Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes
In good condition, the Cat/O'day/Hunter would all serve your needs. I recommend making sure whatever you get has a very reliable outboard so that you can choose conservative (read low wind) weather windows where you may end up doing some motoring. That way you'll maximize your chances of avoiding conditions that may be too much for the boats or your skill level.
Bare in mind that there's a lot of open water between Gladstone and Mac Island with few spots to run for cover if the weather/water turns snotty. However, northern Lake Michigan is an amazing cruising area. The run from Fayette to Beaver Island, then Beaver to St. Helena, then to Mackinac is spectacular, but this would mean many hours on the open water, so prepare/plan accordingly.
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