Saturday, September 28, 2013

Preparing for Winter

I've made my last sail if the season, unless I decide to get hardcore and buy a dry suit. This means that It's time to wrap up the Hobie and tuck it in for a long winters nap.

I'm not lucky enough to have a huge garage to store the Getaway in, so I'm relegated to wrapping it up with a tarp. Last winter I used two small tarps to cover the trampolines, but I was disappointed in the spring to find that the hooks on the bungees had left nasty black marks in the hulls. Removing these black marks required furious scrubbing and a few Magic Erasers.

After looking online at tarp solutions I decided to make my own custom fitted tarp. I started with a 11 ft.4 in by 18 ft. 6 in. tarp from Harbor Freight. This tarp is just about the right width to cover the width of the boat, but much too long.  I got a cheap grommet kit  from amazon and perfected the art of grommeting. The end result is a custom fitted Hobie Getaway tarp that cost all of $30 and took about an hour to make.  I expect it to last about a year.

I made a few cuts in the tarp to make it fit perfectly.

I made some cuts to accommodate for the wings.

I added grommets along the edges that I cut and in the corners. If you use this punch style grommet device be sure to hammer on to solid concrete. Hammering on wood causes the grommet to bounce just enough that the waster doesn't seat correctly. I wasted several grommets learning this.

I also added grommets in the center of each trampoline for drains.

I use the bungees with a nob on the end, no hook to scratch the hull.

I wrapped up the comp tip and wing seats to protect them from UV.

I also added new grommets cut corners to secure the tarp to the trailer. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sailing Bear Lake

Bear Lake is one of my favorite places to sail in Utah during the late summer. The water is clear, warm and blue. There is always a nice breeze in the afternoon the sandy beach is clean. The trip to Bear lake from our house in Cedar Hills can take a few hours so we normally camp for a few nights.

Our favorite camping near bear lake is actually at Beaver Mountain ski resort. They have 5 excellent tent sites up in the pines that are almost never taken. They also offer water, clean bathrooms and showers.

We also enjoy hiking along the ski lift finding treasures long lost by skiers past.

We normally launch our Hobie Getaway at Rendezvous Beach on the south end of Bear Lake. This is a great sandy beach with plenty of parking. The boat ramp is often closed due to low water, but they let beach cats trailers drive down to the beach to drop off boats.  It's actually quite nice to have the boat ramp closed, and avoid fighting for a spot in line with 20 ski boats. Here is a video of our trip last week. The water was a warm 71 degrees and the breeze was nice.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Making Sailing Videos

My last post of my favorite videos made me want to make my own video. Last Saturday my kids and I went out sailing and took my new Nikon AW110 along to make a video. I bought the Nikon AW110 from Costco for about $280.

I've been looking for a camera that was waterproof and took good video and good photos for some time.  I've been through a few water proof cameras and they either take horrible stills or didn't last too long. The Nikon AW110 is rugged, water prof, shockproof and freeze proof. It has a built in GPS and wifi connection and it takes great video and photos. I've very happy with it.

I'm not the greatest film maker and holding a camera steady while sailing and filming is a bit tricky, but here is the result.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ultimate Sailing Adventure

For some time I've considered sailing my Hobie from Long Beach to Catalina or from Huneme to the Channel Island, inspired by various you tube videos and stories from the internet. And although I'm a fairly experienced beach cat sailor, I've never sailed in the ocean, let alone the open sea. I can't imagine that my experience to date counts for much in the open sea.  When this video was posted on the hobie website I was inspired by the their adventure and I thought I would gather all of the epic beach cat adventure stories I could find into one post.

Lets start with two Hobie Tandem Islands and an Old Hobie 16 making their way to the Channel Islands. This is a beautiful video with some great music, thanks Wilderness collective.

Here is another great video of a group of Tandem Islands sailing to Catalina, Camping and doing some spear Fishing. If you've never been spear fishing you must try it, it's epic fun

These guys make the crossing from a campground near Cabrillo to Two Harbors, on Catalina Island in about an hour and a half. This is very fast for a crossing of about 30 miles, the video shows them flying through the ocean on a Hobie 18 with wings. As they leave you can see the Hobie Getaway on Beach.

