Sailing rivers??? Current?? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-25-2008
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Up where I am everyone has access to a ramp on the Missouri side. There are all kinds of private marinas that allow public ramp use for ten bucks, but I do not see how they can get many payees. There is a county park called Hideaway on Portage road that has two excellent ramps and plenty of parking available for free! I have helped friends launch there - obviously I don't trailer my boat!

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1980 Endeavour 37 sloop, currently in the Mississippi near St Louis
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-25-2008
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Originally Posted by runner View Post
I live south of St. Louis, and the closest big water is the Mississippi. Can a dinghy be sailed on the Mississippi? The current is very bad. If you drop anchor mid river in a small boat, and the anchor actually catches, a small boat will quite rapidly be sucked under by the pull against the anchor rope. Can you sail in those conditions?

I lived in St. Louis for 8 years. I have seen Mississippi there - I have not seen many sailboats on Mississippi... Actually I do not think that I have seen any... It is not only the speed of the current, but also its inconsistency: can be 1 knt or 5 knts... depending where you are in the river. Almost forgot - there is no wind! Almost no wind there. I do not know how you are going to sail under these conditions. I suggest powerboat or go to the Carlyle lake, lake of St. Louis, lake of Ozarks, Table Rock lake and sail a dinghy there. I do not think that the Missouri river is good for saling as well...
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-26-2008
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I live upriver from you guys several hours and I would say a dinghy can be sailed in about anything, but I wouldn't want to try to learn on a river. I have a micro-dinghy and I've been puttering around on a small lake in my city (100 acres) and it's plenty to learn on. The main annoyance is the trees on the lee shore blocking the wind.

Personally I have avoided any lake that allows power boats just so I can learn to handle the boat without having to dodge bullets screaming along at 20 mph with some drunken idiot at the helm.

I know a guy that has a sailboat out in Western Missouri and he spends every weekend of the summer on it. That's a long ways from St. Louis though. :-)
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-26-2008 Thread Starter
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I have Winter's for the afternoon about 12 miles or so. I kind of expect that the wind will be blocked pretty bad anywhere near any shore there. Council Bluffs is a 550 acre no wake fishing lake, so the only boats there are guys fishing. Never seen a sailboat on it yet, but I am gonna change that soon I hope. I bought a little cat online this evening, but I have to drive to Columbia to pick it up. That will be Sunday or Monday soonest.
Now I have a boat to play with while I figure out some way to make a proper repair to the aluminum boat!
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-25-2010
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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.
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post #16 of 16 Old 01-26-2010
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I lived on the Missouri near Jeff. City for 25 years and never did see a sail boat on it. I would think most of the Mississippi would be similar due to the current except that the Mississippi is MUCH wider.

LOZ is a good place to stay away from period. Too many drunks and idiots. Geezzz....and I remember when it was a very pleasant place to go and you could run the whole lake in a 16 ft. jon.

runner, I'm in Rolla and just beginning this sailing can of worms. Are you aware of any 12-20 foot daysailors down your way? Where did you find that cat in Columbia? on line?

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