Sailing News 2005 Archives
From the President
Tips and Tricks
Preventing a capsize with the
Using the Vang in
Light Crew in Heavy Air
Reviving Gelcoat on an older Scot
How to roll your Scot over for Cleaning
us your questions or comments.
John wrote: 11-8-07
I am racing with a new owner of a F/S. He tells me that we must have the centerboard up before rising the spinnaker or the boat will capsize? Please if can, answer this soon as we are attending the regatta in Sarasota.
Thank you John
There are a lot of factors that can cause the Scot to capsize, but rising the centerboard before rising the spinnaker is a new one for me.
I typically round the weather mark, set the pole, and once the crew is ready hoist the spinnaker. Once the spinnaker is flying properly I raise the centerboard fully and then lower it about 3 to 6 inches. Raising the board completely clears the gasket and then lowering it makes sure the gasket makes a good seal around the board reducing drag.
As I am sure you know wind strength plays a big roll in capsizing. The more wind the more likely a capsize will occur. Sailing off the wind with the spinnaker also increases the likely hood of a capsize.
The centerboard produces lift to reacts against the wind pushing against the sails to move the boat forward through the water. This lift adds to the healing moment of the boat. The boat also slides sideways through the water causing the boat to heal. When sailing up wind we hike out to counter the heal produced by the sails and the centerboard.
When sailing down wind we don't need the lift generated by the centerboard and typically the lift is low because the boat is sailing a straight line through the water. If we turn slightly the centerboard produces lift in a direction to make the boat heal over. If your speed is high enough this lift will cause the boat to turn further into the wind. The sails will then add to the healing. The rudder might not be able to prevent the boat from rounding up into the wind and thus a capsize might occur. If the centerboard was halfway up or all the way up then the lift from the centerboard is reduced or eliminated and the rudder can control the boat and prevent the boat from rounding up.
If the wind is above 15 kts. and the waves are large then raising the centerboard at least half way before raising the spinnaker can be a good practice.
But, remember if the centerboard is all the way up and you capsize it is more
difficult to right the boat.
much tongue weight should their be on the Scot trailer? 2-13-07
As an engineer the 5% to 10% of total trailering
weight is a good rule of thumb. But, there are a lot of guys out there killing their backs! I have trailer the Scot 1000's and 1000's of miles from Florida to Canada. I use 45 to 50lbs so that I don't kill my back when I lift the tongue onto the hitch. Moving the Soct forward or aft on a your trailer 3 to 5 inches will make a big different in tongue weight. If you can easily lift the tongue with one hand then you probably need a little more weight. Start by simply loading all your gear in to the bow. If still too easy to lift, then you need to move the winch stand forward a few inches. If you have to lift the tongue with both hands and a lot might, then move the Scot back until you can comfortable lift the tongue. Move the winch stand to the new location. With the tongue weight set at a comfortable lifting load for you, then always tend to load your gear forward of the axle. This will always load the tongue with more weight than less.
The 10% rule of thumb is more for an over weight power boat with a 200+lb outboard motor hanging on the transom. This mass moving up and down with the bumps in the road will lighten the tongue and cause the trailer to hunt or wonder back and forth.
the Vang in Heavy Air.
a question, and maybe you know the answer. In heavy air I’ve been told about
putting the vang on quite hard. Break the boom hard. Is the point here
to tighten the leach of the main, or actually induce bend in that mast?
What can you tell me?
Tip in the 2007 Flying Scot Wall Calendar
covers this topic. In heavy air the vang will flatten the mid section of
the main by bending the mast. It also, helps to keep the top batten
closed off buy tighten the leach by adding to the mainsheet tension. The
vang alone in heavy air will not tighten the leach.
A tight leach will slightly
stalls the top of the main and reduces the power aloft. If you forget to
loosen the vang as you ease the mainsheet to round a mark, the load that is
transferred to the vang can break the boom. It is not that the vang
tightens as the boom is let out, but that the load the mainsheet carries is
much higher then the boom can hold when restrained at the point the vang
in Heavy Air Regatta
2006 Flying Scot New York District Champion
chip. Cedar Point Yacht Club, Westport Ct.
