Hello. I'm new to SailNet, and a little new to sailing. I bought a silly little sailing dinghy
(rigid with daggerboard, also set up to function as a standard dinghy
with oar lock slots and the like) about a month ago to take up to a house that my parents had rented on Lake Huron in Michigan. Having never sailed before, but after reading a lot of books, it took a little while (and the help of a friendly neighbor) to become successful at making my little boat go. I spent a bunch of time on the little bay that opened up from the house where we were staying, and it was great. I even convinced my wife to come out with me in this small little boat with me (and I'm a pretty big guy). I was bitten by the bug, and it wouldn't let go.
Returning to our home near Pittsburgh, PA, I joined a local sailing club (Moraine Sailing Club at Moraine State Park), and have been taking some instruction there to qualify for my US Sailing small boat certification. I'm only one skill demonstration away from that (man overboard), but that will likely have to wait until next season, due to my schedule this year.
I'm considering buying a boat of our own at this point--one that is big enough that we can take a few friends out when we want, or take ourselves out for a few days if we want. I've found a few prospective boats, and now have to make the decision whether I will be looking specifically at a trailer-able boat, or if I'm going to go with something that is not trailer-able. Erie, PA is our nearest major city on Lake Erie. There are some smaller lakes in the area that would be candidates for a trailer-able boat, but if I go the non-trailer route, I want it on the Great Lakes.
To that end, I've contacted some of the Port of Erie marinas to get price quotes on something around 27'. I'm interested to know if anyone would be able to recommend any marinas that are not necessarily *in* Erie, but near-by. Since we're coming from just a little north of Pittsburgh, 20 minutes here or there doesn't matter much. Any suggestions? We don't need anything really fancy, but would probably like a place with water, power, ice and showers, and that has storage space available for wintering-over.