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bluegrassholder14 12-29-2011 06:19 PM

Flying Scot beach daysailing?
I have a new to me 19 ft day sailer Flying Scot. I will be spending time with my family in Panama City, Florida alot this summer. I know St Andrews bay is a great place to sail as I know they have a FS fleet there. Here is my question: For a warm calm day, is it safe to sail outside the bay and along the beachfront ?
Obviously the Flying Scot is not seaworthy, but I see Sun Fish and Hobie Cats doing it along the Atlantic coast near Myrtle Beach and don't consider them seaworthy either. The Flying Scot is an open hull day sailer and is designed for protected waters, but the waves along Panama City Beach are normally of little consequence compared to the Atlantic.

Is there anything you would pack or do to prepare for a near shore daysail on this 19 foot dinghy?

CalebD 12-29-2011 06:43 PM

I owned a 19' Lightning sailboat which is similar to the FS in that both are planing hulls and can be tipped over.
Can you sail your FS out on the Gulf? Sure, if conditions are favorable, meaning relatively flat surface and reasonable winds.
Items I would want on board: life jackets, anchor, bailing bucket, hand pump, hand held VHF radio and cell phone in water tight case.
Both the Lightning and FS are not 'blue water' boats but that does not mean they are not seaworthy. A boat with holes in the hull is not seaworthy.

Letrappes 12-30-2011 11:21 AM

I used to live in that area and sailed a lot in Flying Scots in St Andrews Bay. I took the Scot out in the Gulf a few times. Just know that the pass is very busy and has a lot of wake in the summer and it'll be hard going through it. Also, when the tide is ripping through you might not make very good SOG. It's also a ways from a decent boat ramp where you can rig the Scot to the pass. You might try the one at St. Andrews State Park though I never tried to launch from there.

travlin-easy 12-30-2011 12:06 PM

In the Chesapeake's upper reaches just south of Betterton, MD there is a flotilla of Flying Scotts that regularly race. Regardless of the weather, you can see these guys zipping around at incredible speeds, and from what I'm told the craft is very stable.

At Havre de Grace, MD, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, on Thursday evenings, there is a flotilla of Star and Lightning boats that race for hours around three or four HDG Yacht Club buoys. None of them have auxiliary power, the sail directly from and back to their respective marinas and in the six years I've sailed past the races I've only seen a couple boats capsize. The Star and Lightning are also very fast boats, but I believe the Flying Scott beats them when it comes to stability.

Good topic--thanks for posting,


bobperry 12-30-2011 12:22 PM


bluegrassholder14 12-30-2011 01:57 PM

Thanks for the replies. I also have a little Honda 2HP outboard which I will bring along, so maybe this will help me navigate in/out of the inlet easier. I have a little camper, so I will spend at least one week at St. Andrews State park which borders both the bay and the beach; and when I last visited, I checked out their boat ramp and parking lot, and all looks good for setup and launch with no power wires over the ramp. Although there are a couple of pine trees close to the ramp, I believe my 28' mast will clear under them without issue. When not staying at the campground, I will just put in somewhere else and only sail the bay.
With all of this, I am trying to learn how to navigate bays, channels and tides for a future cruiser sailboat one day. I figure that learning to claw off a lee shore on a beachable 19 footer is potentially less expensive that a keeled cabin cruiser if I lost the battle.

MobiusALilBitTwisted 12-30-2011 03:27 PM


Originally Posted by bobperry (Post 811774)

Always one needs to Eat

CalebD 12-30-2011 03:57 PM

Definitely bring lunch.
You might be surprised how little wind the FS needs to move. If it is anything like the Lightning (and I think it is) then even a 1 knot breeze will still make the boat move - albeit slowly. I doubt you will need to use your 2HP kicker much. In fact I'd recommend you bring along a paddle or two for when the wind dies instead of the motor. Make sure your paddles float! If you ever capsized the FS with the engine not secured - bye bye engine.
If you've sailed the Holder 14' you should enjoy the FS and learn a lot.

dub420sailor 12-30-2011 06:24 PM

FS will do just fine along the beach. I sail my Lightning on the ocean but I always follow a few rules:

1. Carry VHF and waterproof container with cell phone
- Make sure at least one always has a signal or you can complete a radio check with the coast guard
2. Carry a compass (mount one if you plan on doing alot of coastal sailing) and at least keep track of what heading will take you to the shore
3. Bring a few bottles of water past what you plan on drinking (just in case)
4. Watch the weather VERY closely - storms roll up fast and wind can die quickly - a falling tide may keep you out of an inlet and a fog will keep you from finding it (see rule 2)
5. Have enough people on the boat to right it in the event of a capsize and make sure you can reach your radio if the boat was turtled
6. Don't sail too close to the breakers
7. File a float plan even if that is just telling someone where you are going and when you should be back and who to call if you aren't

I also require everyone on the boat to WEAR life jackets if waves are over 3 feet and if the wind is over 14 kts. Also watch the wave period, turn around before they start breaking.

Otherwise have fun and good luck! Ocean sailing is tons of fun in a small boat as long as you do it safely.

bluegrassholder14 12-30-2011 08:08 PM

Awesome information you all. I have sailed the Scot all summer long, and I sailed the Holder 14 last year before trading up. So I am getting comfortable out there. Note: The Admiral wont dare let me leave the dock without lunch. :)

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