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Old 04-05-2015, 14:45   #16
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

Last fall I purchased a Catfisher 28' catamaran for the NC. Same interior as the Fisher 32'. It only draws 31/2' and is 13'1" wide so I can stay in any marina. I'm going to learn to sail it this summer by cruising to Put-in-Bay, Cedar Pointe, The Cove, and Metro Beach and work the bugs out. It's a pilot house motor sailer with 3 small state rooms, kitchen, and head. We purchased a small 120 volt refrigerator & are getting an Honda EU 2000 generator with the savings from dual use refrigerator. I like being able to pilot it from either inside pilot house or outside. Downwind sail & up wind power with small Kubota diesel. We are planning for the NC next year so maybe we will meet you!
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Old 04-05-2015, 15:15   #17
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

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Originally Posted by rhubstuff View Post
Regarding issues in North Channel cruising, there are millions (billions?) of uncharted granite boulders and rocks in the NC. Most times, when you hit, you hit very hard and stop immediately. As in...BANG. I know people who have been injured this way. Also, I disagree that there are no "best" boats for certain areas. I would definitely buy a different boat for cruising Chesapeake Bay than the Great Lakes, and although virtually any boat may be "acceptable," some are better than others for certain types and areas of cruising. Finally, "What makes the NC different than any other cruising grounds?" Unless you've been to the North Channel, you simply cannot know.
Millions? Billions? I think you're being a little over the top. Yes there are rocks in the North Channel, but there are rocks lots of places. Thousand islands, Greece, Turkey, Tierra Del Fuego. I think any well rounded comfortable cruising boats would be fine. I've done it in a variety of vessels, buoy tended with a 240 ft ice breaker with a 17' draft, even tied it up at the town dock in kagawong. So the need for shallow draft is a little bit over stated.

Anchored and tied up at various locations in the north channel with a 72' steel brigantine, 7' draft.

Poked in all kinds of places with a 60' research vessel, 6' draft. I've even camp/cruised the area on my old open 17' Fireball.


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Old 04-05-2015, 15:47   #18
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

OK, I just popped in here b/c I used to cruise the North Channel with our 34' ketch. Had 5' draft and I never felt restricted anywhere. As for this fear of uncharted rocks everywhere That's simply inaccurate.

The Canadian charts are excellent for this area. Perhaps if you're relying on the large-scale American NOAA chart (Chart #14860), then sure, lots of uncharted stuff. But I've sailed and anchored all over the North Channel and never found any significant problems with the actual charts. There are lots of rocks and islands. But for heaven's sake, you don't need a steel hull, nor do you have to be scared of huge numbers of uncharted hazards. All you have to do is navigate carefully.

Best boat? Sure; one with no keel and a perpetually full bar. Other than that, any well-found boat will do. It's a great place for trailer-sailors. I think very large boats, including largish catamarans, will have more trouble than monohulls up to around 45-50 feet. Facilities when I was cruising there about 10 years ago were all geared to under 45-footers, but you still saw the occasional massive motor yacht go through. But I can't think of many anchorages where draft or size would cause a serious restriction.
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Old 04-05-2015, 16:43   #19
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

Of course it's possible to run aground in the North Channel. The Missisagi ran aground in the NC a couple weeks ago. Although she has a 27' draft and was clearly outside the marked channel at the time.

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Old 04-05-2015, 17:23   #20
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

I'd take a very, very hard look at getting a Bayfield 36 (or 40) or an older Gozzard 36 ---extremely well made, many extras that make living on board really quite comfortable (half dodger, davits, open interior, fold-down transom swim platform, cutter-rigged), sea kindly, good sized engine, modified full keel and skeg rudder (better than a fin keel in the event of an occasional hard grounding), Gozzard plant readily available in nearby Goderich on Lake Huron.
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Old 04-05-2015, 17:36   #21
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
Millions?

Anchored and tied up at various locations in the north channel with a 72' steel brigantine, 7' draft.
Thats funny, I also explored the north channel on a (white) 72' brigantine...what a coincidence! And yes, we hit some rocks.
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Old 04-05-2015, 17:38   #22
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

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I'd take a very, very hard look at getting a Bayfield 36 (or 40) or an older Gozzard 36 ---extremely well made, many extras that make living on board really quite comfortable (half dodger, davits, open interior, fold-down transom swim platform, cutter-rigged), sea kindly, good sized engine, modified full keel and skeg rudder (better than a fin keel in the event of an occasional hard grounding), Gozzard plant readily available in nearby Goderich on Lake Huron.
Oh yes, the GOZZARD 36 is a thing of beauty. If thats an option, I would definitely get that. If its just a couple, the GOZZARD 31 is pretty sweet, in a smaller package...but since it seems price isn't a problem, better to stick with the 36. I'm so jelly.

