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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Our club is looking at a 2012 Hunter 18 in Onekama, MI. The pictures make it look super clean and we've settled on a price, pending inspection.

However, it's an 11-hour drive to get there. I'd really hate to make that drive only to find some super obvious deal breaker.

I don't suppose there's anyone here in that area who'd be willing to give it a quick look over? I could reward you with free sailing club swag, a t-shirt or something!

I know it's along shot, a pretty out-of-the-way area.

Thanks in advance,
Len
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well, I volunteered to make the drive.

I'll be going 1400 miles total to pick up a 2012 Hunter 18. Yikes.
 

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Watch your speed coming back with those little tires. Same ones I have on my Prindle trailer. Bought new rubber last February and the tread seperated from the tire on I95 in March at about 110 kph (I guess about 70 mph). And that Hunter is a lot heavier than my Prindle.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yikes, that must have been a little scary! Thanks for the warning.

I'm always nervous when pulling a trailer. I won't be doing too much interstate highway on the way back. Instead of going south around Lake Michigan through Chicago (which is faster), I'm going to go north over the Mackinac Bridge and the through the upper peninsula of Michigan.

I think the Hunter weighs about 850, so depending on how heavy the trailer is I should be around 1200-1300 pounds. That's not bad. I imagine I'll barely feel it behind the Silverado 2500HD.


This Hunter looks like a fun little boat. I hope it works out that I can actually sail it before having to put it in winter storage.
 

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1968 Columbia 50
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I wish you had posted this earlier, I was just up there and would have taken a look for you. My daughter goes to camp on the south side of the lake. If you do go, there is a real nice breakfast shop right downtown on the main road..there is very little else in that town to speak of.


Considering the for sale posting came up in August, and the boat was sitting indoors at the time, I would not hesitate to assume it has been stored indoors all the time, as that thing looks super clean, jeebus, it looks like new. The east end of the lake is really shallow, I would ask for pictures of the drop down keel, but otherwise I would not hesitate to buy this. I have had very little experience with Onekema Marine, but they always were really straight forward with me, and great to deal with.


For any lingering doubts, ask them to do a facetime audio/video call with you, hopefully cell service will be good enough to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No kidding about those pictures, right? It looks like a brand new boat. It’s a 2012, but it doesn’t look like it’s been used much. The broker reports that the guy owns four boats on Portage Lake, so I’m guessing he didn’t play with this one.

A wrinkle now is that the owner has the title and is out of the country and won’t be back till December, so Onekama Marina says they’ll put the money in escrow until they can get us the title. Given their long history (and your opinion of them) I see no reason not to trust them.

In doing my due diligence I found this story where the owner Jim risks life and limb to save the crew of a 40’ race boat. I’ve been dealing with a guy named Steve, I’m not sure if that’s a new owner or an employee:
THE SHALLOW ENTRANCE TO PORTAGE LAKE, MI IS AN UNKNOWN AND UNMARKED HAZZARD TO MARINERS

What was the name of that breakfast spot?
 

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1968 Columbia 50
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Minne,

I am going to go out on a limb and guess the owner is not a local either. There are a ton of vacation homes around Portage Lake, which is a beautiful lake, the Western end is quite deep and drops off to 40' in 100' from shore. Getting back home in December can be tricky, as the snow just piles fast and deep in no time from there all the way through the UP of Michigan. You might be needing to store the boat there over the winter.

I dealt with Carrie in the parts department, and one of the service guys as we were having engine troubles that we could not fix on a return trip from the Chi-Mac race. We got a slip at Portage Point Resort ( Portage Point Resort ), which is quite nice, we have stayed there a few times now. It might be a good place to spend the night if you have to for the pick-up, I believe they have their dining hall open now as well, but things get really slow in the winter up there, I mean really slow, as in not much is open.


The name of the breakfast place is the M22 Grill.(M22 Grill | Onekama, MI). It is where all the locals, and vacationers go, the price is right, and the food is really good.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yep, we have a condo booked at the Portage Point Resort for Saturday night. Most of the resort is closed down for the season, but the parts that are open are priced quite reasonably because it's off season. I hope their bar is open!

Looks like we'll definitely hit the M22 for breakfast Sunday morning.

I'm not sure which is harder to believe, that I volunteered to drive 1400 miles to pick up a little day sailor for a community club, or that I managed to convince my wife to come with me :)
 

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1968 Columbia 50
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Yep, we have a condo booked at the Portage Point Resort for Saturday night. Most of the resort is closed down for the season, but the parts that are open are priced quite reasonably because it's off season. I hope their bar is open!

