Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Wilson, NY
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Milking the money pit
I have been cruising all summer through Lake Michigan and the North Channel and have noticed several things.
One, is that the North Channel is, indeed, a cruising ground equal to the Caribbean.
Another is that slip prices on the lakes vary from $1 to $2 a foot. When cruising the lakes, spending some time at a marina is pretty much unavoidable. As Great Lakes cruisers we need to do everything possible to boycott the marinas that charge high prices. In L Michigan that would pretty much be any Skipper Bud marina We need to also write the communities where these marinas operate. I know that when I am forced to pay $2 a foot, like I was when broken down in Sheboygan, WI, I did all my cooking aboard and did everything possible to keep my costs down. Skipper Budís got a lot of my money, but no restaurants or other businesses got anything. Had I been paying a buck a foot, I would have wined and dined plenty in the 5 days I was forced to spend there. Communities need to understand that. Many Great Lakes marinas were built with municipal funds based on the idea that increased boating would bring business to local merchants. When those marinas charge high prices, those of us with limited funds are forced to budget by not patronizing local merchants.
Internet access is another area where we can make a difference. Many marinas charge $10 - $20 per 24 hour access. Look around town and find places where you can get on for free. I am at the Anchor Inn in Little Current, Ont having a few beers and a sandwich while using their free wireless. Total bill for a meal and a beer was around $10 - the same price as the dockside internet. Libraries are another good source of free access. We need to avoid paying for services that we can easily get elsewhere.
We need to demand reasonable prices for the services we get. Many of us do not have unlimited funds and boat on a budget. We need to work to keep prices down.
What do other Great Lakes cruisers think?