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airbusguy 11-10-2012 06:44 PM

Lake Norman
Evening all. Wondering if anyone has ever sailed on Lake Norman just outside Charlotte. Know it is deep in Nascar country but toying with idea of moving there for work. Lake looks large and clean curious about the sailing and if there are restaurants along the shore and some secluded coves for anchoring. Thanks.

SHNOOL 11-10-2012 07:02 PM

Re: Lake Norman
Terrific lake, decent depth, and not a far drive from Charlotte. Lots of coves, and decent restaurants around the lake. Several marinas, some busier than others. My info is about 20+ years old but there are others here with more current info. Sorryy on my tablet and typing is rough...

biology 11-10-2012 07:10 PM

Re: Lake Norman

I've got a 27' on Lake Norman. It's a large lake with lots of surface area but has lots of inlets and shoreline so you never really feel like you're on a huge lake. There's plenty of sailing to be done, the wind is usually great, and you can even find spots for gunkholing. The lake is formed by a damn for generating electricity and the max depth is somewhere around 110'. There are detailed charts available for navigating with accurate depths and shoals/objects are well-marked.

There's a fairly large sailing community on the lake with several yacht clubs/sailing clubs... some are pretty expensive, some are more reasonable. If you don't want to drop lots of money on a club membership there are still lots of private marinas you can lease slip space. There are lots of marinas in general with full services and several that have dockside bars/restaurants. You probably won't have trouble finding a boat if you don't have one you're bringing along. There are lots of sailboats for sail... always. Just check craigslist for Charlotte, NC and you'll see there's a WIDE variety (early 80s 25'+ boats anywhere from $1500 to $15000).

You could check out the Lake Norman Yacht Club (Home - Lake Norman Yacht Club). There are a lot of nice folks there and lots of races. There are quite a few races amongst all the yacht/sailing clubs.

I usually have a fishing line trolling off the back while sailing and haven't had a day yet where I haven't caught a decent sized small mouth. It's a good lake and I've always enjoyed my time on it.

message me if you have any specific questions... I live about an hour from the lake and make it there at least once a week.

Dixie Chicken 12-19-2012 10:30 AM

Re: Lake Norman
To Mr. Biology
Hi, I have a 27 Catalina, and thinking of moving to Lake Norman.
Never been there, so any info would be greatly appreciated.
I'm looking to rent a boat trailer, and will need to haul and launch it
from a facility. Any suggestions?... I'll also be looking for a place to rent,
and have found a few rentals at a place called Marina Shores. Are you
familiar with it?... I really hate to move my boat from where it is now, but
life throws you curves sometimes... hoping I will like the area.
thanks, Dave

biology 12-23-2012 07:38 PM

Re: Lake Norman
Dixie Chicken,

There are tons of Marinas all around the lake. There's a bridge crossing the northern part of the lake that is too low for sailboats so make sure you're not talking to any marinas up there (let them know it's for a sailboat). Some of the slips are private small little places (like where I keep mine) and they're less expensive but are slim on the dockside services. King's Point and Holiday Marinas are pretty big, there's also Morning Star. There are a couple yacht clubs, but membership is STEEP (depending on what you're looking for). Any of the Marinas you contact could most likely recommend a place to launch your boat once it's brought into the area. I'd recommend staying on the east side of the lake as that's the I-77 side with the easiest access to tons of marinas, west marine store, tons of other shopping and restaurants (Mooresville and Cornelius). This way if you're coming from Charlotte or from the north access is pretty easy. Otherwise you can add 45+ minutes to your drive if your boat is on the west side and you're coming from the east.

I'm not familiar with Marina Shores (it's right next to Holiday Marina), but it's near the Rusty Rudder, which is a great lakeside restaurant with sail-up slips for lunch :)

The area is really quite nice and I've found folks in the area friendly and helpful. You'll see the lake is well established with lots and lots and lots of high end homes shoreside all around the lake. Most the time I just see people fishing or slowly cruising along in their motor yachts, but when the wind picks up sailboats abound! I'm sure you'll like it. I have a 27' on the lake as well and I feel like it's the perfect size for the lake. Anything bigger and I'd probably be starving for more wind. But it's large enough to be comfortable and gunkhole and take the kids out on the water!

puddlejockey 01-09-2013 11:26 PM

Re: Lake Norman
Thanks, guys, for starting the LKN thread!

