Originally Posted by Sail Ozzy
I have job offers in Denver and St. Louis. Can anyone advise me which area will be best for sailing? I'm open to sailing a boat as small as a Hobie cat
or as big as a 25' monohull. I am thinking the smaller Hobie would be better for Denver so I can take it to different lakes throughout the West. Whereas in St. Louis, I might be able to find a home for a 25' monohull of some sort. This thread is as much about deciding between the two cities as it about getting sailing ideas for whichever city I lay anchor
. Any input from locals is greatly appreciated.
Ozzy, I can't speak for Denver but I've been in STL for a decade now and, in the past few years, have taken up sailing. The options here are mixed but not impossible. We bought a Hobie Tandem Island that we take to Creve Coeur Lake - about 10 minutes from the house. There's an active group of dinghy
sailors there and they race
most summer Sundays. The rivers? Maybe, but the levels are way down this season - and the currents deserve real caution. Next closest is Carlyle Lake, about 90 minutes away, a fair sized inland lake with a reputation for reliable winds. There are several marinas
and an active sailing club that is home to several fleets - Y-flyers, Sj21s, etc. some folks get slips, but many dry- sail leaving their boats rigged onshore. Next is Mark Twain Lake, also with a marina and a friendly sailing association. It's just about two hours away. Next is Stockton Lake, four hours away, that another poster likes and I intend to visit soon. I've seen pictures of what looks like U20s racing
and that's the real thing! Then, there's the Land Between the Lakes near Paducah, Kentucky, also four hours out. We haven't been there either, but its on the list for this summer. Finally, there's Lake Michigan and all it offers. We sailed there on a time share in 2011 and it was great.
Here's my take overall: the ideal boat for STL is on that fits in a 20 foot garage, hauls easily behind a mid- size SUV, launches in shallow ramps, rigs in 10 minutes, and is a blast to sail. That's a boat you could take to a different place every weekend. If I had the $, I'd buy that boat - a Norseboat 17.5 - but since I don't, the Hobie Island is a great substitute. I imagine the Hobie Cat is the same. When we want serious sailing, we hop on a plane to Bellingham or Santa Barbara for a week charter
. Another option for you might be to get something like a S2 6.9 (retractable keel) that when sailing one lake gets boring you can trailer it to another without too much agony.
On the larger question of Denver vs. STL, I won't slight a city that many people love (Denver). But I will say that STL is a fine place to live. I say that having grown up in the Bay Area, college in Santa Barbara, and time in Cleveland, Atlanta, and Chicago.