What is an Ensign and why are you people always talking about it?
It's a 22.5 foot, sloop-rigged, full-keel, designed by Carl Alberg, sailboat, that happens to be about the most popular full-keeled sailboat ever made.
Saratoga Lake has a few weeds. I heard that keelboats don't do well in the weeds.
The Ensign has a full keel, and the rudder is attached to the aft (back) end of it. See the Ensign_Specifications to see a drawing. Anyway, because the boat's bottom is very smooth and the rudder doesn't protrude, the Ensign slips right through weeds - you won't even notice them!
How do you launch an Ensign? How deep does the water have to be?
You launch an Ensign just like any other boat, just with a bigger trailer than you would use for a dinghy. The Ensign draws 3 feet of water, so a launch with 4 - 5 feet of water, like we have at the North end of Saratoga Lake, will do fine. Most of us store our boats on jackstands or cradles in the winter, and use a professional hauler to get us to the water in the Spring.
How do you step the mast on an Ensign?
See our How is that Done? page.
How big of an outboard motor do you need?
We find that 2-4 horsepower is plenty on our lake. If you're planning to sail in an area with lots of current, you may want a bit more, but 3-4 horsepower seems to push the boat about as fast as it will go. Plus, a smaller engine is a lot easier to put on and take off.
How much do Ensigns cost?
See our Buying an Ensign page.
Note: despite extensive editing, some of the preceding items may contain opinions.
Contact us if you'd like to learn more about Ensign sailing.