I'm growing in confidence on the FS. It's getting hot and humid here so my trips will be more short. And thunderstorms are now a more regular afternoon phenomenon.
Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to my next sail.
Hope you’ve been able to find crew as the Scot sails much better with two, even three in heavy winds. Class races cut off in the low 20’s, but the vang is very useful in depowering the main. Rule of thumb is bring the bang line with you as you hike out, and loosen it as you come back in. We tighten it all the way and bend the boom like crazy in heavy beats to wind, but you must release it before heading down or it’ll break the boom. Almost always operator error when these break. For solo sailing with just the main, you should raise the center board a quarter to a third. This moves the end of the board aft and balances the helm you’ll get from sailing with just the main. Experiment until you can sail with little or no helm. And, you can certainly capsize a Scot in heavy winds, especially with the chute. Been there. It will turtle very quickly if you don’t get to the top of the mast, and then you’ll need a third party rescue since you won’t be able to recover alone. That can be a serious emergency out on a big lake, so I would be extremely cautious when sailing alone, and would highly recommend you get a masthead float from the factory and sail with it. If you do capsize, the float will give you time to right turn owt alone. Strongly urge you to go through a complete capsize drill at the dock if you sail this boat alone, and even if you sail with crew. A turtle all alone out on a big lake could be a disaster.
Yikes!! Thanks for the warning. I want no part of a capsize. I'd prolly not sail it in over 16 Kts. at least that's what the sailing coordinator told me. No spinnakers on these. I like the suggestion about the board 1/3 the way up with just the main. I haven't been out on one since June but the heat is moderating a bit and it's getting to be time to start again.
The Scot should also have a floatation bag under the foredeck. The styrofoam blocks under the seats will float the boat sort of. The flotation bag and a 6 inch inspection port in the transom will allow for self-rescue by sailing. The boat will sit bow up and as it sails, water will exit via the inspection port, once it is open of course.
There is no way you will be able to sail and drain the boat after a turtle. Even with the bow bag, which is required for racing, the deck aft will be under water, and it would take some super human skills and a lot of wind to sail fast enough to drain through the drain opening. Only way to drain is with a motor tow, hopefully using the rescue bridle that will get water flowing through the drain opening, assuming this old boat even has it installed. If you sail alone on a Scot, you should by all means sail with a mast float to ensure you won’t turtle in the first place. Gusts come out of nowhere sometimes, so better to plan on a capsize than hope it never happens.
Pretty new to sailing...have FS hull number 959 which I am slowly refurbishing. The boat is definitely designed for a crew of 2. Almost impossible to manage single-handed although that is how I sail exclusively unless I have visitors; when single-handed, I only use the main. And yes, it will turtle. Fortunately, I was close to my dock when it happened and I have amazing neighbors that wanted to assist. Because it's quite shallow, I have to manage sails, centerboard and rudder when approaching the dock. It get real busy and I've learned to furl the sail to the port side of the boom so I still have easy access to the centerboard line.
You’re lucky it happened close in. Seriously, if you sail alone, you really can’t afford to capsize without a mast head float. If you capsize without one, you’re going to have a hell of a time righting it alone, and even if you can, you better hope it doesn’t sail away from you before you can grab the ladder—assuming you have a ladder. If it does turtle, the centerboard will drop into the boat leaving you with no lever for righting, meaning you will need third party assistance to right it. Hope I scared you solo sailors enough to get a float and/or always sail within reach of rescue and have a radio on your life vest. This is not a boat you want to capsize in all alone out beyond sight of rescue. Even in a small lake, we only race with safety patrols who always carry the FS safety bridle, and it gets used on occasion.
It did indeed scare me into action. Immediately ordered the bow bag and masthead float. Even though I can swim ashore from any point on our lake (I was a competitive swimmer through college), I'd rather not have to.
That’s great. The bow bag will only be needed if you turtle, but it’s good insurance even if you don’t race. Tip on the mast float: depending on wind, waves, etc, it may still try and turtle after a few minutes, so you will want to make sure the boat is stable before you climb up on the deck to position yourself to right the boat. To make sure it won’t turtle when you climb up, you will probably want to take an extra float cushion and strap it to the mast head before you climb up on the boat. The masthead float will give you the time to do this, but in strong winds, the hull can get pushed over after a few minutes even with the float. Extra buoyancy will stop that. And make sure you have a ladder and that you unclear all sheets before righting the boat.
On the boats I sail, which are available through my membership in USSCenterMartinCounty, there are no bow floats or mast head floats. I do carry my portable VHF and wear a life jacket and a dry bag which I will henceforth make sure has a lot of air in it.
Bringing the boat to the dock alone can be a trip. It's not that hard to hit the dock - which is what. you need to do. But getting up to the bow to tie off on a dock cleat is difficult.
There was a very active fleet of these where I grew up and my Mom and Dad raced in it for years. #707. I suspect we are the only family of 5 that has ever slept aboard one -- Mom and Dad on either side of the centerboard, two older boys up under the bow and the youngest across the stern.
Fun boats, but you definitely don't want to turtle. The centerboards have a lead slug in the bottom (maybe around 75 pounds or so) and if the board slips into the trunk you can't get it out on its own but will need help righting the boat.
I am glad you made contact with US Sailing Martin County. I still have the hat from our stay in Stuart several years ago. The folks there were very accepting of new members even though we were only there for a short time. Enjoy the sailing! The difficulty we had was getting to the dock due to its location and water depth. Of course water depth is often a concern in Florida!
Yeah, water depth is a problem here. Not many keelboats outside of the ICW. It is nice to be able to pull up the centerboard to make it over the dredging spoils areas, which are not really marked.
That dock almost has to be approached by shooting into the eye of the prevailing SE wind. Problem for me is adjusting to the relatively short glide for the centerboard boat vs a keelboat. It's better to hit the dock a little hard than to miss short.
I learned from the many Exoerienced Scot sailors at our club to sail the boat into the dock rather than playing the guessing game of how much speed you can carry head to wind. The way to sail in is to keep your boat at a sailable angle to the wind and luff both sails about a boat length or more from the dock. When you slow down almost to a stop, gently bring the main in just enough to bring the boat to the dock. If going to fast, quickly stand up and back the main as a brake. Crew, if you have crew, should never stop the boat with their feet. They should jump onto the dock before contact and push back on the forestry to stop the boat. Going full head to wind can work if you judge it perfectly, but even experienced sailors get it wrong sometimes and either ram the dock or slip backwards. Sailing in like this once you learn it is pretty much fool proof.
Rented FS in the Potomac out of Alexandria. Fair weather sailor, so no high wind problems. Went out with my GF and her then young sons. They were impressed with the heel. There was a sand bar between the channel and the harbor so I got my speed up and pulled the centerboard til I was past the bar and let it back down. Docked it by full on ram til the last minute with a quick turn. The lack of glide worked for me with this approach. Took a few lets try this again before I got the hang of it. It was a fun boat for an afternoon sail.