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Author Topic:   Great Lakes Memorial Day Rendezvous
Buckda posted 05-17-2005 04:05 PM ET (US)   Profile for Buckda   Send Email to Buckda  
Two and a half weeks to go 'till summer officially begins with Memorial Day Weekend.

How 'bout a Great Lakes rendezvous for the weekend?!

Your thoughts and ideas for a rendezvous are welcome.

Right now, I'm thinking about a rendezvous in Cheboygan, Michigan. There is a Best Western(? or similar) hotel on the Cheboygan River with docks included in the room rate, and there are several nearby state parks if you wish to camp out. Additionally, this positions us with two equally good options for boating: if it's windy and/or rainy, we can go south through the inland waterway through Mullet and Burt Lakes, crossing through the scenic community of Indian River.

If it's nice, we can run offshore out to Mackinac Island, and even up to the Les Cheneaux Islands community on the southern shore of the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

...Or maybe we make it a Mackinac Island rendezvous?

Ideas? Interest?

Buckda posted 05-17-2005 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
...Another way to think of it, for those of you who are trying to get family members or friends to sign-on for one of the larger, future rendezvous', is that this long weekend can be the perfect "training" trip for that prospective co-pilot.

Say, you've been thinking about taking your son with you on one of the bigger trips, but you're not sure how he will respond. This saves you days of "can we go home yet?" by introducing them to this type of boating with an "easy out" if things don't go as planned, vs. being stuck in the middle of a 7 day rendezvous.

Considering upsizing? Take one of the other attendee's boats for a test run to see how you like it. This can go a long way to help convince the decision maker in your life about the benefits of giving in to your severe case of two-footitis. Once they've actually experienced the difference, you're halfway there!

I'd love to see some new faces (as well as old friends) on this type of rendezvous, as it's a perfect little introduction to this type of cruising.


home Aside posted 05-17-2005 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
I'm off that weekend and my wife is throwing a wedding shower for a cousin that my house....I was looking for a way to make my self scarce.....HHHHHHHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.....I'll let you know ASAP, unfortunately my friend in St. Ignace sold his place....but Cheboygan sounds interesting...I'll let you know


Teak Oil posted 05-17-2005 08:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
Dave Cheboygan sounds like a good idea. I wont be able to make the whole weekend but I may be able to do a day or two.

sportroyalwulf posted 05-17-2005 08:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for sportroyalwulf  Send Email to sportroyalwulf     
Might I suggest the Frankfort, Honor, Crystal Lake area. This would give a lot of choices. Less travel time from Chicago. Inland on the large Crystal Lake or smaller Platte lake (usually good smallmouth fishing). Good Lake Michigan access at Frankfort. Not too far from Leland as a good start point to the Manitou Islands.


Teak Oil posted 05-18-2005 02:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
That area is great too. I have benn on Platte Lake many times. I am considering meeting Jeff Rohfling up there in July. They are both the same distance from me so whichever you guys prefer
Buckda posted 05-18-2005 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
James -

My only thought there is that I don't have charts for that part of Lake Michigan (and I do for all of Lake Huron). I've been running local paper charts for southern Lake Michigan where I do most of my boating and am very familiar with the water. For Lakes Huron and Superior, I have both Blue Charts for my GPS and Richardson's.

..I'd love to visit the Manitou's though.

That said, we're going to be near that part of the lake for the Charlevoix rendezvous in August.

Let's get a count of everyone who wants to get together for the weekend, and then take a vote.


Royboy posted 05-18-2005 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Count me in tentatively. I just got the Friday before off (5/27/05), so I'm good to go. Not sure yet if we're heading North or staying local (S.E. Michigan).


Royboy posted 05-19-2005 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
How about the Elk/Torch/Skegemog/Intermediate chain of lakes? Nice inland cruising up that way, and the Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan are handy for some big water if the waetehr allows it.


Royboy posted 05-19-2005 10:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Buckda posted 05-19-2005 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Well, We have four potential attendees and three proposed locations.

Both of the other ideas for the West side of the state (not that it matters much that far north) are good ones. I went ahead and bought the Lake Michigan blue chart last night just in case (I really just needed an impetus to do so...even if I don't use it for memorial day, I'll use it on the Charlevoix rendezvous in August) so that is a non-issue for me now.

I'm not saying that it's a really difficult thing to haul out the boat and re-launch on the big lake, but really, I'd prefer to put the boat in when I get there and not have to haul out until Monday afternoon. That is part of my affection for the Cheboygan location as well.

Crystal lake is beautiful. A childhood friend of mine has a family place just outside of Beulah, and I remember how clear that water is!...I wish it were connected via a channel to the big lake (So close!).

