RS Zests


A newer fleet at the club, the RS Zest, is a fun, exciting and award-winning boat that has been built to meet the demands of a sailing school. Here at Hoofers the boat supports our youth program as well as providing an entry-level dinghy for members. With a rotomolded polyethylene hull, the boat is durable, extremely stable, and is designed to be a simple as possible for the novice sailor. The boat can be both cat rigged (just the mainsail) or sloop rigged with the optional jib.



The Badger Tech is the Hoofer Sailing Club's unique sailing dinghy. It is the secret to the club’s success. It is perfect for instruction: its rigging is easy to learn for beginning sailors, it is easy to un-capsize, and its heavy-duty hull is designed to withstand… a little bump here and there.

The Hoofer Sailing Club has a total of 30 Badger Techs, with an average of 20 ready to sail on any given day. Tech Racing happens most Friday evenings.

The first Tech dinghies were wooden craft designed by the at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and their descendants still ply the waters of Charles River in Boston at the MIT Sailing Pavilion.

The Hoofer Sailing Club sailed Techs from its early days until 1967. That year, club commodore Peter Harken adapted the MIT design to create the Badger Tech. He expanded the bow air tank, then rounded off the gunnels and deepened the transom to create even more flotation. His design makes for a heavy boat, but one that's served the club for 5 decades and counting.



The Badger Sloop is an 18 foot sloop rigged boat unique to the Hoofer Sailing Club. Fast and stable, the Badger Sloop is the ideal boat for afternoons on the lake with friends and racing alike. An excellent boat for both beginners and experienced sailors, the Badger Sloop is a great introduction to sailing larger boats and never fails to deliver a fun experience, no matter one's level of experience.

It is based on the Interlake design, but with a flatter bow and more room fore to aft for seating. Our fleet of eight boats was built by Windward Boatworks of Middleton, WI. With a large, open cockpit, the Badger Sloop accommodates up to six including the skipper, allowing you to share the sailing experience with up to 5 of your friends.



The 420 is a superb boat for junior sailing programs, with over 3,000 boats sailed in youth programs all over the United States and Canada. These are also the boats used by our collegiate sailing team to compete at a local and national level. At 420 cm in length they are the smaller version of the Olympic class boat the 470. They move well, even in lighter air, and on a good day will plane out and scream across the lake. These boats are a ton of fun in a race or just a day sail. Definitely make a point of getting your 420 rating, or finding someone with theirs who you can go out with.

Lasers & Bytes


The Laser is a 14’ one-design racing dinghy has a huge sail area to weight ratio, making the boat very agile and quick. This design provides a more challenging (but don’t worry almost anyone can learn to sail one!) and fun sailing experience than most small dinghies! Designed in the late 60’s and introduced in 1971, the boat’s speed and aggressive behavior quickly made it popular with dinghy sailors all over the world.

The Byte is a small and fast sailing dinghy sailed by one person. It is basically a Laser for smaller people. The Byte is designed for sailors weighing 120 to 145 pounds although most sailors weighing 90 to 160 pounds should have no problems sailing this boat.

Our Byte fleet was funded by a large donation by John Kirsch, who loved to sailed them since he was too thin to sail Lasers properly in heavy winds. He thought we should have a fleet for youth and lighter men and women that was as fun and educational as the Lasers.


The Topaz Ranger is a 12’ 9”, two-handed dinghy complete with a mainsail, furling jib, and asymmetrical spinnaker. Within the Hoofer Sailing club, rangers are an advanced dinghy. If you are comfortable sailing a 420, Rangers are a good next step to start building your spinnaker skills. For more information about the Topaz Ranger, see the Topaz website.
Rangers have a rigging checklist to help you rig and derig.

The Topaz Ranger lesson progression is as follows:

  1. Topaz Ranger Rigging Lesson: you will learn rigging and derigging the boat
  2. Watch these videos at home before you sign up for an on the water lesson:
  3. Topaz Ranger Lesson: you will learn to sail the boat and will have the opportunity to earn a rating.



Here at Hoofers, the Scow Fleet consists of a number of E Scows, C Scows and one MC Scow. Built as a performance boat, the scows are particularly fun for those interested in racing and becoming a competitive sailor. With the E Scow capable of speeds over 20 knots, these boats provide sailors with a great way to learn new sailing skills and practice their racing techniques.


The MC Scow is a 16 foot, 1-to-2 person cat-rigged sailboat. It has the simplest rigging out of all of the scows, but don’t let its small(er) size mislead you—sailing (or racing!) the MC is always an exciting ride. This boat is rated up to blue flag wind and wave conditions, and can even be raced in MYC events held throughout the summer!


