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  #21  
Old 05-30-2013
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
A year and a half ago, in November, 2011, I jumped on my new-to-me '77 Pearson 28 and sailed it down the Chesapeake Bay solo, during a small craft advisory, from just north of Annapolis to Coan River on the Potomac, about 50 n.m., with an overnight in Solomon's Island, which I entered in the dark several hours after the sun set at Cedar Point, followed by a nice sail to the Potomac the next day.

I thought about taking crew, and even put a Crew Listing post on Sailnet, but didn't. After completing the trip, I later realized that it was somewhat risky to sail at night, solo, with the cold water of November, on a new-to-me boat, with no harness.

Fortunately, there were no surprises. It was a cold but exciting adventure. I wish you well.
Now THIS is crazy . What our OP is planning to do is no where near as risky.
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  #22  
Old 05-30-2013
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

That is a route that has wrecked many a boat captained and crewed by able and knowledgeable sailors. The Straights of Mackinac are not to be taken lightly. Hire a captain and treat it as a training exercise.

Another option is to ship it, even with stepping the mast and travel lift fees you could probably get it moved for under $1500.00. As an example it cost me $700.00 to ship my M27 150 miles in Michigan a couple years ago.
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  #23  
Old 05-30-2013
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
Now THIS is crazy . What our OP is planning to do is no where near as risky.
It was a fun trip. Here are my photos: https://plus.google.com/photos/10193...53605277910977
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  #24  
Old 05-30-2013
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

You guys are not doing your homework...!!! The distance the OP is calling 100 miles is in fact OVER 200 MILES. Go to Active Captain or look at the charts. Check out the reefs and shallow water in Saginaw Bay, the 250 mile fetch of Lake Huron with a north wind, the rock reef at Point Au Barques, the St. Clair River which is one of the busiest commercial shipping channels in the country with ships from all over the world, 1,000' long Great Lakes Freighters, ferry boats, tugs and barges, fishing boats, etc.

Like I said before, I have made this trip many times, and I would not want to do it solo!
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Old 05-30-2013
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

I'd do it myself. I wouldn't take anyone along.
It's like any new toy, I want to sit down pull the wrapping off myself, quietly read the instructions and put it together... All by myself.

I feel I learn more, learn at my own pace, and don't feel like a dork in front of someone else.

Then off I'd putter on the motor, till I get too excited and have to start playing with the sails etc.
I'd probably have intentions to make them short days... But prolly wouldn't anchor till near dark.
Also prolly make a few mistakes, but I'm alone on my boat and I'll make whatever mistakes i want

So my advice is to go play with your own new toy yourself. You will learn more and have much much more fun!


Mark
PS If you sink it's only a river, you can swim ashore.
PPS in case you don't sink take a bottle of wine or a few beers to have one night along the way!
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

I purchased my 1976 Pearson 28 in Houston and after a few days doing repairs and checkouts, sailed it solo to Corpus Christi via the ICW. I don't know your waters, but if you decide to motor all the way and have a P28-1 then you are going to be on the tiller the entire distance unless you have an autopilot or are gifted with the tiller tamer. I had to manage a narrow water way with heavy barge traffic, swing bridges, and locks, as well as open bays. I spent two nights on the hook and one in a marina. I had charts, depth, log, vhf and hand held gps. And I sailed most of the way, even in the ICW, even while passing barges. You now have two P28 owners telling you how they did it, so you know it can be done.
Good luck with whatever you decide and enjoy your boat. It is robust and simple. Unless it has been heavily modified you should be able to handle it well with great ease.
By the way, the helm balances nicely when the sails are eased and you won't have to be a slave to the tiller if you sail.
John
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

take some time to learn the boat and make sure it works OK. You can make it yourself if you watch the weather, but it would be more fun with a partner and when the stuff hits the fan you have someone to help.

If you take katsailor and go through the dreaded straits of Mackinac you are going the WRONG WAY! Plan on 4 days of travel and if you arrive early great.

Good Luck
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  #28  
Old 05-30-2013
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

Fill everything, fuel, water, FRIDGE. drop the mooring lines and go. If you do feel the need to have a friend along then enjoy their company. But my choice would be to go it alone, It will be a great way to get to know your new girl and yourself.
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

Done the trip a couple of time from the strights down to lake erie , only problem in the st clare river is a spot that opens up wide & if you dont follow the channel markers you end up on the rocks in the middle. You are probably better off with atleast one other person on board. If the boat is set up for single handed one person could do it (why motor its a sailboat).
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Old 05-31-2013
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

1. It's not 100 miles from Bay City to Lake St Clair-- it's almost twice that if you have no upwind work.
2. Don't use this as your shakedown cruise. Use the boat a few days to make sure everything works. There's a 2-4 knot current in the St Clair River with a lot of freighter traffic. You need to know your engine is reliable and be comfortable handling an emergency (ie, your engine dies, the current is carrying you at 3 knots-- where's the anchor, does it work, where's the nearest marina for repairs?)
3. You won't do any sailing once you enter the St Clair River. You might keep your main up for the appearance of motor sailing, but for the most part it's a waste of time- you'll just flog the main and risk gybing at just the wrong moment.
4. Fine to do it yourself once you're used to the boat-- I do the trip every few years. Until then, have another set of eyes and hands.
5. I would recommend not being on the river after dark. The freighters know where they're going and they go fast. Plan your trip so you enter and leave the river during daylight (easy to do- you'll do 7+ knots with the current going down the river. Stay in Port Huron or Sarnia for the night and leave the next morning).
6. Study the charts ahead of time and know your waypoints. The river can be confusing the first time.
7. There aren't a lot of good harbors down the west coast of Lake Huron south of Saginaw Bay. Harbor Beach is probably the best. That means if the sh!t hits the fan, you don't have a lot of bail-out points. All the more reason to make sure your boat is in good operating condition before heading off on this trip.
Despite all the above, go for it once you're sure the boat is in good working order. It's a nice trip.
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Last edited by msmith10; 05-31-2013 at 10:33 AM.
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