Let's vote by tomorrow at midnight. If we don't have a solid destination, then others will hesitate to join the group, and the whole thing will fizzle.


jeffs22outrage posted 05-19-2005 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     
guys Bob and I have talked about doing Frankfort/ LeeLand/ Crystal Lake on July 15-17th.

I think I am going to be in Grand Haven Memorial Weekend and might take the newly finished outrage for the first run of the year. If I am not there the I will be in Port Huron for the launch. I am hoping atleast! I would love to go way up north but I am going to be up there alot this summer so I need to watch where I tow to. 9mpg with my truck towing the 22 really sucks. I will keep you all informed.


Royboy posted 05-19-2005 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I'm only a tentative participant, and I don't really have a strong preference for any place over the other. They all sound great! Anyway, you guys pick, and if I can come along, I'll go with the majority. Put me down for "abstain".

13 Sport

sportroyalwulf posted 05-20-2005 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for sportroyalwulf  Send Email to sportroyalwulf     
My vote (for a blue state from a red state).

Meet at Leland early morning on Saturday May 28. Go out to one of the Manitou Islands (probably south). Explore shipwrecks, island and whatever else. Come back when ready. If the weather is not cooperating we have the options of Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Leelenau, or other lakes previously mentioned.

Teak Oil posted 05-20-2005 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
Well since I have a wife and two little kids this weekend I went ahead and made reservations for the Best Western in Cheboygan. I needed a motel and figured they would all be booked soon. The Days Inn was booked solid so it looks like the Montauk will stay in the parking lot there. I reserved Saturday and Sunday nights, I have to work late Friday night.

If anyone wants to join they are welcome. Also if there are rooms avail somewhere else I will go ahead and cancel this reservation and book somewhere else.


joe price posted 05-22-2005 05:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for joe price  Send Email to joe price     
Any conclusions for all the good ideas? I live in the Elk
Rapids area, so almost everything mentioned is fairly close for me. Be glad to set up something for the chain or Torch Lake in the future. There's a nice motel at the foot of Torch and a decent state launch nearby. Let me know where you guys are going and we'll hope to meet you with our sport 15.
Royboy posted 05-22-2005 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Joe, at the risk of mixing subjects here, are you planning to attend the Whaler owners event in Charlevoix this August? here is a link: . By the way, my parents live in Elk Rapids, so I get up there as much as I can. I'll keep an eye out for you.

13 Sport

Buckda posted 05-23-2005 11:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
My vote is for Cheboygan. I'm going to reserve a campsite at Aloha State Park on Mullet Lake.


joe price posted 05-24-2005 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for joe price  Send Email to joe price     
Sounds like at least a few will be going to Cheyboygan. We will probably make it a day trip, so maybe somebody can set a tentative schedule and we'll know which day and where to show up, weather cooperating. A trip to the island sounds interesting if we'll go as a group, for safety's sake. We hope to make the Charlevoix meet. Royboy,if I'm out it's usually on Elk or the south end of Torch. I may be the only 15 around, recognizable by a folding white seat rather than the bench. Looks a little peculiar but comfortable. Look forward to the Cheyboygan plan.
Buckda posted 05-24-2005 03:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I have reservations at Cheboygan County Marina near the mouth of the Cheboygan river.

I will arrive late Friday night and leave on Monday in the early afternoon.

Bob - I'll see you there.

I hope to see the rest of you guys there too.


Royboy posted 05-24-2005 04:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Excellent jumping off point for a run out to the islands Dave. Also a great photo op for a shot of your boat at the city ramp across from the CG dock. The Mackinaw was still there last year, but I think she has since been retired.


Teak Oil posted 05-24-2005 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
If the outlook doesnt improve soon I may not be going. 58 and rain is not a good recipe for fun with the wife and a four and a 1 year old.

I will wait until tomorrow night to decide. This sucks

Buckda posted 05-25-2005 12:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I'll be there no matter the weather.

(Good reason for you to consider a Mills Canvas system, Bob!)

If it's rainy and calm, I'll still likely make the run to the Island. With rain gear, etc., I could have the Island to myself, eh!

Teak Oil posted 05-25-2005 11:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
Mills canvas may save a bachelor like yourself but I couldnt keep the family cooped up in one for a weekend. I want to go but I dont want their first experience in the Whaler to be miserable. I still would like to get one for staying on the boat on trips like the Isle Royal one but I dont think it would help this weekend.

The good news is I am all set for the Charlevoix Owners event anyways.

Buckda posted 05-26-2005 11:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
The forecast calls for 40% chance of rain.