http://www.gozzard.com/brokerage.php?area=&cid=1
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Old 04-05-2015, 18:06   #23
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

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I would find a nice Grand Banks...the 32' if its just 2 of you, the 36' if you expect guests. Top off fuel tanks in the US and that should last all summer. The flying bridge is great for sightseeing on good days, and unlike a sailboat, on rainy days you can still cruise from the pilothouse and enjoy the trip without having to be out in the weather.
Yes! I've been sailing up there for years. As much as I love sailboats, a trawler or tug will give you a better view and (usually) a shallower draft. Ultimately the best thing about sailboats is the sailing- going quietly and gracefully under wind power. But when it comes down to it the NC is a relatively small cruising area and the most important tasks will be anchoring and docking, which are usually done with the motor running.
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Old 04-05-2015, 18:13   #24
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

I agree said or power draft under 5 1/2. I sailed NC on my Valiant 37 w/o problems. I now have Mainship pilot 34 in Florida which would be nice in NC. After getting fed up with crowed anchorages in popular harbors I decided to try less popular ones. Just as nice w/o crowds.Really enjoyed my sit on kayak.Row boat or canoe on board would be great.
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Old 04-05-2015, 18:44   #25
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

Yep, Gozzards are sexy locally made boats, so no doubt they are designed and crafted with North Channel and Georgian Bay in mind. I have neighbours with the 37 (which is 42 over all). Very nice cruising boat.

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Old 04-05-2015, 20:50   #26
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

With that kind of budget I'd check out a Krogen 39. Very comfortable for a couple & has an engine room you can actually walk around in. Krogens are full displacement boats so they are very economical to run. I'd avoid the less efficient semi-displacement trawlers like Nordic Tugs or Grand Banks unless you want more speed. Nordhavn is another one I'd recommend. If you want steel a Diesel Duck would be a good choice.
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Old 20-07-2015, 16:05   #27
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

Just curious, how did you do with the boat search? I'm new to boating here on the North Channel but I'll recommend a Grand Banks Trawler or a Hunter 35. The water levels are up, there are rocks in the bays most are charted and a 5-6' draft is safe in the harbours.
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Old 21-07-2015, 05:24   #28
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

Just wanted to reiterate there are a lot of Hunter sailboats and Grand Banks trawlers in the North Channel.
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Old 21-07-2015, 06:24   #29
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

The Hunter Legend 35.5 is a beauty with tons of attractive living space below combined with a 4'6" draft (winged keel)...not bad. The models from about 1992-1996 are attractively priced (due to age) and have a great sugar scoop stern. They sail great, and were originally equipped with single line reefing on the main, which actually works. I throw my nod to the Hunter 35.5.
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Old 21-07-2015, 19:43   #30
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Re: Best boats for the North Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
OK, I just popped in here b/c I used to cruise the North Channel with our 34' ketch. Had 5' draft and I never felt restricted anywhere. As for this fear of uncharted rocks everywhere That's simply inaccurate.

The Canadian charts are excellent for this area. Perhaps if you're relying on the large-scale American NOAA chart (Chart #14860), then sure, lots of uncharted stuff. But I've sailed and anchored all over the North Channel and never found any significant problems with the actual charts. There are lots of rocks and islands. But for heaven's sake, you don't need a steel hull, nor do you have to be scared of huge numbers of uncharted hazards. All you have to do is navigate carefully.

Best boat? Sure; one with no keel and a perpetually full bar. Other than that, any well-found boat will do. It's a great place for trailer-sailors. I think very large boats, including largish catamarans, will have more trouble than monohulls up to around 45-50 feet. Facilities when I was cruising there about 10 years ago were all geared to under 45-footers, but you still saw the occasional massive motor yacht go through. But I can't think of many anchorages where draft or size would cause a serious restriction.
Only a few days after we left a couple years ago, our fiends happened onto a power cruiser on a bolder in the marked channel (Whalesback), not on the charts. There are places that until recently, were noted as "no data". You can cruise in these places only slowly & with a lookout. Our daft is 6'-8". We could not enter the narrows at the back end f Baei Fine. Deep draft will also keep you out of Spanish and a few other places. There are a few 30-40 foot boats built with swing CB and vey shallow draft that would let you into some really special places if you were interested in that kind of exploration.
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