Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and their answers

by John Papadopoulos

Q: What is the minimum racing weight for a Lido 14?

A:  The minimum weight for the boat and equipment is 310 pounds.  This includes the hull, complete rudder system, complete centerboard system, complete mast and boom systems, all running and standing rigging, and any permanently installed equipment.  Permanently installed equipment generally includes any items that can only be removed using tools (wrenches, screw drivers, etc.) though may include items that have been installed using knotted ropes, etc.  For example, a bow line that is tied securely to the boat is usually considered to be permanently installed.  Sails, whisker pole, cushions, and any items that are readily removable (clip on compass, for example) are NOT included in this measurement.  Lastly, the boat's weight measurement must be done when the boat and equipment are dry (check inside the boat's flotation areas for water).

Q: What is the minimum weight for crew and skipper?

A: The minimum Class racing weight for crew and skipper (combined) is 300 pounds. This measurement allows for all the gear you will wear while racing so long as you wear all that gear while racing.  Technically, the Racing Rules of Sailing permit you to measure in with wet clothing (up to certain limit of added water weight) however if your clothing dries out during sailing and your weight falls below the 300 pound minimum, you would be illegal.  Thus, it is highly recommended that crew and skipper weigh in with dry clothing that they will wear for certain at all times (hiking boots, PFD, etc.).

This crew/skipper weight is independent of the 310 pound weight requirement for the boat. In other words, if you and your crew weighed 290 pounds, you would have to carry 10 pound irrespective or your boat's weight - even if your boat weighs 10 pounds more than the 320 pound minimum!

Q: How sensitive is the Lido 14 to weight of the crew?

A: Here's a statistical look at the issue.  The 2001 Class Championship crew weights were measured as part of registration.  It's the one time of the year when a consistent measurement can be made.  The minimum (unhandicapped) weight was 270.5#.  The average was 332.12#  The maximum was 453.5#.  The following is the distribution of crews at a given racing weight (including required crew handicap weight).

300-309#: 15 (of which 7 weighed in at 300#...most with handicap weights)
310-319#: 5
320-329#: 2
330-339#: 5
340-349#: 3
350-359#: 3
360-369#: 2
370-379#: 4
380-389#: 1
390-399#: 0
400-499#: 2

Q: Can I race solo/single handed?

A:  Class rules require a minimum of 2 people on board.  There is no maximum.

Q: Is there a manual or diagram showing how to rig the Lido 14?

A:  Sort of.  The W.D. Schock Corp. product manual for the Lido 14 shows some of the rigging.  If you have questions concerning rigging, please feel free to send them to Webmaster John Papadopoulos ( and we'll help you out.

Q: Where can I get spare parts for my Lido 14?

A: Many Classic Lido 14 parts and all 6000 series parts are available thru W.D. Schock Corp. or its dealers.  You might try your luck at used boat parts stores too.

Q: What should I look for in a used Lido 14?

A: Read the detailed information in the "Lido Bits and Pieces" article found on this website.

Q: Where is the hull/serial number of my Lido 14?

A: For boats built since the early 1970's, the serial number of the hull is embedded into the gel coat on the transom (usually upper right hand side).  The code is of the form WDSHXXXXYYYY where XXXX is the serial number and YYYY is a date code.  For boats built prior to this coding, the serial number was written in black ink or paint (using about 2" high numbers) on the cockpit side of the transom below the tiller opening.  This was then covered with the fiberglass on the transom which, in turn, was painted.  A mask was placed over the number so that the paint didn't cover the fiberglass.  This made a window of sorts thru which the serial number could be read.  Most boats of this age have either been repainted or the fiberglass has oxidized and become opaque.  In either case, the only way to prove the hull number is to remove the paint and perhaps the fiberglass.

Q: The Lido 14 seems to be sailed with a really loose rig.  Is this normal and why?

