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North Carolina Inland Sailing?


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#1 MidPack

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:29 PM

DW and I plan to move to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area in the next few years. To be perfectly honest, the lack of sailing/racing in the area is a major reason we don't move sooner rather than later. I haven't found much sailing around the area, but maybe someone here knows better?

I realize there's plenty of sailing along coastal NC like Oriental where I bought one of my boats years ago, but I am asking if there's any worthwhile inland lake sailing we should know about.

#2 gui

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

Check out Jordan lake. Summers are horribly light but the rest of the year is OK.

Out of Ferrington point boat ramp, sailing "Irrigation pipe".

https://www.youtube....h?v=Qy_SAmdzU5c

#3 Kent H

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

Note I have not been on Jordan in seven years. So it may be better, worse etc. Weekends - the lake can be full of jet skies, powerboats. Weekdays it is much better. The way it can be justified is that it is convienent and if a person has a cheap boat the cost is great. I would see boats like a Catalina 22, 25, Ranger Fun / 23. Less than $5000 invested and a $1000 per. year dock.

That is about all that it is worth. IMHO.


UNC races 420's and there is some other regattas but it is small boats. It is a decent place for a Hobie.

#4 Fasterdamnit

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:53 PM

Kerr Lake is the home of the Isotope cat. http://www.intl-fibe...com/isotope.php

Lake Norman just north of Charlotte has an active club. http://www.lnyc.org/

What are you interested in sailing?

#5 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:30 PM

I had a job offer in that area and one of the reasons I passed was realizing how long a drive it would be to my boat.

#6 Kent H

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:12 PM

A lot of people have some form of a condo, cottage or a boat at the beach. They take a close look at the drive time from their location to the beach and go from there. The direct I 40 to Wilmington is usually fun and fast. The other locations from RDU not so fun or fast....but you do become an expert in Trailer homes!

Jordan - The main concern for most was where the gf / wife could use the bathroom...

Lake Norman - If in RDU it is about the same amount of time to get to Wilmington. LNYC - If you have an RV you can keep it there otherwise most have some sort of place on or just off the lake. Otherwise a quick shot home to Charlotte once they get on I-85 or I-77

If your really into sailing and don't want to drive to the beach - NC is really not the place for you. Maybe if a person owns a place on Lake Norman I could see it because for instance you could have gone sailing today. But at RDU I could not see spending more than $5k for a boat. That is about all that it is worth.

#7 Steam Flyer

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 01:53 AM

DW and I plan to move to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area in the next few years. To be perfectly honest, the lack of sailing/racing in the area is a major reason we don't move sooner rather than later. I haven't found much sailing around the area, but maybe someone here knows better?

I realize there's plenty of sailing along coastal NC like Oriental where I bought one of my boats years ago, but I am asking if there's any worthwhile inland lake sailing we should know about.



Lived there for quite a while. Lots of nice people, good sailors, whether you'd call it "worthwhile" is really far too dependent on personal taste.

http://www.carolinasailingclub.org

They sail at Lake Jordan which is about a half hour to 45min drive from most anywhere in the Raleigh-Chapel Hill-Durham area, and at Kerr Lake which is approx 1 1/2 hour drive from most anywhere ditto. Both lakes are surrounded by hills, but both are also controlled shore and have very little development. Very pretty places to spend a weekend! Jordan has a little over 1/2 mile circle of open water IIRC, at Kerr you have a bigger potential with somewhat over a 1 nm circle of open water.

Both Kerr Lake and Jordan have marinas with slips where you can keep a keelboat in the water, but IMHO it's not worth it unless you either have a keelboat you really can't live without. Part of the fun of having a centerboard one-design is that you can sail a bunch of different places including coming down to the coast where we live now.

Don't move to NC. You'll hate it here. Seriously, the traffic in the Raleigh area is terrible, costs of living have gone up rapidly, they still get hit with as many hurricanes as the coast and twice as many ice storms. The sailing is really not very good unless you like light air and motorboat wakes. However all the snakes & mosquitos would love to see you, so come on down

FB- Doug

#8 MidPack

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 01:56 AM

Kerr Lake is the home of the Isotope cat. http://www.intl-fibe...com/isotope.php

Lake Norman just north of Charlotte has an active club. http://www.lnyc.org/

What are you interested in sailing?

Thanks for your post, as well as the others.

As for what I'd sail, we've owned several 30-35 foot boats for years, and I'd be happy to buy whatever boat has an active fleet. We have no illusion there will be any larger boats on an inland lake in NC, most states for that matter (except the Great Lakes).

