Vessels must be 26 feet or less in length, except pontoon boats which may be no greater than 30 feet.
Personal Watercraft are restricted from use between 11 AM and 4 PM on the Saturday, Sunday, and holiday of Memorial Day Weekend and Saturdays, Sundays, and State Holidays from July 1st through Labor Day.
Personal Watercraft shall not be operated in excess of six knots with 100’ of another vessel, the shore, a bridge, a dock, or person in the water.
Personal Watercraft operators must be 16 years of age and possess a boating safety certificate.
Personal Watercraft operators and passengers must wear an approved personal flotation device.
Vessels shall not be operated in excess of minimum wake speed within 100’ of the shoreline, except to begin towing a skier from a pier or shore (vessel must immediately leave the 100’ area).
Proper navigation lights are required after sunset (rental boats also require navigation lights after sunset).
Vessels towing a skier must remain 100’ from all other vessels, the shore, a bridge, a dock, or person in the water. Towlines must be no longer than 75’. Additionally, an observer above 12 years of age must be on board the vessel.
Individuals being towed on any device must wear a personal flotation device.
There shall be an approved personal flotation device on board and readily accessible for each person on board a vessel. All children under age thirteen (13) on a vessel under 21’
Sailing school starts as the winds start to pulse around 9:30am which gives you plenty of time to get breakfast and drive to the beautiful South end of the lake. You start out in the classroom, gaining an understanding of the sail boat and basic sailing instruction. The instructors will happily send you out for some water time as you gain a coherent/safe understanding of how to handle a sailboat.
The anticipation, nervousness and pre-sailing jitters subside as you mount up with two other crew members and assemble your boat. The mainsail/jib has to be attached to the mast and boom/keel and tiller/rudder have to be secured before the intimidating task of taking off from the dock. Once you break free of the dock you find the exhilaration that sailors have experienced since the beginning of time of being propelled by the wind. You learn to carve through the wind at different angles and tack into the wind. Upwind seems as though you are at time warp speeds while downwind you feel like you are crawling. You learn how to tweek every bit of speed out of the wind with sailing fundamentals taught in class while self-educating yourself in the water.
Cruising for an hour or so to get the basics is fun but we are all competitors at heart and when you see fellow students peeling off towards the race course you are drawn like a vacuum into the temptation of competition. Three buoys are positioned in basically a triangle shape to give you a race course configuration. Every turn you make around each buoy challenges you to adjust your sail and jib to maximize the wind angles that change dramatically at each turn. Sound complicated? It is not as bad as you may think and most people catch on very quickly, leaving you the rest of the week to race your newfound friends. Competition is intense in the water and you may find yourself talking a little smack to boats that you over take when your crew navigates perfectly around a buoy to take the lead. You take turns captaining the boat operating the main sail/tiller while the other crew member works the jib. Every action that you perform helps the boat by increasing or decreasing the speed; a slight mishap can allow the competing boats to painfully and slowly squeak by you.
As you work your way back to the docks after a fun day of sailing there is nothing but smiles, laughter and positive comrade array. What better way to meet new friends, learn to sail, and get a great workout while unleashing your competitive spirit. Take time to register yourself and bring along family and friends. After all, you have chosen this wonderful lake to build your family memories and sailing has to be one of the top ways to enjoy it. Highly recommended!
Deep Creek Lake-Sunrise Pontoon Trip. This morning Betsy and I got up at 5am (well I did, later waking Betsy at 5:20am) with our sights set on our first sunrise cruise of the summer. Normally it’s our weekly ritual to enjoy quality time at sunrise, or Dawn Patrol as it’s referred to by surfers. We loaded all our gear up and set sail for the dock where we had the pontoon boat running and pulling out of the slip by 5:45am. Darkness slowly morphed to a grainy grey and as we hit the 219 bridge the sky turned into a fantastic pink hue that reflected through an early morning fisherman’s wake. Fishermen were the only company we would see for the next hour, as we slowly cruised toward the Glendale Bridge. As we approached the bridge we noticed off to our left the sun starting to surge toward the mountain top directly in between the Deep Creek Lake State Park and State Park Road. We turned the boat off and sat there for a good hour watching another beautiful new day being born in Garrett County. Soon the pink glow started to wake up the blue and white glows of mid-morning which signaled us to start heading to Trader’s Coffee House for a fresh cup of coffee, a sausage bagel and a spinach wrap. What a wonderful way to start the work day! After breakfast it was time to do what we love most…helping people find their dream second home here at the lake!
Celebrating Independence Day Deep Creek Lake-style! Fourth of July weekend brings images of a Boston Butt slow smoking on the grill, corn on the cob, pork and beans, potato salad, sweet ice tea, and of course as the day ends and it gets dark, fireworks! Deep Creek Lake’s McHenry Cove become’s a parking lot full of boats jockeying for the best view of Wisp Resort and the famous fireworks show that they annually put on. The elevated highway, Route 219/Garrett Highway, which sits across from DCL and the Wisp is littered with hundreds of cars filled with excited families who have made this fireworks show a proud tradition for Garrett County residence and folks visiting from out of town. The fireworks start at 9:15 and continue on until 9:45. Save some energy from your busy day barbecuing and pull up a chair or a boat to enjoy an American Independence Day celebration here in Patriotic Deep Creek Lake.