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Old 12-17-2007
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Lake Michigan Chartering?

I've chartered out of Michigan City for a trip along the east shore of Lake Michigan. That was a great trip, but now I'd like to try the Wisconsin side, especially in the north. Can anyone suggest charter options in Wisconsin?

Thanks.
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Old 12-17-2007
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Had good time with Bay Breeze in Traverse City. But thats about 2 days away from Door Co.
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Old 12-18-2007
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Thanks

Thanks for the Bay Breeze tip.

My problem is that I'll be driving in from the west (Iowa), so getting to Traverse City is a long trip for me. That's why I'm looking for a starting place on the western shore; every hour in the car is an hour not on the boat. Anything from Chicago north would work, but I'd really prefer to explore the northern portion of the lake. Fewer people and more trees sound pretty good.

bob-f
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Old 12-18-2007
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Northern Lake Michigan can be a challenge for chartering dependent on your location. Sailboats Inc offers a couple of boats out of Manitowac, Wi, but very few. The majority of their business is Lake Superior and the Apostles. The Apostles are also a great destination.

Beyond that, I think that your only option in North Lake Michigan is Bay Breeze in Grand Traverse Bay.There is also a charter company out of the North Channel (Lake Huron)in Canada.

I have a boat in Bay Breeze's fleet, www.bbyc.com , and think that the location can be a benefit, even though it would be an additional 6 hour drive. Dependent on your abilities and desire, you can have the protection of the Bay with lots of destinations within it (Traverse City, Suttons Bay, Omena, Elk Rapids, Northport, Bowers Harbor), or dependent on your number of days can venture to many places on the West Michigan coast from Frankfort, Leland, Charlevoix, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Beaver Island, Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, St. Ignace, etc.).

Whatever your choice, have a good time. She is a beautiful lake with lots to offer.
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Old 12-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyt View Post
Northern Lake Michigan can be a challenge for chartering dependent on your location. Sailboats Inc offers a couple of boats out of Manitowac, Wi, but very few. The majority of their business is Lake Superior and the Apostles. The Apostles are also a great destination.

Beyond that, I think that your only option in North Lake Michigan is Bay Breeze in Grand Traverse Bay.There is also a charter company out of the North Channel (Lake Huron)in Canada.

I have a boat in Bay Breeze's fleet, www.bbyc.com , and think that the location can be a benefit, even though it would be an additional 6 hour drive. Dependent on your abilities and desire, you can have the protection of the Bay with lots of destinations within it (Traverse City, Suttons Bay, Omena, Elk Rapids, Northport, Bowers Harbor), or dependent on your number of days can venture to many places on the West Michigan coast from Frankfort, Leland, Charlevoix, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Beaver Island, Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, St. Ignace, etc.).

Whatever your choice, have a good time. She is a beautiful lake with lots to offer.
Sounds like time might be an issue, but to add a couple of thoughts.

You can drive to Wisconsin and catch a ferry from Manitowac to Ludington or from Milwaukee to Muskegon.

This might be a fun thing to add to your agenda. It is not cheap, but might be fun for you.

Also, if you are interested in Chicago (I know less trees; but it is very pretty from the Lake) check into 3rd Coast Cruising. Tell Captain Jim that Tim K said to say hello. They are more oriented to day sails/trips. Don't know about long term overnighting.

http://www.3rdcoastcruising.com/
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Old 12-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob-f View Post
Thanks for the Bay Breeze tip.

My problem is that I'll be driving in from the west (Iowa), so getting to Traverse City is a long trip for me. That's why I'm looking for a starting place on the western shore; every hour in the car is an hour not on the boat. Anything from Chicago north would work, but I'd really prefer to explore the northern portion of the lake. Fewer people and more trees sound pretty good.

bob-f
Driving from Iowa.. got the perfect Solution. Apostle Islands, Lake Superior. 2 charter companies, tons of boats to pick from, lots of trees, protected water.. Closer than Lake Michigan to you.. go there!
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Old 12-19-2007
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I agree that the boat across can be a great trip. You would really have to decide if time to destination or experiencing the crossing is most important to you.

The upside of the ferry is the experience. The downside is that it takes more time in most cases. You have to arrive on a schedule, plenty of time before departure to get loaded ( the car, not you) and then make the crossing. In most cases it is faster to drive it unless you are already in
Wisconsin.

The Apostles are beautiful as Sailboy says. Best time there late July and August.
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Apostles

My family did a brief captained charter in the Apostles a few years ago...it was late June and the daytime temperatures the first 2 days flirted with 100 degrees. Amazing!

Does anyone have thoughts about favorite anchorages or can't-miss places to visit if we go to the Apostles?

Thanks again for all your help...this is a great group.

bob-f
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Bob,

Your best bet for information on anchorages, etc. in the Apostles is the Lake Superior email list here on Sailnet. There have been some threads in the last few months about the area. Do a search and you should find more information than you will ever need. They also reference books covering the area.

There are a couple of people on that list that have boats in charter up there and they can also be of help.
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Old 12-19-2007
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Apostle Islands anchorages

There are so many good ones, it is hard to choose. The predicted weather of course will determine if they are suitable for a given day. My personal favorite would be Big Bay on Madelaine if it is calm or the winds are from the southwest. On several occasions, I have had nearly the entire place to myself. However, as the name implies, it is a Big Bay, and you want to make sure the winds are predicted to be light or from the southwest for that night and next day. Sand Island and Raspberry Bay would be my next favorite, with great hiking to a Lighthouse on Sand Island. Stockton Island has two bays which are both nice, but often a little crowded.
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