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  #41  
Old 06-25-2014
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

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Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
Whoa, that's great. And a two-hour drive isn't too bad.

Right now I'm loving having our boat so close to home. I've been getting out 3-4 times a week, just short sails mostly, but I'm learning something every time.

But Nokomis is quite small, and I do want to do longer trips. I had been thinking Pepin, but you make Mille Lacs seem quite attractive.
I'm in the north suburbs so it would only be an hour and a half for me. Still there is something to be said about being able to sail every weeknight if you so choose.
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  #42  
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

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I'm in the north suburbs so it would only be an hour and a half for me. Still there is something to be said about being able to sail every weeknight if you so choose.
It is nice having a boat a ten-minute bike ride away

You've really got me thinking about Mille Lacs though. I'm going to be up that way in a couple weeks, I think I'll spend an afternoon driving around checking out marinas.
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  #43  
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

One of the really nice things about Mille Lacs That is different then the lakes around the Cities is to put the boat on a single tack and go for a couple of hours. Try that on Hiawatha.
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  #44  
Old 06-26-2014
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

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One of the really nice things about Mille Lacs That is different then the lakes around the Cities is to put the boat on a single tack and go for a couple of hours. Try that on Hiawatha.
I imagine Mille Lacs also has much less congestion from stand up paddle boarders

Did you know paddle board yoga is now a thing? I saw them out last Saturday on Nokomis. They paddled out to a corner of the lake then set about the warriors and down dogs and pushups and all that. Maintaining that kind of balance, wow!
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  #45  
Old 06-28-2014
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

It is just the fishermen zipping along the lake in their twin 225hp powered craft that you have to watch for.

No seriously Mille Lacs Lake in my estimation is a seriously underutilized resource for sailors.

1) It is reasonably close to the Twin Cities. (1.5 hours for me out of Monticello)
2) The slips are cheap. Don't tell Kevin that
3) It is a reasonably big expanse of water.
4) It can be challenging sailing with winds in the 25-30mph range out of the NE. The waves are starting to take on some size at this point with short wave lengths.
5) The extreme variability of the weather on the lake is amazing. I have had dead calm starting out whip up into some really nasty thunderstorms where you see downdrafts coming right at you. This teaches you how to read the water surface and the weather real quick. Unlike the guys in the guys in their bassboats who can quickly get off the lake, once you are out in the middle you got to deal with it.

Don't get the wrong idea. When a big thunderstorm comes along I'm either heading towards harbor or trying to sail around the system. They are usually pretty localized. My point is that you get a lot of training on differing weather patterns in relatively safe conditions. Good training for bigger waters.

When I am out on the lake maybe I will see 5 other sailboats. The lake is seriously under utilized.
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  #46  
Old 07-16-2014
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

I went by Mac's Twin Bay last week and had a look around. The docks were good, not too cramped, a bit worn but nice. There was a mixture of sailboats and pontoons. They had serviceable bathrooms and showers.

I met Kevin, the owner. He was very friendly and seemed eager to get more sailboats up there. He sells gas, but the situation for pump-outs was up in the air. I guess there's a truck that may or may not come by to do a pump-out.

$600 a year for a slip with power seems like a crazy good deal.

The sailing does sound challenging. I talked to a sailor up there that echoed what jbogart said above, it gets very windy and since it's shallow it gets very choppy. He seemed to think a 22' boat (mine) would be too small for anything other than light wind days, but I wonder if that's just a sailor's inclination to exaggerate conditions.

I ran into a co-worker up there, and it turns out he keeps his ice house at that resort. He didn't have enough good things to say about Kevin and the resort.
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  #47  
Old 07-17-2014
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

Do you know does he offer transient/weekend slips? Was thinking about taking a weekend trip up their with the H23 to see if it would be something I'd be interested in for next year.

By the way, got her out on the water for the first time last weekend (lake Minnetonka). There was a stiff wind all day so I only used the main but we had a blast and will be going back this weekend (no wake still in effect).

Some pics:





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  #48  
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

Looks fun! That no-wake thing on Minnetonka has sucked for most people, but has been a boon to sailors.

I believe he does have transient slips. The place didn't look full.

We ate at the restaurant there, Buzzie's. It is exactly what you'd expect from a small town Minnesota tavern. Except they have Surly on tap, so they must be feeling the influence of the cities a little bit.

The other places that Kevin mentioned that cater to sailboats are Terry's Boat Harbor and Izatys. Terry's sounds much the same as Mac's, but without a restaurant. Izatys is golf resort and Kevin said at one point you had to buy a slip for $30,000, then pay maintenance on it.... Out of my budget, although he said they may have changed their business model.
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

I sailed a Catalina 22 on Puget Sound for a few years and cruised (two people) the San Juan Islands with it. The boat can manage short passages such as you describe just fine. A key element is having and knowing how to use reef points in your main; I make sure I had two sets. It should be a great boat for what you describe.

I don't have any experience with the other two boats. I did own and sail a Tanzer 22 with a fin keel on northern Lake Michigan for several years. I think that's just a bit heavier and stouter overall but still in the range. Great boat if you can find one.
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  #50  
Old 07-19-2014
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

Minnesail,
I wouldn't be to worried about the chop unless the wind is out of the northwest. That is when it gets bad in terms of wave height.

On Mille Lacs the biggest problem is wind variability. I remember mornings driving up looking at the trees and wondering if I was going to be able to manage. Then once I was out on the lake the wind would die for a few hours. Conversely I've gotten out on the lake with the wind out of the south between 5-10 mph and then a thunderstorm brews up on the lake. The lake can change by the minute.

But for me That is one of the things that makes it fun. It keeps me on my toes and I am constantly learning things about the sails and their controls so as how to better manage my boat.
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