Vic's Tiwal 3 small sailboat review

Vic from New Hampshire

January, 2021 – Vic, from New Hampshire (NH)
Vic's Tiwal 3
Vic's Tiwal on the beach

My name is Vic Sanchez and I’m originally from South Florida. I spent over 20 years living in Germany and now I’m back in the US in the state of New Hampshire.

Which Tiwal model do you have?

I have the Tiwal 3 and I’ve had it since this summer, so I would say around six months.

Where do you sail?

I’m lucky that New Hampshire offers a lot with regards to where to sail, so I do a lot of sailing on lakes, there’s many lakes, glacial lakes here in New Hampshire.
I also sail in the Atlantic on the sea.

How do you use your Tiwal?

I usually sail solo, I use it on my own and I’m hoping that next year, where I start maybe in the Spring, I’ll be sailing with some friends that will join me.
Right now it’s stored in my basement. I followed the maintenance or the recommendation from Tiwal, so it’s slightly inflated, laid out, downstairs and I transport it in my car.

Which characteristics did surprise you?

I was impressed by how fast, how light, how incredibly manoeuvrable it is, and very responsive and it sails very nice close to the wind and it goes very fast. So it just blew my mind!

I lived near Genève, Lac Leman, one of the most complicated bodies of water I think anywhere in the world to sail. That’s where I learned to sail. Because you have winds coming from every which directions , because you have all the different mountains around, and you have passes, and you have many different kinds of winds coming at any given direction… So it’s an extremely challenging lake to learn.

I had Lasers and I sailed a couple of other things, and I sort of got used to and learned to on a more rigid boat. So I knew the feel of a regular one-design and got really used to that. So somehow in my brain, when I’ve got on my Tiwal and the first time I went sailing was here in New Hampshire of course and it was about 20-25 knots winds.

I like to sail very sporty. And I put the boat together I noticed that of course on the wind you have to put together – but you guys have excellent videos – I follow his instructions on how to hold the sail, it was my first time and the whole thing, but I had already rehearsed at home right, so I put the sail together the whole thing on the lake I drag it out to the water…

Okay, so far my mind, one-design, rigid, regular,… oh my god! And oh, I forgot to say, I have the two sails, right? I have the 55 square foot sail and I forget how many square foot sail the larger one is 70 or whatever it is,… So of course for higher winds you should put the smaller sail but no of course not, that’s not the way I work, I’m gonna put the bigger sail on a windy day because, why not! Oh my god. When the first gust of winds hit me, I had to hold for my life.

So the thing that surprised me and impressed me, it’s a much lighter boat, so not only did this thing takes off like a rocket ship on the water with 25 knot winds, 20-25 knot winds on a lake, it was a lake, so the waters are relatively smooth but the handling, oh my god, the handling was amazing. This thing just responded immediately. Now keep in mind this was my first time ever on the Tiwal and I chose the roughest thing. And it responded beautifully and I tell everyone that : this is not what you think in terms of a regular boat. It’s even more fun.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your Tiwal?

One of my very very favorite things about the Tiwal is how incredibly flexible and portable it is. Normally, I would only be able to be satisfied if you’re towing a boat, a one-design for example that’s towable, or you leave it at a lake, that’s it, that’s your only choice, right? With the Tiwal, I can go explore different lakes, different areas. Okay, now I want to go sailing on the sea, so I can take it to the sea. I don’t need any special anything, I just put it in my car. I can pretty much go anywhere, so that is awesome.
I would say my only complaint with the Tiwal, I do have a very serious complaint about the Tiwal, is I don’t get to use it enough!

What is your best memory with Tiwal?

I would say my best memory is in fact that first memory is very fun because I, it reminded me of another memory in Lake Geneva, so that’s a very fun memory but I would say there was another memory that was also equally wonderful.

A very dear friend invited me to his home on Spafford Lake. Spafford Lake is a little bit West of where I live here in New Hampshire, beautiful lake. He’s a sailor himself and he said, you know, let me give it a try, can I sail your boat? So I went ahead and said, he’s an expert sailor as well I mean, this guy’s very good. And I warned him, I said: you know Jim, careful, this is not what you’re used to. He sells Hobie Cats as well. I try to impart all my learnings. Despite that, you know, he says: “yeah yeah, I get it, I get it, it’s a sailboat…”

So he had a very similar experience than I had. He said: “oh my god this is amazing”, so and just to see him out there and by the way, I’ve never seen anyone live sailing on a Tiwal. I can’t see myself sailing, there’s not a whole lot of Tiwals here. So it was very memorable on this beautiful New Hampshire Lake seeing my friend and seeing him on my boat. So it’s like I get I guess that’s what I look like.

So that was very memorable. And in six months, unfortunately I haven’t yet, but I look forward to making many more wonderful memories with the Tiwal.

Where would you dream to sail with your Tiwal?

I would love to take my Tiwal on Lake Geneva. You have a lot of winds and a lot of stuff going on and I would love to take my Tiwal there!