If it does rain, my understanding is that Cheboygan has a nice downtown for some window-shopping.

The other option would be to load the kids in the boat (or on a nice warm ferry) and spend the day on mackinac island.

Not that I'm telling you what to do....

Looks like it will just be me and my friend Kevin in Cheboygan then.

I'll be sure to take photos to make you feel bad when the sun is blazing and the straits are flat calm! :)


Newport_whaler posted 05-26-2005 04:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
I talked it over with the better half (not the whaler) and we are going to have to pass- hope you guys have a great time -- you know that means --- 40% change of rain -- means that there is 60% that it will not rain-- sounds like great odds to me --- still looking at the isle royal -- make decision next week -- and the beaver trip in Aug.


Teak Oil posted 05-27-2005 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
Dave did you get a camera yet? Be sure to take pics of what I am missing. I will still be on the Whaler Monday for some fishing.


Buckda posted 05-27-2005 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Bob -

I did get a camera, and I need to say that I've also changed my plans. That is a long way to drive if I'm not meeting up with people, so look for me in the Holland/Grand Haven / Muskegon region along lake Michigan.

Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 01:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
hey dave,

i will be in grand haven this weekend also-- look for me 83 17' newport red rub rail -- BW flag-- American Flag --- all red mills canvass-- red and black ID numbers-- i remember yours from a pic-- Gambler right?


Buckda posted 05-27-2005 01:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Hey Tom -

Yeah - Blue Mills canvas, red lettering, radar arch and will have American flag flying from the arch and the Michigan state flag from the bow.

I monitor 9, 16, 68 and 72.

You'll get a chance to take a look-see at the arch, eh?!

What's your handle?


jeffs22outrage posted 05-27-2005 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     
Heck ya!!!! Grand Haven really I thought I was going to be the out on out There. I just finished the Outrage and will be there all weekend for it's maiden runs after its rebuild..
Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
handle--Triple T ---

I sure would love to see that arch this weekend--i am going to have to wait until i sell one of the houses before i copy off of you though --taking up all that boating time fixing things at the house.

What is your handle ---Kenny Rogers--LOL---Gambler?


jeffs22outrage posted 05-27-2005 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     
BTW the name on the boat is Hells Bells in Gold and Black Lettering.... Guys my number is 248.376.5662 if you would like to call I would love to head out with you guys!
Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
Hey Jeff--

Whats your rig look like --- handle?--- i will keep an eye out for you---hell maybe we should start a quick thread to get some others to putt around this weekend?


Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
maybe i can get my buddy to get his 71 Sakonnet out too this weekend?---Green Turtle
jeffs22outrage posted 05-27-2005 02:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     
Tom and Dave, call me at the number above, really I would love to all get together. I will be at my In-Laws all weekend in Spring Lake (Grand Haven). What are your contact #'s?

Here are images of the boat...¤t=DSC02398.jpg

Buckda posted 05-27-2005 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Just call my boat name on the radio and I'll respond.

I'm still looking into a place to slip the boat - any recommendations? It's me and a buddy and we'll be staying aboard. We'll probaby put in around noon tomorrow, maybe before and depending on the weather will likely have the shelter/windshield and flying top set.

Jeff - the boat looks great!

I'll e-mail you guys with my cell phone info.


Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
Beautiful boat--574-360-0914--cell -- leave message if no answer--looks like i should arrive tonight sometime--in laws too be--- have a slip at the new skipper buds in town --
jeffs22outrage posted 05-27-2005 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     
Dave the sea wall along the city in grand haven if open and free. IF there is nothing there there is a bunch of other Places.

Do you guys what to plan on Tomorrow at Noon at the Harbor Island ramp? Great Launch...If you are heading south on 31 you make a right turn on to Jackson (street that takes you into downtown grand haven and first right when you cross the draw bridge). Follow Jackson and make a right onto 3rd Street (AKA Harbor Island Drive) follow 3rd over the bridge and it will make a Hard 90 to the right. After the right Make a left at the first street and follow that and the road will dead end at the ramp.

Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
dave check with that new Skipper Buds - the last owner used to which was just before this season-- i would hunt down the number - but i am way over due for lunch -- will get it when i get back for ya-


Buckda posted 05-27-2005 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Tom -

How are you keeping the boat at Skipper Buds? I just called and they don't have any transient slips (Not booked, they said they don't have slips available for transient boaters).


Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 03:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
sorry if i mislead ya- the in-laws have had a standing slip there for a number of years- and at one time -before it became skippers this year - my wife (to be)-{hey maybe we should have a Whaler Wedding?}-- back on track- used to get a slip there from time to time -- she had a 21' conquest- was not sure if they would have something for you or not it was worth a shot.

i will be hauling out everyday or tie up to them and the neigbor-


Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 04:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
Newport_gal just told me she called the municipal marina for ya (checking others still for ya) and they are full-but as Jeff mentioned you can tie up on the wall just before them coming in from the lake for free.

