For the under 15ft. lake and pond folks. Walk of shame. - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  • 3 Post By deniseO30
  • 1 Post By Frogwatch
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  #1  
Old 08-10-2013
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For the under 15ft. lake and pond folks. Walk of shame.

Hey all, 5th time out with the Zuma this morning. Weather guy said breezy, headed out early to beat the powerboaters. Was trying a new pond I saw on the map. (Quabog Pond, Brookfield Mass.) First look, big, only a couple fishermen out on the water. Boat launch on North side, wind from the west. Launch the boat, paddle out about 30 yards an raise sail. Off on a nice beam reach, till I hit the weeds. Lots of weeds. Pulled up the dagger board since I had almost come to a complete stop, and I was off again. But, as anyone who's reading this is probably thinking, I'm probably going sideways more than forwards without the dagger board. (weatherman was correct, NICE breeze) Rudder catching weeds at this point too. Long story short, ended up dropping the sail to slow my steady progress to the even more weedbound east side of the pond. Weeds so thick I could barely paddle. Got to the North shore, got out, grabbed the bow cleat, and started the "walk of shame". Pulled that boat through lillypads and every other aquatic plant in water up to my waist, against the wind. Other than a better recon of the pond, what could I have done differently?
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Old 08-10-2013
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Re: For the under 15ft. lake and pond folks. Walk of shame.

check your body for leeches. use the dagger board turn the boat into the wind then use the rudder to go at an angle off the wind. port or starboard depending on which way you choose.. do this in a zig zag (tacking) way to go back where the wind is coming from. No shame. be happy!

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Last edited by deniseO30; 08-10-2013 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 08-17-2013
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Re: For the under 15ft. lake and pond folks. Walk of shame.

I am also wondering why you did not tack to where you wanted to go, if it was a big pond you have a huge swath of path choices.

The best thing I ever did was put a flag atop of my mast to use as a wind vane and just judge about 30 degrees off irons to sail twords the wind.
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Old 08-17-2013
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Re: For the under 15ft. lake and pond folks. Walk of shame.

It sounds like tacking would not have helped if the underwater vegetation was so thick over most of the lake that the rudder and dagger board couldn't cut through them.

Someone probably administers the lake (county, township, state, whatever). Sometimes a call to the ranger office would give you that information. And, if the lake is close, do a recon ahead of time, question anyone you see fishing, on small boats. If no small boats with motors, it was probably because the local fishermen knew that their props would get fouled so avoid it during the spring and summer.

There's a huge county lake down the road from me. Open on all sides, nothing to cause a shifty wind (like trees or mountains surrounding it). Perfect for a small dinghy, I thought. In 35 years I've only seen one sailboat. A few years ago I went on it with my kayak and found out why: Almost the entire lake is less than knee deep. I could have walked out to the center of it. Even my kayak rudder scraped a few times.
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Old 08-17-2013
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Re: For the under 15ft. lake and pond folks. Walk of shame.

Billy,
I've been to Monson, MA; pretty place. You had a bad tornado there a year or two ago.

As for lakes that are overgrown with aquatic plants I suspect you will be a little more careful the next time. Heavy weed growth often make the waters surface look flat and smooth, even when there is a wind blowing. You may need to find a bigger, deeper lake to mess around on with your sail boat. Unfortunately, aquatic plant growth is probably a sign of a healthy fresh water lake. A deeper lake should have more area where you can actually use the rudder & center board.

I wonder if they would allow small sailboats like yours on Quabbin Reservoir to the north of Monson?
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: For the under 15ft. lake and pond folks. Walk of shame.

Your right Caleb, I'll be a lot pickier about where I take the Zuma from now on. No sailing on Quabbin, but I'm hoping to make it up to either Otis reservoir and Littleville lake before we run out of weather. @ Spider, I did try to tack out, but the lack of dagger board and some good wind just blew me sideways, and the rudder was also getting totally fouled by the weeds. Also hoping to make a run down to Narragansett Bay soon also. Every time out is a lesson. Unfortunately when your local waters are kind of on the small side, it's like trying to learn how to drive in your driveway.
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: For the under 15ft. lake and pond folks. Walk of shame.

Be happy the lake isnt populated with gators and water moccasins as every body of water in FL is. In my 12' MiniCup sailboat, if blown near shore, first thing you do is look to make sure there aren't any wasp nests in the bushes, then check for snakes, then scan the weeds for gators. The paddle is also used to clear away the giant spider webs in the close ashore bushes. I carry a paddle tied to the boat so I don't have to wade thru such horrors and can paddle back to the landing.
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: For the under 15ft. lake and pond folks. Walk of shame.

No thank you Frogwatch! A friend of mine just got back from Florida. We both Geocache, and he told me he was going to try to find a few near where he was staying while he was down there. He told me the first one he looked for, he found like a 2 foot gator, it then became, the LAST one he looked for.
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