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Old 30-11-2007, 05:35   #16
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PRO on having a larger boat on Superior:
Big water experience:
If you can take a month off sometime, you could sail through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie and explore Mackinac Island and Lakes Mich/Huron adding to your experience in charting, anchoring, reading currents, and exploring new marinas/areas. (Something I wish I could do as a past Michigan resident!!)

CON on having the boat on Lake Superior:
time on the water:
(like was said many times here) If you don't have boatloads of vacation time, or can't slip away for most weekends during good weather you may spend more hours on the water (and have more diverse sailing on multiple lakes) with a 2,000 trailer sailer (also like said in another reply).
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Old 30-11-2007, 09:11   #17
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Well, if we are going to start putting a number to all this I'm not going to play anymore!

Where is there a $1200.00 charter in the Caribbean? Most I've seen are ~ $3000+.

@ Steve, I fibbed a little- I'm in Burnsville I just used Minneapolis as name recognition. ~ 20 miles south of Minneapolis for the rest of the folks here.

I've thought about a boat in a slip down on Pepin, thought I might get bored there quickly. I've countered the trailer idea on my head by saying how many times will I get to take off for a week and get to Lake of the Woods and the others. I some ways the slip/Apostle Islands sounds like I might use if more than trailering a boat to the smaller lakes. I'm pretty sure the second I'm out on Superior the smaller lakes would loose much appeal.

The 24-26 trailer boats do seem like an awful lot of weight/setup for a boat I can't stand up in anyways. 21-23 sounds more like a better fit.

Shoal keel or swing keel better for the smaller lakes?

One thought I had was keeping the larger boat in the Apostle Islands and then sailing all over Lake Superior. Odds are, totally guessing here, to go from one end of the lake (south shore to the north shore for example) to the other and back with some play time one would need to devote on average more than 7 days to this (IE a week off work).
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Old 30-11-2007, 09:46   #18
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You know we have marinas in Duluth too? If you kept you boat in Duluth or Superior WI it would cut your drive time in half. Sure we don't have a cluster of islands like they do at Bayfield but you can sail to them from here.
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Old 30-11-2007, 10:09   #19
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Living in B'ville makes access to Lake Pepin pretty easy. All things considered the setup that gets you more time on the water is better. We started on 22 ft boats on Minnetonka and being close to S MPLS made it easy to get there. My neighbor was at the same time totally refitting a Crealock 34 up in Bayfield. He could do the drive every other weekend. He bought a slip up there and took off Friday after work and came back Sunday late. He was getting ready for a circumnaviation and was pretty motivated. When it's far away your real life adds barriers.

For larger boats the Mac 26 is about as big a boat as you can trailer, but you can cruise with it. It's not really a Lake Superior boat, but then again were you on Lake Superior you would be stuck with the same day sails everytime unless you get all the way to Bayfield. I love the MN north shore a lot but it is not a place for minor league sailors.

I doubt you will get too board any place if you really enjoy sailing. We have a lot more water here but for the most part we sail the same water everytime we do a day trip. We do a lot of them as well as longer trips too. Most people do a lot of day trips. Time on the water is the bottom line for me. The boat is a 5 minute walk away and 15 minutes to deep water and sailing. The main difference we have over you is we have a 9 month season. Think about how much more time you can sail when looking at the alternatives. Consider a group trip for some winter sailing. Northern Breezes does a great BVI trip. They also have a great sail club. One fee with no work. Cheapest sailing I've ever done.
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Old 30-11-2007, 10:50   #20
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I'm with Paul. Find a way to sail as often as possible. Connemara is at Toronto Hydroplane and Sailing Club, which is (if I get all green lights ) four minutes from my house. Twenty minutes to get the sail covers off, do a radio check, and motor out -- and I'm sailing. If I had to drive even a couple of hours, I doubt I would get out very often. But last summer, I sailed pretty much every other day on average.





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Old 30-11-2007, 12:17   #21
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My reason for wanting to avoid Duluth is the notion of always anchoring out on the weekend trips- which I'm guess most everyone thought they would always do and rarely ever did but...