Here is a great Journal entry about a trip to the Channel Islands (Santa Cruz Island) made in a Beach Cat.

This guys sailed his Hobie 14 across Florida Bay from Flamingo to Long Key. The video is a little dry, but he gives good info and you can see how he loaded up his tiny boat.

This last journal is my favorite and tells the story of two brothers sailing their Hobie down the coast of Baja Mexico. Epic Journey on a Hobie that is well written and informative.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rockport State Park Camping

Friday afternoon we drove back up to Rockport to camp. We heard that there was a regatta that would be held there on saturday so we thought it might be fun to go camp friday night and then go out on the boat and watch watch some sailing races on Saturday.

We arrived at Rockport about 6pm on Friday night. All of the campsites near the lake where full. We ended up driving to the other side of the dam and finding the last camp site at the the Old Church camp ground. This is a nice flat camp ground below the dam. The state park restored an old church building and moved it to this site some time ago. You cant go into the church, but it is located on a grassy knoll next some mature shade trees. It would make for a great place for a family reunion.
2012 Hobie Getaway

We packed up camp early on Saturday and headed over to the lake.  The race turned out to be 3 catamarans, but the lake was full of sail boats. At one point there were over 10 sail boats on the lake, including two Hobie Getaways, a few Hobie 16's, a Hobie Wildcat, a Prindle, several Nacra's, a Lazer and some Keelboats.

Wind was consistently  fresh and gusty blowing from the west. Water temperature in the middle of the lake was about 70 degrees and the air temperature was about 90.  We picnicked just left of the boat ramp in a nice sandy beach. My brother in laws family joined us at the lake and at one point we had more then six kids out one the boat, which made me glad I decided to buy a Hobie Getaway.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rockport State Park Sailing Report

We intended on sailing at Deer Creek again this Saturday, but we where disappointing to find the parking lot full at the day use area. Instead we continued up the road a bit to Rockport State Park. You can read more about Rockport in one of my previous blogs.

This was our first sailing trip to Rockport but it will not be our last. The weather was overcast and cool. with wind blowing consistently at 10 to 15 mph from the damn on the north side of the lake. The water temperature was warm, but with no sun and consistent breeze it made for a cool trip.

We spent most of the day making quick reaches, zipping across widest part of the lake, which is about a mile when the reservoir is full.

We also had a good time rafting down the little stream at the south end of the lake.  Later in the afternoon, the storm blew in and rain started to fall. The rain blew over quickly and a nice calm sky to pack up under.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tacking the Hobie Getaway

I've read a few posts and forums threads about tacking a Hobie Getaway. This can be quite tricky for those new to sailing small beach cats. For some time on my 14 I avoided tacking altogether. However, the more I sailed with kids the more I preferred the less violent and more graceful maneuver of tacking.

From what I gather there are two methods two tacking that folks prefer, the key difference being whether or not one makes use of the jib in pulling the boat through the wind. This maneuver is called backwinding, and is my preferred method of tacking on the Getaway, simply because I have more success with it.

Here are some basic tacking steps.

1) Gather boat speed. I do this by bearing off the wind a bit to a reach.

2) Turn in to the wind and sheet in your main sail more and more until you are just about to go into irons. Make a nice smooth and wide. Avoid a sharp tiller movement as this will slow your boat speed. Keep your weight on the boat balanced between, leeward,windward and fore, aft.

3) Un-cleat your main sail just as you approach the close hauled point. If you keep your mail sail cleated, it will act like a whether vain and turn your boat back into the wind.

4) After you have passed through the wind, switch your jib and sheet in your main.  Leaving your jib on the lea ward tack until after you pass through the wind, allows the jib to catch the wind on the opposite tack sooner, pushing the bow of the boat across the tack.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Deer Creek Consistancy

Saturday made for a perfect day of sailing at Deer Creek. I must say that of all the sailing destinations in Utah, Deer Creek is by far the most consistent as far as predictable wind goes.

Wind blew between 10 to 20 mph all day long. As usual the wind blew from the south, the dam side of the lake, to the North.

Water temperature was a cozy 75 degrees a at the beach. It made for perfect swimming and great sailing.