Jeff i am going to say that we will be there-but maybe give me a call an hour before--

just in case

Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 04:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
the wall is not great! you should bring alot of bumpers just in case-
Buckda posted 05-27-2005 04:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
THanks Tom -

That wall is about 8 feet high off the water, and if the wind is blowing in, or when there's boat traffic, it gets kinda bouncy.

Also - gives passersby an eagle-eye look right into the bow where I'll be sleeping!

Yeah, if possible, I'd like to find a transient slip at a Marina - otherwise I'll haul it out and drive it south to the barn for overnight. It'd be the same cost (just two hours drive) and I'd get to sleep in a bed at my friend's house, eh!?

I'm going to try North Shore Marina across from the CG station.


Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
hey dave --

just called a place named -- Dick's Landing
10367 North Cedar Drive, Grand Haven, MI 49417
(616) 842-1078
they have open slips for this weekend-you will want to call and check on details -- $15 a night-- 8 miles up river --- ouch --- but it will be closer than driving-

here is a link to there address from the yellow pages:

just found another ---Barrett Boat Works Inc
821 West Savidge Street, Spring Lake, MI 49456
(616) 842-1202

$2 per foot per night--- but it is right in the middle of everything--per Newport_Gal-next to shops and a BREWERY!!! YEA HA I MIGHT HAVE TO STAY THERE TO--first time for me in Grand Haven

have one more brewing - if you will(i.e. calling another place for ya) --please stand by-

home Aside posted 05-27-2005 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Farmington Hills, Mi to Cheboygan, Mi 267 Miles

Farmington Hills, Mi to Grand Haven, Mi 167 miles

Wife throwing wedding shower for cousin on Saturday, wants me out of the house.....

HHHHHHHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMM I think I see a thought pattern developing here!!!! I'll let you know


Newport_whaler posted 05-27-2005 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
cant find anything else right now--

Time for me to get out of the office--YA BAH DAH BAH DOO -- TIME --- 5 in Michigan-- i will check with ya after i get to inlaws -- 9pm ish on CW-email your # if u want-or i will hail ya on radio-


Buckda posted 05-27-2005 05:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Barret Boat Works it is -

I have reservations there. Not too big, so you should be able to find me.

Chat with you tomorrow!


Buckda posted 05-27-2005 06:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     

Do it.


jeffs22outrage posted 05-27-2005 10:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     
Just got here in grand haven and it is a great sun set! RED(ish) sky. So what do you think? Noon at Harbor Island or would you rather meet up some place else? On the water or off?


TomG posted 05-29-2005 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for TomG  Send Email to TomG     
We were down in Grand Haven on Saturday...around 6...walking the pier...and I saw you guys come in from the lake.

Unfortunately, I saw the post that you had decided to come to GH too late to get my boat out and join you. I hope you had a great time! It was a beautiful day with 1-2's on the lake...a little chilly, but the sun was shining. Hopefully the next time any of you are in the GH area we can hook up.


jeffs22outrage posted 05-29-2005 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     
Yes Yesterday was a great day. A bit cold but sunny. I got lots of pics and I know Dave did as well. I was going to meet up with Dave and Pat (Home Aside) today but it was to cold for the Family on the lake so we cruised the river and Spring Lake. I will post the images of Tuesday.
home Aside posted 05-29-2005 11:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Just got home from Spring Lake, my first time there, great area, Beautiful sunny day, I left the house around 8am got to Spring Lake around 10:30AM, gassed the truck & boat, met the Gambler & crew, dropped the Montauk in and off we went, made the run down to Holland, stopped about half way to set my forward shelter, flytop, & windshield (a little breezy & cool on the water). Made our way back up to Spring Lake where we met up with Tom and his beautiful Newport, first time I've seen one up close, the mills canvas set for the Newport is completely different than it's close cousin the Montauk, much roomier. Tom has one nice Whaler, we went out for dinner, battened down all the hatches on the Montauk loaded her up & headed for home at 8PM, arrived home about 10:30PM, 311 miles round trip on the truck, probably about 55-60 miles on the Montauk all in the span of about 14 1/2 hours. Pure unadulterated fun!!!! Sorry I missed seeing your Outrage 22 Jeff, hopefully I'll get to meet you sometime soon.....


