Maximum Draft in Western Erie - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-24-2010 Thread Starter
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Maximum Draft in Western Erie

What is the maximum draft that you would feel comfortable in Western Lake Erie? I am specifically looking at a boat that has a 6'2" draft but I think it would just make things too hard in Erie especially with water levels low like this last season. Thanks.
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-24-2010
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Check out ActiveCaptain and look at the charts for the area. Subtracting depth for the low water this season you will get a good idea of what you will be comfortable with.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-24-2010
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I figure my max on Lake Erie is 5'. There are a number of boats in my marina on Long Point Bay with 6'+ drafts, but they are usually hauling out by Oct. 1 at the lastest because of the usual late season water drop. At 5' I can stay hull wet until the marina locks the gates at the end of October. Also under 5' you don't have to worry about anchorages in the bass islands and pelee island.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-27-2010 Thread Starter
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How is the trip to Pelee Island? That is one of the first cruises that I plan on taking.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-27-2010
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The lake it's self is fine it all depends on the entrance to whatever marina or club you will be keeping it at. Been a long time since I have been in Scudder but it is sort of a commercial harbour so just over 6 feet should not be a problem.

Put-in-bay should be OK as well. Many of the harbours on the Ontario side could be a problem.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-09-2010
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Originally Posted by MooreVOLS View Post
How is the trip to Pelee Island? That is one of the first cruises that I plan on taking.
10 years ago I spent almost every weekend on Western Lake Erie. I had a 26D Macgregor. I would trailor it to Sandusky bay, and leave the trailor at the dock.

Be careful leaving Sandusky Bay. Stay in the channel and you should be OK. Peelee Island is a good trip, just stay in the center of the channels. The south end of peelee Island is very shallow.

Be careful if you plan to go to Canada`s Peelee Point, the most southern tip of mainland Canada. At 2AM running with the spinnaker in 3 foot waves, about 2 miles directly south of the point, I hear a bunch of sea gulls squacking and suddenly find myself in breaking waves and sitting on a sandbar, the rudder kicked up and the next wave carried me over the sand bar. I took down the sails and motored to the east side of peelee point and dropped anchor for the night.

I checked the chart. Note. rough currents and drifting sandbars. I had made the trip numerous times without a problem. On the way back to Ohio in a dead calm I passed the area. there was a massive sandbar which I would guess was under six inches of water. The sea gulls seem to like the place.

About 5 miles south of peelee point you enter the channel for the freigher. As I was approaching a large freigher passed in front of me. IT left a trail of muddy water suggesting pretty shallow water.

I have been to every Island and every anchorage in that part of the lake. I seen a lot of big Sailboats with deep keels. You shouldnt have any problems.

3 post below, BJbones mentions Long Point Bay. When I started sailing out of Erie Pennsylvania, long point was a nice trip. I personally seen 3 sailboats aground there.

One Sailboat (Catalina 30) ran aground about 200 yards off the point, but easily tipped over a few degrees and pushed to deeper water. I seen a Sailboat drag anchor at Pottahawk point and run aground. It took awhile to pull it into deeper water. I seen a catalina 25 run aground entering turkey point, but the pilot simply wasnt paying attention.

I ran my 16 inch draft Mac 26 aground a few places in Long point bay while anchoring or xploring shallow areas. Nothing serious that i couldnt jump in the water and push,

Good Luck with your new boat. Se you next summer.

Ali Baba..
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-28-2011
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Moore Vols- Did you get that boat with the 6'2" draft? Some of the replies above are laughable. 5' maximum draft? Try 7'. Long point is about 160 miles to the east of Sandusky and not much of an issue. Places you can easily go with a 6'2" draft in western Lake Erie:

Sandusky Bay- channel is 31 feet deep. Sandusky Sail club has several boats docked there with 7' draft. Sandusky Yacht Club, Dock in the Bay, Cedar Point- no problem. Sandusky Harbor Marina- potential problem

Kellys Island- Sea Way Marina
Middle Bass Island- State Marina
South Bass Island- City Docks-northern end, Boardwalk, Anchorage
Pelee Island- Scudders- Outer Docks
Port Clinton- City Docks, PCYC on wall
Huron- Huron Boat Basin, Harbor North on river
Vermillion City Docks, VBC, VYC- use west river entrance to Vermillion only

Water depths, especially during seiche's, fall in October/November. Most deep draft boats pull the second week of October or find a deep water dock. Most of the boats I race with have drafts over 6'. Obviously get a good set of charts. The low water locations are well documented and easily avoidable. Just be sure to watch out for Chickenole Reef and the fish weirs around Pelee.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-08-2011
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I know all about Cedar point area! My Dada had a Abbott 33 it was 5'9 draft we hit bottom a few times because we didn't stay in the channel! Charts are your friend

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post #9 of 9 Old 07-25-2011
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My boat has a 5' 6" draft and as long as you pay attention to the charts, you will be fine in western Erie. I have had no trouble at any of the islands and their marinas. You do have to be careful if you are approaching South Bass Island (Put-In-Bay) from the southeast. There is a relatively shallow shoal that extends pretty far from the island. Stay in the east of the first marker by Ballast Island and you won't have any trouble.
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