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Old 01-21-2021, 09:08 PM   #1
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Lake Michigan average anchoring depths

We plan on exploring Lake Michigan this summer and wondering what are the average anchoring depths we will encounter? Thanks for any advice anyone can give us.

Steve
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:27 PM   #2
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Hardly ever anchor on the Lake itself but the south half is mostly gently sloping sand so you can go as shallow as you want. Of course you only anchor on the Lake if it's calm, and that's not often. North half is rocky so not too good for anchoring. The harbors on the east shore are mostly rivers and attached lakes and anchorages are usually 12-25 feet. Most of the lakes are quite large with lots of places to choose from. A lot of towns have dinghy docks or landings too. West shore has a lot of smaller man-made harbors with no room to anchor, but they do have city and commercial marinas. I'm on the east shore and I don't go across often because I prefer anchoring over marinas.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:30 PM   #3
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10-20' everywhere we've been....except Round Lake in Charlevoix which is something like 40-50' in the middle. Pull up the free NOAA charts and have a look....
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:16 AM   #4
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It really depends on where you will be going, but in general the lake has a sandy bottom that gradually slopes off into deeper water. Anchoring over night along the shore will likely be a one eye open night, but if you have a lock solid weather window it has been done many times. The lee of the islands are generally a place to find refuge and some of them have coves which will protect you well for overnight stays. The Manitous, Beaver Island, Sturgeon Bay (Waugeshaunce Peninsula), Harbor Springs, Mackinaw Island-Round Island-Bois A Blanc, Les Cheneaux's, etc all can provide overnight anchorage. The winds are predominately from the southwest in the summer. East or Northeast is usually a three day affair and you will want to seek safe harbor. The Northern Wisconsin shoreline and the Upper Peninsula can be very rocky and difficult to anchor in. Northern Michigan is an absolute paradise. I hope you have a wonderful time.
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Old 05-02-2021, 07:51 PM   #5
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Thanks, we plan on looping Lake Michigan this summer and we have never been up the west coast. We may even try to catch just a little of Lake Superior.
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Old 06-06-2022, 01:17 PM   #6
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Lake Michigan average anchoring depths

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Originally Posted by Hi Ho View Post
Thanks, we plan on looping Lake Michigan this summer and we have never been up the west coast. We may even try to catch just a little of Lake Superior.


There are harbors all along the east and west coasts. Let us know when you’re around Muskegon!
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Old 06-06-2022, 01:51 PM   #7
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Thanks, we plan on looping Lake Michigan this summer and we have never been up the west coast. We may even try to catch just a little of Lake Superior.
Lots of nice cruising in Lake Superior. I will be up there from about the middle of July till near the end of August.

If you don't have one, get a copy of the Michigan Harbors Guide (www.michigan.gov/harbors). It covers the harbors of the state of Michigan. Many areas have harbors of refuge where you can anchor inside the breakwater.

If you go to Lake Superior, on the South shore, Grand Marais, Munising, Marquette, Portage river, Lac La Bell, and Copper Harbor all have protected areas to anchor in.

Ted
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Old 06-06-2022, 03:57 PM   #8
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Like the others have said, do not plan on anchoring on Lake Michigan unless you absolutely have to. There are harbors every 15 miles or so up and done the shores to get off the lake.

While there are some anchorages do not "plan" on them. The weather is very very unpredictable and even if the winds are light the waves may not be.

That being said be sure to stop in my home town of South Haven if you head down the western shore of Michigan. The 1st 2 weeks of August is the Blueberry Festival and is a great time.
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Old 06-06-2022, 09:38 PM   #9
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Lots of nice cruising in Lake Superior. I will be up there from about the middle of July till near the end of August.



If you don't have one, get a copy of the Michigan Harbors Guide (www.michigan.gov/harbors). It covers the harbors of the state of Michigan. Many areas have harbors of refuge where you can anchor inside the breakwater.



If you go to Lake Superior, on the South shore, Grand Marais, Munising, Marquette, Portage river, Lac La Bell, and Copper Harbor all have protected areas to anchor in.



Ted


Ted,

If you get over to the Apostle Islands give a shout. There are a few of us dedicated TF’ers in the area that would love to meet up for a beverage!
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Old 06-07-2022, 02:10 PM   #10
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Ted,

If you get over to the Apostle Islands give a shout. There are a few of us dedicated TF’ers in the area that would love to meet up for a beverage!
Will keep it in mind. I'm not going to have as much time as I did when I was up there in 2017. My first priority is Isle Royale for 2 weeks.

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Old 06-07-2022, 06:15 PM   #11
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Will keep it in mind. I'm not going to have as much time as I did when I was up there in 2017. My first priority is Isle Royale for 2 weeks.



Ted


I’m sure you already know this, but make sure you get your permit before you go. Our marina sent us this reminder:

Boaters need to permit BEFORE they come to Isle Royale. They can do this by calling the Houghton Visitor Center at (906) 482-0984 Monday - Saturday from 10am-4pm EDT.
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