If the weather is nice, sailboats are out in numbers on Lake Superior. The best part about the sailing community in Duluth is that you don’t have to own a boat to get the experience; there are chartered rides available. If you have never seen Duluth from the lake, it’s definitely a must, and sailing is a fun and exciting way to experience it. The sailing scene hits its peak in late summer when massive maritime vessels sail into port as part of the Great Lakes Tall Ships Challenge.
Beginner Sailing Terms:
Aft – The back of the ship. Bow – The front of the ship. Port – The left side of the boat. Starboard – The right side of the boat. Leeward – The direction opposite to the way the wind is blowing. Windward – The direction in which the wind is blowing. Boom – The horizontal pole extending from the bottom of the mast parallel to the water. Rudder – Flat piece of wood, fiberglass or metal located under the ship and used to steer. Tacking – Sailing maneuver referring to turning the bow of the boat through the wind so the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other. Jibing – Opposite of tacking, jibbing refers to turning the stern of the boat through the wind so the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other.
- Location: Knife River Marina. Take the Scenic North Shore Drive north to the village of Knife River, turn toward the lake on Marina Drive (the turn is next to the Knife River Campground), follow Marina Drive to the marina take 90 degree right hand turn as soon as you enter the marina and cross the paved parking lot (you are going away from the main part of the marina) this will lead you to a gravel parking lot with a number of boat trailers parked off the the side. Park in the lot and come on down to the boat – we are the only sailboat in the small lagoon to the right of the gravel parking lot.
- About: The Amicus mission is “to sail with adventure and wisdom, to advance a simple sustainable lifestyle, to encourage healthy relationships and personal growth, to increase appreciation for our most treasured resource – Lake Superior” Amnicus is run by Mark and Katya Gordon, who have over 30 years combined sailing experience. In 2007, the Gordons sailed from Lake Superior to the Bahamas and back with their two daughters.
- Contact: (218) 290-5975
- Location: Toward the beginning of Park Point. From the Aerial Lift Bridge proceed south on Lake Avenue to 11th Street, turn right, proceed straight ahead into Harbor Cove Marina untill you can go no further, turn left until you can go no further, turn left again. Aeolos is the last boat on the right, it has a white hull with it’s stern facing the parking lot. Please park along the rocks on the south.
- About: The Aelos is captianed by Jerry Paulson of Duluth. The boat is Named for the Greek god of wind, Aeolos I. She is a stable and comfortable boat with a spacious cockpit and cabin. The main cabin is well lit and ventilated. The aft cabin has four opening ports and a berth larger than a queen size bed. You’ll find hot and cold running water, a refrigerator, propane stove, private head (toilet), and all required safety equipment on board. Each trip begins with an orientation of the vessel, safety instructions and time to consider special needs or requests.
- Contact: (218) 260-9595 or (218) 727-1052 at home
- Location: Toward the end of Park Point. From downtown Duluth, cross the Duluth Lift Bridge in Canal Park. Travel on Minnesota Avenue past curve and through the stop sign. Continue past Lafayette Community Center on the left and past the Rowing Club and Southworth Marsh on the right. Enter the Park Point Recreation Area. The road curves to the right. Pass the playground on the left and the restrooms on the right. Keep right and enter the parking lot for the public boat launch. The site is on the pier adjacent to the boat launch. If the road curves to the left again or you arrive at the airport, you have gone too far
- About: DSSA wants “to provide Duluth area persons of all ages and family groups access to sailing experiences, regardless of skill level, physical and sensory ability, and financial means. This is accomplished through low cost recreation, instruction and competition.” They offer youth programs, adult programs, and adaptive programs. Boats range from 8’ to 31’ for all skill levels. Scholarships are available. The staff is U.S. sailing certified.
- Contact: (218) 391-5521 or (218) 724-6909 during the off season.
- Location: Knife River Marina and Barker’s Island Marina. Barkers’s Island Marina is located at 250 Marina Drive Superior, WI 54880 and their phone number is (715) 392-7131. Knife River Marina is located at 115 Marina Rd Knife River, MN 55609 and the number there is (218) 834-6076.
- About: Sailboats Inc. offers sailing lessons, sailing charters, charter yacht ownership and more.
- Contact: (800) 826-7010 for the corporate office in Superior, WI.