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Old 01-23-2013
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Sailing Lake Champlain

Hi

Are there specific areas of the lake which are NOT recommended for (quite) small sailing craft?
I recently spoke to someone who gave the impression that the concentration of bass boats, water skiers, motor boats in general increases the further south one goes down the lake. Is that accurate? Are some sections more "sail friendly" than others? Where are they?
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Sailing Lake Champlain

Our daughter taught sailing for the City of Burlington over several summers. Never mentioned any issues with there being too many stinkpotters. The lake there seemed big enough for decent cruising as well as OD racing in Etchells. Powerboaters might prefer the southern sections because the lake gets narrower there. When they can see the land going by them on both sides, it makes them feel like they're going faster. When they get out on open water more to the north, it seems like they slow down because the land doesn't move as much, and they might like that less.
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Sailing Lake Champlain

Thank you for the quick response, paulk - you validated my suspicions. (Funny how those power boats seem to like to stay kinda close to shore, eh?)
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Sailing Lake Champlain

Not due to traffic... I sail the north end of the lake, mostly - out of St. Albans Bay - but I've been all over and never seen so much traffic that a dinghy sailor would be threatened.

I used to sail in a pretty tender dinghy though and found that most of what I would call the "broad lake" had a bit too much wind for my tastes a lot of the time. During the summer there's a fairly regular 15-20 knot SW wind that can put up big swells... In the dinghy I mostly sailed in Mallets Bay or St. Albans Bay - the protected areas seemed to give me more "perfect wind days" to work with...
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Sailing Lake Champlain

(Thank you for another prompt response)
Does anyone have any experience sailing below Chimney Pt.? Larrabees Pt.?
Chipman's Pt.?
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Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Sailing Lake Champlain

I can't think of a part of that lake that isn't great for sailing. We towed our previous boat (Hunter 23.5) up for a week or more each of the last 3 years. It's a great lake with lots of protected anchorages and bays. We never had any issues with crowding or power boats. Depending on the size of your boat, you will probably be more concerned with the weather. Don't forget the charts. There's a cruising guide out that covers the lake as well and is well worth having.
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Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Sailing Lake Champlain

I keep my boat at Chipman Point which is a very nice spot with great folks that own it. Although I haven't done that much sailing on the lake (usually head south to get my salt water fix:-), there are quite a few sailboats and there are nice places to sail. Of course it's very narrow down the south end and the water is pretty green, but you can do some sailing. It's also not a very long way to get up to the wider lake. Once you get up past Crown Point the lake widens out. Sailing the lake is nice but you can see it all pretty quickly and it's fresh water lake sailing. There are swarms of bass boats during tournaments but they are not a problem.
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Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Sailing Lake Champlain

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinghy View Post
Hi

Are there specific areas of the lake which are NOT recommended for (quite) small sailing craft?
I recently spoke to someone who gave the impression that the concentration of bass boats, water skiers, motor boats in general increases the further south one goes down the lake. Is that accurate? Are some sections more "sail friendly" than others? Where are they?
We sailed for more than a decade out of Charlotte Sailing Center(not sure of it's name today). Lake Champlain is big enough that you don't get the same effects dinghy sailing that we did on some of the smaller lakes in Vermont(we used to live there).

Think of it as more of a cruising area and take advantage of moving your dinghy over the road. Get up to Valcour Island area, that's fantastic. Explore Kinglsand Bay by dinghy. Trailer up to Willsboro Bay.

It narrows pretty quickly below Westport but still fun water to explore(I did a lot of that by canoe).

The broad lake would be the least entertaining I think as it's a good distance from interesting coastline for you to enjoy. Then again, it's only 10+ miles across so if you're adventuress,...

It's a beautiful area to sail.
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