Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Porter, IN
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It sounded like you are leaning towards Hammond Marina. Hammond is a very nice marina, which is located in a bad location in my opinion. It is in an industrial sector of the lake surrounded by a lot of manufacturing including a refinery. The marina itself is outstanding, but the area surrounding it has a lot to be desired. Have you ever smelled a soap factory?
I would suggest Michigan City as an alternate; it has got to be about the same distance or maybe about 15 minutes more driving. Large sand dunes and beaches surround Michigan City. It does have a power plant directly across from the marina and there is a steel mill about 3 miles away, but the scenery is much nicer than Hammond.
Another thing to add, the Southern end of the lake can get a nasty 300 plus mile fetch running. It can and does churn up that Southern Shore line like nobodies business. This is generally in the Spring and the Fall when the prevailing Northerly blow. Most of the Summer winds are South West. Than again, it's Lake Michigan, you never know what you are going to get. We have been sailing Southern Lake Michigan for many years and absolutely love it.
BTW, I have a dock neighbor that also lives in Indy and commutes to Holland, MI on a regular basis. You’re not alone. If you care to drive just a bit further, there are many more opportunities available to you. Such as New Buffalo, St Joes, and Holland; on the Michigan side and of course Chicago on the Illinois side.
As far as a boat, most of the solidly built production boats do just fine on the Great Lakes. The boats available to you are nearly endless. Solid, not too heavy, Coastal Cruiser and you will be fine.
Good luck to you and if you’re interested in getting a closer look further up the shore let me know. Holland Michigan is one on the prettiest areas on the Great Lakes and of course Eldean's Shipyard in Holland is in my opinion the finest marina anywhere on the Great Lakes. Michigan Marinas, Lake Macatawa Mi marina and boatyard - Boat Slips, Service, Winter Storage and Slip Rental - Eldean's first class marina and resort facilities, Southwestern, south west north Southeastern
We would certainly show you around if you would like to plan a visit.
Courtney is My Hero
If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White