The Shaw 650 is set up so all controls are easily within reach sailing 3 or 4 crew. While underway, simplicity in all systems means no traveler, no complex kite retrieval systems and few things to go wrong.
The boat rewards constant trimming and ability to keep the boat fairly flat, although compared to a dinghy or high performance boat, the boat is extremely forgiving, merely rewarding with stronger perfomance, rather than any nasty habits.
Raising and lowering the rig is easy, since the mast is full carbon and quite light and 8.75m in length; two methods prevail; either lifting the mast vertically then passing it to someone who holds onto the mast step while a second person attaches the stays; or one person walking the mast upright from the stern forward, with another person holding the base onto the mast step. A quick team can have the mast raised and tuned within less than 5 minutes. Most of the boats choose to leave their rigs up, and simply take 10 turns off the turnbuckles then flick a cover on.
Trailering the boat is also fairly easy, since the weight of the Shaw means that the boat can easily be pulling onto the trailer; in addition an optional lifting bridle allows owners to lift the boat with a crane. The optional trailer provided is a road trailer with bunks and a support beam for the keel; the boat is guided onto the trailer, and then you pull out of the water; there is no need to winch or pull the boat as it weighs less than 400kg and also uses the bouyancy of the boat to float onto the trailer.
The boat can be motored with the outboard bracket attached, or 2 paddles are sufficient to allow the boat to get around; typically once the sails are hoisted, the Shaw 650 sails either with no engine or the engine stowed in the lockers below the cockpit floor.
The lockers on each side of the boat under the cockpit provide ample space for spare sails, food, gear, anchor and engine. Also available are storage bags and a boat cover. For Cat 5 (day) racing there is sufficient space to store anchor, chain, flares and other necessary items to comply with sailing regulations in your area.