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Old 03-06-2007, 20:00   #1
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Texoma vs Kemah?

We're going to bring our boat (29' Bristol) from the Chesapeake to Texas starting in the fall. Still trying to decide where to keep her.

The choices are Kemah (4 hours away) on the coast, open to the seven seas, or Lake Texoma (1 hour away) where there are low bridges about 20 miles apart.

After cruising the Chesapeake-Florida circuit full time for several years, I'm feeling claustrophobic about the idea of being on a lake. The admiral reminds me we'll probably just be doing weekend gunkholing anyway, and it doesn't matter that we can't go past the next bend.

Any experiences in Texoma, or other such lakes?
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Old 03-06-2007, 20:46   #2
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After cruising the Chesapeake-Florida circuit full time for several years, I'm feeling claustrophobic about the idea of being on a lake.
Compare it to not sailing at all. Lake sailing is pretty nice if it is close to home. You can cruise the shore line and see the sights. You meet people you have fun and enjoy the water. We did it in Minneapolis for a year and it was nice to just be on the water. Texoma is a popular place. Boating in Texas is popular too. Being close to home matters more than how good the sailing is. A 4 hour drive means at the very best you'll go every other weekend. 1 hour away means you might go during the middle of the week in the summer. Think about the drive. You could actually be driving more than sailing at 4 hours. Not a fair trade.
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Old 03-06-2007, 21:30   #3
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I have sailed on Lake Texoma and it was lovely. Friends had their boat there but have since moved to Florida. Nice sheltered bays for anchorage. Great restaurant on the lake with finger piers for the clientelle. The last time was 16 or 17 years ago though so things have probably changed a lot. My friends lived in Dallas and it was an easy drive out for the weekend.
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Old 03-06-2007, 22:40   #4
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Lake Texoma is a nice size lake, that is, NOT small. Kema area is very nice as well and no bridges to go through but on salt water. If you just want to sail then I would suggest Lake Texoma.
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:58   #5
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First Welcome to Texas,

I learned to sail in North Texas and currently sail out of Kemah. Texhoma is a fairly large lake. A lot of the traffic will be smaller fishing boats and nothing commercial that I can remember. I have a friend who kept a Vagabond 42 on the lake and there are some fairly large sailboats there. Remember the water level in the lake can change greatly depending on the weather in the area. Also keep in mind that where you live and work in the Dallas/Ft Worth area may add as much as an hour and a half to your Friday evening commute to the lake (or Kemah).

Kemah/Galveston bay is a large yachting center. There are a lot of fun things to do and you have access to the coast. A few years ago a ballot initiative failed that would have allowed casino gambling in the area. Some local business groups had invested heavily in the area in anticipation and when the initiative failed they created a sort of amusement park at the opening of Clear Lake. The result is that the old salty flavor of the area is gone and the traffic is pretty congested. A business acquaintance moved his boat down from the Chesapeake complained that there is "no place to sail to except Galveston." There is a lot of commercial traffic.

When I lived in North Texas all of my boats were on trailers. There is a lot of sailing in North Texas but most of it is about 70 miles of highway apart. You may also consider Eagle Mountain, Joe Pool (shallow from what I hear), or Ray Hubbard.

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Old 04-06-2007, 05:22   #6
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Thanks. I'll check those other lakes. Ray Roberts is pretty close to me.

The scary part, for a coastal cruiser, is that if I pick one lake, I can't switch to another without considerable expense. The freedom I had for years of just pulling up the anchor and moving to a different spot for a different set of conditions and neighbors sure seems hard to give up!
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