Buckda posted 05-31-2005 12:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Grand Haven Memorial Day Rendezvous Report

Total Travel:
141 miles by automobile (round trip from St. Joseph)
137.4 Statute miles by boat (GPS)

Barrett Boat Works (***1/2 rating)
Just-opened, clean bathhouse with hot showers
Full service fuel dock
Friendly neighbors
Quiet and calm at night
Walking distance to Spring Lake downtown and restaurants
Easy access from main road and simple directions
Docks very high for smaller Boston Whalers
Fish-cleaning station near transient slips
$2/foot slip fee on the high side
Clueless front desk staff

My friend Kevin and I depart St. Joseph at 6:30 AM local time (5:30 AM Central) and head north to Grand Haven, arriving at 9:00 AM

I walk into the front office at Barrett Boat Works to ask for dockage for the weekend. Two telephone calls and three radio calls later, the front desk attendant is unable to determine exactly how to bill me for the stay, and can’t find the forms for me to fill out. I finally suggest that she simply take my name and information on a slip of paper, and come to my boat if they need additional information. She agrees and we walk to the parts department to run my credit card ($2/Foot per night x 18 foot Outrage=$72). After three attempts to operate the credit card machine, she finally manages to select “credit” instead of “debit” and runs my card. I’m wondering at this point if this is going to be a foreshadow of things to come this weekend. Finally at 9:30 or so I’m on my way to the ramp. One of the marina staff comes out to greet me and give me my dock assignment: B dock, slip 65. He’s a nice guy, and the ramp is very nice. Things are looking up.

I make a call to Jeff (Jeffs22Outrage) and let him know where we are. I also call Tom (Newport_whaler) and learn that he’s “about an hour” away from being ready. No problem, since Jeff pulls up in his 22’ Outrage and we gam for awhile about various mods both he and I have made to the boats.

The weather is sunny and 60 with high clouds.

Jeff, Kevin and I have been talking awhile now, the boats still on the trailer, and we’re slowly getting the boats ready for launch. I’m setting my canvas and loading coolers, etc. Time is passing.

A very nice local gentleman idles his truck by Gambler and stops to chat for awhile. He gives us some tips on local breakfast places (useful for Sunday and Monday mornings) and we just talk the talk of people on vacation who aren’t time-constrained (I reflect later that this is what it must have been like for my grandparents – to just meet folks from town and chat because you had the time – must have been nice, and no wonder communities were so close-knit back in the day!).

Still on the hard, waiting for Tom. I call Tom and he says he’s about 15 minutes away. At this point, a local has put his 1971 17’ Cherokee in at the ramp and is working on the idle adjust for his (extremely well-running) 1971 Evinrude 50 HP motor. Jeff and I are trapped for the moment while this individual finishes up. Turns out Tom and his fiancée Barb had put in at a public ramp nearby and are already in the water as they idle up to the marina ramp while Jeff is putting in. We say our hello’s while Kev and I work to get Gambler in the water and started up.

Finally! We’re all on the water, and it’s only a little after NOON!!! We all head out to check the lake and, finding it calm, we make the run up to Muskegon. It’s a beautiful afternoon and the boats are running well. The Newport has brand new Mills Canvas (That smell is better than new car smell!) and is running strong. Jeff’s 22 is running typical of all 22’s – solid, confident ride. He looks like he’s patrolling some port somewhere riding proud at the helm with no canvas. His boat is immaculate, as is Tom’s. I’m feeling like I have to invest some more in cleaning supplies!

It is a pleasant cruise up to Muskegon and the sun is shining through high clouds, but it’s nice to have the canvas up – I’m comfortable in Jeans and a button down shirt. We pass the lake-liner Buffalo in Lake Muskegon leaving the port as we run to the East end of the lake to a restaurant called “Rafferty’s”. Turns out, Jeff’s wedding reception was held at this restaurant and that’s how he knew about it. They have very nice docks and we make fast our lines and head in to the restaurant.

I have the pan-fried lake-perch. Three fillets, with fries and it is excellent. My first perch dinner of the year. (Somewhere about this time, we learn more about Barb, Tom’s bride-to-be, who was proposed to (and said yes) aboard his Newport, and quite seriously wants to be married aboard a Whaler (Way to go Tom!) – Kevin and I want to know where you got her, and if there were more where she came from!?

Seriously – they’re a wonderful couple and it was a pleasure to meet them both.

After lunch, we head back to Grand Haven. (this must be when TomG spotted us on the pier). Outside the pierhead, we meet up with Barb’s dad and sister in their 1972 Sakonnet with newer Yamaha power. The boat is Bristol and again, I’m thinking of making a larger investment in cleaning chemicals and perhaps buy stock in the Collonite Wax brand.

