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Author Topic:   Chicago Mid October
Cicada posted 09-26-2004 03:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for Cicada   Send Email to Cicada  
I'm taking a working vacation in Chicago from Oct.20th to the 25th and was thinking about taking the Outrage along. Chicago from the water would be pretty impressive and I'd like to see it. I was thinking I'd like to drop the boat at a marina for the time I was there and have no idea where to start in the Chicago area. I'll be up on the North end of the city. Maybe somebody could point me in the right direction.

Appreciate any response.


Buckda posted 09-27-2004 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Montrose Harbor has transient slips...and I believe that Diversey Harbor does as well. Both have harbormasters and fuel facilities...but I believe Montrose is open later in the season.

check with the Chicago Park District Web site for information on how to contact and reserve space at these marinas...this late in the season, it should not be a problem....but parking your trailer might be difficult...Diversey Harbor may be best for this and you can arrange with the harbormaster to stow the trailer overnight (but bring a padlock for the trailer, and remove anything that is easy to remove ahead of time. (Parking your truck and trailer at the hotel will be impossible), and "street parking" your trailer is illegal.

Chicago from the water IS impressive, and it's too bad that they don't make it a more trailer-boater friendly city via multiple access points from the river, etc.

Come to think of it, there are several marina's back up the river a ways (or in this case, down the flows OUT of lake Michigan). I don't have any information on those facilities, but perhaps they'd be a better spot to park your rig for a 5-day span....away from the prying eyes of the public. The downside is that you would have to take about 35-40 minutes to reach the lakefront and traverse the lock at the head of the river to get into the lake.

If I were going to do a week-long cruise like that, I'd seriously consider putting in at Michigan City, Indiana and cruising into the city, using a transient slip and take a cab to the hotel...that way you don't have the trouble of logistics with a trailer. My roommate's parents have done that several times a year for the past two years after one particularly difficult trailer-trip in with their 26 foot Sea Ray...tough time navigating city traffic, finding parking, etc...

If it's just a boat-view of the city you're after, consider one of the popular cruise boats departing from Navy Pier - there's even a nice dinner cruise that takes evening/nightime cruises for spactacular views of the skyline at night. Logistically, this is the easiest route, although I realize it takes away the fun of doing it in your own boat.....

....Beginning to realize why I drive 100 miles to Michigan every weekend to do my boating instead of doing it here in Chicago?


Cicada posted 09-28-2004 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     

Thanks for all of the input and information. Good leads and direction.

I understand the drive and time to boat in Michigan - alot less hassle. Urban cruising is nice for the occasional change. It certainly gives you a different perspective of cities. 45 minutes up the river and locking out into the lake might be interesting. Probably not as scenic as the fjiord up in Georgian bay. Something about concrete and glass canyons that just doesn't make it.

Unfortunately I'm only going to have a couple of days to do any boating. As you know the season is getting pretty short up here and I'd like to spend as much time with the Outrage as I can. No comparison to the 15' hull and after a summer of using it I'm just starting to get the "feel" of the boat.

Thanks again,

Buckda posted 09-28-2004 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
No problem....Let me know if you need a tour guide :) If it's on a weekend, I may be convinced to tow my Outrage over for an afternoon/evening....


Cicada posted 09-29-2004 08:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     

It looks like the Saturday of that week-end would be the best week-end day for me. Always nice to have a tour guide and I'd like to see your boat. I'll post what arrangements I've made for a marina etc.


LHG posted 09-29-2004 08:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I could possibly be talked into a "trifecta" of 18 Outrages. Mine's been getting dusty in the stable this summer, and needs a workout.
Buckda posted 09-30-2004 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda's a deal. I'll plan to bring the Gambler over on Saturday morning, October 23.

Once you've made marina plans, we can arrange a meeting time and place.

LHG Would be great to have you and T/T Whale Lure along....I've missed that boat this year...and expected to see a whole lot of her on the Georgian Bay trip before you suprised us with the 21.


TexasWhaler posted 09-30-2004 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for TexasWhaler  Send Email to TexasWhaler     
Swing on down here to Houston and pick me up on the way!

Buckda posted 10-01-2004 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     

Westrec manages the Chicago Harbor system.

The official season ends October 15, however the ramps should be open until November 15, according to the woman I just spoke with at the Chicago Harbors office.

