What do I need to know before purchasing used FS?

I have read about tapping the hull to check a balsa core and delamination, but what else do I need to know?

What do I ask before driving 2 to 6 hours to look at a boat?

When I am physically looking at it what do I check?

What problems do I need to avoid?

If the sails are the same age is a 40 year old hull the same as a 20 yo?

That is a great guide. You can also ask easy questions regarding what gear is included. Sails, covers, a spinnaker pole, compass, motor (if desired) can add up pretty quickly. Ask if the boat has all it's lines and rigging. Ask about whether the boat has been painted above the waterline. Bottom paint can be good or a negative, depending on where you live and whether you will store the boat in the water or on the trailer. If painted above the waterline, it may have had lots of repair and or something else prompted the painting.

A slightly dull, but unpainted gelcoat can be buffed back into a pretty nice finish. My boat was pretty dirty and chalked gelcoat when I got it. The beginning is at:


It cleaned up well, over time, and is now the same boat that is in the North Sails ad in the current Scots and Water. I have spent some money and a good bit of time and elbow grease.

Here is a recent photo from the Avalon Cup. (All rights to the photographer)


Welcome to the Flying Scot!

Phil Scheetz
FS 4086

What I missed when I bought my boat was checking the mahogany stanchion. Check to see if the small horizontal piece is rotting. If it is, there may be some damage to the larger vertical support pieces. Harry Carpenter at Flying Scot, Inc sells a nice replacement stanchion. It is not too expensive and can be replaced - but you should know what you are getting to. Good luck!

Peter Kowalski
FS 3754
Decatur, GA