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Old 24-03-2018, 09:52   #1
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1st Sail

Yes, that's right I have never set foot on a sailboat! Heres the thing I found a boat in Canada Wiarton On. 26ft Grampian looks good and the owner says it ready to go. I need to get it to Michigan City Indiana. I am alone at this point and plan on bringing it around and down the western shore of Lake Michigan, looks like about 1,000 miles. IDK what do you all think?
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Old 24-03-2018, 10:22   #2
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Re: 1st Sail

Howdy!
What follows is written in a friendly tone of voice, and with the sole intent to help you.

You say you have never sailed or set foot on a sailboat before.

But you want to move your newly purchased old boat, yourself, 1,000 miles on Lake Michigan.

Can it be done? Yes.
Is it prudent to do it alone, with your inexperience? No. I don't think so, as you propose.

Your forum name includes "Trucker." So I assume you have experience moving big trucks. If I were to say I wanted to buy an old semi rig, but I was not a driver at all, had never driven a vehicle (car or truck) and had never set foot in one and never driven one, and had never been trained how to operate one, and wanted to drive one, by myself, without any training or assistance, 1,000 miles on the open road and within traffic....what would you think? Prudent?

The decision is yours.

My simple advice: Take someone who is experienced as a sailor, with you, at the very minimum. Prepare the boat using their guidance, and listen to what they say. I would compensate them for the time and lessons along the way, and pay for their food, and pay for or arrange their transportation to the boat and back to start point or their car/home. You should be able to find a local experienced sailor (not necessarily a delivery captain) willing to do this on those terms, even if you don't know any now. Offer them something to teach and help you. If you offer nothing, expect nothing.

Good luck!

Also, a very similar post was made about a year ago, with someone I recall wanted to buy a small sailboat and wanted to sail it across Lake Michigan. That thread got lots of good advice. I will see if I can find it, if I do I will post the link below. Here it is. I advise reading it, but your situation is somewhat different in that you have zero experience on sailboats.
Sailing Across Lake Michigan
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Old 24-03-2018, 10:40   #3
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Re: 1st Sail

Totally agree with Steadmanís comments and the analogy he paints.

Iíd also add that if someone was selling their truck and told you it was perfectly ready for a 1,000 mile journey would you believe them?

And Iíd suggest too that a 1,000 mile boat trip is more like a 10,000 mile trip in a truck.

Very few vessels are ready to just hop on and go for a 1,000 mile passage. A typical sail boat will only go 500 miles in a year (and thatís if it is sailed most weekends, the majority are not).
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Old 24-03-2018, 10:44   #4
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Whats the engine.. How good is it... Can you maintain it.
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Old 24-03-2018, 11:48   #5
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Re: 1st Sail

Thanks! I have an ad posted on Craigslist looking for help Trust me when I say I would much rather have someone who knows how to sail. As far as the motor goes I plan on having it serviced top to bottom. It is a 10hp Yamaha. As far as the trucking thing goes, that's just what I did when I learned to drive. Got an old cabover with a screaming jimmy, and started hauling heavy machinery on a lowboy. It took me 6mos to figure out it was a 23-speed tranny. But with a truck, if it stops you just pull over. and start over. I won't be doing any sailing at night I plan to stop, and most likely I will be motoring most of the time. Can things go wrong? sure. But I will do all I can to be safe. I guess this is just me. Heck, I jumped into the Marines at the end of Vietnam at 17. Now that was crazy! Maybe what I need is, what do you do to prepare for a long passage in an unfamiliar boat and be halfway safe. I will be going to look at it on the 7th or 14 of April. This is when I will make up my mind on whether or not to go on with this deal. You can see this boat listed on Sailboat listing. The seller has sent more photos, and it really looks clean. I am thinking of taking a backup motor with me just in case. My main worry here is the lakes. And how long it will take to get this done. So I am not 100% set on doing this as of yet. But it's an adventure. And at 63 I can't keep putting it off. The Loop is on my bucket list and has been for years. I also have a 26ft Grampian with a swing keel spotted a lot closer. and may opt for that one. I like the shallower draft on it. But there is no Bimini or dodger. And the one in Canada has a screened in a cockpit. plus the bottom has just been clean sanded and painted. It really looks cared for. There is so much to think about. How hard is it to get this into the USA?
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Old 24-03-2018, 12:25   #6
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Re: 1st Sail

FYI: Today's water temperature on Lake Michigan (around Chicago and other places) is between 37 and 39 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Old 24-03-2018, 12:41   #7
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Re: 1st Sail

What you're proposing is a really bad idea.

Find a similar boat near Michigan City, and learn how to sail it.
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Old 24-03-2018, 13:09   #8
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Re: 1st Sail

Trucker, this is a beautiful cruising area, and the Gramp 26 is a good boat (assuming it is well maintained). But this is no small journey, especially for someone with no sailing experience.