We don't want to buy and keep a condo just to allow sailing on the coast. Sounds like we're right to stay where we are until we "get over" sailing, if ever...

#9 6924

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:03 AM

Lake Norman is the place to sail

#10 torrid

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:18 AM

I take my Laser out to Jordan sometimes. Not a bad spot for a small boat, but it sounds like you are into keelboats. Lake Norman would be decent for a larger boat, but RDU is equidistant from there and the beach or Oriental. Not much comparison.

Despite the mediocre sailing, I rather like central NC. I enjoy the climate and topography, and with due respect to Steam Flyer the traffic is nowhere in the same league as some place like Atlanta or Dallas.

#11 CaptKen

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:05 PM

We have several couples from NC at our marina. Usually see them about once a month. They either tie the weekend in with a holiday or make arrangements to have Fri&Monday off. They say they have tried the lakes and Sounds....like the Bay better. It's about a 4-5 hour drive RDU area to my marina. Active racing fleet at a neighboring marina, we are mostly cruisers.

#12 Steam Flyer

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:17 PM

...
Despite the mediocre sailing, I rather like central NC. I enjoy the climate and topography, and with due respect to Steam Flyer the traffic is nowhere in the same league as some place like Atlanta or Dallas.


Well, I have never driven in Dallas but fairly often in places like Chicagoland, the Boston metro area, and of course Atlanta (all flights go to Atlanta)... it is true that the Raleigh/Triangle metro area is smaller and waiting in traffic is not as long, but the number of wrecks per capita is much higher, traffic is denser & more aggressive. I think a lot of people move here expecting it to be the mellow South and are outraged at the reality, and take it out on their fellow commuters. And do -not- get on 40 or 147 or the Beltline when there's ice.

But then, I don't have to deal with it on more than an occasional & recreational basis any more.

I kinda liked sailing at Jordan. Not enough to stay there. Makes you really good at windshifts.

FB- Doug

#13 Shibby

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:34 PM

I lived on Kerr (Car/Bugs Island Lake) for about two years near Clarksville, VA great times, slow pleasant living.

#14 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:10 PM

My brother lives about 400 yards from Lake Norman. We were amazed to see an Island Packet 40 under chute going by one day. He thinks it is crap sailing and has yet to think about getting a boat. From what I can tell the powerboats are very numerous and the wind tends to light and variable. OTOH apparently a lot of people DO like to sail there, so YMMV.


Kerr Lake is the home of the Isotope cat. http://www.intl-fibe...com/isotope.php

Lake Norman just north of Charlotte has an active club. http://www.lnyc.org/

What are you interested in sailing?

Thanks for your post, as well as the others.

As for what I'd sail, we've owned several 30-35 foot boats for years, and I'd be happy to buy whatever boat has an active fleet. We have no illusion there will be any larger boats on an inland lake in NC, most states for that matter (except the Great Lakes).

We don't want to buy and keep a condo just to allow sailing on the coast. Sounds like we're right to stay where we are until we "get over" sailing, if ever...



#15 MidPack

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

My brother lives about 400 yards from Lake Norman. We were amazed to see an Island Packet 40 under chute going by one day. He thinks it is crap sailing and has yet to think about getting a boat. From what I can tell the powerboats are very numerous and the wind tends to light and variable. OTOH apparently a lot of people DO like to sail there, so YMMV.

I forgot to mention, I'd hate to sail/race on a lake that was overrun with powerboats & jetskis, and that's probably very common on inland lakes especially. On Lake Michigan where I am now, we all have enough space to coexist easily - plus powerboats & jetskis tend to hug the shore or go way offshore (charter fishing) anyway... :rolleyes:

#16 greeng

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:50 PM

I sail on Lake Norman, and to tell the truth it is a bit crowded on summer weekends. That said, there's a good club (as well as a few informal marina beer can racers), the main lake body is large and usually has good wind. I went out this Saturday and sailed my T/2 for 3 hours and hardly saw another boat. The wind was 10-12 and solid. Can't beat that.

#17 JaredC

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:11 AM

I sailed with a guy who grew up on Lake Norman... It took some explaining the first time there was "too much wind to take your girlfriend along". He was great to have around when the breeze died - there must be some special sculling school for lake sailors.

#18 Shibby

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:19 PM

Kerr Lake is pretty open, Gaston and the others are suburbs...

