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The IMPBA insurance coverage is good at sanctioned events and club races. IMPBA
insurance does cover boaters during open water and practice sessions, as long as you
are following the safety procedures outlined in Section S of the IMPBA rulebook, and
such events take place on an IMPBA insured body of water only.
No IMPBA events shall be sanctioned or approved unless IMPBA insurance is in effect.
(See section E, IMPBA Procedures, Sanctions and Insurance).
All IMPBA members and /or contestants are responsible to conduct themselves in a
manner consistent with the concept of good sportsmanship; to wit, a person who
plays fair and conducts him/herself in an acceptable fashion while participation in
IMPBA events. The use of alcohol or illegal substance and/or the abuse of
prescription drugs while participating in an IMPBA race or sanctioned event is
considered unacceptable conduct.
If, during an event sponsored by IMPBA, it is determined by the member in charge of
said event that a contestant’s conduct falls below the acceptable standards as set
forth in these rules, that contestant is subject to immediate disqualification from the
event and is further subject to a suspension of all racing privileges for a period of 30
days, or more, to include a lifetime suspension. The Director of the event is required
to immediately inform the IMPBA President in writing of the action taken.
C. Appeal
1. If a contestant is sanctioned as a result of the rule as set forth above, he/she
shall have ten (10) days to file a written appeal with the Board of Directors. If
such an appeal is filed, the Board is required to hold a hearing within ten (10)
days if possible, but under no circumstances later than fifteen (15) days from
the date the appeal is received.
2. In order for the sanctioned contestant to invoke the appeal process, it is
required that the appeal be in writing and setting forth the appellant’s grounds
and any witnesses to the event in question.
3. Once received, the Board shall immediately designate a member to preside
over the investigation. This member is required to contact the Race Director
who filed the sanction for a written response to the appeal. This response is
to set forth in their entirety stating the reasons for the entering of the sanction,
and witnesses to support the charge.
D. Hearing
1. Once the above-mentioned steps have been completed, the Board member in
charge of the investigation shall convene a hearing to determine the
penalties, if any. Suspensions of all IMPBA privileges for a specified amount
of time can be assessed to the contestant. Any suspension of IMPBA
privileges will also include suspension of contestant using the 1 time event
fee from another model boating organization, to participate in any IMPBA
event, or insured lake site. A mandatory penalty of a lifetime suspension from
all IMPBA privileges will be imposed if the police presence is required due to
the contestant’s unacceptable conduct.
It is necessary that fifty percent (50%) plus one of the members of the current
Board of Directors of the
IMPBA participate in this hearing. A vote by majority
either way as to the guilt, innocence, and/or sanction are required. Should the
board fail to properly convene within the time frame as set forth above, all
sanctions shall be automatically dropped.
E. Alcoholic beverages will be prohibited in the Pit area and on the CD/Drivers’
The International Motor Power Boat Association wishes to help you operate your R/C
boat in a safe manner. We know you will enjoy your boat operation much more by
following these operating procedures. By following these procedures, you will protect
anyone who may be watching you run your boat and also protect your boat from
1. Adequate provision shall be made for the safety of the contestants and
2. Each club should have a Safety Officer who will inspect the pond prior to
Open Water, or the start of the race, to ensure that all IMPBA rules are in
effect and adequate protection in place. This inspection should include a
written check list as outlined in the Club Procedures. Contest Directors must
check with the Safety Officer to be sure that the inspection is complete before
starting the event. The club Safety Officer may provide a technical inspection
prior to an event, and deny running privileges to any boat not considered
3. No person may operate or assist in the operation of a model power boat, or
enter the pit area, or operate a retrieve boat at any IMPBA sanctioned event
on an IMPBA insured pond, and be covered by insurance, unless he is a
current paid IMPBA member. Race officials, contestants, and their assistants
should be the only ones allowed in the pit area.
IMPBA Sanctioned Records Trials
1. Clubs hosting IMPBA sanctioned record trials shall use caution tape, signs,
barriers, fencing and or netting as a minimum distance indicator (25 feet) to
keep spectators out of the water and a minimum of 25 feet from any
operating boat. All spectators shall be kept back 25 feet from the shoreline.
IMPBA sanctioned races
1. Spectators shall be kept out of the water and a minimum of 25 feet from any
operating boat. The spectator area should be back 25 feet from the
shoreline, and signs posted: “No Spectators beyond This Point.”
