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  #1  
Old 10-17-2010
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Question Flying Scot vs. Lightning vs. Interlake

I am considering purchasing one of these three sailboats and would like to get an opportunity to sail them before purchasing one of them (I live in Michigan). Has anyone sailed more than one of them to be able to compare? Which would you recommend for all around daysailing ? I would like to try sailing the boat on Lake Huron, and on inland lakes in Michigan.
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Old 10-18-2010
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From sailing them as a kid, I can tell you that a Lighting is a lot of work and is a wet boat. It is also not a boat that you would be able to single hand comfortably in anything but very, very light air.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Flying Scot

Personally I chose the Flying Scot.

I don't think you could go wrong with either (or a Thistle).
I have never sailed a Lightning but watch them at my club.
The Flying Scot is a simpler boat. The Lightning has many more 'tweaks' you can do.
The Flying Scot is a 'sit-in' boat with real bench seats. I believe the Lightning is a 'sit-on' boat - no backrest.
Are you interested in racing? Then you might want to see what the dominant fleet in your area is.
The Lightning is a bit higher performance. The Flying Scot is a good all round boat, but doesn't really shine against other classes until the wind pipes up.
If you are just day sailing, a couple of other boats to give a thought to are the Boston Whaler Harpoons, the Buccaneer, and the O'Day Day Sailer.

What part of Michigan are you in? You might want to check the Flying Scot association (Flying Scot® Sailing Association, Inc.) and find a local fleet and see if you can hitch a ride through them.

All of the boats mentioned have pluses and minuses. Really depends on your experience, how many are sailing with you, what are their ages, and what you are looking for.

I love the Flying Scot as it is pretty stable, comfortable for my non-sailing wife and two young boys (4 + 6), durable, and still has performance to race.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Thanks to both of you for replying. I am now in my sixties and think a boat that is not quite as challenging as a Lightning might be best for me. I guess I am now leaning more to a Flying Scot or an Interlake. Both are popular in Michigan. I am hoping to hitch a ride on each of these in the Spring. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has sailed both a Flying Scot and an Interlake.
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Old 10-18-2010
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One advantage to the Flying Scot is that it is easy to get replacement parts from the builder, and the builder keeps a stock of parts on hand. With the Lightning and Interlake, an older boat may be built by a company now out of business, so any replacement part from another builder may not fit and may have to be modified to work.

The Interlake came with two different styles of decks - one that had seats so you could sit in the boat, and one without seats where you sat on the deck.

According to the Portsmouth Handicap numbers, the Lightning is the fastest (87.0), then the Interlake (89.1) and the Scot (89.6). The Lightning has a much larger spinnaker, which helps to give it the edge. So for casual sailing, the boat speeds are fairly close.

I've sailed both the Interlake and the Scot, but I sailed the Interlake 40 years ago, and the Scot around 20-25 years ago.
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Old 10-19-2010
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I do not have anything to add concerning the three you mentioned, I think the comments and distinctions made are accurate. All are fine boats.

But I would caution you away from the Buccaneer... they are fast and fun, but tender and a real handful... great for racing but not the best for casual daysailing.

I do own an O'Day Daysailer... a bit smaller at 17 feet (OK for 4 but no more) but easy to find, inexpensive to buy, easy to trailer and launch (my mid-50s wife and I can be in the water in 15 minutes) and parts are readily available. Performance is (comparitively) on the leisurely side but it will plane in a good wind.

The Rhodes 19 is another in this general class that may be worth a look if you found one available.
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Old 10-20-2010
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I vote for the Flying Scot

I've sailed the Scot ( a lot ) and the Lightning ( a little ) and never sailed an Interlake. Having said that, I vote for the Scot for the following reasons:

Easy sailing boat, and in my opinion less work to sail than the Lightning, and more forgiving. I've taught many dozens of new sailors how to sail on a Scot, and believe me - they did everything wrong one could imagine, but the boat didn't. It is very hard to capsize, it can be fast, it can be raced or daysailed (one friend even cruised on a Scot for three weeks), and the company that builds them is a great operation to deal with. If I was in the market for a daysailor, I'd go buy a used flying scot in a heartbeat.
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Old 10-21-2010
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I've sailed both Lightnings and Flying Scots. Ended up buying a Flying Scot because it was a lot easier to sale and it was more fun for me (just a personal opinion). The Lightning is faster, but if speed is not high on your list, the Flying Scot is comfortable and safe. If was designed in Port Clinton, Ohio to be a day sailor for Lake Erie, and if you ever got caught in a sudden storm on Lake Erie (I did coming back from Put-In-Bay on my Scot), you will appreciate how the boat handles rough seas.
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Old 10-24-2010
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Smile

I appreciate all the information and advice. Looks like the Flying Scot is the favorite. I will be sailing the Interlake in the Spring here in Michigan as it is the rental boat used by a local sailing club I will join. But I definitely want to try the Scot before I make a purchase .
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