National Class A Scow Association




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One-Design Class Type: Dinghy

Was this boat built to be sailed by youth or adults? Both

Approximately how many class members do you have? 30

About National Class A Scow Association

The 38 foot Class A Scow was the first scow designed and built by J.O. Johnson of Johnson Boat Works in 1895 in White Bear Lake, Minnesota USA. The boats were originally built of wood, but transitioned to fiberglass hulls in the 1980’s. Carbon fiber spars, foil-shaped rudders and transition to an asymmetrical spinnaker with bow sprit was completed in the late 1990’s.

The boat has dual rudders and dual bilgeboards (no fixed keel) and therefore requires a crew of six or seven to keep her upright in a blow. The A Scow is now built in Zenda, WI by Melges Performance Sailboats – the fastest and largest of the Melges Scow family. With over a century of heritage, delivering a combination of raw power, speed and performance unmatched in one-design sailing the A Scow is a true classic. A full length feature film documentary called “The Ultimate Ride” was released in 2006. Gary Jobson remarked on the class in this article:


Boats Produced: Records are sketchy, but there have been several dozen built over over the past 125 years. There are probably 40-50 active boats with most of them racing at this time.

Class boat builder(s):

Melges Performance Sailboats
P.O. Box 1
N598 Zenda Road
Zenda, Wisconsin 53195

Phone +1 262 275 1110
Fax +1 262 275 8012


Approximately how many boats are in the USA/North America? Almost all the boats are in North America. There are perhaps 3 in Europe and 1 in Australia that we have heard of.

Where is your One-Design class typically sailed in the USA? List regions of the country:

Typically in the upper Midwest of the USA (Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan) but races have been held in the east and in Texas.

Does this class have a spinnaker or gennaker? Yes

Ideal combined weight of range of crew:  1100 – 1500 lbs

Boat Designed in 1895

Beam: 8’3″ (2.515 m)

Weight of rigged boat without sails: 1,850 lbs (839.146 kg)

Draft: ~6′ with bilgeboard fully extended

Mast Height: 40′