Louisiana is 17.5 percent water. We have lakes, bayous, rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. Airboats, kayaks and motorboats can tackle Louisiana’s often narrow, shallow and swampy waterways. But Louisiana also has amazing water for sailing enthusiasts. Sailboat captains just have to know where to go.
Sail on Louisiana’s Biggest Lake
Pontchartrain is perhaps the best known lake in the state and has an international reputation in the sailing world. With five yacht clubs and many public boat ramps, it’s very accessible. The West End’s Southern Yacht Club was established in 1849 and is the second oldest in the U.S. These clubs host regattas throughout the year. Local favorites include a weekly Wednesday regatta from March through November, and a Mardi Gras regatta each carnival season.
Lake Pontchartrain’s 403,200 acres of breezy waters can handle anything from dinghies to ocean cruisers. Pontchartrain links the Mississippi River with the Intercoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico, so it’s a good starting point or thoroughfare for long sailing adventures. Staying closer to shore? Both lakeshores have lagoons and wildlife preserves, including the 24,000 acre Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.
Where to Sail Near Lake Charles
Calcasieu Lake, or “Big Lake” to locals, connects Lake Charles with the Gulf of Mexico. The nearly 50,000 acre lake has islands and sandy beaches along its shipping canal, which is 40 miles long, 400 feet wide and 40 feet deep. The lake itself is about five to eight feet deep and boasts a variety of fish, particularly trout. This lake is also home to a local celebrity: Pinky, a rare, pink bottle-nosed dolphin.
Lake Charles is a brackish lake, about five feet deep with white sandy beaches. It has a small yacht club that hosts a regular weekly race.
Sabine Lake is about 50 miles south of Lake Charles, near the Texas-Louisiana state line. It is 60,000 acres of open water, rich with fish and perfect for sailing. Average depths are between five and eight feet.
Where to Sail in Acadiana
Sail alongside dolphins in Vermilion Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico. The bay is serviced by Cypremort Yacht Club and connects the Southwest Pass with West Cote Blanche Bay. Vermilion Bay is a rich source of saltwater fish.
Where to Sail In Northwest Louisiana
The 8,575-acre Cross Lake has been popular with sailboat captains since 1927. It’s about 10 feet deep with light, steady winds and several public access points. The area is supported by an active yacht club.
Where to Sail Near Baton Rouge
False River may not actually be a river, but it is a good spot for sailing. It is actually a 3,200-acre lake formed in the early 1700s by the Mississippi River. It has an average depth of 21 feet, but some parts of the lake are up to 65 feet deep. It’s served by Pelican Yacht Club.
Need more info? US Sailing has a list of sailing clubs in every state.
Is Your Sailboat Fully Insured?
A sailboat is a major investment. Accidents can happen on the water and Louisiana weather can be unpredictable. Is your investment protected? Talk to a Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance agent today about boat insurance.