#19 WayburnMafiaDon

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:25 AM

I see Carolina Sailing Club and Kerr/Jordan lake have already been discussed. Let's be honest, if you're looking for any measurable weekday sailing/beercans or keelboats then the Triangle is not for you. I used to go out on Kerr a few times a summer with some of the CSC guys but I've never loved dinghy's and they're only there on Saturday. But that said, I loved NC. Moved from Detroit, had a great gig, lived in downtown Raleigh (met my wife so pro's and con's). The summers are balls hot but the winters are fantastic. I'd love to head back but my wife's family is there and I'm not that much of a glutton for punishment. Housing is still cheap compared to other major cities and the job market is still stronger than much of the nation.

#20 Kai

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:00 AM

I haven't sailed in Raleigh/Durham. Went to school at State but didn't sold my boat before I went. I'm back in Charlotte again and a member at LNYC now. Great club, really. Very active, lots of racing and sailing. Mostly centerboards but there's also a pretty active sportboat group with U20s, J/80, J/105, and a couple new J/70. Santa Cruz 23 is also pretty active. Huge Flying Scot group, number of Highlanders. The wind isn't the best, but it teaches you to sail in shifty, light conditions, which is a good skill to have. And sometimes it gets blowing too. The power boats are only out in the summer, when there isn't much wind anyway. Spring and Fall are where it's at.

#21 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

I guess this is a "Here is where I would sail if I was there" situation and NOT a "I would move there TO go sailing" situation.

#22 SecondWindNC

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

In addition to the lake sailing there are great sailing areas within two hours' drive of Raleigh. Straight east to Washington and you have the Pamlico River and Pamlico Sound - a long weekend's sail to Ocracoke or Oriental makes a great trip. Or southeast to Wilmington where you can head out the inlet and sail offshore.

#23 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

Yeah - if we did move to the RDU area the boat was going to Washington.

#24 One of Five

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:14 PM

I guess this is a "Here is where I would sail if I was there" situation and NOT a "I would move there TO go sailing" situation.


Totally - but you're moving for your career - depending on where you are in it, it could be a stepping stone to something bigger and better with much better sailing. Consider it perhaps paying your dues.

#25 MidPack

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

I guess this is a "Here is where I would sail if I was there" situation and NOT a "I would move there TO go sailing" situation.

Indeed. After Lake Michigan, I would expect anything non-GL inland would be a step backwards, but we don't want to give up sailing altogether...

#26 Mr. Fixit's brother,, Mr. Fixit

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:26 PM

Quote directly out of the NC State Park rules and regs. This applies to both Jordan and Kerr Lakes.

Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited, and visitors shall not be or become intoxicated while within any state park or recreation area.

#27 DriverEd

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:37 PM

SteamFlyer tells everyone it sucks here because he doesn't like traffic. I have been driving to New Bern almost every weekend for 13 years now. It takes 2:15 door to door to get down there. There is almost no boat traffic. On a recent 12 knot, 80 degree day we were all talking about how many boats were sharing my section of river, which is about 2.5 miles wide and 14 long that is visible, and we could see a good dozen boats on the river. One design is pretty well limited to San Juan 21s which were built in New Bern. Most of the Oriental fleet has aged out of flying spinnakers, so the racing down there is generally jib and main. More spinnaker boats on the New Bern end of the river. Sailing on the Neuse/Pamlico rivers is great because it doesn't have enough fetch to build really big waves so you can sail year round no matter how hard the wind blows. If you want ocean sailing, you can be out of Beaufort Inlet in about 5 hours with Cape Lookout 8 miles up the coast. Plenty of good cruising destinations on the rivers as well as going out to Ocracoke.

Racing on Jordan is pretty limited but can be a lot of fun. Good group of guys. The local high school has a small fleet of 420s they are sailing in the winter series, in addition there are some older 505s, lasers, flying scotts, Tanzers and thistles racing.

#28 Mr. Fixit's brother,, Mr. Fixit

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:54 PM


Kerr Lake is the home of the Isotope cat. http://www.intl-fibe...com/isotope.php

Lake Norman just north of Charlotte has an active club. http://www.lnyc.org/

What are you interested in sailing?

Thanks for your post, as well as the others.

As for what I'd sail, we've owned several 30-35 foot boats for years, and I'd be happy to buy whatever boat has an active fleet. We have no illusion there will be any larger boats on an inland lake in NC, most states for that matter (except the Great Lakes).

We don't want to buy and keep a condo just to allow sailing on the coast. Sounds like we're right to stay where we are until we "get over" sailing, if ever...


Between Peninsula Yacht Club and LNYC, Lake Norman actually has a decent sized keelboat fleet. King of the hill is a Soverel 33. Probably the fastest boat on the lake is an Esse 850. LNYC has a great group of cruiser/racers who tend to have pretty fun weekend dockside gatherings and moonlight cruises. They come into town from all over NC and liveaboard their boats for the weekend.

