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Spokey Doke

Sailing in...Idaho???

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Greetings,

I've been living on the Snake River plain for over a decade now, where it blows like crazy, and we have multiple large reservoirs and a couple good sized lakes within an easy drive.  But we lack any sailing culture to speak of, and my DW (who grew up sailing in the NE) is very cynical about the prospect of getting a dinghy to go blast around the nearby bodies of water (granted, the actual water is typically full of agricultural run-off, but the scenery is generally quite nice, as this is the northern rockies).

I miss sailing pretty badly and need some excitement in my life (I used to windsurf and race lasers and (piggy) JY-15's in the Mid-West), and am gunning to get a dinghy, but could use some moral support from anyone else in this region, or similar situations...or better yet, beta on sailing in this region.  I mostly want an easy way to get on the water, go fast, and have fun, trailering or roof-topping the boat to and from (driving 30 minutes mostly, up to a couple hours away).  I don't really aspire to race, because it isn't a realistic option (although who knows what the future holds).  I imagine that even if I had a double-hander, I would single at least 60-70% of the time.

 

As far as boat choice goes, I'm still vacillating between a few different options/strategies:

1. Weta - mostly for taking along DW or a friend or two, good manageable fun and versatility.  The main drawback here is that rigging is a bit more involved than the other options, not that it is too difficult, but easier and quicker would help the cause quite a bit; cost is also a concern, especially given the lack of support from DW).

2. Aero - easy, manageable, fun, not too expensive, can car top. Con is single-handed only.

3. Feva - easy, manageable, somewhat fun, relatively inexpensive, single or double (DW and I are both under 140lb each).  I also like managing multiple sails (mostly). Con is performance of a kids boat.

[I'm not into getting a Laser, just for the record]

I welcome input on any/all of the above...thanks!

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I live in Montana and sail on a couple lakes here: Hebgen (near West Yellowstone) and Flathead (near Kalispel). Hebgen can be great but, typical of high mountain lakes (elevation there is about 6600 feet) the breeze can be "interesting" with surprise thunderstorms (can't see them coming due to mountains in the area). Flathead is a very large lake with great scenery, breeze, crystal clear water and for the most part uncrowded.

I haven't sailed in Idaho but here are some suggestions to contact (and on my list of possible sailing places):

In Idaho there's a group that seems to be based in Boise area:

https://idahosailingsite.wordpress.com

Also in Northern Idaho, Sandpoint on Lake Pend Oreille:

http://web.sandpointsailing.com

And Bear Lake on the Idaho - Utah border looks very nice although it looks like it could get a bit busy with powerboats on Summer weekends.

As for boats, your list looks like a good start. There's a RS / Weta dealer in Kalispel, MT (with connections to West Coast Sailing in Oregon).

http://www.sailmontana.com

I have a Weta for sale (check out  the classified section of Sailing Anarchy). PM me if you're interested in the Weta!

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The Snake River plain is kind of large - are you closer to Idaho Falls/Pocatello or to Boise? Just curious as I know nothing of sailing in the area. But I've always wanted to take a boat out on Lucky Peak Reservoir someday.

I own, or have owned all three boats you mention. I'm a relatively half-assed sailor and weigh about 140 lbs. I sail an Aero 5 but there are good sailors my size sailing Aero 7s. Like you said, strictly one person boats. The Aero is fast to rig/unrig and extremely responsive and instructive. I love it.

I traded in my Feva towards a Weta, but it was a blast. It was little much for me with all sails flying in a breeze, and it definitely slows down as the total crew weight in it passes about 220 lbs, But I had a great time with it. If you're not racing, then having an assymmetric adds a lot of interest and fun to just blasting around. It's also almost indestructible, quick to rig, very quick and easy to recover from a capsize and can be sailed without the jib if the wind is too much. My girlfriend and I at 140 lbs each had fun in it, though I thought it was a little slow.

