Around the corner from my house lives a guy who inexplicably runs his powerboat engine in his driveway for hours several times a week. I guess that’s what you do when you own a boat but no waterfront. But, even if you can’t decamp to your vacation home on the water, even if you don’t own a boat, and especially if you’re more into wind and sails over fuel and engines, there are still nearby options for getting into the boating life.
Turns out, Canyon Lake (45 miles northwest of San Anto) is a great place to learn to sail. “It’s probably the best environment around, because it’s the only good lake of any size that actually has water in it,” said Randle Moore, who teaches sailing instruction on Canyon Lake. There’s even good wind on the lake, which is essential to having any sailing fun. “There’s been more than enough wind for the past couple weeks,” Moore claimed.
There are several sailing lesson opportunities on Canyon Lake as well, ranging from the private and group lessons Moore and his daughter Stacy teach ($180-$360 per day for up to six hours, southtexassailing.com) to various courses via the two yacht clubs on the lake.
Of the two clubs, Hill Country Yacht Club essentially requires you be a member ($250 sign-up fee plus $37.89 in monthly dues, hcyc-tx.com) in order to enjoy their perks, like sailing lessons and the use of three Sunfish (small, one-person sailing vessels). Lake Canyon Yacht Club has several pre-scheduled courses available to the public for a small fee, including Women’s Learn to Sail. The next Women’s Learn to Sail is July 19 through 20 and costs $35 for six hours per day of instruction. The club also takes those with physical and mental disabilities out on sailboats four times a year (lcyc.net/learntosail).
After learning the basics, the only way to keep up your skills is to sail frequently, a real pain in the ass without your own boat. Moore notes that no outfitter on Canyon rents sailboats, so the best bet for the boatless is to make pals with someone who owns one. Or, you could spring for your own boat—an investment akin to purchasing a new car.
If you don’t have that kind of scratch (what Current reader does?), you can still enjoy a relaxing day at the lake watching one of the several regattas the clubs sponsor throughout the year. Pack a picnic and plant yourself near the shore of Canyon Lake’s seven public parks. While you might not sail away yourself, it’s better than watching jet skis.