Yacht Routine


Flags and Signals

The following routine and etiquette shall be observed by yachts in commission and manned:

Size of Flags

The sizes of flags are optional, but all should conform to the size of yacht and staff at which they are displayed.

The ensign should approximate a minimum of one inch on the fly per foot of overall length of yacht with the hoist two-thirds of the fly.

The burgee, private signal, union jack and flag officer's flag should approximate one-half inch on the fly for each foot of height of the highest truck above water of sailing yachts, and for each foot of overall length on power yachts. The hoist shall be two-thirds of the fly.

The night pennant should approximate three-fourths of a inch on the fly for each foot of height of truck above water, with a hoist of one-tenth the fly.


The United States yacht ensign is displayed between morning and evening colors:

When at anchor or not under way, at the stern staff.  On sailing yachts with overhanging booms, the stern staff is located on the starboard side of the boom.

When under way in inland water and when meeting or passing other vessels on the high seas, weather and rig permitting:

By power yachts with gaff, at the gaff.

By power yachts without gaff, at the stern staff.

By gaff-rigged sailing yachts, at the after peak.

By Marconi-rigged sailing yachts from leach of aftermost sail approximately two-thirds of the length of the leach above the clew.

By sailing yachts under power alone, at stern staff.

NOTE:  The ensign must never be made up and broken out.

NOTE:  Sailing yachts under power and sail, or sail alone, may optionally display the yacht ensign at the stern staff, except when racing.


The burgee is displayed (except as otherwise herein provided) whenever the ensign is hoisted, but may also be displayed separately, day and night, at anchor or under way by:

Mastless yachts, at the bow staff.

Single-masted yachts, at the truck (masthead).

Yachts with two or more masts, at the foremost truck.

Private Signal

The private signal may be displayed day and night by:

Mastless yachts when under way, at the bow staff in place of the burgee.

Single-masted yachts, when under way, at the truck in place of the burgee.

Two-masted yachts, at the aftermost truck.

Yachts with more than two masts at the main truck.

Flag Officer's Flag

A flag officer shall display his flag day and night in the place and instead of his private signal in the case of singlemasted yachts (instead of the burgee) except when racing or displaying the burgee of another club or the race committee's flag.

Fleet Captain's Flag

The Fleet Captain displays his flag day and night, while performing the duties of his office, at the bow staff on small boats, or in place of the burgee on larger yachts.

Race Committee's Flag

On a yacht acting as race committee boat, the race committee's flag shall be displayed at the main truck at all times while acting as such.

Safety Officer's Flag

The Safety Officer displays his flag day and night, while performing the duties of his office, at the bow staff on small boats, or in place of the burgee on larger yachts.

Union Jack

The union jack may be displayed at the jack staff between morning and evening colors only while at anchor on Sundays and holidays or when dressing ship.

Absent Flag

A rectangular blue flag may be displayed at the starboard main spreader or yardarm between night and day when the owner is not aboard. This does not exempt the yacht from observance of routine.

Guest Flag

A rectangular blue flag with a white diagonal stripe from top of hoist to bottom of fly may be displayed at the starboard main spreader or yardarm between night and day when guests are aboard during the absence of the owner.

Owner's Meal Flag

A rectangular white flag may be displayed at the starboard main spreader or yardarm from sunrise to sunset when at anchor during the owner's meal hours.

Crew's Meal Pennant

A red pennant may be displayed from sunrise to sunset when at anchor during the crew's meal hours at the port spreader or yardarm of single masted yachts and at the foremost port spreader or yardarm of yachts with more than one mast.

Night or Wind Pennant

A blue pennant may be displayed at the main truck from evening to morning colors and at all times when no other flags are flown.

Other Flags

Flags authorized by naval, military or recognized yachting organizations may be displayed in accordance with their respective regulations.

While racing, where there is conflict with any provisions of Yacht Routine, yachts shall comply with the Racing Rules and any specific instructions of race committees.

Order of Colors

When making colors the ensign shall be hoisted first, followed as rapidly as possible by the club burgee and private signal. Flags are lowered in inverse order. Colors are hoisted smartly and lowered ceremoniously.

Colors may be struck in the event of owner and crew leaving the yacht and not returning before evening colors.

Time and Colors

Time shall be taken from the senior officer present.

When in company with a vessel of the United States Navy or Coast Guard, or at a Naval or Coast Guard Station, or in the home anchorage of another yacht club, time shall be taken from such vessel, station or club.

Yachts shall take time for striking bells as prescribed in the preceding paragraphs.

Yachts and shore stations shall make colors at 0800 and at sunset.

In making colors the yacht always represents the rank of her owner, whether he is on board or not.

Entering or Leaving a Port

On entering or leaving a port before or after the time for making colors, a yacht shall display her flags, provided there is sufficient light for them to be recognized. After anchoring or leaving port, colors shall be lowered promptly.


