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Sailing is truly a lifelong sport. You can enjoy the wind and waves if you are eight or eighty. Sailing can be a quiet, restful few hours on the bay, a long cruise to destinations unknown, or an exciting blast across the lake. If you like to race, it can be done just about anywhere around the world ... the sailboat racing community is a fun and joyous group. If you'd like to cruise around the lake with family and friends, or sail over the horizon to distant shores, there is a sailboat just for you.
What type of sailing interests you?
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Day sailing boats can provide you with a wide range of experiences. Depending on your interest and inclination, it can range from the safe and simple to the thrilling and complex. Day sailing refers to boats primarily designed for use during the day that have no, or minimal, overnight accommodations. Day sailing boats are either centerboard boats (smaller, simpler, off-the-beach- or ramp-launchable windsurfers, dinghies, catamarans and small cruisers) or keel boats (larger, kept in the water).
If you're headed out for a night, a weekend or longer, you'll need a cruising sailboat with a place to prepare meals and bunks for sleeping. Despite their larger size, cruising sailboats are generally designed for handling and control by just two people. Cruising sailboats often include interior accommodations for two or more people, an inboard engine, and a place to cook (stove and icebox).
Sailboat racing is an exciting sport that is enjoyed by families and friends on just about any sailboat imaginable. Do it around the buoys on a lake, race offshore to Bermuda or Hawaii, go to the Olympics, or race around the world. Two forms of racing exist. One-Design racing is where all boats are the same type and pits one person's experience against the other. The other form is called Handicap racing, where different boats race against different types of boats (almost like horse or golf handicaps). Specialty racing classes are designed in both centerboard (windsurfers, dinghies and catamarans) and keelboat types (racers and racer/cruisers).