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Old 17-05-2012, 18:35   #16
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Re: What is the appeal of sailing the great lakes?

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Just what is the appeal of sailing the great lakes, atleast for more than a couple weeks? Does anyone live aboard on the lakes for pong periods of time?

Just what is the appeal of sailing...fill in the blanks. You could ask that question about any place.

Georgian Bay & the North Channel are some of the prettiest places on earth to cruise. Many other great choices as well.


And there's no freakin salt water!! what a pain in the arse that cr@p is.
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Old 17-05-2012, 19:33   #17
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Quote:
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Just what is the appeal of sailing the great lakes, atleast for more than a couple weeks? Does anyone live aboard on the lakes for pong periods of time?
hey Lt. Have you ever been here? True that you won't have a few weeks of not changing the set of your sails. However, laying on the foredeck while watching the Persiedes shower, maybe some northern lights in August, slipping into the water on a stinking hot day and not having to shower before resuming sunbathing, the guaranteed beam reach between John Island and Gore Bay...

Anyone else?
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Old 17-05-2012, 19:40   #18
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Re: What is the appeal of sailing the great lakes?

How about...no matter what direction the wind is blowing you always have a lee shore
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Old 17-05-2012, 19:47   #19
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How about...no matter what direction the wind is blowing you always have a lee shore
There is that. I guess that's why they say, as Paul did, that if you can sail well in the Great Lakes, you can sail well pretty much anywhere.
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Old 17-05-2012, 20:12   #20
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Re: What is the appeal of sailing the great lakes?

I sail Lake Ontario in the summer, a week at a time. I see the advantages as follows:

1) Less rust on your equipment than salt water
2) More chance of being rescued if need be
3) If your wife doesn't sail much (as mine doesn't) I can keep a reasonable balance between sailing and being at home to fix all the stuff that's gone wrong while I've been away !
4) Anchorages that are not chock full of boats.
5) Interesting number of places to go in Canada or the USA
6) You can race and/or cruise as you please.
7) You can pick your times to go sailing depending on the weather forecasts.
8) etc.
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Old 21-05-2012, 16:08   #21
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Re: What is the appeal of sailing the great lakes?

How about this? We just got home from 2 days sailing to the Bustard Islands. (north Georgian Bay). We dipped water from the lake for coffee. Ate pike for dinner. Suffered through 27 degrees C. & cloudless skies. (until this aft.) Saw 1 (one) mosquito. Had one of the nicest anchorages in existance to ourselves. Only saw 2 (two) other people and their dog all weekend. And all this on the Victoria Day long weekend. The only complaint --the wind was a little light at times, average about 8 knots
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Old 21-05-2012, 18:08   #22
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Re: What is the appeal of sailing the great lakes?

So what is the sailing season up there?? I am still headed that way, but want to know when to plan on hauling the boat out and heading to warmer climes, plus when to return in the spring.
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Old 21-05-2012, 18:23   #23
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Re: What is the appeal of sailing the great lakes?

I had my boat in (Muskegon, MI) on April 4th this year, but that was EARLY. Typical here in Muskegon, on the Eastern shore of Lake Michigan, launch day is possibly late April, Early May. Boat gets yanked back out late November.

I've been cruising the Great Lakes my whole life....58 years. I've done very little ocean cruising...just the Bahamas and Florida. You'll never get to dive on a coral reef on the Great Lakes, but you'll never get stung by a jellyfish, either. Pretty much everyone speaks English wherever you go. Others have already mentioned the lack of salt. No tides and no currents. The women are all topless from June 15 through August 31st.

Heck, I'm not going to try and sell you on it. I like it...you may not. Although, I will tell you that if I walk out my front door right now, fifteen minutes later I'll be on the far end of the pier for the Muskegon channel. If you could spend a minute standing on the end of that pier, I think you'd have your answer.
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Old 21-05-2012, 18:37   #24
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Re: What is the appeal of sailing the great lakes?

