weight of boat


I sail an old Scot(#690)which was an awful mess before I fixed it up. It seems a little slow. It's hard to tell because there aren't any other Scots on our lake, not really. It's probably me more than the boat, but in lightish air I have trouble keeping up with Windmills (PR 89.5). The sails are old, but I'm wondering part of the problem may be that the hull is a bit heavy. I'm taking it out of the water pretty soon and I'm thinking of weighing it. The specs all list the weight as 850 lbs. "all up". I don't know what that means. Does that just include hull and hardware or does it include the centerboard? ...the rudder? ...the mast and boom? Help!

Bill Dobe

Hi Bill,

"All up" probably means "ready to sail". The specifications for the boat are given in the FSSA handbook, which is available at the FSSA web site. The handbook doesn't specify a weight for everything, but some items for which weight is specified are: hull weight- 675 pounds (stripped of all normally removable gear such as spars, sails, rudder, tiller, centerboare, standing rigging, running rigging, etc.; centerboard- 105 pounds (plus or minus 5 pounds); mast with standing rigging- 39 pounds; boom- 11 pounds. That all adds up to 830 pounds. Add other stuff that's necessary or desirable (rudder, running rigging, anchor and other safety equipment, spinnaker pole) and you're over 850 pounds.

Flying Scot #1087

Old sails have a big effect on boat speed as does excess weight, particularly in light air. If you want to be competitive, fast racing sails are mandatory.

Also - a good, well sailed Windmill is a very fast dinghy. I don't remember how much a Windmill weighs exactly, but it is significantly lighter than a Scot. This is the reason one doesn't see too many Windmills anymore. They didn't hold up.

Hi, guys

The FSSA handbook should have been the first place I checked, rather than the last! I think I'll weigh just the trailer before taking #690 out of the water this weekend, then next Spring, weigh it without the centerboard. When we first began fixing it my son drilled a lot of holes in the floor and we found wetness. We let it dry for a while and then injected epoxy and pressed it down with cement blocks 'til it hardened. This stiffened it up a lot and I hope it hasn't absorbed more water. I'm more than a quarter of a century older than my old Scot and the prospect of recoring is more than I want to deal with.

Even for local club racing, getting better sails would no doubt make a big difference. It seems that sailmakers are producing a lot of them, yet decent, reasonably priced used sails just don't show up in the "Items for sale" section of this forum.

In my original post I stated that "there aren't any other Scots on our lake, not really." Well, that's not entirely true. They're there, just not really. They can't be counted on to show up at the starting line on Sunday. I actually started a Scot fleet (#196) this past season, but it's got to be the sorriest fleet in the FSSA. Our club's small Windmill fleet noticed this and kindly allowed me to race with them for the Fall series. I'm hoping next season to better represent our class.



Having just replaced the floor in my scot, be very careful about the epoxy repair. My scot had that repair work done.

Since wet balsa acts like a sponge, by injecting the epoxy and pressing down, moisture may actually travel further up towards the bow since I am pretty sure it is not completely dried out by drilling holes. In addition, the foam can actually cause delamination to happen as it separates the glass from the wood.

When I did repair the floor, The softness had expanded twice as far up the length of the centerboard as it appeared when the repair was done.

RandyR's picture

According to the wind adjusted Portsmouth Numbers the Scott should be a little faster in lighter air.

************* CODE 0-1 2-3 4 5-9
Flying Scot FSCT 89.6 92.1 90.4 89.1 87.5
Windmill WM 89.5 92.9 91.4 88.3 86.2

It's not until the wind gets above Beaufort Scale 5 (above 17 knots) that the Scott gets time from the Windmill.


Hi, guys

One of the reasons our club's Windmill sailors invited the Scots to race with them is that our Portsmouth numbers are so close. As Randy pointed out, our boats are actually supposed to be a bit faster than theirs in light air. That makes my inability to close on them all the more frustrating.

Another reason they invited us is that they sometimes have trouble with numbers too, so they could relate. They expected our fleet to bring three or four boats every Sunday, not just me. Next year things should be a lot better.

Incidentally, one of the Windmill sailors is really good. When there aren't enough Windmills, he races the Lightnings. Although his finishes don't count, he usually beats all of them!


Good light air performance has been an elusive goal for me too. From what I gather at my club the good light air performers all have full mainsails such as the reular North sails. However these other factors are also very impotant
- Do not Pinch, that is sail too close to the wind. In light air the Scot will die if you try to sail as close to the wind as if you were sailing in say 10 Knots of wind.You need to keep the boat moving. Footing, sailing just a bit away from the wind will allow the boat to go faster and to self generate some relative wind.
- Do not drag the transom!!! Keep weight well forward with the skipper sitting forward of the aft end of the CB trunk. A submerged transom has drag due to the vertical surface and adds the wetted surface due to the flat bottom of the boat. Immersing the bow adds far less wetted surface.
- Sails should be set to get the maximum draft, no watter what the sail maker. On the main the outhaul is let off 2 or 3 inches
- Smmoth hull, especially the forward 1/3 of the hull and the centerboard.
- Downwind you must pull the centerboard up nearly all the way. You must not sail directly downwind, A shallow zig zag course is best and the amount of deviation from the direct downwind course is usually determined by the feel of the boat. As ssso as you slow down you are sailing too close to the direct downwind course. It is better to sit even further forward on the downwind than upwind and get the transom out of the water.
- Minimal rudder movement.
- A good masthead wind feather.
- The less weight the better but all of the above things are a must. The scot fleet spreads out the most on a light air day so sailing in light air is partly an art.