Anchor and Running Lights

Anchor and running lights shall be displayed in compliance with government regulations.

Absent Light

A blue light may be displayed at the starboard main spreader or yardarm from sunset to sunrise while at anchor when the owner is not on board.

Owner's Meal Light

A white light may be displayed at the starboard main spreader or yardarm from sunset to sunrise while at anchor during the owner's meal hours.

Flag Officer's Lights

When at anchor, from sunset to sunrise, flagships may display two lights arranged vertically abreast of the mainmast and to starboard at the height of the lower main spreader. These lights shall be for:


Vice Commodore-red

Rear Commodore-white


Care shall be used in the handling of searchlights so as not to blind or confuse those aboard other vessels.

Honors and Salutes

Half Masting Flags

The ensign is half-masted only on occasions of national mourning. On Memorial Day it is half-masted from 0800 to 1200. On the death of a yacht owner, the burgee and private signal on his yacht are half-masted. When mourning is ordered for a member, other members' yachts at anchor and the Club House shall halfmast the burgee only.

If not previously hoisted, flags shall be first mast-headed and then lowered to half-mast.

In lowering from half-mast, flags shall be first mastheaded and then lowered.

Before making or returning a salute, the ensign shall be mast-headed.

Ensign Salutes

All salutes herein provided shall be made by dipping the ensign once, lowering to the dip, and hoisting when the salute is returned. All salutes shall be returned.

Vessels of the United States and friendly foreign navies shall be saluted.

When a yacht in which a flag officer is embarked comes to anchor, all yachts shall salute, except where there is a senior flag officer present, in which case the arriving junior officer shall salute the senior officer and the salute shall be returned by the senior flag officer only.

When a yacht comes to anchor where a flag officer is present, such flag officer shall be saluted.

Yacht passing close aboard shall salute, the junior saluting first.

On yachts displaying no ensign or displaying a ensign which cannot be dipped by the use of halyards, the captain renders and returns salutes by a hand salute or by doffing cap or hat.

All salutes shall be returned in kind.

A yacht acting as race committee boat should neither salute nor be saluted while displaying the committee flag.


Shore stations and the flagship during club cruises may mark the time of colors with one gun except on Sundays.

Guns may be used to call attention to signals, but their use otherwise shall be avoided as much as possible.


Whistles shall never be used in saluting.

Club Cruises

A yacht which has joined the Squadron during a formal cruise shall request permission before leaving. When meeting squadrons of other clubs, salutes shall be exchanged by the senior officers present. When meeting a single yacht, the salute shall be answered only by the flagship.

Hand Salutes

Hand salutes are not customarily used by yachtsmen, but, if rendered, should be returned in kind. 

General Procedure

Official Visit of Flag Officer

When a flag officer makes an official visit, if senior to that of the yacht boarded, his flag shall be displayed at the starboard spreader, or, in the case of yacht without spreaders, in place of the burgee while he is on board.

Unofficial Visit of Flag Officer

A flag officer embarked in a boat not displaying his flag should be considered present in a unofficial capacity.

Distinguished Visitors

A yacht should display the personal flag of a national, state or municipal officer, or the national ensign of a distinguished foreign visitor when such person is on board. This flag is displayed in place of the private signal or flag officer's flag for the President of the United States and in place of the burgee for all others.

Dressing Ship

On the Fourth of July from morning to evening colors and when ordered on other occasions while at anchor and weather permitting, a yacht in commission shall dress ship. Rectangular flags should as far as possible alternate with pennants. Ensigns, burgees and flag officers' flags shall not be included among the flags and pennants in the hoist in dressing ship.

Visiting Foreign Ports

Between morning and evening colors when at anchor or under way in foreign waters, the foreign national ensign is displayed by:

Mastless yachts at the bow staff.

Single-masted yachts at the starboard spreader or yardarm.

Yachts with two or more masts at the foremost starboard spreader or yardarm.

NOTE:  Exceptions to the foregoing may be made to conform with local custom.

Club or Shore Station

At club or shore station the mast is considered as the mast of a ship standing out to sea.

The United States Yacht Ensign may be displayed between morning and evening colors:

On mast with gaff and yard, at the gaff.

On mast with gaff, at the gaff.

On mast without gaff, at the masthead.

The burgee is displayed between morning and evening colors:

On mast with gaff and yard, at the masthead.

On all masts without gaff at the masthead in place of the United States yacht ensign, in which case the United States yacht ensign should be displayed on a separate mast.

Honors are rendered a foreign visitor by displaying his national ensign simultaneously with the United States yacht ensign, in case of:

A mast with gaff and yard, at the starboard yardarm, with the United States yacht ensign at the gaff.