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I've been cruising the Great Lakes my whole life....58 years. I've done very little ocean cruising...just the Bahamas and Florida. You'll never get to dive on a coral reef on the Great Lakes, but you'll never get stung by a jellyfish, either. Pretty much everyone speaks English wherever you go. Others have already mentioned the lack of salt. No tides and no currents. The women are all topless from June 15 through August 31st.
6 of those 7 things are true I wish it was all 7.

Lake Superior would be closer to Memorial Day through Labor Day for someone who doesn't like cold weather. I would migrate to Lake Huron in late April/early May, Spend July/August in northern Michigan/UP, September in Lake Michigan and then make my way to the Gulf in October if I could do it.
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Old 21-05-2012, 21:13   #25
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

Oops... correction to my previous post where I gave launch and haulout dates for Lake Michigan, Muskegon area. Haul out date is more like late October, not late November.
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Old 22-05-2012, 06:48   #26
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

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Lake Superior would be closer to Memorial Day through Labor Day for someone who doesn't like cold weather. I would migrate to Lake Huron in late April/early May, Spend July/August in northern Michigan/UP, September in Lake Michigan and then make my way to the Gulf in October if I could do it.
Year to year all the dates can slide up to 3 weeks either way and each lake can have it's own variations too. They all make their own weather. I've seen snow on Lake Ontario in June. It's very rare but is possible.

Pretty accurate but the leg to the Gulf from Sandy Hook NJ to Cape May is outside and you don't want to leave too late into September else you can be stuck waiting for a weather window a few weeks. Once to the Chesapeake you are good to early November with October being exceptionally nice! Following the hardwood forest fall color south would make a most scenic trip.

The northern reaches all have appeal if you get outta there on time! Foul weather can also generate very steep chop that you won't see on the ocean.
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Old 26-08-2012, 21:33   #27
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

I've sailed saltwater in Papua New Guinea, Australia and the BVI. This is our first year with a "big" boat on a slip on Lake Superior (Superior, WI). Previously trailer-sailed the south shore of the lake.

Sail Lake Superior because it is isolated and absolutely beautiful. With the exception of the somewhat overrated Apostle Islands the density of boats on the lake is very low, so you can find yourself in a nice anchorage with good holding ground and crystal clear water next to a sandy beach with no other boats in sight. Our own "private beach" as my wife likes to say.

Sail Lake Superior because it is a challenge. I grew up in the tropics where the weather was predictable and the sailing fairly straightforward. The forecasts on Lake Superior are rarely accurate so you always need to be watching over your shoulder for changes. The weather turns often and quickly. On many days we work two reefs in and out.

Highlights for me so far, are the Painted Rocks National Lakeshore, Minnesota North Shore and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Sailors here say the Canadian shore and Isle Royale are the real gems but we have not made it up there. The freshwater and cool weather are nice on the boat and the family.

We are heading back to the saltwater next year. I am already dreading the crowded East Coast and salt. I doubt we will have as much privacy again until we hit the South Pacific.
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Old 27-08-2012, 04:17   #28
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, shanedennis.
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Old 05-09-2012, 15:09   #29
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

I'm based in the Toronto area and have sailed Lake Ontario, a bit of Georgian Bay and a bit of Lake Superior. Each have their appeal, and are worth sailing. There are places on Lake Superior that are absolutely beautiful to anchor at. Ditto Georgian Bay. Lake Ontario is kinda boring til you get to the eastern end but still a good place to sail. If I can't get out of Lake Ontario for some reason I'm going to move my boat back to Sault Ste Marie Ontario. I spent 3 years living up there and it's truly Gods country.

That said, I still want to head south so I don't have to deal with cold winters.
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:57   #30
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

5 big lakes and a couple of smaller "great" lakes"(finger lakes)
very interesting & fun canals
NO sharks
No jelly-fish
Fresh water
lee shore within 50 miles
Less wear & tear on hardware

The only advantage I see to salt water is that the world comes within reach, it doesn't freeze and a lot more gunkholing possibilities
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