Triadelphia Reservoir Maryland

Thread starter #1
Any Maryland sailors who have sailed on the Triadelphia reservoir? It is less than 20 minutes drive from my house and looks like it has several boat launches. It is large enough (800 acres surface area) to make for a fun evening outing. It is owned by the WSSC and does not permit any boats with gas powered engines so I shouldn't have to worry about skiers and jet skis. Since it is a lake in Maryland there is a permit required for use, with an associated fee of course :-( . I thought I would get a day pass the first time out and then upgrade to a season pass if it works out. Being so close to the house it seems ideal for a quick outing after work.
Thread starter #2
I finally made it out on the Triadelphia reservoir yesterday evening. The wind was very light all day so after the grand daughter's soccer game I headed back home and thought about heading down to the ramp by Reagan airport. Gas powered engines are allowed on the Potomac but not at Triadelphia. As I investigated I found out that in order to operate any boat in the Washington DC waters you need to have completed a safe boaters course. I found an online course which requires review of seven sections, a quiz for each section and a final exam. Each section is timed so you can't just skip ahead. In all the course takes about about three hours to complete. After completing the course the winds had picked up a bit so I went back to plan A, hitched up the boat and headed to Triadelphia. I got the boat set up and in the water by 6pm. The winds were steady but not too strong, prefect for getting out into the lake and practicing turns and tacking and getting used to the main and jib. I did get going at a pretty good clip on a couple of tacks as well as a broad reach. After about an hour I headed back towards the ramp. On the way back in I caught a good wind and was hiking out when a gust came up and about sent me over. I quickly eased out the main and turned the rudder enough to flatten it out and not make a complete fool of myself in front of the kayakers and fisherman who were at the ramp. All in all another great outing.


Upside down?
Staff member
You should try Little Seneca Lake in Black Hill Regional Park (in Boyds). Typically more wind than Triadelphia, but can be windless nonetheless...
Thread starter #4
I checked the regulations for Little Seneca and found that: "Sailboats with a fixed keel or mast over 18 feet are prohibited" ( I measured the mast and found it was a little over 20 feet long. Have you taken a Capri 14.2 out on Little Seneca?

I would prefer to use Little Seneca because I can pay a single fee for the boat instead of a fee for each person on the boat (as is the case on Triadelphia.) How strict are they with regard to the mast length?


Upside down?
Staff member
I have been sailing my Laser on Little Seneca Lake for several years. A Laser mast is more than 18' long and I have seen a few boats (such as a Blue Jay) on the lake that may have had taller masts.
I doubt that anyone would ever question the length of a mast. 18' means that you can't go under the (Route 121) bridge; that's all.

Good boat ramp (two can launch at the same time) and a daily permit is $5.
Thread starter #6
Wavedancer: Thanks for the information. I look forward to a chance to try out the Little Seneca, maybe this weekend.
Thread starter #8
I made it out to the Little Seneca this past Saturday morning. As indicated, the boat ramp is wide and it is nice to have a dock to tie off on while parking the truck and trailer. At $5 per boat for the day it is much more reasonable than $7.50 per person charged for Triadelphia.

It was a cloudy morning with forecasts of thundershowers in the afternoon. I did get a little rain while I was on the water but it was fairly light and didn't last too long. I was on the water by 10am. I sailed against a head wind from the boat ramp to the Highway 121 bridge and then over to the dam. Around 11am the wind (which had been steady but not too heavy) began to die down so I decided it was time to head back to the boat ramp. I was back at the ramp by noon, having had a very pleasant and leisurely sail.

Each time I go out I get more comfortable with the boat and managing the sails. I also bought a pair of sailing gloves which have been a big improvement in keeping my hands from getting sore while handling the main sheet.

After I got back home the sun came out and I was tempted to go back out to the lake. However, within an hour the threatened thunderstorm appeared with lightning and strong winds and rain. It was a good time to be home.

Lesson learned: A rainy day sailing is better than any day in the recliner.