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Old 08-24-2011, 05:53 PM   #41
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Man, just have fun!!!

When I was a teen (Chicago boy, remember), I'd stand in the water at Oak Street beach and say to myself, "Hey, Michigan is just over there". Maybe the next weekend, me and my buddies would be at Warren Dunes, and I'd look back the other way and say, "Hey, Chicago is just over there"...

Maybe I ought to do it someday...
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Old 09-06-2011, 02:57 AM   #42
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Chris,

Sorry for being late to the post...I just remembered my password and was searching for slickcraft posts. Sounds like a great trip and have thought about the same myself. The advice given thus far I think has been excellent. Early morning departure, etc...

I have a very similar boat. 1987Slickcraft 265 sc with the 350. It is the same hull with same wt., and same dimensions, older style. You have chosen a very seaworthy craft. I did extensive research on this hull prior to purchase and the boat was built with the same dimensions, fiberglass etc as the 26ft Pursuits (obviously the Pursuits don't have the built in swim platform). It has handled very very well for me in the big waves off Holland MI and salmon fishing 15 mile out from Ludington.

By now you probably have calculated your fuel burn and optimal cruising speed. I cruise with the 350 at 3500 rpm, fuel burn 2.3-2.5mpg real time (lowrance fuel monitor) at around 29 mph. One thing I found out the hard way is you must prop this boat correctly. I am currently running a mercury mirage 15p, worlds of improvement over the aluminum p.o.s. the boat came with.

My boat was new to me last year and just as the other's have discussed, long shakedown a must. On my second trip out in Traverse Bay going from West Bay to East Bay (9 mile trip), my outdrive blew. We had started out in pretty comfortable rollers out of the N at about 3ft. as you by now know the hull handles these conditions well, but by the time we rounded the point and the outdrive blew, those 3 footers were 4-5feet with us rolling broadside. Pretty uncomfortable. The wife was bent out of shape, and the Coast Guard said we weren't in immediate danger so wanted us to call boat tow US. Got a local tow from Old Mission Harbor, cancelled boat US, closet boat tow US was from Harbor Springs (cost me $650) for nothing. If you don't have Boat US great lake insurance...get it, tow would have been free...an absolute must if the worst occurs.

Congrats on Slickcraft, she is one solidly built boat and as long as you still have engine power, if your guts can take it, the hull can.

If you make the crossing let us know, how it went, and what preparations you did
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:10 PM   #43
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Make sure the boat is mechanically sound. See if you can find a satellite phone from somebody grab a friend, check the weather one last time and go.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:24 PM   #44
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Do it, one engine and all, but predict that you will not make it and take whatever precautions and equipment that support that train of thought and you will be fine. Older boat, E-10 all over the place, carry spare filters and tools along with the suggestions of the others.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:06 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erdoc98 View Post
Chris,

Sorry for being late to the post...I just remembered my password and was searching for slickcraft posts. Sounds like a great trip and have thought about the same myself. The advice given thus far I think has been excellent. Early morning departure, etc...

I have a very similar boat. 1987Slickcraft 265 sc with the 350. It is the same hull with same wt., and same dimensions, older style. You have chosen a very seaworthy craft. I did extensive research on this hull prior to purchase and the boat was built with the same dimensions, fiberglass etc as the 26ft Pursuits (obviously the Pursuits don't have the built in swim platform). It has handled very very well for me in the big waves off Holland MI and salmon fishing 15 mile out from Ludington.

By now you probably have calculated your fuel burn and optimal cruising speed. I cruise with the 350 at 3500 rpm, fuel burn 2.3-2.5mpg real time (lowrance fuel monitor) at around 29 mph. One thing I found out the hard way is you must prop this boat correctly. I am currently running a mercury mirage 15p, worlds of improvement over the aluminum p.o.s. the boat came with.

My boat was new to me last year and just as the other's have discussed, long shakedown a must. On my second trip out in Traverse Bay going from West Bay to East Bay (9 mile trip), my outdrive blew. We had started out in pretty comfortable rollers out of the N at about 3ft. as you by now know the hull handles these conditions well, but by the time we rounded the point and the outdrive blew, those 3 footers were 4-5feet with us rolling broadside. Pretty uncomfortable. The wife was bent out of shape, and the Coast Guard said we weren't in immediate danger so wanted us to call boat tow US. Got a local tow from Old Mission Harbor, cancelled boat US, closet boat tow US was from Harbor Springs (cost me $650) for nothing. If you don't have Boat US great lake insurance...get it, tow would have been free...an absolute must if the worst occurs.

Congrats on Slickcraft, she is one solidly built boat and as long as you still have engine power, if your guts can take it, the hull can.

