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Old 30-12-2016, 19:03   #16
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

I second Great Lakes Cruising Club. They have excellent information on both anchorages and marinas.
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Old 30-12-2016, 19:07   #17
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

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Originally Posted by Rhwins View Post
About 5 miles north of Holland, MI is a small cove suitable for anchoring. I forget the name, but there are a couple of tall smoke stacks that make it easy to find. I think anchoring is permitted.

Better yet, Muskegon has a couple of areas. On the northwest of Lake Muskegon is an area near a beautiful state park.
Port Sheldon.

But if I understand the OP's question he is looking for something actually on the lake and not in a harbor. I don't know why but that is what I took from his question.
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Old 31-12-2016, 00:35   #18
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

On the southern half of the lake, there isn't really anything literally on the lake but most of the ports are smaller inland lakes with a channel to the big lake (along with some rivers you can enter). Most of these have places to anchor.


These aren't man made ports but there is development around most of them.


If the goal is a remote anchorage with no development, you probably should plan on a couple of weeks to make for the north channel. The Lake Michigan coast is so awesome and reasonably close to the large metropolitan areas of Chicago and Detroit that development has followed it, so you won't find isolated anchorages.


If the mast is low enough, one option would be to go up the St. Joe or Grand Rivers a few miles past the port cities (there are a few other rivers you could try as most of the port lakes are fed by small rivers). That would get you isolation but keep in mind the isolated areas are typically where the river goes thru wide swampy areas so plan on lots of skeeters.
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Old 31-12-2016, 02:50   #19
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, john springer.
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Old 31-12-2016, 06:55   #20
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

I will second and third the Active Captain, and GLCC recommendations. The 'not so Strictly Sail" show is coming up at McCormick place from Jan 11-15. Stop in and chat with the reps...really a great and informative bunch of folks.

If you can go on an off time, not on Saturday, or Friday night, you will not have to fight for venders time as much.
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Old 31-12-2016, 08:09   #21
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

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Originally Posted by skipper53 View Post
Look at places like New Buffalo, St. Joseph, Benton Harbor. All on the South end of the Lake Michigan on the Michigan shore. When you have longer than a weekend all of the Michigan coast is full of towns with inland lales,and rivers that connect to Lake Michigan. Write,if you get up to Charlevoix.
There's no place to "drop anchor and live off the boat for the weekend before sailing back...that isn't a developed harbor" in New Buffalo, St Joe/Benton Harbor that I'm aware of. What have I missed?
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Old 31-12-2016, 10:11   #22
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

One thing to consider is the thoroughly adjudicated riparian law in Michigan:

On Great Lakes shorelines the property right extends to the "high-water" line on the beach. On "inland" water such as a smaller lake or river connected to Lake Michigan the riparian property right includes the lake or river bottom in front of the property. Only the property owner can legally put in a dock, moor overnight, etc.. The public is allowed to use the water surface, anchor temporarily for fishing or water sport, but is theoretically not allowed to anchor overnight. I say "theoretically because as of now this rule is very loosely enforced, but if you were to stay for a week in front of someone's home you might get a visit from the marine patrol.

And if this doesn't sound complicated enough, by local custom cruising some of the larger inland lakes such as Lake Charlevoix has been OK as long as the privacy of property owners is respected.
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Old 31-12-2016, 10:37   #23
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

I sailed out of Suttons Bay for eight years.
- Personally, I wouldn't anchor off Traverse City; prevailing winds are N-NW in the summer and that would make for a lee shore. Traverse Bay can make up fast.
- Suttons Bay is shallow in the obvious area just south of the marina. But there is an area with a little park/landing at the east/bottom of the bay. There are some moorings there (private) but you could anchor, row in, and walk into town.
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Old 31-12-2016, 11:15   #24
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

If you make it to northern lake Michigan then two great out of the way anchorages are bay on east side of High Island and fisherman's bay on north west side of Hog island
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Old 31-12-2016, 19:10   #25
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

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Originally Posted by Wind459 View Post
Hello, so I am on the verge of purchasing a boat, ( have seen a couple, and I think I found the one). Its going to be a small weekend/coastal sailor with some live aboard amenities. Anyway Im going to be sailing out of Monroe in Chicago. I know there are a ton of harbors I can explore and call home for a night, but are there any spots where I can drop anchor and live off the boat for the weekend before sailing back? If I have to move the boat farther north to reach parts like this I am open to it, but I'm curious if they exist. Any places you guys suggest I check out?
We sail Lake Michigan extensively (out of Milwaukee). The Wisconsin side has virtually nothing where you can "drop the hook" and spend the night between Chicago and Sturgeon Bay. Anchorages start at Sturgeon Bay and the west side of Door County. As others have already indicated, the Michigan side seems to have a place to stay in a marina or drop the hook every 7-10 miles.

Active Captain is the premier planning tool for any trancient boater. We routinely jump across the pond and spend weeks at a time working up & down the MI side.

Enjoy!!
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Old 01-01-2017, 00:25   #26
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

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Originally Posted by Boatwright View Post
One thing to consider is the thoroughly adjudicated riparian law in Michigan:

On Great Lakes shorelines the property right extends to the "high-water" line on the beach. On "inland" water such as a smaller lake or river connected to Lake Michigan the riparian property right includes the lake or river bottom in front of the property. Only the property owner can legally put in a dock, moor overnight, etc.. The public is allowed to use the water surface, anchor temporarily for fishing or water sport, but is theoretically not allowed to anchor overnight. I say "theoretically because as of now this rule is very loosely enforced, but if you were to stay for a week in front of someone's home you might get a visit from the marine patrol.

And if this doesn't sound complicated enough, by local custom cruising some of the larger inland lakes such as Lake Charlevoix has been OK as long as the privacy of property owners is respected.
Totally out of context. Putting in a dock or mooring...yes, you have to have riparian rights.

No one is going to hassle you over anchoring for a night or two (assuming you don't block a channel or some other obvious faux paus). Cruised and lived in Michigan since I was a kid.
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Old 01-01-2017, 00:31   #27
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

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Originally Posted by Interloper View Post
There's no place to "drop anchor and live off the boat for the weekend before sailing back...that isn't a developed harbor" in New Buffalo, St Joe/Benton Harbor that I'm aware of. What have I missed?
If he can get under the bridges, he can go up the rivers a few miles to find an isolated area.
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Old 19-03-2018, 10:29   #28
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

I think as along as you keep an anchor light and stay out of channels and heavy traffic areas, you can anchor or drift as you like. I'd stay in protected coves where the swing and scope work right.
The MI law says:
Obstructing Navigation
It is illegal to:
■ Anchor a vessel in the traveled portion of a river or channel
in a way that will prevent or interfere with any other vessel
passing through the same area.
■ Moor or attach a vessel to a buoy, beacon, light, or any other navigational
aid placed on public waters by proper authorities.
■ Move, displace, tamper with, damage, or destroy any navigational
aid.
■ Obstruct a pier, wharf, boat ramp, or access to any facility.
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Old 19-03-2018, 11:01   #29
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

I've dropped the pick inside the breakwater off the John Hancock center for night or two with no hassles. Lots of company on weekend days, but lonely at night.

I think it is actually legal for commercial vessels only, but it helps to be nice. if I was told to move on I'd try showing them my USCG license and tell them I'm on charter.
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Old 19-03-2018, 18:46   #30
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Re: Lake Michigan, any place to anchor for a night?

Other areas inside the Chicago Breakwater are anchorage for commercial only, but the area near the Hancock/north of the water plant is a designated recreational anchorage. It's marked as Anchorage C on the NOAA charts.
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