hello from Maryland


Upside down?
Staff member
Re: hello fron Maryland

Racer X:

That all depends on your clothing. Right now, the water around most of MD is still a bit cold, but you should be able to survive a quick dunking. For instance, the temp in the Potomac River near Wash DC is around 57 F right now:

You should be able to find the water temp for your location without trouble. A 'shorty' (thin) wetsuit wouldn't be a bad idea for right now, but I don't know where you are planning to sail, so it's hard to give definitive advice.

Here is a link to a site with more definitive 'survival' info:

If you search the Forum (upper bar), you should be able to find other threads that have addressed this topic.
Thread starter #23
I went out scouting boat ramps. I started close to home and the first one was a winner. 20 minuite drive from home. I went to Rockey Point Park . Talk about nice. They have a sailing center with a couple dozen boats lined up . Safe parking. And clean clear water.

This weekend is motorcycle racing .But next week for sure. I looked at Paddles and a PFD at REI any recomendations on a life vest. I tend to not skimp on safty.
Nice that you found a good spot to put in. As far a PFD's go get a approved model that is the correct size and fit and leaves you free to move your arms for sailing. The more comfortable it is the more likely that you will want to where it. so depending on how hot it is where you are you can get one that suits your weather conditions.

><> Minas man <><
sweet find on the local lake for sailing. a close lake will hopefully lead to frequent sailing!

I looked at Paddles and a PFD at REI any recomendations on a life vest. I tend to not skimp on safty.
I bought mine several years ago, and have Class III all-sports type - most likely suited for jet-skiing, really. I've read on the forum though, that a lot of people like to use the Class III type that are meant for kayakers - they often zip up the front, with still some adjust-ability, and have deeper arm areas to give you more flexibility.

Here's what I use for sailing and kayaking. Works fine, especially when sailing the Fish while sitting on the cockpit sole. You want a jacket that is long enough in back to cushion the edge of the cockpit, more comfort. It adjusts at the sides and I like the flexibility of the body instead of being one piece of foam. Cheers, Winever.


Thread starter #27
Thanks for the tips. I suspect I will be sitting sideways with my back to the rail so I will look for one that has good back padding.
This is no lake I found. It is wide open Chesapeak Bay. A bit intimidating For me and my little yawl. There are a couple more ramps I will check out. But this place will be great when I get a Sunfish.But I think the Sunflower will be happyer in the Magothy River further south.


Upside down?
Staff member
In general, price is not necessarily related to quality or safety. Two kinds are available in the US:

1. US Coast Guard (CG) approved

2. Approved in Europe, but not CG approved. Obtaining CG approval is a very expensive process and some of the PFD manufacturers choose not to go through the process. However, this latter kind is often preferred by racing sailors because they may fit better or give better leeway to more active sailing styles.

I would choose a CG approved one, just in case I would get inspected. Also, it's possible to get protested in a US regatta for not wearing a CG approved PFD. Yes, there's an infamous case where this happened.

Finally, although REI is a really nice store, you can likely find a less expensive PFD at Sports Authority, West Marine, etc.
Thread starter #29
Well I did it . I went out sailing for the first time. First thing I did was capsize.:eek: I put the goose neck on the wrong side of the mast. That put the boom upside down. The loops that hold the rigging where on top and that tangled the rigging . Thanks to the advice from this forum I chose the protected side of Rocky Point Park . The wind was light at first but once I cleared the point it picked up and off I went . Everything was going well till I turned down wind. The tangled rigging held the sail at tight hull and over I went.
I guess that was lesson one .How to right an upside down sail boat. I climbed on the dagger board and righted the boat then bailed it out and got to shore. Once the rigging was sorted out I sailed in a circle for an hour until the clouds looked threatening. Then went home.

I had a good time and am looking forward to going out again.:rolleyes:
Thread starter #30
Just a photo of me and my Sunflower. I learned a lot for the short time I was out. First I was glad to have safty equipment . Even though I was just off shore. ANYTHING can happen and did.

Second was the rigging thing. I did not even know you could put a sail on backwards.

Also the wind was to strong for this boat. With NO experience I felt out of control as soon as it started moving. I was able to put it in irons and get my head together. But I feel this boat will teach me a lot. I figure sailing this will make me a better sailer and when I get my Sunfish I will be competent to sail a real boat.

Glad to see you out on the water. Yes the Snark is a good training boat and it sounds like the education has already begun. If you go back and look at the pictures of my snark earlier in this post you will see a flag mounted to the top of the mast, this helps with determination wind direction, you can use ribbon also and mount at the top of the gaff too.
If you think the snark (sunflower) is fun the Sunfish is twice as fun and fast and far more comfortable.

><> Minas man <><
Thread starter #32
I have a tiny piece of line hanging from my mast tip . There was no mistaking the wind direction on this trip.It was 10 to 15 knots and two food waves.
.I was VERY uncomfortable. My lower back was sore for a while after sitting in that position for a couple hours.

I look forward to a Sunfish . Just the smooth operation of the lines would be good. I had a lot of trouble raising and lowering the sail. But when it gets warm and the wind dies down this will be a lot of fun.
Thread starter #33
Went out again this weekend 8knot wind and it was still to much for this boat. Or at least for me. I founf a cove that had a colume of air moving down it and spent a couple hours sailing down then tacking back .it was great.

As I see it this is why a Sunfish is WAY better. The hull of the Sunflower tips the scale at 50 lb the Sunfish is 130lb that weight and the fact that the hull of the Sunflower is curved makes the Sunflowe much less stable. Also I am forced to sit in the center of the boat there is very little hiking out going on. The dagger board of the Sunflower is maybe a foot below the hull. And the rudder is almost level with the bottom .All this adds up to a boat that dose not like strong wind.
I did have a good time and learned a lot . I am going to find a larger calmer body of water next week .