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Discussion Starter #1
I'm visiting Chicago and it's colder than... Well, it's really cold.

Walking the waterfront, all the marinas are empty, as expected. But where do you guys haul? There doesn't seem to be a working marina anywhere nearby. Just wondering where all the hundreds of boats migrated to.

In our area, working marinas are every 20' it seems.
 

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Boaters either travel down the Chicago River to haul at marinas a few miles inland or sail away from the city to places like Waukegan (30 nm north) where there are large marinas capable of hauling out just about anything. (One marina has even hauled out a few WWII era fighter planes that ditched into the lake while on training missions back in the 40's.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds fun opening the bridges on the river. I imagine there are opening restrictions. When do you haul.... October?
 

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How big a boat and how long do you want to be out of the water? Just a haul or do you want to work on your boat as well. There are lots of options, some close, some more of a hike.
 

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River trips are Mondays and Saturdays, April-June and Sept-November. Bridges open (sometimes barely!) one or two at a time. Everybody crowds through than waits for the next one. Quite a neat experience, a lot like motoring through a canyon, only with about a 100K people ether gawking enviously or shaking their fist at you.
Yup it's kind of neat, that is, until you've been stuck waiting a few times while they "look for a hammer" to hit something with (actual statement heard over their frequency!), turning the trip into a 12hr epic. Than it's just a hassle. Yea Chicago!
Cheers,
Joel H.
 

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Don't forget---

Folks also haul at Calumet Harbor near the Skyway bridge only about 10 nm south of Chicago.

My first "real voyage" as skipper was to from Monroe Harbor, Chicago (downtown lakefront) to Calumet Harbor (Hammond, IN Marina specifically).

I did this right after completing a bareboat course. It wasn't a huge journey, but it felt really cool to cruise there with a few friends and motor into a nice harbor right past a HUGE casino, etc. The haul is not at the marina, but actually a few miles closer to Chicago.

Ahh, fun...
 

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If memory serves, when I lived in Chicago (left in '01) there was a law requiring haul out by October 31 or face daily fines. Couldn't relaunch until March 1. I was in a marina in Winthrop Harbor approximately 50 miles north of the city that had a boatyard.I always tried to extend the season as long as possible, and either hauled or launched in the snow more than once.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
River trips are Mondays and Saturdays, April-June and Sept-November. Bridges open (sometimes barely!) one or two at a time. Everybody crowds through than waits for the next one. Quite a neat experience, a lot like motoring through a canyon, only with about a 100K people ether gawking enviously or shaking their fist at you.
We walked along the Chicago River this morning and saw the signs that the bridges only open in spring and fall. Pretty cold - about 15 degrees and ice was starting to form in the quiet spots near the Columbia Yacht club. Amazingly, there was still a sailboat tied up at the end of a dock. I can't imagine wintering on a boat this far north. Dang!
 
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