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Old 07-10-2015, 21:02   #1
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pirate Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

Hello, we have just purchased a boat that we would like to sail away south on. The boat is in Mackinaw City at the top of Michigan on Lake Huron. We have been looking for marinas that are open as we want to head south with the boat, but will not arrive to sail her until October 15th this fall. Has anyone sailed south from Mackinaw City at this time of year, that you might have some information to share with us? We want to know that there are open ports where we can come in in case of weather. Thanks in advance for any info. you might share! Judi and Brent
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Old 11-10-2015, 19:15   #2
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

I delivered a 47' powerboat in June of 2014, Lake Huron was the roughest part of the trip. We had no problem finding anchorages protected from the prevailing south winds, we lost 2 days to weather. Where are you heading south? If you're going to the gulf I would truck the boat over to the Mississippi River and go that route, had a transient in yesterday that trucked their boat from Lake Superior to the river. They said finding potable water up north was a problem, I brought a boat down from Red Wing, Mn in October and had to wait for diesel fuel to be delivered at a couple of marinas. Good luck.


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Old 11-10-2015, 19:30   #3
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

Do you know of any marinas open on the eastern shore of Michigan heading south from Mackinaw City?
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Old 11-10-2015, 19:33   #4
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

Michigan DNR Marinas / harbors of refuge might be 'closed' but water levels are good and you still can tie up. Getting fuel might need a taxi and jerry cans.
Port Sanilac is open 'til end of October.

Worry more about the weather, forecasts are good for a just few days
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Old 11-10-2015, 19:35   #5
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

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Old 11-10-2015, 22:22   #6
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

You can't go farther south than Chicago/Gary on L Michigan & Sandusky/Cleveland on L Erie. You can winter at Shepler's, Walstrom or Irish. If you want the boat in FL you're in for an adventure- which might be better started next year.
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:27   #7
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Krause View Post
You can't go farther south than Chicago/Gary on L Michigan & Sandusky/Cleveland on L Erie. You can winter at Shepler's, Walstrom or Irish. If you want the boat in FL you're in for an adventure- which might be better started next year.
I agree with the above. Not sure about the locations mentioned but the biggest concern will be if the Erie canal is still open by the time you get there. It can close without notice if they get flooded. Also you will need your woollies(warm clothes) .
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:30   #8
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

I assume when you talk about getting south, we are talking at least as far as the gulf or florida (maybe further).

The quickest route is likely down Lake Michigan to Chicago. Once in the river system, you can relax as weather isn't much of an issue.

If you go Lake Huron, you also have to run Lake Erie and the Erie Canal before you can turn south and start making good headway south.

Either way, it's doable but marinas will be focused on shutting down for the winter, so finding fuel may be a hassle. Water and slip space shouldn't be a big issue. As someone else suggested, you may have to use jugs and haul it in by hand.

Weather is also probably a big issue. You can easily get held up for a week or more if the weather turns snotty.
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:18   #9
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, oval.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:13   #10
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

Erie Canal is scheduled to be open to Nov 18th, weather/flooding permitting.

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Old 12-10-2015, 07:29   #11
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

Long time ago I did a late October delivery down the Great Lakes. One of the most memorable events was a unique weather phenomena we encountered on Lake Huron.

The air was very cold but the lake itself warmer so moisture rising off the lake created these sparkly shimmery clouds of ice crystals extending thousands of feet into the sky reflecting the sunlight back to us. Have never seen anything like it before or since.

Also, we enjoyed a stop at Mackinac Island which I had visited many times during the summer. Beautiful with the fall foliage and not a single tourist in sight!
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Old 14-10-2015, 05:47   #12
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

I've sailed southern Lake Huron in late fall- its rough as hell.

Stay in close to the US (western) shoreline and you'll be protected from the Westerlies. If its blowing East, stay at dock. I don't know specifics about marina close/open dates but hopefully if you're running from Mackinac to Port Huron at that time of year your boat can carry enough fuel for the whole run.

If you have enough fuel, why would you need an open marina, all you need is a dock to tie to while you sleep. If you have a weather window, just go, don't tie up or anchor, make hay while the sun shines. Get off Huron and Erie ASAP, you can relax after you reach the Hudson.

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Old 06-11-2015, 05:45   #13
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

I'm very interested in a couple of boats on the Great Lakes, and potentially looking to go down through the navigation from the Chicago area down to Alabama.

As there will be a lot of motoring involved, I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to make sure everything is right with the boat, and especially the engine, before servicing everything up just prior to reaching salt water.

Be nice to have the mast dropped to do some maintenance and thoroughly check the rigging, etc., while en route too.

The biggest issue might be having an imposed deadline to clear the USA and get into international waters? This side of the Pond there's an 18 month deadline for exiting EU waters for foreign visitors, and if there is similar USA side, it will be way more than I need.

In fact I am wondering whether if I restrict my potential purchase to a Canadian registered boat (which unfortunately cuts down choice dramatically), and then transfer registration to the Red Ensign before heading South, it would actually make things a lot easier for travelling the inland waterways? I say that because buying a boat in USA with USA State registration looks to have no choice but to get offshore within 30 days (some places) or 90 days (other places)?

It would also of course be a wonderful opportunity to see some of the inland beauty of America while headed South, as well of course, to sample some of the wonderful non-fast food cuisine I have heard so much about. A not insignificant additional advantage as well of course, would be the availability of free charts to download (paper copies you pay for, and I might buy some anyway as great memento's of the trip, that I can frame and give to family members) for the waterways, produced by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The more I think about it, the more appealing it becomes. So the important info would include the best early in the year month to cast off from the Great Lakes, and the likely duration of a trip if 'not hanging about' due to a deadline to get offshore (I really would like some useful time leeway for sensible servicing and any essential repairs before heading into the Gulf).

Many thanks in advance for anything useful to consider (and also thanks for info already posted in this thread).

PS. Something potentially useful I am considering, is getting a pre-pay 'Credit' Card, to maybe make purchasing (boat, supplies, paying any fees, etc) a lot easier. I am obviously not sure how popular or useful these might be in the USA, Canada, and elsewhere? I chopped up the last of my Credit Cards some 20+ years ago, and pretty much use cash since. Anybody here use them with success? I suppose this might be a good question to ask in a sub forum.
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Old 06-11-2015, 13:24   #14
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Re: Has anyone sailed south on Lake Huron after Oct 15th?

Be careful in caes "the gales of November come early"
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