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Old 07-03-2012, 15:06   #1
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First Trip

I'm getting ready to bring my first boat ('84 Hunter 31) back from Lake St. Clair to Burlington, Ontario via the Detroit river, Lake Erie and Welland Canal. The trip will be mid-May.

I grew up in the Windsor-Detroit area and am pretty familiar with boating the length of the river.

My plan is to stick to the US side of Lake Erie where there are several more marinas and services along the way. Depending on wind and weather I'm hoping to do the trip in these legs:

Clinton River (Mt. Clemens MI) to Middle Bass Island
Middle Bass Island to Fairport Harbor
Fairport Harbor to Presque Isle Bay
Presque Isle Bay to Port Colborne
Welland Canal to Burlington Bay

I'll have one very experienced crew hand and one inexperienced hand with me. Depending on weather and wind we may sail through one night along the way, but we're not in any panic to get back.

I'm a bit concerned with fishing nets in the west end of the lake, I guess all you can do is keep a watch out for them. We'll also be doing our best to keep tabs on the weather as I know how quickly the wind and lake can kick up.

Any other comments/suggestions people have on the plan here? Too optimistic or conservative on the length of these legs?

I grew up on power boats and have crewed racing sailboats for several years, but this will be my first cruising trip...so I'm trying to make sure my plans are complete.
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Old 07-03-2012, 16:36   #2
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Re: First Trip

G'day, mate. We often do deliveries on the Lakes. Are you comfortable going through the night? In delivery mode, we often go through the night and motor when the wind dies. The nets are an issue, but touch wood, we've managed to avoid them. All the best with the new boat. Cheers.
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Old 07-03-2012, 17:53   #3
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Re: First Trip

We'll be doing the same as far as motoring goes, I haven't run through the night before, I think we'll play it by ear.
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Old 07-03-2012, 18:10   #4
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Re: First Trip

Middle Bass to Fairport is a haul- that would involve overnight, I would think, or at least real early AM to real late PM ...you would be passing lots of other good places to stop, why not slow down and enjoy it? Actually, all of the legs(other than the Lake Ontario one), are pretty far-and mid May could not be nice(or could be great>>>>LOL). The experienced hand might be OK with long days like that, but the other crew might not be so excited about it. I was always taught to figure on 4 MPH(although if you are motoring that changes), kind of like travelling by motorcycle- even on the interstates, average out 50 MPH to figure how far to go in a day.
And the nets suck- they are usually poorly marked and lots of times not correctly(ie: float should be the end of the net...except it's not ). Better the farther you are from shore.
I'm happy to help if you are looking for any more input.

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Old 07-03-2012, 18:18   #5
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Re: First Trip

Yeah, I must admit that I'm finding it kind of hard to "budget" my time on the trip because there are just so many variables when sailing.

I was basically using 5kn as my average speed and figured on long days...maybe too long

Have any recommendations for a place to stop closer to Cleveland?
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Old 07-03-2012, 18:25   #6
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Re: First Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadaler View Post
Yeah, I must admit that I'm finding it kind of hard to "budget" my time on the trip because there are just so many variables when sailing.

I was basically using 5kn as my average speed and figured on long days...maybe too long
I will have the same problem at times..leave at 6 AM, get in at 9 PM(bikes or boats), sounds OK to me, the Admiral....not so much after the second day....I'm getting better at it..
A delivery is a different thing, they are getting paid to get the boat where it needs to be as fast as possible, this is your's, when will you be back in Lake Erie? Might as well enjoy it.
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Old 07-03-2012, 18:34   #7
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Re: First Trip

Have any recommendations for a place to stop closer to Cleveland?

Missed that part...kind of depends , we are west of Cleveland in Lorain, which is fine to stop, but might not be far enough from Middle Bass. Check some of the other Lake Erie threads, there are lots of ideas- Cleveland has some good stops(E55th , Lakeside Yacht Club, etc) and you could check out the Rock Hall if you haven't seen it, our casino is supposed to be open by then, etc. West 6th has some cool bars, etc. .
Even Chagrin River or Mentor (if you are pushing east) would save you from those last late night hours, and Fairport , if you are staying at a marina, you have to head up river, tired, in the dark.
Do you belong to a Yacht Club? Most IYHA clubs have reciprocals, and thats great for travelling.
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Old 17-03-2012, 02:33   #8
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Re: First Trip

May is still pretty cold out on the water and that in the end may partly determine how long you want your days to be. We plan legs and alternates in case stopping earlier is necessary or desirable. Not too many folks enjoy being cold for extended stretches of time. Each person has their own tolerance level.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:18   #9
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We have seen nets between the Bass Islands and Pelee about midway. Well marked. We had 5.5 ft draft and had no problem going over them.

I second the Lakeside Yacht Club. Just east of Burke Lakefront airport in Cleveland. Walk downtown and to rock n roll hall of fame.
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