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Boats fitting under bridges


New Member
I am a total newbie sailor and am thinking about investing in a beginner boat to learn on. I want to make sure it fits underneath the bridge at my local inland lake that would be required to go under to get to the no-wake area. Do sailboats allow you to easily lower your mast? Do I need to look into a specific make/model or feature that does this easily? Bonus points for tips on how best to learn how to sail when I live over an hour from a sail club where I could learn.


New Member
I am also a newbie, just started mid-May, so take this with a grain of salt.
I dont know of any beginner saiboats which allow the mast to be lowered while sailing (some allow you to lower the sail, but the mast will remain upright). What is the clearance under the bridge?
For your bonus question, I have been sailing on the lake adjacent to our house. No need for sailing club. Two of my neighbors saw me sailing, and they got their own boats in the last few weeks (we are all newbies, and all of us over 40 years old). Much better to learn at your local inland lake, and when you have a sense of what you are doing, make a trip to the sail club to pick up pointers.
Also, YouTube is great for learning how to rig your boat.


Upside down?
Staff member
One can lower the rig on a Sunfish without much trouble. Taking the relatively short mast out is possible as well. On a Laser, forget it... :(
The height of a Sunfish rig is also less than that of a Laser.

There are some fun videos of a certain race in England where the boats sail on a river and have to go under some really low bridges.

Here in the States, there is an interesting Laser race near San Francisco where one has to get under several bridges; requires some 'gymnastics'/swimming