Michigan Summer Itinerary advise? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Great Lakes > Lake Michigan
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  #1  
Old 02-02-2014
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Michigan Summer Itinerary advise?

Hey Guys,


I will be spending a week on a Morgan 321 out of Eldean's in Holland Michigan and have the following Itinerary. My crew will be relatively green with only a couple of day sails and one overnight crossing from Chicago to Michigan City and back. I am very familiar with this boat and sail it often and have a have been sailing for about 5 years 4 of which have been on larger boats out of chicago. I am trying to keep from having to do any night sails into unfamiliar waters. Does this seem reasonable and what would you change if it were your trip.

Sunday: Arrive at the boat, Shakedown sail either on the big lake or on lake Macatawa Conditions permitting) . Stow provisions and prepare the boat (Davit and Dink, check lines, rode etc.)

Following destinations are as weather permits. We will have the boat from Sunday to Sunday. I have built in 5 harbors in 7 days on the water so that I have a weather window of a couple of days and if it is looking like a bad forecast we can drop a destination if need be.

1. North 30nm to Muskegon (Grand Haven if needed to cut short)

2. South 10nm to Grand Haven

3. South 27nm to Saugatuck (Additional 18nm to South Haven if weather permits

4. North 18nm to Saugatuck (if in South Haven) or South 18nm to South Haven (if in Saugatuck

5. Return to Holland

What are your thoughts?
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Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Michigan Summer Itinerary advise?

Seems reasonable to me. I like the idea of getting as far afield as possible toward the beginning of the trip then working back. All depends of weather. If the wind is on your nose, don't go as far that day. The wind is most likely to be from the SW, but depends on the weather that week. What time of year are you going?
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Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Michigan Summer Itinerary advise?

Trip is set for August 10th start. prevailing winds are why I planned the longest leg early. figured if I am tacking back I would rather it be over shorter distances and then end the week with the best potential for fair winds.
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Old 02-13-2014
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Thumbs up Re: Michigan Summer Itinerary advise?

I like the planned itinerary. My wife and I routinely cross from Milwaukee and crawl up and down the MI side of the lake.

It has been our experience that great sailing winds out of the NW, W & SW have a tendency to pile up near the MI side and can be very choppy. Plan your route to be a couple miles offshore to get in cleaner waters.

We draw a little more that 5.5 feet. We were close to scraping the bottom in Saugatuck and grounded pulling into a slip at the South Haven Muni marina in July 2012 when the Lake level was 577.56 feet. Make sure you know your draft vs. actual depth. Contact the harbor master(s) before you head in.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-26-2014
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Re: Michigan Summer Itinerary advise?

We spent a night in Grand Haven a few years ago. Not 20 yards in front of our transient slip (35' slip) was a frozen custard shop. The evening light & water show is NOT all it's advertised to be. But, if you're there, you might as well check it out.

There are plenty of restaurants and a few streets to walk in South Haven. Of course, you can walk out to the end of the pier too.

Grand Haven is a bigger South Haven--and you get custard. It's like a mini boardwalk.

Saugatuck is so much fun getting into--sail up the river and into town. I'm used to sailing up a channel and that's about it--Michigan City, New Buffalo, St. Joe (although St. Joe has a bit of a river too we don't go that far). Talk to the locals and they will tell you the secrets for staying into the deep water. We saw 0.0 feet of depth on the way across the small lake to the marina. But, we didn't touch. Things are deeper now.

All of the harbors you mention are fun. It's a little far, but think about St. Joe too. Nice pier, cool drawbridge, etc.

Your timing sounds GREAT, and allows for plenty of wiggle room. We did one trip like this:

Day 1: Leave Waukegan evening.
Day 2: Arrive Grand Haven morning. Catch up on sleep midday. Go out to dinner. See light show. Good night sleep
Day 3: Leisurely sail to Saugatuck. Arrive, dinner, sleep.
Day 4: Leisurely sail to South Haven. Repeat day 3.
Day 5: Depart South Haven early. BIG long day back to Waukegan.

We had several extra days available--those much more experienced than I suggest one day in harbor for weather issues for every one day sailing.

You note that we don't linger in the harbor towns much. They're beautiful, but we enjoy being on the lake and working the boat. The destinations, for me at least, are an excuse to SAIL!

Have fun!
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Old 07-14-2014
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Re: Michigan Summer Itinerary advise?

We just returned from Saugatuck and South Haven. We are going back on Friday. I have never been to Grand Haven. Where to stay there?

How is Muskegon? Where to stay there?

We actually stored our boat at Eldeans for a couple of years. I don't remember much around there.

We have no dinghy, so we stayed at Ship & Shore in Saugatuck. Had I a dinghy, I would have anchored in the Lake. I draw 7'7" but I am told it is possible. We brought bikes and rode all around Saugatuck and even to the beach.

At South Haven we stayed at the North side municipal marnina, and it was great. It was one of the newest/nicest marina facilities all around that I have ever seen, but no pool.
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