Desire comments on Michigan City or New Buffalo - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Great Lakes > Lake Michigan
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  #1  
Old 09-30-2008
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Desire comments on Michigan City or New Buffalo

Currently, we dock at ReefPoint in Racine. We're happy there, but are considering getting on the other side of the lake where it is easier to get to more picturesque surrounding harbors up the eastern coast of Michigan. As we live in the western burbs of Chicago, we can't get too far north in Michigan without making it too long of a car trip to get to the boat. Thus, Michigan City or New Buffalo probably would have to be the choices (if there are others that fit in the approx two hour drive range, let me know).

Anyone have any comments/information on Washington Park Marina or any New Buffalo Marinas? Any and all information would be appreciated, particularly in these areas:
- Condition of marina
- Amenities of the marina
- Safety of the surrounding area
- Access to restaurants/entertainment/activities in the surrounding area
- Cost
- Waiting lists (for a 40' slip)
- Water depth of marina and channels (We draw 6'). I know many years ago, New Buffalo has issues with a sand bar that caused some bottoming out at the entrance to the harbor

Anything else you might think I should know. We not looking to move next summer, but maybe shortly after that.
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Old 09-30-2008
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Welsh,
we have visited both on a transient basis.
I am not real familiar with both but I have some general info I can bring forward.

Both have issues with shoaling. I was in Mich City two years ago and the entrance was very shallow, I hear that that has been dredged since than, but it is an on going thing.

Mich City is a very nice marina, however the Power Plant just on the other side of the creek is a distraction in my opioion. Facilities are OK, cleanliness is OK. Fuel and Pumpout are in the harbor. Another negative for me is that the town is very desolate, not much going on in Mich City at all. Walk to the down town shops and half of them are boarded up. The girl's will however like the Outlet Mall which is a few blocks away. A couple of OK resturants are right by the harbor; A Resturant/Bar called Maty's actually has a very nice seafood buffet on Friday and Saturday evenings. Yep, a very nice seafood buffet right in the middle of the midwest. There is also a steakhouse within an easy walk of the harbor. Around the bend and on the Creek also with in walking distance is a little Pub. (Cant remeber the name) Thats about it.

New Buffalo is the exact opposite. Plenty of quaint shopping and resturants all within a short walk. Very good food and shopping for the admiral is easily found. Lots of small town atmosphere abounds. Lots of little shops everywhere. It is however growing at an unbelievable pace. 5 years ago there was one ot two condominum complexes, Now they are everywhere.

Of the two, we preffer New Buffalo.

I do know that many of the slips in New Buffalo are privately owned. You can usually find someone to sublease them, also, Oselka Marina is your contact for slip information.

Oselka Marina, New Buffalo, Michigan

Looks like they have a waiting list, I know Mich City does as well, but we were on that list last year and it only took about six months to get in. I turned it down, we are happier were we are about another Hours drive North.

By the way, we have dock neighbors that come from as far away as the Western Suburbs, Indianapolis, and Ann Arbor. You might want to check out Eldean's in Holland, by far the nicest marina anywhere on the GL's. You would not be tyhe only ones commuting 2-1/2 hours to your boat. Others do it.
Boat Slips for Rent, Slip Rental, and Summer Dockage at Eldean's Lake Macatawa, Michigan Marina - Holland Harbor, near Chicago, Wisconson, & Indiana
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Old 09-30-2008
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Thanks for the information. You've confirmed some of my expectations.

Funny you should mention Eldean's. My buddy and I sailed across the lake from Racine to Holland and stayed at Eldean's just about two weeks ago. Very nice. Very pretty. The problem is that Holland, on a good day, is 2.5+ hours away (my daughters go to Grand Valley State in Allendale, so I'm pretty familiar with the trip) and that is with no traffic. Leaving with Friday night traffic would make it too long of a trip.
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Old 09-30-2008
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I thought that was you, we even sent some PM's to each other, very funny. Yep, about another hour and fifteen minutes past Michigan City, but as you know, once past Michigan City, its all wide open. The bulk of your traffic is by you on 294/80/94. Once past I-65 you have very little problems. Open her up to about 80 and enjoy the ride.
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Old 10-01-2008
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Me too

Yea, as soon as I hit the post button for my reply back, I looked at your username and said "That's the guy at Eldean's. He all ready knows this story". Funny. I did love Eldean's and they are working on my buddy's boat as I type this.
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Old 02-16-2009
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Sailortjk1, We were at Eldeans twice this past summer. Stayed at the end of Z dock. It is definitely one of the nicest marinas on Lake Michigan. The new bath house is unbelievable and the people are great. Just got a letter from Eldeans thanking us for staying with them and enclosed a free night certificate. Definitely going back this summer.
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Old 02-16-2009
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Orient,
Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself.
Next time by, look me up. Send a PM or E-mail if you like and we will make sure to see you.
We are on Z-46. Sorry we missed you. I am sure I would have enjoyed a tour of your boat!
We are on board every weekend. Usually at home but you never know when we might be out cruising. See you in the Spring.
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Old 02-25-2009
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We are in Chicago (DuSable Harbor) and cross the lake several times a year. We far prefer New Buffalo for all the reasons set forth by sailortjk1. It would be a great place to keep a boat (of course, having one 2 miles from home in Chicago is even better).

As you come into New Buffalo from the lake, and head towards the municipal marina (no turns), there is a set of condos on the right just before the municipal marina. You might try asking around up there, as they all have slips included, but not all the condo residents have boats. I have a friend who lives in these condos and I could ask on your behalf about availability of a slip for the year, as well as any regulations on whether this is even allowed.
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Old 02-26-2009
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Stanly, I sailed out of Monroe for many years.
Check out the Poor Man's Yacht Club of Monroe.
They are a bunch if misfits that you might enjoy.
Welcome to the Poor Man's Yacht Club
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Old 06-15-2010
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Late Comment

I assume you found a summer slip last year, but I like to add a couple of comments for future readers of this thread.
Yes New Buffalo is the better of the two you asked about.
Yes Eldean is a great marina with fantastic service, but you're not in walking distance of Holland, being on the West end of Lake Macatawa and yes Holland is quite a drive from the West burbs.
Two other options would be St.Joe/Benton Harbor and South Haven.
These would be only 10 to 20 minutes farther North and compared to NB offer the same or more in regards to quaintness, restaurants, shops, etc.
Good slips, for any type boat and many more available than in New Buffalo and with a good price range.
Worth checking out.
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