The pit area shall be roped or fenced and kept clear of spectators. An effort
should also be made to protect boaters in the pit area by using netting or a
raised launch area. SAFETY NETTING should be placed on all sides of the
pond exposed directly to spectators and contestants. Safety nets should be
inspected prior to the race for tears and dry rot, and if the net is found to be
in a deteriorated state, it should be replaced with new netting prior to use.
Net supports should be spaced no more than 10 feet apart. Any area that is
not covered by safety nets must be kept free of all people and animals during
the event with signs and/or ropes or barriers of some kind. The plastic
orange construction netting is NOT recommended. The recommended
netting is;
3. No person shall be permitted in the water without expressed permission of
the Contest Director.
Radio Impound
1. Transmitters shall be impounded upon arrival at a contest site from all
competitors in the pit areas. Transmitters using the 2.4Ghz frequency will be
exempt from the impound area.
2. The impound area shall be furnished by sponsoring club and shall be
properly shaded and provided adequate protection from the weather and
theft. The IMPBA and host club are not held responsible for lost, stolen or
damaged transmitters. Transmitters will have the contestants name and
IMPBA number attached to the transmitter.
3. Frequency flags as approved by IMPBA/FCC are mandatory at all times to
be displayed on the transmitters. Transmitters using the 2.4Ghz band do not
require frequency flags.
4. The proper contest officials will control the use of transmitters for checking
5. Control Infractions
Should a boat show erratic, random or other behavior indicating possible
control problems, a contest official will warn the driver. Should the behavior
continue, the boat would be ordered off the course and given points for a
"Did Not Finish"? After a boat has been ordered off the course for erratic
operating, the driver must demonstrate to the contest officials that the
problem has been repaired before he can race in the next heat. The contest
officials may require the driver to demonstrate the controllability of the boat.
1. There will be no model boats running on the pond while the pickup boat is
working. The pickup boat may not go out as long as any model boats are
2. No model boats will be running while any full sized boat is in operation on the
IMPBA registered insured body of water.
3. Coast Guard approved life vests and/or personal floatation devices (PFD)
should be worn or at least available for each person in the pickup boat. All
persons in the retrieve boat under 16 years of age must wear U.S.C.G. approved
4. “NO SWIMMING” signs should be posted in conspicuous places on all sides of
the pond.
6. Any tent, dining fly, canopy, or similar device must have in-ground anchors.
7. Sand containers shall be present and used as a depository of racers’
contaminated fuel. This shall be the responsibility of the host club who will also
provide for the proper disposal of such fuel.
8. All steps and driver stands floors shall have a reasonably slip-resistant surface.
Driver stands should also have hand rails on all sides. Steps should be OSHAapproved
angle of stairway rise.
9. Temporary structures, such as drivers’ stands/scaffolding or
bleachers, are not covered by IMPBA insurance.
10. Any club offering a concession stand should ask for insurance certificates from
the concessionaire. (This is due to the possibility of food poisoning.)
11. An area shall be roped off from spectators and other racers to use as an engine
test area.
12. Fire extinguishers must be located in the pit area and engine test areas as well.
13. No smoking is allowed in the pit area at any time.
14. A good quality first aid kit should be standard equipment at all races, first aid kits
should be replenished periodically throughout the year.
15. The club safety officer may provide technical inspection to the boats prior to an
event, and deny running privileges to any boat not considered safe.
Safe Operations Rules
1. Whenever running a boat, whether during a race or practicing, there must be a
spotter for each driver to watch for any unsafe conditions which should arise
around the pond.
2. Anyone in the pit area MUST wear shoes. (Sandals or open-toed shoes of any
kind are NOT acceptable.)
3. All inboard hydros should have throwing handles.
4. No plastic or composite props will be used except for Working Scale Electric, and
RTR/ABS production type boats.
5. The method of propulsion shall be the type that functions by contact with the
water. Inertia-reaction devices such as rockets, jets, or air props are prohibited,
as main source of propulsion.
6. Boat stands should have prop guards.
7. The transmitter on/off switch shall be positioned in such a manner as to prevent its
accidental shut off if bumped either during launching, handling, or racing.
8. All transmitters will be identified by the owner’s name and address thereon.
8. The model boat radio on/off switch shall be positioned in such a manner as to prevent
its accidental shut off if bumped either during launching, handling or racing on all boats.
