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First, Lake Charlevoix is a great option for boats in the range up to mid 30's. In Round Lake your price range of boat would probably be for a runabout to use as shore boat. Lake Charlevoix has protected waters to sail when the big lake is churning. A active racing group, and only 30 miles to Beaver from the bridge.
If you have the option of sucking up to relatives in Bay Harbor I think I would go there if you live close. First, unless they are obnoxious, you always want to have the wealthy relatives in your corner. Saves you $2500-$5000 a season in slip fees. Great overall location, close runs to Charlevoix, Beaver, Petoskey, Harbor.
In TC a lot of people are on moorings. I think that only 16, belonging to the yacht club, are approved moorings. People put their own ground tackle down, and so far the Corps of Engineers has only talked about removing them. The same is true in Suttons Bay where the Corps did ticket and threaten to remove moorings a couple of years ago. If that ever happens, the slip issue will become an even more aggressive issue.
Also, make sure you are insured for a private mooring. Some companies are a little reluctant to insure un regulated moorings. A few years ago we had about 20 boats washed up at the bottom of the bay after a coupld of days of heavy NE winds. Some of those were from the mooring field because of chafe or poor ground tackle.
Remember, that on some of the lists the number of people that actually have boats that need a slip is much less than the number on the lists. Some are in anticipation, some have sold boats already, some decided that boats were not for them. In my case, I was 120 on the Elmwood list and got one of the vacant slips a couple of years ago. BUT....I had waited for that call for 5 years. I was fortunate to have other, more expensive options.
Depending on how long before you get here, this may be a non issue. Lots of power boats not in yet this year. Fuel prices and higher slip fees are slowing them down. Real estate prices have come down to a more reasonable level in the last year based on Michigans economy and the overall market. While 5 years ago lakefront property sold very quickly at over heated prices, there is a lot on the market these days and the price continues to drop. They don't make any more of it though, so the price will go back up again.
The Lake Huron shore still surprises me. As a kid I spent a lot of time over there. You would think that with its distance to the population centers in Michigan it would have developed faster. I have a friend in the Oscoda are with frontage on Lake Huron, great beach, beautiful home, that would sell for at least twice as much in NW lower Michigan. Go figure.
Last edited by tommyt; 06-11-2008 at 02:44 PM.