A mast with a gaff but no yard, on a separate mast at the level with the United States yacht ensign at the gaff.

A mast with a yard but no gaff, at the port yardarm, with the United States yacht ensign at the starboard and the burgee at the masthead.

A bare mast, at the head of one of two separate staffs of equal height, the United States yacht ensign being displayed at the head of the staff on the right when facing the sea with the foreign ensign on the staff on the left, and the burgee at the masthead. The staffs should be located a sufficient distance from the mast to avoid placing the burgee in the position of honor.

During his presence on the grounds, the flag of the senior flag officer present shall be displayed from the starboard yardarm between morning and evening colors and the appropriate flag officer's lights from sunset to sunrise.



Upon entering and leaving boats, deference is shown seniors by juniors entering first and leaving last.

Boat Flags

When in boats, flag officers may display their flags, captains their private signals, and members the burgee. When on duty the fleet captain, safety officer and race committee shall display their distinctive flags. Underway and while approaching gangways or landing stages, the right of way shall be in the order of seniority.

Boat Booms

In general, boat booms should be rigged in at night. Otherwise a white light shall be shown at the out-board end.

Boarding and Leaving Yachts

Owners and guests board and leave from the starboard side. Crew and service boats use the port side.


BUTTONS. —The Club buttons shall be of two kinds, gilt and black; and of two sizes, large and small, bearing as a device the club signal surrounded by the circular inscription, "CORINTHIAN YACHT CLUB".

CAP. —Of navy blue cloth or white duck, with black lustrous mohair braid band one and seven-eighths inches wide; crown for size seven and one-eighth cap to be nine and seven-eighth inches long by nine and one-quarter inches wide; quarters of cap to the crown seam in front, one and three-eighths inches, same at sides and back; visor of black patent leather two inches wide and set at a angle of forty-two degrees; chin strap of black patent leather fastened at side with two small black buttons.


COMMODORE. —Two crossed fouled anchors, one inch and three-eighths in length, with flukes down, embroidered in gold, at their intersection a raised disk five-eighths of an inch in diameter, showing white ground, with right-angled red cross, one-eighth of a inch wide, with a fouled anchor encircled by thirteen stars in white at intersection of cross, the whole enameled on metal, the disk surrounded by narrow gold bullion, and a gold star one-half an inch in diameter at each end of, and one above the device, with a space of three-sixteenths of an inch between the device and stars, to be worn on the band.

For VICE-COMMODORE. —Same as for Commodore, omitting the star above device.

For REAR-COMMODORE. —Same as for Commodore, omitting the two stars at ends of device.

For CAPTAINS and EX-FLAG OFFICERS. —Same as for Commodore, omitting stars.

For FLEET CAPTAIN. —Same as for Captain with a fouled anchor in gold one-half of an inch long, placed above device and placed horizontal.

For SECRETARY. —Same as for Fleet Captain, substituting a maple leaf in gold.

For TREASURER. —Same as for Fleet Captain, substituting an acorn in gold.

For FLEET SURGEON. —Same as for Fleet Captain, substituting a right-angle red cross with arms of equal length placed with one arm vertical.

For MEASURER. —Same as for Fleet Captain, substituting a gold bar.

For FLEET CHAPLAIN. —Same as for Fleet Captain, substituting a Latin cross in gold, one-half inch long, placed above device and placed vertical.

For RACE COMMITTEE. —Same as for Fleet Captain substituting a fouled anchor in gold, one-half inch long placed above device, and placed vertical.

For MEMBERS. —Same as for Captain, omitting one anchor, the remaining anchor to be vertical.


Of blue undress worsted, single breasted, front edges to just meet, with rolled collar, made with a long roll, pointed lapels, buttonholes on left lapel three and three-quarters on an inch from upper end. Lapels faced with grosgrained silk. The opening of the lapel to be the same length as an evening full-dress coat, cut square corners in front; length, to crotch. One piece back five inches wide at the bottom, with side slashes at the second seam, with a five inch opening. Bound all round edges and side slashes, from below the lapel, with one inch wide black silk braid with tracing of one ligne black silk soutache. One device on either front corner, trefoil, one and one quarter of an inch total length. Braided Navy style, side slashes with soutache trefoil at upper end, seven-eights of an inch total length. One line, black silk soutache on edges of collar only. One buttonhole on either side of jacket under braid suitable for links. No pockets on outside. Two inside pockets. Closed cuffs. Designation of rank on sleeves as prescribed for service dress except to be of black silk braid one-quarter of a inch wide, with four medium sized gilt Club buttons, the first button to be placed seven-eighths of a inch from lower end of cuff; the others at equal distances of three-quarters of an inch. Device on the collar embroidered in gold bullion, same as prescribed for cap device for members, but reduced to three-quarters of an inch in length.