Barb, Tom and Barb’s dad all divert to the public ramp for dinner with her parent’s and we make arrangements for an evening cruise on Spring Lake later in the evening. Jeff, Kevin and I head back to Barrett where Jeff hauls out to go have dinner with his family.

Kevin and I enjoy a nice cold beer dockside and just enjoy what is turning into a beautiful late afternoon and evening.

Soon, Tom and Barb appear again in the Newport for the cruise on Spring Lake. Shortly, we’re headed out just as darkness begins to fall. The lake is flat calm and I radio Tom that we should “run” up to the end of the lake and then slowly cruise back down. He concurs and I throttle up and burn some oil off the spark plugs. 46.2 MPH speed over ground – my boat still has it! That new prop Larry sold me must have made up the difference caused by the drag from the arch (and that’s with canvas up!). I slow down and let Tom catch up in his Newport and we reach the end of the lake (near the town of Fruitport). There is a carnival of some sort that we can see through the trees, and one of those Sherriff patrol boats goes by us in the other direction (these guys were a show of force this weekend – I saw at least two patrol boats out on each and every time we left the docks).

We cruise leisurely back towards the town of Spring Lake, enjoying the effects of warm lighting in beautiful mansions on shore as we cruise in the now almost complete darkness. After awhile, we decide to raft up and just float in Jerusalem Bayou on the lake, and we do – just sitting and talking in the calm, quite bay for a few hours.

Around 11PM, we decide to go in. I very rudely forget that Tom does not have GPS aboard his boat and kick up the speed to get on a slow plane and run back to town. I notice that Tom and Barb are falling further and further behind, but hey – they’re young, in love and no one called on the radio, so I figure they need their alone time. But as I come up to the no-wake zone near the marina, I remember that Tom doesn’t have charts of GPS and call on the radio to find out if they need me to make my way back to help them get in. They respond negatively, so I remind him to call me on my cell phone if he needs anything, and proceed into the marina to dock the boat for the night. The skies are clearing and the stars are coming out.

A great day!

2:00 AM I wake. I’ve left the heater running in the boat to “take the edge off” and make the same mistake I made last fall, placing it near the back of the boat where the aft curtain allows a steady draft of cool air to fool the thermostat into thinking that the boat is 40 degrees instead of the 60 degrees I’ve set it to maintain. I’m hot, and what’s that in my back? This is the first outing where there are two people sleeping in the bow of the boat, and the cooler cleats that are an integrated part of the bow platform are squarely in our backs (this wasn’t a problem before as I slept in the middle of the two, but since Kev and I are friends, but not THAT friendly, we’re separated somewhat and this is a problem. I pull out my PFD vest and use the foam “back” of the vest to smooth out this effect. I also turn down the heater (later Kevin gets up and turns it off completely).

9:00 AM finds us up and showered, the canvas side curtains and aft curtain come down, the shelter, flying top and windshield stay up. The weather is beautiful – clear skies, forecast calls for hit and miss thunderstorms, especially inland and mostly for SW Michigan (later on the lake, we’ll see the cloud formations from this system, however it stays well south).

Pat (HomeAside) calls on the phone to say he’s about an hour away. Thinking (wrongly) that Tom and Barb might show up at any minute, I stay with the boat and Kevin walks into town for some breakfast and coffee. I settle for a Coke from the cooler.

Soon I get another call from Pat who is at the marina wondering where I am. He’s walking through the parking lot, and it doesn’t take long to spot Gambler’s blue canvas and he makes his way over to say hello. We make introductions and start to get HomeAside ready for the water, and I call Tom. Barb’s not feeling well, so it looks like he’s sitting out this one. I then call Jeff. Today is family day on the boat, and his family isn’t ready yet. Well, Pat has to get back home by the evening because he has to work on Monday, so we head on out. Jeff thinks they’ll be at Port Sheldon for the afternoon, so we figure a run to Holland will put us back around Port Sheldon just in time to meet up with Jeff and family.

I stop at the gas dock and take on fuel. I can’t remember the amount, but it was at about $2.50 something a gallon and we spend $55 and it’s not completely full. I have a bit of a problem getting the Merc 150 to start up again – she’ll turn over, but won’t fire. As the dock crew begins to warp the boat around to clear way for waiting vessels to get fuel, the engine fires and we’re good to go. While fueling, we saw a 13’ Dauntless and a 22 Outrage with WD named BELUGA cruise by.

As we cruise out the channel near the CG Group Grand Haven, all three sheriff patrol boats are in the channel chatting with each other. They look like 22-24 foot Pursuits. All have single outboards. One Honda, one Mercury Optimax, and one Yamaha. It is quite a display of commitment by the county to patrol this busy little port!

