By Laws



Updated Version Ratified 4/13/2020

Printable PDF version

1. The Selection Committee (the Committee) shall consist of no more than fourteen (14) members nor less than ten (10) members.

2. The Committee shall have national representation and include at least one (1) representative from the National Sailing Hall of Fame Board of Directors, U.S. Sailing, a member of the Hall of Fame, the media, the industry, NSHOF Founding Member Yacht Club, a sailing museum, community sailing, exploration/cruising, two (2) members at large and two (2) additional from the above listed groups.

3. Committee members shall be appointed by the Board of the National Sailing Hall of Fame and may be a member of the Board. The Chair will be appointed by the Board of the National Sailing Hall of Fame. The terms will be three (3) year. No member can sit for more than two (2) consecutive terms.

4. A secretary will be appointed by the Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. The secretary shall be knowledgeable in sailing related information, but need not be a member of the Selection Committee. The duties of the secretary shall include: preparation of the agenda and minutes; handling correspondence; conducting balloting; and distribution of materials related to the business of the Committee.

5. The Committee shall meet as needed at times and locations of its choosing for the purpose of recommending to the Board of Directors the names of the nominees for induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame. Teleconference meetings are allowable.

6. Categories for candidates:

  • SAILING Category:Recognizes achievements made on the water as a Sailboat Racer, Cruiser, or Offshore Sailor. Competition emphasis given for accomplishments such as medaling in the Olympics, Pan Am Games or otherwise representing the USA in significant events such as the America’s Cup or other World, National or International Championships. Offshore accomplishment should reflect significant challenges such as The Ocean Race, Vendee Globe, Jules Verne, or similar events for the era in question. Other competitive achievement ought to demonstrate extreme test and/or extraordinary domination. Other accomplishments, by both men and women, must break barriers, forge new ground and/or leave legacy for others to benefit.
  • TECHNICAL Category:Recognizes those who have significantly contributed to the technical aspects of sailing. Emphasis given to key individuals that launched and/or guided enduring businesses or organizations which provide noteworthy support for the sport or designed and/or created products and procedures that meaningfully impacted the direction of the sport. Examples include Designers, Boat Builders, Sailmakers, Engineers of all types, etc.
  • CONTRIBUTOR Category:Recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the American sailing experience. Emphasis given to individuals with lifelong commitment that set standards for others to follow, brought significant recognition to the sport through their work, worked tirelessly for the benefit of the sport, and/or provided valued services and support for sailing enthusiasts. Examples include Teachers, Coaches, Administrators, Media (including authored works, TV, film, etc.), Artists, Musicians, Promoters, Event Organizers, Race Officers, Judges, Umpires, Measurers and others associated with the administration of the sport of sailing, etc.7.

Criteria for candidates:

  • Each candidate should be a U.S. Citizen.  Someone of international birth may be considered if they have  had a significant impact on the growth and development of the sport of sailing in the United States.
  • Each candidate shall have made a significant impact on United States sailing at a national and/or international level.
  • Living Modern candidates shall have attained a minimum age of 55 or will attain the age of 55 in the year in which they are being considered.
  • Posthumous nominations of Modern candidates may be made 5 years postmortem for individuals younger than 55. At the recommendation of the Selection Committee and subject to ratification by the Board of Directors, they may be inducted into the Hall of Fame prior to the time that they would have reached the age of 55.
  • Historic candidates are those deceased 60 years or more in the year of consideration.
  • Candidates will have conducted themselves and their business with integrity and be above reproach.
  • Candidates will be considered without regard to geography, gender, race, disability, religion, professional versus Corinthian status or any other significant differences.

8. The number of inductees shall not exceed seven (7) annually.

9. Selection Process: Selection will be made from nominations made by the general public, the Selection Committee and the NSHOF Board of Directors. Nominations may not be anonymous. Public submissions will be encouraged through notices posted in sailing media outlets and throughout the sailing community at large. The notices will indicate procedure for nomination and deadline for submission to the Committee. Submissions should indicate which category the candidate is suggested for (marked by the nominator on the submission form), and include the accomplishments and history of the

Nominees will go through a 2-step process to determine eligibility.

1st Level – Selection Committee Secretary confirms that minimum eligibility criteria are met.

2nd Level – Selection Committee Chair and Sub-Committee Chairs review nominee for significant impact on American sailing at a national and/or international level.

10. Voting Process:

Voting will be done separately for Modern and Historic candidates and will follow the same process and rules.

The Selection Committee will be split into three (3) working parties, with each working party to review all of the submissions (both Modern and Historic) in an assigned category.


Each working party will submit ten (10) names, in no particular order, from its assigned category to the entire Selection Committee for a total of 30 for the following ballot procedure. Each member of the Committee shall rank the candidates from one (1) to thirty (30), with one (1) being top choice/most qualified.


The number of annual Historic inductees will be a factor of how many are nominated; i.e. if there are 5 to 9 nominees –1 or more inductees, 10 to 14 nominees –2 or more inductees, 15 or more –3 inductees. However, if there are fewer than 5 Historic nominees in a given year, it is not mandatory to induct an Historic candidate that year.  Each working party will submit up to ten (10) names, in no particular order, from its assigned category to the entire Selection Committee for up to a total of 30 for the following ballot procedure. Each member of the Committee shall rank the candidates from one (1) to thirty (30), one (1) being top choice/most qualified.

Modern and Historic will follow the same ranking guidelines, outlined below:

For each ranking a candidate receives a point value based on the following scale:

Rank Value

  • – total submitted by working Groups

2 — total submitted by working Groups minus 1

3 – total submitted by working Groups minus 2

4 – total submitted by working Groups minus 3


Once all points are tallied and totaled for each candidate, only up to seven (7) combined Modern & Historic candidates receiving 66% of possible points will be considered for nomination to the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

If more than seven (7) candidates receive 66% or more, then a subsequent vote will be taken with only those receiving more than 66%. The candidates receiving the top seven total points in this second ranking will be presented to the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame for induction. No more than 3 candidates shall come from any one category and no more than 3 Historic may be presented to the Board for induction.

The foregoing scoring system is a guideline which should be followed by the Selection Committee.  However, should the suggested number of eligible candidates not be received by utilizing this scoring system, the Selection Committee may deviate from the system to achieve the maximum number of candidates allowed.

The Selection Committee will present their final lists of recommended Modern and Historic candidates to the Board of Directors of the National Sailing Hall of Fame for ratification.

11. Lifetime Achievement Awards

From time to time, the Board of Directors may induct people for lifetime achievement. These individuals will have achieved success in sailing and outside of sailing and will have given back to the sport in some significant manner, including but not limited to philanthropically. The Board of Directors may ask the Selection Committee for recommendations. The number of Lifetime Achievement Awards will not count against the 7 annual slots for inductees which came up through the Selection Committee process.

12. Carry over of candidates:

All nominees shall be carried forward for consideration and available on the National Sailing Hall of Fame website for review by the Committee and general public.

13. The Board of Directors reserves the right to revoke, alter or amend these rules. Changes may not be made during the selection process.

Leave your comment