Buying a Scot new or used

I have just come back to racing Scot's in Georgian Bay Ontario (fresh water) and would like to purchase a fast Scot.I would like to buy used but am worried that I will be taken.We do not use spinakers. Should I bit the bullet and buy new or how would I go about finding a fast boat.

Obviously, you can't go wrong buying a new boat if that fits your budget. One of the great things about a Flying Scot is that the boats are all really even in terms of performance. If you are buying a boat that has been well cared for, and is above boat 4000 or so, you can race and continue to improve for a long time before the boat will hold you back. If you choose a boat above 5000, the boat has less miles on it normally, and thus less wear and tear.

If you think that the spinnaker is not in your future a "family rigged" boat saves some money and I have seen them sell at really reasonable prices on the caveat emptor page of this site. Beware though, once you fly one, the spinnaker will be calling on a regular basis.

I have seen newer boats that look worn, and I have seen boats in the 3000's that look brand new. Soft balsa, from water freezing in the boat is a big project, and difficult to fix with the stiffness of new, without adding weight. Steer clear of boats that you are not sure have never been frozen with water in the cockpit floor. Other than that, a Scot is pretty hard to kill.

If you buy a new one from Harry, you could get a number above 6000, and obviously those are the nicest. You can pick a custom color, get it rigged just as you like, and the smell of new fiberglass in a new boat is quite alluring. We have three new boats in our fleet this year, and when the covers come off, the smell of fresh fiberglass in the morning...

Also new sails matter. Crisp and new is fast. A new boat includes new sails. In many other classes the builder doesn't bundle the sails.

Another consideration is that if you buy a used Scot, it is very likely that you can resell it in a few years for about what you payed for it. You basically can sail it for free.

On a new boat, that probably applies to the boat, with trailer, but if you buy a ton of accessories, and you decide to resell, the covers and stuff will be a package with the value of the boat in most cases. Good covers do preserve the finish (value) of the boat, and save you a lot of time on cleaning. (definitely worth having)

If you have a local fleet, they will usually know of boats around for sale. If not, check the caveat page link of the home page of this site.

Welcome back to Scots!

Phil Scheetz
FS 4086

Thank you for getting back to me. I think I will buy new. When is the best time to buy. I don't think I will be racing until next year. Also my wife is very keen but very green and I have 10 year old twins. Is there a "B" fleet at the regattas where we can learn as a family and not get in the way of the serios racers until we catch on.


I would call Harry on the timing question. He usually has a modest price increase at about the rate of inflation in about January of each year. If he has boats around, ready to go, then no time is like the present. That would let you get some time in the boat before fall, and have something to study over the winter.

Greg Fisher from North has a great book on racing, that is targeted at boats like the Scot. Lot's of great tips in it.

Most fleets have a wide range of abilities and are very welcoming to newer racers. US Sailing has a guide that is targeted at learning the racing rules. Don't worry about the hotshots, they know how to steer. If they protest you, sail your circles and ask them later what you could have done better. Most fleets are glad to help you learn the rules and improve your speed.

In our fleet, we sometimes have the experienced skippers crew a day or two for newer skippers. We normally race three races, so you get lots of information. Just sailing with someone who has setup the boat to go fast will help.

At large events, there is usually a championship and challenger (B fleet) division. Both fleets have good competition. At the Wife Husband Championship, there is also a No Spinnaker division.

Have fun,

Phil Scheetz
FS 4086