The Tale of Two Land Sailors: Sirocco &
One Has Brakes, They
Both Have Optional Skates
by Thom Burns
When I got the call to review the Sirocco Land Sailor I was intrigued,
excited and a little puzzled. How was this machine going to enhance sailing
or add to the season for Midwestern sailors? Or, would it attempt to compete
in an already compressed season? Since neither of the two new production
models had skates it was not readily apparent.
Both of these machines come with the ability to fold into cases for
relatively easy transport. Mine arrived and we assembled it the first time
in about 25 minutes. Not bad for the first time.
Then we entered into a late summer funk with almost no wind. The boat
doesn’t move without wind power unless your friend really pushes. We found
in light air that this was the fastest way to power up the boat. Not a lot
different than Ice boating, push it along and then jump aboard or have your
friend start you.
Soon I had it going and almost immediately began to appreciate the
suspension system on the Sirocco. Small wheels accentuate bumps in parking
lots, fields and back streets. I couldn’t imagine the ride at high speed
with a good suspension.
Each time I got it going in light air, I found ways to “cover” the sail with
buildings, hills, almost anything. This is a small machine and the mast is
not very high. It is easy to lose your wind. By now you’ve figured out that
Land Sailors work best in wide open areas.
Imagine my astonishment when I asked where the skates were to make ice
boats. Both companies were working on them. They both have them now which to
me makes the boats much more complete for use in northern climates.
Land Sailors are fun. In a good wind with the stock sail they go pretty
fast. They go fastest on smooth, hard surfaces. I never sailed it on ice but
it looks like it moves pretty good. I would certainly buy a bigger sail for
it simply to increase the number of days of use. My problem is where to sail
it. Most parking lots are never totally free of cars. Large short grass
fields are usually full of soccer teams. Back streets are sure to get the
law after you sooner or later.
Dedicated folks are going to find places to sail the land sailors. My
friend, CarlRozmarek, has one and he finds places to sail it. He has back
problems. His Sirocco gives him a little speed machine which doesn’t hurt
Land Sailing is gaining popularity. They held an owners rally at Ivanpah Dry
lake, Primm, NV and the North American Land Sailing Association holds speed
trials and several other events. Your liable to see several more on hard
water next winter.
Captain Thom Burns publishes Northern Breezes and Sailing Breezes.
Top, several Blokarts line up for a start. Blokart on two
wheels running down the beach. Both machines have optional skates for ice
sailing. The Sirocco is pictured bottom. Notice the helmets. The suspension
seems to add a lot of control.