Scow Scoop

Lisa KreischerFleet News, Hoover Sailing Club, Leadline

How to Right an MC Scow

As members, we all are asked to serve on Race Committee and occasionally when the wind hits just right (or wrong) we may have to help a sailor who has capsized.  It’s a normal part of sailing.   Here are some basic guidelines followed by a video on the specific specific details on righting an MC Scow.

Basic Guidelines for Assisting a Capsized Sailor
  1. Always approach the sailor and sailboat from the leeward side, never from windward.
  2. First ask if the sailor is OK!
  3. Next ask the sailor if he/she wants/needs help.  Don’t assume, because if you touch the boat, the sailor is required to retire from that race.   Also, many folks know how to right their boat without assistance and prefer to do it themselves.
  4. Have them make sure the mainsheet is uncleated and the vang released.
  5. Never leave the scene until the boat is up and the sailor is safely underway again.
  6. If the sailor is in trouble, rescue them first and leave the boat for later. Boats can be replaced.  

One option to consider when righting any boat, but especially an MC, is to do a “Mast Tip” recovery.  Position the boat pointing into the wind and the sailor/crew between the boom and hull holding onto the hiking straps inside the boat. Then, the safety boat grabs the tip of the mast and walks it up. This way it scoops the sailor/crew into the boat as the boat comes upright, ready to get back to the sailing.  Of course, if you perform a mast tip recovery, they must retire for breaking RRS 41.

We’ve had some gusty winds this spring and two MCs have gone over. MCs are a unique boat and require some special instructions for righting. Ted Thomas (MC 1541) shared the video below on righting an MC. I encourage you to watch it, in the event you might have to rescue one of our MC fleet members.

Thanks to Al Haeger (MC2748 @ Lake Belle Yacht Club) at for this video.

Our very own John Church (Thistle 3946) thought it was important to know how, so he did the research and wrote a very detailed article. If you would like a copy please send your request to