My first name is Kunter and I live in Fort Myers, Florida.
Which Tiwal model do you have?
I have a Tiwal 3 small sailboat with the sail configuration that does not have the reefing and I’ve had it since last December, so about 10 months.
Where do you sail?
Fort Myers is on the Gulf of Mexico.
We live very close to Sanibel Island so I sail on the Bay Side of Sanibel Island. I haven’t taken it out on the gulf yet. It’s only about 10 minute drive from where we live and I take the boat there and launch it off the beach and it’s a pretty large body of water and good wind and that’s where I sail. We also take it on our camping trips and if there’s a body of water or we choose campsites where there is a body of water so we could sail. In fact last year, last summer, we went to a camping or I should say road trip across the U.S.
It was a long trip. It was three and a half months and we put in about 10,000 miles in the car and we went to different national parks, state parks throughout the country. It was a good thing to do during the Covid to kind of get away from everything but yet being in the nature, so we had the opportunity to sail maybe six, seven times where you know, when it was appropriate to go sailing you know, in some places there was Lake and water but we couldn’t sail, either there was too much wind or not enough wind at all or there was not a good place to launch the boat but we did enjoy it a lot so we combined camping and sailing as much as possible.
Single-handed or double-handed?
All the time so far I’ve sailed solo. I’m trying to get my children on there too, if they get a chance from their work.
How is it going so far?
it’s going great. I love it! I’m getting more comfortable. I had sailboats before. We had several day-sailors and I sailed on… I crewed on larger boats before and I sailed on the Aegean, Mediterranean sea, on the Atlantic Ocean so I had experience. This sailing dinghy itself is much more fun I should say I love it I’m getting used to putting it together. I do take my time. It’s part of a therapy for me. It’s the whole package I think it’s kind of fun to be out. I go out and get lost for hours so sailing and packing it, unpacking is part of the whole game for me.
Which characteristics did surprise you?
I was really surprised by its design and the manufacturing and the quality of the hardware, the materials used on the boat, I mean that’s boat itself… and how it handles. It’s a very sensitive zippy boat and I just love it when the airs, you know when the gusts are a little bit breeze hits, you feel like you’re hydroplaning and it’s a very fun experience just to feel that speed. It handles very nicely I feel very safe on it. I did dump once, we were somewhere close to Zion National Park. There were a lot of acceleration zones between the mountains on the lake. I was getting close to the shore and I dumped it and I do remember watching the video on what to do when you dump this kind of boat and I just went through the automatic motions and put the boat up and my wife was on the shore actually she didn’t even know that I dumped it and got back on the boat. So it handles very well. It’s an easy boat, it’s just one line so I love it. It’s all together, I love the way it handles the waves, it’s nice to have that water run through and I don’t have to have a bucket to empty the boat so it’s great!
What is your best memory with your Tiwal?
It was here in Fort Myers Sanibel Island, off the island. It was a nice sunny day, the breeze was pretty good but it was kind of light wind so I lay down on the boat as if I’m taking a nap, I fix the rudder in one position, set the course, lay down and close my eyes.
I was playing games, I was trying to sail with just listening to the sail and feeling the wind and I was playing games if I could still stare with my eyes closed and maintain the course so it was a peaceful beautiful afternoon and then suddenly I heard the sound like a snorkeling sound you know when somebody’s snorkeling, once in a while they squirt the water out and I heard that and I got up and there were this family of four Dolphins around the boat and yeah, gives me chills just thinking about it and they’re just looking at me I’m looking at them, they’re circling the boat and you know it was like they invited me to their family and we were enjoying the nature together it was just a beautiful, beautiful memory.
Thank you Kunter!