sailing log: 2011-09-04 vandercook lake

I got a chance to sail with my brother-in-law on Sunday of Labor Day weekend at a small lake near his house outside of Jackson, Michigan. Vandercook Lake (Google map) is a small lake of a little less than 150 acres, with depths varying from the shallow perimeter around the lake of 0′ to 5′, but dropping off quickly to about 40′ in the center of the lake.  for being a holiday weekend, there was very little lake traffic – I think I saw one pontoon boat cruising around, and one boat pulling some kids on an inner tube.  as we were almost ready to leave, I did see a small fishing boat near the boat ramp.

I started sailed on my Sunfish, and my brother-in-law started out on his Super Snark.

the Super Snark has a thick foam hull, sort of shaped like a short canoe (or a foam bathtub), with a small lateen sail, similar to a Sunfish rig.  you can apparently buy one still brand new for about $1,000 – but there are many of them on Craiglist, so look around first.  the sail area is only 45 square feet, so it is quite a bit smaller than a Sunfish sail of 75 square feet.  as a result, the Sunfish was quite a bit faster than the Super Snark, but we still had a good time zig-zagging back and forth around on the lake.

we traded boats after a while, so my brother-in-law could see the difference between the 2 boats for himself.  he wasted no time showing me up, and tried sailing my Sunfish for a bit while standing up… a feat I don’t think I’ve even tried yet.

I’ve got maybe 30 minutes of video total with my GoPro HD Hero (my disk filled up), so I’ll eventually try to edit that down into something able to be shared more easily.  the pictures above are screenshots from the video.

it was a great day for sailing – the weather had cooled off on Sunday quite a bit, and with the lake almost to ourselves, we had a good time testing out the other guy’s sailboat.  the Super Snark was fun to sail – certainly not as fast or sporty as the Sunfish, but still fun, and probably a good and simple boat for a younger child to start learning on.  and should I decide to sell one of my older Sunfish, I might have just found myself a buyer!

2 Responses to “sailing log: 2011-09-04 vandercook lake”

  1. 1 Baydog September 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I’ve always felt that sailing ‘standing up’ represented a sort of powerful
    type of presence, if only for the person who is doing so. To Hell with everyone else.


  2. 2 classicalgas September 15, 2011 at 12:17 am

    What a cool place to mount a camera!!! Totally different angle than the typical “on the deck” perspective!

    Oh, buying sailboats is like buying vintage cars. Once you buy one, you have to have another. Then when you see another one for sale you gotta have that one, too.

    I used to try to sail (as a kid) standing on the deck! Hiking out is a little tricky, but if it’s really breezy you can maintain a balance. I’m usually sitting or lounging in the cockpit these days.


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