My first name is Mairi. I live in Socorro, New Mexico.
Which Tiwal model do you have?
I have the Tiwal 2 dinghy for about two years.
Where do you sail?
I sail in various lakes in the Mountain West near where I live. I’d like to sail somewhere else sometime but you know, I haven’t yet.
Single-handed or double-handed?
I use it by myself although I have some cousins who I want to teach to sail at some point.
What was your experience before Tiwal?
My grandmother actually grew up in New England and moved to New Mexico which is not super known for its sailing but she had sailed as a child and so she built these like Optimist prams. She built them by hand and so that’s actually what I mostly learned to sail in.
When I was in high school I did sail competitively a little bit using 420s so I have some experience in mostly those two types of boats.
How is it going so far?
It’s great, I really like it. I got it because I wanted something with portability since I don’t live super close to any lake, so I always have to transport it to where I’m going. It fits in my Mini Cooper which is my car and so I don’t have to worry about a trailer or anything like that and I’ve been happy with it. It’s easy to set up.
It sails pretty well you know, some of those lakes can have sort of pretty variable winds but I haven’t had any trouble, you know, getting it going to the wind well. And like I said, I don’t do anything like super demanding with it but it’s performed well for everything that I’ve wanted and I’m happy with it.
My biggest concern when I got it was that it would be too fragile, that, you know, that it would hit rocks and like slice open the plastic, the inflatable rubber. But I’ve sailed it on some lakes with sharp rocks which a lot of lakes around here have and I haven’t had any problems so that’s good.
Which characteristics did surprise you?
I wasn’t really that surprised by anything. I feel like it performed as advertised, which is great.
What is your best memory with your Tiwal?
I took it to a lake in Arizona near where my aunt lives and this lake has sort of this really cool outcrop but it’s on the far side of the lake that you can’t get to without sailing to it and also like there’s a river going through the lake so it was really complicated currents so it was actually a little bit of a struggle for me to get going on this particular lake just because the situation was so complicated.
But eventually, like the wind picked up, there was a great breeze, I was sailing pretty fast and I got over to this cool outcrop of rocks and was able to look at it. I’m a geologist, so I really enjoy getting out to see like nature and rocks and things like that.
Where would you dream to sail with your Tiwal?
I’ve only sailed it in lakes but I really would like to get it to the ocean someday. You know, I live in New Mexico so it’s a bit of a journey. But I learned to sail mostly doing ocean sailing when I was a child, so I would really love to, at some point, take a longer road trip to the ocean and go sailing there.