General update from UK. As Andy P says, the weather this year has not been kind - gales and no wind, so I have not been able to sail the Phil Morrison designed Scarlett O'Hara as much as I had hoped. For various reasons, the only time the 3 new rule ICs in the UK (Tin Tear Drop, Monkey and Scarlett O'Hara) sailed together was at the Weston Open in May and the wind was so shifty that it was hard to come to any conclusion about the merits of the various designs – it certainly demonstrated we needed more practice. It has also limited the chance for others to have a sail, but the those who have come ashore with a big smile on their face.
The performance of the new boat is amazing. It is much faster, especially up wind and on reaches. I have sailed against Nethercots in a variety of conditions and the boat is much quicker, the more so as the wind increases. In handicap races ICs previously lost out big time on beam reaches to 3 sail reaching Fireballs etc, but now I can overtake them. I have also overtaken a reasonably well sailed 49er on a tight spinnaker reach. With the seat far forward, it knives along a bit like a catamaran, but as soon as you pull the seat back offwind it fizzes along a bit like a windsurfer – no water plumes in either mode! When the bow goes into the back of a wave, rather than decelerating like a Nethercot, it slices through it and pops out. Overall Scarlett is very well mannered, though much less stable than a Nethercot - the funniest experience of the year was waiting for a race to start after a flat calm had set in - having capsized the boat (don't ask why) it proved almost impossible to get back on board after righting it. I ended up having to go over the stern with the bow sticking up about 4 feet in the air.
The one thing most people have questioned is the dished dance floor and the higher sides of the boat and whether this makes it harder to sail. I haven't noticed any greater difficulty when tacking, gybing and generally sailing, but it does make getting back into the boat after a capsize a bit harder – glad to say I've found this less of an issue as with more time on the water I am managing to stay upright.
I have the same rig as previously - Superspar 55 diameter/2mm wall mast and Orange(Lester Noble) sails but I decided to go deck stepped to save some weight. Adding lowers was a big improvement as before the mast panted somewhat alarmingly when going over waves. The non self-tacking jib, saves weight and gives the option to back the jib to help the boat through a tack in a big sea. For that reason alone I do not think I would go for a una rig – I have never had any trouble tacking the boat. Perhaps the biggest challenge is when the wind dies upwind or on a reach – you need to get inboard to prevent a windward capsize!
I still need to tweak the rig a bit more (I'm a bit underpowered) but there is nothing else I would change for the moment.
I'll try to work out how to upload a few photos – any advice greatly appreciated.