiver on the back of your membership application or it will delay you receiving your membership packet.
APBA National Highpoints can be found on the APBA website at
If you were not able to get the answer from the rulebook you should contact the Category Chairman of the category you have a question regarding. Click Here for category chairman names and email addresses.
Does everyone in the restricted area need to be an APBA member? No. However, everyone in the restricted area does need to sign the APBA waiver.
Why are referees, risk managers, and race committee members being asked to sign a letter stating that they have reviewed the risk management requirements and insurance application for each race site? The intent of this letter is to remind the signers of the risk management procedures that the referees, risk managers, and race committees agreed to when they submitted the APBA sanction and insurance application. The letter does not impose any additional risk management requirements.
Are there any new risk management requirements for 2016? Yes, see below.
Radios: Radios, or other forms of audio communication, are now required for all boats with a reinforced cockpit (capsule boats). These radios must provide communication between a crew member (spotter) on shore and the driver. All crew members in radio contact with drivers will be stationed in a specific area and have direct contact with a designated APBA official.
Race course verification: The Referee/Risk Manager or Race Director is now required to go on the water and verify that the course is set up in accordance with the insurance application and APBA rules.
Outside Course Markers: APBA has required outside course markers for a number of years. For the 2016 season, each race committee must install outside course markers that mirror the inside course markers. Each straightaway must have a minimum of three (3) buoys set at ¼, ½ and ¾ of the straightway distance so as to give a visual reference to the outside of the course. These outside course markers, together with the buoys that mark the course itself, create a racing lane. The outside course markers designate the outside of the race course and anything beyond them is “out of bounds” and subject to the APBA rules designating how the boat may reenter the race course.
Additional Race Site Photos: At each race site, the referee, assistant risk manager, or a member of the race committee must take 3-5 photos of the event site after the race site is set up, but before any race boats go on the water. At minimum, these photos should include photos of the fencing separating the spectator area from the pit area, the race course with buoys, and spectator fleet buoy line.
Spectator Fleet: Spectator fleets must be a minimum of 90 yards from straightaway outside course markers for events with classes that reach top speeds less than 90 MPH. At events with classes that run in excess of 90 MPH, spectator fleets must be a minimum of 100 yards from straightway outside course markers. The fleet line must be defined by a buoy line, with buoys spaced a maximum of 200 feet apart. This line will be patrolled and enforced by security boats provided by the Coast Guard, Sheriff’s Department, Marine Patrol, or APBA race official boat with appropriate markings that designate it as an “official patrol boat.” At high-speed turn areas, a 45 degree band should be indicated on the race course diagram that will be used to determine where the spectator fleets, if allowed, should be placed.
What is APBA’s liability coverage for 2016? APBA has liability coverage for each regatta in the amount of $5 million. We have had $5 million for over two decades.
Are APBA officials covered by the liability policy? Yes.
Does APBA have participant accident coverage in 2016? Yes. Here is how APBA's participant accident insurance works for APBA members.
1) For members with their own health insurance, APBA's insurance covers the deductible on the member's insurance up to $10,000. For example, suppose a driver is injured at an APBA event, the medical bills are $5,000, and the member’s deductible on their own health insurance is $2,000. APBA's insurance will cover the $2,000. In this case, the member will pay nothing out of pocket.
2) For members without their own health insurance, APBA's participant accident insurance will cover medical bills up to $10,000. In this case, there is a deductible of $3,500.
Does APBA’s participant accident coverage extend to individuals who are not APBA members? Yes. In works is the same way as the participant accident insurance for members. However, the cap is $3000 for nonmembers instead of the $10,000 for members.
Did APBA have participant accident coverage in 2017? Yes. Hawk Race Consulting is our broker and Alive Risk is our insurance carrier for 2017.
Who is the Executive Director? Patrick Mell is the new Executive Director. Patrick joined our staff in mid-February. As noted on the APBA web site, “Patrick Mell joins the American Power Boat Association (APBA) with a 25-year background in sports marketing and event production. His highly diversified career includes working with international organizations and boat manufacturers, organizing more than 150 racing events, a vast knowledge of sponsorship and race site solicitation, coordination and management of events, advertising and public relations functions, magazine and television production, and managing volunteer and paid staff. Mell holds a BA in Marketing, and MBA in business with emphasis in Finance from Western Michigan University."