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JoeTrecker 03-08-2004 05:50 PM

Lake Michigan Chicago, IL marinas?
Does anyone have any info on marinas other than the Chicago park district? They seem pretty steep and would not mind driving a little further North or South on the lake for a more affordable home for my 29 footer.

Irwin32 03-10-2004 04:13 PM

Lake Michigan Chicago, IL marinas?
Chicago has a lot of disadvantages, and unless you are very close to the park district harbors you would probably be better of going elsewhere. I have sailed the area for 30 years and have never moored in Chicago because nearby areas have so much to offer. 25 miles north is Waukegan. Very nice municipal marina. Waukegan''s big knock is a lack of shore side comforts. Not much going on within walking distance. Otherwise a great place and well protected.

Another 5 or 10 miles north is Winthrop Harbor called Norhtpointe Marina. State run and a 1st class facility (slips only). It is enourmous, yet my overnight stays have made me feel appreciated. Not a lot to do shoreside, but a shuttle bus will take you into to town for a few restaurants. There is a bar/restaurant on premises. On the dock, I find it hard to imagine one would not fall quickly into a social group. People are very friendly.

Another 10 -15 miles is Kenosha, which boasts a wonderful small boat harbor. A mile walk brings you to a number of restaurants an night spots. One can not go wrong here.

Even though I reside in Illinois, I keep my boat in Racine, WI. From my home in Crystal Lake it is a 80 minute drive. Chicago would be a about an hour. The extra time is more than worth it since I do not have parking problems or traffic problems in the heart of a big city.

Racine has slips from under 1k if you go up the river. I pay 1300 at the Racine Yacht Club. Racine, is, in my opinion, the best port in South L. Michigan. No other port can offer what we do. We have 9 different places to stay overnight within 25 miles. For offshore sailing, we are 70 - 75 miles away from 7 different ports across the lake.

Email me at for more info. I don''t really care where you go, but Racine does have a lot to offer and, having been in the area for a long time, I feel I can help and would be happy to do so.

Denr 03-11-2004 04:03 AM

Lake Michigan Chicago, IL marinas?
Racine is a nice destination but it can be treacherous as it is a narrow and dangerous entrance when there are BIG waves, especially with the nor’easters we get from time to time. Couple that with the brown SCUM from the Root River and way too many powerboats which love to speed through the narrow channel, I''d avoid it. I would seriously consider North Point located in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois as the previous poster noted, nothing is within walking distance but the prairie setting is beautiful.

You''ll save a boat load of money on gas when prices go to $3.00 a gallon this summer to boot.

For the record, I''m in Waukegan so stay away, I like the harbor to myself!

Fishboat 03-11-2004 08:14 AM

Lake Michigan Chicago, IL marinas?

Racine is my home port. The "...way too many powerboats which love to speed through the narrow channel, I''d avoid it." Is a bit harsh & I don''t see this happening. BIG improvements in Racine over the last few years and as I understand it there is alot more coming. All of it will be within walking distance.

Best tack might be to look over all the harbors mentioned here, weigh out your plusses & minuses and take a leap of faith.

Nereus32 03-14-2004 02:06 PM

Lake Michigan Chicago, IL marinas?
So, where do you Chicago sailors launch your boat at? Only place I have found on the internet is Crowley''s. I''m considering doing part of the Great Lakes Circle cruise and lauching this spring/summer in Chicago before heading north and around.

I''m coming from Nevada, so I''ll want to spend some time in the city, visiting museums, etc. before crossing Lake Michigan to my home waters in Saugatuck.

JoeTrecker 03-14-2004 06:54 PM

Lake Michigan Chicago, IL marinas?

Here''s a link to the Chicago harbors -
If you can trailer your boat in they have some ramps. About 3/4 of the way down the page on the right hand side it shows the ramp charge at $20.00, and daily dockage rates to the left of that. If you belong to a yacht club, the Chicago Yacht club has some kind of a mutual deal for daily docking. I don''t know where the daily docks are, but if it''s Burnham harbor it''s a very quick walk to the loop, the art institute, and pretty close to the museum of science and industry, Shed Aquarium, and the best restraunts in the world! The above link has links on it''s left to harbor maps and etc.

Nereus32 03-14-2004 10:10 PM

Lake Michigan Chicago, IL marinas?
Hi Joe,

Thanks for the link. I''ll probably be visiting a couple of these harbors during my visit. However, I should have been more specific. I will need 20,000+ lbs. travel lift and 5+ feet of draft to launch the boat. I''ll be trucking it in via professional hauler. I know Crowley''s can handle my boat, but I was wondering if there is any one else, Are they the only boat yard in town that can handle a bigger boat?

Fishboat 03-15-2004 07:56 AM

Lake Michigan Chicago, IL marinas?
I would think Skipper Buds located at Northpoint(Winthrop Harbor, IL) could handle 20K pounds.

Here''s a link: =2743&bvdid=2592

Denr 03-15-2004 12:09 PM

Lake Michigan Chicago, IL marinas?
You DO NOT want to launch at Crowleys...reason 23 bridges to be lifted before getting to the lake. During the week they have a very limited bridge schedule, on demand is not an option in the city of Chicago as they only keep three bridge tenders on duty! Going north along the western shore, you''ll come to Waukegan, Illinois where there are two places to launch a 10 ton boat, either Northern Marine with a crane or Larson Marine with a travel lift. Larson will be more money and less personalized service. If either of these don''t work, there are places all along the coast going north that can handle a little wind jammer like yours. Larry Ellison has Northern Marine launch Sayonara when he does the Mac race. If you launch in Waukegan go north immediately, I like the harbor to myself.

gaelic 03-28-2004 10:24 AM

Lake Michigan Chicago, IL marinas?
you might want to look at Hammond marina in Indiana,It''s 14 miles south of Chicago downtown and has about 1000 slips plus a floating casino.For the winter you can either stay afloat or haul out.

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