Motor or no

There's still a month or more of skiing left, but I've started thinking about my Scot between drives to the mountains. She's on a mooring in the shallow section of a reasonably crowded harbor where sailing off and on can be a bit exciting. Someone suggested buying an electric trolling motor for that first and last couple of hundred yards. Last season was my first Scot season after a couple of decades away from sailing. Should I just tough it out hoping to avoid my neighbors until I'm fully comfortable with the boat? Is a little electic motor a big convenience, or isn't it powerful enough to make oning and offing the mooring easy?

Comments

Hi Herb, I'm starting to sail my Scot (#618) after probably 15 y

Hi Herb, I'm starting to sail my Scot (#618) after probably 15 years of activity after 1st wife's long illness. We (new wife) started to now trailer and sail the mid august and sept. and some oct. last year. we sail usually out of Wickford Harbour in Narragansett BAy and have to transverse a narrow channel from a inner harbour to a outer harbout to open water......i just feel that sailing it is part of the challenge! Where do you sail out of??? John Blanchard Exeter, RI

Hi Any motor is a pain in the neck or more appropriately the bac

Hi Any motor is a pain in the neck or more appropriately the backside. The ones with enough oomph 4 HP to get you anywhere in a headwind or waves weigh too much 35plus lb. to easily mount while in the tossing boat. A 2 HP which weighs much less will get you home in calm conditions and onto the mooring but will take forever in a strong wind waves or tide. All motors have to be accomodated so that they do not foul your main sheet. You are better off getting a book and practice coming to a mooring in the proper fashion. On a nice sailing day,take a float, pretend it is the mooring, and throw it over the side and practice retreiving it till you get the hang of it. Get good at it and you will impress the Marina people. There is really nothing to it, just a matter of feel for the timing, assessing wind direction, and learning how to slide to a stop. Sailing skills that you need anyway. Good luck Gabor Karafiath

Last summer, I was within 500 yards of the dock when the wind (

Last summer, I was within 500 yards of the dock when the wind (what little that was left) quit completely. As I had some first time sailors on board, I settled back and waited a bit. I found just enough of a breeze to inch forward and got to the dock. They were impressed. They thought it was time for a swim. After dropping the sails and preparing to load onto the trailer, the wind picked up again. What a tease!! A motor would have been nice and I am still toying with the idea of a trolling motor. FS 1385

I HAD a trolling motor on my boat for awhile, but as mentioned e

I HAD a trolling motor on my boat for awhile, but as mentioned earlier, it really is a pain. SInce it was a trolling motor, it was fairly easy to put on and take down, even while sailing, but you are carry that extra weight, plus the battery; you have to arrange the wiring; charge the battery, any engine (eletric or gas) gets in the way, throws the balance off, the gas smells, the engine catches the main sheet, etc. It is just a nuisance. In any strong wind, an electric is not powerful enough. And if you have strong wind, what do you need an engine for anyway? And really, how often is there no wind? Yes it happens once in a while, but so does fog and who carries radar? I know this, pick up your mooring 10 times on 10 different days and you will probably meet 90% of the challenges that you will ever have and you will be confident on doing it from then on. We had a mooring in a very crowded harbor and I admit, the first year was pretty much my nightmare. I was always very tense, but only had a couple of small probelms in reality. But when we came back the second year, it seems like we had been picking up a mooring all of our lives. I think that the winter months allowed me to let go of my anxiety about it. Just think of it as the top mark in a crowded race where it is OK to hit the mark.

My wife and I are novices at sailing the Scot.

My wife and I are novices at sailing the Scot. I am wondering about docking. In heavy wind, is it better to drop the mainsail and come in with just a jib? Seems like it would be...you could power up and down easily, no boom to worry about, and less precise handling to make it to the dock. I have tried docking in heavy air more than once with main up and it was very dificult and I wasn't successful. any thoughts??? Frank

Frank, I find that I very rarely feel the need for a motor.

Frank, I find that I very rarely feel the need for a motor. At our lake, you can almost always come in to the dock and drift home head-to-wind. I often take down the jib and sail on just the main, as the boat goes head-to-wind very easily under just the main. I sail mainly with inexperienced crew, so I find that if I sail in towards the dock, turn to 12 o'clock and then back the main slightly by pushing the boom and backwinding the sail, the crew can then step to the dock and hold the bow line until I get the main down. It's slightly tricky only when the wind is an easterly direction, as you approach the dock coming downwind, so it is harder to stop. In this case, I sail around a little, until there is nobody around the dock. I then sail past the end of the dock, going downwind, and tack towards the dock, aiming for the end. When it goes perfectly, I end up head-to-wind, idling next the end of the dock, and drift back gently. If I mess it up, I end up bumping the dock. One benefit of Scots is that they are built like tanks. The marina dock has a rubber bumper. The whole process is exciting for my crew, they question the wisdom momentarily, but are thrilled that the Scot turns on a dime. Having only the main, makes the boat go head-to-wind very quickly. I find I can't spin the boat as fast with the jib alone. The jib, by itself, wants to head the boat downwind, and keep pulling. Have fun, Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Frank, One more thing.

