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Old 12-24-2006, 06:43 AM
66 posts, read 270,636 times
Reputation: 45


Well Colorado, you sure will have yourselves a white Christmas!!! The whole countries thinking of you and wishing you well in your blanket of snow! My question is really a summertime question, but I'll go ahead and ask and get your minds of all that white stuff for a few minutes!! I love sailing and wonder if I move to Colorado are there any lakes big enough to sail in? In the east we are surrounded by water and I am just wondering if a move to Colorado will mean giving up one of my favorite outdoor activities. Please include in your answer locations of lakes that people sail on and how far they are from the main cities of Denver, Boulder and COS?
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Old 12-24-2006, 09:16 AM
Location: Larkspur, Colorado
226 posts, read 1,265,374 times
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If you are accustomed to sailing in the Chesapeake Bay or something similar you will be disappointed with what Colorado has to offer. With that said you do have several choices, but none of them are very large.
1. Chatfield Reservoir is located in Littleton (just south of Denver), this reservoir is only about 1 mile wide, but people do sail in it.
2. Lake Dillon is located in Silverthorne (1.5 hours west on I70, near Breckenridge), this is a larger mountain lake approximately 3 miles wide and it is in a gorgeous setting.
3. Lake Granby is Located about 2.5 hours north west of Denver, this is the largest lake near Denver that I am aware of. There are actually 3 lakes Lake Granby, Shadow Mountain Lake and Grand Lake. I have only been there once and I think they are interconnected, but you would probably have difficulty traveling from one lake to the next due to the draft of a typical sail boat. I would guess that Lake Granby is about 10 miles wide.
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Old 12-24-2006, 09:37 AM
20,836 posts, read 39,046,511 times
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Default Sail This!

This is Grand Lake, CO, both a town and a lake. Sept 2006, blustery, flurries, large, deep, natural, not man-made. I grew up in Baltimore and know the Chesapeake, fished it many times....only go back east now for family....and crabcakes....

If you're true salty sea dogs, this isn't for you, stay on the east coast. But if you're an "occasional" sailor then it is worth being here in CO, as you can always take a trip to get your sailing fix....Pacific Coast, Lakes Mead and Powell, tons more to choose from.

We visited a resort up at Grand Lake in Sept 2006, rode horses in the national forest where we saw a moose and many elk, then had a cookout, you can trailer in your horses and stable them next to your RV....in the winter they have skiing and back-country snow-mobiling, in the summer they have the lake and parks and horses and mountain biking and.....

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Old 12-24-2006, 10:15 AM
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
615 posts, read 2,761,529 times
Reputation: 163
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
This is Grand Lake, CO, both a town and a lake.
Sad to see all of the beetle kill

I don't know that I'd want to sail any of the reservoirs around here. Usually they are so choked with speed boats that it would be no fun. Some of the mountain lakes would be a nice setting with less motor boats to deal with.
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Old 12-24-2006, 12:04 PM
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,900,917 times
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Blue Mesa reseviour (I can never spell that), Dillon Lake, Pueblo Reseviour, Cherry Creek res, Chatfield...

Blue Mesa is in the Gunnison area, approx. oh 4 fours from Denver.

Dillon Lake is in the Dillon/Summit county area, about an hour or hour and a half (depending on traffic) from Denver.

Pueblo is about an hour and a half from Denver.

Chatfield and Cherry Creek are in the Denver metro area.

Of course you wont want a huge sailboat in any of the lakes. There is, actually, a lot of watercraft around here. Most do speed boats around my area though. Haven't seen many sailboats.

I think it has to do with the same people that also own snow mobiles. Hehe

Oh, BTW, while there's plenty of snow left on the ground, the roads are in good shape. That's one thing I love about CO is that we can have snow but we can still (mostly) get around. Usually the snow is gone in a day or two though.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:00 PM
51 posts, read 211,068 times
Reputation: 28
McPhee Reservoir is where we sailed our sail boat when we lived in Cortez Colorado-it's only 10 minutes away and is a huge lake- 2nd largest in Colorado. It's NEVER crouded- you most always have the entire lake to yourself. And- you are only a short 3 hour drive to LAKE POWELL! In Arizona and Utah....we kept our sailboat at lake powell one year and it was great! Great sailing there! However, if you want city living - like Denver- Cortez isn't the place for you! Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2007, 03:48 AM
12 posts, read 117,536 times
Reputation: 29
Default Sailing in Colorado

I found this thread while crusing the web and had to answer it. Unlike many of your replies I sail in Colorado. Almost every weekend once its warm enough, and the ice is off the lakes. Also I have sailed in big bodies of water In Canada, The Gulf of Mexico, and some of the bigger lakes in Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska.

