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Old 08-23-2011, 07:15 PM   #21
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I was asked to cross on a Friend of a friends boat "30 footer" that has been stored for 2 yrs . Owner trying to save$$ doing a lot of his own maintenance . After all the tips I've picked up on tht I declined. I gave them all my suggestions as far as fuel, bellows , sea cocks , electronics , buddy boat, Float plan , fuel fuel fuel ! Well they went , took. 9 hrs, 5 fuel filters, ran on 1 motor for a while. Glad I didn't go , gps was also goin in and out , Lucky they had iPhones .
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:17 PM   #22
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Don't, it would be stupid.
Your stupid!
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:35 AM   #23
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Anyone who says you can't cross Lake Michigan doesn't know what they are talking about. As a kid and before GPS or even Loran, our family crossed from Frankfort to Sturgeon Bay and Manistique (in the UP) to Traverse City in a 24' SeaRay. My parents did the GH to Milwaukee trip a couple times when I was in college. You have make sure everything is up to snuff regarding maintenance, have the proper safety equipment, then pick your day carefully and keep an eye on the weather.

To the OP, a 454 uses about 12 gallons per hour at cruising speed, give or take. I'm guessing you cruise in the mid 20's so that is how arrived at my 2 MPG estimate. I'd only count on 90 gallons in that 100 gallon tank, so your range should be about 180 miles under ideal conditions. Just keep in mind that if you are slogging through waves and not on full plane, you mpg and range will go down quite a bit.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:08 AM   #24
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Keep in mind that I've never even been to any of the Great Lakes, so I don't have any personal experience there.

That said, my girlfriend's aunt and uncle live in Charlevoix and have a 48' Kadey-Krogen North Sea. They do a lot of cruising all around since they've got something like 4000 miles of range and I've heard stories of them waking up to perfect weather, seeing nothing of interest in the forecast, and having storms whip up later on that would force them to run (at all of ~7 knots) to the nearest protected cove or harbor because the wind and waves so bad. I knew the Great Lakes got rough, but not rough enough to chase a 48' trawler to protection with their tail between their legs.

I know you can cruise faster than them so you may be able to outrun said weather, but it's definitely worth keeping an eye on and sounds like it'll require some planning to make sure your weather window is perfect. Having a buddy boat or following the ferry sounds like an awesome idea at least for this trip. From what I've heard and what pictures I've seen though it seems like a cool trip, so good luck and be sure to report back if/when you complete it.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:15 AM   #25
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If the boat is running well and has been checked out by a mechanic, rent an EPIRB if you don't already have one for the crossing, pick the right weather day and go have an adventure. I'm on Lake Michigan all the time and plenty of us tournament fishermen go back and forth on occasion. Yes, Murphy could show up, but with the proper precautions you should be fine. A buddy boat is ideal.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:29 AM   #26
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x2 on Maintenance.
x2 the Epirb.

Have a backup handheld radio.
Have a backup handheld gps.Safety equipment!
Have food for several days.

EPIRB is your most important safety gear. Activate the epirb and help is on the way!!
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:17 AM   #27
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I slip out of the Milwaukee area and have made that crossing many, many times. Take Greylion's advice and go have an adventure. Just remember - the difference between an adventure and disater is preparation.

I would aslo plot an alternative course to Racine. If the wind kicks up from the North you might be able to elevate some of the pounding. You can then work your way up the coast when things settle down a bit.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:53 AM   #28
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Ceplon - Just thought of a couple more things. I've had a 26 foot Wellcraft Nova and a 27 foot Sea Ray follow me across without a problem although I made sure the weather forecast was right.

You should look for a wind speed of 10 knots or less. Wave height should be 2 foot or less. At 3 feet it will be uncomfortable, and at 4 feet you will make it but if your wife is along start looking for a divorce lawyer. Remember Lake Michigan has very close waves that will pound the hell out of a 50 foot sports bridge.

I like leaving port as early as possible. You should leave when the fisherman are leaving at day break. This is often the calmest part of the day. You can also check out the Mid-lake Bouy. It will give you wind and wave height at your mid way point. The link is below:

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=45007
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:47 AM   #29
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man...you would think you were planning a trip to the edge of the flat earth the way some of these responses read...prepare and enjoy it...

i would fill my tank and run at cruising speeds for approximately 1 to 2 hours and refill to check your burn...everything might be running fine but it would be nice to have a solid figure to run with and gauge your useage...

have fun...keep in mind some people get nervous when they lose sight of shore and realize its just them and lots of water...prepare your boat and your family for the crossing and i bet you all have a great adventure...

the advice about leaving early is good stuff...most of your big changes in weather are afternoon stuff...early morning on the great lakes is heaven on earth running in glass smooth water on nice days...
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:56 AM   #30
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is it an alpha or bravo ?
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:14 AM   #31
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Pay to have an experienced captain go with. I did this when I brought my 3100 open from San Diego to Long Beach 90+ miles and it paid off when there was engine problem 20miles in.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:31 AM   #32
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[QUOTE=bladenbullet;3975739]man...you would think you were planning a trip to the edge of the flat earth the way some of these responses read...prepare and enjoy it...