Roger Sharp wrote 8-28-06:
I can't believe you had the time and control to take pictures while you
were sailing in that stuff!!!!!! I'm really impressed!!!! Great shots
I'd like to get better so, can I ask you for some
You had to be one of the lightest crews at the
Districts, how did you set the boat up. We were (4373) about 400lbs and
eventually moved the jib cars back 2" and vanged the main hard (I'm
afraid I may have gone too far as I bent the boom another 1" so,
I'm up to 2" permanent bend). The most troubling thing was having
the blunt bow run into a wave, see the water shoot straight forward off
the gunnels and come to a stop! I had more trouble up wind than down.
Although I did put the brakes on pretty bad downwind once or twice.
Downwind I had more trouble keeping on course. It seems the rudder
doesn't work so well in surfing conditions! Got any suggestions?
Thanks for any and all ideas!!!
Oh, how did you know that you went around the
"wrong" leeward mark? I wasn't clear which was the correct
one, I just followed the boats in front of us!!!
Thank you. It was tough handling the camera and boat
in that stuff. That is why I only have 6 rather than my usual 100+
We all would like to get better.
Christine and I are 340 lbs., and yes that is light
for those conditions. 450 would have been a better number. In the
first race the wind was not bad but the waves hurt us a lot going up
wind. As the wind built and we fatigued our weight really started to
affect our performance. If we did not go around the right-hand gate
(looking down wind) on the reach leg of the triangle we would have
finished 7th and possibly bumped John Cooke out of 4th place. We
realized it when Peter Beam in 5171 told us after it was too late to
correct our mistake. Two other boats followed us and I think a few
more. I am not use to gates being used on a triangle, but I learen
I need to review the race instructions before the start.
I set my boat up as a snug rig. I have been for the
past 10+ years. I sail with the standard loose jib. The snug and tight
cut jibs by North are cut different. I find them only to be
necessary when the wind is below the transition point. The
tightness of the rig affects the transition point at which the leeward
shroud begins to slack. Once it does slack, the forestay is the same for
all set-ups. I find that the loose cut jib then hangs properly. The
leeward shroud on my rig transitions to loose around 5 knots of wind.
My rake is 28' 5-1/2" to 28' 7". I sail with
it a little greater (further forward) than North's tuning guide. The
purpose of rake is to balance the helm. Helm is effected by, but not
limited to, sails, crew weight, centerboard position, and rudder
position. If we just look at sails and centerboard there are a number of
things that effect the position of where the forces act on each other,
or where the center of effort is balanced. Halyard tension, outhaul, and
cunningham effects the draft position and the centerboard can be placed
in and number of locations from just up the hump to back on the flat. I
sail with the board right at the transition from flat to hump. This
fixes this position and eliminates the variability. Now, the only thing
left to balance the equation is halyard tension (draft position) and
mast rake. Christine is my only crew, though we wanted a third when we
saw the conditions. I target rake for medium conditions, 8 to
12kts of wind. I have made the helm neutral for my crew and nominal sail
adjustment. I then rely on sail adjustments (halyard, vang, cunningham,
outhaul, and sheet tension) for other wind conditions. Loose for light
air and tight for heavy air. I marked the main halyard with a short
piece of yarn for consistency. The main is always raised to the mark and
then fine tuned around that mark. This eliminates the guess work.
Yes, I moved my jib leads back one hole or to the mid
position on the track in heavy air and big waves. This helps keep the
top of the jib open and prevents it from back winding the main. In the
first race I did not move the port car back because the waves were at a
slightly different angle on starboard tack and I felt I could sail
normal (relatively). As the wind went right I eventually moved the port
car back one hole.
I use lots of outhaul and cunningham in heavy
conditions to help reduce weather helm. I put on as much on as I can
when I feel over powered. I started pulling the cunningham on until the
grommet is about 2 inches above the boom (scary tight). But I always
loosen when I feel slow and not over powered. The vang is tight and
sometime scary tight. But again I ease it as soon as I don't feel over
Hike hard. We hike very hard at the start, and when it
counts. We save our selves when not being pressured by another boat.
