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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Another Umbagog Day

My lovely wife, Brownie the Sailor Dog, and I went sailing on Lake Umbagog again. Summer in the North Country is short. We’d only have ourselves to blame if we didn’t make good use of it. We sailed across the lake and beached the boat at a friend’s camp. He happened to be there, so we had a couple beers together on his deck. The wind died on the way back so we used the iron sail the last few miles. We made it to the boat landing just before sunset.

When we bought our sailboat, an Oday 19, we figured it’d be our learner boat. Most people move on to something bigger once they become comfortable with sailing. We’ve yet to feel the need for anything larger. Sure, there are times when it’d be nice to have a bigger boat, but it’s not worth the trade offs.

Right now we can hook the trailer to the truck and go sailing wherever we want. We’ve only been sailing since February, but have already sailed the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic off the Keys, Lake Champlain, and lakes in New Hampshire and Maine. Our boat’s large enough for the big water, yet small enough for for some serious gunkholing. With the swing keel up, it only draws a foot of water. We take our sailboat places where other people can only reach with their dinghy.

If all goes well, we plan on hauling the boat down south again this winter. We have some seriously long coastal trips planned. Expenses are minimal. We sleep and cook on the boat. Should we decide to tie up at a marina, they charge by the foot. That’s where a it’s much better to have a 19 foot boat rather than a 50 footer.

To be honest, I do plan on building a sailboat next summer -a smaller one. One of my dreams is to compete in the Everglades Challenge. My Oday is actually too big for that race, as all boats have to be launched from the high water line on the beach. In my spare time, I’ve been studying different hull shapes and sail designs. I looking forward to the adventure of the Challenge. What’s life without a little excitement now and then?



  1. maybe you could exchange your big boat with mayberry's


  2. Wildflower,
    I think doing the portage part might be a bit tough with Mayberry's craft.

    I'm with you Sixbear on the small boat thing. Though 25 to 30 is nicer for long trips, as you can carry enough provisions then. A lot of the marinas down here have a 30 ft. minimum for overnight dockage. They will let ya stay but ya gotta pay for 30 anywho.
    Swing keels are nice in shoal water, yet can be hazardous in blue water. Same with the outboard. As it will keep popping out of the water in heavy seas.

  3. Anon: Mayberry has his own plans.

    Spud: we'll spend much more time in shoal waters, so the shallow draft is more important than blue water capability. We pick our weather windows very carefully. Not having a schedule is our big advantage.

    China: thanks. I will.

  4. You have an adventurous spirit Sixbears, keep on keeping on. I'm sure when it comes time to cross the Great Divide, you will be satisfied you lived your Life to the fullest. No Regrets - thats the way to live.

  5. Do your thing while you can. I look back over my life and realize I missed a lot of opportunity to do things I always wanted. Nice looking Sailer Dog.

  6. I agree, go for is so short. Beautiful country you live in, my friend.