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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?
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Topic Review (Newest First)
1 Day Ago 08:48 AM
Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Originally Posted by Tiger-words View Post
Wow. His first post preceded the capsize but what a shame,he's traumatized by that first time. Incidentally, I sail with my 85 year old mother. She loves my boat.
My husband and I took a lesson at a private sailing club near us three years ago. The teacher had us in a 14 foot boat (a J boat, I think) while he went along in a motor boat, and we capsized before we got away from the beach. We then capsized again in the middle of Lake George. I was scared because I didn't realize it wouldn't sink, but we got it back upright. The second capsize, my husband got creamed in the head with the boom, so that ended our day.

Two years later, we took the ASA 101 class at the International sailing school in Colchester, VT and had such a great experience, we were hooked. I'm still afraid to capsize, but love sailing! And I'm buying a dinghy to learn to get over that fear and improve my skills because the Solings we learned on are quite hard to capsize.

And BTW, I wish I could find this mythical creature, a "skilled sailor" willing to go out with a newbie that I hear so much about in these parts.

1 Day Ago 07:54 AM
Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Just to clarify a few things about Scot's since there are those of us who still love them and they continue to serve us, and the many active racing fleets around the country, quite well. For one, they do not cost $26K-$28K. The radical racing package with all the top gear, sails, and trailer lists at $21,300 per the website. Harry, the builder, often offers Fall discounts off that. Plenty of people race with more moderately rigged boats that cost less, and there are nice used boats on the market all the time.

As for Stumble's other points, yes the Scot is an old boat, but so are Thistle's, Lightnings, and many other classes, and they still have their uses. It makes perfect sense for GYA to look for a new boat for their races, but it doesn't mean the Scot can't continue to serve it's purpose. For many of us that means a boat that can race on Saturday, haul the family around on Sunday, and even load it up with 6 kids, dog, and crew for a comfortable sail around the lake.

Yes, the boat is non-self bailing as are most older boats, but it is super stable, takes a lot of effort to capsize, and won't swamp if you are quick to get on the board, or get someone out to the masthead. If you're really concerned, fly a mast flotation bag and give yourself extra time to manage a capsize. We have capsizes every so often in races, and usually people get their boats right back up and keep racing. Turtles do happen occasionally, but are often on a downward leg with the chute up in gusty winds. Usually once a year for our very active fleet. Stumble has mentioned that booms break all the time in other posts, and yes, this can happen if you leave the vang tensioned around the weather mark, but this is common for many boats, and again, we see this maybe once a year out of dozens of races.

I've sailed in boats much faster than the Scot, but for our purposes, a faster boat just wouldn't work that well on our smallish lake. Put 20 faster boats on the line here as we often do with Scots, and we would have chaos on the course. I can't imagine a bunch of performance boats, with bowsprits extended flying around our tight lake. You'd be bouncing into shoreline way to quickly, and I'm sure we'd see more than a few boats impaled on the poles. The Scots give us more manageable, but still fun, racing legs where tactical sailing is what matters. Perhaps this is why so many top sailers still come to Scot regattas, and why so many of us stick with the class year in and year out. We have sailers ranging from 8 to over 90, and I just can't see this range of ages and abilities out in some of the high performance boats Stumble lists. The boat is a lot more durable than Stumble lets on as well We have many Scots racing in fleets that are 20, 30 even 50 years old. Harry races number 1 occasionally. We don't see oil canning after 2-3 years at all. I don't know if the same can be said of many these modern performance boats where durability is often sacrificed for speed. Gordon Douglass designed for durability first, and set the weight as a class minimum.

Again, I completely understand why GYA would like a faster boat for their series. Makes perfect sense. There is a place for faster boats at many clubs. But the Scot is still a more than ideal boat for many, and is certainly not as expensive to buy or maintain (just look at sail prices for some of Stumble's suggestions) as many of these newer boats.
03-23-2015 06:42 PM
Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Flying Scott's are fun to sail and stable for centerboard boats. However, if you just want to sail off the dock and take it easy, no racing; then a small keel boat will feel more solid and safe to you and the family.

I like the older full keel boats myself. My Bristol 19 goes just fine in light air, and I'm just beginning to enjoy myself when the wind picks up enough to send the dingy sailors home. I can reef the mainsail, and have a choice of jibs to suit the wind conditions. If I want to sit back and take it easy; I can cleat the main sheet and let the boat heel all she wants in a gust without losing control or fearing a capsize. If I want to race, I can still get in the PHRF races and hare and hound low keyed races.
03-23-2015 04:17 PM
Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Originally Posted by Luf View Post
and what are these better boats?
Again at what budget, and what's the purpose? If you are looking for a new boat, then a new Scott runs about $26-28,000 ready to sail on a trailer. I have sailed all the boats below (plus the Scott) in over 25kn and have more detailed reviews on them if you want.