(I spent 15+ years sailing the Great Lakes, most of that in Superior and the North Channel. I never ventured into Michigan, for no particular reason.)

I would definitely recommend taking someone with experience. What about the seller? Often you can negotiate the delivery as part of the sale. There are lots of Great Lakes sailors in the area who might enjoy the trip.

You mention sailing down the west coast of Michigan. Why not the east shore? And how are you getting to the Michigan headwaters from Wiarton?

Youíll have to first sail north to Tobermory in Georgian Bay, unless the boat is on the Huron side of the Peninsula. Then you have to get across Lake Huron.

Three possibilities: Straight across from Tobermory. Or you could coastal hop along Manitoulin and the other islands. Or you could go through the North Channel. The direct crossing is about 75 nm of open water. The south shores of the islands offer few good anchorages, marinas or places to hide. The North Channel is great, but will add considerable distance/time.

So, here are some random thoughts:
  • Donít underestimate the Lakes. They are inland seas, and will kill you if you disrespect them.
  • The waters of Huron and Michigan are cool year round, and quite cold up till July. Cold water means cold boat. I would want a heat source on board.
  • Fog will likely be an issue in the Spring and early summer.
  • Do you know how to anchor? What anchor gear does the boat have? Even if youíre planning to marina hop, you need to be able to anchor properly.
  • Youíll probably average about 4 knots, so plan accordingly.
  • Depending on your route choices, youíre looking at anywhere from five to 15 days.
  • This is a sailboat, not a motorboat. It will perform better if you sail most of the time.
  • What about a dingy? You should have one. And how will it travel with you? Drag (hate that)? On deck?
  • Tankage? Fuel, water? What cooker on board? Food?
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Old 24-03-2018, 19:23   #9
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Re: 1st Sail

Very positive Mike thanks, I thought I was clear, west side of the state of Michigan east side of the lake. This boat has heat, at least in one of the photos I saw one. This photo was taken in 2013. So it goes back a few years, that's why I have to inspect the boat. I don't know, this is a big jump. 3 weeks, I can deal with that. I do and will avoid open waters, as much as I can. hoping was my plan. Doing the American Great Loop is hoping all the way anyway. The website from what I can tell you pretty much hug Michigan. And some who do it with sailboats don't even put a mast on the boat. I hadn't thought about asking the seller to help me out That's a good idea. The real thing here if this boat adds up to the photos I won't be able to pass it up. I may bite the bullet and truck it home if need be. Motoring every day and stopping in the even just didn't seem like that big of a deal. The boat has an anchor and I have an extra one here I will take along. It is about 450 miles to drive there from here. I may be better off to set up a trailer and pull it back. I know that would be faster.
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Old 25-03-2018, 05:42   #10
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Re: 1st Sail

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is/are the lock(s) in the Sault Ste. Marie area.

They don't normally open until mid-May and as you would be moving up river you will need 3 crew members on board. And as you know, the currents are strong in the spring.

Trucking her home is probably your best bet.
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Old 25-03-2018, 06:33   #11
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Re: 1st Sail

Attachment 167039

It was 35 kts gusts and 6-8 ft waves yesterday on the lake near Chicago. Todayís calmed some. I agree w/ Mike, Steady, and others that you want to be careful here. You probably wouldnít even be able to get someone to launch you in these conditions. I love sailing Lake Michigan, but she demands your respect, and days like yesterday are a reminder that she doesnít care if you donít make it. I did some calculations and I believe it will be approximately 1,000 times easier to trailer home and then launch. Also, how else will you get the trailer home? Thereís a Grampian 26 on CList Chicago that definitely caught my eye. Itís a cool looking boat, and my favorite size, an under 30í cruiser. I just get nervous for novices and I want everyone to be as excited about sailing as I am but safe, safe. Others have compared your journey to a cross country truck haul- I think a more apt comparison would be a motorcycle trip; sweet and easy when you get the hang of it, but full of tricks and small lessons, and potentially dangerous if something goes wrong. I think you will have an overall better experience trailering home and then launching in May when the harbors open.
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Old 25-03-2018, 06:40   #12
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Re: 1st Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by yahtzee View Post
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is/are the lock(s) in the Sault Ste. Marie area.

They don't normally open until mid-May and as you would be moving up river you will need 3 crew members on board. And as you know, the currents are strong in the spring.

