New to Cruising Lake Michigan

Michigan DNR used to have a Harbor Guide. I still have a hard copy of one. Comes in handy for a quick reference guide. covers all of the great lakes except Lake Ontario...
Aside from the State run marinas, getting to know the dock master at the others is the best way to go.
 
Nick, I agree with others that a paper copy of Richardson’s or Waterway Guide is helpful for planning and to keep onboard. I also agree that purchasing a dinghy is a game changer.

We boat out of Port Sheldon and are monitoring water depth. It was last dredged ~10 years ago. Channel water depths are dangerously low—we will be unable to navigate the channel this spring. Rumors indicate it will be dredged sometime in 2023 - monitor with Port Sheldon township.

Favorite ports closer to Holland: South Haven, Grand Haven, Ludington, Pentwater

Online resources: https://www.great-lakes-sailing.com/lake-michigan.html

Northern Michigan Boating Harbor and Waterway Guide - https://www.fishweb.com/recreation/boating/harbors/index.html
 
@jsed - What do you use for a Davit system? We have a 310 Avon Rib with 15 Johnson. This boat that was purchased last fall needs a solution.
 
Nick, I agree with others that a paper copy of Richardson’s or Waterway Guide is helpful for planning and to keep onboard. I also agree that purchasing a dinghy is a game changer.

We boat out of Port Sheldon and are monitoring water depth. It was last dredged ~10 years ago. Channel water depths are dangerously low—we will be unable to navigate the channel this spring. Rumors indicate it will be dredged sometime in 2023 - monitor with Port Sheldon township.

Favorite ports closer to Holland: South Haven, Grand Haven, Ludington, Pentwater

Online resources: https://www.great-lakes-sailing.com/lake-michigan.html

Northern Michigan Boating Harbor and Waterway Guide - https://www.fishweb.com/recreation/boating/harbors/index.html

We hope they will dredge the channel this year as well - our association gets the sand and that will give us a beach that we currently don't have. We will likely hit at least Ludington this year, maybe further if time allows.
 
Michigan slips are a bit of a pain b/c you can only book 6 months in advance...

Don't know about other state harbors, but in Northport unless you want to be on the breakwall they won't book you a reservation in person. You have to go on the DNR website and do it yourself.
 
@jsed - What do you use for a Davit system? We have a 310 Avon Rib with 15 Johnson. This boat that was purchased last fall needs a solution.
Unfortunately, no davit system - yet. Hurley recommends the H20, but I've been putting it off - mainly out of fear of lifting the RIB (Zodiac 310 w/15hp Johnson). I've read many posts regarding the H30, but I'm not a fan of having a huge shim/extension for the H30 to mount to. Personal preferences, i know....
Anyway, leaning the H20 way....just have to flip the switch.
 
We hope they will dredge the channel this year as well - our association gets the sand and that will give us a beach that we currently don't have. We will likely hit at least Ludington this year, maybe further if time allows.
We certainly hope they dredge, too! This is a favorite spot to anchor, swim, and chill!
Is there a place online to monitor if they are dredging, and when?
 
We certainly hope they dredge, too! This is a favorite spot to anchor, swim, and chill!
Is there a place online to monitor if they are dredging, and when?

I'm not aware of anything online to monitor. If they don't start soon, then probably no dredging until this fall. I don't think they want the equipment and pipes on the beach once "tourist season" starts.
 
Hey you Great Lakes boaters, a few years back I put together an Excel spreadsheet that has most/all Michigan port cities and a few Canadian ports. It shows the mileage between ports and makes planing your travels a bit easie

If you want one just PM me with your email address and I'll send it to you.
 
I'm not aware of anything online to monitor. If they don't start soon, then probably no dredging until this fall. I don't think they want the equipment and pipes on the beach once "tourist season" starts.
I google'd Port Sheldon Dredging. The last report states that Consumers is going thru the approval process for permits. Funding is already in place. So, that's good news. Hope it happens fast!
 
I google'd Port Sheldon Dredging. The last report states that Consumers is going thru the approval process for permits. Funding is already in place. So, that's good news. Hope it happens fast!
I seem to remember that Consumers needs access to Pigeon Lake by boat for some sort of maintenance related to their generation plant. So the channel will always be dredged as long as the power plant uses cooling water from Lake Michigan. I believe this plant scheduled to be shut down so that may change.
 
I seem to remember that Consumers needs access to Pigeon Lake by boat for some sort of maintenance related to their generation plant. So the channel will always be dredged as long as the power plant uses cooling water from Lake Michigan. I believe this plant scheduled to be shut down so that may change.

The latest plan is for them to shut down the plant in 2025. . . they need to keep the channel dredged for the cooling water - I heard once that if the channel ever plugged they would suck pigeon lake dry in a few minutes. They did have to dredge extra deep 20?+ years ago to bring in some big equipment by barge when they switched they type of coal they were burning. Trivia - the Port Sheldon pier is one of the few if not only privately owned piers in Michigan. I don't know who will take over maintenance of the pier and dredging once Consumers leaves.
 
Has anyone checked the water depth between the piers recently. I have heard it is deeper on the south side of the channel, but I don't know the depth or if shallow point it near the narrows or midway between the pier entrance and exit (near narrow point). I have also heard it could be mid-summer before any dredging takes place. I was hoping someone else hear more news.
 
Has anyone checked the water depth between the piers recently. I have heard it is deeper on the south side of the channel, but I don't know the depth or if shallow point it near the narrows or midway between the pier entrance and exit (near narrow point). I have also heard it could be mid-summer before any dredging takes place. I was hoping someone else hear more news.


Not sure exactly where the sand bar is but saw this from the Anchorage Marina newsletter:
Port Sheldon
There is a sand bar in the channel. We hear that there is a large area
expanding the width of channel were the water is only about 3' deep
and even small fishing boats are having issues getting in and out of
the channel.

Consumers is in the process of getting permits to dredge, not sure how long that will take. . .
 
I can tell you the water in Milwaukee looks to be over 1 foot lower than last year.
 
Not sure exactly where the sand bar is but saw this from the Anchorage Marina newsletter:
Port Sheldon
There is a sand bar in the channel. We hear that there is a large area
expanding the width of channel were the water is only about 3' deep
and even small fishing boats are having issues getting in and out of
the channel.

Consumers is in the process of getting permits to dredge, not sure how long that will take. . .
Nick,
Thanks for the info. I am looking into using a small boat to map the depth in the channel.
 
The dredging update was on the agenda for the May 10 Port Sheldon Township board meeting. However, no representatives from Consumer’s were in attendance. Found this language from an old permit (Google search) different location which could apply. MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY WATER RESOURCES DIVISION PERMIT…..No dredging is allowed from April 1 to June 14 or from November 1 to December 14 due to critical spawning, migration, and/or recreational use periods.
 

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