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Old 09-25-2013
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Hello all,


I just learned to sail and I'm eager to get out and practice before it gets too cold. Unfortunately I don't know enough about the Flying Scot I'm renting to know if today is a good sailing day or not. It's beautiful out but the wind is only 4 mph. Is that enough to sail a Flying Scot?

I'd be on the Potomac River and I'm a bit worried that the current would be stronger than my sailing skills...

Edited to add: just called the marina and they said it's spectacular today. Guess I'm going sailing! Yay!

Last edited by ropeclimber; 09-25-2013 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Minimum wind for a Flying Scot?

Well, they would. It is nice out. Let us know how you make out.
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Minimum wind for a Flying Scot?

If it's a nice day, go. Light air never killed anyone (I hope??). And chances are it will pick up.

Anyway, since 3 hours ago when you posted, I gather you're out there now. Good decision, have fun, let us know how you liked it. Scots are "medium performance" boats and I think a little better in a breeze than in the really light stuff, but they are decent "chevy Malibu" type-boats all around. So if you don't like the Scots, it's probably 'cause you don't like sailing, and I don't get *that* impression from your post.. ;-)

Anyway, I've raced them in zero to 1 knot, and we'd have *killed* for 4 knots (does this sound like that Monty Python skit?)
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Minimum wind for a Flying Scot?

In 1/2 knot of breeze your FS should still ghost along.
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I went.

So glad I did! This was my very first time sailing solo so I spent the first hour just practicing the basics- tacking and jibing back and forth. I did wish there had been more wind but every now and then I had a gust. At one point I got up to 7 knots but the vast majority of the time was spent between 2 and 4 knots.

After about an hour the wind died down completely and I lost steerage. Drifted into some weeds and had to get a tow back from the marina. Lol. The guy pulled me back out where the wind came back up and I spent another hour doing figure eights around two buoys.

Towards the end my turns were getting tighter and tighter and I was getting more and more confident so I was trying to keep from losing speed. I guess I got careless and lost sight of what was happening because all of a sudden during a tight turn my boat heeled over wayyy more than was comfortable and I thought for sure I was going into the drink.

After a few *very* long seconds, it occurred to me to release the mainsail and that did the trick. I limped back to the marina with my heart in my throat.

That'll teach me to wish for more wind!

Can't wait to get back out there again. I love it!

Minimum wind for a Flying Scot?-image-1035171275.jpg
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Minimum wind for a Flying Scot?

I like that figure "8" exercise.
I try to get the teens I "teach" to do that on Sunfish to practice tacking and jibing.

I hope you have someone to crew with you when the wind is stronger. I think the FS is normally raced with a crew of 3 - just like a Lightning. You need the extra crew weight to counteract the extra heeling.
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Re: Minimum wind for a Flying Scot?

Yes, I plan to have a crew on windier days. In fact I had two friends lined up this morning but they both bailed on me at the last minute.

It's probably a good thing; I think they would have found it slow-going. But it was a perfect training day for me. I discovered some things (like backing the jib in a tack helps me turn faster when I'm going really slow. Was that in the textbook? I guess so, but I didn't remember it until I did it by accident. Very cool.) And I got to drill my maneuvers and gain some much-needed confidence that, yes, in fact I can sail a boat by myself.

Oh, and then I got home in time to watch Oracle Team USA win the Cup.
All in all, a very good day.
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: Minimum wind for a Flying Scot?

Nice post. I liked that you came back an updated it ! Good to see you can go it alone. Use care and trust your own inner voice The FS is a great boat several race here on Cave Run Lake in KY.
Kind Regards, Lou
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Old 09-26-2013
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Re: Minimum wind for a Flying Scot?

I sail Flying Scots out of that same marina.

I'd say you want at least 5 knots of wind to move the boat; ideal sailing weather is 7-15. Light air is definitely better if you are sailing alone. My experience has been that the marina won't let you out alone in heavier air, even with a crew of two I've been told to call back if I can find a third crew member (around 15 knots).

The nice thing about the Potomac is that you'll get lots of experience tacking and jibing - I'm still amazed on the Chesapeake how far I can go on a particular point of sail - and lots of light air experience - the winds are pretty squirrely. Even with my own boat on the Chesapeake I'm often tempted to head down there for a quick evening sail now that the winds are fairly steady.

Have fun!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcentar View Post
I sail Flying Scots out of that same marina.
Oh really?

Then I have another question: You know the guy who rigs the boats and tows you around if you get stuck? Is it customary to tip him?

I'm very new to marinas and don't know all the customs.
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