This was my second time sailing on Deer Creek this year. The water depth has dropped quite a lot since the last trip. At this water level the distance across the lake is just about a mile.  We sailed most of the day and clocked 29 miles on the GPS with a Max speed of 15 mph.

At one point we sailed from island beach day area to Wallsburg Bay which took a great deal of tacking. We planned to stop and swim there, but the bay was crowed and the wind didn't let up.

My intrepid kidos piled in an inflatable raft and made their way across the channel at island at 'island beach'.

 The water was so low, that the island was more of a peninsula, rather then an island. This didn't diminish the trip in their minds at all.

There where a few other sail boats on the lake on saturday, a Prindle, Hobie 16 and a Dingy.  There never enough sailboats out in my mind.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Warm Water at Utah's Yuba Reservoir

A friend and I were invited to take the scouts out sailing on Friday. We took two Hobie Getaways down to the west beach on Yuba Lake.

We where reminded that we should have thoroughly check our trailers before we left. My friends trailer
fender came loose flew off narrowly missing our car on the drive to the lake. The fender bracket began to dig into the sidewall of the tire. We made it to a gas station just in time. We where missing the proper size lug wrench to change the tire, luckily the wrench from the other tow vehicle fit the lugs on the trailer. It was a close call, but we got the tire changed and made it to the lake around noon.

The water at the beach was 76 degrees, very warm, obviously it was much cooler in the deeper parts of the lake. The wind usually doesn't pick up until the afternoon at Yuba, as was the case on Friday. That gave us time to set up boats, set up camp and eat a quick lunch.

Our first wind measurements were in the mid twenties with gusts up to 33 mph. This made for some good sailing.

Each boat was loaded with 3 or 4, 14 year old scouts, which is a light load for the Getaway. For most of the afternoon we cursed around at speeds of about 6 to 15 mph.

The wind died in the early evening and we stopped for a dutch oven dinner around 7 pm.  At around 9 pm the wind picked up again and we jumped backed on the boats to pick up an evening sail. A strong breeze started blowing with consistent 30+ mph winds. We cruised at 14 to 18 mph until the the last bits of light disappeared over the hills.

With nightfall, the wind completely died and the night was utterly calm. I rolled my sleeping bag out on the tramp of my Hobie and slept under the full moon of the summer solstice.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Understanding Wind Speeds

The Beaufort number is a category that helps one to conceptualize wind and categorize it.

I make a habit of measuring wind speeds when I'm out sailing. I find it help me to know my sailing limits and the limits of my boat. When I began sailing I really had no way to conceive how hard the wind  was blowing other then how it felt or how the water looked. I found myself being more fearful then I needed to be of a strong breeze.  My first wind meter helped me overcome my unwanted insecurity of the wind.

I often would gauge the wind based in the look of the water, wave size, whitecaps and what not. The trouble with this method is that wave size largely depends on the depth of the body of water, the amount of boat chop and how steep the shore is near the beach.  The waves in the ocean are much different than wave on a lake.  I't much better to quantify wind, and lucky for us it has been done.

A 0 (Calm) Beaufort number indicates almost no wind with glassy water. Perfect for water skinning. On Utah Lake you need to get up early in the morning to experience this type of water.

1 (Light Air) indicates wind speed up to 4 miles per hour. This is when you see ripples form on the water.

2 (Light Breeze) indicates a wind speed of just below 7.5 miles per hour. One can see small wavelets with glassy crests.

3 (Gentle Breeze) 7.5 to 12 miles per hour and large wavelets are forming and crests of waves are beginning to break.

4 (Moderate Breeze) From 12.1 to 18.9 miles per hour of wind you will see small waves and white caps.

5 (Fresh Breeze) In wind blowing at 19 to 24.7 miles per hour one expects moderate waves that are well formed lots of white caps and some spray.

6 (Strong Breeze) At 24.8 to 31.6 miles per hour expect large waves, whitecaps, spray.

At this point you may consider heading in, wind over 30 MPH is not impossible to sail riding  Hobie, but it is difficult and potentially dangerous.

7 (Moderate Gale) At 31.7 to 38.5 mph if you are on the ocean at this point you would see the sea heaping up and some spin drift. I've never been out on my Hobie at more than 30 mph.

