I am looking for a 17' - 20' sailboat that I can sail single-handed. The Flying Scot was recommended to me as a possibility. I live in southern California - which means three things:
1. I will sail mostly in the ocean, which is why I want a boat larger than 14' or 15'.
2. There are no FS fleets here, which means my one-design racing opportunities will be few, I suspect.
3. If I don't do much or any class racing, then I can modify the boat a little to improve its single-handling.
Having said that, my question is what kind of minor modifications can be made to make the boat more single-handed friendly? I am thinking of things like: Roller furling jib, self-tacking gear (perhaps with a smaller jib), roller reefing, smaller mainsail, etc. Can you, or someone in the Flying Scot family, tell me anything about single-handing?
Another question is about ballast. Should I add some ballast for single-handed sailing? If so, where and how much?
Although probably a major modification, can the FS be converted to a drop/lifting keel boat? That would improve stability in the ocean swells. The centerboard trunk and floor would probably have to be reinforced. Could that be done at a reasonable cost or is that really not feasible?
I would appreciate your comments.