luger 27 fairwinds safe for icw or Florida sailing

Sep 7, 2021
luger fairwinds cave run
recently got a free a 1980 luger 27 fairwinds is in decent shape and have had it sailing a few times sense i took owner-ship of it on Cumberland and cave run lake here in ky where i am from. both are rather large and get pretty ruff with all the speed and bass boats running around all day. but i guess my question is would this 27 foot swing keel be able to sail or power sail the icw in places maybe the hole thing? or even say with fair seas and wind perhaps sailing to the keys? i have only ever sailed lakes here in ky and lake erie a hand full of times. there isn't a lot of info on these kit built boats and what they are really capable of. so any input advice or just knowledge on these boats is greatly appreciated

happy sailing
Sep 7, 2021
luger fairwinds cave run
well i appreciate the comedic factor of that reply but in no way was that helpful lol A for effort tho.
Jan 19, 2010
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
It is seldom the boat that is not up to a voyage … start slow and discover your own limits. I’d suggest trailering to Oriental NC and launch there. There are some nice marinas that would let you home base for a reasonable fee and you can overnight on the hook a few times… go a little further each time. I’ve attached a version of this story I did with my girls when they were young…

We have gone back four times and each time we sail different parts of the OBX



Aug 18, 2015
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
What @rgranger said is at the heart of the issue of safety. Your knowledge base is your first line of defense, and not knowing what it is that you don't yet know is your biggest weakness. Start slow, and expand both your knowledge base and your experience level. Having said all that, the fact that the boat is kit-built by someone other than you does add an extra element of unknown.

Regarding the ICW: If you are talking about actually sailing, the Atlantic ICW is not the best place to do that. In many places, there is a lot of traffic, coupled with relatively narrow channels. It's great (albeit stressful) practice in short tacking, but more work than fun.

My advice is to spend as much time as possible in the boat where you are. Learn its idiosyncrasies, evaluate its capabilities, monitor its condition. Use it as a chance to develop good habits and just practice sailing. All of that will serve you well when you move to other areas. Once you somewhere new, local knowledge becomes important, so keep that in mind. Always have a plan B. File a float plan whenever you leave the dock.
Aug 2, 2005
Pearson 33-2 & Typhoon 18 Seneca Lake
Hello splash 19781,

The confined spaces of much of the ICW will limit your sailing and motor sailing as other members have already mentioned. Therefore, the motor (outboard or inboard - if such a thing is in the boat) will be a large determining factor of how the boat can handle the ICW. Check the sailboatdata dot com site for figures of the boats sailing information. You can compare that data to the figures for other sailboats of similar size. Docking, going in reverse, anchoring, adjusting to currents, tidal variations, and close quarter maneuvering are all important skills for the traveler on the ICW.

Enjoy the boat!
Jul 12, 2011
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
Welcome aboard, @slash19781 !
Just excuse some of the levity, but what they are saying is true. Just like any other big project or adventure, it will mean planning and a hard look at what your resources are. If you were going to drive to the Florida Keys, you would do the same thing: examine the route, consider your assets like the quality of the car and the experience of the drivers, plan your stops so it is fun and not a burden. The boat will (probably) take more than you and your crew will.

The concerns you are hearing is that most of us who have done this know the limitations of our boat and crew, and know that you cannot answer this question on the internet but need to plan it for yourself. Also +1 that the most important single factor is the experience of the captain. If you are uncomfortable in planning for the opportunities and dangers of this trip, perhaps smaller learning steps now is warranted.
Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Welcome to SBO and congrats on your new to you boat.

If you have been out on the water with her, then I am guessing you have crawled in to every nook and void of the boat with a flashlight to see what is there.
You have assured yourself that the boat is doing her job of keeping the water on the outside (primary responsibility of a boat).

Knowing that the water stays out of the boat, means you can take her to the water and play safely.

Next issues would be:
  • Are you sure the mast is solid and will stand up to what Mother Nature will throw at it?
  • Are you sure that the boat will go where you want to point it?
  • Can you get back on the boat if you fall off?
  • Are you willing to sit in the water till the wind shows up, or do you have a secondary power source?
  • Is the secondary source one you can rely on?
  • Do you have the required safety gear on board and enough for you and crew?
With the basics taken care of, then it is all about knowing where you are and where you want to go.
  • Charts (maps), chart plotters, compasses etc. are the tools of navigation.
  • Knowing the weather you are going to experience is critical to a safe and fun time.
  • Being able to get somewhere and back in a boat is much like knowing how to get to the grocery store and back with the food.
If you are finding things on the boat that are foreign to you, the forum is a great place to ask about them. Having explored a map and decided on a place to explore, the forum is a great place to ask if anyone has been there and what might you expect.

Good luck and I look forward to reading about your adventures. Boat pictures are always a hit here.
Feb 20, 2011
Island Packet 35 Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
well i appreciate the comedic factor of that reply but in no way was that helpful lol A for effort tho.
It's funny because it's true.
As long as your boat's not leaking and your sails are trimmed for the conditions, you'll likely be okay.
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