A: It is normal for racers because it maximizes performance.  Briefly, the Class rules require that the jib sheet pass outside of the shrouds.  When sailing upwind, the leeward shroud prevents the jib from being sheeted in all the way.  By loosening up the rigging, the leeward shroud sags and allows the jib sheet to come inboard more, thus trimming the jib in tighter.  In addition, the loose rigging style allows the mast to pitch forward when sailing downwind.  As is the case in many different types of boats, allowing the mast to lean forward makes the boat go faster downwind.  If you never intend to race, it is safer to sail with rigging tight enough to keep the mast from pitching fore/aft, especially if you sail in heavier winds.

Q: How often should I check and replace my standing rigging (forestay & shrouds)?

A: Racers use the rule of thumb of replacing their standing rigging about every 18 months.  Inspect the fittings at least every 6 months for signs of excessive rusting, broken strands, severe kinks and bends.  If in doubt, replace  them.  The rigging fittings tend to fail because the junction between the wire and the end fittings is excessively stressed every time the mast pitches.  Vibrations while trailering also fatigue this junction.  In one design classes where the boat is subject to more intense conditions than a Lido 14, it is common to remove the rigging from the mast or securely tape the rigging to the mast when trailering.  Lido 14s are usually rigged with the standing rigging bolted in place so we tend not to remove it for our road journeys.  Whether or not you remove the rigging, play it safe and inspect them often and replace them on a regular basis.

Q: I have an old Lido 14 with a badly faded hull and deck.  I'm thinking of painting it.  What do you recommend?

A: A purist answer is to never paint over the original gel coat but to bring it back to its original luster by polishing/buffing.  Evercoat Marine's "Boat Armor Heavy Duty Fiberglass Rubbing Compound" will do miracles in these situations and there isn't any follow up maintenance as there would be with paint.  If you really feel that painting is your best option, a professionally applied Linear Polyurethane (LP) paint job is probably the best route to go.

Q: My trailer has left indentations on my hull.  What should I do?

A: Often times, flipping the boat upside down and baking the hull in the sun will help pop some of these indentations out.  Regardless, you should consider revamping your trailer so that the bunks go athwartships (side to side) and are shaped to the curvature of the hull to spread the load more evenly.

Q: My hull has little bumps like a rash.  What are these and what should I do?

A: Your boat has the case of the blisters.  Blisters form when water, through osmosis, migrates through the gel coat into the fiberglass of the hull.  The water collects and creates a blister of water and dissolved resin.  Once a blister has formed, all you can really do is dig it out, let it dry, and patch it.  As most marine blister repair manuals will tell you, there is no permanent fix to the problem - blisters tend to come back.  Once repaired, you want to focus on why water was trapped against the hull long enough for this osmosis to happen.  If you leave your boat in the water for long periods, your only choice will be to put a water barrier coating on the hull.  If you store you Lido 14 on a trailer and have blisters, they are probably right where the trailer bunks touch the hull.  In this case, the solution is to change your bunks (or the padding on them) to allow more air to pass between the hull and bunk so it dries nicely after each sail.  Note that virgin gel coat has a very smooth outer layer which has an increased resistance to water migration.  Sanding and buffing new gel coat takes away the surface layer of gel coat which exposes a more porous inner layer.  Thus, once a boat has been sanded, you have to worry about blister formation and accumulation of other gunk that would naturally have been repelled by the virgin gel coat.

Q: How should I prepare my hull to achieve maximum performance?

A: First note that in August of 2001, the Lido 14 Class Association abolished Bylaw XIII.8 which prohibited use of friction reducing compounds on the wetted surface of the hull - thus opening the door to new methods of improving performance.  The primary means of improving a hull's performance is thru the reduction of friction.  Hull friction arises from many different sources: the bulk shape of the hull, the smoothness (or lack thereof) of the hull surface, and most importantly, the amount of water in contact with the hull.  The last item is by far the easiest to deal with.  If you have a heavy boat or heavy crew or you simply carry excess cargo, all that extra weight pushes the hull deeper into the water, creating additional wetted surface and friction.  Thus the Association's rules for weight of the boat and weight of the crew.  How you cant the hull (forward and aft, and to the sides) will greatly change the shape of the hull and its total friction too.  Assuming you've already reduced weight and are sailing your boat well "trimmed", the remaining task is to deal with the hull itself.

