The I-20 Class History

The I-20 is the newest of the scow classes created in 1998, and is an update of a 1960s model, the M-20, designed and built by Buddy Melges. The new spinnaker design and bowsprit bring new downwind speed and ease of handling (by removing the traditional spinnaker pole) but, as shown, the design lifts the bow out of the water for better rides, easier handling and safer sailing. The affordable boat cost and operating costs are huge benefits of the class as well, older boats stay competitive and resale value is excellent. It is one of the few boats in the sailing community that offers so much technology at a great price.


So while the boat is a speed demon downwind, at the same time it is very manageable and under control, even for a small crew. These are some of the reasons why the Inland 20 Scow was a candidate for Sailing World 2000 Boat of the Year.


The Inland 20 Scow is a U.S. Sailing recognized one-design class, and participates in the Inland Lake Yachting Association. In 2001, the ILYA Board of Directors unanimously voted to adopt the I-20 Scow scantlings. The National Inland 20 Scow Sailing Association is responsible for administration of the class association and promoting the boat, but the ILYA and its 100-plus years of scow experience is in charge of the boat scantlings. The NISSA promotes excellent racing at a number of different regattas throughout the season, but our emphasis is on having fun as well as sailing fast.


The I-20 Scow was designed and is built by Windward Boatworks of  Princeton, Wisconsin. Other builders include Willie Crear Boatbuilders of Howard Lake Minnesota. North Sails works closely with our builders and sailors to constantly improve sail performance and to evolve the sail shapes to stay current with modern technology.

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