So we run to Holland, Dark clouds on the southern horizon – looks like rain, but lighter clouds on the Western Horizon. I’m glad I have my canvas up as the air is still cool. We stop at the Macatawa Bay Yacht club to see about lunch. The restaurant doesn’t open until 5 (it’s around 3 local time). We did manage to see a nice Hinckley in the harbor (name: Midnite Blue) and ran all the way up lake Macatawa to Holland. Disappointed that there isn’t better access to this beautiful little city from the lake, we can’t find dockage to walk to a restaurant, and I’m starving, so we decide to just run back to Grand Haven (I have another Coke to take on some sugar calories).

I call Jeff, turns out he and his family were too cold in the open boat (no canvas) to go out on the big lake, so they will NOT be at Port Sheldon. I call Tom next and Barb is still not feeling well, but he’s thinking about launching and meeting us at the pier in Grand Haven.

Pat, Kevin and I run out lake Macatawa at high speed and then into the lake for a return run up the big lake. The dark clouds have become darker on the southern horizon and one or two sprinkles cross my windshield. We kick it into gear and run back north to Grand Haven, making it there in about an hour. We enter the port (no sign of Tom) and since the seawall is packed with rafted boats and the Snug Harbor restaurant looks packed, we idle all the way back to the marina, where we pull HomeAside out of the water (and Tom meets up with us) and then walk over to the brewpub near the marina (can’t remember it – old boy brewhouse?) for a GREAT shaved prime rib sandwich and a nice conversation.

After lunch/dinner, Pat turns his rig towards home (not before throroughly checking out Tom’s immaculate Newport) and Tom, Kevin and I set off for another evening cruise of Spring Lake – this time with more daylight and more time to look at the nice homes.

We again raft up in Jerusalem Bayou for some beer and conversation into the darkness of night. The carnival in Fruitport has fireworks, which we get glimpses of through the trees, then watch as three waves of boats cruise down the main part of the lake in the darkness (something I love, and miss about our cottage in the UP was watching boats go by at night!). After awhile we decide to head back, but a heavy dew has fallen and it’s impossible to remove from the windshield and still have satisfactory vision for nighttime cruising. I advise Tom on how to push the windshield forward onto the shelter to have a clear line of site, but the cold air this lets into the cabin, and the risk of the windshield “flipping up” in the wind means that it will be a fast idle back to Spring Lake. It’s a nice night, and not too late so it is not a problem.

We get in around midnight and then say goodbye for the night.

8:30 AM finds us both up and out of the boat. After showers, etc. we unload the boat and load the truck, and I take down all the canvas except for the flying top. It is a beautiful morning, and I am HOT in my long-sleeved tee shirt. We walk into town for breakfast and arrive just in time for Spring Lake’s Memorial Day Parade. The Parade marches on outside the windows as we eat breakfast and is finished by the time we’re done.

We walk back to the marina and take the boat out for a brief cruise before we have to go. I want to have the boat on the trailer by 2 PM local, so we settle for a brief run in the big lake where we drift for awhile near shore and just enjoy the smell of the lake and the sights and sounds of the water lapping on the beach. A beautiful mallard duck comes alongside to see if we have any food. Kevin feeds it a sour cream and onion potato chip. I wonder if there won’t be a family this fall eating duck and wondering where that slight hint of junk food came from…this duck is a pro.

I check my watch and realize that we have to get moving. We make the run back north to Grand Haven and haul the boat and head back home.

It was a great time – and I thank everyone for participating. Was great to meet you Jeff and Tom and Barb. It was also great to see Pat again – I hope we all get a chance to cruise together again soon.



jeffs22outrage posted 05-31-2005 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     
I great weekend indeed. It was great meeting Tom, Barb, Dave, and Kevin. Hope Dave you'll make it back to Grand Haven this year... Let Me know when you do. Maybe Tom G will be able to make it out as well.

BTW Dave I stole your slip on Sunday and got some Ice Cream...Thanks ; )...

Here are some pictures I took before the camera went dead....Dave where are your images? :p


You will have to click the Previous button on Photobucket to go in order¤t=DSC02400low.jpg

Buckda posted 05-31-2005 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Photos are now on my Photobucket site:

Go to the "Buckda" album.

I'm moving things around - at first, you might find them in the main album but by tonight, they'll be in their own Memorial Day 2005 Album.


Newport_whaler posted 05-31-2005 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newport_whaler  Send Email to Newport_whaler     
I can’t begin to tell you how much Barb (Newportgal) and I enjoyed this weekend. Barb sends her regards for missing and keeping me from getting out there with you guys on Sunday.