8 (Fresh Gale) At 38.6 to 46.6 you see some high waves with crests in to spindrift and well marked streaks of foam.

9 (Strong Gale) At 46.7-53.9 you will see huge waves and rolling seas, dense spray and limited visibility due to sea spray.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

First Sailing Trip on Deer Creek Utah

Saturday we took our Hobie Getaway out on Deer Creek Reservoir, one of many great State Parks in Utah. We launched the boat at the Island Beach boat ramp and day use area.

 Island Beach doesn't have a great beach, but  it does have  very nice shaded grassy area for picnicking and a sandy area above the breakwater.
Since we had our new born with us, this area made a great place for mom and baby to hang out while the older kids and I went out for a sail. The actual beach is a combination of mud and rocks. There where also nice bathrooms and a little store nearby.

The down side to this area is that there isn't much trailer parking. On Saturday there was a sign indicating that the parking lot was full. We lucked out when a parking spot was vacated just after we launched the boat.  I'm not sure what we would have done otherwise.

There is no beach camping on Deer Creek (at least none that I have found) so we normally go to Deer Creek for day trips. This lake is only about an hour drive from our house so day trips work great. There are some great camping spots for RV's on the other side of the  lake, but no place to beach a boat nearby.

There where a few sailboats out on Saturday which ended up being a great day for sailing. Aside from us there was a Prindle 16, a Hobie 16 as well as a couple of keel boats, a wind surfer and lots of kite boarders sailing around.

Wind on Saturday was consistent and strong measuring between 16 and 20 miles per hour all afternoon. The water was quite rough because of the wind and chop from the ski boats. My kids love smashing through the huge white caps created by circling boats.

The water was a warm 69 degrees near the shore. We would normally enjoy some swimming off of the boat in such warm water but the wind never died down enough to permit it. I brought our wet suits along, but with air temperatures in the high 80's we didn't need them.

We got some good practice in tacking in choppy water with good wind. My oldest son Ben, who is 11, got the feel for tacking in the wind and gained confidence sailing in rough water on a windy day. It was a great summer outing.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sailing Huntington Reservoir Utah

My wife and I have an old broken down house in Emery Utah that we like to visit in the summer. We go there a few weekends a year and enjoy the desert. There are two little reservoirs near Emery that I would like to take my Hobie Getaway sailing on. They are both very small. One is Huntington Reservoir and the other is Millsite near Ferron Utah. Both are state parks in southern Utah.

On memorial day my wife and I drove down to Huntington to see if it was really big enough to sail on. The water area is about 250 some odd acres that is fairly symmetrical. The water was warming up nicely for the spring and the wind in Emery county is always blowing. I didn't have my wind meter with me that day, but a consistent  (i'm guessing) 15+ mph breeze was blowing.

There is a nice beach area that is right next to a very nice grassy picnic and camping area. The day we went the lake was almost empty, one boat was towing skiers.

We are excited to try this lake out and return with a sail report.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Yuba Lake Utah

I have a goal to find all of the sailable lakes in Utah and try them out. The problem is that I consider certain qualities of a lake important for a good sailing outing. Most of these qualities come from the fact that I have a young family and I want the trip to be enjoyable for everyone. I wouldn't mind spending an entire day on the water, but that is impractical for my wife and kids. Yuba Lake in Utah meets  all of these requirements if you go out on a week day.

1. A Sandy Beach

For young kids, a sandy beach offers countless hours of fun. For the past 5 years or so I've been sailing with three young kids. This year, for the first time in a while, I'll also have a tiny baby. That means that someone will always be a shore with the little guy. There are lots of lakes in Utah, but Yuba has the best sandy beach.

2. Warm Water

Water in Utah takes a while to warm up. Most lakes are feed by mountain streams. Many of lakes are up in the mountains and the water is cold. Yuba is 5100 feet as compared to deer creeks 5400 feet. In the summer the water is warm and clean.

3. Shaded Camping

There are some options for shaded camping on Yuba, but it comes with some trade offs. The worst is bugs. the shade attracts mayflies. Most of the time we camp in the trees on the west beach or right on the north beach and set up a shade. I also like to camp on the beach next to my boat.

