Avoiding marinas in Door County - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Great Lakes > Lake Michigan
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Old 04-16-2012
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Avoiding marinas in Door County

I am planning a trip to Door County this summer, and would like to avoid marinas most nights. I would be interested in where I would find safe anchorages. Is it OK to anchor in Sturgeon bay, or are those just moorings?
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Old 04-17-2012
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Re: Avoiding marinas in Door County

Active Captain has a goodly list of anchorages with reviews. The site is free, I'd check it out.
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Old 04-17-2012
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Re: Avoiding marinas in Door County

The charts indicate Door County is chocked full of good anchorages. We also plan to explore the pennisula this summer and will be anchoring most nights.

I think special anchorage "Area 1" and "Area 2" on the Sturgeon Bay charts are designated mooring areas, but you could try the mouth Sawyer Harbor off Quarry Point. I haven't been there, but it looks like it might work.
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Old 04-17-2012
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Re: Avoiding marinas in Door County

Thanks for the tips guys. I had forgot about activecaptain. Looks like there is more info on that site for Door County than there was in the past. Any idea how crowded things get in late July? I hear Horseshoe Island/Nicolette Bay is popular.
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Old 04-19-2012
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Re: Avoiding marinas in Door County

I would highly recommend you stay away from Sawyer harbor unless your boat has an unusually shallow draft. There's just not much water there. Going north from Sturgeon Bay, next available anchorage is Egg Harbor. It's a good deep water harbor with good holding, a nice beach and marina handy if you need/want it. It offers pretty good protection from all but a north wind. There used to be a mooring field deep in the Bay immediately south of the new marina. Those moorings were removed when the marina was re-done 2 years ago. That area makes a great place to anchor, with protection from all wind and waves and easy access to the marina's dinghy dock on the south side if you want to go to shore.

Could probably anchor in Fish Creek, but its crowded due to moorings and not too deep other places.

Not much anchoring anywhere around Chambers Island unless weather is very good and then only in the lee of the island. Not much protection. You can anchor between Little Strawberry Island and Adventure Island. There is a narrow strip of deep water between the two, and offer some decent protection.

Horseshoe Island is the best anchorage in DC. If you go later in the summer enter slowly and trust your eyes more than your depth finder. It gets weedy and depth will show much shallower than what it actually is. Recommend you drop anchor then back toward shore and put a long stern line to shore.

Nicolet Bay is a good anchorage in anything but a north wind. It get pretty busy but lots of room and many of the boats anchored there are only there for the day and leave late in the day. Fishermen will launch at the ramp early in the morning so unless you like an early wake-up don't anchor too close.

Eagle Harbor - Never tried to anchor there due to it being pretty busy, but I'm sure you could. Not much protection.

Little Sister Bay is a great day stop for lunch at Fred and Fuzzies on the shore. Good anchoring in a pebble bottom, but no protection so I wouldn't over night there.

Only other anchorage in DC would be in the bay of Detroit Island. It is very well protected, but study your charts well before going in. The navigable channel going in is narrow and pretty busy with ferry traffic. Do Not Go Outside The Channel. It's very shallow.

There are other areas that look decent on the charts, but I would recommend against them for various reasons. There really are not any decent harbors that are navigable for sailboats on the Lake side of the Penninsula due to very shallow water. This summer is likely to see water levels drop so lots of places could get real "interesting". The waters of Green Bay are strewn with hazards so be sure to pay close attention to your charts.
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Last edited by T34C; 04-19-2012 at 05:48 PM.
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