27' Hunter for Lake St. Clair & Lake Huron? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-26-2010
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huckleberry is on a distinguished road
27' Hunter for Lake St. Clair & Lake Huron?

After about a year of searching classifieds and looking at many boats, and also snooping around various forums and websites, I am giving strong consideration to purchasing my first sailboat.
*
As I live within a few minutes of Lake St. Clair (MI)- a large, relatively shallow lake (4’-7’ in many places; average depth of 10’) *and within 45 minutes or so of Lake Huron, I have been wrestling back and forth with the issue of how large of a boat to buy. *Because I will more than likely keep my boat on Lake St. Clair I have been leaning toward acquiring a smaller boat with a shallow draft. *The Hunter 27’ I am considering has a 9’ beam and 3.5’ draft.
*
My question for those who may have experience on both of the aforementioned lakes is: *will a Hunter 27’ with its shallow draft be a good choice for Lake St. Clair and also be adequate (i.e. safe) for occasional coastal cruising on Lake Huron?
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Old 07-26-2010
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If the boat is in good condition you will be fine. In Lake Ste. Claire on any given weekend you will be challenged in almost any boat as far as comfort is concerned.
The combination of wind, depth, and lots of power boats makes for a choppy mess. However, it is where you live and you will learn to deal with it. As for Lake Huron, as long as you pick your windows it will probably be more comfortable than your home area.

There are a few sailors here that home port on the lake and hopefully they will answer you as well. I grew up in the area and spent time on the lake many years ago. Visiting in the last few years I took a couple of trips out and was surprised to see the traffic on the lake. Shouldn't have been but was.
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Old 07-26-2010
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Actually, the 10 ft average you state is too low. The anchor bay area might be in that range, but the main body will be in the mid teens. Still not deep, but not as shallow as you imply.

I wouldn't make draft a primary concern unless you were going to spend time in the flats. And if that were the case a swing keel boat would probably be a better deal, but would also be a bouncer in the open water.

For open water on the lake and the price range you are likely in, draft isn't an issue and a boat with a deeper keel will handle better.
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Old 07-26-2010
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I have a 25 ft Catalina on Lake St Clair, and I’m very happy with it. Our club consists of mostly Catalina 30es and they do just fine. Big Z is correct, the Anchor Bay area is skinner then over by 9 Mile, but our boat is on the Clinton River which is as you probably know is the shallow side
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