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post #1 of 10 Old 05-22-2013 Thread Starter
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topsail island

Guys,

Will be vacationing at Topsail Island with family. I am a lake sailer. Should I take the trailer sailor?

thanks in advance

Dan
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-22-2013
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Re: topsail island

There's not a lot of room inside to sail there. Wilmington and Beaufort are good to put in and do a day sails in protected waters. If we go to Topsail for the weekend I leave the sailboat at home. I don't know your boat type or draft so take this advice with that in mind. In Beaufort put in at the ramp across from Carrot Island and sail to Shackleford Banks, wonderful area. Hope you have a great vacation.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-23-2013
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Re: topsail island

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Originally Posted by danr620 View Post
Guys,

Will be vacationing at Topsail Island with family. I am a lake sailer. Should I take the trailer sailor?

thanks in advance

Dan
It would help if you told us what kind of boat you own. I have sailed an Ericson 38 in a lake. The owner had a trailer and a tow vehicle to move it on their own. If you have an Ericson 38 yes you could take it in the ocean. If you have a laser, you could also take that in the ocean.

If you are comfortable in a bunch of conditions on a lake, you should be as comfortable in the ocean. I would however check the weather a little more carefully before going. One consideration is your trailer. Make sure you rinse it really well and check the bearings after a dip in the salt water, as a salty bath can take its toll on all parts of the trailer.

Jordan
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: topsail island

Sorry guys,

My boat is a clipper marine 21' swing keel. So shallow is not a problem. The rental has boat dock but I see that there is a long channel on the shore side of Island. Thanks again.

Dan
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-23-2013
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Re: topsail island

You will encounter much stronger winds you are used to, some shockingly shallow water, narrow channels, and tide currents. It will be a great adventure but please keep the above in mind. Make sure you have a good motor - it comes in very handy. You may actually want to motor around first to get familiar with the area. Have fun!

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-23-2013
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Re: topsail island

I have sailed there quite a bit with a Precision 18, which is very similar to your description of your boat in many ways. The channel that runs inland along the island is rather narrow for sailing, but maybe not as bad as you might think because the sea breeze tends to be perpendicular to it, so you are broad reaching most of the time. For me the attraction was getting out to the ocean and how feasible that is depends on where you are on the island. If you are somewhere in the middle, it is probably not worth it. If you are closer to either end, then the dock at your rental is a real asset.

Unless the surf is really high, one can get out to the ocean both at New River Inlet in the N and Topsail Inlet in the S. You have to be careful though. Watch the forecast and don't get caught outside with building seas. The channel can move so it is not charted in detail but it is dredged and marked well. Often waves will be breaking on either side of the channel, so coming in you have to make sure that you stay in the channel. The first few times in and out it can be very exciting. Once you are more comfortable, other things can be added such as trolling a spinner. Fishing is not bad there, so that might be another reason to take the boat.

The boat ramp on Topsail Island is a bit S of the town of Topsail Beach, so it is much more convenient for the S end of the island. The ramp is rather shallow there. I had to uncouple the trailer from the hitch and let it out on a line some 6-8 feet before I could float the boat off.

If you are close to the N end, New River Marina on Swan Point Rd has a boat ramp and they also might have reasonably priced transient docks if you want to keep the boat there. There are also a couple of ramps at Sneeds Ferry (Fulchard Landing and Old Ferry marina). They might also have transient slips. If the ocean is too rough, sailing in the New River would be an option very similar to lake sailing.

You might want to look the area over in Google Maps in satellite view to get a better feel for the place and see if there is enough for you to do with the boat.

One of the things you will see in Google Maps is that there are a lot of false leads in the shallow inland side of the island. If you follow your depth sounder into one of these, you can find yourself at a dead end and have to turn around and back out. Luckily the shoals don't seem to move much here, so you can use the satellite imagery as a rough guide.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-23-2013
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Re: topsail island

I just had some fun exploring that area via google maps. I bought my previous boat from the interior of NC and had looked at that area in the past as a place to do some sailing. It looks like a very cool place to explore by kayak or sail boat. I would want to have both if I was on vacation there.

I like meteuz's idea. Depending on your location along the island, it might be worth looking for a more convenient marina to launch and dock your boat. I'd rather spend 20 minutes in the car getting to a Marina than an hour motoring each way to get to where I can raise my sail. Have fun and share some photos when you get back.

Jordan
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: topsail island

thanks alot folks,

In Kansas we have plenty of wind, but no swells, so it will be a learning experience. I will take meteuz's advice and maybe hid behind the island for a while.

thanks again

Dan
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-24-2013
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Re: topsail island

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It would help if you told us what kind of boat you own. I have sailed an Ericson 38 in a lake. The owner had a trailer and a tow vehicle to move it on their own...
You really know someone who trailered an Ericson 38 on their own without a professional hauler? Did they obtain permits every time they hauled it? How did they step and unstep the mast? Are you sure it was an Ericson 38?

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post #10 of 10 Old 05-24-2013
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Re: topsail island

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You really know someone who trailered an Ericson 38 on their own without a professional hauler? Did they obtain permits every time they hauled it? How did they step and unstep the mast? Are you sure it was an Ericson 38?
It might have been an extreme example and I don't know the full details.

What I do know is the boat was bought new in the Great Salt Lake, it has also lived in Seattle and I think San Diego, it now lives in Bear Lake in Utah. I don't know whether they hired a professional or not to move it in between. It gets pulled out each winter and stored nearby. I don't know if the mast gets stepped or not or if a crane is involved. The owner does have a big enough truck to tow the boat to the lot where it is stored right next to the marina himself.

I do not really consider an E38 a trailer sailor, nor a lake boat, but it made a nice vacation home for the family that owns it.

Jordan
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