The C Scows are 20 foot, 2-to-3 person cat-rigged sailboats. These boats are usually the first scows that a Hoofer member will sail on. With slightly more complex rigging, higher speeds, and greater challenge than the MC, these are the perfect scows for lessons, daysailing, and intra-club racing. The C Scows are rated in green flag conditions only. This is a great boat to take lessons on after sailing dinghies. A C Scow rating also includes the MC Scow rating (green flag).


The E Scows are 28 foot, 3-to-4 person fractional sloops. These are the fastest sailboats in the club, and one of the most advanced. On the E Scow, members learn how to race, make maneuvers as a team, and utilize sail theory to make the most out of the wind. The E Scows are rated up to blue flag conditions, and compete regularly in MYC races during the summer. The E Scows are a great fleet to check out when you’re ready to take Scow sailing and racing to the next level!

Come and check out the Scow Fleet for all your racing interests!

Light Keelboats


Hoofer Sailing Club's Light Keelboat Fleet consists of several different models and styles of vessels that are kept on the water in our mooring field. Whether day sailing with a roller furling headsail or racing for fun and bragging rights, there is a boat for everyone. The main difference in our light and heavy keelboats is smaller cabins and outboard motors.

The path to a Light Keelboat skipper rating includes a skills and knowledge progress form. No experience is necessary to start working toward your rating, but an understanding, comfort, and experience sailing dinghies and the Badger Sloop is helpful.


J/24 is a one design sailboat and longtime favorite racer at Hoofers and the world alike. The club has five J/24s ready for lessons and racing: Vela, What about Bob?, Scurvy Dog, Ulla La, and JagEd. Sign up to race on Wednesdays or Sundays with the Mendota Yacht Club or intra club racing and training on Mondays. The J/24 has been the competitive launch pad for the careers of numerous America's Cup professionals. Will you be next?

Capri 22

The Capri 22 is a high-performance family racer/cruiser intended to be Catalina Yacht's answer to the highly successful J-24. Our Capri 22, Cap is easy and fun to sail. Thrill your friends by getting the rails in the water or just cruise downwind and soak up the sun.

Catalina 22

A ubiquitous trailerable small cruiser, the Catalina 22 is comfortable and simple to sail. Hoofers is proud to have two of these swing keel crafts: The Chargeback and Carpe Diem. The easy handling characteristics and fast rigging of the roller furling jib makes it perfect for a day out on the water with friends and family. The spacious cockpit and swim ladder are ideal to drop anchor and have a picnic followed by a swim in the warm waters of Lake Mendota.

Heavy Keelboats

Tartans Flying Chute

Our biggest boats at hoofers can be found in our heavy keelboat fleet. These include a number of Tartan T10's that can be used for racing, and a number of more cruising-oriented boats. Like the light keelboat fleet, these boats have weighted keels that help keep the boat from capsizing and give the boat greater stability and control while moving forward. If you dream of liveaboards or ocean racing, this is the place for you! Because of their greater size and complexity, there is much to learn on these boats; as such, this fleet has one of the more complex rating progressions. They are also some of the more robust craft and are more likely to be out in the more 'sporting' conditions than some of the other fleets. So, bring your wet weather gear and a willingness to learn and sign up for a lesson today! Checkout the heavy keelboat lessons and heavy racing.

Tartan 10s - Siege, Ratty & Rhubarb

Siege, Ratty and Rhubarb are Tartan 10s, 33ft fractional rig sloops designed for racing. They are the largest boats in the hoofer fleet and have all raced on the Great Lakes! Siege first sailed at Hoofers in the summer of 2017 while Rhubarb started her Hoofer career in the 2018 season. Ratty is our newest addition, first splashed at the club in 2023. Like the popular J24, the T-10s are a one-design class meaning that they are limited to the same sails, crew size and other modifications to keep racing competitive based on skill. Experienced and beginner sailors can crew the T-10s in the Mendota Yacht Club races, learning skills such as sailing under spinnaker, fine tuning sail trim, reading the wind, geometry of a course and timing a start. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tartan_Ten. And https://www.tten.com/ for more information and tips on sailing these popular boats.

