The marina was sold to Bill Neuens, Jim Nicholls, Dave Simmons and Norman Petit who then started to sell Ensigns. Norm, who brought the first Ensign from Lake Minnetonka in 1968, explained, “Most guys who bought a boat from us had no idea how to sail. After we sold a boat, we went out and taught them the basics.” The Sunfish fleet went from 40 members to nothing over night! Half got into Laser sailing and the other half bought keel boats. A couple of years later, David Ray and Ib Jorgensen started the Santana fleet. (The Ensigns and the Santanas originally raced as one class)
Boats were put in the water with a hired mobile truck crane that would park down by the ramp and literally drop the boat in before the truck would tip over. (Finally, the crane owner learned to chain his mobile truck to the front of his pickup truck so it would not tip.)
Also in 1968, Larry Jump, who had been with the 10th Mountain Division and had started Arapahoe Basin, was involved with he marina. He got together with Ib Jorgensen, Joseph Dion and a few others and formed the Dillon Yacht Club. (Joe Dion had wanted the club to be called the Dillon Corinthian Yacht Club, which meant amateur sportsman.) Membership quickly grew from the original 10 to 12 the first year. They even published applications for the yacht club in the Dillon newspaper.
The main reason for starting the yacht club was centered around the Ski Yachting Championships that was held on Memorial Day weekend. They would race for two days on the lake, then finish out the race at Arapahoe Basin skiing and combine the scores. Afterwards, the summer racing series became organized quickly. Dave Simmons, a training pilot for United Airlines, loved the rules. They would all get together and go over the rules. They had no clubhouse, so they would meet in the basement of a mortgage company in Dillon.
The third year of the Ski Yachting Championship had around 130 boats entered. Joe Dion figured out all the handicaps. The keel boats had been the first to start. By the time the Ensigns’ second start was to begin, a hugh black wall of clouds released its fury! It began to hail with torrential rain. Five-foot waves and 60-70 mph winds were later reported. After the storm had passed, only two boats still remained with their sails rigged. There were boats on the rocks and some were overturned. Three sailors had to go to the hospital. the following year, it was decided not to start racing that early in the season any more and that ended the Ski Yachting Championships.