Airbus and Dixie; I can't comment completely on Lake Norman for sailing, but I will say that while the lake is very crowded on the weekends, weekday evenings on the lake can be peaceful and pretty nice. One of the yacht clubs used to hold a "wednesday night series" regatta that was popular among the blow boaters.
( I know this, B/C I would watch them from my fishing Canoe and be overcome with jealousy...)
I'm not sure what the rules are on this board , but I'm a Real Estate broker with over 20 years of knowledge in this general area, and have some great contacts who are agents "on the lake" , and literally know every cove. if you're thinking moving down. We'd love to have you! Feel free to PM me for any property, culture, or community info that I can help with. ( warning: i have a few more posts to use up before my PM's are accessible...or I would've just sent you a message!)

Biology( or any other LKN folks) : the boat I'm getting surveyed this weekend is moored WAAY up just South of the 150 bridge, and includes the slip for 2013 in the purchase price. However, in looking at the charts, it looks like I may have to come all the way down South to get enough room to sail. is there room to reasonably manuever and stay off the shoals North of Channel marker 11?

kd3pc 01-10-2013 07:47 AM

Re: Lake Norman
not to be nudge, but there are cons to the Lake Norman sailing thoughts presented.

It is a power boat and PWC and water skiing paradise. The week days are awesome for sailing (weekends not so much) and plenty of gunkholes, but the marinas are very expenses, services (some require cranes, as few yards are equipped to haul and store, or if they do, very $$) even more so and traffic to and fro is as bad as NoVA on weekends, especially race weekends. Lake side restaraunts are excellent but again, quite pricey.

The water level is still down quite a bit from the last decade and some previously available areas are now quite shallow (east end of the lake nearest I77, where St Barts yachts used to be), not sure why the power companies have left it low so long.

I would definitely visit and check the prices of housing, slippage and yacht clubs before committing to a move. As Bio says, there are always sailboats for sale, many because the sailing there is not what people expect and so different than what the coast will offer. Really depends on the type and style of sailing and social scene you are looking for. He is dead on that most yacht clubs are expensive, very. This is the area of the big dogs of racing, not just the NASCAR guys, but cars, dragsters, boats, airplanes and such. Not for the feint of heart. Prices on almost everything reflect that.

Yacht clubs are an option, but pricey, especially if you do not live in the area/subdivision nearby.

puddlejockey 01-10-2013 11:08 AM

Re: Lake Norman
Good Info, kd; and you're "spot on" about the prices on the lake. Although housing has come down significantly and there are deals to be had; an 800K home on the market is a great deal at 625k...but only if you're in the market for a 600K home!

It's one of the reasons that I was able to "nudge" my executive leadership (wife) into buying a weekender and getting a wet slip. Its actually cheaper, and in many ways more convenient, to wet slip your boat and live 5 or 10 miles off the water. Its pretty simple supply and demand. There are a few Neighborhoods on the water that haven't fallen victim to the McMansion craze of the past 6 years, though.

I WAS shocked at how many sailboats are in the marinas that look neglected/ abused/ and or abandoned by their owners; I'd guess 10-20% of the sailboats in each marina look that way, depending on the marina. Some of those boats have lines so pretty it could make a sensitive sailor cry. :(

Bio or Manhattan, any info on sailing conditions specifically more towards the 150 Bridge?
It looks like the lake is still a mile or 2 wide, but with all the shoals and my lack of sailing experience, I'm not sure if that translates to sailing room.

inprin 01-10-2013 11:44 AM

Re: Lake Norman
I have sailed and raced on Norman. Too little wind and too many power boaters for me. Spring time is the only time there is enough wind and too cold for the stink pots and PWC's. Best two weeks of the year.

puddlejockey 01-10-2013 03:12 PM

Re: Lake Norman

That's one of the reasons we considered (briefly) Smith MTN Lake in VA, and / or a boat at the ICW.

But from talking to folks, unless you know you can get down there regularly for maintenance, leaving a boat in the water in the ICW can be costly in many ways....

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