Assuming there are no "gross" imperfections in your hull (eg. cracks and scratches), an ultra smooth finish to your gel coat is the most important step in reducing friction.  It is now possible to purchase products that will further reduce the hull's friction with water - if only for a short while.  How and how well these products perform is still a bit of a mystery.  Because many "wax" and "polish" products lose their effectiveness - some as quickly as a few days, others supposedly as long as a year, the worn out product becomes a liability in that it may actually contribute to the hull picking up gunk - making your hull slower in the process.  So the key decision point on adding any material to your hull will be how frequently you have to repeat the process.  For the vast majority of Lido 14 owners, the though of "waxing" the boat regularly is rather depressing.  So plan your decision based on how much time and effort you really want to spend as there are virtually no quick and simple solutions.  Having said that, here are a few goals and tips.  In no particular order, the goals are to: ensure that the hull has a very "fair" shape - meaning no hills and valleys, ensure that the hull is very smooth, and to ensure that the hull remains clean of "dirt" or gunk.

Fairing a hull is a traditional process in the world of boating and involves lots of sand paper, small amounts of fairing compound, and extraordinary amounts of labor.  By the time you are done, you hull will probably look horrible (with pocks of fairing compound) but you'll have some satisfaction in knowing that the hull shape is (tentatively) beautiful.  Whether or not this improved shape contributes to improved performance of the very low performance Lido 14 is a very big unknown.  The final sanding would be done with at least 600 grit sand paper.

Making the gelcoat extremely smooth is a matter of either ultra fine sand paper or adding a wax or polish.  Again, a very labor intensive process though it's getting increasingly easier thru modern technology with wipe and go types of products.

Perhaps the area of greatest concern to most Lido 14 owners is simply keeping the hull clean and free of gunk.  As gelcoat is porous, it absorbs gunk which will often show up as a brownish stain.  You can remove this gunk with various fiberglass and gelcoat cleaners but it will often return instantly.  The only way to prevent this from happening is to seal up the gelcoat.  Waxes and many polishing compounds with special additives do just that.  The range of products that purport to perform well is increasing yearly so we can only suggest that you start asking for recommendations as yesterday's favorite is today's has-been product.  In the past, polishing compounds with Teflon (or PTFE) additives were preferred.

Having said all this, it may be your best bet to just leave your boat alone and just keep the hull clean with acetone, soap, and water.  If your Lido 14 hull is new and has never been sanded or buffed, the original gel coat surface is sufficiently smooth and has a gunk barrier effect to it from wax used in the manufacturing process.  Simply keep it clean with detergent and solvents such as acetone.  If your hull has been sanded or buffed, the gunk barrier is gone.  Keep it clean as mentioned before and occasionally buff it to a highly polished (mirror like) sheen using a buffing compound that leaves little or no residue.  Clean off all buffing residue using acetone or similar solvents so that only original gel coat is present.

On a more theoretical note, for decades minimum drag was considered to exist only when the surface was hydrodynamically smooth. A surface was hydrodynamically smooth when the surface roughness is small in relation to the thin boundary layer formed adjacent to the hull.  This layer ranges in thickness as a function of speed through the water however on a Lido 14 it will be in the neighborhood of 2 thousandths of an inch.  A human hair is about 3 thousandths of an inch thick.  In some cases, friction reducing products are changing the nature of the flow of water at a microscopic level - producing results not predicted by the classical friction models.  [References: "Aero-Hydrodynamics of Sailing" by C.A. Marchaj, "Theory of Wing Sections" by Abbott and Doenhoff, "High Performance Sailing" by Frank Bethwaite].