Spreadsheets with all the specific details for each of the boats is available at the following links:




Spray is a Sovrel 30 – a 30 ft classic cruising yacht made in 1973. Norbert and Ruth Schmitz, former Hoofer members, sailed over 20 summers on the Great Lakes with their family on Spray before donating to Hoofers in 2003. In 2006 Spray was refurbished with the hard work of dedicated Hoofer members – giving experience in boat repair and maintenance as well as refreshing Spray for generations of Hoofer sailors. Spray is built for stability with 3500 lbs of lead ballast off her keel and a centerboard that increases the draft from 4 ft to 8 ft 4 in. Lessons on Spray focus on cruising and basic sailing skills including care and use of the inboard diesel engine.


Salam is an Ericson 26 and her name comes from the Arabic word meaning "Peace." She is part of the club's cruising keelboat fleet, (which also includes Spray), and is appointed with many creature comfort features traditionally found on cruising sailboats. With nearly a 5 ft draft and a spacious cabin the Ericson 26 is designed to be comfortable for day sailing.

All of the detailed information regarding salam can be found on this spreadsheet.

Mendota Yacht Club Racing

Hoofer Keelboats (J/22s, J/24s and the Tartan 10s) and Scows participate in the twice weekly racing events hosted by the Mendota Yacht Club (MYC). MYC racing occurs on Sunday Mornings and Wednesday Evenings through the spring, summer fall. Check the lessons page for Racing Lessons - typically there are racing lessons denoted as 'Advanced' for sailors with a heavy fleet crew rating, and 'Beginner' racing lessons which anyone can sign up for. Or just stop by the lakefront to see if any boats need crew members. More information about rules, results, volunteering, and more can be found on the MYC racing page (click the 'racing' dropdown to choose a category). If you have any questions, please contact the racing coordinators at racing@hoofersailing.org.


Most of our keelboats come to the club through donations by charitable sailors. While this helps keep the cost of our fleet down, it means that many of these boats have been well loved and require some upkeep to keep them functional. Maintenance is a critical skill in sailing, as any sailor will tell you. Volunteering not only helps to keep our fleet accessible to our members, but also provides an opportunity to learn or hone your boat maintenance skills. No prior experience is necessary - watch for volunteer lessons or contact the heavy keelboat captain (keelboats@hoofersailing.org) to participate!



Welcome to the Hoofer Sailing Club and our windsurfing program. We hope as a Hoofer Sailing Club member you take the initiative to learn lots, including how to take care of the equipment, have loads of fun, and teach others how to further develop their skills, knowledge and care of our equipment.

If you haven't tried windsurfing yet, you don't know what you're missing. You won't get closer to feeling the wind and water!

The Yu Chen Windsurfing Fleet is made up of a large variety of sails and boards with sails ranging in size from 3.0m2 to 8.5 m2. Boards range from wide and stable boards that make learning a breeze, to small "sinker" boards that allow you to get out in the windiest conditions.


Anyone can learn to windsurf! Balance, helpful weather (light wind, few waves), and initial good coaching will help you on your way. Patience, persistence, and practice will soon help you have so much fun.

After your Ground School, take one “Windsurfing Intro” (one day three hours per day) then “Windsurfing Lessons”. You can take as many Windsurfing Lessons as you want or need.

Our enthusiastic instructors can help you learn the basics including using our on-land simulator and will teach how to choose and use the equipment so that you can take off, play, and learn with other excited windsurfers in the variety of conditions Lake Mendota has to offer. If you are new to the sport, that is wonderful – the vast majority of our members are.

If you already have some experience windsurfing, ask about fast-tracking to move up through the ratings (likely taking Ground School, then a Windsurfing Lesson). Then, take some of our more advanced lessons, like Shortboards, Harnesses and Foot Straps, Freestyle, Waterstarting, and special topics!

The Hoofer Hoofer Windsurfing Manual and Hoofer Windsurfing Instructional Videos provide useful information as you get started. The Hoofer Windsurfing Equipment Use Guide gives you more frequently updated information including our strong emphasis on good stewardship in taking care of Hoofer equipment and facilities. Click here for even more information.

Winter Kiting


What do sailors do during the winter? In our never-ending quest to have fun on Lake Mendota, the Hoofer Sailing Club has a full fleet of Snowkiting equipment.

We offer snowkiting-focused lessons year-round. Our local lakes are an ideal spot to start in the world of kiting — thick snow-covered ice and strong winter winds make learning easy. Our curriculum begins with a focus on developing strong kite skills and safe practices in lessons at local parks, then for advanced lessons we move onto frozen lake Mendota in the winter months to teach riding on skis or snowboard. During the winter riding season we also host snowkite racing and other fun competitions for riders of all ability levels!