Wind Wizard Land Sailing


  What is Landsailing?
Zipping across the hard-packed beach or desert dry lake  in any one of an  assortment of wind-powered vehicles.    More particularly a three wheeled  frame or fireberglass  body with a mast and a sail.   

Where is it done?
In California, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona: Any  of a number of dry lakebeds.
In Europe, Japan, and South America:   Any of a number of  broad beaches left high and dry when the tide is out.

Who does it?
Adventurers of all ages.   Small children can start at  about 8 years of age,  althought many start much older.    Adults up into their eighties are  regular participants.

How fast do they go?
There are  many variables, but the typical landsailer  will go twenty to fifty miles an hour on an ordinary  day.   It seems A LOT faster when your backside  is just a  couple inches above the lakebed.   The current land  speed  record for a landsailer is about 116 miles per hour.    This VERY  special boat is called the Iron Duck and  weighs in around 1200 pounds.    The ordinary landyacht  weighs in at 80 to 280 pounds.   Some of the  older boats  may go up to 500 pounds.

Can I make my own landsailer?

Of course, but the question you really ought to ask is  "SHOULD" I attempt  to make my own?   That answer would be  "No", at least not until you have  done some sailing and  studied a variety of the designs that are  available.   

 Where can I buy one?
Same answer.   Although there are some mass production  landyachts available,  They can't be found at just any  sporting goods store.   Manta makes a  good "entry"  level boat that is tough, well designed, and  reasonably  affordable.   Blokart makes a smaller boat that is also  very  well designed and has the additional quality of  breaking down into a  very small package that will fit in  most car trunks.   It is great for  the apartment dweller.    Bigger boats have been produced at various times in the  past, although production is limited.   The used boat  market is  also a good place to look.   Sometimes the used  boats will need repair or refurbishment, but are  generally good bargains if you have at least  some  mechanical ability.

Nord Embroden is the Manta dealer in the Antelope Valley, CA  area.

If I buy one, how will I get it to my sailing place?

Blokarts go in the trunk.   Mantas can go in the back of  a truck or on the top of a camper shell.   Some Mantas  arrive on lightweight trailers.   Bigger  boats usually  come inside of   an enclosed trailer or on a  customized  open trailer.

How much will a landyacht cost me?
A used boat might be picked up for as little as $600.    New Blokarts and  Mantas run about $1,800 to $3,000.   A  new high-performance landyacht  might run upwards of  $15,000 but there are often nice used boats for sale.

Speaking of "Big Leagues", do people compete with  landyachts?
YES!!! Every year there are a number of regattas on the  landyacht circuit.    Some are more formal than others,  but there are activites on the local, national, and  international levels.   The Brits, Irish,French,  Belgians,  Dutch, Australians, and New Zealanders all have active  clubs.    Racing in landyachts is conducted very much  like racing sailboats on  the water.   Both FISLY and  NALSA conduct sailing races and the  competition is  excellent.

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