last week, I tried something new for me – I trailered the Sunfish to work, and stopped by an area lake after work for some weeknight sailing. Walled Lake has a small public beach on the north side of the lake, and although I hadn’t been there, a few friends seemed to think I should be able to launch from that beach. parking was limited, so I had to park across the street, and use my Sunfish PVC dolly to go across the road.
after that, I pulled the boat on the PVC dolly down a sidewalk that turned into some kind of foam walking surface that led almost to water’s edge. this actually was a blessing – my PVC dolly’s wheels don’t always work well in soft sand, but there wasn’t really any other area for me to roll the dolly and boat down to the water other than this path right through the middle of the beach and swimming area.
after making it to the shallow water, I walked the boat out from the middle of the beach and swimming area to set up the sail (you can see my PVC dolly sitting on top of the boat).
I left the dolly off to the side a short distance from the beach area, and took off sailing. I hadn’t gotten very far, when I tried to tack over, and the old mainsheet snap that holds my mainsheet to the bridle at the back of the boat somehow came undone, and went flying forward following the boom and sail! you can see the blue rope flying with the mainsheet snap at the end of the rope in the picture below.
after I pulled the sail back in, and reset the mainsheet up as it should be, I sailed for maybe an hour in lighter winds, with a lot of shifts in wind speed and direction.
after that, I came back in to shore to pick up my friend Tyler, who joined me on the Sunfish. he had sailed on a much larger sailboat before, but never a Sunfish – it was fun to talk about sailing and life in general.
sailing with 2 adults can be sort of cramped on a Sunfish, but it wasn’t too hard to manage – before we started, I had shifted the halyard position on the upper boom to raise the sail up some, and I adjusted the gooseneck on the lower boom as well, to raise the back end of the sail up a bit, so we didn’t have to duck as much to get under the boom when we were tacking.
overall, Walled Lake was a pretty nice place to sail, at least on a weeknight… I’m not sure how busy it would be on a weekend. the lake is fairly shallow, but I think I heard that they actively control the weed growth, so I didn’t notice any stalling due to weeds (although I frequently raised the daggerboard to make sure it was clear). launching from the middle of the beach is a little awkward, but manageable – and it gives me a nice sailing option for days with good wind forecasts during the middle of the week.
all pictures are screenshots from the video I took with my GoPro HD Surf Hero video camera while I was sailing. I’ll try to edit it down to a short video clip to share later.