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84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm planning on sailing to Beaver Island from Portage Lake in Onekama this summer. I will be sailing a Merit 25 with a small rigid dinghy with oars. I plan on having some company for the trip, my Chocolate Lab, so I will need to be thinking of him too.

First stop would be Frankfort

Then Frankfort the Glen Arbor?
Does Glen Arbor have a marina or any anchorages?

Then From Glen Arbor (not seeing any safe harbor there from google earth) or Franfort to Leeland
Are there any good anchorages in Leeland or would a slip be a better choice?

What would be the next best leg (weather depending of course), what options for good anchorages or cheap slips are there they rest of the way to Harbor Springs before heading to Beaver Island?

Northpoint Creek?
Suttons Bay?
Any anchorages in above mentioned places that would be nice to paddle in go for a walk in town or grab a bite/drink, let my dog stretch/play on the beach?

West or East Traverse Bay anchorages close to any cool areas or beaches, where I could paddle in and go for a swim off the beach/walk short distance to town. Or recommended marinas? If there are any recommended anchorages would it be safe to just my dingy on the beach while going to a walk into town or what not?

THen from that area to Charlevoix or Elk Rapids (probably go right the Charlevoix and skip elk rapids) but would still be interested on any info about the area for future reference. Cruising is new to me and area is unfamiliar from the water.

Harbor Springs anchorages? Recommended Marinas? Does Irish's have transient slips or is there a Municipal marina there or any of the other places on the way?

What about checking out the Manitou Islands on the way up or back down, I've heard there isnt a safe anchorage in the Manitous with the normal winds in the area (which im not familiar with). Would it be something to consider checking out? or maybe only in very calm weather? If so any specific beaches to hike to and where to anchor?

I've been to Beaver Island a couple times when I was younger but again not very familiar with the area. Area recommendations on Marinas or anchorages would be greatly appreciated for any the areas I will be or could end up! Are any of the smaller islands around Beaver places of interest/Worth checking out?

Thanks in advance! Any feedback greatly appreciated!

84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm from the Wisco side of the lake, so, I can't help much with info. However, if you haven't already is a good source if information.
Great thanks, checking it out now!

Badger Sailor
189 Posts
Also from the WI side of the pond but we do sail the MI side regularly and frequent the area you are headed through.

First off, I will also recommend using Active Captain for near real time info on what is available along your route. We don't have a dog aboard so frequent beach stops haven't been a concern for us. I also recommend you download OpenCPN and Lake Michigan charts to do your travel planning.

We normally frequent marinas vs. living on the hook but that will likely change now that both of us are retired. Typical routing for us has been:

Frankfurt to Leland (35 NM) but you could drop the hook off either Glen Arbor or South Manitou Island but both locations have nothing available ashore.

Leland to Northport (26 NM) just because we like the marina and the town.

Northport to Charlevoix (20 NM) There is a fairly narrow channel between Lake Michigan and Charlevoix that has a bridge on the Charlevoix end. The bridge opens during the tourist season for only 6 minutes on the hour and half hour. The bridge is low enough when closed that sailboats can't get under but most large powerboats can. You want to time your arrival so that you don't spend too much time loitering in the channel waiting for the opening. Picture yourself trying to hold position in a wind tunnel while there is two-way powerboat traffic whizzing by. We were not impressed with Charlevoix and the power boaters think they own the waters.

Direct to Charlevoix from Leland is 30 NM.

That's about all I can offer at the moment. Our planned run to Beaver Island from Charlevoix during our last trip NE was pre-empted by a bad weather forecast and the need to get my wife back to Milwaukee for that J.O.B. thing she still had going on.

As a side note . . . MI Municipal marinas are a pretty good deal. Advance reservations are now made through a State run website. However, a simple phone call will normally get you in a transient slip on the day you plan to arrive. Cell phone service is pretty good on the MI side out to roughly 7 miles.

84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips, Active Captain has/will be a great resource since that was pointed out to me. I will check out OpenCPN
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