Tiwal 3 review – Mike from Medford, OR

February 2023 – Mike from Medford, OR

Which Tiwal model do you have?

It’s the Tiwal 3 small sailboat, and I bought it in June (8 months).

Where do you sail?

All over the place. So we have like lakes all over Southern Oregon where I lived and we first sailed it there at some of our home lakes where there’s kind of a lot of wind. And then we basically took off and started venturing East and went all over the United States zigzagging through national parks and just seeing tourist attractions and planning our trip to where we would always be at a body of water if we could. And in hopes that we could use it. And yeah, we actually left Oregon, we went up to Washington in Anacortes area and actually sailed it in the ocean a little bit on a bay and then we started traveling East hitting various lakes and really, really enjoyed it.

I mean we’ve been at different campgrounds on lakes pretty much all summer, all fall.

We’re now in Florida, we’ve been here since September so we basically had summer the whole time and really there’s been no down time to use the Tiwal.

What was your experience before Tiwal?

I did not and that’s one of the reasons I got the Tiwal because our goal is to live on a sailboat one day and I contacted a sailing instructor and ultimately got lessons with just last month and I asked how do I get started at sailing and he said well do some online courses, which I did, and he said try and get your hands on a small sailboat.

Well I knew we were going to be full-time rving and I’m already towing a truck and I can’t then tow another sailboat so I really didn’t know what to do and I saw the Tiwal on a TV program I was actually watching the background and I googled it and kind of the rest is history.

 So it’s really the only way it could work for me was to have something that’s portable, inflatable, that’s small and that’s how I got started so really the first time single handed sailing was on this Tiwal and I learned some great great lessons on it too that were you know like I flipped it over a couple times and realized that that’s not a big deal it’s like it’s really easy to upright. In fact, I flipped it right over like minutes after I uprighted it and then you kind of learn it’s like okay so learn what don’t do that again and then weight distribution in the boat and just all sorts of great stuff, accidental jive I mean all the stuff that you can learn on just a small little safe environment so if I do graduate to a bigger boat one day that’s hopefully not gonna happen.

How is it going so far?

I can keep it in the back of my truck that I pull behind my motorhome.

It’s a small truck, it’s a Ford Ranger so I can put in the back of the truck and it’s got a canopy cover over it . And I can store some other stuff in there, it doesn’t take up a lot of room and then when we arrive at a campground we just pull it out it only takes like 20 to 30 minutes to get it going and I usually just keep it on a trailer in the campground and then just roll it down to the water anytime it’s looking nice out there.

Single-handed or double-handed?

We’ve done both, so me and my wife will go out there sometimes and we’ll sail together and that’s a lot of fun and then I’ll sometimes just sail by myself.

It just kind of depends on the conditions and how much wind we have and stuff like that.

So we spend a lot of time at different lakes going across the United States. Some big lakes, Some small lakes some windy lakes and not windy Lakes and we try and get that Tiwal out every time the conditions are good enough to sail.

Which characteristics did surprise you?

I’m really impressed with the sail. I think the sail is really high quality it does a great job.

It’s hard to say one thing, honestly, because like it’s really well, well built and performs so good.

 I really love everything about it. There’s not really one thing, but I was just going to say the North Sails’s a really nice, striking sail. When I use the boat, I’m pretty proud of it because it’s a very good looking striking boat, and actually turns a lot of heads and people don’t see that. I mean they’re just not a lot of Tiwals around here and so oftentimes, every time I bring it out anybody that walks by there’s gonna usually be a conversation about it.

Oftentimes, people will Google it on their phone because they’re trying to figure out what it is. They’ve never seen this before, so yeah, I just think the whole package is pretty striking.

I’m really glad I got the Tiwal 3 too, because I’m a little bit more into maybe the performance and I really like to push it when I’m out there on the lake you know if it’s really windy, you know. One time I reefed it and thought well you know I probably didn’t need to do that so next time if it’s that windy I’m not going to reef and see how it does and I enjoy that even though this is you know a little scary at points but it was a lot of fun.

What is your best memory with your Tiwal?

I would track the speed with my phone app that I put in a waterproof case and tie it to the frame and probably my best memory was going really fast and you know I’d sail typically at around six knots or 8 miles/h and that’s super fun.

But on lakes the wind kind of comes, it’s like up and down, it’s not like consistent on the ocean so there’s one day that was really windy, it was blowing really hard and it was a consistent wind and I was able to get up on the frame rail and really heel it over and push it to you know and went really fast and I was recorded like 12 miles an hour on my little phone. So I thought that was pretty exhilarating and I don’t know what that is to knots but it was for me it felt pretty fast.

Where would you dream to sail with your Tiwal?

In nice tropical, warm waters around Florida which is where I’m at now.

The only thing about Florida is that there are alligators so I’m not so much into the lake sailing here in Florida. I need to find the ocean and there, we were in the Florida Keys and we sailed it around Florida Keys and it simply doesn’t get any better than that. I mean the ocean was beautiful the wind was great the water’s warm the air’s warm it’s just perfect so I think I’m, I think I’ve landed where is the perfect place for me.

Thank you Mike!