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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-01-2012 11:49 PM
Re: Marinas while in transit

I would agree with Tim on the late arrivals, especially this time of year, at strange marinas. In addition, it may be a good idea to call your planned marinas and see if they can even handle you as yet so you can plan accordingly. The Fed's are not coming through with funds for dredging as they are supposed to and many ports have not been dredged as yet while they try and collect monies from locals to pay for it. That includes ports of refuge.

For you L. Michigan sailors, Leland, among others, is having that problem right now. Until they start spending $60,000 that they have collected locally they currently have a very narrow fairway that will not allow more than 4.5 feet. In rough weather, which happens often there, that can get to 1' in the troughs. Even after they dredge it will not be wide and may shoal in with that nice Michigan side sand before the end of the season. Pick your destinations with that in mind this spring and summer.
05-01-2012 11:12 PM
Re: Marinas while in transit

I did the Canadian side of that trip last summer. I definitely wouldn't want to show up after dark anywhere we stopped in Lake Erie.

We did arrive at Port Colborne in the dark (extenuating circumstances). We were rather confused by why the nav lights weren't as depicted on the chart.... until we realized that they were blacked out by the giant hulk of a black freighter that we couldn't see in the dark! My wife and said a few sailor words when our eyes finally sorted it all out and made room to let him through.

I wouldn't enter strange ports or anchorages in the dark so maybe leaving in the dark, and arriving before the offices close at 5pm is a prudent choice.
05-01-2012 11:06 PM
Re: Marinas while in transit

When circumstances have changed causing me to need dock space without calling beforehand, and I needed an early start, I've called the marina after the fact to give them credit card info. Not often, but this has never caused a problem with the marina in question. They are usually grateful.

I had not considered this to be tresspassing, but... maybe it is.
05-01-2012 10:46 PM
Re: Marinas while in transit

Departing from Lake St. Clair, down the Detroit River (which I know fairly well) then running on the US side of Lake Erie, back up through the Welland Canal and ending up in the western end of Lake Ontario. Active Captain, you only need Wifi to update the information in it. You can download all the information onto your ipod or smart phone and it resides there for reference, no wifi or even phone signal required to access the information.

Lots of good advice and comments generated here, thanks everyone.

I'm also planning on trying to stay at one or two yacht/sailing clubs which may have reciprocals with our club.
05-01-2012 08:30 PM
Re: Marinas while in transit

Originally Posted by Canadaler View Post
No, not on the ICW. Strictly within the Great Lakes.

I guess what I'll try to do is go day-by-day and use my Active Captain information to contact the likely stop that night.
get one of these for the Lake you will be on...

They are great cruising guides.
Not only will it give you the marina information you might require, it will also lead you to restaurants and points of interest.

Don't rely on Active Captain as you will need wi-fi to connect and connections are not always available.

Simply phone ahead when in cell range and they will most likely assign you a slip if you are arriving after hours.

Sometimes the most difficult part is finding the assigned slip in an unfamiliar harbor.

When getting your assignment, ask if it is a port side or starboard side tie, bow in or stern in depending on your preference. This will help when getting your lines set up in a strange location.

I also recommend getting in before the 10PM time I saw mentioned earlier. Arriving after sunset in a strange marina is not always a smooth operation.

What Lake are you on? And what is the starting point and destination? If your on Michigan, I can try and help more. If your on another of the Great Lakes, others here will be able to offer more advice.
05-01-2012 07:47 PM
Re: Marinas while in transit

I agree with everything said. Fair is fair.

I would like to add that if you are doing this in the off season, be sure you are getting what you pay for. Many marinas in New England will gladly charge you $4+ a foot, yet the pool, restaurant, bar, and sometimes even the heads and laundry are winterized. Rather silly.
05-01-2012 07:33 PM
Re: Marinas while in transit

It's not an uncommon practice for late arrivals to a marina to tie up at the fuel dock. This location is usually open and not in use during off hours and here you would be able to negotiate a fee in the morning. I have always remained until open hours when doing this and sometimes found that simply topping off my tanks was sufficient payment, but I always offered and expected to be charged for dockage. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
05-01-2012 06:40 PM
Re: Marinas while in transit

Go online and find marinas along your way with phone numbers. Once you are on your way in late afternoon, you can easily guage your arrival time and can call them to have them put it on your cc.
I have arrived at a marine without calling first when it was late at night and then waited till they opened to pay and had them be surprised. When I asked why they were surprised they said "Most people who tie up that late at night just leave without paying". DO NOT EVER DO THAT. Everybody needs to be paid for their work.
05-01-2012 06:10 PM
Re: Marinas while in transit

Originally Posted by Canadaler View Post
No, not on the ICW. Strictly within the Great Lakes.

I guess what I'll try to do is go day-by-day and use my Active Captain information to contact the likely stop that night.
Probably a good plan. I have never sailed the Great Lakes but I have marina hopped around north west Florida and just called a day or two ahead. Often the marinas that I have stayed at would have a security guard expecting me and when I got in late at night they would be looking for me and often would grab a line. Don't know that I ever left before the offices opened though, that may be a tricky point. Working out the payment I mean.

The couple of times that I have been in a hurry to get somewhere I just anchor along the way and skip the marinas all together. Not worth the hassle if I am not using the facilities.

Have a good trip!
05-01-2012 06:05 PM
Re: Marinas while in transit

When we came up the Chesapeake from Norfolk we'd call on the cell around 2pm to the marina where we wanted to stop that night (by 2pm you have a pretty good idea how much ground you're going to cover that day). We used the Waterway Guide to pick our stops for the night and they took a credit card over the phone.

Never had a problem and this seemed to be pretty much standard procedure.

FWIW I think svHyLyte gave you some good advice on BoatUS towing. The first sail with a new boat things are likely to break.
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