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Old 30-05-2017, 18:02   #1
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Advice on where to place boat

We're smack dab in the middle of Southern Ontario. Erie is 90 minutes South, Ontario is 65 minutes East, Huron 90 minutes West, and Georgian Bay 2 hours North. Looking to buy our first boat (27-30 foot) to learn and develop our skills on while mostly staying onboard weekends (initially at marina) and then graduating to overnights at anchor, then hopefully week long excursions.

Thinking of Huron (Goderich, Bayfield, Grand Bend) or Georgian Bay (Owen Sound, Meaford, Thornbury, Collingwood area). While Ontario is closest, we don't like that drive or that end of the lake that much. Not that excited by Erie. From what I've read, Georgian Bay is fabulous, offering a great spot to develop our skills, and then many great places to explore when we have more experience. We just don't know that much about sailing Lake Huron or that area, so don't want to discount it. An advantage is it is closer than GB.

Any thoughts or advice from folks familiar with these areas? Apologies upfront for a newbie wide-open question. Fully understand that specific location will depend on availability at marinas.
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Old 30-05-2017, 21:19   #2
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Re: Advice on where to place boat

Stay north and find a place on the Georgian Bay. You can then spend years exploring the beauty of Northern Lake Huron. It might take an extra hour or two to get there from where you are but it's worth the drive (and easier than spending a day sailing up there, which is what you'd end up doing).
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Old 31-05-2017, 02:59   #3
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Re: Advice on where to place boat

Greetings and (belated) welcome aboard the CF, nirish.
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Old 31-05-2017, 04:36   #4
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Re: Advice on where to place boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by nirish View Post
We're smack dab in the middle of Southern Ontario. Erie is 90 minutes South, Ontario is 65 minutes East, Huron 90 minutes West, and Georgian Bay 2 hours North. Looking to buy our first boat (27-30 foot) to learn and develop our skills on while mostly staying onboard weekends (initially at marina) and then graduating to overnights at anchor, then hopefully week long excursions.

Thinking of Huron (Goderich, Bayfield, Grand Bend) or Georgian Bay (Owen Sound, Meaford, Thornbury, Collingwood area). While Ontario is closest, we don't like that drive or that end of the lake that much. Not that excited by Erie. From what I've read, Georgian Bay is fabulous, offering a great spot to develop our skills, and then many great places to explore when we have more experience. We just don't know that much about sailing Lake Huron or that area, so don't want to discount it. An advantage is it is closer than GB.

Any thoughts or advice from folks familiar with these areas? Apologies upfront for a newbie wide-open question. Fully understand that specific location will depend on availability at marinas.
That's a tough choice. I do agree with your opinions on the near areas of Erie and Ontario but There are few protected anchorages or interesting destinations on the east coast of Huron in the areas mentioned or your specified area of Georgian Bay. All the good stuff in Georgian Bay is well north of whats close to you.
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Old 31-05-2017, 09:01   #5
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Re: Advice on where to place boat

I'll confirm what Jim Krause said. Bruce Peninsula was our favorite part of the loop so far. Tobermory, Lions Head, Meaford, and on up to Killarney, Little Current, and Baie Fine. I wish I was there now.
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Old 31-05-2017, 10:57   #6
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Re: Advice on where to place boat

welcome aboard
The size of your boat and the type of cruising you wish to do is very important.
If you are looking to find peace and quiet with idyllic scenery and good privacy on anchorages then your best bet is Georgian Bay. If you are looking for reasonable rates for dockage then Lion's Head is ideal as a small town starting point. This gives you 1 day access to southern, eastern and northern Georgian bay. If you need to be right in the thick of the cruising ground but within four hours of home base, Tobermorey is a good bet, but busy and short of parking. if you like to race and regatta, then Owen Sound, Meaford, and Collingwood may be more to your liking. If you don't mind driving further, Parry Sound, Penetanquishine, Midland and a few docks in the French River area are lovely. If you like to raft up and listen to loud music, you will not like Georgian Bay so much.
I hope this helps with your decision making.
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Old 31-05-2017, 14:40   #7
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Re: Advice on where to place boat

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Old 31-05-2017, 18:50   #8
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Re: Advice on where to place boat

Thanks for your advice everyone. GB seems the way to go. Cheers!
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Old 19-07-2018, 12:52   #9
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Re: Advice on where to place boat

a 30-34 footer is very comfortable for two. Most likely will come equipped with or already have the essentials like refrigeration, full canvas enclosure etc. Look at southern Georgian Bay area like Victoria Harbour, Midland and Pennetang areas. I agree with Jim that you can spend years exploring this area alone. PM me and we can discuss.
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Old 24-08-2018, 08:57   #10
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Re: Advice on where to place boat

If you get down Lake Erie way we would love to host you at Put-in-Bay for a night or two! We are also near Cedar Point if that type of fun interests you!
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