Solution Sailing Scow

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by TheJoe, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. TheJoe
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Owensboro, KY

    TheJoe New Member

    Hi, I am interested in learning to sail. I found plans online (I think they came from a 1951 issue of popular mechanics) for the "Solution" a sailing scow.

    Here's a link to the plans:

    I've looked at a lot of plans and this one looks like a really quick and simple build. I want something very stable and would prefer large deck space to lay out on etc. I will using it primarily on the Ohio River, (which can often see 6" chop and 1-2' boat wake), and a 5,000 ace lake nearby with similar conditions.

    What do you guys think? Have any other recommendations?

    Will building this boat primarily out of pine drastically effect it's performance?

  2. peterAustralia
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Melbourne Australia

    peterAustralia Senior Member


    cant you find something a little better. I mean simple to build yes, but ugly as hell. I am sure there is a similar skiff out there with a narrower bow,

    cant you find something fro sale second hand on ebay?
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'd have to agree with Peter and suggest there are many other designs better suited for you that actually look good too. You don't want to on the Ohio in that thing, trust me.

    Since you are interested in learning about sailing, I'd strongly recommend you go down to the local sailing club and ask to "crew" for some one. They're always looking for extra bodies and you'll learn a lot, very quickly.

    Once convinced you can't live without this sailing thing, find a well used old boat in the paper. This is the fastest and cheapest way to get sailing in your own boat. You may learn you don't like this nearly as much as you thought and you can resell your boat.

    Building should be reserved for those truly disease laden individuals that just can't get away from it and haven't the courage to commit suicide. Most of this type are just into pain, often seen flogging themselves in and about boats, in various states of construction or disrepair. In different times these folks would have been "dunked" until they repented or the demons where driven wholly from them.

    Log onto,,, or do general searches for boat plans. There are literally thousands of designs to choose from.
  4. TheJoe
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Owensboro, KY

    TheJoe New Member

    No sailing clubs around here, there's only one sailboat at the local marina, and I've never seen it out of its slip. There is a guy working on a 25-30 footer in his yard close by, I probably should shout at him sometime.

    I kinda like the way it looks. Like I mentioned, the deck space is really appealing to me, and I really didn't want a double digit percentage of my budget to be spent on plans.

    I am an avid powerboater, and just wanted something small to learn with and relax on when the weather is fair and the boat traffic is low in the spring and fall.

    I'm sure you're right about getting an old used boat.
  5. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    I don't think it's all that ugly either, and it would be fast. But, plans won't cost much in relation to materials, sails etc. And I get the feeling with all the enclosed nooks and crannies in that boat, the thing would rot out fairly soon. Buying used is usually the cheapest way to go, even if it involves a little traveling, a day trip of sorts.
  6. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Iowa

    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Ya just had to drag me into this didn't ya Paul?...but I suppose you did... seeing as I am also building a box boat (we all know how you love those ;) ).

    Joe...I think it looks fine altho there are a butt load of internals on that which look a might heavy and as SamSam says are good places for water to hide. Make sure you put a sealed hatch or two in the deck so you can inspect and blot if necessary. Cheap is a relative term...this-un will run you about $1000-1500 to build and fit out close to properly. You could get a pretty nice used one for that kind of dinero and you won't have 100+ hours into building it and the resale value will be about the same as you paid for might even get a trailer to go with it. That 16 footer isn't gonna fit in the bed of your pickup.

    I see you aren't very far from Benton Ill (150 miles according to MapQuest). That is where the Midwest Messabout happens... on Rend lake, second weekend of June. You should come by. You can go out on a bunch of boats and try a few yourself. Jim Michalak hosts it and has a bunch of inexpensive boats that might interest you. His plans are cheap and there are plenty of builds out there to say that they are mostly proven. Duckworks Magazine sells the plans for him. You can meet him yourself if you stop by. It is an annual thing for me so I'll be there barring major catastrophy. I am bringing my Son and Daughter this time around (19 and 21 respectively) and will definitely be bringing my scow, and very hopefully my son's boat (Still in the sheet PW stage waiting on room to start). The camping spots are very nice and can be reserved 6 months ahead of time. Best to get a reservation early although there are usually folks who share sites. You are allowed up to two vehicles at each site, along with 2 tents or 1 tent 1 camper.


    PS: This build is like # 13 or 14 for me...I kinda lost count. I have 2 other hulls in partial build state Paul's statement REALLY DOES apply to me! I self flatulate all the time...especially with a couple of beers in me ;)
  7. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    i was so lucky to have a frend in ohio with a scow like that on top of a big old buicks to borrow
    actually that small scow was not all that ugly and sailed quit well on the lakes around Akron
    most lakes there are not for motorboats so whats comes powering up, a police motorboat
    if i had a live vest, anchor, fresh water and a help flag, only had the live vest
    no fine and never got me a help flag, kept sailing fast and had a great time
    long ago and not in indiana so i'm sorry i cant help but do start sailing
  8. narwhal
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: Nashville, TN

    narwhal Junior Member

    I agree with PAR about finding a used sailboat to learn on, and suggest you look on craigslist and ebay as well as local and nearby newspapers.

  9. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Par; I cracked up while reading your post about disease laden folks. :D :D

    All of we smitten may be our own worst enemies but we enjoy our misery quite well.

    Joe; This is not the scow you want. I do not find it particularly ugly but it is going to be heavy and slow in light air. An experienced sailor could have some real fun with it if kept light. No! Do not use pine ply. It is beastly heavy and is crawling with core voids. You can use pine for framing but that would be a compromise. Your best plan is to get some seat time in someone elses boat as suggested by others here. Do not overlook the rather signifigant cost of decent sails and hardware. That cost alone is sufficient motive for considering a used boat. Go to the Midwest messabout or one of the numerous similar events spread around the country, for sure. The next one I know of is in Saint Michaels Maryland. November 7th I think. You will meet all kinds of good people at these events and get to sail with them. Before building a boat, it is more than worth the cost of going to such an event even if it involves plane fare and accommodation cost. You will save money and disappointment in the long run.
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