My first name is Don and I’m from Cincinnati Ohio, just recently moved down from Cleveland and Lake Erie, so I miss my big lake, but I am now living in Cincinnati.
Which Tiwal model do you have?
It’s a Tiwal 3 small sailboat, I’ve had it since last August.
Where do you sail?
I used to be a Lake Erie sailor almost exclusively. Nice big lake, almost an ocean and it was a lot of fun, very tricky to sail sometimes. When I moved down here from Cleveland, I needed a boat that I could store. There is a lake down here called Caesar’s Creek. These reservoirs around here are very clean and nice, beautiful, the water smells good, it feels good.
How was the first handling with your Tiwal?
On my first sail I got around to where there were some power boats. One of them caught me by surprise and raised about a three foot wake coming at me broadside. I wasn’t ready for it, and so I ended up upside down and it was a snap to right the boat. To bust their hearts, Ohioans are nice people, I had three boats, power boats come over and offer to help, which is nice, but I didn’t need it, so that was a nice, really nice surprise. The boat was going to be easy to handle and forgiving of mistakes.
How is it going so far?
The first time out especially I got to know the boat a little bit, I was surprised because it was very familiar.
While I was in Cleveland I not only had the Hobie, I had a Laser. The Tiwal is rigged just almost identically to the Laser, I don’t know if that was intentional or not, but I certainly appreciate it because I know how the sail handles so that was delightful. One thing I really missed on the Hobie and I had it on the Laser but the Tiwal has the same quick maneuverability, it is just a boat you can spin on a dime if you have even just a little tiny puff of wind, you can get around.
The Tiwal is a thousand percent more comfortable than the Laser. As much as I love the Laser, it’s a hard boat, it has things that poke at you and… out of the probably 20 hours, I have already sailing on the Tiwal, I spent about 10 of them just relaxing, stretching out, one finger on the tiller. We had some pretty light winds on a couple of those days, just relaxing and enjoying the lake and the weather and the motion of the waves, just rocking. I was lucky I didn’t fall asleep but you know, a boat like that it’s just so comfortable and of course it’s stiff enough that I have no doubts that I will… on this coming season, I’ll get out in enough wind to get her up on a plane, because the characteristics of the boat are very, very quick, even in the light winds I’ve been out in only five to ten knots so far, but I’ve been out in the light winds and the boat picks up and goes, it just, you know, it’s so responsive to a little bit of wind and doesn’t lose its handling so yeah, a lot of fun.
Which characteristics did surprise you?
The storability, oh my gosh, to be able to put your boat away in your storage area but it fits in the back of the car and goes everywhere. If I go more than two hours away from home here, I have access to about five more lakes and they’re all waiting out there for me. So I’m looking forward to doing that.
What is your best memory with your Tiwal?
The last day I was out, I had about five knot wind, when I first got out and then it died but I just decided to wait. The air was not hot, it was just right in that zone, the temperature was beautiful, the air was light. I just relaxed and watched the birds fly, listened to the fish pop nearby and just spent about an hour, just kind of drifting along at have a nod, and then I decided oh okay I’m gonna get up and go back and almost unbelievably the wind came up a little bit and took me back to my shore. You can’t ask for more from a sailboat than have a day like that, just to relax.
Where would you dream to sail with your Tiwal?
It would be kind of fun to take her back up to Lake Erie. I know those waters and I know how much fun they can be. You can sail a long time on that lake on one tack and it’s… it can still give you challenges so that would be fun. My wife and I have in the past found a place to rent in Florida Gulf Coast and it would be fun to get out along the beaches down there. I did a little bit of sailing in Chesapeake Bay, there are some really beautiful places to stay, so that would be fun too, so I don’t know there’s a big list!