4.Close to Home

My tolerance for driving to a lake is about 3 hours of highway time. Since we live in Cedar Hills that puts Yuba about 2 hours away. There are many good lakes (reservoir) in southern Utah that I haven't explored because they are too far to get to for a day trip. I'm going to have to suck it up and drive to them.

The down side to Yuba is that it is crowded on the weekend. I completely steer clear of it on the weekends in the summer. If only they would make one lake completely reserved for sailing, sigh...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Keeping Your Electronics Dry

My wife and I were looking for a way to keep our cell phones and camera dry while on our sailing adventures in Utah. The Hobie Getaway has some built in storage boxes, but they are not entirely water tight. Most beach cats don't have any storage built into the hulls and so you are limited to stowing items in pockets in the trampoline or tying bags down to the trampoline. In any case you may want to keep you gadgets dry.

A lot of the electronic gear I keep on the boat is water resistant, like my GPS, but I still prefer to keep them somewhat dry.  I looked at waterproof cases online, but they are quite pricey and bulky.

My wife came up with an ingenious, cheap, tough solution for this problem. I keep these two plastic jars in one of the cooler boxes on my boat. One is a mayonnaise jar and the other is a jelly jar. They are both plastic and completely water tight. Before we used them I tested their water seal by submerging them in the sink. Their water seal is perfect.  I prefer the wide mouth lid jar with the blue cap because It is easy to get large items in and out of.

I keep cell phones in one jar with a GPS and wind meter. I keep a camera and tools in the other. I normally also put my cell in a what tight bag so I can use it and not worried about it getting ruined, by boat spray.

Happy Utah Sailing.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Utah Weather Stations

One frustration we have all felt as sailors is getting to the lake on a nice summer day and find that there isn't an ounce of wind. I finally found a website that feeds the current weather data from the actual weather stations across Utah. This is a great tool for planning a Utah Sailing trip. Below is the link to the NOAA weather station map of Utah. Click on a weather station link near the lake you are planning a sailing trip too. Not all weather stations give wind readings, but many do. You can also get humidity, barometric pressure, and precipitation.

Friday, May 10, 2013

3 Sailing Gadgets for Your Boat

I've been sailing for quite a few years. Over the past few years I have come across 3 great gadgets that I never leave home with out. OK, sometimes I forget them, but when I do I kick myself.

The first is obvious. Its a hand held GPS. I prefer a inexpensive GPS unit that is waterproof and has good battery life.  This Garmin eTrax 10 was about 100$ at Cabela's. I'm never away from shore so far that I need to find my way back. Rather, I like to keep statistic on my trips, like my speed, distance and direction. There are a lot fancier units that would work just as well, but after dropping a few in the lake, I opted for the cheapest unit possible.  This unit has a battery life of about 22 hours, so the two double a batteries will actually last  you the entire season if you turn it off between outings.  You can import most GPS  tracks to Google Earth and save them, keeping a nice log of our trips.

Second is a hand held wind meter. My wife gave me a Skywatch Xplorer 3 for Christmas a few years ago. This hand held meter is good for measuring wind speed,  air temperature,  water temperature and calculating wind chill. It also has a built in digital compass. One can also hold it in the wake of your boat and check the water speed.

Knowing wind speed helps one to gauge ones sailing abilities and make wise decisions about when to take up arms against the weather.

I've had this wind meter for a few years now and haven't had to replace the battery.  It's water proof and very durable.

Finally I always go sailing with my Leatherman Multi-Tool. I have a Leatherman Wave. It has a sharp knife, pliers, screwdriver, file and saw. Sometimes I have a hard time loosening the Shackles with my fingers and a pair of pliers comes in handy. I keep a small tool kit in my sail box also, but I like to keep my multi tool on the boat with an extra rope and some cord. The Leatherman is stainless steel, so it doesn't rust, even after many wet trips on the lake. On my Hobie Getaway, I stow all of this in one of the coolers, which don't make great coolers but make great storage.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

4 Hobie's Compared

I was first introduced to sailing at scout camp. I wish I could actually find a picture of the strange little boats that our scout camp owned. They where strange little boats that where donated to the camp. Working on the aquatics staff at the camp I figured out how to put them together and sail them in order to offer a sailing merit badge. After several years of teaching swimming, lifesaving and canoeing; sailing stuck with me.