x2

I would head due west then hug the western shore to Milwaukee. This way your not offshore as long.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:39 AM   #33
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I wouldn't rule it out...
Grand Haven to Milwaukee is about 70 NMi straight across, so you are look at anywhere from 3.5 hours (at 20knts) to 5 hours (at15knts). On a clear day you can see a shoreline from a good 20 NMi, sometimes even more, so you will be out of sight of land for at least 2-3 hours. I would be weary about making the crossing this season, though. I know it is still only August but the North winds have been picking up kind of early this year (over here on the East side of MI). A 28' boat I think is perfectly capable of making the crossing, but it can become real small, real quick if the wind picks up and once you are committed, you're committed. Figure a North will leave you exposed and there is a lot of room for the lake to get nasty. Also figure a West wind will leave you running into a head sea which can get tiring over a period of five hours. The best bet would be to leave on a calm day, preferably with winds out of the West and not forecast to strengthen, at 6 a.m. If the conditions are right and the boat is good mechanical shape, I wouldn't spend too much time deciding on whether or not I should do it, I would spend the time preparing and learning as much as I can about the boat, the area, the weather, and outfitting the boat for the crossing.

Another option would be to spend a couple of days working your way South along the coast. Take one day and run down to Benton Harbor, see what there is to see, then the next morning make the crossing to Wilmette Harbor or Waukegan. This will cut down on the length and the time of the actual crossing. Then you can spend one more day working your way back up to Milwaukee. Obviously this would add on a lot of extra miles, fuel charges, and marina charges, but if you wanted to make a nice trip out of it and felt more comfortable, it would be worth it rather than pushing your limits. Plus, the run down to Benton Harbor would be a good "shakedown" cruise to make sure the engine is running smoothly and correctly.

The biggest thing I would worry about is mechanical issues with a new boat. If everything is up to par, I think the boat is perfectly capable with the right preparation and safety equipment (EPIRB, VHF, handheld VHF, paper charts, compass, sea anchor, etc). It is definitely not a trip I would take lightly, though.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:37 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrwel View Post
Ceplon - Just thought of a couple more things. I've had a 26 foot Wellcraft Nova and a 27 foot Sea Ray follow me across without a problem although I made sure the weather forecast was right.

You should look for a wind speed of 10 knots or less. Wave height should be 2 foot or less. At 3 feet it will be uncomfortable, and at 4 feet you will make it but if your wife is along start looking for a divorce lawyer. Remember Lake Michigan has very close waves that will pound the hell out of a 50 foot sports bridge.

I like leaving port as early as possible. You should leave when the fisherman are leaving at day break. This is often the calmest part of the day. You can also check out the Mid-lake Bouy. It will give you wind and wave height at your mid way point. The link is below:

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=45007
I now have this Buoy on my bookmark bar! Thanks for the tips.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:38 PM   #35
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is it an alpha or bravo ?
Bravo I
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:06 PM   #36
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Bravo I
I have bravo III and the 7.4 L. 454. We used to live in Escanaba and crossed all the time (way across).

I've gone across Lake Erie (68 miles one way to the Detroit River) twice this year. Once cut way back and ran 2400 RPM @ 12 MPH . . . 9 GPH on a fully loaded (~10,000 lbs) 26 footer.

Lots of good advice; sounds like you're ready for it. Very likely not a big deal.

* Buddy up if possible
* Leave before sun-up
* Plan and file a float plan with someone on the west side
* HAVE FUN . . . It's a boat ride
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:29 PM   #37
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A first trip on a boat you have no idea on how it runs or a history of any issues???


No freaking way.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:18 PM   #38
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A first trip on a boat you have no idea on how it runs or a history of any issues???


No freaking way.
It will not be my first trip with the boat. When I do make the trip I just want to be a prepared as possible and value all the feedback I have received from THT group.

This weekend I hope to run the boat from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs and back. Looks to be about 30 NMI round trip. Good chance to shake out any bugs and try and calculate fuel usage, which sounds like should be between 9-12 GPH at around 2500 RPMs.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:21 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpelon View Post
It will not be my first trip with the boat. When I do make the trip I just want to be a prepared as possible and value all the feedback I have received from THT group.

This weekend I hope to run the boat from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs and back. Looks to be about 30 NMI round trip. Good chance to shake out any bugs and try and calculate fuel usage, which sounds like should be between 9-12 GPH at around 2500 RPMs.
Sounds better all the time. Renting that EPIRB is a good thing. Doesn't Boat US rent them?
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:36 PM   #40
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Sounds better all the time. Renting that EPIRB is a good thing. Doesn't Boat US rent them?
http://www.boatus.com/foundation/epirb/

$40/week. Looks like a great way to go!
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