propulsion without motor

Hi All. I am a prospective purchaser of a new Scot. I live on the Indian River in Vero Beach FL. The Scot seems like a great boat for the shallow waters that we have here.

I would love not to have the complexities associated with a motor. But I am concerned about how to move the boat around at the launch or at docks with sails only.

I am planning on keeping my boat on a lift at the end of a long dock. How do you motor-less guys do it. Do you paddle yourself into open water and raise the main quick or what? Or do you swing the boat around on the dock so that it pointed into the wind, raise the main and shove off and sail?

Please write back and tell me how simple it is!

Sure would love to be a pure sail boat.

Peter Dubé
Vero Beach, FL

You don't have a lot of choices: paddle or scull or get a tow are the only motorless methods that come to mind. (I guess a tow is only semi-motorless.) I always point the boat into the wind and hoist the sails before leaving the dock. If the only way out of the marina is upwind, you can't sail; you have to paddle or scull. If you scull, it helps a little to leave the rudder raised to a horizontal position, then lower it all the way when you can sail. In any case, you should lower the centerboard at least a little while you're paddling or sculling. If you paddle, it's nice to have some way of keeping the tiller centered. My boat has a bungee cord stretched across the opening at the aft end of the cockpit. When I'm paddling, I stretch the bungee over the tiller. You have the same issues returning to the dock. Downwind landings are the hardest.

Good luck,
Flying Scot #1087

Hello Your situation sounds pretty straightforward. The best and easiest thing to do is swing the boat at the dock so that it points into the wind before hoisting sail then shove off with sails full. Do not worry if you can not swing directly into the wind. As long as the boom and sails will not get tangled with dock equipment, the boat can easily be as much as 45 degrees or more to the wind. The sail will align itself with the wind. You can be a purist!!! If you want to practice find a bouy and tie up to it and raise and lower the sails. fair winds. Gabor

I think that I will buy a boat without a motor. Ill give it a try without for a month or two. I am betting that a motor will not be required. Thanks for the encouragement!


Peter... I hope you find an excellent boat for your use. If I can help you locate one please let me know. I have lots of contacts in the Scot world.

Regarding your sailing situation, it is almost always possible to sail away from a dock even if the water is too shallow for full rotation of the rudder blade. Consider the kick-up rudder kit as a handy option. It allows you to hoist the blade from the cockpit and theoretically the blade will lower itself when released.

You can easily maneuever on either main or jib alone to avoid being over-powered in stronger breezes. Same applies to coming in to the dock. The Scot is easy enough to swing around into the wind assuming you have access to both sides of your dock.

One other accessory that will be critical to your situation is a full tent cover with side curtains that come down to the waterline. This will protect your boat from UV damage.

I would like to urge you to join the FSSA and invite to list Fleet 179 (Melbourne) as your fleet affiliation.

Hope to see you on the water soon.

Bob New
FS 5143
Merritt Island Florida
Fleet Captain Fleet 179

I was concerned about the motorless thing but I found I only had one occasion when I could have used it. 600 yards from the dock and the wind died. The boat looked prety nice siting on that sheet of glass, just as I got to the dock, the wind picked up again...

FS 1385

I've sailed my Flying Scot without a motor for years, but I'm on a lake, not a river with a current, and not with large boat traffic.

I find a downwind landing is easy, if I stop upwind and lower the sails I can turn the boat around and coast to the dock. With the centerboard down you can coast downwind on a run with no sails up, even 45 degrees off the wind direction. I leave the halyard attached, so if I get the rare BIG windshift I can run the main back up again. You better know how your boat handles, as you only get one chance. People are surprised how fast the boat moves downwind without a sail.

To turn the Scot when it's not moving, bring the tiller to center, then forcefully move the tiller ALL THE WAY TO THE SIDE AND HOLD IT THERE. This pushes the stern to the side, turning the boat. Repeat as necessary.

To propel the Scot forward from a stop, move the tiller slowly all the way to the side, them pull it forcefully to the center. This will push quite a bit of water to the rear, and the boat will move slowly forward a foot or two. If you're already moving, you can scull just by moving the tiller back and forth. If the wind is light you can make headway against the wind with a little practice.

Leaving the dock, I point the boat into the wind and do THREE things. Raise the main, lower the centerboard, and lower the rudder. If I'm by myself, I'll tie the tiller in the appropriate position and push the bow out as I board, then walk to the stern, untie the tiller, and sail away.

If I have to turn the boat around before raising the main, I do it with the centerboard and rudder all the way up. Much easier to spin the boat around with the blades out of the water.

Of course, IF the wind is light, I've been known to back out of the slip. Best results backing the Scot are with the mainsail flat, no jib, and centerboard all the way down, tighten the outhaul and boom vang a bit. Hold the boom out against the wind with one hand to backwind the main and steer with the other hand. You best practice this far from obstructions first! It is possible to sail the Flying Scot upwind while sailing backwards, I even crossed the starting line at a race backwards once, but remember that it is a racing rule of sailing that if you have your sail backwinded you lose all right of way and must give way to all other boats.


Love the Flying Scot

quote:[i]Originally posted by PCDube[/i]
[br]I think that I will buy a boat without a motor. Ill give it a try without for a month or two. I am betting that a motor will not be required. Thanks for the encouragement!


Remember that people managed to sail for thousands of years w/out motors. Part of the coolness of sailing sans motor is being able to do it.

"If the sea did wild or wicked things, it was because she could not help them." - Hemmingway