Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-01-2014, 20:39   #1
Senior Cruiser
 
River Cruiser's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: UMR mm 283 /winter in Kansas
Boat: Bayliner 3870 41' oal.
Posts: 817
Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

I'am helping a owner move his 47' Concorde aft cabin from the Mississippi to the Detroit river. He originally wanted help getting to Chicago, he's not comfortable doing the Mis & the IL rivers. Now he wants me to plan the whole trip so I'am looking for advice on the Lake Michigan leg. The planned departure date is the end of March to 1st week in April. It's about 5 days to Chicago from our starting point north of St. Louis, Mo. In the opinion of people with experience on the lake would we be better going up the west side or crossing over on the south end and cruising up the eastern shore. My thought is the wind would most likely be out NW or SW and taking the western side would have less rough water because of the shorter fetch. But having no experience in this area that is a guess. Thank you for sharing your experience with someone who is used to seeing a shore on both sides of the boat.
__________________

__________________
River Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-2014, 21:36   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Boat: Catalina
Posts: 25
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

Commercial shipping on Lake Michigan does exactly what you described.

I'd have reservations about making passage on Lake Michigan in April. It can be done, but it probably won't be pleasant.
__________________

__________________
cptratbag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2014, 00:38   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Lake Superior
Boat: Hunter Legend 37
Posts: 126
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

The wind can come from any direction on Lake Michigan. While Chicago is usually balmy, it's cold up here in the north. In early April, the CG icebreakers will probably have the channels open for commercial shipping, but it's no place to be sailing that time of year.

The channels have frozen this year earlier and thicker than they have since the 1930's. This is a couple photos from last year on April 5 on the St Mary's





I would suggest delaying your passage until May.
__________________
CruisingCouple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2014, 04:55   #4
Registered User
 
Greggegner's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 406
Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

A wet spring will have serious south bound current on the Mississippi. Boaters generally like the east side better due to more places to stop and better anchorages. If the wind picks up you won't be going no matter what side your are on. We sail out of Racine WI.
__________________
Greggegner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2014, 07:20   #5
Registered User
 
appick's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Boat: 1973 Easterly 36
Posts: 446
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

I will second the east side for more ports to pull into and plenty of places to anchor. The weather could go either way but more likely than not it will be very cold especially on the water, along with plenty of wind. I'm not too sure on how the waves would be on the west side of the lake having only sailed to that coast a couple of times. The wind direction changes every couple of days with new weather fronts ect nothing is really reliable except that if you need to go north that's where the wind will be from.

Not to say that it can't be done but you'll need a serious heating system especially if the hull isn't insulated. In other words I don't think a force 10 propane or kerosene heater is going to cut it on it's own. I had a friend do the reverse trip from Detriot to Muskegon Easter weekend a couple of years ago. It was very cold and rough. Plenty of wind out of the direction he was trying to go the whole way. Not much ice at that time, though the winter ice was down a ton that year. It will be much colder that extra 3-4 weeks earlier you are planning. Be prepared! I'd seriously look at moving it back a month at the very least.
__________________
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." Antoine de
appick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2014, 08:53   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
River Cruiser's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: UMR mm 283 /winter in Kansas
Boat: Bayliner 3870 41' oal.
Posts: 817
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

Thank you for the information. The original plan last fall was to leave the 1st part of May, the marina told him he could stay thru March without charge but if he stayed later he would have to pay a years rent, there is another person wanting the slip the boat is in so they want the boat gone, March is the beginning of the next slip rental year. I think moving it to Grafton, IL. and leave it there for a month would be the best thing to do rather than try going thru the lakes that early in the year. Thank you also for the information of more ports on the east side, that may be the better choice a guys going to have to wait out any bad weather which ever side your on.
__________________
River Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2014, 09:15   #7
Registered User
 
appick's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Boat: 1973 Easterly 36
Posts: 446
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

Agreed leaving it in IL somehere for just a month would be better. Good luck and happy sailing. If you stop in Muskegon drop me a line.
__________________
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." Antoine de
appick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2014, 10:32   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,872
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

I would push back at least until mid May (mid June would be better). It is likely to be cold and especially north, you may have a tough time finding marinas open (or even if open, finding someone to help you).

