As one of the largest 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.
Instead of a centerboard, the scow has two bilge 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. In order to increase the water
line, and maintain a good planing surface, the bow of the boat is rounded.
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.