Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-10-2014, 08:05   #31
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 425
Re: Is there a "Best" time of the Year to Cross?

[QUOTE=sailcruiser;1585082]A64pilot, honestly the Great Lakes can be some of the hardest sailing out there. If wind kicks to 15+knots you are looking at 4-6' waves with a 2 second interval. You don't clear 1 before hit by the next. They bounce and return off break walls then you have 6' waves from 2 or more directions. I was out in 6-8' waves one time and it was horrible. Ocean sailing you can ride up and down the waves with a much longer period between them. Here they'll beat you to death in a hurry. Lake Michigan can have 12-15' quite regularly with I believe a record of close to 23' a few years back. Late fall is when it's usually the worst.


It is amazing that no matter where you travel, people will say there are spots with the worst weather and conditions. From experience I can tell you that the worst conditions you will ever see can be ANYWHERE you happen to find yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The worst conditions you will ever find will be those greater than the last you experienced.

Using shipwrecks as an analogy for the OP's question also does little justice. On ships, we don't have the luxury of waiting out good weather windows and timetables must be met as berthing times, tugs, dock thugs, trucks, logistics, etc. are all bought and paid for on a timetable.

Telling someone to wait for more experience does little justice as there is no better way to get experience then get out there and a 70 mile journey is nothing if the OP gives himself enough time to enjoy the trip and wait out any weather if it shows up. Problems normally happen with time schedules, not lack of experience. Just be prudent and patient.

tdoster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2014, 23:20   #32
Registered User
FishCatcher Jim's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: S.W Mi for now
Posts: 10
Re: Is there a "Best" time of the year to cross?

Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
Not quite so fast...chance of thunderstorms are forecast nearly every day of the summer up here. Unless it is a major system they are difficult to know in advance as the "chance of" becomes noise. So one has to go and have the capability and ability to deal with whatever happens.

Come on here now, This is Michigan you are talking about...Even the weather does not know what it will do until it does it.
Being serious too !! This time last year we had 39 inches of snow here in SW Mi and now 50 degree days. Mid summer to early for windows and choose well and keep your eyes tuned to the sky and radio....It can change in a blink of an eye either way...
Just know that you know that you know what you are doing and enjoy.

FishCatcher Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2014, 17:41   #33
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Living aboard and cruising
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 276
Images: 1
Re: Is there a "Best" time of the Year to Cross?

July through The first half of September is the best time. Weather is really iffy other than that.

Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
Smooth seas never made an experienced sailor.

CaptainBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-12-2014, 20:19   #34
Registered User
crazyoldboatguy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Chicago
Boat: Alden auxiliary ketch 48'
Posts: 812
Re: Is there a "Best" time of the Year to Cross?

The crew of the Carl Bradley - 600+ foot long freighter watched her break in half in a storm on Lake Michigan that saw 25' waves. There were 2 survivors. Not very big by salt water standards but the waves are different in these bodies of water. It's just a plan fact. The Daniel Morrell - about the same size, broke in half during a storm on Lake Huron. There was one survivor.

It's easy for those who have not sailed on these fresh water seas to minimize the power of these mill ponds. Easier still if you never plan to. Yeah, yeah I know there's mean pieces of water out there but until you have faced the fury of what the lakes can produce on short notice you really can't speak knowledgeably on the subject.

But to the original subject - you'll likely wait till the wind dies and motor across on the way west. The weather window is easier going back since it will most likely be a downhill run. Late June thru the end of August is the best time. Earlier and the weather is quite unpredictable but you may see more easterly winds - that could go on the days. After Labor Day you will see that the weather is more fall like - gales and towering waves become far more common then. Decidedly NOT fun.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
crazyoldboatguy is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best time of year to sail from Caribbean to Nova Scotia? mryer Navigation 3 26-12-2013 10:01
One of those hey there, hi there, ho there posts Noreasta Meets & Greets 13 25-09-2013 11:44
Best Time To Make A North Pacific Cross? NOMN General Sailing Forum 17 11-06-2013 13:12
Best Time(s) of Year to Sail to Caribbean? SailingChance Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 7 02-09-2012 07:28
Best Time of Year to Buy a Yacht ? Thames 4 Blood Monohull Sailboats 10 10-08-2012 17:21

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:55.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.