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Old 10-01-2007, 17:11   #16
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The largest ships on the Great Lakes are just over 1000 feet there are 14 of them, If I remember correctly the longest is the Paul Tregertha at 1014 feet. Most ships on the lakes are about 700 feet. Canadian ships could only be built to the largest size that will fit in the Wellen canal. I expect that Gord will provide all the facts soon!
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Old 10-01-2007, 17:12   #17
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I think I am being mis-understood. I didn't mean to say that it doesnt happen. There are tides on the lakes, as well as storm surges, and seiches.

I was trying to say that I don't think that the storm surge is so great that it leaves another part of the lake so much lower than what it normally is, causing boats to ground and sink.

just for a little experiment. say the slope of the beach is 1/3, so every 3 feet traveled away from the shoreline is gets 1 foot deeper. if a storm surge caused a drop of 5 feet in the normal water level it would cause the shoreline to recede 15 feet. I've never seen or heard of this happening. doesnt mean it doesnt happen! i'm just saying based on my experience. My math might be wrong too.

the lakes have been low for the last couple of years. I "think" somewhere around 4 feet low. but boats arent grounding any more. So I'm guessing that for the storm surge theory to be correct the storm surge would have to cause the lake level to lower more than 5 feet, which would take a whole lotta wind I think.

I could be wrong.
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Old 10-01-2007, 17:47   #18
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Understood, Chad.

Well, I'd say the seiche drop of only 11" could cause problems as well. If you've piloted a boat through there, you probably know that it's tight in many spots. Plenty of guides and people were more than happy to have me stop in to buy fuel at their fuel dock which has "plenty of depth for a 5'5" draft!" I grounded on more than one occasion right at the fuel dock (though not at any other locations). I do recall feeling a little bit nervous at the lack of depth in many instances though, even at 5'5". I couldn't imagine how close some of those larger vessels probably come to scraping the bottom.
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Old 10-01-2007, 17:56   #19
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What about the fact that there are hard bits all around the edges,i.e. lack of searoom?
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Old 10-01-2007, 19:29   #20
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That sounds like a reasonable issue as well. Sure. Not much room for error in some of the spots where the lakes come together.
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Old 10-01-2007, 23:41   #21
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From what I can understand about this is if the wave distance is longer than the boat is and deeper than the boat draws, the boat will ride up on the wave, causing the bow and stern to be out of the water and then bend the middle of the boat. After enough of these, causes it to break apart. This is a problem with storms anywhere.

Also, these lakes are big and well documented travel.

My 2 c's worth.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:28   #22
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“Lakers” are generally longer & narrower than their ocean going “Salty” cousins.

Wikpedia has a decent description of Lake Freighters (“Lakers”) at:
Lake freighter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

See also:

NOAA SCIENTISTS RE-ANALYZE WEATHER CONDITIONS DURING WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD
NOAA News Online (Story 2633)

Great Lakes Profile (Statistics):
About Our Lakes -Lake by Lake Profile - NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL)
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:27   #23
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Here ya go

Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping - BoatNerd.Com
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:47   #24
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I never got seasick until I sailed Superior. I never feared for my life until I sailed Superior. She can be one testy lake and must be treated with ultimate respect.

One of the roughest rides was a skip across the lake to aid the foundering USCG Mesquite in December 1999. Seas running about 15' directly on the beam. The entire aft deck was awash. We were all in our bunks with the lift jackets under the mattress propping it up and keeping us pinned to the bulkheads!
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:57   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad.lawie
The first ship that sank on the Great Lakes was in 1679.
LaSalle's Griffon September 18, 1679.

http://www.lasalle-griffon.org/



Modern Day Namesake: CCGS Griffon

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Old 20-01-2007, 07:49   #26
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Yes, the shorter wave sets make sailing Lake Michigan and Great Lakes overall very dangerous. Being a Navy sailor who has experienced Typhoon in the southern hemisphere and rode out a major storm off the eastern seaboard off Norfolk, VA in 40' seas, I can attest after sailing the Bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, waves on Lake Michigan are not spread out too far. Making the ride rough and brutal. Ocean waves and swells at least make it bearable sometimes. The Edmund Fitz sinking shines possible light on how the Great Lakes behave here.

Storm surges even on the Bay of Green Bay can be wild. We had several big storms roll through our area in 2006. My boat was docked along the Fox River, which was is less than a 1/2 nautical mile from the mouth of the River as she empties into the Bay of Green Bay (which faces a NNE). We had a storm that was so severe, it came from the NNE and pushed 4-5' waves into the river. Storm surge forced the river up about 3 feet! I know because my depthsounder at my dock along the river normally is 6' but when I went down to tie on extra dock lines, I checked the depth and it was reading just over 9' !!!!!

Storms on the ocean and storms & waves on the Great Lakes are both equally scary and honestly both must be given great respect when sailing any open body of water.
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Old 20-01-2007, 11:25   #27
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Old 01-02-2007, 19:28   #28
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I must second Gordon Lightfoot.

On July 17, 2006 we experienced a derecho while at anchor in the North Channel. It literally went from light winds to 100 knots in a few minutes (measured on the wind speed instrument on a boat anchored near our location). An hour later we had 15 knot winds again.

Here's a story about that event:
Great Lakes-Atlantic Coast derecho - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:25   #29
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A warm weather phenomenon, derechos occur mostly in summer, especially July (in the northern hemisphere), but can occur at any time of the year and occur as frequently at night as in the daylight hours.
The "Boundary Waters-Canadian Derecho" (Boundary Waters Blowdown) moved through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, and Maine on July 4 and July 5, 1999. At Thunder Bay, the winds were estimated to have been around 100 mph (160 km/h), and it spawned some small tornadoes. Our daughter, Laurie, lost a large tree. Maggie & I were in Florida, and had difficulty believing Laurie’s report.
More: Facts About Derechos Which Are Very Damaging Windstorms
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Old 21-02-2007, 16:52   #30
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HI - saw your posting with pics of the Great Lakes storms. But I don't see the pics! I'm using Mozilla Firefox - is that the problem?
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