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post #1 of 7 Old 08-02-2010 Thread Starter
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interlake vs lightning

Just wondering if anyone has thoughts on these two one-design boats? I have sailed for years on a hobie and am looking at getting a boat that I can learn spinnaker sailing and get into some local racing.

Thanks,

Cam
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-02-2010
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I have been in a Lightning for about 25 years so I'm a little biased but both are nice boats. A Lightning that is rigged for racing will have more strings to pull than the Interlake, including a working backstay. It probably boils down to the availability of boats in your area and local fleet activity since you want to get into racing. I imagine that there are more Lightnings available in the used market. Best way is to get a ride in each and judge for yourself. If you are looking for used boats, send me a PM and I'll be happy to give you some pointers on what to look for in used Lightnings. There's also information about this at Welcome to the International Lightning Class
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-07-2011
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Many boat clubs on the Great Lakes use the Interlake for club use and sailing lessons as well as racing. I own a '88 with updated centerboard housing and scuppers. Parts and repairs are available and new ones are still being made in the Toledo, Ohio area. I'm 69 yrs. old and can step the mast on the trailer by myself.
I've raced 470's, 420's and worked the foredeck on yachts up to 50 ft long. I like the way my Interlake sails even though it is over 700 lbs.

Caution: The centerboard housing is made of plywood and fiberglass sandwich and must be tested for moisture or else that headache may cost you $1,500 or more in repairs.
Otherwise, it is a tough, safe boat that was designed for the wind and waves of Lake Erie.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-07-2011
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Lightnings seem pretty widespread. Interlakes focused in seven fleets in OH and MI. Coming from a Hobie, either boat may seem slow. Couldn't even find a picture of an Interlake... How many are there?
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-07-2011
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If you search for Interlake you will find the official website in Whitehouse, OH and many pictures posted as well as buy and trade. They number in the thousands, but Terry Kilpatrick, the official builder, can tell you more. For less than 2000 bucks you can buy a good boat with a trailer. Terry helped me set up a self-furling jib and a few modern updates.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14432 View Post
I have been in a Lightning for about 25 years so I'm a little biased but both are nice boats. A Lightning that is rigged for racing will have more strings to pull than the Interlake, including a working backstay. It probably boils down to the availability of boats in your area and local fleet activity since you want to get into racing. I imagine that there are more Lightnings available in the used market. Best way is to get a ride in each and judge for yourself. If you are looking for used boats, send me a PM and I'll be happy to give you some pointers on what to look for in used Lightnings. There's also information about this at Welcome to the International Lightning Class
Which club do you sail out of? I sail my Lightning out of Wrightsville Beach.

I love my Lightning. I have only been sailing a few years and I am still making alot of adjustments to the boat as I race more, but it is a really good boat to learn on. The class is huge and everyone is very nice and helpful. It is also a very good class because the old boats can go just as fast as the new ones. Also, everything is very adjustable - you can play with the tuning and you will not run out of lines to pull on for a very long time.

I had never heard of an Interlake before, but they look really cool. I will always be partial to the Lightning, but it all depends on the fleets in your area.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-08-2011
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You are right on about availability of boats and fellow one-design competition. The reason Interlakes are used more as training and fleet boats than Lightnings may be because Lightnings are more powerful and might scare club members. The same reason 420's are used rather than 470's for junior sailing programs.

I have had my fill of racing from 1972 to 1990. First with a 470 and last on a Frers 50. My experiences and friendships from long distance races such as 13 Mackinaw races, a Trans Erie and even a Trans Superior I cherish. With a six- and five-year-old, it was time to slow down.

My Interlake's added furling jib, molded seats with flotation, motor mount and scuppers provide a great, relaxed ride for this 69-year-old.
Enjoy the experience
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