KSL Outdoors: Sailing on the Great Salt Lake

(Adam) the beauty, the serenity of our inland sea. I’m Adam Eakle and KSL Outdoors starts right now.

(Intro) Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors and welcome to the Great Salt Lake Marina, I’m Adam Eakle. Did you know that the Great Salt Lake is one of the most asked about tourist destinations in Utah. But, if you ask most Utahans, many have never put a foot in the lake or been in a boat on the lake. Tonight we are going to introduce you to the pleasure the solitude of sailing the Great Salt Lake.

(Captains meeting) “Ladies and gentlemen, we are here to race.”

(Doug Jackson, Rear Commodore GSL Yacht Club) “Tonight we are going to to our Wednesday night race, our Wednesday night series.”

(Captain Meeting) “It is scored as an off shore. There will be one start for all the boats.”

(Doug Jackson, Rear Commodore GSL Yacht Club) “It’s a big thing these guys really love getting out here and showing up and winning this series.”

Established on May 10th, 1877, the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club is the third oldest yacht club in the country. Captain David Davis was the first Commodore and tonights race is in his honor.

(Byant Pratt, Murray Sailor) “I used to say it was probably the best sailing in Utah. Now I believe it’s the best sailing outside of the great lakes anywhere in the country.”

Many of the sixty members in the yacht club are transplant sailors who have navigated waters all over the world. They say Utahans have long ignored this gem in the desert. They say people need to get out and discover what is right in their own back yards.

(Tim Adams, Salty Sailor) “I think what makes it most spectacular is the contrast of an inland ocean basically and desert all mixed together and ten thousand foot mountains. It’s a rare combination and beautiful sky.”

(Tim Adams) I’ve been fortunate to see sunsets all over the world and I haven’t seen one better than what I see here. There’s just spectacular colors, the reflections off the lake they are incredible. The background of the desert, it’s just an amazing place.

Many believe that the lake smells bad. Actually, the lake doesn’t smell at all. However, the shoreline does. This is because there is a lot of decaying brine shrimp and brine flies that wash up on the shore. On a boat, you don’t smell a thing, but the salty air.

(Valerie Custer, Commodore Great Salt Lake Yacht Club) “And I think a lot of the hang up people say out here oh it smells, but you get out on the lake and there is nothing. It’s peaceful, and it’s quiet, there’s not bugs, nothing and you just, it’s you with nature. To me not being from Utah it kind of seems like what a lot of people are into when they are out doing stuff. They like to be one with nature and being out on this lake, you really are.

One of the easiest ways to experience the lake is visit one of the marinas on the lake, like the Great Salt Lake State Park, located just off of Interstate 80.

(Dave Shearer, Harbor Master) It’s been here in one form or another since the 1920’s. So it’s almost 100 years now. State parks took it over back in the late 70’s and refurbished it and it is what it is now. We have about 320 slips in here and we cater to motor boaters, sail boaters, kayakers, people playing on the beach we have nice running water here, restrooms, showers.

The race today, well turned out to be more of a social, the wind just didn’t show. But to these sailors, it didn’t matter.

(Tim Adams) “It’s big, beautiful, no noise from power boats, it’s peaceful here. I think that’s the biggest, magical thing out here is just the peace and beauty of the place.”

Coming up on next on KSL Outdoors..

(nats handle) (adam) “Oh now he shows me the handle!” (captain Jim Anderson) “Well yeah I wanted you to get the real experience.” (laughs)

I get a lesson and we show you how to get your family out sailing the lake. We’ll also discover another Utah sailing destination, often referred to as the Caribbean of the Rockies. Those stories just ahead, but first some more information on the Great Salt lake in tonights Burt Brothers quiz question.


(Dave Jackson, Rear Commodore GSL Yacht Club) “Everybody will be overwhelmed at first and if not, you should be scared by a great big boat.”

(Dave Jackson) “There are so many things to do at the same time. Once you know why you have to do them, it all falls into place. It’s a fun sport that everyone should learn.”

I’ve always been a powerboat guy. I’ve actually only ever been on a sailboat once, but today was the perfect chance to wet my feet in the sport of sailing.

(Jim Anderson, Sailing Solutions) “and your first job. Go to the bow that’s the pointy end.” (adam) “Get that front one. (Jim) “The one on the right side. That’s passenger.”

and our skipper is Captain Jim Anderson. Owner of the sailboat Impulse and Sailing Solutions. A charter company, designed to allow people to learn, love and discover sailing.

(Jim Anderson) “Anything that goes for height, think of H. Is a halyard. Halyards lift things up on any boat,especially sailboat. A sheet is an S, it controls sideways motion. If it moves sideways it’s a sheet, everything else is a line. Even as a boater you know you don’t have dock ropes right? You have dock lines. So that one ought to be easy. If I don’t know what it is, it’s not a rope, it’s at least a line and it has a job.

(Adam) “So I’m raising the main sail with the main halyard. is that what you called it?” (Jim) “Yeah, you need to take one wrap off of that winch that big spooly looking thing.” (adam) “Ok, just raise away huh?” (Jim) “Yeah pull.” (nats pulling)

(Adam) “One more?” (Jim) “Sure give it all you’ve got.” “If you break it we’ve got bigger problems.” (adam) “Yeah I didn’t break it, ok.” (jim) “No, no, no, it’s not tight yet.” (adam) “Holy crud.” (adam grunting) “ok”.

(nats handle) (adam) “Oh now he shows me the handle!” (Jim) “Well yeah, I wanted you to get the real experience.” (laughs) (adam) “So it needs to be tighter than that?” (Jim) “Yes.”

Jim takes customers out who want to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or just want a relaxing day doing something they might not otherwise experience. He also teaches a sailing course and is a certified instructor with the American Sailing Association.

(Jim) “Either you are tacking or you are jibing. tacking is into the wind, jibing is with the wind behind you.” (adam) “But you want to make abrupt moves like that.” (jim) “No you jibe slow, you tack fast.” (adam) “Jib is to the” ….(jim) “Jibe is when you are turning and the wind passes the back of your boat.” (adam) ok.

I’ll admit, I felt like a duck out of water trying to guide the boat, but everyone here was so nice, so willing to share their knowledge, their love of sailing.

(Valerie Custer, Commodore GSL Yacht Club) “It’s kind of a community out here and we are always encouraging people to come out and start learning how to sail. From way little I mean I’ve got a daughter that is almost five and she’s learning how to sail to people to we are teaching to sail that are in their 30’s if not older. So it’s not a hard thing to take up in any point in your life.”

(Tim Adams, Sailed for 35 years) “With sailing everyday is different. the water, the wind, the conditions are different. It’s a game that the rules change every day. It’s challenging to figure out what has changed that day and the conditions you have that day.”

So the next time you get the urge to feel the salty air in your hair, no need to head to the ocean, just head out to the Great Salt Lake marina, introduce yourself and who knows, you could one day, learn the love of our inland sea. You might even be known as these sailors refer to themselves, as the “Saltiest sailors in the World” Time now to check in with the guys at Fish Tech for tonights less salty fishing report.

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