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Fishing4Miles

Parasailors & Windsurfers on Waconia

18 posts in this topic

We go to Lake Waconia all of the time. The boat lauch, as most of you know can be very crowded at times.

Then when you add in the parasailors & windsurfers, who we are suppose to maintain a certain distance from, are in the boat launch and/or in the path of the boat launch what is the rule/etiquette for this?

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Motorized water craft are supposed to yeild to non motorized craft. So if a windsurfer is crossing in front of the launch you are supposed to yeild to them and let them cross.

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That part I know but when they are lingering in the launching area, what do you do? Wait?

We have waited for them at times up to 45 mins to access the launch.

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I assume if they are just lingering at the launch and blocking people from getting boats in or out then something should be said to them. Just polietly inform them that they are preventing others from using the landing, they should either get in and out quickly or move off to the side if possible to clear the landing. Same as anyone else using the landing.

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Your going to see it more and more. Since the beach I think they have to pay now, their going to use the public access more and more.

I know last weekend. One guy's chute just about landed on a boat that was waiting to get into the landing.

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I fish Waconia a fair amount in the spring. Some people seem to be looking for etiquette or rules and regulations. The legal eagles will lay some kind of foundation pertaining to "Right of way" motorized vehicle" Boat under power" Etc.

How about some " Common cense "... I see someone that stated that they waited 45 minutes to get to the launch. Boating is like a 4 way stop.... after the first three have departed it is now your turn..... and you need to understand that it is your turn...... move. You also need to make eye contact and acknowledge that you see other people... point, wave... let other people know that you see them.

I think the most parasailors have seen on the East ramp on Waconia is about 6. Don't run these people like a slalom course.... Take a straight line and stay to it... reduce power... you don't need to be on plane at 40 mph 100 yards from the dock, If you need to turn.... do so!

Again.... Common Sense.

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Sailboats only have right of way when you are under power!! They do not have preference at landings. When you are drifting with your engine off and especially when you are anchored you have right of way over sail and row boats. The right of way rules go in this order of preference: stationary craft, anchored boats, drifting boats, sail boats, row boats and then motorized craft underway. I've run into sailors who sail right over my lines when I'm anchored somewhere and who actually think you should move your boat out of the way when they want to go where you are floating. They are just ignorant of the rules and need a civil explanation....

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I have found the parasailors on Waconia to be quite rude as well.

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again a group of people who pay no fee or Licenes seem to over run a placed funded thru our dollars. I have also had one to many problems trying to land over there. I finally decided $120 for a season pass at Mases isn't a bad price.

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KOTTKE, Do they every run out of room to park?

I'm thinking I may do the same.

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I know they have a couple spots for season pass holders. If your going out on a weekend they always fill up though.

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Someone forwarded this to me and I'd like to respond if I may. I am a windsurfer and Kiteboarder and have enjoyed Waconia for over 20 years. I also host a website for our local riding community and will bring your concerns up on that forum as well.

First let me start off by apologizing for any disruption of your enjoyment of the lake that our usage may have caused. We appreciate the use of the DNR boat launch and would like to do what we can to coexist with other users of the lake. The launch is small and when the wind is blowing and the fish are biting it gets tight out there. I'd like to take this as an opportunity to open a dialog between the boaters and the wind sport enthusiests with the hopes that maybe we can establish some guidelines or at least an understanding so that we can all continue to enjoy the lake and minimize any accidents from occurring.

I'll start by giving some info on us, maybe just for clarification.

Windsurfers, I assume are a bit less of an issue. They take up less space, their motion is more like sail craft.

Kiteboarding is rather new to our lakes. Is it a sailcraft? Is it even a boat? What are the right of way rules...I don't have answers here. Our kites are 100 feet in the air, does that mean that no boat can pass under that 100 ft swath? Again I don't have answers. I can tell you that there are some safety considerations that need to be understood with respect to kites. The wind is a fickle beast and unfortunately we can't garauntee the kites will stay in the air. Therefore, It is far better to take your boat 10 ft upwind of the rider than go under the lines. If a kite goes down, it is better to avoid it completely than to try and grab the kite or lines. If you want to approach a downed kiter in the lake, approach them from the upwind direction. If you see a kite going up and down in the sky, the kiter is underpowered and trying to generate power, the situation is much less predictable than when the kite is smoothly moving through the air in a straight line. Again trying to stay upwind of the kiter is the best approach.

Our path in the lake is determined by the wind direction. We usually are going across the wind. Unfortunately it varies with the day. Sometimes we're going straight out from the launch and sometimes we are passing right through your boat launch.