Trucking her home is probably your best bet.
See I didn't even know about these locks. The trip is not until June maybe even later, I have posted an ad on Uship so we will see what pops up from there. I got an email last night from the owner, He is looking up the last survey done on the boat. He has had her for over 30yrs. And assures me she is in tiptop shape. Other than the motor, it has a slow idle issue. Not a big deal for me. I have started looking into a trailer to place the cradle on in case no one is willing to ship on their trailer. I may even have to let it stay where it is until next season to finish getting it home I don't know. Right now I just wait until I can get up to put my eyes on her. I must say I feel like a new Dad in the waiting room LOL.
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Old 25-03-2018, 06:47   #13
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Re: 1st Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidice View Post
Attachment 167039

It was 35 kts gusts and 6-8 ft waves yesterday on the lake near Chicago. Todayís calmed some. I agree w/ Mike, Steady, and others that you want to be careful here. You probably wouldnít even be able to get someone to launch you in these conditions. I love sailing Lake Michigan, but she demands your respect, and days like yesterday are a reminder that she doesnít care if you donít make it. I did some calculations and I believe it will be approximately 1,000 times easier to trailer home and then launch. Also, how else will you get the trailer home? Thereís a Grampian 26 on CList Chicago that definitely caught my eye. Itís a cool looking boat, and my favorite size, an under 30í cruiser. I just get nervous for novices and I want everyone to be as excited about sailing as I am but safe, safe. Others have compared your journey to a cross country truck haul- I think a more apt comparison would be a motorcycle trip; sweet and easy when you get the hang of it, but full of tricks and small lessons, and potentially dangerous if something goes wrong. I think you will have an overall better experience trailering home and then launching in May when the harbors open.
Good posted comment.
Several good points.
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Old 25-03-2018, 07:11   #14
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Re: 1st Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidice View Post
Attachment 167039

It was 35 kts gusts and 6-8 ft waves yesterday on the lake near Chicago. Today’s calmed some. I agree w/ Mike, Steady, and others that you want to be careful here. You probably wouldn’t even be able to get someone to launch you in these conditions. I love sailing Lake Michigan, but she demands your respect, and days like yesterday are a reminder that she doesn’t care if you don’t make it. I did some calculations and I believe it will be approximately 1,000 times easier to trailer home and then launch. Also, how else will you get the trailer home? There’s a Grampian 26 on CList Chicago that definitely caught my eye. It’s a cool looking boat, and my favorite size, an under 30’ cruiser. I just get nervous for novices and I want everyone to be as excited about sailing as I am but safe, safe. Others have compared your journey to a cross country truck haul- I think a more apt comparison would be a motorcycle trip; sweet and easy when you get the hang of it, but full of tricks and small lessons, and potentially dangerous if something goes wrong. I think you will have an overall better experience trailering home and then launching in May when the harbors open.
I have to agree. And I have made the motorcycle trip from here to LA. 3 weeks going out.it was great and I enjoyed it very much. Then I had to get back home asap so I rode straight threw on the return trip. It was no fun at all. If I do have to end up sailing this back one thing above all, will be to take it easy, even if that means pulling it out of the water for a winter. This boat is my retirement and meant to be a slow way to travel and enjoy that time. I am not retired just yet as I have some things to take care of with family. Or I would be.Once that is done I am tossing away the Keys to the 18wheeler and setting sail. Highway travel is not what it used to be, everyone is such a hurry to get where they are going, and not willing to even put away the cell phones to do it. I better shut up I am starting to ramble here. Besides, I have to finish building a pen for the billygoat. It's windy out but still a nice day here. Happy Sailing have a great day, thanks for all the great advice!
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Old 25-03-2018, 10:22   #15
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Re: 1st Sail

Youíre getting good advice here Trucker. I think this trip would be great to do, IF can wait till summer, and IF you have enough time to go slow. Personally, if Iíd leave late June/early July and go north through the North Channel. Take your time. Explore. Learn to sail. There's some of the best gunk holing in the world up there.

I donít know Lake Michigan, so canít suggest the best route through there. From the charts, the north end of the Lake looks hospitable from an anchoring safe tuck-in aspect. But as you head south it looks like the only option is marina hopping, with some big distances for a smallish boat. Youíll need to plan carefully.

The other thing you need to plan is where to clear into the USA. Not sure where the customs entry points are along there, but youíll need to clear in once you enter the USA. No anchoring or stopping till youíve legally cleared. And I assume youíll have to import the boat at that point.

One thing though Ö you donít have to go through the Sault locks. There are no locks between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Thereís a Big Feakiní bridge you have to go under, but no locks.

The locks lead to Lake Superior, and are at the headwaters of the St. Maryís River. The recreational (Canadian) locks donít open till later in the season, but the large commercial (American) locks start up with the opening of the Seaway, which is usually in March ó not that youíd ever want to be on Superior in March in a small craft . Upbound usually does require three crew, but Iím not sure if they care on the Canadian locks. Iíve gone up with only two on board, but that was a number of years ago. Best to check.
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