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New or used, budget?


Frankly I wouldn't recommend either of these. I don't know anything about the interlake except that it is a 100 year old class (and thus ancient design), and the flying Scott is a terrible boat compared to more modern hulls.

If you are dead set on a Scott wait until at least January. There is going to be a flood of them on the US market when the GYA chooses a new boat and all they yacht clubs put their Scott's on the market.
 

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Andrew,

There are a lot, probably hundreds of possible boats in this size and price range. Trying to hit that price point on a 18-20' boat is going to be somewhat location dependent since it doesn't make any sense to drive 1000 miles to grab something cheap so you are somewhat dependent on local boats. And the size requirement well... Two kids and an adult is one issue, two adults and a kid is another, and finally three adults is again a seperate issue.

My first thought would be one of the RS line of boats (the 400 particularly) but I don't think you can find a three person boat in your price range. You can probably find something like a Laser 2000 for what you are looking to spend. A Vanguard Nomad you might be able to grab if you buy it just before the winter...

Pretty much any of these are better, faster, safer, ect.

Again my experience is with the Scott, but I can't say enough how much I dislike them (full disclosure I have been instrumental in pushing the GYA in getting rid of the things). They are heavy, slow, hard to rig, prone to rigging failure, and are not self baling. Once they get they broach they can't self rescue (though they won't sink at least). The one upside to the Scott I guess is they have been building them for 60 years and there are a lot of cheap ones out there.
 

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Greg,

I'd be damn surprised if the GYA actually does choose a new boat....
They pretty much have to. The resolutions already passed require a new boat to be selected though the commodores still have to vote on which one. The vote on which boat is supposed to happen at the winter meetings, so December/January. But since we are negotiating with some builders to have right of first refusal on molds if they close up shop it could get complicated.

My money...

1) VX OD
2) Seascape 19
3) Viper 640
4) K6

At this point though the VX is by far the leader, and Bennet has been incredible to work with so I don't see it changing. Sadly these are all more expensive than this thread allows.
 

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I really like Lightnings and raced them one design for years. The issue I have with recommending them is that there are a lot of old wooden ones around and if you happen to snag one... Well they will either need a lot of ongoing maintenance or a lot of initial work to bring them up to spec. Compared to a root molded boat or a core less fiberglass there are just a lot of unknowns.

As for righting a Scott... They can be righted, but they most often right with the deck underwater. So no matter how fast you bail more water will flood in even faster. The primary flotation is in the aft so they tend to float a little bow down, aft up, and even if you have a tow available will often nose down.

As for sailing characteristics...
Do a google search for a vx one and a Scott. While on the used market they are worlds different in price new they are pretty close to the same price. With the primary price difference being the VX have a carbon fiber mast.
 

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The Buccaneer 18 much like the Scott isn't really capable of self rescue. Most of this type of boat (sit in vs sit on) boats from this era are the same. If the boat broaches the coming gets underwater and there is just no way to drain enough water fast enough to get them empty again. Add a relatively heavy boat in the first place and they float with just the crown of the deck above water and usually the transom ends.

The early ones also used spray foam in the hull to add flotation which is great when new, but if it has absorbed water can add hundreds of pounds to the boat. If you are looking at one tow it to a scale and weigh it. Much more than 500lbs and I would walk away. The newer boats (from Nickels) are really nicely done, but are more expensive.

A very comparable new boat is the Vanguard Nomad... But the Vanguard Nomad is a much better design.

It was pointed out to me in a PM that I am coming off a little negative in this thread, and I am sorry for that. I really hope you get something, almost anything just to be out on the water. But when I look at the newer designs on the market compared to a lot of these older boats the difference in ease of use is huge. While running a few major regattas I had the oportunity to sail a lot of the current crop of ~18' dinghys and there really is a huge difference in the ease of use in the modern designs and the older ones. Not just in speed and stability but also in the comfort of them. Things are layer out better, the gear is better, rudders are more balanced, ect... Very important stuff but not necessarily obvious on first look.

Depending on where you are I would also recommend getting in touch with the local yacht club or sailing clubs. Even if you don't join owning something that is raced locally is a good way to ensure a local pool of knowledge on whatever you get and it's quirks.
 

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I used to race Lightnings heavily and went to Nationals twice. I love the boat and thought about recommending it except for a few things...

1) the large racing class means most good boats go for a premium and since homebuilt boats are common in the older ones I have a problem recommending the class just because of the difficulty in ensuring exactly what boat you are looking at. There have also been a number of different manufacturers and rigs, some better or worse than others and all reasonably called Lightnings. So again you could get a great boat for a bargin from one seller and the next sail number is a wreck that was built by a high school shop class with parts from lowes.

2) they are very technical boats with finicky rigs. I don't know how much of this stuff you can reasonably take off without gimping the boat a lot. It may be fine, but I don't know.

3) good ones really aren't that cheap. At least compared to newer boats. A 2006 Nomad for instance can probably be snagged for about $6,000, the same asking price for a decent condition lightning. But when you compare the boats side by side... The Nomad is easier to sail, bigger cockpit, smaller centerboard trunk, ect. Not that the lightning design is bad, but designers have learned a bit in the last 80 years.

4) drums... These were the stupidest idea ever in boats and sadly both the Lightning and the Flying Scott suffer from the addiction. I think the Lightning got rid of them in newer (post 1986 boats).

As for age... ONLY get a post 1986 boat. Earlier boats were prone to turtling while newer ones while they will broach tend not to flip over. The other issue with 96' is that they changed the rig so good used sails from the racing fleet can be had, but only if your boat is the current version (again 86).

On the other hand if there was a good lightning nearby for a good price. Particularly with a decent class I would have to seriously consider it. Cheap used sails, local knowledge, spare parts, it does start to add up. And if you ever do decide to race (and you very well might) there is a class right down the road.
 

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Well, done some research. The Lightning site is a great place. It does look like this boat could be a good choice - thanks to those who lead me to it.
Now I'm looking at available boats. Given that I'm not planning national racing, are there any years/sail number it should avoid ? The Lightning site warns not to buy before 1990, and notes that the rigging was changed in 1986, and that newer boats have better recovery.
Are these significant things that I should be concerned about ?
I've found a nice 1984 Nickels that's near me and in my budget...
Yes they are substantial changes. My post above was written at the same time yours went up so I didn't see it.

There are a lot of issues with a pre 86' boat, I touched on some of them, but they all boil down to a boat that won't self right (realistically) and is prone to turtling (almost unrecoverable without outside help). It also means you can't snag cheap sails from racers or use published tuning guides.

The boats are very different though they look the same.
 
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