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post #2 of Old 06-16-2002
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Sailing the waters of Lake Champlain

OK, so it''s been a year since you posted your question about Lake Champlain on Sailnet. I don''t know if you ever got a response, or have made it to the lake, but I thought I''d answer anyway.

I sail a 26'' Grampian out of Malletts Bay, VT, and try to spend as many nights as I can exploring Lake Champlain. I don''t know what your home waters are like, so it will be difficult for me to give you a comparison.

Champlain has both deep water (400'') and shoal areas. My boat has almost a 5'' draft, and I always seem to find a suitable anchorage for the night. Late in the season, it gets more difficult, as the lake level drops, and some bays start getting weedy, making it difficult to set an anchor.

Burlington is a nice little city. This year, they converted the free anchorage to municipal moorings, at $25 night. A big disappointment to me, as I usually would spend 4 or 5 nights a summer on my hook there.

But there are many other places to anchor for free on the lake, both in VT and NY. You''ll see sailboats from 22'' to 40''+ all over the lake, as many Canadians take vacation on their boats in the US.

If you sail Champlain, I recommend that you get the two charts that cover the northern and southern sections of the lake. There are a number of shoals and rocks, as well as cribs in some bays, that can ruin your day if you end up on top of them! Many of the hazards are marked, but it''s always good to know you should be looking for them. Pay special attention in the Colchester Shoal area off Mallets Bay. It''s been there for hundreds of years, but every season a number of people still ground themselves there (and rocks are hard on the bottom of your boat!).

I also suggest ''The Cruising Guide to Lake Champlain, The Waterway From New York City to Montreal'', published by the Lake Champlain Publishing Co. It gives tons of info on anchorages and services on both sides of the lake.

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