So...what does all this mean to finding a solution? Not sure. I've heard that this year the northern boat launch at the NE DNR launch has a dock and most likely will be used more. This creates some concern.

Some ideas:

We put some bouys in the water to mark the launch zone for all craft, say 300 feet out. If any user is not launching or landing they stay outside of that zone. This would effect us more than you since that is your usually protocol.

We might want to get some signage up.

We establish some hand signals to communicate better on the water. This would allow us to give eachother right of way if it was unclear.

We convince the DNR to develop the two lauches more. Then we could always have an upwind boat launch and the kiter/windsurfers would always launch downwind. Not the greatest solution when the wind is onshore, but when it is from the North or south it could work.

hmm.

That's all I got for now, I'm open to others.

More than anything though I would encourage you to come to us out there with your concerns. Especially if something just happened that concerned you. If you don't get it addressed adequately please contact me directly. While I can't speak for everyone, I know the majority of the riders want to ensure that they are not disrupting anyone elses enjoyment of the lake. We do have some new riders that have not taken proper instruction and/or are not yet aware of our riding guidelines. We are doing our best to direct these riders to lakes that are better suited to learning, where there is less traffic and larger shallow areas.

I'd be interested in any of your ideas about how we can all better share the launch. It is really the only launch for us on this beautiful lake. The dangers are too high to be launching our kites around swimmers at the park. We do so in the early spring and fall because there is no one there, but as it warms up we head to the DNR launch.

Tighe

tighe@windancing.com

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Not that I even fish on Waconia - I was just reading away, so I hope you don't mind my .02 comment.

Ya got to give some props to Winddancer with the approach he's taking. Open minded, approachable, and communicative. You don't see that from a Jet Skiier tongue.gif

Any who - I hope it all works out for you guys out there. Arriving at a boat launch that is chaos is the beginning of a headache confused.gif

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scott,

they do have some reserved parking for a season pass holder, I am on the lake alot in the summer with my kids and I think there was one time we had to park in the street. Talk to Cindy over there, great bunch to work with and always willing to help.

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I'll ask next time I'm in there. I always talk with her when I get bait.

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windancer,

Some things that I can suggest on what we all can do, boaters and windsurfers.

Not to sure what is all possiable on those things but when you get up and going, move away from the landing. When boats start coming in it's gets to be very tight and also backed up perty far out.

Also for boats to. I beach it other then waiting 10 deep in the water just to drop someone off or get close. I like to wait for things to calm down myself before putting it on the trailer. I know it gets busy and everyone is rushing to get in and beaching may not be an option.

Example 2 Sundays ago. I didn't know where one windsurfer was heading, it was going toward the landing so I slowed and waited just for him/her to turnaround heading away from the landing. I know I couldn't have been the only one wondering where this person was heading.

My point being if your not lauching or trailering or getting air into the chute or coming in, make it clear what your intentions are and if possiable don't plug up the landing.

Back to watching the Twins.....runners on the corners 2 out bottom of the 9th.

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Scott,

I think this is a good idea. I will do my best to communicate to the other riders. There really is no reason to be coming in close to the launching area unless to land their kite/windsurfer.

If ever uncertain of how to move around a kiter or windsurfer, it is better to pass behind their back, since we always have our backs to the wind. If something goes wrong we will be moving into the area in front of us (downwind).

Again, if something happens that concerns you try to address it that day, ideally with that rider. Hopefully we can find a better way to handle whatever happened.

I also want to extend a thanks to all of you who have picked up our lost boards or dragged our sorry butts back to the launch when the wind died. It is appreciated.

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Hi, While I don't fish regularly anymore, I'm usually paying for the registration for a couple of no-motorized boats. I may not use my canoe very much; but I spend lots ot time at the Waconia DNR launch (for the last 20 years) on a windsurfer or a kiteboard. Windancer is not alone with his constant education of our wind addict friends to always be respectful of our fellow water sportsmen.

I'll make a point of raising my personal responsibility bar and will avoid showboating close to shore and jamming up the lake access points. More than once a boater has come by over the years when I was sitting in the water gathering myself after an ugly moment asking what kind of help would I like. I've been fortunate that your help hasn't been needed; but its been great knowing how willing people are to help each other. Friends of mine have benefited many times from your help.

Lets keep this conversation going and hope that it spreads to the water. I hope that those extended waits while a kiter struggles to launch his or her kite goes away and that the fees I pay to the DNR continue to support a access point that is easily used by all who need it.

Enjoy the coming weekend. javascript:void(0)

cool.gif

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