I just got the Weta and haven't had it out much. I have high hopes for it and suspect it's the last dighy I'll buy. It's the most versatile boat I've had - genuinely can be single-handed in a a range of wind speeds, but doesn't turn into a dog with a couple of adults, and has a screecher to boot. But it definitely takes me much longer to rig/unrig than the other two. 

If my experience is anything to go by, I suspect you'll be single-handing more, not less, than you think. For bang for the buck, ease of getting on the water, and having 1 or 2 people, the Feva is my vote. If you convert the DW into an enthusiastic sailor, then unload the Feva and get a Weta. If the opposite happens, pick up an Aero.

That's my $.02 worth, anyway...

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Thanks for the helpful replies...for the record, I'm in SE Idaho...so looking at American Falls as the closest body of water (at 56,000 acres and a ton of wind, I don't know why there isn't more sailing on it).

gmannwally - I bet you are right about the amount if single-handing I'll do.  Particularly without any structured regattas, I'll get out when the conditions are good and I have the time (so likely by myself).  I also appreciate the info on the 3 candidate boats...tough choice still, but I'll be psyched to finally get in any of them...

Alan - I do have an eye on that Weta...

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49 minutes ago, Modernrate Buai said:

 

Thanks - What do you sail?

Favorite launch at Am Falls?

I'm not seeing the original comments on slim chances of good wind at Am Falls, and could use some discussion of conditions there (?!)

I know of Mud Lake and where it is at, but hadn't taken it too seriously as a destination...will look again.

Anyone sail Mackay Res?  It seems to be blowing hard everytime I go by it...

Henry's Lake?

Lake Walcott?

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Ah...I see what you did MB - googling found an old windsurfing thread about Idaho (I actually had found that same thread a few times since living here, when I was considering getting back into the sport).  Some good info still...

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Any insights into rigging times between the Feva and the Weta???  They both have 3 sails and shrouds, so I'm guessing both would be quite a bit more time than the Aero (?!)

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We lived in SE Idaho for 25 years and got our watersports fix with rafting. We still sailed, but had to do it via charters on the west coast. There is also sailing on Jackson Lake in the Tetons, or at McCall.

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Feel free to come to the Park City Sailing Association Fall Regatta Sept 30-Oct 1.  We have Elliott 6meter and Laser charter boats available too.

www.sailpc.org 

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17 hours ago, WCB said:

Feel free to come to the Park City Sailing Association Fall Regatta Sept 30-Oct 1.  We have Elliott 6meter and Laser charter boats available too.

www.sailpc.org 

Thanks...that is a bit of a schlep, but we go to SLC fairly often and it isn't much farther...I spent a (ski) season in PC back in the day ('89)...fond memories...

 

The main issue is...how is the wind?!!!

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Thanks for all the helpful input...I have pretty much decided on the Aero because I want to maximize the time I spend sailing, and the odds that I will actually go.  I will likely car top it (sans dolly) and use a collapsable dolly to get to the beach or dock.

I will start another thread on potential used boats to buy...best...SD

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On 7/15/2017 at 7:11 AM, Spokey Doke said:

Thanks...that is a bit of a schlep, but we go to SLC fairly often and it isn't much farther...I spent a (ski) season in PC back in the day ('89)...fond memories...

 

The main issue is...how is the wind?!!!

The wind is just fine.  We often get good 12-15 out of the south when it's warm.  Our regatta usually has lots of wind, sometimes almost too much.  

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20 minutes ago, WCB said:

The wind is just fine.  We often get good 12-15 out of the south when it's warm.  Our regatta usually has lots of wind, sometimes almost too much.  

Good to hear...and what are people sailing?  Race classes?

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4 hours ago, Spokey Doke said:

Good to hear...and what are people sailing?  Race classes?

Usually the classes are Lasers, Elliotts 6m (charters available), and Ultimate 20.

Kids - Optis and 420s.

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