Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sailing on a small body of water

One nice thing about being home is that I can keep my Oday 19 sailboat tied up on the small lake I live on. 80 or so acres isn't a lot of sailing space, but it's bigger than a bathtub.

Yesterday, my cousin joined the wife and I and we sailed for about 4 hours. We had 15- 20 mph winds with 35 mph gusts. Add in sudden wind direction changes and occasional dead air, and it was interesting sailing. All in all, loads of fun. Plenty of sail adjustments and tacking to keep us from getting bored.

I used to joke that we started sailing in the Gulf of Mexico, moved up to the Atlantic, and finally were were experienced enough for our little lake. Turns out that's not really a joke. The steady winds of the Gulf and wide open spaces gave us room to make mistakes in. On the lake, there's not a lot of room for error. It'd be very easy to crash into someone's dock.

With the high price of gas, the lake's pretty empty of boat traffic. There are some canoes, rowboats, and a few fishing boats with small motors, but that's about it. It's quiet out there. We don't seem to bother the eagles, osprey, or the loons. In fact, the loons seemed awful curious about us and would come in quite close.

We've got some big lake trips planned, but it's great to be able to walk over to my sailboat and just go. Once again, the decision to buy a smaller boat has proven to be a good one. Had we bought any of the bigger boats we looked at, they'd have been too big for our lake. We'd have missed out on a lot of fun sailing. As it is, I can sneak away for a couple hours at a time and still get other stuff done during the day.

I was told that if I bought a small boat, I'd sail it all the time. If I bought a larger boat, I wouldn't sail nearly as much. That's proven to be true.



  1. We learned to sail on Idahos mountain lakes with an O'Day 20 ft. boat. One learned to react quickly to wind shifts. Really helped when we went to a bigger boat and sailed the islands.

  2. Sounds like a good way to spend some time to me!

    Any time on or around the water is good time!

  3. A small boat, well used, is worth ten times the grandest marina queen....