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The Flying Scot


pscheetz's picture

By pscheetz - Posted on 14 October 2009

There are many good reasons for the success of the Flying Scot. First, the solid, almost indestructible, construction; the large open and comfortable cockpit, which can easily seat 8 in cruising mode (I have seen more on family holiday weekend sails at the Lake); the great sailing stability from the lead-ballasted centerboard; and the total support that Flying Scot owners get from their local Fleet, the Factory and from the Flying Scot Sailing Association (FSSA). Most Flying Scots are sailed by families in Cruising mode, but there are almost 2000 sailors who race their Flying Scots at the Local, Regional, and National level. The Flying Scot has frequently been used for the US Sailing “Champion of Champion” races and many other US Sailing Championship events.

The Flying Scot is the most popular one-design sailboat at Lake Nockamixon, and the boat celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007!! The local Flying Scot Fleet # 163, celebrated the boat’s 50th Anniversary during its events at the Lake during that year. The celebrations at Lake Nockamixon have continued ever since and the Fleet continues to set new records in participation in local events and in attendance at National and Regional regattas.

When Gordon (Sandy) Douglass designed the Flying Scot in 1957, it was the first production sailboat built from fiberglass with balsa core and aluminum spars. Sandy Douglass had previously designed and built the Thistle and the Highlander (both originally built of wood) and he employed the best features of both of these designs when he optimized the design for the Flying Scot.

Sandy clearly got it right, and the Flying Scot has far outsold his earlier designs. The Flying Scot has been in continuous production for all of those 50+ years, from the same molds, and in the factory near Deep Creek Lake in MD. In fact, the HIN of all Flying Scots begins with the letters “GDB....” out of respect for the original Gordon Douglass Boat Co. Production has exceeded 100 boats for every year since 1957, and 2007 was a record year with the introduction of a “50th Anniversary Edition” Flying Scot with special “Gold” trim. Sales have now surpassed # 6000. Sandy Douglass was not only a great designer and builder of sailboats, he was also a great racing sailor. He was the North American Champion in several different classes including the Flying Scot -- 7 times between 1959 and 1971. Stories of “Sandy” are always heard at Flying Scot Regattas, and there is almost always a bagpiper playing at those events in his honor.

Anyone who would like to experience sailing in a Flying Scot should contact our Fleet Captain, Mike Mandell. Because of their great popularity, Flying Scots have a high resale value and sell very quickly -- Fleet # 163 maintains a list of used boats on the local market. Check out more details of the Flying Scot at the builder, Flying Scot Inc., and the class association, the Flying Scot Sailing Association.