In theory, the west side should be better but unless you really hug the shore (and the west side is rocky), it won't provide a lot of advantage.

If it's purely a delivery run, I would lean towards the west side but the east side has more nice stops.
__________________
valhalla360 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2014, 11:16   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Lake Superior
Boat: Hunter Legend 37
Posts: 126
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

The conditions on the south end of Lake Michigan are totally different than the north end.

The absolute best is to wait until June/early July. You will have a beautiful sail with sights that rivals sailing anywhere else on earth.

We never venture very far out until Memorial Day with our thin-hulled pleasure boats after the lakes calm down a bit. In June it's much nicer but still cold at night up in the north.
__________________
CruisingCouple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2014, 11:27   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Lake Superior
Boat: Hunter Legend 37
Posts: 126
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I would push back at least until mid May (mid June would be better). It is likely to be cold and especially north, you may have a tough time finding marinas open (or even if open, finding someone to help you).
The marinas are all open by Memorial Day and splashing boats like crazy. November to end of April is the time to stay off Superior and Michigan. The waters in the Straits of Mackinac and Whitefish Bay have kicked the butts of captains with 40 years experience on the North Atlantic. There's so many of their freighters laying on the bottom on those waters they've made a Shipwreck Preserve out of it. Something like 500 ships in the last century.

With modern GPS and weather forecasting, and new laws requiring an experienced Great Lakes Pilot on ocean freighters coming into ports on the Great Lakes, it's now much safer. But going around the north end in early May will definitely be an experience you won't forget.
__________________
CruisingCouple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2014, 17:40   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
River Cruiser's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: UMR mm 283 /winter in Kansas
Boat: Bayliner 3870 41' oal.
Posts: 817
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

Sent the owner a link to this thread & he called me later in the day. We talked for awhile & I'am sure he appreciates the feedback as much as I do. We may move it to Chicago at the 1st of April & leave it there till moving thru the lake would be suitable, we want to enjoy the trip not have it be a struggle. Thanks again to everyone for your replies.
__________________
River Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 11:13   #12
Registered User
 
Greggegner's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 406
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

In Racine, ~70 miles North of Chicago, 30 miles South of Milwaukee last year they were ice fishing in my slip on April 15. Some years we are in March 28. Just call around, this is a bad cold winter and the colder water temp will make even more fog.
__________________
Greggegner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 13:52   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Rockford, IL
Boat: Endeavour 43
Posts: 19
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

In addition to icey conditions you may find problems getting fuel. Many marinas in the area don't open until May 1.
__________________
SV Pearl Lee - 1981 Endeavour 43
www.AssWhaffleYachtClub.net
svPearlLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2014, 08:40   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
River Cruiser's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: UMR mm 283 /winter in Kansas
Boat: Bayliner 3870 41' oal.
Posts: 817
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

I talked with the owner last night and he thinks waiting till May to start would be a wise decision. And maybe later if conditions on northern Lake Michigan warrant it. That'll give me time to remove the manicooler on the SB engine to clean the tubing bundle and send off the aluminium manifold to have it ceramic coated, should have it back when I return. Thanks again for the great advice.
__________________
River Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2014, 09:58   #15
Marine Service Provider
 
boatpoker's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario or Bahamas
Boat: Benford 38 Fantail Cruiser
Posts: 2,593
Re: Question for Lake Michigan cruisers

Easter delivery on a Lake Ontario. I won't be doing that again and I sure as hell wouldn't be rounding Mackinac Straits at that time of year. Good luck !
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	8v.jpg
Views:	207
Size:	402.9 KB
ID:	77100   Click image for larger version

Name:	7 ICE.jpg
Views:	198
Size:	428.0 KB
ID:	77101  

Click image for larger version

Name:	3 ICE.jpg
Views:	192
Size:	413.3 KB
ID:	77102  
__________________

__________________
That hysterical laughter you hear as you sail a way in your "new" boat ..... is the seller.
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruise, cruiser

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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:46.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.