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Old 09-05-2013
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Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

This has been my first season with a Flying Scot. I think I may have bought the wrong boat.

I'm a novice sailor. I've taken the ASA 101 class last spring and chartered several times. Those were on things like a Capri 22, O'Day 25, Catalina 25. I do not have years of experience.

I bought a Flying Scot based on the reputation as stable and good family boats. I did not buy it to race.

My Scot has been very responsive - it sails in light wind and reacts quickly to my changes. I now think it may be too responsive for my skill level. I'm nervous that if I don't anticipate what's going to happen, I could get into trouble easily.

I don't want the risk of capsizing. Of course it is possible in any boat, but I want something where the risk is very small. I now realize that the Scot has a higher risk of capsizing than something with a fixed keel. I think that is basic boat design that I didn't appreciate enough.

My wife has no sailing experience and is looking for a lounging experience (newspaper, cold drink etc). I have two kids (6 and 9) that have loved sailing, love the water. My wife is not interested in ending up in the water. My kids would probably say they'd like to fall off, but I think they'd actually get scared and it could put them off sailing.

I have a wet slip on a lake, so the advantage of being able to trailer a Scot are not important to me.

I want to emphasize that my interactions with Flying Scot Inc have been great. Also, other Scot sailors have been extremely nice and helpful. I crewed in a race once and it was a blast.

I think my issue is that I didn't match the pros/cons of the Scot with my personal menu of desires. I think I bought a boat that is great for an experienced sailor, or someone that is fine with some capsizes.

What do you think?

Do you agree that a slightly larger fixed keel boat (like a Capri 22) would be better suited for me? I expect it won't be as resopnsive in light winds, but it would be more stable in moderate or heavy winds. I'm not interested in overnighting, so the down-below area isn't important (part of the reason the Scot was attractive). I wanted/want a bigger cockpit area.

I now have a better appreciation for what people say about buying a boat - that is is a very personal decision and differnt for everyone!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Could you try sailing with one reef in the main until you get more comfortable?...smaller/no jib?
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Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Unless you are in 20 knots of wind you are unlikely to capsize. Find an experienced sailor to go out with you and give you some tips.
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Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Flying Scots are really nice boats. I owned one for a few years and had a blast. They are really very stable and you should never experience a capsize if you are not pushing it (e.g., racing) and pay the least bit of attention. The local sailing centers near DC teach on Scots and that's what they rent to the new sailors. I'd take manatee's advice and reef until you are more comfortable. No shame in that. Pick your weather window. Also, never cleat the main sheet. If you feel you are losing control, just let go of the sheet. The boat will settle down nicely.

All that said, a CB boat generally will not be as stable as a keel boat. So, if it would help you and your family to enjoy sailing, instead of being anxious, I'd say trade in the Scot for something else. The point is to have a great time and want to get out on the water.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

I'd guess that most Flying Scot's that were rigged for racing do not come with reefing points. There were no reef points on my Lightning 19' (similar sized center boarder).

I think you have discovered the essence and personality of a Flying Scot: nimble, responsive, fast and a bit tender (tends to heel quickly). Most keel boats will be much more forgiving, stable and not at all likely to capsize. They will also be slower and less sporty - but if you can live with that and that is what you want = now you know.

Before buying your next boat you should gain some familiarity with it to figure out it's personality; preferably go for test sails on different models.

did you like the Catalina 25' you sailed on? There is a version of the C25 that has a fixed fin keel which should be the most stable, as long as it does not have the "tall rig" mast. Standard rig with fixed fin keel is what I'd suggest.

Hope you have no trouble unloading your Flying Scot.
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Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

I have never sailed a flying scott so I wont comment on the boat specifically. As for your ability and therefor safety, with time and practice you will become a skilled sailor. The trepidation you feel now will pass. As was mentioned earlier it will likely be a big help to bring a more experienced sailor with you. Point out the areas that give you concern. It might as simple as sailing with a reef until your more comfortable.

Best of luck and don't hesitate to ask the group here for help. There is a wealth of knowledge around this place.

Brad
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Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

You don't reef a boat like the Flying Scot, you just "depower" and hang on and hike your ass off. Very few dinghies have reef points and your boat, without ballast is a dinghy. It's a dinghy Caleb and has to be sailed like a dinghy. I know the boat well but I've never sailed one. My guess is that it would be hard as hell to capsize. You'd have to be trying. That boat will tip on it's ear and then most probably round up and dump the wind out of the sails and then right itself.

The shape is funky with that big fat bow but the boats were very popular in the Mid west in the 60's. Just go at it slowly and whn in doubt let the sheet out.
You'll be fine. I am pretty darn certain you bought the right boat.
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Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

My Flying Scot's sail (a fairly new boat) could be reefed. It had "roller reefing" in that you rolled up the sail on the boom and you could make the sail as small as you wanted. (With some loss of efficient shape, but who cares...you aren't racing.)

The rental Scot's in DC have traditional slab reefing. They wouldn't rent these boats to newbies if they weren't easy to keep upright.
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Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

I do not know how a newbie in sailing, who does not know how much he wants to invest in the sport, does not know what type of sailing he wants to do, or even if he will get sea sick, can pick a boat he will stick with for several years. There are so many types and choices of boats out there.
My story,
My wife and I sailed a daysailer for two summers 30 some years ago. I always wanted to try it again, especially as I neared retirement age.
So I bought a 17' Newport for $1k w/ trailer. Admiral went along with that because of the cheap price. Then I needed an outboard and next thing we knew we had about $2500 into it. BUT, that starter boat was what we needed to figure out if we still like sailing and wanted ti invest more into the hobby. It showed us we hated trailering, we needed a boat with a cabin and we needed a boat we could sit up in without getting wacked by the boom.
We also needed something we could do some relaxing sails that was much more stable.
Within the year we moved to an Oday 25. Perfect boat for a second boat. Easy to sail, stable, can handle heavier winds or we can just put up the sails and sail while laying back and sipping our fruity drinks.
Maybe some people can pick their first boats right the first time but as I was advised my first boat will definitely not be my last boat and they were right. Even our second boat is a learner boat.
So, play with your boat and remember one thing. You need to have the Admiral on board and if you and the admiral decide on a type of sailing that appeals to you, and the boat you have is the wrong one for that type of sailing, bite the bullet and get the one you feel you will be happy with.
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Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

If your wife wants to relax and read, then yep, it is the wrong boat. It is areally really fun boat, and in a breeze she'll keep you on your toes...
but you'll be a better sailor for it.
There is only one solution.
You need to buy a small keelboat to add to the fleet.
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