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Old 12-05-2019, 05:11   #1
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Saugutuck, Michigan to Bayfield, Wisconsin

I am in the early stage of planning a cruise from Saugutuck, MI to Bayfield, WI on my Islander 41 Ketch. I am curious to know if I can leave my masts up when traversing from Lake Michigan, to Lake Huron and on to Superior. Has anyone else made this trip? If so, how long id it take? Were there any challenges? Any help you might be able to offer would be very much appreciated.

Thanks very much,
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:55   #2
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Re: Saugutuck, Michigan to Bayfield, Wisconsin

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Austin.
There are no height restrictions between Lakes Michigan and Superior.
You might budget at least 5 - 6 long days (no overnight travel), plus any layovers.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:14   #3
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Re: Saugutuck, Michigan to Bayfield, Wisconsin

No problem leaving the masts up. The only mandatory bridge is the Mackinac, and its height is 135 feet. If you take the American Soo locks there is one more fixed bridge, but it too is over 100’ high.

I haven’t sailed to/from Lake Michigan, but have done the route from Superior through the St. Mary’s up through the North Channel and Lake Huron proper. I spent a decade cruising Lake Superior (mostly the north/east shores).

Challenges? Plenty. Some will depend on timing and route. It’s no small journey, as you well know. Looking at around 700 nm. Time needed will depend on the season, passages vs day hops, and weather. If I were you I’d take as much time as possible — it will be a great journey.

I’ve not traversed the south shore from Whitefish Point to Bayfield, WI. But I know a bit about the Apostles area, and have done the St. Mary’s a number of times. Happy to tell you what I can. And there are few others with plenty of expertise as well. Hopefully they’ll join in.

… Ah, I see Gord has already posted. He’s a wealth of knowledge.
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