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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Archive from October 30, 2007

Entry for October 30, 2007

I spent part of the day getting some exercise by walking around Waukegan Harbor. There is a major remodeling underway of the south half of the south-harbor. Next year I assume they will do the north half of the south-harbor. The fixed height docks are being replaced with floating docks. The radical changes in Lake Michigan water levels have been very frustrating for boaters over the past several years. From the looks of their design drawings, the old north harbor will remain as is.

In 1997 I bought a boat and kept it in the south harbor during three summers. It was an exceptionally good experience; a great adventure on every outing. The overused cliché about a boat being a hole in the water where one pours buckets of money is quite true. Another truism is that the two happiest days in a boater’s life is when he buys the boat, and when he sells the boat.
How much does it cost to keep a boat on Lake Michigan? I am sure some can do it on a tight budget. For a decent size cruiser, don’t be surprised if you wind up spending a sum of around $5,000 a year for slip fees, insurance, fuel, planned maintenance, repairs, and off-season storage. Larger boats can run up some truly overwhelming costs. If the harbor is where you will be spending all of your summer vacation and holidays, keeping a small to mid-size cruiser might just be reasonable. It is like having a floating summer cottage. Watch the Fourth of July fireworks then sleep in the boat; not a bad experience at all. Lake Michigan makes one huge backyard to play in. You have not lived foolishly until you have taken storm-waves into the cockpit of your cruiser. Mother Nature does not care how much your boat weighs; she will slap it ten feet sideways whenever she feels like it.

Lake Michigan fishing is an awesome experience. I need to admit that most of the fish I caught were more by accident than with skill. My boat-neighbor was an expert. He felt sorry for me when I came in empty handed and would often take me back out to do some serious fishing.

Will I ever buy another boat for Lake Michigan? Probably not, it was an experience I cherish but have no desire to repeat. When I relocate to Florida, then I may consider another boat.

Here is a link to the Waukegan Harbor Website. There are plenty of charter services around if you want to spend the day salmon fishing.


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