Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sailing Fort Peck, East Montana

Sailors hailing from saltwater ports of call are blown down by the thought of it: Sailboats in Montana? Have you heard you need water for that?

But old hands charting a course for the Can-Am Fort Peck Sailing Regatta, set for Aug. 20-21, 2016, know how to answer back: The water’s in Fort Peck Lake, and that lake is 134 miles long, with 1,520 miles of shoreline in six counties. It’s the fifth-largest man-made lake in the country and it’s more than 200 feet at deepest. And – this is the part that sailors love – that old prairie wind comes skating across that lake just the way it comes off the slope of the Rockies, steady and reliable, from the northwest.

Wind – that’s the other component that makes Montana a great place to hoist canvas.

“It’s really a great place to sail,” says Montana sailing enthusiast Page Anderson of the Fort Peck Sailing Club. “What a sailor wants is steady winds, both in speed and direction. What we see a lot of is steady winds, both in speed and direction. It’s pretty much always windy on the prairie. There’s just this weather machine that creates these prairie winds. We get more days when we can’t sail because of too much wind than too little wind.”

And, he added, the reservoir behind the Fort Peck Dam makes one of the largest inland bodies of water in the United States next to the Great Lakes. That’s why an increasing number of racers and sailing enthusiasts take part in the regatta, headquartered at the Fort Peck Marina at the Fort Peck Dam, 17 miles from Glasgow, Montana. This is the third year the regatta has been held at Fort Peck Lake.

As the name suggests, some Canadians take part in the Can-Am Fort Peck Sailing Regatta, just as some of the Montana sailors take part in events in Canada. One of the sailors from north of the border, John Cormack, has been instrumental in helping carry out the regatta.

“There’s a lot of equipment you need to put on a regatta,” Anderson said. “He offered to bring what he called a ‘regatta in a box.’ He would bring the flags, stopwatches, the inflatable marks that you make your turns around for the course, the anchors, the anchor lines.”

Much of the course is set up in easy viewing distance of the highway that runs across the dam so that motorists can stop and watch a bit of the event.

The regatta is just one sign that sailing on Fort Peck Lake is coming of age.

Rafe Sigmundstad, another Fort Peck enthusiast, said the Fort Peck Sailing Club was officially organized in summer 2015 by the core of sailors who organized the first sailing regatta at Fort Peck the year before.

Anderson said that brings to five the number of sailing clubs in landlocked Montana. The others are North Flathead Yacht Club in Somers; South Flathead Yacht Club, Dayton/Polson; Canyon Ferry Yacht Club, Helena/Townsend; and Hebgen Lake Yacht Club, West Yellowstone.

Anderson said sailing Fort Peck Lake does have its challenges. One is the water temperature, which can be bone-chilling during some parts of the sailing year. And the lake is big enough for a roaring wind to build some tall and dangerous waves.

But Sigmundstad said that sort of weather always blows out of the country before long; and quite often the winds are just right.

“For me, the sweet spot is between 8 and 15 miles per hour,” he said. “Anything over 20 miles per hour and we generally won’t go out.”

Sigmundstad said sailors sometimes have the Fort Peck waters to themselves. It’s another way to see eastern Montana, he said, especially on overnight journeys up and down the lake.

“There’s a certain romantic element to it and I really can’t begin to describe it in its splendor,” he said. “It’s kind of spiritual: Find a sheltered place to camp for the night, wake up on the water and make a good cup of coffee.”

Then hoist a sail.

Birthday Sail

Sailing on Lake Coeur d'Alene Idaho USA in 12 knot winds with 3 ft waves. We sailed this day to celebrate Mitch and my (Miles) Birthday. Its a tradition for us to do a Bday sail each year. Air temp was 42 degrees, cold but not to cold. We sailed with just the mainsail to see how this old C27 handles in these conditions with just the mainsail... she sailed beautifully. I might add this sail is 44 years old, very old and blowout but still works great.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Christmas Specials!

This is the time of the year for great specials on many of our sailing products.

One of our most popular offerings is our Learn-To-Sail Certificates... its a great stocking stuffer, etc. "Learn more about our sailing classes."

We have many new and used parts just right for your sailboat.

We have in stock new and used sailboats.

You can also make a donation to our local Sea Scouts and Accessible Sailing Program and get a tax right off.

Email or calls us for more info... funtosail@gmail.com 208-704-4454

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

End sailing in 2016... Kind of

Truly the end to sailing in 2016. My boys dismantle our Hobie Wave catamaran sailboats. Kind of bummed, yet exciting to think a new year of sailing is coming. Actually going to sail in San Diego this Dec. so still some sailing to do in 2016.

Monday, November 21, 2016

US Sailing Adaptive Sailing Summit

This Dec. 9th from 9-5PM in San Diego there will be a US Sailing Adaptive Sailing Summit to address the needs of disAbled sailors and improve the sport of Accessible/Adaptive Sailing nationally. To attend contact Cindy Walker at CindyWalker@ussailing.org Main: (401) 683-0800 Direct: (401) 683-0800

I (Miles Moore) will be there primarily promoting the sport of Accessible/Adaptive Hobie Sailing.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Last Keelboat Lesson for 2016

Kind of done with the whole political stuff. Nov. 5th was a nice but day but also was the last day I taught my Keelboat sailing class. The day was very light winds but for over an hour we had about 5 knots of wind, compared to the rest of the day with only about 1 knot of wind. Still it was a beautiful day. As you can see in the video we are still sailing in under 1 knot of wind. https://youtu.be/u_nqq9xpq5g

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sailing a C27 on Lake Coeur d'Alene

On October 1st Mitch, Myself (Miles), and my wife Corine sailed his newly purchased Catalina 27 on Lake Coeur d'Alene Idaho. Wind was 10 to 15 knots, and with top boat speeds between 4 to 6+ knots, which is darn good for an old heavy boat like this... must have been the sailors ;)  Wonderful day of sailing!