Looks like we'll definitely hit the M22 for breakfast Sunday morning.

I'm not sure which is harder to believe, that I volunteered to drive 1400 miles to pick up a little day sailor for a community club, or that I managed to convince my wife to come with me :)
Cool beans. So it sounds like you are going this weekend. I can't believe you talked the wife into going, but good for her. The drive along 31 to Onekema is beautiful. There are some beautiful small towns and harbors up there, Charlevoix and Petoskey are right on 31, but there are a few just off the beaten path, but with that many miles to put on, you might not wish to make it a 4 day trip. LOL


Safe travels...snow is predicted in the forecast....what fun....not really.
 

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No kidding about those pictures, right? It looks like a brand new boat. It’s a 2012, but it doesn’t look like it’s been used much. The broker reports that the guy owns four boats on Portage Lake, so I’m guessing he didn’t play with this one.

A wrinkle now is that the owner has the title and is out of the country and won’t be back till December, so Onekama Marina says they’ll put the money in escrow until they can get us the title. Given their long history (and your opinion of them) I see no reason not to trust them.

In doing my due diligence I found this story where the owner Jim risks life and limb to save the crew of a 40’ race boat. I’ve been dealing with a guy named Steve, I’m not sure if that’s a new owner or an employee:
THE SHALLOW ENTRANCE TO PORTAGE LAKE, MI IS AN UNKNOWN AND UNMARKED HAZZARD TO MARINERS

What was the name of that breakfast spot?
I can relate to that story in the link. We bounced off the bottom leaving Arcadia (in maybe 3' swells) in August. We were heading to Portage Lake. We called ahead to a place in Lake Portage, and were told the channel had been recently dredged. No doubt due to this incident. Michigan had a reputation for really taking care of their harbors. Times change.
 

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1968 Columbia 50
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I can relate to that story in the link. We bounced off the bottom leaving Arcadia (in maybe 3' swells) in August. We were heading to Portage Lake. We called ahead to a place in Lake Portage, and were told the channel had been recently dredged. No doubt due to this incident. Michigan had a reputation for really taking care of their harbors. Times change.
It is really quite sad, but the Michigan DEQ has seen budget cuts, like every other department in Michigan. Small, lightly used harbors don't get much attention as the demand to keep them open is lower than a busier harbor. A couple of years ago, the Leland harbor entrance on Big Traverse Bay was so bad you could at one point walk on dry sand across the entrance, it was essentially closed. It did not help water levels were very low at the time. They did their own fundraising and raised enough funds to buy their own dredger and dredged it themselves. Now they offer the dredger for rent to other harbors and marinas..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I can relate to that story in the link. We bounced off the bottom leaving Arcadia (in maybe 3' swells) in August. We were heading to Portage Lake. We called ahead to a place in Lake Portage, and were told the channel had been recently dredged. No doubt due to this incident. Michigan had a reputation for really taking care of their harbors. Times change.
It is really quite sad, but the Michigan DEQ has seen budget cuts, like every other department in Michigan. Small, lightly used harbors don't get much attention as the demand to keep them open is lower than a busier harbor. A couple of years ago, the Leland harbor entrance on Big Traverse Bay was so bad you could at one point walk on dry sand across the entrance, it was essentially closed. It did not help water levels were very low at the time. They did their own fundraising and raised enough funds to buy their own dredger and dredged it themselves. Now they offer the dredger for rent to other harbors and marinas..
I’m not sure if my charts are the latest, but for Arcadia I see 7’ from July of 2012, for Portage Point I see 7’ from May of 2013.

Wow, if I drew 6’ that’d be a real nervous drive in.

I suppose if there’s no commercial traffic there’s not much impetuous for the government to dredge things.


In other news, I just realized that Michigan is in Eastern time so I’ll lose an hour. That’s one less hour of sleep tonight… Tomorrow is going to suck, but Sunday and Monday will be nice. A leisurely drive up 31 through Petoskey and over the Mackinac Bridge, then down through the UP and northern Wisconsin. Of course it’ll be raining the whole time. Oh well.
 

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You will lose an hour driving to Michigan, yes, but we give it back to you as a good will gesture when you head home. In fact I will throw in an extra hour overnight due to daylight savings time change tonite.. :)

I hope that the channel is deeper than that. Portage Point has plans to expand their marina to a full service facility, they will need better than 7' to have that. Personally I plan on sailing up there in the future to pick up my daughter from camp, and then to keep cruising with her for another week or so...I draw 6'6..so there is that.
 

