Join Date: Sep 2006
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Re: Suggestions Please for Great Lakes Bucket List Cruise
Thanks for the tips, everyone. I'm going to copy them into my notebook.
The where-to-end-the-summer waffling has to do with changing lifestyles. We're retiring and we already have a place in Florida where we used to go to escape the cold for a couple of weeks, especially near the holidays. Now we are planning on that being our primary residence starting next winter, but we hate the Florida summer heat even more than the Michigan winter cold. That's why we were going to spend (at least) this summer on the boat on the Great Lakes. But that is a lot longer than we are used to spending on the boat. Figured one of two things:
(1) We could be still having a blast sailing as fall arrives. In this case we would sail the boat down to Florida for the winter. The Keys, Bahamas, etc. Kinda been a dream of mine. But it would be a long way back to do another summer in the great lakes. Yet, we have to go somewhere to escape the summer heat!
(2) We could be burned out and so we would put the boat on the hard for winter '19-'20, enjoy Florida from land for a couple of months. Come spring 2020, two things again:
(A) We are ready again to sail. Do more Great Lakes.
(B) We are still burned out, sell the boat.
I guess the answer is to get started and see what happens.
You are at a point in your life similar to us . . . ten years ago. We live in WI and winter in FL in the Englewood/Punta Gorda area on the Gulf side. We explored the exact same living concept you are considering.
We have fresh water boats and sail in an environment that generates relatively little maintenance. Salt water sailing is hard on a boat compared to what you experience here. Operational costs out in hurricane country, along with FL's increasingly hostile attitude toward (lingering) transient boaters convinced us that it was better to lease when we wanted to sail FL waters.
I would enjoy your first full season here on Lake Michigan. It will give you a feel for extended cruising while living on a boat. And you will be doing it in a relatively safe (close to home) environment.
`99 Beneteau Oceanis 352, #282 WiTCHCRAFT
Sailing Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes