Looking at '74 Customflex FS

Hi. I have the chance to buy a 1974 customflex FS. It looks to be in pretty good shape, though I need to look more closely in the light and, based on what I have read here, closely inspect for signs of a rotted balsa core. It seems the boat is missing its mainsail and so I need to find a good resource for a used one if anyone knows one. Also, what does a decent used mainsail go for? What about a spinnaker? Are there any other good sources for parts, used or new? It may also be missing the boom vang, rudder, etc. The seller will let me have it for $900. This seems to be a steal, even if it needs a mainsail, vang, rudder, etc. Is it? I gave him a preliminary offer of $900 before discovering the mainsail is missing. I told him I could not pay that much if I need to get a mainsail and told him one would probably cost $300-400. He seemed receptive to going lower. He knows nothing about sailboats and appropriate pricing, which is just fine for me. Anyway, any help on these topics is appreciated. I have a MacGregor 25, and could use the vang from that I suppose, but am needing something a bit smaller and easier to trailer/launch and single-hand. Cheers!


Sounds like it's a pretty good deal, particularly if there aren'

Sounds like it's a pretty good deal, particularly if there aren't any soft spots. A new rudder and tiller willl run you about $600. Vang runs about $112. A used main is a wider variable depending on condition. If you're not too picky plan on $300-500. If you can get him down a couple of hundred dollars, you'd have a pretty well sorted boat for under $2k. Even better deal if it has a trailer. [8] FS4830

Yes, it definitely has a trailer.

Yes, it definitely has a trailer. I am fairly confident re the title and think I will offer him $750. I believe it is hull no. 2189, though I do not know how these numbers worked with the different builders. Cheers!

Well, according to the FSSA classifieds, 2262 was built in 1972

Well, according to the FSSA classifieds, 2262 was built in 1972 so the hull # may be higher if you know for sure yours was built in '74. FWIW, the boat above is in very good shape and selling for $5500. That should give you an idea of your deal. [8] FS4830

If you buy the boat for $750, and it has balsa damage, you then

If you buy the boat for $750, and it has balsa damage, you then have a couple options. The mast, boom, etc, are worth a lot more than $750. Flying scot inc does balsa repairs and I have heard of people who are handy with fiberglass doing it themselves. I don't think you can go wrong at that price. The worst case is that you have to find a way to dispose of the boat, if the bottom is shot. Look at the boat in the daylight, tap the hull lightly inside, everywhere the boat has balsa. It should sound solid, like a thwack, not a dull (soft) thud. I used the back of a screwdriver on a boat that sat unused from the mid 90's until 2005. It was stored bow-up, and could drain. It had several inches of dirt from decomposed leaves inside. After extensive cleanup, it was sound throughout. The boats with a lot of damage are the ones where water froze and refroze in the boat, and couldn't drain out. Flying Scot Inc has a good guide of what to look for and has a rough schedule of repair costs on their web site. If you intend to race, Harry also has a pretty good idea of what Customflex boats are heavy vs light etc. It is my impression that Customflex went through a period when their boats were on the heavy side, and they had a period where they were in line with the Douglass boats. If you need a budget main to get started, I have a main and jib from Schurr sails that are gathering dust in my garage. They are original to my boat 4086, which was built in 1985. They are OK for daysailing or learning to race, but you will want something crisper to race seriously. They would get you out on the water in the meantime. I would sell both for $250. I bought new North sails to race last year and have been using these when others in our club borrow my boat. Harry, Karen and Dee at Flying Scot can give you some great advice, and they are very helpful to all FS owners. They are also the best source for most parts. Have fun, Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

Flying Scot 5919

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

I picked it up today for $750.

I picked it up today for $750. I looked at it pretty closely and am pretty satisfied it does not have any damage to the balsa core. It seems pretty solid throughout. There are only two significant issues with the boat. First is the missing mainsail. Second is a scrape in the bottom that goes through the gelcoat and into the fiberglass matting. I will need to fix this, or have it fixed, before sailing it. It does not appear that any water has penetrated the gelcoat and caused any blistering or anything like that. The trailer lights also need to be redone, which seems to be the case with every boat I buy. Phil, I would love to take you up on your offer for the sails but the Admiral (I use the title very loosely since the one time I took her out on my Mac 25, admittedly in fairly rough seas, she insisted we turn right back around and return to port) is not happy with the $750 expenditure even though I have explained to her that the opportunity cost of not buying this boat would be more in the end than buying it, considering the price. It is a big, beamy boat, and does seem pretty heavy. We shall see how easy it is for me to launch, retrieve and single hand. I know it will be much more than my first sailboat, an M16 scow.[8D] Anyway, Phil, if you could hold onto those sails until my credit has been restored perhaps we could do business then. I am thinking it will be a couple months or so. No hurry here with everything frozen solid. Cheers!

Sounds like you got a great deal.

Sounds like you got a great deal. I am in nor rush to sell the sails, so unless someone comes along locally who needs them, they'll probably still be around. Your gelcoat repair can probablyy be done by a local marine store/marina. Most will do gelcoat repairs. Ask them to keep in mind that a fair finish and light weight are important. The Scot will move from flat to heeling more quickly in a gust than your Mac 25, so the admiral may not feel any more secure. As you get more accustomed to the boat, you will find that playing the mainsheet will allow you to hold the boat pretty flat, most of the time. With my kids, I told them that the "optimum" amount of heel was when the side deck, next to the cockpit was level. This is about 15 degrees and is enough to be slightly disconcerting to them in the beginning. Now they try to get to that "fast spot" upwind. Most of the class experts say that between 0 and 15 degrees of heel is fastest in a Scot. Have fun, and tell your wife you made a great investment. Is there a strong fleet nearby. We have over 30 boats in our local Scot fleet, and about 10 on any given weekend race. Phil Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

Flying Scot 5919

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

I don't know about any Scot fleets in the area, but it does have

I don't know about any Scot fleets in the area, but it does have a sticker for White Bear Lake and the PO said the guy he got it from sailed in on White Bear. I also know there is the White Bear Lake Yacht Club and it is a strong sailing lake, so I would not be surprised at all if there are a lot of Scots racing there, and on some other lakes in the Twin City metro area. Someone said the Customflex versions, or a portion of them, were known to be heavy. My impression is that this boat is pretty heavily built; lots of weight in hull thickness it seems. And after pulling to my dad's yesterday, I know why some use side mirror extensions; it is beamy. Cheers!

There is a group on Medicine Lake (Plymouth Mn) which is not too

There is a group on Medicine Lake (Plymouth Mn) which is not too far from you. I am down in Red Wing but I never got up to Medicine Lake last summer. Too much to do, only got the sailboat out twice all summer. You will want to register it with FSSA. You get a neat certificate and tons of information I haven't single handed yet, the mast can be a bit much for one person to manage but it can be done. Who knows, maybe this summer I can make it up to Medicine lake. I started sailing 35 years ago on a Johnson "D" on White Bear Lake. A good lake with lots of room. FS 1385

Medicine Lake is pretty close.

Medicine Lake is pretty close. I have not really thought about getting into racing, but who knows. I would have to make myself more familiar with the rules of the road and such before undertaking such a venture. I originally got into sailing because it looked like fun and not as frustrating as golf. Cheaper than golf too if I stay close to home and trailer, though my trips to Mille Lacs trailering my Mac 25 (another boat in the American Sailboat Hall of Fame, incidentally) probably run me about $40 for fuel, which is comparable to an afternoon of golf. My ultimate goal is to obtain an offshore cruiser, retire early, and forget the rat race. Perhaps I should checkout the local yacht clubs, e.g., Medicine Lake (if there is one), Wayzata and Minnetonka to see if they have FS fleets. Think I should do that right now! Cheers!

By the way "heavy" is a relative term.

By the way "heavy" is a relative term. All Scots are built like tanks, and the hulls weigh around 850 lbs or so. Again, sounds like you found a great deal. Did they find the rudder for you? Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

Flying Scot 5919

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Yup, the rudder is there with the boat.

Yup, the rudder is there with the boat. As far as I can see, the only thing missing is the mainsail. I do not specifically recall seeing the boom vang, though. It also has a motor mount. I don't know if I will keep this boat for very long. I kind of told the Admiral I was buying it as investment, to fix and then sell, so we shall see. Cheers!

I wouldn't worry too much about the vang.

I wouldn't worry too much about the vang. I only used mine once and it didn't make a big difference (just cruising, not racing) and I am not really into the racing aspect. however retiring from the Rat Race to an Island in a warmer clumate is appealing. Don't worry about the motor mount., mine doesn't get in the way (no motor) Hopefully I can do some learning the rules of the road myself this summer. Gotta get rid of some of the other stuff that gets in the way, like work, home repairs, cars etc. Still enjoying my 'investment' Medicine Lake is fleet # 140 I'd guess you'd be atttached to them like I am. http://www.medicinelakesailingclub.org/ FS 1385