During my third year of college I decided that it was time for me to get a sailboat of my own. I purchased a Hobie 16 for about a thousand dollars, which I borrowed from my parents. Since then I have owned 4 different Hobiecat's, a 16, 14, 17 and lastly a Getaway.

My first Hobiecat was a Hobie 16 with a jib. I assume all 16's come with a Jib? In any case mine had one. It was bright yellow, with a beautiful rainbow colored sail. I set it up for the first time in the yard of a house we rented in South Provo, which has since been torn down.  When I bought my first Hobie 16 I was newly married with no kids, so I thought the 16 seemed like a great choice.  I learned quickly that my wife was more keen on riding on a boat rather then helping to sail one.

I sold the H16 after a season or two, opting for a Hobie 14. My thinking was that the 14 would be something I could handle easily solo. I was right, and the 14 is still my favorite boat for solo sailing. The H14 is fast, easy to sail and very tough. It flips easy and rights easy. If I could have two boats, and a magic wand, I would have a H14 today.

There are a few short comings of my H14. First it didn't have a Jib. This made tacking tricky, the Jib pulls acts like a wind vain when tacking and helps pull the boat through the wind. Catamarans don't tack as quickly as  keel boats. Jib kits are easy to install on H14, but I didn't install one at the time because it made for simple sailing.  My biggest complaint for the 14 was that it simply couldn't hold enough people. Sailing with two adults on the 14 was pushing its capacity. We took it out with as many as 4 adults and the 14 was sluggish and cramped.

Looking to remedy this problem I found a Hobie 17 for sale and I picked it up for just 400 bucks. It came with a nice trailer and sail box. After a few fiberglass repairs, I had it on the lake. I really like the H17 sleek design. Sailing it solo I discovered it to be very fast less inclined to flip then my 14. My H17 also didn't have a Jib and tacking on the H17 was more difficult then the 14. Unlike the H16 and H14, which are all but identical, the H17 is completely different design.
 First the H17 has dagger boards to improve its windward capability, a feature I deplored. The dagger-boards where always getting stuck. When beaching the boat, sand would wedge between the hulls and the dagger boards causing them to bind.  The H17 was not much more buoyant then the H14. It preformed great with one person, but now I had a family of 5 and we needed more space. The H17 hulls also leaked and I could never find the hole, I suspect the leak as caused by the holes that attached the wings. My favorite thing about the H17 was the wings. The wing seats made such a difference in the comfort of the boat.

After owning 3 boats I had decided what I wanted in a catamaran. I wanted a boat that had lots of capacity, easy to sail,  beach-able with wings.  So the Getaway seemed like the perfect boat. I looked for sometime for a used Hobie Getaway. I figure either Hobie doesn't sell alot of Getaways or used boats go pretty quickly.  I eventually decided to pony up the dough and get a new boat.

The getaway is perfect for a family boat.. It has enough buoyancy to handle 4+ adults easily. It has no boom which is great when you are sailing with kids. The front trampoline is fun and comfy. The wings fold in and much easier to use then the wings on the H17.  The Getaway is very stable, easy to sail and tacks well.  You can beach it with no concern about damaging hulls.

Over all each of these boats is a great choice for someone looking to get into sailing.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Rockport State Park

Sunday afternoon my family and I drove up to Rockport State Park a nice little reservoir located just north of the sleepy town of Peoa Utah. The little lake is about an hour and a half drive from my house in Cedar Hills Utah, but a bit closer if you are coming from either Salt Lake or Provo. Either way the drive is worth the trip. The drive is a beautiful jaunt through the mountains passing by Deer Creek Reservoir, Heber City, Park City, and Jordanelle Reservoir, each of which makes a great destination.


The reservoir is about a across at its widest point and just under 3 miles long. That's plenty of area for sailing a small boat.  The water temperature yesterday was a chilly 53 degrees, but the sun was out for part of the afternoon and the air temp was almost 75 degrees.  The water was clear and clean like many mountain lakes.