I sail an 18.5 foot boat named the Valhallabreeze, made by Cl boats, Sandpiper S565.

There is lots of good sailing here. Local lakes mentioned above, and my favorites, Granby, Dillon, Blue Mesa. Dillon is about 100 miles west of Denver. I usually put in at Frisco and sail to Dillon Marina where we have lunch. By the time we get from Dillon Marina and back to Frisco it is the end of the day. That is as far as you can go in a big body of water in one day in a 18 foot boat. Our lakes are not to small to have a good day of sailing. And if your a trailer sailor as I am, it can take you a whole summer to do all the lakes.

I hope this answers your question, and remember, you got it from a sailer in Colorado, who will be going sailing in the morning.

This picture is form my boat at Twin Lakes


Last edited by Sid; 04-01-2007 at 04:00 AM..
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:09 AM
11,256 posts, read 43,182,783 times
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Sailing Colorado greatly depends upon what your interest level is in sailing.

We have active racing fleets in Snipes, Stars, J-24's, C-22's, Lasers, Sunfish, Ensigns, Hobie Cats, windsurfers, many 23-26' boats, and a few larger boats in the 26-33' range racing OOAK. There's many more out here of various classes, but rarely enough on the water to form racings fleets now ... Lightnings, Fireballs, 505's, C-15's, FDutchman, etc. Racing takes place everywhere from little lakes such as BowMar (private, you must be a homeowner), Grandby, Dillon, Carter, Horsetooth, Cherry Creek, Chatfield, Reudi Res, some of the bigger plains lakes, and many other mountain lakes.

Don't be fooled into thinking that landlocked and limited sailing opportunities in Colorado make for poor competitive sailing. There's many national level sailors here who actively race and do well everywhere they travel. Includes some former olympic level sailors, too.

For cruising sailing ... just to get out and away on the water, Dillon and Chatfield are probably the closest to Denver for getting out on the water for pleasure. Pueblo Reservoir is another larger lake with a longer sailing season, but further South.

Generally, you will need to trailer launch your boat. Some of the larger marinas will have a hoist, like Dillon, or a crane.

Regionally, there are several big lakes in Wyoming, New Mexico, Nebraska where racing and cruising are available.

IMO, a sailboat with draft up to 5' or so is optimum. Swing keel boats (C-22's) are very popular due to the easier launching/retrival at some lakes.

Due to the strong & highly variable mountain conditions, it's possible to experience just about any wind/water/wave condition (including currents!) at any time, or several times each day. You must be prepared for cold mountain lake water, and to shorten sail as needed throughout the day. Spinnaker runs on lakes like Dillon can be rather sporting ... from near drifters to 40-50 mph gusts coming through, all on the same run from the Dam to by Frisco, and some days, it's just a modest run/reach on almost flat water.

If you can comfortably sail the conditions in Colorado, you are able to sail well just about anywhere in the world.
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Old 06-21-2007, 05:25 PM
1 posts, read 21,546 times
Reputation: 10
Default SAILING in CXO!

Hello everyone! I do like Colorado and all of the cities I have visited in CO - I have visited many many times.

Now, I am going to live in CO for 3-4 months. I am excited because I love to hike and participate in outdoors activities - and now I also have a challenge!

I am learning to sail and have been checking out places to sail in CO. Does anyone know of a club or sailing community close to CXO where I can pay a fee and use their sailboats?

Any assistance would be wonderful! My C-Springs friends says there is a large sailing community but unfortunately none of them know much about it.

Thank you for any guidance!
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:21 PM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,616,291 times
Reputation: 4942
I've lived in Colorado for 35 years. What/where is CXO?
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