Have lived on and sailed Pontchartrain for over 50 years. Pontchartrain was named by Native Americans and translates to mean "dangerous waters". And that she is, as is Mobile Bay. Recently six sailors died on the bay in April in a race
from Fairhope to Dauphine Island. Both very shallow and rough with not too much wind needed to produce truly terrible conditions.
Pontchartrain is Great day sailing, and light cruising. Wonderful for your boat, as we sailed her extensively in our South Coast 23 back when we were much younger. The North Shore offers Mandeville, Madisonville, Bayou Lacombe, Bayou Liberty, Bayou, Oak Harbor and Eden Isles. Great cruising. Many reasonable Marinas
are available. On the western end of the lake is Lake Maurapas with many Rivers to explore and great hurricane
holes for those with air draft
under 50'. Not too much on the South Shore, although two or three marinas are there.
Have sailed Mobile Bay many times enroutre to Florida
. Similar to Pontchartrain but debth is generally less, with the exception of the Ship Channel. Lived aboard at Dog River for awhile. Mobile Bay does offer a short run to the east to Big Lagoon
, Pirates Cove, Ingrams Bayou, etc. better cruising than Pontchartrain but I would say that day sailing is totally equal.
Marinas are good on Mobile Bay too., Fly Creek, Turner Marine
, Dog River.
If I had to choose I would pick Mobile Bay as it is really close to Pensacola
, and better anchorages
PM us if you need more info or if we can help.