I'm setup with a BVI trip with Northern Breezes, I did their boat club for the last ~ month of this past season (took 14ft dingy lessons, 22ft keel lessons ASA which ever course that was, now BVI bareboat time).

I just don't see myself doing the boat club again, I'm much too..... just gotta have my own stuff type of guy. In the end, I will have to agree that odds are their boat club is some cheap sailing. Always on Lake Minnetonka, ~ $1500/season for 8 locked reservations and unlimited 24 notice reservations. 22ft older fixed keel boats, no cabin or anything. I did find it impossible to get out later in the season after work, got dark too quickly.
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Old 30-11-2007, 13:20   #22
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One thought I had was keeping the larger boat in the Apostle Islands and then sailing all over Lake Superior. Odds are, totally guessing here, to go from one end of the lake (south shore to the north shore for example) to the other and back with some play time one would need to devote on average more than 7 days to this (IE a week off work).
We used to do about half the Canadian shore (Thunder Bay to East Otter Cove, OR the reverse) over a three week cruise.
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Old 30-11-2007, 13:31   #23
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My wife and I debated about the Apostle Islands vs. Lake Pepin. Duluth is not a great place to jump off from given the MN shore has almost no place you can go let alone anchor. Bayfield has a lot of options and the warmer water makes it more fun. We moved to the Chesapeake instead.

It sounds like you have about as good a start as possible already. I think your BVI trip will teach you a whole lot more and really get you going. Being able to deal with multiple days in a row as well as all the boat operations is the one area you probably have not done much yet. If you can find some place where you can geeout for a whole weekend then you can get lots of experience anchoring out. Puting all that togther is something that takes more than afew times and once you get into it you'll enjoy it no matter where you sail.
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Old 30-11-2007, 16:01   #24
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Still a grumpy old ex maths teacher...

The Oz tax dept. allows 50c a kilometer for mileage, no questions asked (well, not many anyway) which "translates" to $1 per mile. I would expect the cost to be higher when towing a boat with a larger vehicle. So if we are doing adjustments lets make it $2 per mile.

I used a general figure of 25% p.a. of a boat/trailer in good condition. A cheap boat will require much more maintenance and a lot of expensive parts. No money can be saved here.

I checked a couple of Caribbean charter places at random.

Have a look at Barefoot Yacht Charters

Moorings were higher but they seem very keen to talk to people with money in their pockets.

Remember, this is walk on sailing in a tropical paradise with someone on hand to deal with the slightest hicup.

To me the numbers say that owning a boat only makes sense if it is being used continually.
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Old 30-11-2007, 16:51   #25
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To me the numbers say that owning a boat only makes sense if it is being used continually.

Owning a boat never makes sense. For years I resisted buying a boat on the Great Lakes because you could only sail half the year or, in truth, about four months a year. Then I realized although the season is short it's the only season I had, living in Ontario. So I got one and never looked back. Looking at the balance sheet is the wrong way to go about it. You cannot put a dollar price on enjoyment. Although some will dispute it, part of the pleasure from owning a boat is working on it, working on your boat. Pride of ownership. Occasional chartering and boat sharing might be more economical but eventually you have to have your boat.
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Old 30-11-2007, 16:57   #26
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Owning a boat never makes sense. For years I resisted buying a boat on the Great Lakes because you could only sail half the year or, in truth, about four months a year. Then I realized although the season is short it's the only season I had, living in Ontario. So I got one and never looked back. Looking at the balance sheet is the wrong way to go about it. You cannot put a dollar price on enjoyment. Although some will dispute it, part of the pleasure from owning a boat is working on it, working on your boat. Pride of ownership. Occasional chartering and boat sharing might be more economical but eventually you have to have your boat.
well put.

