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waltzingmatilda 12-01-2003 11:19 AM

Detroit and St. Claire Rivers
 
Every winter I decide to cruise someplace else on the Great Lakes. While I have never made one of these planned cruises, I have great hopes (again!!) for next summer. This time it''s up the Detroit River, across Lake St. Claire, up the St. Claire River and into Lake Huron, eventually making it to the North Channel. I understand about the current flowing out of Lake Huron, but the thing that worries me the most is the river traffic in big boats. Do those of you who regularly sail these rivers feel that radar is necessary, or can I make it safely without radar? I really don''t want the expense of radar, but if I have to get it I''d like to know ASAP. Thanks to anyone who responds.

carib99 12-01-2003 02:05 PM

Detroit and St. Claire Rivers
 
Radar not required, the channel is well defined. Going against the current will take a full day though - may need to be careful about fuel supply.

foxglove 12-02-2003 05:23 AM

Detroit and St. Claire Rivers
 
I used to keep my boat on Lake Erie and have done this trip dozens of times. Carib is right, the area is well marked. The only area of potential confusion is south of Fighting Island where the river opens wide.

The best way to avoid the larger traffic is to stay just out of the main channel in the shallower water. Parts of the Detroit have two sets of markers, one for shipping and another for shallower draft.

If you approach Detroit River from Lake Erie, you will encounter the current well before you enter the river. I used to stay to the east of the river entrance then run west parallel to the southern shore of Ontario into the current.

An interesting (and possibly buggy) side trip is to sail east of Walpool Island in Lake St Claire into the Chanel E''Cart. The Channel is deeper than it is wide in some places. You can round Walpool back into the St Clair River or can sail all the way to the little town of Wallaceburg via the Sydenham River if you wish.

I''ve spent the night in Detroit but I was always uneasy about it. I preferred the Ontatio Marinas near Peche (peach) Island. My only other stop was in the Black River in Port Huron. Turn into the Black River when you see a RR bridge permanently angled high into the sky (you might check ahead to see if it''s still there). Pass through several bridges until you see a grassy park-like area on starboard where piers line the river.This will be the the public marina. Good showers, fairly priced, and fun places to eat and drink nearby.

duffer1960 12-02-2003 06:07 AM

Detroit and St. Claire Rivers
 
Besides being well marked, the Detroit River is also well lit at night. It is probably actually prettier at night than during the day. All of the industrial complexes on both sides of the river are full of lights and really light the way for you. It is actually pretty cool! Just keep an eye out for the occasional freighter. It may be a little tougher to discern their lights from the shoreline when at a distance, but you will be able to see them in plenty of time.
It''s a great trip. Also, you don''t have to worry about radar to keep from running into anything except the Ambassador bridge, and I don''t think you would miss that!

waltzingmatilda 12-03-2003 04:13 AM

Detroit and St. Claire Rivers
 
Foxglove, could you please send me your email address as I''d like to talk with you about travelling from Lake Erie to Lake Huron. You can email me at waltzingmatilda@sailnet.net.
Thanks,
Peter K. S/V Waltzing Matilda
Cape Dory 26, Hull #42

me ma 05-26-2004 03:56 PM

Detroit and St. Claire Rivers
 
Just a little note about your trip. I live on Lake Erie and race and cruise Lake Erie, Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River, Lake Huron... and have been to the North Channel twice. The plan is to go again this July. I would like to comment on two things. Our yachtclub is on the Detroit River behind Fighting and Grassy Island in Lasalle, Ontario. If you have reservations about staying in Detroit we are known as "the friendliest club on the river". We offer 3 free days of dockage and a smile to boot. Also...a hint about going up the the St. Clair River. When you go under the Bluewater Bridge hug the Canadian side as the current is less on that side. Good luck on your trip and maybe we will see you there. If you need any local information (Amherstburg to North Channel) give me a dingle... I would be happy to point you in the right direction if I can. Oh... by the way... we are also a "call in centre" for customs.

maryellen
(indigolady75@hotmail.com)
s/v Trilogy
Abbott 33

me ma 05-26-2004 03:57 PM

Detroit and St. Claire Rivers
 
Just a little note about your trip. I live on Lake Erie and race and cruise Lake Erie, Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River, Lake Huron... and have been to the North Channel twice. The plan is to go again this July. I would like to comment on two things. Our yachtclub is on the Detroit River behind Fighting and Grassy Island in Lasalle, Ontario. If you have reservations about staying in Detroit we are known as "the friendliest club on the river". We offer 3 free days of dockage and a smile to boot. Also...a hint about going up the the St. Clair River. When you go under the Bluewater Bridge hug the Canadian side as the current is less on that side. Good luck on your trip and maybe we will see you there. If you need any local information (Amherstburg to North Channel) give me a dingle... I would be happy to point you in the right direction if I can. Oh... by the way... we are also a "call in centre" for customs.

maryellen
(indigolady75@hotmail.com)
s/v Trilogy
Abbott 33

aluva 11-09-2008 05:53 PM

I'm a rookie and we had a great trip from Toledo Beach Marina to the town of St Clair just south of Port Huron. "You can do it!" First night at Jefferson Beach Marina on Lake St. Clair. Town of St. Clair is small and has a municipal marina that was completely upgraded in "07. Very nice. Town is right there and several good restaurants and bars. Boardwalk along the river. My boat is stored upriver at River Bend Marina. Friendly people. I am "in the blocks" for the North Channel in "09. I bought a paper map of Western Lake Erie that included Det. River, Lake St. Clair and the SC river. It came with a CD with nav tools that I then downloaded to my Garmin handheld.


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