Frank, One more thing. The water is shallower on the south side of the ramp docks, than on the north (marina) side, at Nockamixon. The trick is to tack before your fully extended centerboard finds the bottom. Having the board all the way down makes the boat spin better, but it finds the bottom easier as well. Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

I have docked like you mentioned a few times.

I have docked like you mentioned a few times. It ia fun and great when you do everything right, you end up right next to the dock and amaze any new time passengers. Worth the effort! FS 1385

Like anything else, a motor seems to me to be a trade-off.

Like anything else, a motor seems to me to be a trade-off. Our lake, like many has flukey winds. When a fun evening sail turns into a white-knuckle ride; when the wind dies and you're really not into a long wait, a tow, or being late; when the town dock has only three and a half of water along side; when I quickly want to get the boat to the public ramp so we can trailer her somewhere; when our little cove is flat as glass, but I can see enough wind on the main lake for a fun sail after work...our little 4.5hp seems to make a world of sense. When I want the best balance; when I gibe in a good wind and I forget to keep track of the mainsheet the motor seems like a nuisance. I would definitely not take our boat down to our Maine coast with tides, fog, etc. without a back-up motor. Frank K FS 1803

Thanks for your responses.

Thanks for your responses. You saved me a few hundred dollars at West Marine by convincing me that a motor isn't worth the bother. Now with the skis put away and the Duxbury mooring permit in hand, I can start thinking about getting the boat ready for a mid-May launch. Then I'll have a few weeks to practice before my corner of the harbor starts filling.

I'm a little late here, but can't help but put in my 2 cents:

I'm a little late here, but can't help but put in my 2 cents: I have a quiet electric motor that I ordered with the boat. There's no question of fouling, and it's a dream when the wind dies down and i want to head back. Getting in and out of my tight slip is no problem. To me it's a no-brainer. I would of course feel differently if racing were my prime motive and weight were an issue. I just go out for the joy of sailing, and the occasional use of a quiet, little electric motor just makes things that much easier... Ron G

What type of motor?? I am still toying with the idea of a statio

What type of motor?? I am still toying with the idea of a stationary motor mounted on the motor mount that can be lifted out of the water but without the top end to get in the way of sails, etc. Just curious as to the size and power you are using (thrust) Thanks FS 1385

I just gave my 4-HP motor to the Beacon Sloop Club (Hudson River

I just gave my 4-HP motor to the Beacon Sloop Club (Hudson River) to put on their old Balboa teaching boat where they will use it largely to get on and off the mooring. Even with the currents and other features of sailing the great estuary I am quite happy to be without a motor. That said, if I were to go with a replacement I would certainly go with a small electric. Just something to enable one to maneuver into a camping spot or to get out of the barge lanes if the wind dies at the wrong time, but easy to stow. I would sail about 90% of the time without it and probably use only when doing longer cruises or on still air days when I would want to get out for some fishing or such. I note that some of the guys seem to be using electrics, but without the Scot motor mount. It is not clear to me how they are mounting the motor. Any comments? John McLaughlin Ngulule Customflex #1554

Ive had pretty good luck with a Minkota30 lb thrust model.

Ive had pretty good luck with a Minkota30 lb thrust model......I also installed a Minkota battery charger to keep the battery fully charged when we leave.........Its a no brainer.......just plug it in and leave .........the charger turns itself off automatically

Thanks for the concrete suggestion.

Thanks for the concrete suggestion. I am considering a motor because we have a beach house in Westport Point, MA that is just a few miles from an island Cuttyhunk. I would like to cruise the Scot to the island, but am concerned if the wind dies completely and I am 2 miles from shore. Will the size motor you talk about, get me to shore in dead seas through ocean currents? I just don't want to end up drifting off to France :-) Thanks, Tim
quote:
[i]Originally posted by sungberg[/i] [br]Ive had pretty good luck with a Minkota30 lb thrust model......I also installed a Minkota battery charger to keep the battery fully charged when we leave.........Its a no brainer.......just plug it in and leave .........the charger turns itself off automatically
[:)]

I find it difficult to pronounce the word -" motor" .

