extra boat flotation

I am new to the sport of sailing. My experience is limited to a class last summer and crewing with people at hoover sailing club while I was trying to deterime which type of boat to purchase. I have recently purchased a flying scot and hope to have it ready once the season begins. One of my main concerns at the moment is flotation. The boat I bought does not have the bow flotation bag nor the mainsail flotation. While I do not plan to capsize the boat, I do realize that my lack of experience could lead to this unfortunate result. Therefore my question is, should I add one or both of these additional floation devices to the boat? There are rescue boats at hoover during club races, however, I do want to tax these kind folks too much.

Comments

There is a concern with all sailboats that capsizing should be a

There is a concern with all sailboats that capsizing should be avoided. On the good side, the Scot is very stable an forgiving. However, it will go over and always in the worst of conditions. I only cruise my Scot, so I elected to get the mast flotation. I only use it when I'm crusing on the ocean and I have inexperienced crew on board. It is nice to have and gives a certain feeling of security. Obviously the boat will still go over with the floatation but it won't turtle. If you have the mast flotation you don't need the bow flotation. You may be seen as a weeny by the racing crowd until they have their mast stuck in the bottom.

I second the need for the mast flotation.

I second the need for the mast flotation. I sail on the Texas coast in an open bay. Lots of wind! I once managed to turtle a Sunfish here and it is not an experience that I want to repeat. The mast flotation is nice insurance for your peace of mind. Bill FS 1587

How much different is boat handling and the sail trim with the m

How much different is boat handling and the sail trim with the mainsail flotation? I would love to see some close-up pictures that show how it's made and used. Anybody know why that kind of flotation is being used instead of a buoy similar to the hobie cats? ([url="http://www.hobiecatcentre.co.uk/Accessories/MastHeadFlotation.jpg"]Image example of hobie cat mast head flotation[/url]) If I'm correct the mast head float on the hobies can rotate (at least with some versions) to reduce wind resistance.
Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

Here is a photo of the Flying Scot Inc.

Here is a photo of the Flying Scot Inc. mainsail flotation. You can see that it fits over the head of the main as you raise the sail. This makes it easy to add or remove the flotation, depending on the sailing conditions. [url]http://flyingscot.com/images/MainsailFlotation-cp.jpg[/url] Hank - FS4108

Hank Sykes

All this talk about turtles has me wondering if I need masthead

All this talk about turtles has me wondering if I need masthead flotation. The sail panels look nifty. Does anyone have experience with their use during heavy weather? Thankfully, I've never been knocked down in my Scot (nor during years of Lightning sailing), but my understanding is that turtling is usually the result of wind hitting the bottom of a knocked down boat and continuing the roll. Also, I'm wondering if these panels remain effective once the main is reefed (which would result in the panels hitting the water later and having much less levering effect). In this case, the Hobie blimp might be more effective. Any thoughts???

I think the mast flotation will still work with the main reefed,

I think the mast flotation will still work with the main reefed, if you are talking about the factory installed reefing points. I haven't tried it but the main is only about three feet down the mast when reefed. Still plenty of leverage, I think. Guess I should try it and see, but I have an aversion to tipping a sailboat over even on purpose.

I daysail my Scot, and I've capsized it once (yes, in the worst

I daysail my Scot, and I've capsized it once (yes, in the worst of conditions), and can verify that it's not fun. From that experience, I learned the hard way that the two things you need to do for peace of mind are 1) do your best to avert a capsize, and 2) prepare for the moment when you might. 1. Averting a capsize I haven't tried it, but I'm not a fan of the mainsail float. It puts extra weight and extra sail area exactly where you don't want it, at the top of the mast. Since you'll likely only use it when it's blowing, it's up there at the worst possible time, too. Go with the jiffy reef for the mainsail. It is easy to reef and unreef, and makes the boat enormously easier to handle in a big wind. I use it on moderate days when I'm singlehanded too. Things getting too hairy for you even with a reefed main? Drop the main entirely, detach the boom, drop it all on the floor of the boat, make sure your tiller is free to move, and head for home. Practice doing it quickly. Another thing that will help is to tie off the end of the mainsheet on the first turning block on the boom as opposed to the becket on the rudder block/fitting. This removes 1 part of the mainsheet purchase which although it makes it more difficult to sheet in, also makes it mach faster to let the boom out to "dump" wind in a hurry. I sail all the time with my mainsheet in this configuration. Preparation Don't go out if a front is approaching. Keep an eye on the horizon for dark spots or thunderheads so if you can't get home, you at least have time to prepare. Once you decide to take agressive precautionary action, follw through decisively. Your crew will thank you, even after false alarms. ALWAYS carry a throwable PFD as required by the Coast Guard. When it's windy (and even when it's not), exercise your skipper's perogative and require all aboard to wear their PFD's. Carry a horn or similar noisemaker. Make sure your anchor is rigged and ready to deploy quickly. Carry an extra length of 50 feet of line, neatly coiled and easy to reach, for towing or pulling the bow into the wind. IF you should go over, as quickly as you can, make sure all sheets are uncleated and attempt to climb up over the high side onto the centerboard as quickly as possible. It's very hard to climb onto the board from the water as it is so high. Get your weight out on the far edge of the board as soon as you can. Speed counts. If you have able bodied crew, get them to try to keep the mast tip from submerging. With a little luck, you'll be back on your way in no time.