Anyone sail beach cats in the Columbia River near Portland / Vancouver

Finally got some vacation and took a day trip to Timberline Lodge to see Mt. Hood, then down the back way to Hood River.   The wind was up and the kites were out! I haven't been there for a while, and it's gotten really huge.   They have a bunch of ramps and a few people were doing spins off them, which was exciting.   I didn't see one traditional sailboard out there.  It seems like (at least at Hood River) the conversion is complete and everyone is doing the kites.   Only one dinghy 

Enjoyed the drive back downriver to home, where there were the usual small number of sailboats out on the Columbia around the Interstate and Glenn Jackson bridges. 

I don't think I've yet seen any beach cats out there though.   I know that there are some dinghy sailors going out on Vancouver Lake and on the Willamette, but the paddle boats seem to predominate for small craft.    

Does anyone day sail beachcats or other small multi-hulls in the Columbia?  I know the currents are an issue, sometimes hitting 5 knots.  Still, it   eems a shame to leave all the wind to the kites.  

Is there a club or beach where people keep their boats, in the way that we used the beach in Santa Cruz for summer beachcat storage? 

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swangtang

Member
277
18
BC
Hobie Fleet 95/ Div 4 hosted a regatta a few weeks back in Skamokawa, WA. It was a blast! The mixture of tides and currents made a tricky racecourse. Most boats were from the Seattle area but there were a few Portland/ Vancouver teams. I'd reach out to Div 4, they'll get you connected with the local fleets http://hobiediv4.org/   

 
Vancouver Lake Sailing Club seems to be having a revival of multihull sailing with various Hobies, A-Cats and now a few Wetas getting out on a frequent basis. If you're in Vancouver and want time on the water instead of in traffic, VLSC is the way to go. Virtually no power boats and fairly reliable wind in the 8-14 range (not as much as the Gorge or Skamakowa, obviously). Membership and boat storage fees are reasonable, too. For monohulls, there's a very strong Lightning fleet.  Downsides are a shallow, muddy lake and no real launching beach. I just bought a Weta this year and despite it taking me forever to rig and launch (stored folded, and I'm slow), I still got in a great sail last night after work. You can always haul a boat out to Cascade Locks on a weekend if you need more excitement.

I met a Weta sailor from Portland last week that's routinely going out to Cascade Locks on the weekends, and I've seen Hobies occasionally in the Gorge and at Dalton Point. The Division 4 link given above has great info, as well. But there's not many beaches around that are suited to storing boats, that I've seen.

Is your interest academic or are you wanting to get on the water?

 
Hobie Fleet 95/ Div 4 hosted a regatta a few weeks back in Skamokawa, WA. It was a blast! The mixture of tides and currents made a tricky racecourse. Most boats were from the Seattle area but there were a few Portland/ Vancouver teams. I'd reach out to Div 4, they'll get you connected with the local fleets http://hobiediv4.org/   
Thanks!  This was very helpful.  
I've driven through Skamokawa a few times, it looks like an interesting area. 
I also appreciate the link for the Hobie Class,  Cascade Locks is pretty close. 

 
Vancouver Lake Sailing Club seems to be having a revival of multihull sailing with various Hobies, A-Cats and now a few Wetas getting out on a frequent basis. If you're in Vancouver and want time on the water instead of in traffic, VLSC is the way to go. Virtually no power boats and fairly reliable wind in the 8-14 range (not as much as the Gorge or Skamakowa, obviously). Membership and boat storage fees are reasonable, too. For monohulls, there's a very strong Lightning fleet.  Downsides are a shallow, muddy lake and no real launching beach. I just bought a Weta this year and despite it taking me forever to rig and launch (stored folded, and I'm slow), I still got in a great sail last night after work. You can always haul a boat out to Cascade Locks on a weekend if you need more excitement.

I met a Weta sailor from Portland last week that's routinely going out to Cascade Locks on the weekends, and I've seen Hobies occasionally in the Gorge and at Dalton Point. The Division 4 link given above has great info, as well. But there's not many beaches around that are suited to storing boats, that I've seen.

Is your interest academic or are you wanting to get on the water?
 Yes, that's very close to my house, so I will definitely stop by.   I have stopped by the rowing club yard a couple times, and there is a nice  beach in the park near there, but I don't think you can launch boats from it.    The shallow bottom is more off-putting than the muddy water,  I guess if it's all mud it's not that bad.    Hitting submerged rocks with daggerboards sucks. 

I guess the answer to my original question is:  no, no one sails beachcats in the Columbia in Portland.   Downriver 100 miles, yes. Upriver 50 miles, yes.  

 

Kenny Dumas

Super Anarchist
1,651
12
Oregon
Some guy with a Hobie with racks sails the Columbia off Reeder Beach on Sauvie Is. with some little outboard (probably electric)   With 1-3 knots current, you really need a reliable propulsion system.

 
 Yes, that's very close to my house, so I will definitely stop by.   I have stopped by the rowing club yard a couple times, and there is a nice  beach in the park near there, but I don't think you can launch boats from it.    The shallow bottom is more off-putting than the muddy water,  I guess if it's all mud it's not that bad.    Hitting submerged rocks with daggerboards sucks. 

I guess the answer to my original question is:  no, no one sails beachcats in the Columbia in Portland.   Downriver 100 miles, yes. Upriver 50 miles, yes.  
I sailed a Solcat upstream from Camas in the late 1970's and dealt with changing water levels (tidal effects and releases from Bonneville Dam), sand bars and wind getting light while the current quietly swept me past the launch point. The wind opposing current built chop quickly and the wind with the current made for lots of pointing and little reaching. i switched to sailboards and loved exploring the Columbia Gorge in 1982.

 




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