I find it difficult to pronounce the word -" motor" ..... Fair winds - Amir

I've been sailing Scots for years, and I teach sailing in my Sco

I've been sailing Scots for years, and I teach sailing in my Scot. I had a trolling motor on my old one for a year or so, and with a cheap car battery it would take me several miles. I took it off several years ago and finally sold it. If I was sailing in coastal waters or where there was a current, I WOULD probably want a motor, but sailing on a lake never going more than 4 or 5 miles the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, at least for me. Disadvantages: Weight, less space on board, the mainsheet wants to hang on it (a friend of mine turned his over because of this), once the battery turned over when I hit a cattleguard while trailering and the acid ruined a spinnaker. If gasoline, a gas spill in the boat isn't fun. For me, having the motor just takes away some of the challenge, and some of the fun. Advantages: You can go against the current when there's no wind, if there's a current. You can go faster if there's no wind. Usually starting the motor makes the wind pick up. Sailing in tight places is something the Flying Scot excels at. Take at look at this launch place on Eagle Mountain Lake I taught a class from! Third and fourth pictures: http://www.sailingtexas.com/clakeeaglemountain.html We had to sail out of there against the wind, and while it was extremely tight, the Scot can do it. I've sailed for years with no motor, and I teach classes in the Scot several times a month, always with no motor. If I sailed where there was a current I'm sure I'd be singing a different tune! David Love the Flying Scot

I agree with David.

I agree with David. Tight sailing area aren't really a problem. Take them as a challenge. Last year's Midwest Regatta had a narrow trenched path from the launch ramp into the open water. Left and right of the trench had really shallow water. It proved to be easy to sail out. Just a lot of tacks. It always looks scarier though from the land.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

I've used a Torqueedo electric outboard for the past season.

I've used a Torqueedo electric outboard for the past season. A little pricey ($1500), but excellent thrust (~70lb). At 24lbs it's easy to lift off the transom when I get out to the end of our cove. I stow it under the rear deck and reinstall it at the end of our Wed evening race for the trip back up the cove. Lithium ion battery charges in ~ 3 hours. And provides 30-40 minutes at near full thrust. I tow other boats out to the start with it . Mark

quote:[i]Originally posted by matruax[/i] [br]I've used a Torqu

quote:
[i]Originally posted by matruax[/i] [br]I've used a Torqueedo electric outboard for the past season. A little pricey ($1500), but excellent thrust (~70lb). At 24lbs it's easy to lift off the transom when I get out to the end of our cove. I stow it under the rear deck and reinstall it at the end of our Wed evening race for the trip back up the cove. Lithium ion battery charges in ~ 3 hours. And provides 30-40 minutes at near full thrust. I tow other boats out to the start with it . Mark
I have seen these motors and was wondering how they work when you remove the tiller steering handle. Dave

I don't know the answer to your question.

I don't know the answer to your question. I steer with the Scot's tiller. The torqueedo is fixed straight ahead. The tiller handle on the torqueedo also controls speed (forward and reverse). It is a reach from the cockpit mark

I occasionally use a Minnkota 40lb thrust trolling motor mounted

I occasionally use a Minnkota 40lb thrust trolling motor mounted on a regular Scot motor mount. Minnkota also makes an electrical plug kit which mounts through the transom and makes it easy to unplug and dismount the motor as well as it keeps the cables off the aft portion of the deck. The battery is in a battery box under the aft deck. I epoxyed in some vinyl strips on the boat floor and use the battery box strap to secure it to the strips, thereby keeping the box from sliding around. If you use "the Palm" rigging described elsewhere in the FS Forum, it will keep the mainsheet from fouling on the motor.

quote:[i]Originally posted by matruax[/i] [br]I've used a Torqu

quote:
[i]Originally posted by matruax[/i] [br]I've used a Torqueedo electric outboard for the past season. A little pricey ($1500), but excellent thrust (~70lb). At 24lbs it's easy to lift off the transom when I get out to the end of our cove. I stow it under the rear deck and reinstall it at the end of our Wed evening race for the trip back up the cove. Lithium ion battery charges in ~ 3 hours. And provides 30-40 minutes at near full thrust. I tow other boats out to the start with it . Mark
How long is the LI battery good for before you have to replace it? The replacemnt batteries are ~$570 apiece.

Well, I had a capsize in a storm 2 weeks ago.

Well, I had a capsize in a storm 2 weeks ago. The torqueedo 801 was submerged for ~ 1 hour. It's back at Torqueedo to see if it can be salvaged(unlikely). This past year Torqueedo has come out with a new motor/battery combo that is waterproof submerged at 3 ft for 1 hour. I may be out $600 for a new battery. In defense of Torqeedo, I didn't have my motor/ battery in its waterproof case ( a pain to assemble & disassemble). If the Torqueedo can't be salvaged I'll probably go back to the Minnkota trolling motor I used before- a lot more expendable Mark