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Old 25-06-2011, 19:41   #1
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Sailing Lessons on Lake Erie ?

I live in Cincinnati, but have family up closer towards Lake Erie, so end up there every so often. I just thought I'd poke around the forums and see if there were any enterprising souls in the Sandusky area that ever considered giving sailing lessons. Obviously there are sailing schools in the area, but being the frugal (ie cheap) guy I am I thought I'd see if I could pick up a few things from an individual.

Thanks ahead of time for any responses!
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Old 25-06-2011, 20:42   #2
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Re: Sailing lessons on Lake Erie?

Hey Tucker.

Ohio Sucks
I'm also from Cincinnati but no boat here... I'm leaving in about 3 or 4 days to sail down the Chesapeake for my first solo sail

I didn't have any money either when it was time for me to start learning. I couldn't afford the real lessons, but I scraped together $100 and took the 2 day lessons from Strictly Sail in Blue Ash. The lessons are kinda half-assed but the instructor is pretty cool and they do get you out on the water for a day....You get to sail a 25 footer in Brookville Lake, and if you're astute enough, you'll actually learn a thing or two.

After taking that lesson, I realized It would be a long time before I could ever sail again, since $100 a day wasn't going to work for me. So I found a little sailboat (literally) and put about $200 into it and started sailing around Cowan Lake.

I'd highly recommend this. It's not easy to find a cheap boat around here, but they do come up once in a while. Cowan lake actually has a small sailboat marina and a sailing club, not sure how much it is to join but you might consider looking into it. I also hear there is a lot of sailing at Houston woods, but I never went there. I sailed a few times at Ceasars Creek lake but it's way too crowded with power boats on the weekends. Interestingly, there's a about 50 sailboats sitting in a lot up there that almost never get used...

There's actually quite a few sailors in Cinci, but they're not so easy to find. Cowan Lake is the place to go for sailign in Cinci. You can also go to Brookville lake and try to crew on the j24's or the beer can races with the cruisers. Talk to the guys at Strictly sail about it, just don't let them talk you into buying a boat

Good Luck.
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Old 26-06-2011, 09:03   #3
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Re: Sailing lessons on Lake Erie?

Thank you for that information! That is really helpful. It will at least get me started on the path! And don't worry about them talking me into buying anything - no money - no problem

Honestly, I'd never heard of Cowan Lake before and I've been in Cincinnati since '86. I've been to Brookville, and Caeser Creek though. I'm actually pretty excited now. I can at the very least learn a little bit. And there are some relatively cheap boats in the area - I keep looking through Craigslist and other places. What kind of boat did you start out on?

Thanks again for your input!
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Old 26-06-2011, 09:31   #4
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Re: Sailing lessons on Lake Erie?

That's funny, I had never heard of Cowan lake either until I started sailing

The reason Cowan and Heuston woods are for sailing is becouse they both have a 10hp motor limit. All the other lakes, like ceasars creek, eastfork, etc... are just completely overcrowded with motor boats (except during the week, then you have the entire lake to yourself). I actually sailed on ceasars creek several times before finding Cowan, but it was really frustrating being a total noob, trying to teach myself, and literally being surrounded by jetski'ers and tow-behind tubes and all the crazy weekend drunks!
It was so frustrating I almost gave up and sold the boat... Finding Cowan lake was a lifesaver.

I think there is another lake with sailors, rockyfork, or something like that. They have bigger sailboats that older folks own. They usually raft up in the middle of the lake and get drunk on the weekends, not much real sailing...

Brookville lake has a real sailing marina, real sailboats, sailing association, races (both one design j24's and PHRF cruising boats), cruisers, everything you wouldn't expect to find in a little inland lake I think the guys at strickly sail are pretty well tied into to all the happenings there, so they are the one's to talk to about it.

I think Hueston Woods has a sailing club and races, (just like Cowan Lake) but I never went there to check it out because Cowan was closer and more than good enough for me.

My boat was a little sunfish type of boat, it's was actually a Sear's Jetwind. It was a lot of fun, but I'd recommend a different type of boat for these local lakes. The lakes rarely have any wind worth speaking of. And when the wind the does pick up, it's too much for this type of boat (a real sunfish would probably be much better, but my jetwind with Nylon sail and my 180lbs did nothing but make the boat hard to handle in anything over 15knts). The problem with sunfish types is you can't ever reef the sail.... I'd recommend a little 'daysailor' type of boat. Something between 14-20' (or so) with a cubby hole, or even a cabin, to store stuff in, real seating instead of just a footwell and deck. You want to be able to bring a few things along with you, life jackets (because the watercops will check you out occasionally), cooler for the beer , an anchor so you can stop and go swimming in the summer, fishing gear, etc... the sunfish is just sailing and nothing else. A Laser would be a really fun boat if there was enough wind, but the wind around here is either fluky and light, totally non-existant, or 20+knts. It's still fun to get out on the lake though no matter what the wind is doing. All of these smaller boats will do a few knots even in nearly imperceptible wind.
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Old 27-06-2011, 06:51   #5
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Re: Sailing lessons on Lake Erie?

Thank you for the great information!! I look forward to following the journey on your blog - that is your journey right?

Good sailing to you - maybe I'll catch up to you someday!
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Old 10-08-2011, 15:28   #6
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Re: Sailing lessons on Lake Erie?

Hey, I know this is way after the fact, but my dad Has a sailboat docked at Cedar point in Sandusky, and is a 50 ton Master USCG Licensed Captain. he and my mom go sailing almost every weekend, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind giving some lessons!

If you are still interested, send me a message and I'll get you his email
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:22   #7
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Re: Sailing Lessons on Lake Erie ?

That would be great - absolutely I would be interested!

Thank you!

Chris
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Old 23-08-2011, 13:30   #8
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Re: Sailing Lessons on Lake Erie ?

I am fairly certain that Harbor North has either ASA or US Sailing courses. If I recall correctly in Huron. It wasn't cheap if I recall correctly but fair for what it is. I believe the boat was a Tartan 10. I haven't used this school but did read about it some years back.
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