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Old 29-03-2011, 10:31   #1
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Georgian Bay Crossing in a 17' Siren

I was thinking of crossing Georgian Bay in a 17' Siren. Do you think this is possible? I want to cross from Parry Sound to Tobermory. Is this too dangerous? Please let me know your opinions.
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Old 29-03-2011, 12:11   #2
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Re: Georgian Bay Crossing in a 17' Siren

It's been many years, alright decades, since my family and I would vacation in Tobermory. At that time, great fishing, we caught mainly jumbo perch and the occasional northern pike. Durned cold water.

My main recollection is rocks. Rocks everywhere.

Answering your question is a bit more difficult. I'm going to assume your new to sailing, if not, my apologies. It looks like you will be crossing approximately 60-80 miles of open water to get there. Doable, even in your small boat if the weather cooperates. However, my experience in the Great Lakes was that storms can come up out of nowhere and flat seas can go to breaking in a matter of minutes. It wouldn't be so bad as Lake Erie I expect but it could get nasty. Assuming an avg speed of about 4 kt, the trip would take around 20 hours. So that's how long you would be exposed. You definitely don't want to arrive at Tobermory in the dark. Remember rocks. One guy up there with a center cockpit fishing boat brought 10 sets of props each year. Course he was a bit nuts in operating his boat, but you get the picture.

For your size boat I would think that 15 kt of wind is about it and that's probably with a reef. The specs on your boat list it as weighing 750 lbs. and being very tender. So you would need very ideal conditions, you would either be motoring most of the night or possibly overpowered by the winds.

Personally, I would not advise it. There are boats in your size range such as the Compac 16 that have turned out to be amazingly seaworthy. Your Siren does not seem to fit the bill. Wait a bit, get more time in her and then step up to something a bit more substantial.

My first boat displaced 11,000 lbs and I would have no hesitation in making the trip (except for worrying about the rocks). Step up to even a Catalina 22 or its equivalent with about a 2,000 lb displacement, then maybe, with good weather.

I'm sorry if I disappoint you, but for those waters, I think your boat is too small. If you dumped her and had to stay in the water, it is too likely hypothermia would get you before the coast guard.

With regret,
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