#29 Winever

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

Only thing I'd add to Driver Ed's comments is sea breeze. We get it here near the coast almost everyday in the summer, usually around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. This is when Norman, Kerr and Jordan go light. If you have a 30+ keelboat you're comfortable weekending on bring it to New Bern, Oriental or Washington and drive to it. Lots of members of my club Blackbeard Sailing Club did just that. Keep a Sunfish, Laser, Scot or Thistle in Raleigh. The NYRA (Neuse Yacht Racing Association) Winter Series (PHRF) races again this weekend and goes thru January. The Frostbite Sunfishers start Saturday too. If you get down this way for a visit or look see PM one of us, I'm sure we'd be glad to show you BSC and the area. Cheers, Winever.

#30 Steam Flyer

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

Only thing I'd add to Driver Ed's comments is sea breeze.
... ...


WTF?!

You and Driver Ed want a million Yankees to move here?

Don't listen to them, folks.

It sucks here. We'll force you to eat BBQ and sweet potato pie, watch NASCAR and say "GOLLL-eeeee." After a year your family won't be able to understand the way you talk. And you'll never ever ride a snowmobile again.

FB- Doug

#31 Goose84

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:11 PM

I live in Raleigh, and would definitely say the access to coastal sailing is the ticket. I used to sail a hobie 16 on Jordan Lake when I was at UNC, and puffy conditions were fine for a lighter cat. Not sure what the keel boaters think, as my only experience with keel boats has been cruising offshore. I keep the boat on one of the southern beaches now, and its a 2 hour, door to door, drive for me.

As a side note, I will say that I think Raleigh is a great place to live. The traffic is a breeze for me from Raleigh to Cary, though the traffic to the Park can be rough sometimes if you live east of Raleigh. The downtowns of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are buzzing, and there are a ton of good restaurants. Plus, its 2 - 3 hours to the coast, and 3 - 4 hours to the mountains, so you've got a lot a good options if you like to travel on weekends.

Good luck with your next move.

#32 SailRacer

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:12 PM

...and have to go around the whole bar to get a full set of teeth.



#33 greeng

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:16 AM

...and have to go around the whole bar to get a full set of teeth.


Dude... I'm pretty sure now that you've never actually been to LKN...

http://www.lknfun.com/album.aspx?i=3425

Posted Image

#34 SailRacer

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:18 PM

I was mentioning the New Bern area.. Americana to say the least.

Sail safe!

#35 Shibby

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:27 AM


Only thing I'd add to Driver Ed's comments is sea breeze.
... ...


WTF?!

You and Driver Ed want a million Yankees to move here?

Don't listen to them, folks.

It sucks here. We'll force you to eat BBQ and sweet potato pie, watch NASCAR and say "GOLLL-eeeee." After a year your family won't be able to understand the way you talk. And you'll never ever ride a snowmobile again.

FB- Doug

Bless your heart...

#36 Bash24

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:28 AM

Born and raised in Raleigh. Wanna sail? Go east, not west.

#37 Bash24

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:31 AM

Having lived around the area, I can say it's definitely worth the drive to head to the coast, though fleet options are limited. From what I've witnessed in the southeast US it seems the agenda at lake regattas is to get a race finished regardless of the whole "fair test of skill" thing. Yes occasionally in the spring and fall a front will come through and it could be passed off as decent, but usually they send you out when there's not single puff on the water and watch you bob around for 3 or 4 hours when it's only a 15 minute sail/motor from the dock were the wind to fill in. Start a race in a puff that has only filled in for 3 minutes when there's glass everywhere else, even if the whole fleet can't make it to the starting line. Commonly have the kite up on an upwind leg and the jib up on a downwind leg and the committees appear to be unaware of the abandonment flag. Just reeks of desperation to avoid the whole no regatta(hell no race) because no wind thing, which would be the usual result at any decent venue with a decent race comittee were it to be faced with those conditions. These are aggregate observations over traveling in the area for 20+ years.

Here's a sample of 30 day wind charts from the coast, the spikes you see every day are the sea breeze taking you up to 15-25

http://picasaweb.goo...204453626195442


Your comments on SE lake sailing are perfect. I know half a dozen clubs that should post your words on the wall as a constant reminder.

#38 skipper416

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:29 PM

There is some pretty good racing in the winter and spring in New Bern out of the Blackbeard Sailing Club. The sailing moves to oriental for the summer for more wind. The schedules are pretty good considering you can sail all year round.
The drive from Raleigh is ok and fast.




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