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  #11  
Old 05-07-2010
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I agree with all so far. However, is there something a bit different about the Great Lakes, than near shore coasts? On the West coast for example, I would imagine that you have storms that can be predicted earlier coming off the Pacific. In the midwest you could have only a moderate risk of T-storms and have a giant super-cell storm pop up in a matter of hours. Not long enought to duck into port even 40 miles away.

The PO of my Catalina 22 said he went across L. Michigan a few times. I wouldn't want to in a swing keel C22. A C30 or C36 yes, a Cape Dory 30, for sure... a Hunter anything, no way... just kidding
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
I agree with all so far. However, is there something a bit different about the Great Lakes,
The biggest difference is the wave patterns.
The waves here are Short and extremely steep. When I say steep, I mean steep. Like the face of a wall. When I say short, I mean short. Like you crash over the backside of one and you are IMMEDIATELY into the next. There is NO break in between waves.

Quote:
a giant super-cell storm pop up in a matter of hours.
Yes this is very true, but these squalls are usually very short lived. Nice and calm one minute, blowing like stink the next, and than calm again all within a matter of 20, 30 minutes.
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2010
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Grew up in TC... a classmate of mine was the first to windsurf across Lake Michigan around 1980. Yep, lot's of short steep chop. Thankfully they aren't amplified by tidal flow. Our neighbors had a Catalina 27 that they sailed up to the North Channel every summer. I'm sure it would have done fine headed south as well, and as others have said, it's all about the weather window. The question is, why beeline south when there's so much do north?
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Old 05-07-2010
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Puddinlegs,

I think that answer to why south is...because you can. Tim will tell you there is little more beautiful then sitting off the Chicago skyline and looking in.

That being said, from Traverse City you won't do it often...unless you do the Mac every year.
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Eryka,

I must have missed that you were a Northport based boat. It is easily the greatest location for convenience to the northern lake. I have been on their list for years and finally got the call this year....after I had commited to my slip and am on the hook for half the fee not being refundable. Hopefully next year.

You are correct, NP has changed a lot in the last 8 years. With the hospital
closing the majority of the employement opportunities went with it. Restaurnats closed, empty store fronts, even quieter than before.

However, what a great place for a boat to be based. TC to NP can be an all day slog, but from NP you can easily go to Charlevoix for lunch or to Beaver. When we leave the Bay I always take the boat to NP to start the trip.

Right now it is 40 degrees and predictions of 2-3" of snow tonight and tomorrow. You probably don't miss that part much.
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Old 05-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortjk1 View Post
The biggest difference is the wave patterns.
The waves here are Short and extremely steep. When I say steep, I mean steep. Like the face of a wall. When I say short, I mean short. Like you crash over the backside of one and you are IMMEDIATELY into the next. There is NO break in between waves.
Since I am quite the novice and plan on honing my skills on Lake Michigan, I have a question about wave patterns. Would a multi hull handle the steep swells and chop better? I have been out numerous times in power boats in 4-5 footers but with power boats there is an element of fun to that size wave. It sounds like not as much under sail.
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Actually, 4-5 footers are fine, and much smoother in a keel boat then a powerboat. On days that the wind is blowing the sails are out and the powerboats are tied to the dock. My pier partner and I used to laugh about the fact that we rarely saw each other. When he was out I didn't bother because there was not wind. When I was out it was too rough for his kids. He in a 30'SeaRay would have been fine, but his kids and wife did not like it at all. On days of 15 kts or more I see very few powerboats in our Bay.

Too your question about multi's, you would sail flatter and be fine in the 4-5' stuff. Above that it just depends on the boat and the sailor....and the Admiral!!!!!!!!

I love to power up in big stuff in my powerboat, but my admiral is not with me and I don't do it for more than an hour. In the keel boat I love the stuff for hours on end and am definetely safer.
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Old 05-10-2010
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I am crossing from Chicago to Holland MI on saturday....I across prepare for the worst case scenario especially early in the year when there will be no other boats...I drag an inflatable...perhaps the most important thing to do. I don't worry about the boat (29')and seas but about striking an unseen item and having an immediate sinking.
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Old 05-10-2010
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MR. R,
I routinely make this run in the opposite path.
We both take different approaches to the same destination.
I hate dragging anything behind me. Besides the additional drag through the water, if the seas kick up, I can not imagine what it would be like to swamp or turtle a dink while being towed. I think if that happened I would have to cut it loose.
It's not the unseen items, but rather the seen items. There is plenty of large commercial traffic out there that you can clearly see from many miles away. I try to give them at least a one mile cushion.
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  #20  
Old 05-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC100700 View Post
Would a multi hull handle the steep swells and chop better?
This is a very good question. I know mulithull sailors that say the boats handle it just fine. But I don't see how. I would think that the bridge deck would certainly make the ride very uncomfortable. What is the clearence of the bridge deck on most cat's? 3 Feet? 4 Feet? In a 7 foot steep wave, that portion of the hull has got to be taking a pounding. Also, if they were able to take it, why don't we see more of them on the Lakes? They may be out there, but in our experience, we don't see them on the water.
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