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Labor Day 2018 Lake Michigan

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:41 am
by Dutchman
I went trailer camping and boating in Ludington, Michigan, [the] last week [of August] before the [September 3, 2018] Labor Day holiday. After arriving at the wonderful Ludington State Park on Sunday [August 26, 2018], I launched the 150 Montauk at Hamlin Lake, and I tied-off the boat at the boardwalk. Then 9-inches of rain fell.

On Monday [August 27, 2018] the weather was not good for boating. The boat’s the automatic bilge pump kept up [with the rain]. For 45 minutes or so we took out the boat out.

On Monday night another 6-inches of rain fell.

On Tuesday [August 28, 2018] morning I found the boat full of water. A very small stick and debris caused the pump to fail.

On Tuesday night we had another 8-inches of rain, tornados, and high winds. I saw cars flattened by limbs and fallen trees. Fourteen camper trailers got tumbled over at a dealer. It was scary and loud, but we survived with exception of a slight dent in the roof of our camper from a small branch that fell.

By morning, many tent campers and many pop-up trailer campers had left. Luckily nobody got hurt in this large campground. With the power off and therefore no bathrooms and no water many people left.

Thursday and Friday [August 30 and 31, 2018] were beautiful and we had a good time with friends on Lake Hamlin.

I was able to find a new pump (with built-in switch) in "Floodington" as we called it now. This pump happened to be an exact duplicate of the 10 year old Attwood Sahara 1100 bilge pump I had. How to wire [the new pump] was no question for me.

I had no tools—just my Leatherman and a multi-function screwdriver.

I cut out the old pump.

I stripped [insulation from electrical wires] and connected [the wires]. I used electrical tape [on the stripped wire connections]. I stuck the [stripped, connected, and taped wires] high up against the inside transom.

The wires were zip tied back and forth and originally were in the small bilge area where they could get wet. I need to redo these connections properly and making them water tight. I do have heat-shrink but soldering and using that doesn't really make them water tight.

I'm glad to have fixed the pump.

Re: Labor Day 2018 Lake Michigan

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:21 pm
by Phil T
You really should pull the plug and let the boat self drain.

Any photos you care to share?

Re: Labor Day 2018 Lake Michigan

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:24 pm
by jimh
We were a little farther north. We had a bit of rain, but nothing like the 23-inches of rain you report. Winds were gusty. A small limb cracked off my neighbor’s elderly Maple tree. We lost electrical power from our utility for a day.

Is there any NOAA report of all those rainfalls? That seems like a record rainfall amount.

Generally we avoid boating on Labor Day weekend, so our boat remained on the trailer. There were plenty of other boaters on the water.

Re: Labor Day 2018 Lake Michigan

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:48 am
by jimh
A newspaper account of the weather conditions for late August in Leelanau County (which is north of Ludington) reported that at Leland the wind was measured as gusting to 65-MPH on Tuesday, August 29. The total rainfall for a seven day period [presumably the six days prior to August 30] was reported as 6-inches, with 3.5-inches occuring on the evening of Tuesday, August 29 and into the early morning of Wednesday, August 30, 2018. That is certainly not good boating weather.

Over the years of trying to go boating in Lake Michigan, I have learned that you cannot count on suitable wind and wave condition on that big body of water, at least not on the Michigan shore. We never commit to boating on the open water of Lake Michigan more than about an hour in advance. When the wind and wave cooperate, it can be a beautiful day out there, but that seems to be the exception. This summer the winds and waves on Lake Michigan have been a challenge for small craft boating.

Re: Labor Day 2018 Lake Michigan

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:56 am
by Dutchman
Sorry for the late reply to responses.

The [rainfall amount] numbers I quoted were mentioned to me by the State Park Rangers, and judging by the rivers that ran through my and neighboring campgrounds and under my camper, I believed the ranger’s rainfall amounts.

The water in my Whaler was past the back of my console seat. One of the fuel tanks one was empty and would have been floating if not strapped down. I assumed the Rangers were right about the amount of rain. Next time I'll put out a rain gauge.

Tornado's were sighted and touched down in this area of west mid-Michigan. Two-foot trees were down, and I saw many [tree limbs of six-inch or larger diameter] down in Mason county—the area I was in.

As [jimh] said [about his home], power was out for a day or two for many customers [in Mason county].

Yes, you never know weather with Lake Michigan, and you can't just count on NOAA.

I have friends living in White Cloud. Their neighbor lost a healthy 25-inch-diameter tree; the tree snapped off two feet [above the ground]. I believe there was some straight wind greater than 65-MPH, and lots of rain.

Phil—sorry no pictures.