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Sandy Point (Chesapeake MD)

SteveP

Member
Since we decided as a family to spend Memorial Day at Sandy Point Park I decided to take the boat and try out the Chesapeake bay. Since the park boat ramps are located in a small inlet with a narrow stretch of water to get from the inlet to the bay I decided to bring the iron sail with me. It was a good thing I did. We got the boat prepped and in the water and proceeded to motor out of the inlet. When we got into the bay we discovered two things 1) very light wind and 2) a lot of wakes from motor boats. I was able to sail a short distance before the winds died completely and I put the iron sail to use again. We "sailed" out to the lighthouse and then came into shore in the small boat launching area. I grabbed a quick bite to eat and then went back out. There was still no wind so it was back to the iron sail. On the way back into the inlet the motor died (out of gas.) I refueled and got going without incident. However, I cut the engine too quickly while approaching one of the docks. We started to drift into a boat being launched in the dock next to ours. I jumped out of the boat and pulled it away before we collided. I did manage to get water in the pouch that I use to carry my cell phone (my daughter put her cell in the pouch and didn't seal it properly and I didn't check it.) Another boat trip another lesson learned.

The dock area at Sandy Point is very nice with a large number (over 20) boat ramps. However, the passage way between the boat ramps and the bay is so narrow that I think you definitely need a motor to get out to the bay. Since my first trip there was rather a bust (no wind) I was wondering if anyone else sails in this area and if so can provide tips as to where the winds are the best and the wakes are the smallest.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Nice report.
I have sailed my Sunfish a few times out of there (using the ramp). It does take some time to get to the Bay. But a paddle gave me the exercise I needed anyway.

Perhaps there's a friendly motorboat willing to give a tow.
 

JGM

Member
It's been a while since sailing off of Sandy Point, but we didn't use the trailer ramps. There is one other ramp right on the bay designed for car-top boats and catamarans. It leads from a parking lot to one of the beaches, then you have to drag/carry your boat across the sand to the water. The largest boat we ever launched there was an 18' Hobie. I'm not sure if launching a 14.2 would be feasible but at least you wouldn't have to deal with that narrow inlet.

I don't like sailing the Capri on the bay anyway. As you noted, there is lots of chop from passing motor boats and when you get a day with some decent wind, harmonics from the two can lead to some pretty big waves. Even our 17' center console with 120HP motor doesn't like the bay unless it's really early and wind isn't a factor. That said, sailing something small like a Sunfish could be a blast!

My favorite spot for sailing is Round Bay on the Severn River, a short distance south of Sandy Point. We launch at the community marina where my inlaws live - it's free. Smith's Marina on the other side of Round Bay has a boat launch but I'm sure it's not free. Sailing from Sandy Point to Round Bay might be too exciting. The Severn is narrow near the Naval Academy and Annapolis Harbor, and there is lots of boat traffic. A better alternative might be to launch at Sandy Point (as long as you have a motor) and then sail north into the Magothy River where wave action might be more tolerable and there is plenty of room for other boats.

Jim
 
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