How far down should you set your MC Scow boards for the full down position? We see a range of practices.
- Some boats show 2″ or more of board horn above the deck in all conditions. This reduces your pointing ability for upwind sailing, unless the breeze is heavy.
- Other sailors try to adjust the down position so that the board is vertical in the water.
The North Sails MC tuning guide says the following for 0-8 mph: “Be sure that your leeward board is all the way down so that the head of the board is flush with the deck. On the new style under-deck board configuration the boards will come from the Melges Factory at the full down position.”
If you have the MC style with the under-deck boards (not visible from the deck), you can check this by measuring the gap between the leading edge of the board and the front of the board slot. According to Andy Burdick, the gap should be about 1/2.” See the photo below.
The full-down position described in the tuning guide is best for light to medium air (0-8 mph). With the boards up higher, you lose pointing ability. Note that this full-down position is swept back a few degrees from vertical. Lowering the boards further to get them vertical is unnecessary for pointing and risks damaging the fiberglass board well if you pull the boards down too hard.
For heavier air, pull the boards up 1-2″. See our post Setting Leeboard Height to Reduce Windward Helm.
Here’s a photo of the full down position showing the gap at the board well.