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You will lose an hour driving to Michigan, yes, but we give it back to you as a good will gesture when you head home. In fact I will throw in an extra hour overnight due to daylight savings time change tonite.. :)

I hope that the channel is deeper than that. Portage Point has plans to expand their marina to a full service facility, they will need better than 7' to have that. Personally I plan on sailing up there in the future to pick up my daughter from camp, and then to keep cruising with her for another week or so...I draw 6'6..so there is that.
It was extremely off-season. I think only two or three rooms at the resort were occupied Saturday night. The resort is really nice, I would definitely go back. Apparently it’s a sister hotel to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. There is an abandoned portion of the hotel that they say is haunted. The bar was open with a limited menu, and it was mostly locals.

As it turned out, I sat next a dredging barge operator! He had worked on the channel. It’s newly dredged, last summer I think he said. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting in.

It seemed everybody in Onekama knew the story of the sinking of the Barracuda in 2007. Apparently the boat was pulled off, then tried to enter the channel a second time and ran aground again. The wave action broke the keel off the boat and it went down. The dredging operator said his grandfather watched the mast swing side to side, and finally go over. He even had a picture on his phone of the little tug that pulled the boat off the first time.

And sitting on the other side of me was a woman who had a 100 ton masters license and ran a tall ship in the Caribbean. It was a pretty interesting group.



There was a high wind warning on the Mackinac Bridge and the electronic billboard said vehicles with trailers were limited to 20mph, so I just crawled over the bridge and it was fine.

The drive through the UP was nice and scenic. I was completely baffled by the 20-pound sacks of sugar beets and carrots for sale at all the gas stations. It turns out they’re for hunters, to bait the deer.

1400 mile round trip, 135 gallons of gas, and entire seasons of Serial, Criminal, A Very Fatal Murder, and other podcasts later I’m back in Minneapolis. Whirlwind weekend.
 

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Minne,

It sounds like a successful trip. I'm glad it went so well. Northern Michigan is just amazing that's for certain. Onekema is a small town that is quite tight, and long on memory. If you like Onekema, you would also like Charlevoix, a bit bigger with many very large vacation mansions, but a nice downtown, and some really good restaurants, a great marina and mooring field with a nice dinghy dock right downtown as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
If you like Onekema, you would also like Charlevoix, a bit bigger with many very large vacation mansions, but a nice downtown, and some really good restaurants, a great marina and mooring field with a nice dinghy dock right downtown as well.
When I drove through Charlevoix on Sunday there was a race. Looked like small keelboats. The wind was about 20 knots and it was only about 40ºF.
 

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Just read your thread and have a few thoughts on it. Glad it was a successful trip and you are home safe. Doesn't hurt they they finally added all of those passing lanes on US2. It used to be a pain going across there in any traffic.

They sail those races in Chalevoix until ice makes it impossible. Hearty souls those guys and girls.

Portage Inn is a great location and hopefully they can continue to be successful. However, although they are almost as old as the Grand, they were not sister hotels. Lots of history,and started with some of the same clients in mind, but not related.

As to the dredging, or lack of it, that caused the sinking after the Mac. That day was a true B on the big lakes. The DEQ gets a lot of the fault for lack of dredging, but it is Federal funding that does not come through that stops dredging in certain years. Dysfunctional Washington moves the money somewhere. Good case in point is Leland. After funding somewhere above $4 Million to rebuild the marina in Leland, which is a harbor of refuge, two years later they did not fund the annual dredging of the entry. An ongoing issue. Leland needs the harbor for their businesses so they bought their own dredge a couple of years ago. Sure enough, the Feds funded dredging by their contractors. Now Leland has an expensive fall back dredge...funded with local dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Portage Inn is a great location and hopefully they can continue to be successful. However, although they are almost as old as the Grand, they were not sister hotels. Lots of history,and started with some of the same clients in mind, but not related.
Ah well, I was just repeating what I heard at the bar. I should know better!

I hope to get back to the area, either by car or boat. Looks like some fun sailing around there. I wonder if there are any good bareboat charters.

 

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Like your picture of boat and bridge. Great Lakes Sailing in Traverse City is your best bet for bareboat in the north. Long way to Onekema, but Leland, Charlevox, Petoskey, Beaver, and Mackinac are easily within reach.
 
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