Tiwal 3 review – Thomas from Roseville, CA

October 2023 – Thomas from Roseville, CA

My name is Thomas and I live in Roseville, California.

Which Tiwal model do you have?

I have the Tiwal 3 small sailboat and I’ve had it for about 7 months.

Where do you sail?

We have three lakes nearby here: Lake Natoma, where I actually took a sailing class last summer; Lake Folsom, which is a bigger lake; and there’s a really small lake called Lake Washington, which is part of the delta waters that we have here; that’s the one that gets really windy and I joined a little sailing club there. I’ve also taken it up to Northern California along the coast up by Eureka, but mostly just in these three local lakes because they’re close by and they’re easy to get to.

What was your experience before Tiwal?

When I was 17, I took some basic sailing lessons and then last summer I did a very similar class at lake Natoma. My daughter and I did an ASA certified sailing course.

Single-handed or double-handed?

Well, I usually take it out alone. I’ve had some family come out with me just to kind of help me launch it the first couple times I did it. I like the sporty sail I like lots of wind and I’ve pretty much pushed it to the limit somewhat.

How is it going so far?

Great, I really enjoy the boat! I keep it in the car a lot of the time so I can get it out and go sailing if the need strikes.

I’m out on it like all the time! I think I’ve been out at least two dozen times with it, and I got it just seven months ago, so that’s pretty good.

What characteristics surprised you?

I would say the number one thing would be how comfortable it is, sitting on board and I think this is one of the big advantages of an inflatable boat over a typical hard-shell boat I’ve sailed in a lot of hard-shell boats and it is really kind of rough on your knees, and so forth, as you’re tacking and switching from one side of the boat to the other.

On the Tiwal it’s just, it’s kind of a nice gentle soft overall surface so no matter where you are on the boat it’s very comfortable.

I didn’t even realize when I purchased it that that would be an advantage – but it is.

What is your best memory with your Tiwal?

Going fast!  On lake Washington just like a couple weeks ago they had like 18 to 22 knot winds. There were a bunch of windsurfers out there and so I was trying to keep up with them. The wind was really strong, so that was really fun.

Another time, I was on Lake Natoma. The wind there is very gusty – it comes and it goes – but it’s a very quiet lake and the wind just kind of came up gently and just moved to the boat. I’ve often thought that a good name for the boat would be like a “magic carpet” because that’s kind of what it’s like.

You’re on it and it just kind of mysteriously moves and that was kind of the feeling I got at that point and I’ve felt that before many times. But it’s a lot of fun.

Where would you dream to sail with your Tiwal?

I do want to take it to Lake Tahoe, which is a big lake a couple of hours away and there’s lots of places to sail there – also the Bay Area.

I think I would like take it on a plane someday, maybe take it to Hawaii and find some places to sail over there; if I stay there for a week or so I think that would be kind of fun. To rent a car and throw it in the back of the car and go exploring some places there to sail.

The Tiwal cup would be a good destination as well.