Waistcoat blue or white with four small buttons. 

Black tie to be worn.


Three Button double-breasted sack coat of blue or white cloth, serge, or flannel; blue or white waistcoat, each with the Club button. Black buttons on the blue, and gilt buttons on the white. Trousers of the same material as coat or of white drill.


The designation of rank shall be worn on the sleeve of all coats as follows:

Black on blue clothes; white on white clothes.

By the COMMODORE. —Five stripes of heavy mohair tubular braid, three-eighths of a inch wide, the first placed two inches from end of cuff; the others above, and one-quarter of an inch apart, the upper stripe ending in a described trefoil on the upper side of the sleeve, three gilt stars, placed one in the center of each loop of the trefoil, on each sleeve.

By the VICE-COMMODORE. —Four stripes as above. Two gilt stars placed one in the center of each of the lower loops of the trefoil.

By the REAR-COMMODORE. —Three stripes as above. One gilt star placed in the center of the upper loop of the trefoil.

By CAPTAINS, the SECRETARY, TREASURER, MEASURER, FLEET SURGEON FLEET CHAPLAIN, FLEET CAPTAIN, and RACE COMMITTEE. —Two stripes as above with insignia of rank placed as for Rear-Commodore.

By MEMBERS. —One stripe as above with the trefoil.

By EX-CLUB OFFICERS. —Ex-Flag Officers shall be entitled to wear on the sleeve the designation of their rank, but without stars.


The Club House and Grounds are for the exclusive use of the members of the Club, except as hereinafter provided.

For the purpose of identification, membership cards must be shown when requested.


are persons having a usual place of residence in Philadelphia, or within fifty miles thereof.

A visitor may be admitted to the Club House once in thirty days and not oftener; and the member inviting him should ascertain whether he has been introduced during the previous thirty days. If the visitor is to remain more than one day, then the introducer must take out a visitor's card for the guest, and such card shall be limited to one week.

A visitor must be accompanied by a member, who shall register his name, residence and date of introduction in a book for that purpose, and affix his own name.

A visitor shall not settle for anything furnished by the Club, but shall in all respects be considered the guest of the member introducing him.


are persons not having a usual place of residence or business within fifty miles of Philadelphia.

A stranger may, on request of a member, receive from the House Committee a written invitation entitling him to all the privileges of the Club for one week, which may be renewed for a further period of one week by any member of the House Committee.

The same person shall not again be introduced for thirty days after the date of his prior introduction.

The name of such stranger shall also be registered.

Members introducing visitors and strangers are responsible for them.

Any visitor or stranger violating any of the rules of the Club may be notified by any member of the House Committee that he may no longer enjoy the privileges of the Club.

These limitations as to visitors and strangers shall not apply on race days, or to guests on board yachts of the squadron, while they are such guests, or to Corinthian crews.


All private property of members on the Club premises shall be held at the owner's risk. No member shall use the private property of another member without his permission.


The grounds, house, sheds, basins and all other property of the Club shall be under the direct supervision of the House Committee, who shall also have supervision over the employees of the Club.

Any person who shall take away from the buildings or grounds of the Club any property whatsoever belonging to the Club, shall be obligated to replace the same. In case of any destruction, defacement or injury of any property, the person causing it shall pay the cost of replacing or repairing the same, unless the House Committee shall remit his obligation to do so.

No book, periodical or newspaper shall be removed from the house, or be cut, marked or otherwise defaced.

No subscription or petition shall be circulated, nor any article exposed for sale in the Club House, without the permission of the House Committee.

No member or visitor shall be allowed to give, under any pretense whatsoever, money or any gratuity to any one in the employ of the Club.


No boats shall be repaired upon or moored to the members' landing stages.

Yachts may be anchored or moored in the stream off the Club, but only at the entire risk of the owners.


No reprimand shall be given to employees or servants by members of the Club.

No verbal complaints will be noticed.

Members are requested to make written complaint to the Secretary, of any matter in the administration of the House, seeming to need correction.


Member's accounts are due at the times and in the manner prescribed from time to time by the Board of Trustees.


In case of the persistent infraction by any member of the ByLaws regarding the Club House, or of any rule or regulation established by the Board of Trustees, or in case of any conduct on the part of any member, which, in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, tends to endanger the good order of the Club House, it shall be reported, together with the facts of the case, to the Secretary, for the action of the Board of Trustees.



TRENTON, municipal wharf 43.4

PHILADELPHIA, Vine Street pier 15.0



CHESTER, Market Street wharf 2.3

WILMINGTON, off entrance Christiana River 13.1

NEW CASTLE, abeam 17.5

    * DELAWARE & CHESAPEAKE CANAL, entrance 24.0



CAPE MAY HARBOR, entrance 78.0




*  12 miles to Chesapeake City