10. NEVER bring boat back to pit area straight in--always run parallel to shore while
slowing it down.
11. Pick up your frequency tag from the tag board. YOU MUST HAVE A SURFACE
MODEL FREQUENCY RADIO. If the tag that you need is not on the board, it means
that someone else is operating a boat on the same frequency as you. DO NOT PICK
12. A positive engine throttle control, or speed control on electric boats, will be required
of all boats entered in racing or record trials.
13. Boats will be checked to see each has an antenna before the race is started.
14. Boat antennas should have a protective cap to prevent eye injuries.
15. After you have the tag/flag for your frequency, you may pick up your radio from the
radio impound.
16.Check operation of the radio, check battery, check range. Does both rudder and
throttle operate? Does the throttle close the carburetor completely? It’s more
important to be able to stop the engine than to have full throttle. When the stick (wheel)
is moved to the right, does the rudder move to turn the boat to the right? When the
stick (wheel) is moved to the left, does the rudder move to turn the boat to the left?
When all tests are completed and everything is working properly, you are ready to start
your engine.
17. Start your boat and WALK TO THE LAUNCH SITE.
18. Launch your boat and bring it up to speed (on plane).
19. You must be able to drive a straight course on the straight-a-ways and turn
around the outside of the turn buoys.
20. When returning to the pits, after a run, make sure you are able to stop the boat
without running into the shore. Bring the boat in parallel with the shore. NEVER
bring it straight in.
21. Place the boat back on its stand. Turn off the boat receiver, and then turn off the
22. Return the transmitter to the impound area. MAKE SURE THE TRANSMITTER
IS OFF when setting it down. Return the frequency tag to the board. When the
boats are running, you will not be able to hear what your boat is doing. You must
become aware that you now only have your sense of sight to control your boat.
Your pit man is an important part of your boat’s operation. He is your second set
of eyes and will be talking to you about what is ahead on the race course.
Become accustomed to someone talking to you while you are operating your
Fast Electric Powered Models
It is recommended for all fast electric powered model boats to have an electrical
disconnect circuit(s) (EDC) (see diagrams and pictured examples). The EDC(s) should
have a lanyard attaching it to the model boat if required the EDC should also be located
on the left hand side of the model if at all possible. EDC(s) should be designed to
physically prevent the transmission of all electrical energy to the motor(s). Boats using
the 2p setup may use 2 (two) EDCs, in order to keep the entire load from one EDC
circuit. The use of the EDC(s) device is to allow persons in retrieve boats to activate the
EDC(s) to ensure the electrical energy to the motor(s) is/are interrupted.
It is recommended that a radio failsafe be used in all models. The radio failsafe should
be set to shut the electronic speed control (ESC) voltage down when a signal is lost or
As a general safety practice while FE boats are in the pit area the EDC(s) should also
be activated to ensure an increased safety margin for all.
All electric models must be handled as if the motor is running. Retrieve boat operators
will be reminded that when picking up dead boats to keep themselves clear of the
propeller(s) on the model and to keep the propeller(s) clear of any obstructions in the
retrieve boat.
Fuel/Gasoline Powered Models
The use of Tetra Nitro Methane or Hydrazine is illegal in all phases of model boating
controlled by
IMPBA. Any member found using these would be banned from IMPBA for
one year. In addition, he will have to reimburse to
IMPBA the entire fuel analyzing
costs prior to being allowed to rejoin this organization.
All engines must have a positive off-on switch, or in lieu of this switch, the primary
ignition lead must be removed from the spark plug except when in the pits, out of the
spectator area, or in preparation for racing.
It is recommended that a radio failsafe be used in all models. The radio failsafe should
be set to close the throttle when a signal is lost or weak.
ACCIDENT reporting procedures
All accidents must be reported to the club’s Safety Officer. In the event of an accident,
the Club Safety Officer will write his opinion on the accident, and forward it to the
IMPBA Safety Director as soon as possible. Pictures of what caused the accident and
the location where the accident occurred if possible and a method of preventing a
reoccurrence of the accident should also be submitted to the IMPBA Safety Officer for
review by the IMPBA Board
IMPBA Accident and Injury forms will be kept at the race site at all times. If there should
be an accident, it will be recorded on these forms and sent to the National Safety
Director as soon as possible. The forms will be a prerequisite to payment of claims.
Copies of claim forms will also be included in this section.