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Old 31-08-2011, 15:24   #1
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Looking for a Home Port

Hi everyone, I am looking for a home port on the great lakes. The situation is as follows, I live in Cincinnati Ohio, I could go somewhere to Lake Erie and drive for 3.5 hours or so, or I could go to somewhere on Eastern lake michigan and drive 4.5 to 5 hours. A couple of questions come to my mind...

Lake Erie waves vs. Lake Michigan. I've heard the shallow Lake Erie is a pain to sail in a breeze.

Also what marinas are "sailboat friendly" for the two lakes. If it's relevant, I would be looking to install a 40' sailboat at the marina, seek hauling and outdoor space each winter season.

I thought this forum would be able to help me.
Thanks.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:18   #2
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Re: Looking for a Home Port

Hello, I think you will find that the two lakes aren't that different. The Great Lakes as a whole are difficult sailing at times BUT it also prepares you to go anywhere else you may consider. I"ve been told if you can sail Lake Erie you can sail anywhere by more than a few folks. I'd say that there are many, many sailboat friendly ports on the southern end of Lake Erie. (I cannot speak for Lake Michigan) Looking at a map you are pretty much due south of Toledo which is the shallow end of Lake Erie but there are sailboats there. Going into the Sandusky area there are a ton of sailboats. Further east there are quite a few in Lorain, Vermillion and in between. If you want to get over toward Cleveland I can steer you to a bunch. What may dictate your choice once you choose a general area is the finances and type of boat. If you have or buy a shoal draft your choices are plentiful. If you get into deep draft the choices are less but still several.

As for the hauling and storage what you describe is generally done at almost everywhere I've seen. What you want to consider in my opinion is if you want a club or a marina. Sometimes they are one in the same others not so much. If you want the club type of arrangement which is generally a yacht club there can be additional expenses like expecting you to eat/drink X amount per year. I found coming from a marina environment that I really like the club aspect. I can ask folks to keep an eye on things and retie lines if needed or call me if something is amiss. I didn't really have that in the particular marina I was in. The people were more individuals and stayed to themselves. It's just a matter of what you want. If you'd enjoy a club atmosphere with planned outings like sunset sails a club may be a better choice but it all really depends on the location.

I would say the majority of places can accommodate up to about 6' without much issue. Going deeper can get to be a problem and reduces choices but still can be done.

Hope this helps. If you decide to look at Erie and choose a general location I can try to see if I know anyone in that area. If you decide to come to the northeast area where water is deeper let me know. I have looked at 90% of the sailboat friendly clubs before we settled where we are and are very happy.
SC
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Old 01-09-2011, 15:34   #3
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Re: Looking for a Home Port

Thanks for the advice... I am a marina now and agree that it is a collection of individuals.
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Old 01-09-2011, 16:00   #4
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Re: Looking for a Home Port

That's no fun (or it wasn't for us). Tell me what you're looking for in a few adjectives. Do you want club racing? Active fleet doing fun stuff? Safe port? Affordable?

I looked at clubs that spanned better than 50 miles apart end to end. I wanted nice people, not pretentious, group activities a few times a season. A racing program wasn't important on the list because I don't race however I find I enjoy crewing a lot. Perhaps if folks know what you're seeking they can advise. Also any idea what your 40' would draft?
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Old 02-09-2011, 17:05   #5
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Re: Looking for a Home Port

I dialed up the Lake Erie chart, looked rather shallow west of Sandusky. Draft will be six feet, cruising boat. Would be nice to go on group cruises, I like to race but don't expect to win.
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Old 02-09-2011, 23:41   #6
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Originally Posted by hard-a-ground
I dialed up the Lake Erie chart, looked rather shallow west of Sandusky. Draft will be six feet, cruising boat. Would be nice to go on group cruises, I like to race but don't expect to win.
I would look into Lorain, Vermillion and Edgewater and see if the distance is too bad. Where I am we have members fro KY. I think they're nuts but...they stay the weekend. If that distance is palatable I have other suggestions.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:13   #7
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Re: Looking for a Home Port

We are at Spitzer Marina in Lorain, and like it. Lots of depth for your draft, and a short ride out into the lake past the breakwall. They have two facilities, Lakeside and Riverside, and you can use the ammenities at both places (ie: the pool at Riverside is nice on those really hot days with no breeze!!)
If you are looking for more specifics let me know, I'd be happy to help.
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Old 07-11-2011, 17:15   #8
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Also Looking for a Home Port

Hi All!

