Carie, Jason and Stew power 806 to the finish!
Uff-Da! and the OSP

As of spring, there are seven Inland 20 scows at the Washington Sailing Marina.  Ours is a fleet that combines vintage boats with more modern hulls.

The Inland 20 is a great boat for dinghy racing.  With as many as 28  control lines and bilgeboards that are switched on every tack, this boat can be  exhilarating and humbling.  Sailors are rewarded with speeds in excess of 15 knots as befitting  one of the lowest Portsmouth ratings of any two-person sloop (except the foiled skiffs.)  Best of all…used scows can be found for as little as $500 with sails and trailer.

We race with each other Sundays during the regular Potomac River Sailboat Association series in the spring and fall.    PRSA is a great organization and they have been terrifically welcoming as the fleet has taken hold.

If you are interested in hitching a ride in a scow, or maybe even buying one, leave a message below.

The fleet includes:

Stas Burgiel

Stas Burgiel and his children Rilke and Haiku are the latest to join the Potomac I20 fleet.  Stas purchased a 1983 Johnson M20 from Lake Minnetonka, Minn. The boat was converted to an I20 in January 2018 by the  team at Scowsailing.com.  Stas found himself on boats throughout his early childhood — bareboating in the Caribbean, tall ships on the Delaware and tooling around the local reservoir on a Sunfish with his parents. After a few years away from sailing, Stas’  kids provided newfound inspiration with their first sailing experiences.   The I20 immediately captured his attention, compared to other boats available at the marina. “Why go slow when you can go fast?” Stas says.

Jack Sheehan on Day 1

“Scooty Puff is a 1987 Johnson that was obtained from a lake in Oklahoma for just $500. This beautiful boat was lightly used and bears few scratches or dings. It was converted in the winter of 2017 by skipper Jack Sheehan and the conversion team at Scowsailing.com. Jack has been racing I20s for two years and is giving a lot of the skippers a real run for their money! The name “Scooty Puff” is nod to the cult animation classic Futurama.

Rick Loheed races a 1977 Melges known  as Avocado that is kept on St. Mary’s River where Rick is assistant director of waterside activities for the local college. He is also a member of the syndicate that races  the 1983 Johnson known as Uffdah.   Rick’s love affair with scows began in late 1985 when he began racing an M-16 Scow at Lafayette Sailing Club in indiana. Rick has also owned E and MC scows.  Currently he’s trying to get organized dinghy racing in the St. Mary’s River

Tim and Bradon on the OSP
Tim and Bradon on the OSP

The 1996 OSP, as yet unnamed, is our most modern hull. It was converted in 2008 by Windward Boatworks. A carbon fiber mast was installed at that time.  The hull is  from laminated around a Corecell core, making it one of the stiffest on the water.  Skipper Tim Dickson races with a variety of crew. As good as Tim is, watch out for his son Mac Dickson, a red-hot Charleston College  racer. The OSP was acquired from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.


Will Fenn stepped up to a 1985 Johnson converted in the winter of 2017.  One of the lightest of the hulls at the marina (579 lbs. )Will began racing the boat seriously in spring 2018.  Will grew up sailing scows in the Adirondacks. He is a fierce competitor and has raced in the Midwest, including the 2017 Nationals at Lake Wawasee.  Will joined the I20 management team in charge of promotions and marketing.  

The 1984 Johnson known as Youbetcha Buddy is raced by Stew Harris and his top gun, Karen Currie.  This boat carries a light and flexible Allen spar fitted with a fixed forestay. The boat was converted by Scowsailing.com and is light at just 616 pounds. Harris can only be described as snakebitten, with  race day performance that never seems to match his enthusiasm for the pins. 

Going over? Nope!

“Uff-Da!” was made by Johnson Boat Works in White Bear,  Minnesota way back in 1983.  This is a stiff boat with Corecell laminate and lots of tweaks to running rigging.  It carries a Melges spar and was converted to an Inland 20 by Windward Boatworks in Wisconsin back in 2009.  The Boat is raced by a syndicate of sailors that includes Rick Loheed, Rob Gosselink, Chris Stinson.

Drop the Chalupa!
Drop the Chalupa!

“Chalupa” is a 16-foot M Scow made by Johnson Boat Works in 1974.  The M Scow is considered “The People’s Scow” because it was so much less expensive when built, and still enjoys popularity in the Midwest and southern New Jersey, where they are regularly raced as a “club boat.”  This particular boat has been upgraded repeatedly and is now in prime racing form.  It is a lot of fun in a blow; it can feel as though the boat is skipping across the chop.  In fact, that is what the 450 lbs. racing scow does. Without at spinnaker, the M Scow is easily handled by an adult and child.  Skipper Ed Ryan is planning to campaign the boat in 2018.

“Barnstormer” is a 1974 Melges M20 converted in 2014 by Scowsailing.com to carry the asymmetrical spinnaker that distinguishes the Inland 20.  This boat is a timepiece and sat unused in a Wisconsin barn for  at least 20 years.  Barnstormer still has its original Proctor spar, a beautiful, supple mast that the afficionados consider best in class.  The boat, trailer and sails were acquired from Wisconsin for $500.


One thought on “Fleet”

  1. Question for Stew Harris: Where did you come up with the name “Uff Da!” ? I bought an old wooden M-16 Scow in Lafayette, IN some 30 years ago that had an old wooden stern plate with the same name. I still have the boat. I am restoring it one more time.

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