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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:34 pm 
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I have a i14t (inflatable tandem, with mirage drive and small sail).

Just curious where people like to sail around here.
We love:
1- doing loops around Roosevelt Island (put in right out of the parking lot off GW Parkway)
2- wandering the islands off of Belle Haven (S of 495 on the GW Parkway, you can put in from the parking lot and skip the marina, or use marina)
3- Ft. Washington (we use the marina off of King James Terrace, take a left and keep going South right before you get to Ft. Washington Park)

We're eager to do Calvert Cliffs because my son wants some fossil shark teeth... but any advice on that trek welcome! Sounds dicey, from the websites...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:49 am
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Location: Point Lookout, Maryland
Welcome!

Lots of sailing opportunities abound in this region, for any size sailing craft. Cindy and I have sailed a Sport, Outback and a TI at a wide variety of locations on the Bay - from just above the Bay Bridge at Sandy Point State Park to as far south as Point Lookout State Park, as well as the Eastern Shore and points further afield. We've also gone sailing on the Potomac and the larger Maryland fresh water reservoirs with our yaks.

For your i14t, the sheltered waters of the smaller bays and inlets will be better, but the Bay is rife with them - both on the Western Shore and the Eastern Shore. Excellent sailing around Annapolis and the South River, with good swimming beaches at various locations - just be aware of the Chesapeake chop. The bay side of Assateague National Seashore (very shallow and excellent winds - however, be sure to stay away from the Ocean City Inlet and the rip currents there).

As far as Calvert Cliffs is concerned, it's tough getting there. We want to visit it with our TI, but the closest ramp for us to use as a put-in location is miles away. Instead, we've come to *love* Point Lookout State Park, which is further south. Point Lookout has the Bay, the mouth of the Potomac and an ultra-protected back bay called Lake Conoy to choose from.

With the Potomac, I'd be cautious in the waters above the tidal section of the river, as we've had the smaller yaks get yanked around by swift underwater boils that could not be seen from the surface (the Mirage Drives shook like something was grabbing at them and the yaks were partly spun around by the force) and I don't know that I would trust the non-tidal water even when wearing a PFD. We used to canoe on the Potomac without any care or PFDs, but after that last experience we stay well clear of the upper Potomac with our yaks.

With the fresh water reservoirs, care must be taken with some of them due to the invasive Zebra mussels; at least one reservoir (can't remember which one) requires a paid registration and decals for use and the boat can *never* be used in another body of water because of fears related to the Zebra mussels. Other reservoirs aren't so restrictive and just require a thorough washing of the boat or yak between uses.

As a rule of thumb, I'd say your sailing radius with the i14t will be about 7 miles as a limit, so keep that in mind when making your plans.

Here are some videos we've taken with our Sport and Outback using the same size sail as you have:

Thomas Point lighthouse with the Sport and Outback:


Liberty Reservoir:


Triadelphia Reservoir:

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Mitch
    2010 Tandem Island
    2010 Revolution
    Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore
My sailing blog
Our sailing videos


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:08 pm 
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Thanks for the great advice and videos! We're actually considering a waterproof camera with video capability, although so far the i14t hasn't demonstrated any tippiness so we might just give it a whirl with our oldest one.

Speaking of tippiness, you have outriggers in your first video... do you suggest them for the Potomac/Chesapeake?

You mentioned kayaks getting yanked.... does that just mean you get thrown off course? That doesn't worry me, as I am really just in it for the adventure. If you mean yanked as in thrown on reefs (i.e. damaged boat) or yanked as in rolled, then please clarify as those are the big things I am concerned about.

I've been boating for decades, but am admittedly new to the ocean aspect... thanks for the warning about "waters above the tidal section of the river" I did a little research and discovered that even though we are tens of miles away from the Atlantic Ocean that the Potomac still fluctuates by several feet every 6 hours. So presumably, it would be safest to try to hit the water an hour or so after the tides have changed and then get out of the water 4 hours later. If I'm going to be out longer than 4 hours, make sure I know which way the tide is changing and plan accordingly.

Point Lookout State Park has definately made our list. Thanks for the suggestion! We love islands.

I don't think I can post links yet (I think it said I need to do 10 posts or something) but the state of maryland has a wonderful site for boat ramps which you could probably find if you searched google for boat ramps and department of natural resources, maryland. There is the Solomon Island one, but you could probably find a closer one to Calvert Cliffs. They also have a wonderful "tide finder."

Cove Pt. or Little Cove Pt. would probably be much better, if feasible...


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:49 am
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Location: Point Lookout, Maryland
The Sidekick ama kit is always a must on the Sport for sailing; optional on the Outback in light winds, then required as the breeze freshens. The kit has to be drilled into the hull, so I don't think it'll work for you unless Hobie has a non-destructive way of mounting it on the inflatables - which they may, ask your dealer.

Yanked = shaken from underneath. When we took the Mirage drives out, the problem went away. No damage and no rolling.

The ramp at Solomon's Island is the closest, and it's literally miles from Calvert Cliffs. I expect you could just find a place close to the water and carry yours down, but we can't do that with the TI due to our bad backs, so we'll have to figure something else out.

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Mitch
    2010 Tandem Island
    2010 Revolution
    Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore
My sailing blog
Our sailing videos


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:13 pm
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Location: Norther VA
Hey R41,

1- doing loops around Roosevelt Island (put in right out of the parking lot off GW Parkway)
2- wandering the islands off of Belle Haven (S of 495 on the GW Parkway, you can put in from the parking lot and skip the marina, or use marina)
3- Ft. Washington (we use the marina off of King James Terrace, take a left and keep going South right before you get to Ft. Washington Park)

I found 2 and 3, where are you launching from for number 1? I used google maps to find the parking lot, but dont see where your getting to the river from there? I'd really like to try this out, sounds really accessible and easy to get to.

I just got a Tandem Island and wanted to know a few good spots to sail around the DMV area. I'm completely new to sailing so nothing crazy until i get the hang of things. I'm in the Centreville area, so I have reasonable access driving to the Potomac near Woodbridge as well, anyone know how the area is down there?

It's hard finding places, some people call them launch sites others Ramps, and some even say i dont need either as long as I have access to the river using my trailer. I finally figured out Slips were NOT ramps...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:13 pm
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Location: Norther VA
Found the ramps, using google Earth just looked around the potomac river.

Gravelly Park off GW

Algonkian Boat Ramp

Senecca Park boat ramp


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