If you make the crossing let us know, how it went, and what preparations you did
Thanks for the great info! We have really enjoyed our Slickcraft this summer. Our pervious boat was a 21' four winns, can definitely tell this is a much better build boat. We had a similar story with our four winns the first time we took it out on Lake Michigan out of Holland we had the lower unit go out on us and we were stranded in 3-4's. Wife and kids were not having fun. County Sheriff gave us a tow back in to the launch, so we did not have to pay for tow. Made the mistake of not having a qualified technician look at the boat after we bought it and seals were leaking and had water in the lower unit which was why we had trouble. First thing I did with the Slickcraft is brought it to a good mechanic and had them go thru the boat and give me a green light. So far no major issues!!

Last edited by cpelon; 09-09-2011 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:35 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by SirFer View Post
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.
I agree. I grew up on lake erie and I wouldn't trust it as far as I could throw it. Been out there in perfect weather and had that lake whip up in 10 minutes. There are more shipwrecks per square mile in the great lakes than in the ocean. There's a reason for it.
If it can bring down freighters, what's a pleasure craft.
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:05 PM   #47
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Hi cpelon,

I'm somewhat in the same position you were when you started this tread.

1988 Fiesta Fee 250, single 5.7, Alpha 1. New baffels, lower unit seals, starter, water pump and other misc items.

How did the crossing turn out? Did the 1989 Slickcraft 279 SC work for you? Is it still working for you?
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Old 09-07-2016, 06:18 PM   #48
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FWIW - the High Speed Ferry is doing 36-40 MPH on its huge jets... you won't be following that bad boy. Would be cool, but I've been on it crossing with my Motorcycle a few times now...

Good luck on your trip, just have all your ducks in a row and be safe, you'll do fine, once you get your boat dialed in... ton's of people around here do it.

http://www.lake-express.com/
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:34 PM   #49
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I have made the trip many times leaving out of Racine. As most have said, make sure the boat is fully maintained and up to the trip. Buddy system preferred. I always left just before sun up. Plan on extra nights in port if weather comes up. Look for low winds and waves 1-2 feet. Storm came up and got stuck in Grand Haven. Rented a car and drove back to Racine to pick up my truck trailer, drove back and trailered boat home. Lol
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:04 AM   #50
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Yes, you can do it. Those naysayers don't know what they are talking about. Hopefully you are an experienced boater. Lots of great advice so far in this thread.

Pick a good weather day with a good weather forecast. Yes, the weather can change unexpectedly. It happens occasionally.

I have crossed Lake Huron a couple of times there and back in my last boat a 30' Bayliner Ciera so your 27' Slickcraft can handle the journey. Lake Huron is wider than Lake Michigan in many places.

Hope you get the chance to make the trip and definitely post your story here when you complete the journey.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:07 AM   #51
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let's just say one time I had a 46 Post and my buddy had a 48 Ocean and we were crossing in the fall. He got so scared halfway across and was dead set on going back to Waukegan. Since we were both alone driving our boats across (for winter storage) there was no way I could convince him not to turn around and take it on the chin. Had to stay together, so I very reluctantly turned around. True story.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:23 AM   #52
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I've done this crossing a bunch of times. It's fun. Good weather window and a small ditch bag of stuff and you're going to be fine. Get a PLB, they are cheap and you can carry it every time you go out. Carry a handheld VHF too.

I did this crossing 4x in my 2860 Denali with single 454 Volvo DP. We would count on 2 MPG and use half of our 150 gallons one way (roughly) so never an issue with range. Your Slick is a great boat, will handle big seas if you need her to, and your power package is a tried and true fresh water set-up. Slick built excellent boats that run well in lots of typical lake conditions, that's one reason they are still popular and invested in by Great Lakes boaters.

I would not count on the Lake Express as a buddy boat, they are really fast and they have a schedule to keep. If you are in an emergency they will stop, they've done it before. Crossing with a friend is great, especially if the friend has a reliable and fast boat. Crossing with a boat that can't keep up sucks.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:54 PM   #53
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Lots of good positive post on here, OP. I would ignore the doomsayers. Sounds like you've put enough hours on the boat to be confident about it's abilities. I'm assuming you have tow insurance through Boat/US ?
I used to have a 26' Doral and cruised Georgian bay and the North Channel without incident. I'm currently based in the western basin of Lake Erie. My fishing boat is an 18' Mckee Craft and I've made 4- 35 mile run's each way for steelhead in it this summer without incident. I do keep a keen eye on the weather-both forecasted and current conditions.

Look for a window of weather that is calling for 2 days of calm weather. I wouldn't wait past the end of this month either. Have fun and let us know how it goes.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:07 AM   #54
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Barring mechanical problems, weather and sea state make the difference between an exciting adventure, and discomfort and worry.

If you have the latitude to time the voyage during optimum conditions, considering watching the weather systems. The ideal time is when a high pressure system is centered over your intended route. In these conditions, weather fronts are blocked, and wind velocity is least, and is probably accurately predictable. The center of a high pressure system often has wind forecast 'light and variable'.

Good luck! Sounds like a lot of fun.
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