If it's in your blood, it will happen.
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Old 30-11-2007, 18:00   #27
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We used to do about half the Canadian shore (Thunder Bay to East Otter Cove, OR the reverse) over a three week cruise.
Is East Otter Cove behind Otter Island? Just looking at the charts for the north shore of Superior and I see Otter Cove but not East Otter cove. Looks like a lot of decent anchorages in that area. What's the holding like?
Lake Ontario to Thunder Bay in 3 months, doable with rushing?
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Old 30-11-2007, 18:49   #28
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check out the bumfuzzles logs if they could do it with no practice id say youll find it alright
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Old 30-11-2007, 19:03   #29
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I think Boracay's numbers may be a bit inflated unless we are talking about new boat and vehicle. Much of the vehicle cost is insurance,taxes and depreciation which add up whether the vehicle is in the garage or on the road.
You don't need a new boat as there are plenty of good buys in the 5-8k range. My boat is in excellant shape and well equipped and I would feel lucky to get 8k for it. One benefit of our short season and fresh water is that even a 10-20 year old boat can be in very good shape. For about 12 years I used a 1969 Ford Econoline that I got for $1500 as a tow vehicle. I kept it in top mechanical condition myself but would not recommend this to others. It did require a bit of effort on my part and another $2000 over the years. The point is you don't need a new vehicle so at some point depreciation becomes meaningless. My 23 year old 22 footer requires very little upkeep. A coat of wax, some varnish, maybe a new gadget or two or some other new hardware but things seldom break or wear out. The original sails are still in great shape but I might spring for a new 4 stroke engine next summer to replace my '74 Merc 7.5. I store it indoors over the winter and that helps alot. To bad she is not for sale Marty. I have spent more maintaining the trailer than I have the boat.

As a new sailor I don't think Lake Pepin would be get too boring. It truely is a great place to sail. Downstream from the lake the river is very senic and wild. Sure it's mostly motoring but there is lots to explore. The nice thing about the trailer boat is you can take it somewhere else. One summer we kept our boat on Lake Pepin, another time we had a free mooring on Minnetonka for a summer and kept it there. We even kept it on Prior Lake for the first few years. But we would always go up to the Apostles over the 4th of July and we always took a 2-3 week trip to Superior or Huron in late July or early August. Labor Day weekend was usually Lake Pepin.

My boat has a swing keel and the benefits are shallower draft and easier launching. The keel housing does take up some interior space and in just the right conditions it can bang around just a little bit. For the smaller lakes maybe the swing keel gets the edge mainly for easier launching. One thing to look for is a boat with a pop top. Mine has one as does the Catalina 22. It is used only at anchor and allows full headroom. A canvas enclosure snaps around to keep the bugs out and to make it weatherproof, mostly.

If you only have a week the Apostles are fine but for any other trip on Superior we always devoted at least two weeks. The distances are long and the weather can hold you up and there is just alot to see and do so we don't want to be rushed. 40 miles is a big day for these little boats and sometimes we may only make 5 or 10. 20-25 is a nice amount to knock out in a day and still leave plenty of time to relax and explore ashore or go fishing once you reach your destination.

Picture of my boat's 20th birthday in the Slate islands.
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Old 30-11-2007, 19:27   #30
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There are two Otter Coves. The one you are looking at is the western one. The other is along the eastern shore of the lake and you may need a small scale chart to see it. Both are excellant anchorages though I have not been to the eastern one yet. Gord probably has. The western one has a waterfall. If you hike back along the stream for 3/4 mile you will come to a lake with excellant fishing. We take the inflatable kayak with and pump it up once at the lake. The trail is not heavily used so conditions can vary.
Holding ground is generally good though some places may have a bit of "lumber" lying about. I snagged a good size tree limb in Otter Cove and had a bugger of a time getting my anchor back. Most places the water is clear enough to avoid this.

Ontario to Thunder Bay in 3 months would be a great trip IMO with plenty of time to enjoy the sights. The bit from Thunder Bay to the Slate Islands is IMO the best part of the Lake. Leave plenty of time for this part. Don't miss the Slates, Barr Island if draft less than 5, Woodbine, CPR/Squaw, Loon Harbor, Thompson Island, the Rossport area is full of anchorages.
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