Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Trips and Rendezvous
|Author||Topic: Chicago Plans|
posted 02-02-2011 08:45 PM ET (US)
I'm the proud owner of a 96' 17 Outrage based in the greater Ottawa County metroplex of Michigan. I'm thinking I want to take the beast down to Chicago for a week early next summer. I'm looking for any suggestions. In a perfect world, I'd drop it in, and moor in one of the lake front marinas.
posted 02-03-2011 11:01 AM ET (US)
The logistical problems you're going to have are: where to store the trailer and getting a slip that is convenient to your hotel. The company that runs the marinas in Chicago may be able to help you.
There is a decent ramp at the Fullerton/Diversey Harbor, with some trailer parking available, but I don't know if they allow overnight parking. The Day's Inn on Clark near North Ave is just down the road and within a nice walk through Lincoln Park to the Diversey/Fullerton Harbor. The ramp for the harbor in front of Soldier Field (forgetting the name of that harbor right now) is also good, but can be very crowded.
It is likely that slip availability will be limited in that harbor, though. You may have better luck having a conversation with some of the marinas in the area for trailer storage. That will allow you to drop the boat into virtually any of the harbors along the lakeshore, and store the trailer inland at one of the marinas on the River, and then make your crew happy by having access to a downtown/Gold Coast hotel and parking.
Then you can simply drive down or up to the harbor to get the boat.
The challenge will be the longsuffering of your crew. It will likely take you more than an hour to work through the mechanics of doing that....and if you have a downtown hotel, dropping the crew off before the trailer/boat (i.e. with a trailer in tow) is not a good idea.
Also remember, trailers aren't allowed on Lake Shore Drive.
If your crew doesn't have the stamina, but does have the ability to be a bit independent, it could make sense to drop them on the South Shore train line in Michigan City, IN and let them arrive at the Randolph Street Station at Michigan/Randolph and just steps from several nice hotels. You can then work the logistics on your own and meet them at the hotel. The train can be a very relaxing (and sometimes much faster) way to get into the heart of the city. They could also already begin some very light sightseeing/relaxing (millenium park fountain, Art Institute, etc).
Finally, be a defensive operator when on the Chicago Lakefront. Statistically, it is the most dangerous water for boaters on the Great Lakes. This is due to the "dumbing down" effect that cities apparently have on the general population.
It always amazes me that a city that can attract such intellect and the brightest minds in our society has people (in some cases, those very same people) who can act so stupidly when gathered in a group. !!
Happy to visit again....glad I moved away. I served my time.
posted 02-03-2011 04:29 PM ET (US)
Will all the snow and ice melt by then?
posted 02-03-2011 05:39 PM ET (US)
yes. Da mayor has a lucrative salt contract with some childhood friends from Bridgeport. As a result, they have plenty of salt.
posted 02-03-2011 10:54 PM ET (US)
Thanks very much Dave. I really appreciate the advice. We're South Shore Line veterans (just took it last weekend again). That sounds like a good idea.
posted 02-04-2011 12:12 PM ET (US)
Also, I'd connect with Westrec - the vendor that manages Chicago Harbors.
Some of their "winter storage" sites might be excellent locations to drop your trailer.
Obviously, if you're at a Michigan Ave or Loop hotel, you would want to be in DuSable, Burnham or the other harbor right there...but Diversey and Belmont are easy to get to as well.
For Diversey, you can get on the 141 bus on Michigan Ave and it will take you right up through Lincoln Park. Get off at the stop North of Fullerton and it's less than 1/5 of a mile walk to the harbor (Just get off at the Peggy Notebart children's museum, or one of the next stops north, and cross the park. I used to live right there at Fullerton and Clark.
The folks who ride that line are friendly and it's a very safe bus route with no bad neighborhoods.
posted 02-04-2011 12:15 PM ET (US)
You'd also ride that line if you were going to the lincoln park zoo or the nature conservatory. In fact, if your kids are young and would enjoy burgers, there's a great outdoor burger patio on Clark right at that stop. It's called Mickey's Snack Bar.
Also - some great Whaler Guardians are/were stationed at Diversey.
posted 02-05-2011 07:56 PM ET (US)
Why does it seem to be so stinking complicated to take a boat to Chicago, launch it and have some fun? Even here in West Michigan unless you are 25-30 foot or more options SUCK. We are not friendly to small boaters, driving the boat somewhere, tying up, walk up to a restaurant or tavern, have some dinner, hang out, spend money on local economy and go back. Sure there are some accommodations at city marinas and exceptions but compared to other places like Florida it just seems more hassle and unfriendly.
I'd love to launch somewhere close to Chicago and cruise in for some fun and seen some friends without hassle, mega attitudes and few options. I saw Downtown Development planners ought to lighten up and WELCOME "the rest of us" and encourage more docks and access.
FUN FUN FUN don't screw it up. "HATE bureaucracy" (who made that statement famous?"
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