The GYA (Gulf Yachting Association) is in the process of replacing our fleet of Scotts and I have been part of that process for three years. The Scott has had its day and it has been a wonderful boat for more than half a century, but it's old and the design is tired. The boats below are just a selection of the designed that have been considered for the GYA.

For our purposes the decision will be between the VX and the Viper, but our criteria are a little different than everyone's. We want a more performance leaning boat, and one that has a one design class. So just because those are what we are considering doesn't mean they would be right for everyone.

That being said, there are a lot of major issues with the Scott. The most critical of which is that it cannot self rescue. If it broaches (and it happens reasonably often) the boat is incapable of making it back to dock on its own. The cockpit fills and while it remains floating with about 3" of deck above the water, it will need a tow in. A couple of times a year we have to send out rescue boats to save people and tow them in, then lift the boat out of the water on our hoist. All of the boats below are capable of self rescue, meaning that in the event of broaching they will drain the water from the cockpit.

VX One - a little more ~$32,000 but vastly superior boat handeling, speed, ease of sailing, trailering and unlike the Scott can self rescue.

Viper 640 - a much bigger boat, more expensive at ~$35,000 new, but there are very good used boats in the $20,000 range. Faster, more stable, safer, can self rescue, easier to sail, much more capable...

Topaz Omega - smaller, lighter, roto molded but only $8,000 new. It's performance is lackluster, but is very stable. More of a V15 replacement than a Scott.

Seascape 18 - $25,000 a small keel boat, real cabin, sails well, spreader less rig is rock solid, all around very impressive. A little heavier than the Scott, but not much more so.

K6 - ~$27,000 same leingth, much narrower. Unlike the Scott is relies on ballast instead of form stability so it gives up room. But it's easy to sail, comfortable to be on and an all round interesting boat.

RS Venture - $18,000 very similar to the Scott in performance (ie slow) at a fraction the price, and much more comfortable to be in. I am not a fan of the centerboard trunk, but all in all a pretty reasonable boat, if a little bland 'just a boat' feel.

I am sure I can come up with more. The reality is that the Scott was designed in the 40's and it shows. It was a great boat in its day, but in today's world they are heavy, lack stability, and the inability to self rescue should be considered unacceptable in a modern boat. The rig is also notoriously brittle, and it isn't unusual to see broken Scott booms littering a race course.

much like with classic cars it's great to think back on them with fondness, but who really wants a 1950 ford pickup for daily driving?
03-23-2015 11:41 AM
Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Did we ever hear back from OP? That was back in 2013, gang, so maybe he got enough experience to quell his fear that the Scot was too "hot" and skittish for him, and he should have gone with a keel boat instead.

Scots, with all the technology of the late '50s, are definitely *not* skittish, at least as centerboarders go.

I'm trying to think of another centerboard boat that size that would have taken the abuse of being a club and lesson boat for 50 years without getting destroyed, or getting their mastheads stuck in the mud much more often than the Scots.

High Performance? Yeah, lots of better boats. Medium performance and durability? Not many.
03-23-2015 09:44 AM
Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
What's the budget? Frankly there are a lot better boats out here for the same money.
and what are these better boats?
03-23-2015 04:44 AM
Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Highlights an advantage of sailing out of a yacht club. The spouse can sit on the YC deck, or a friends big stable (boring) boat. You go out and have fun for a couple of hours and meet up later.

I'm nuts about cruising performance boats, the GF not so much. I could trade in fun for a catamaran to please her, but I'd rather just shoot myself dead. So on crossings that might be too much fun I simply fly her to the next port. Works perfectly. she loves it, I love it. No tension. Cheaper, by far, than a comfy condomaran or furniture-wagon monohull.
03-23-2015 12:31 AM
Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

What's the budget? Frankly there are a lot better boats out here for the same money.
03-22-2015 11:02 PM
Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

It seems every year I get a little older. I sold my cruising sloop. It was getting to be a bit much for me to single hand. Don't want to break something now I'm a senior citizen. I took a year off. Well you know what they say about saltwater in the blood.
The Flying Scot would seem to me to be the perfect boat for a seasoned sailor as well as a newbie with a family.
As far as the wife goes if she isn't into sailing just take the kids. Someone who only wants to go along for the ride without helping is only going to be in the way. It doesn't matter if there is a fixed keel or its a planing boat everyone needs to be part of the crew.
11-29-2014 09:28 AM
Re: Flying Scot - did I buy the wrong boat?

Our fleet races in these conditions all the time. The FS will fly downwind in 15 knots plus. Baring the occasional flip .
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