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Old 16-02-2013, 13:15   #1
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Landlocked: Denver or St. Louis

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.
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Old 16-02-2013, 13:58   #2
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Re: Landlocked: Denver or St. Louis

Both places offer sailing opportunities, but they will be far different from what you have experienced in LA. As a former So Cal resident, it took some getting used to freshwater sailing on lakes, where the wind changes every 5 minutes. A challenge, but fun. Also, you will find that in the summer it is hot ON the water as well as off it. Don't find that much in LA. My personal recommendation would be St. Louis, since one of the 10 best sailing lakes in the country (Stockton Lake, MO) is only a few hours away. Also, if you have the need for big water (as do I) you can drive up to Chicago in a matter of a few hours.

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in Kansas City
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Old 16-02-2013, 14:09   #3
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Re: Landlocked: Denver or St. Louis

If you wish to dingy race, Denver will be fine. Active sailing groups
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Old 16-02-2013, 19:23   #4
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Thanks, Carl. I hadn't heard of Stockton Lake until you mentioned it, but it looks very nice - it would look even nicer if I were in KC! I have seen sailboats on the Mississippi River just upstream from St. Louis. Sailing there would be much closer. Anyone know what that is like? I imagine the strong current would make it hard to go anywhere upriver. I also imagine there'd be no swimming.
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Old 16-02-2013, 20:14   #5
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Actually there is a LOT of swimming in the big muddy... Great saint on Lake Carlyle and Lock and Dam 26 also
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Old 17-02-2013, 06:03   #6
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Re: Landlocked: Denver or St. Louis

Lots of lakes near Denver and throught western Colorado, and we paddled several...

One of the nearest to Denver is just south of the city, along 83, between Denver and Parker city limits.

One of those Hobie kayak/trimaran things would be just the ticket, throughout the area.

-Chris
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Old 17-02-2013, 20:34   #7
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Originally Posted by Sail Ozzy View Post
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.
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Old 21-02-2013, 10:38   #8
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St. Louis & the Mississippi River would be my choice only because you have so many choices of destinations. The dardenne slough north of St. Louis on the Mo. side has half a dozen marinas. Then there's the marinas on the IL. side at Alton & Grafton near the confluence of the IL. River. I have a cruiser on the river but also have a sweet sixteen that I sail on the lakes near home in Kansas so I do notice the sailors when I see them. Pool #19 the marina at Fort Madison, Ia. had near a dozen sailboats in the 18' to 22' range out sailing on a weekend I was there. I think the wider pools like 19 & 26 is where you'll find sailors. Pool #26 is where the dardenne slough is located & I've been to a couple of marinas in the area & they both had some slips with sailboats.
Here is a link to some marinas the ones on the dardenne slough are included.
http://www.greatriverroad.com/all/marinas.htm
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