I don't know about transient slippage, but I believe they will let you have a slip as well. It should be $1 per foot, 25 foot minimum per day. (Boaters staying moored past OCtober 15 apply for a permit for extended season and they get to stay until Nov. 15)

The daily launch fee is $20, or $200 for the season...which is another reason that I don't generally boat here! (It's $4 at the ramp I use in Benton Harbor, less crowded and just as nice facilities).

So, for you, at 5 days, it's $125 for mooring, $40 for the launch and later the retrieval, and whatever you get charged for trailer storage if you choose to use the lakefront marinas.

I still don't have much information on the river-bound private marinas that are down the river a ways, but I would definitely recommend finding out as much as you can about them - I'd be willing to bet you'll save a bundle if you even just store the boat/trailer there and then launch and retrieve the same day on Saturday the 23rd.

Hope this helps.


Cicada posted 10-01-2004 07:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     

Thanks for the additional information. Pretty expensive to boat in Chicago isn't it.

I haven't had much time to check into things yet but I have a couple of numbers for marinas down river. I should be able to commit some time to this over the week-end.

What has to be done to talk you into getting the dust off of your boat?

Looking forward to this.


Cicada posted 10-05-2004 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     
Haven't made much progress on finding a place to park the boat for the week, but have been concentrating on a north end location close to where I'd be staying. Have another list of numbers to call.

Contacted the Chicago harbors and they all close down Oct.15th. I believe the ramps are still open.

Appears that there is a concentration of marina's on the south side of the city. May have to focus there next.

Mid-October, may find out why Chicago's called the windy city.


Buckda posted 10-06-2004 11:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Paul...all the marina's will indeed be on the south side (this is economic - less expensive land). Unfortunately, I can't help you out any more than that.

I recommend stopping at exit 22A in Indiana (from I-94) for gas in the boat - Indiana has the least expensive taxes on gas and it will be cheaper than Michigan and Illinois, and the Pilot station there at that exit has easy trailer access (wide lanes and truck parking, etc..). Fuel may not be available at the Chicago Harbors after the 15th.

My plan is to trailer Gambler over on Saturday morning and put in at either Burnham or Diversey Harbors - probably Burnham because it is easy to access from the interstates and I won't have to trailer it through the North Side neighborhoods.

Remember, you CANNOT tow your trailer on Lake Shore Drive - you will get a ticket so avoid it altogether.

Full Canvas is likely the order of the day, however if it is a nice weekend, we could see mid to upper 60's or even 70 degrees.

Let me know as you get closer what your plans are and we will arrange a time/place to meet up with Larry.


Cicada posted 10-10-2004 11:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     

I'm all set with the storage for the week. As it turns out it's within a few mailes of where I'm staying. Appears to have good access to freeways so location of launch isn't a problem. The route to Burnham looks simple enough.

Thanks for the information on Lakeshore drive and fuel. Traffic there is a huge problem isn't it.

This trip could be the determining factor on canvas. Sometimes that comfort would be pretty nice. I keep toying with it but never want to commit. In the meantime I dress warm and bring a thermos of coffee.

Chicago has pretty good waterfront access for a major city. One of the things that impressed me the last time I was there was that they retained alot of expensive land for parks and marinas etc. The city has a vibrancy and level of activity related to the waterfront that I find attractive. Again, not exactly a wilderness outing but scenic all the same. Looking forward to the 23rd.


allen723 posted 10-11-2004 01:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for allen723  Send Email to allen723     
there is a nice new launch in worth..s/w suberb of have to go down the canal and through the lock to get there in about an hour or less if you go full out. alot less closer than mich or indiana. are you pulling a trailer? you can park it there, or in my driveway in palos hills about five minuets away from the launch for a short stay..
Cicada posted 10-12-2004 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     

Thanks for the kind offer for a place to park the boat for awhile. I do have arrangements for a place to park and I wouldn't want to impose on anybody.

Is there an interconnection between the Calumet and Chicago Rivers? If so, you have quite a system of waterways that would allow you to move around the city. Might make for a nice commute and a way to beat the traffic.

Maybe we could hook up. If Saturday isn't good for you then maybe some other day/evening. I'd like to get out on the water at least a couple of times while I'm there.