I found the up wind groove on starboard to be better
than port tack. On port tack I had to foot to find the groove, but
this hurt being light. Footing increases the power, so I sailed
with a lot of vang on port tack. This allowed me to ease the main
a bit more to control heel. Unfortunately, the wave period was too
short to get a good long surf. My bow kept plowing into the waves
too. In the first race with the wind was a bit left, the waves
were easier to ride on starboard jibe. Sailing dead down or even a
bit to the lee seamed fast. That is how we passed PJ in the first
downwind leg. As the wind went right we could no longer sail enough by
the lee to catch the big one, and sailing dead down or a little tighter
put your bow right into the wave as you accelerated. Plus the water in
the bottom of the boat rushed forward making things worse. Port
jibe then became a bit favored earlier in the leg. If the Lightning's
were out I suspect they would have had the same problem or worse the bow
would have just submerged into the wave. I think the rudder works fine,
but when the boat slows or even stops on a wave the weather helm goes up
because the apparent wind it up.
PJ seamed to figure it out the quickest, so I think
there was a way to navigate the lumps and keep speed down wind. It
just took concentration. In a two person boat like us we have to look
inside the boat and/or help with the spinnaker. This takes our eyes off
the road just long enough to lose the road.
Gelcoat on an older Scot
Kurt Steinbock wrote: 10-27-06
Hiya, Dan –
I’d like to do some sprucing up on 3879 this winter, and restore some luster and good looks to the gel coat. Can you recommend a product/process?
Good old elbow grease works best. Gel coat is a hard surface that becomes a bit porous with sun exposure and age. You can get some shine back if you buff it with a rubbing compound using an electric orbiting buffer. West marine sells 3M products and/or Star brite designed for fiberglass that work well. On stubborn areas you might wet sand with 1200 to 2000 grit and then buff it out. After buffing apply a wax. It fills the porous and helps keep the surface clean and shinny. Just remember if you wax the deck it gets a bit more slippery especially when wet. If you wax the deck before putting her away for the winter the wax will evaporate a bit before spring and won't be as slippery.
How to roll
your Scot over for Cleaning
Tom Nemeth wrote:12-17-06
Here’s another question from this Flying Scot newbie:
I just bought my boat, and I need to buff out the gel coat. What would be the best way to get at the surfaces? Should I remove the rig and flip the boat over? Other ideas?
Any help would be appreciated.
Hull # 3640
I assume you want to buff or clean the bottom. The easiest way is to slide your Scot onto a nice soft grassy lawn. Once the transom hits the ground let the trailer roll forward. Once the Scot is sitting on the lawn use the spinnaker halyard to pull the Scot over onto it side. DO NOT use the main halyard. The main halyard is above the side stay connection and you could bend or even brake the mast at the hounds. Note you might want to remove things from the boat as they will slide to the low side. You will need to place a small amount of weight on the top of the mast to keep the Scot on it's side. Maneuver the trailer into place and tie the mast to it. This will allow you to pull the board out too. When you are ready to right your Scot use the spinnaker halyard again. DO NOT let the halyard slide through your hands as the Scot rights. You are sure to get a rope burn. With mast free let the mast up to head level and walk backwards away from the top of the mast until you are near the end of the halyard. Once near the end of the halyard walk forward as the Scot rights. Near the end the load will increase a lot so if you need to, simple let go of the halyard. Nothing will happen to your Scot assuming you started on soft grass. To crank the Scot back onto the trailer let the trailer roll as you crank her on to the trailer.
Flipping the Scot without the rig is a big task that takes many strong volunteers or a hoist with fewer volunteers. If you roll it over in the grass with the rig off make sure you protect the side tang from folding flat against the deck. You have to position a block of wood so that as you start to roll the Scot the gunnel (not the hull) will land on the block near the lowest side tang to raise the Scot up a bit as you roll her over. The block needs to be long enough to allow the Scot to rest upside down with the block or blocks under the jib track.