Aspiring and seasoned sailors alike can now practice their skills on the waters of Texas City’s Crystal Lagoons amenity.
The National Sailing Club opened at Lago Mar—the master-planned community that is also home to Lagoonfest Texas, located off exit 17 along I-45—in late July, per a media release from The Lagoon Development Company. Interested sailors can join the club at a discounted rate of $25 a month through the end of the year.
More than 60 vessels are part of the sailing club, and it cost about $500,000 to construct the dock system, boat ramp and concierge area that make up the facility, the company’s CEO Uri Man said. The first sailing camp for ages 8-14 will take place Sept. 27-29 and costs $300.
Man told Community Impact Newspaper in August that the addition of the club will provide the public with new experiences in a safe environment and boost area tourism. The club was opened to create access to sailing lessons, sailboat rentals, kayaking and paddleboard rentals, he said.
“We’re bringing in tourism from all over Houston and beyond,” Man said. “That’s important for the area because it brings more business.”
Lago Mar partners with two hotels—both less than 5 miles from the lagoon—to offer discounted rates to out-of-town guests. These guests are often patronizing local restaurants and stores, shopping at the Tanger Outlets down the road, picking up souvenirs at the Texas City Buc-ee’s or taking a road trip to Galveston, Man said.
Private sailing lessons range from one hour to three hours of instruction. There are also camps for children and teens—where Man said participants learn specifically about safe operation of sailboats—as well as group learn-to-sail courses for adults and other topic-specific clinics. Private instruction starts at $100, and prices for other activities vary.
By perimeter, the lagoon is the largest of its kind in the country. This makes it the ideal size to enjoy water sports of all types, Man said, including the addition of regatta and sailing races in the future. The club is also working to add events to a members-only social calendar.
Learning to sail in a lagoon environment can also help assuage safety concerns, he added, because learners do not have to worry about marine life, large waves or rip currents as they would during open-water instruction.
“It's a pretty unique opportunity to see families learning how to use the water sports equipment,” Man said, noting how gratifying it is to see smiles on the faces of both children and parents. “Those types of memories and bonding experiences, they’re memories that are irreplaceable.”