New to the forum.... We too are looking for a Marina on Lake Erie and were hoping that someone could give us some advice too. I had a Potter 19 and sold it because the trailering became too cumbersome. My wife and I are looking at a Catalina 30 and a Grampian 30 (haven't decided which one yet) and will need a Marina with about a 5 - 5 1/2 foot draft. We're kind of budget minded but know that we'll be around a $1500 summer season rate. We were also hoping for a well kept Marina with reasonable security, utilities, and a friendly atmosphere. Oh! and an Ohio shore with some preference for closer to the islands but not required.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan & Susie
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Old 07-11-2011, 17:32   #9
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Re: Also Looking for a Home Port

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danau View Post
Hi All!

New to the forum.... We too are looking for a Marina on Lake Erie and were hoping that someone could give us some advice too. I had a Potter 19 and sold it because the trailering became too cumbersome. My wife and I are looking at a Catalina 30 and a Grampian 30 (haven't decided which one yet) and will need a Marina with about a 5 - 5 1/2 foot draft. We're kind of budget minded but know that we'll be around a $1500 summer season rate. We were also hoping for a well kept Marina with reasonable security, utilities, and a friendly atmosphere. Oh! and an Ohio shore with some preference for closer to the islands but not required.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan & Susie
See above re Spitzer in Lorain, just let me know if you have specific questions.

Rick
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Old 07-11-2011, 17:38   #10
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Re: Looking for a Home Port

Also know of two great boats for sail, though might be too small, that are already here- a Catalina 27 and an O'day 27 that are both really nice for the price. There was an Alberg 30 as well, and a few others.
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Old 07-11-2011, 17:56   #11
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Re: Looking for a Home Port

Thanks Rick. Looked at the website and it seems like a pretty nice Marina. Assuming its the one you use? Also, are the two 27's on yachtworld or some where? They might be workable.

Appreciate it,

Dan
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Old 07-11-2011, 18:12   #12
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Re: Looking for a Home Port

Thats the place, it s the only Spitzer marina I know of (the family owns a bunch of car dealerships and the old man was a boater- so TaDa..) Its pretty laid back, lots of draft 11 feet I think at the shallowest, quick out to the lake, good people- let you squeeze a 27 in a 25 slip, dockers party every year with free food/drinks, free pump out, 10% back on dockage from your fuel bill(thats huge for the powerboaters) etc.

I know the Oday was on cleveland craiglist I think he was looking for around 4K, and it has a lot of new stuff on it- same guy owns the Catalina, his name is Rob ( he is buried in about 5 boats right now) Try searching cleveland craiglist, if you can't find it let me know, I'll get contact info for you and can snap some pictures if you want (they are sitting next to each other on the hard)
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Old 08-11-2011, 03:03   #13
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Re: Also Looking for a Home Port

[QUOTE=Danau;812929]Hi All!

Hi, welcome. My search status is as follows... I've decided the drive time is an important attribute - don't want excuses to stay home. Lake Erie seems to be more shallow in the West - getting gradually deeper as you move East.

I am currently thinking the Sandusky area is a potential place for me. West Harbor in particular. I plan to take a trip up there next year to scout the area - check out the marinas first hand. It looks like you can come out from West harbor and have some expectation of shelter from the westerly wind courtesy of Catawba Island.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:38   #14
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Re: Looking for a Home Port

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dan & Susi.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:46   #15
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Re: Looking for a Home Port

Thanks "Hard a Ground"....I will check that out too.

Thank you too "Gord May".

Dan
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