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Guide To Sailing On Lake Hartwell

For many people, there is no better way to spend a day than sailing on Lake Hartwell. Nearly everyone who has tried it has loved navigating a sailboat, but if you haven’t tried it, it can seem intimidating.

With large, billowing sails and special jargon, one might think that learning how to sail is complicated. Thankfully, that’s not the case as sailing is not only enjoyable but accessible to many—particularly around the Lake Hartwell region.

Lake Hartwell remains one of the best sailing locations in the southeast United States. The temperate climate of the region allows enthusiasts to sail year-round. Plus, the views are hard to beat with open water edged by rugged landscape.

As Lake Hartwell is bordered by both Georgia and South Carolina, sailors can easily boat back and forth between the two states. There are few places where one can cross state lines by boat so easily—it definitely makes for a much more pleasant commute than sitting in traffic.

Since boating is such a popular pastime in the region, boat rentals are plentiful. In fact, we wrote an entire post highlighting some boat rental options.

It is important to keep in mind that boaters have an ethical responsibility to care for the marine life around them. Keep the lake clean and it’s inhabitants safe by reducing your discharge of hazardous waste such as trash, oil, and gray water.

The Western Carolina Sailing Club

Established sailors and beginning enthusiasts alike will be glad to hear that Lake Hartwell is home to the Western Carolina Sailing Club (WCSC). The WCSC is a non-profit organization that has the mission of making sailing an enjoyable experience.

The sailing club is located right on Lake Hartwell, in the city of Anderson, South Carolina. The family-friendly organization does require membership, but the benefits are well-worth the application. You will have access to social activities and sailing events, along with several sailing-centered benefits.

Members of The Western Carolina Sailing Club receive classes and training that will increase their knowledge of boats and boat-handling abilities. Additionally, the club provides members with use of its boat storage facilities. This is a big perk for those who own a boat and need somewhere to dock.

3 sailboats racing on Lake Hartwell

Can you imagine yourself cruising Lake Hartwell with the wind billowing through the sails?

The club also has workshops and classes where people can learn how to sail Lake Hartwell. These courses include adult and youth lessons and all are encouraged to attend and learn. The classes include classroom instruction and practical application out on the water. Participants only need to bring a Coast Guard-approved type III lifejacket.

Find more information about the sailing club, the schedule of events and camp opportunities on the company website. If you are interested in applying for membership, the application is available online as well.

Take Sailing Lessons at the Big Water Sailing School

Outside of the WCSC, there are several other options for budding enthusiasts to learn how to sail Lake Hartwell. The Big Water Sailing School is one of the most popular local spots for people to learn the sport, while also enjoying the lake.

2 sailboats on beautiful lake hartwell

Big Water Sailing School is appropriately named as it is housed at Big Water Marina, a beautiful wooded cove at the south end of the lake. The school teaches both basic coastal sailing and offshore sailing—the perfect opportunity to explore the wooded islands and inlets around the lake.

The school has been opened since 1999, and the school’s director has over 40 years of experience. It offers American Sailing Association certified courses such as basic keelboat sailing, bareboat cruising, and coastal navigation.

Those interested in more information about Big Water can find details including class schedules and descriptions, hours of operation and more on the company website.

Ready to start your sailing adventure? If you have any sailing tips or questions, drop them in the comments below. 

Yacht sailing lake hartwell with blue water and skies
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1 Comment

Nov 05, 2023

Why are all of the photos in this article showing ocean sailing on 50-60 footers ? That’s not the atmosphere of beautiful Lake Hartwell. There’s a metropolis skyline in one of them. Seems kind of lazy to me.

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