The Best Of Times Page 4

Charter a boat, sail your own boat; stay near home or cross the country to sample the waters. Summer is a good time to do it“To every thing there is a season,” said the writer of Ecclesiastes. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a sailor, and you don’t need me to tell you that this statement should be needlepointed on a pillow in the saloon of every sailboat. Generally,
Author:
Updated:
Original:
HR6-080300-Fechart

Great Lakes

CHARTER BASES

Wisconsin: LaPointe, Bayfield,
Superior, Manitowoc

Illinois: Chicago

Minnesota: Lake City

Michigan: Traverse City, Cheboygan

Ohio: Huron, Port Clinton

Indiana: Michigan City

Ontario: Thunder Bay,
Gore Bay, Little Current

Being There: North Channel

Canada’s North Channel, a hundred-mile stretch of Lake Huron separated from the main body of the lake by Manitoulin Island, is one of the best-known cruising grounds in the Great Lakes, and not without reason. Though its cruising season is short—go too early in June and the black flies will drive you away, stay past August and you’ll want your winter hat and gloves—you could easily spend a month exploring its many islands, coves, and inlets.

With a small enough boat and a shallow draft, you can tuck yourself into coves too small to share and explore the pristine beauty of the forests that border the channel. The few towns in the area can provide what amenities you may need, but the true magic lies in its remote beauty—wind-bent pines, jutting rock formations, and water so clean you could drink it.

But the pleasures of the North Channel are not for small boats alone. At times up to 20 miles wide and with depths up to 250 feet, the channel gives you plenty of room to stretch your legs and can blow up conditions as wild as any of the Great Lakes. Big boat or small, you’re guaranteed to feel the lure of the North Channel—it keeps sailors coming back year after year. Rebecca Waters

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

Eastern Great Lakes: Our charter season runs from early June to the end of September, but the real sailing season is mid-April through October. My favorite time is September, when the water is warm, the breezes (predominantly westerly, at 8 to 12 knots) are steadier, the days are warm (70 to 75 degrees), and the lake is much less crowded. Sailors here can choose to cruise to the islands at the western end of the lake or go up to Canada. T.J. Wright, Harbor North (Lake Erie), Huron, Ohio

Western Great Lakes: The charter season here runs from May 15 to September 30. July and August are beautiful—warm, even hot sometimes—but in September things slow down, anchorages can be solitary, and the water is as warm as it gets. The wind moderates and steadies, so you can sail almost all the time. The changing of the leaves is dramatic; you’re basically sailing in northern forests.
And in fall the wind swings to the northwest; we have a lot of good anchorages for a northwest wind. Tim Bauernfeind, Sailboats Inc.

Related

Profurl

Gear: Profurl Motorized Furlers

Profurl NEXe motorized flying-sail furlers make it possible for shorthanded crews and solo sailors to handle large reaching sails, like gennakers, Code 0s and other A-sails, with minimal effort and in safety. Two versions are available, the NEXe 5.0 for boats with LOAs up to ...read more

01-SUGGEST-CROP

Docking with Twin Rudders

Twin-rudder raceboats have been with us since the mid-1980s. In the last 10 years or so, they’ve also become increasingly popular aboard cruising boats, including those available for charter. It is therefore a good idea to be aware of their idiosyncrasies. In some circles, ...read more

11thHourRacing

Video: 11th Hour Racing Returns to America

Newport welcomed America's ocean racing home team, 11th Hour Racing, back to its waters earlier this week for the start of their autumn training season. In the video, which recounts their Atlantic Crossing from France, Charlie Enright, Mark Towhill and their international crew ...read more

AdobeStock_180386204

BVI Sets Date for Re-Opening

The BVI Tourist Board has set December 1st as the date visitors will be allowed to return to their territory, just in time for the winter charter season to kick off. Several charter companies including Horizon Yacht Charters, Dream Yacht Charter, TMM, CYOA and Conch Charters ...read more

DSC_5337-2

Boat Review: X-Yachts X4⁶

The Danish builder X-Yachts does not simply stick taller or shorter rigs and keels on the same hulls to create boats for both cruisers and racers, as some mass-production builders do. Nor is it content to build two distinct lines of cruisers and racers. Instead, the company has ...read more

Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 1.18.36 PM

Harken Changes Hands, Stays in the Family

. In a video posted yesterday, Peter Harken cheerfully announced that his company, Harken Inc., the trusted hardware brand bearing his last name, which was formerly owned by founders and their families has changed hands. The owners have sold their shares to employees—"passing ...read more