Join Date: Jan 2010
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More Forgiving Than It May Appear
I've been sailing the Alton Pool for about 10 years now, for the last couple years out of Grafton Harbor Marina. Realizing that this thread is fairly stale, I thought all the same that I would weigh in on the positive side vis a vis the Alton Pool.
Of course the range of sailing you can do is limited on the river. In my experience, you're not going to have much use for a spinnaker or for heaving-to for any stretch of time, for instance. Also, when the locks are opened up the current's no good for sailing.
That said, sailing on the river's got a lot going for it. There's always new people coming through, and the fishing in the area's pretty solid. Grafton's got a handful of decent spots to get food, a few good bars overlooking the water, and live bands in the summer.
As for the sailing itself, its always fun to take a short trip up river to Pere Marquette or down to Alton to eat at Tony's. The water's wide enough to enjoy yourself, but narrow enough that you have an excuse to tack and jibe plenty. Knowing how the wind blows over different spots in the bluffs adds a little twist to the endeavour. Plus at the end of the day, you can drink beer, fish for cats off the back of the boat, and watch the barges go by.
In summary, it's no Chesapeake Bay, but it works.