There are plenty of beaches all around the lake. Some access near the boat ramp provides a nice sandy beach. Other access near the picnic and camping areas are rocky and sandy, but one could find a spot to beach a boat easy enough.  The beach was very clean and it seems they enforce a no beach camping or fires policy.


The wind blew consistently out of the south most of the afternoon when we were there. Gusting winds measured up to 26 mph, but most of the day the breeze was between 5 and 10 mph, perfect for sailing. 


Lots of great camping sites within walking distance to a nice beach. I've never camped here, but I plan to this summer. I can see that beaching my cat close to a campsite will be easy as long as I pick a weekend that isn't too busy.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Utah Lake

Utah Lake with my Boys last year.
Yesterday, May 4th was my first sail of the season, it was a warm spring day. The air temperature was in the 70's and the water temperature in Utah lake was 60 degrees.

It was wet suit weather for sure, but we didn't get wet, wet suits were more of a precautionary measure.  If you are wondering when it's time to dawn a wet suit remember the 120 rule. If the water temperature plus the water temperature equals less then 120 you need a wet suit or more.

The wind yesterday was mild and our max speed was just under 7 mph and our averages was much slower. We sailed about 3.4 miles into the middle of Utah lake and turned around and went back. The trip took about 3 hours. I wanted to cross the lake, but the wind wasn't cooperating.  We needed to get home by 5pm, but the wind died and we end paddling a bit. When the wind would move us faster then we could paddle we sailed back.

Overall it was a great relaxing day at the lake and the trip was a great ice breaker from the long winter.


There is a small beach at Utah Lake State park where the boat ramp is, It is man made and not very sandy. On weekends it is very busy. There is another beach on Vineyard Road south of the Lindon Boat Harbor that is accessible as a walk in only, but you couldn't launch a boat there The beach is fenced off, and a man size gate provides access. I'm not aware of any really nice beaches on Utah lake.


The water is warm in the summer. The lake is generally shallow and a bit muddy. They say that when the wind picks up the waves can get quite choppy for a small craft, I've never experience it, but I don't sail there often.  It makes a good location for afternoon sails if you live if the valley.


Like most lakes in Utah , the wind seems to pick up in the afternoon, so my favorite time to sail is between 3pm and 6pm. The last trip I took I got off the water at 5 pm and the wind had just began to blow.


I've never camped at Utah Lake. I know a few years ago they added some additional camp sites at the State park. I like to camp on the beach near my boat so the State Park doesn't offer much in the way of beach camping.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sailing Deer Creek Utah

We went up to Deer Creek Reservoir to check out the water early in the year. The kids spent the time hiking along the beach and building bridges out to the trees. The water lever the spring is high.   We took the boat out later in the year to Deer Creek  I thought the sailing was great. The wind blew mostly from the dam, on the south side of the reservoir and we launched our boat from boat ramp Chokecherry Campground.

We stayed on  the lake all day, stopping in the quite times to swim and play in the water. We sailed about 2 and a half miles as the crows fly. I'm sure we actually sailed 4 times that.


There is isn't a great beach for kids to play on. There is a place called Sailboat Beach, that really isn't much of a beach. The day we went sailing, the water had dropped to the point where you couldn't launch the boat from there and the place was packed so you couldn't stake out a spot to picnic.


The wind was consistent for most of the day. Near the end of the day a small storm blew in and forced us to head back to the boat ramp a bit sooner then we had planned. There beach around the dock is steep and all of the boats where rushing to get off of the water. We had a bit of drama with a ski boat who was doing circles around ramp.


The water was cold, maybe in the high 60's.  It's a deep steep beached mountain lake with nice clean water.


There isn't a great place where you can camp next to your beached boat. There are lots of RV camp grounds, best plan to pull your boat off the water for the night. This is a hassle so we normally drive up for the day.

New Hobie Getaway

Last year we purchased a new Hobie Getaway.  We got it from in Venice, CA. It it didn't come with a trailer, so I put in on my Hobie 17 trailer. The Getaway is a touch wider then the Hobie 17 so I had to adjust my trailer rollers a bit to get it t fit. This is picture of it's first trip out.