As one of the largest sailing fleets in North America, the Melges MC Scow is a true Melges original. Designed, engineered and built by Harry C. Melges Sr. and Buddy Melges during the mid-'60s, it continues to be a great day sailor whether sailed single- or double-handed. In 2013, the Melges MC Scow is modern and more performance driven than ever before. It's high quality from bow to stern, featuring a new and improved board system, not to mention stronger, safer and extremely comfortable.
The MC is sailed single-handed most of the time, but a crew member can be added depending upon the skipper's weight and strength of the wind. Skippers range in age from youths to sailors in their 70s. Instead of a centerboard, the scow has two lee boards that extend outward at a slight angle. When the scow heels on its side, the water line is extended and the wetted surface area is greatly reduced. The bow of the boat is rounded in order to increase the water line, and maintain a good planing surface.
When the scow heels, the leeward board is pointing straight down in the water, which adds to the boat's upwind stability and pointing ability. The windward board is then retracted into the hull. The skipper's weight is now farther away from the center of gravity, adding to the boat's balance.
The shape of the hull, combined with a large sail plan, makes for a very fast and stable ride. If you check the handicap ratings, you will find that the MC, despite being only 16' long, can keep pace with many of the larger racing boats. Many people have tried to compare sailing a scow with a catamaran because, if you imagine having two hulls that are close together, you have almost built a scow.