I will not go into much detail as my good friend Dave has done so elegantly. I consider myself a man of little wisdom – oops I meant– of little words (thinking is something of a natural but the mouth or hands don’t seem to want to catch up today) compared to that of Dave. – Thanks for to detailed adventures –

This was the first experience for me on Lake Michigan (any of the great lakes for that matter) and could not have asked for a finer group of people to have been with. – Hats off to you Dave, Kevin, and Jeff for given me some learnings :). I just wish I could have made the trip with you to Holland (would have had some food to have another picnic – courtesy of the soon to be in-laws). Anyway thanks for the help with knowledge of boating pointers and the company this weekend.

Sorry Pat for not getting out there with you – but we will meet again I am sure of that – You were right I saw a lot of dear on the way home last night at 11pm.

TomG – indeed, I am sure I will be up there a lot this year—coast guard festival – maybe med to late June also. –

I will make a decision on Beaver trip – we should be all set to go – might stay in hotel instead of the motorhome though.


---You might say this was a Whale of a Tale---

Also we may have to have a National poll as to how many people would show for a Whaler Wedding—get BW to sponsor. ---Just a thought --- see that thought happened ten minutes ago????????????????? –Dave Pictures ----ha ha ha

jeffs22outrage posted 05-31-2005 04:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     
Thanks for these Dave!!!
jeffs22outrage posted 05-31-2005 04:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage
home Aside posted 05-31-2005 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Dave & Jeff,
Nice Photos, sorry I could only make it over for one day, but a great day it was,

Tom & Kevin,

pleased to have met you and look forward to dunkin the Whalers with you again some time soon....


Buckda posted 05-31-2005 07:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Photos have been moved:

As you can see, Monday was a beautiful day on the water, but I needed the shell of my Columbia parka, and the additional insulation of a PFD to stay warm:

Here's a look at the Tom's high tech navigational instrumentation on that 17' Newport:

Notice that his hull was originally a commercial hull, made into a recreational Newport model. That blue dot is GELCOATED into the hull:

Tom (Newport_whaler) and his boat:

Here's Gambler with the canvas up and the arch (which is really, really growing on me now):

Pat catches a little air under the hull on the run back to Grand Haven from Holland:

Barb's dad and sister in their classic Sakonnet, passing another classic, in Grand Haven:

Jeffs22Outrage in Hells Bells:

My friend Kevin piloting Gambler:

Tom tries to overtake Gambler (Nothing doing, Tom!):

Teak Oil posted 05-31-2005 09:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
Nice pics, glad you had a good time. Did everything run good on the old Merc Dave?
Cicada posted 06-01-2005 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Cicada  Send Email to Cicada     
Sounds and looks like you all had a good time. Sorry I missed it.

Really interesting set of canvas on the Newport. Looks a little sleeker than most. Great job of integrating the forward windshield.

Now that the Outrage is finally in the water I hope to catch up with some of you soon.


Buckda posted 06-01-2005 03:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     

Everything ran fine on the Merc Bob - with the exception of the difficult start at the fuel dock.

I must say though, that the 1983 Johnson V-4, 1982 Evinrude V-4 and 198? Evinrude 235 all ran smoother and quieter than my 1986 Mercury 150. They also produced much less smoke, and seemed to fire right up (the Evinrude V-4 was a slower starter than the rest, but that's because Pat has some kind of hesitation in the starter motor).

I'm not knocking Merc at all, but mine has seen better days for sure.

On Monday we also saw a new Outrage with Verado 225 power at the gas dock on the way back to the ramp. I was on a time crunch so I didn't get a chance to run out there to check it out in person, but it looked pretty big!

Although I replaced my voltage regulator the weekend before, I still had unusually high readings this weekend via the meter on my power distribution panel. I didn't get a chance to independently verify it with my multimeter, but will have to trouble shoot that this weekend. Also on the agenda this weekend is to check into the availability of two stroke Mercury EFI motors in my area, because I'm getting frustrated and want to know my options.

It was a great weekend overall, and I was glad to have hte opportunity to travel so far and with good people in great boats.


jeffs22outrage posted 06-01-2005 04:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     
the 1985 235 :P.....She looks and runs like new even though it is the motor that came with the boat...GOTTA LOVE IT!
jechura posted 06-01-2005 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jechura  Send Email to jechura     
All the boats look great! Jeff in his reborn 22, Dave with his new Arch, Pat in the Montauk and Tom's Newport with that eye catch red canvas. Tom, just wondering if you got something in writing approving those shadowed registration numbers. Looks like a ticket in the making to me.


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