There really isn’t anything that compares to a beautiful sailboat on a beautiful lake on a beautiful day. Coming from me, that’s quite an endorsement. You see, sailing and I didn’t always get along so well. My dad bought his first fixed keel sailboat in 1984 when I was all of 6 years old. It was a 23′ Southcoast, a clean lined classic sailboat with round portholes. It wasn’t a racing boat, it was a Sunday afternoon cruising boat, and our family was a Sunday afternoon cruising family. Growing up, I was petrified of the boat. The fear of drowning was alive and well in my mind, and I figured that sailboat was just the death machine that a young fella like me may fall prey to. When the boat would tip dangerously in the breeze, my father cackling at the excitement of his maneuver, I’d lean with all my might to the high side to keep the boat upright. My fear was that I’d be stuck in the cabin when the boat tipped over, and I wouldn’t be able to get out. I could imagine being trapped under the giant sale, as the capsized boat pointed keel up, and there I would be, pushed further and further toward my watery death by the inverted sail. I had no interest in sailing, and I didn’t like being on the sailboat, but I still loved the boat itself. One needn’t be a sailor to appreciate the familiar click clack of the sail guide wire against the aluminum mast. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you really need to get out of the city more.
I overcame my fears, and enjoyed sailing a Laser both solo and with a first mate. I’ve already decided that this summer will be the summer that I begin my sons sailing life, and I’m looking forward to that indoctrination. Geneva is a fabulous sailing lake, whether you’re sailing in the weekly regattas arranged through the Lake Geneva Yacht Club, or just bobbing aimlessly on a Wednesday afternoon, Geneva is the perfect lake for you. We have buoys galore, and it’s much, much easier to find a home with an available buoy than it is to find a home with a boatslip. I have a small cottage for sale in Williams Bay near the water, and I could probably find the buyer of that home a buoy to rent for around $1500 per season. Sailing is beautiful, and it’s definitely more affordable than powerboating too.
Next weekend is the Strictly Sail Chicago Show at Navy Pier, and it’s a great place to explore all things sailboat. Go ahead, fall in love with a sailboat. Fall in love with sailing. Fall in love with that lovely click clack that I told you about in the first paragraph. Fall in love with the sport, and then fall in love with the most beautiful sailing lake in the Midwest. Geneva has favorable southwest winds much of the summer and fall, and the unique shape of the lake provides open water with breeze in some location no matter what direction the wind is blowing. Melges Performance Sailboats from Lake Geneva will be there with boats on display, and who better to learn the sport from than Mr. Buddy Melges, America’s Cup winner and Lake Geneva’s own. A regatta featuring an A Scow fleet is really a site to behold, and if you had a home on Geneva, you could behold that very site every week all summer long. The Geneva Lake Sailing School is a great way to get your children interested in sailing at a young age, and chances are that with a summer or two of lessons, they’ll be capable sailors for life. Better than being hooked on Wii’s and mall loitering.
Go to the Sailing Show at Navy Pier, and go see the Melges display. If you’re not thoroughly impressed with the beauty and craftmanship of these boats, chances are your judgement is questionable. Go to the show, admire the boats, and let me find you a nice home with a buoy for that new sailboat. Geneva is not only a more stable option for your vacation home dollar, sailing Geneva is safer than Michigan, because lord knows how sailing escapades into that big green lake usually end up…