Ogden Dunes posted 10-12-2004 10:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ogden Dunes  Send Email to Ogden Dunes     

There is a Marina in Hammond Indiana that might be worth looking into. I docked there when I did the Chicago, Cal-Sag triangle. The marina and dock fees are minaimal and is only aprox five miles to Navey Pier.


Cicada posted 10-14-2004 07:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     

Thanks for the information. I'm assuming the launch access is through Indiana Harbor somewhere. You're pretty fortunate to have that much public access spread out over a large area. There is quite a bit of access in the Detroit area but the majority of it is in private holdings. Yacht clubs, community parks, etc. Outside of the larger state and regionally owned public ramps, access is something you need to seek out here. Varies from a ramp at the end of a road to the regional facilities that will handle hundreds of boats.


Cicada posted 10-18-2004 07:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     
We'll be heading out Wed. a.m. and dropping the boat first thing when we get into town. Splitting the time between staying with friends and the Talbot. Most of the time will be spent helping my girlfriend with an art show out at DuPage County Fairgrounds. I'm going to sneek in a few of my paintings. OK, enough of the shameless plug.

I'm looking forward to going out on Saturday for sure and hopefully another time somewhere in there. If anyone's interested we should set up a time meet etc.

Dave, I'll email you with my cell #. I'd like to give you a hand with your motor controls if you need it.


Buckda posted 10-19-2004 06:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Weather looks like it will cooperate temperature wise...has been downgraded a bit on the precipitation front....we'll watch closely.

Paul, I think that you should definitely put your girlfriend on my or LHG's boat at some point in the trip if it's at all cool out...she'll give the go-ahead for the Mills canvas in an instant - it makes a huge difference this time of year.

Thanks for the offer on the controls - I hope I don't need to do too much should be good to go.

We can take the rest of this offline with you, me and LHG and just post an update on the final outcome after this weekend.

Anyone else interested? Speak now.


Buckda posted 10-20-2004 06:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
We might need to be ready for some tough weather - should be clear, but it looks like a small craft advisory may be issued on Friday night. Waves building on Friday to 5-7 feet.

Saturday's forecast is not yet posted.


The weather on-shore should be in the mid-60's but a SE wind pushes the water right up against the we'll have the biggest waves and Michigan's shore will be protected (for a change).

The on-shore forecast calls for mostly sunny, scattered t-storms and windy on Saturday...meaning we'll probably still see the choppy conditions....but there is plenty of lakefront that is protected by breakwaters, so it shouldn't be too bad.

LHG - you still coming? Haven't heard from your corner in awhile.


Cicada posted 10-21-2004 12:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     
Coming into town tonight the lake had a bit of a chop. Dreary day, still the activity at the lake front and couple of boats out.

Looks like a low pressure coming through. They are predicting winds shifting through south to southwest on Saturday. Offshore prediction of waves building from 12 to 16 feet. Inshore should be ok. Sounds alot like the west shore of Lake Huron.

Pretty busy at the marinas pulling boats today. Don't think the launches get alot of use this time of year.


Buckda posted 10-21-2004 09:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
A SW wind would be good for us.

Those predictions are for more than 5 miles offshore...nearshore predictions remain at 5 to 7 feet..going to be "Whaler Weather".

Bigshot posted 10-21-2004 11:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I will be up in Chicago November 10, 11, & 12. Anyone wanna do something Thursday night or Friday? Sorry I won't be there for the weekend but it is a business trip. I am staying over till friday(plane leaves at 6:15pm) and wish I could stay longer but I have plans for the weekend in sunny FL.

So we don't bogart Cicada's thread, feel free to e-mail me.

Buckda posted 10-22-2004 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Nearshore forecast for Chicago:

4 TO 6 FEET.


Looks like we'll be doing the river/circle tour.

Cicada posted 10-23-2004 12:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     

Sounds good. I'll talk to you in the morning.


Buckda posted 10-25-2004 12:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Forecasts generally wrong.

Rained in the the time we hit the lake, (1.5 hours from the marina in Burnham and through a lock) the sun was breaking through and the clouds were breaking.

Waves generally 3 feet or so...strong wind gusts...and get this: Wind veered from SE to NW throughout the we ended up with following seas in both ways of big-lake crossing.

Paul took quite a few photos, I'm sure he'll post them when he gets a chance.

