Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Congratulations on the Helms 24. Our first boat was a Helms 25 that we cruised on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan out of Grand Haven. She was a good boat with a very solid hull. My only issues were a few soft spots in the deck and some of the deck hardware was not backed sufficiently for my tastes. The 25 is an older design than the 24, and quite a bit different (swing keel vs. fixed fin, no standing headroom, etc.), but I can attest that Jack Helms seemed to have built decent boats, perfect for cruising the coastal waters of the Great Lakes.
The trip down from the Sault should be enjoyable, as there are many great ports along the way. I would have these on my list if you have the time: Hessel, Mac Island, Beaver Island, Charlevoix/Petoskey/Harbor Springs, Traverse Bay, South Mantiou, Leland, Frankfort, Portage Lake, Pentwater, Grand Haven, Holland, Saugatuck, South Haven.
Feel free to ask more specific questions. Also, I'm sure other L. Michigan sailors will pipe up shortly, as well as the few Helms sailors on this board.
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