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Thread: Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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    Default Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

    My granddaughters are old enough to start sailing (2 and 5 years old) so I'm looking for a lake with good sailing within a 6 hour drive from Washington, DC. I'm looking for a place with vacation rentals and a marina that rents daysailers. I'm thinking North Carolina or maybe southern Virginia. Has anyone rented vacation homes for a week or two of sailing in those regions?

    Thanks for your suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Mountain lakes of Vermont
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    Default Re: Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

    Welcome to the Forum.
    Years ago (something like 25), I rented a condo on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia on the border of North Carolina. I rented a pontoon boat from a marina, but don't know if they rented sailboats. I couldn't tell you if it was a good sailing lake, though. Don't remember seeing any sailboats.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

    The Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association rents boats to the public. Rehoboth Bay is plenty large and isn't teeming with high-speed powerboats, which most places like Smith Mountain Lake are all summer. There's usually better wind for sailing there, too, it being an open estuary as opposed to a lake surrounded by forested hills. And there's no shortage of vacation rentals in Dewey Beach, all of this without mentioning the Atlantic beaches right across the road when the sailing is done for the day.
    -Dave

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

    Thanks, Rich. Funny coincidence - we did exactly the same thing around the same time - rented a house on Smith Mountain Lake and rented a pontoon boat. Our daughters were so light that they could get up on water skis behind it. As you said, there didn't seem to be any sailing and so I didn't look into it. Probably because the lake sides were too tall for any wind on the water.

    Appreciate your response!

    David

  5. #5
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    Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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    Default Re: Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

    Thanks for the suggestion, Dave. This looks like a good getaway option for a long weekend before or after the summer crowds and it's a lot closer than NC!

    David

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    St. Simon\'s Island, GA, USA
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    Default Re: Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

    Do you mind salt water? Gailsville, MD is a little more than one hour drive east of DC. I don't know what is there for rent, but there is a lot of sheltered water. I have chartered from Gailsville but it was quite a few years ago. It was a nice quite place.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
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    119

    Default Re: Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

    The Potomac south of Alexandria is nice and broad, and there's a marina at Belle Haven park that rents boats. Granted, it's not a lake, but it's pretty protected. Currents are tidal and generally quite mild. Look south while crossing the Wilson bridge on a nice day you'll generally see up to a dozen sailboats messing about. I go there often with my 9-1/2 foot Nutshell pram. If that boat can handle it, you'll have no problem with the Flying Scots that they rent.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Central Ohio
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    505

    Default Re: Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

    So, it's not a lake, but Albemarle Sound will have sailable "breezes." It's pretty shallow in places, and can get choppy. Proximity to DC is debateable, not so much for distance as travel time. Pretty sure I've seen a rental property or two in the near vicinity.

    Chip

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Bath, Maine
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    788

    Default Re: Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

    Another closer-to-home option might be the North Beach, Maryland area - specifically Herrington Harbor South marina. The marina has a fleet of sailboats and puts on sailing camps for kids throughout the summer. Easy to find accommodations to rent, either at the marina or perhaps an airbnb nearby. A little off the beaten path down there (far cry from the Annapolis scene) but worth checking out. If you found a rental in the Holland Point area, you'd have Chesapeake Bay shoreline access all the way into North Beach - very pretty for long walks, etc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
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    Default Re: Looking for summer lake sailing not too far from Washington, DC

    A trip to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum would be fun for you and the kids.

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