We explored Burnham Harbor, and then cruised right along the city/LakeShore drive..then entered the Chicago River and at at Dick's Last Resort at River North. As the sun was setting, we cruised up the Chicago river to the branch and then returned through the concrete and glass canyon to the lake. As night fell, we explored navy pier, Diversey Harbor and Montrose Harbor, then ran back to the Calumet River under a nearly full and bright moon with a beautiful clear sky above and great views of the skyline. Out over the lake towards Michigan were some high thunderheads with lightning. Was a beautiful run, but cool...glad I have my canvas since the spray was picked up by the wind and thrown back over the boat. I remained dry, but I'm sure Paul took spray (though he didn't complain once).

Was a great time...didn't haul the boat until 12:30 am, and ended up back in my apartment by 4:30 AM....

Paul - I drove down to the South Side to see where we were at the mouth of the river - very rough neighborhood...glad we didn't go looking for a gas station there!

Buckda posted 10-25-2004 12:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
that should be "ate" at Dick's Last Resort
Cicada posted 10-25-2004 07:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     
Have to thank Buckda for the great tour of the city.

Very rewarding experience for me. Don't very often combine the open water with the urban environment. Cruising the river was an opportunity to observe without being caught up in the rush. I still can't get over the number of people that use the waterfront there. Mr. Burnham had a real vision.

Chicago skyline at night is awesome.

Enjoyed the runs up and back. Fortunately the weather decided to cooperate. Early morning was a real downpour. I take my boating when I can get it, which usually isn't often enough.

Got back into Detroit early am today. Looked at the pictures which I'll post in the next couple of days. Little disappointed in the night photos - streaks of light from the action of the waves. Really need a stable platform with the digital camera that I was using.

Good time.

Dave brought up a Lake Michigan crossing during the trip. About a 60 mile trip one way. Interesting.

Dave - I agree about the neighborhood there.

The urban cruising seems like a pretty good option when we have significant others that either aren't available or uninterested in going out in marginal weather to do a little boating. A good way to combine boating with shows, dinners, museums, shopping or whatever.

Still prefer the wilderness boating though.


Buckda posted 10-25-2004 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Official trip odometer reading was 65.4 miles...that's a nice day of boating.

A lake crossing from St. Joseph would entail a minimum of 125 miles or so....about 3 hours each way at about 20 MPH...and you'd have to pick your days with care...but it would be much fun - and I'm interested in trying it sometime next summer when the downtown fuel docks are open and the seas are generally calm. I think it would make a really fun rendezvous - The Michigan/Ohio contingent could launch from St. Joseph and we could run over to Chicago for the weekend and run back across.

Not something I'm interested in doing solo until I have new power, but definitely would do it with a wingman.

John and Larry - sorry you couldn't join us -- it was a really great day of late-season boating.

kingfish posted 10-25-2004 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Sorry too - I would have enjoyed the time with you guys, and I'm glad it worked out for you.

I did get started on the project of pulling off my teak and refinishing it - the Z-spar Flagship, foam brushes and stuff are on the way and the first coaming strip is cleaned and sanded...

Think Spring-

LHG posted 10-26-2004 01:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Sounds nice, John. Glad to hear you're bringing the teak up to the quality of the rest of the boat. Varnished, it's going to be "yachtlike" for sure. We are also sorry to have missed a 2nd Fall Rendezvous with the "more rugged and adventuresome" members of the BWGLCC, but Susan was not up to it. She's OK now, however.

So I took advantage of the warm weekend to complete the gelcoat restoration and polishing on the 21's hull. Entire exterior of hull now looking like it did when it left the factory on that cold afternoon of December 19th, 1970!

Buckda posted 10-26-2004 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
John -

The boat should gleam with the wood refinished....your kids will definitely be begging to drive "the cool boat" now!

Larry -

I was kind of expecting you to show up once the sun came out, but understand how you get sucked into a new project...just remember, if you need someone to put some hours on the twin 115's...I'm here in town...I can excercise T/T Whale Lure and I won't charge you a thing!

Cicada posted 10-31-2004 07:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     
Pictures are finally posted at:

Hope you like them.

home Aside posted 10-31-2004 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Dave & Paul,
Nice photo's and account of you're day cruise in Chicago.....a great town, I wish I could have joined you on that one.....


Cicada posted 11-02-2004 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     

Thanks. Wish you could have also. Turned out to be a nice day and a fun trip. Not many days like that left this year.


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