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Need some quidance from the "Family" on boat size vs. use

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Old 12-13-2013, 08:44 AM
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Default Need some quidance from the "Family" on boat size vs. use

Hello, been on this forum for a few short years now and have learned a lot. One of those typical guys who has this dream about owning a certain boat, but now starting to think about how realistic it is to own my "dream" boat.

Current situation:
I live in NE Indiana and have a largish family, so any boating I do is a day trip, absolutely no plans to ever sleep over on a boat. Lake erie and Lake Michigan are all about 2 to 2 1/2 hours away.

Now, right down the road is Lake Wawasee. It is a 3,000+ acre natural lake that I can generally have my boat at the launch in 25 minutes of pulling out of the drive at the beautiful and free public launch. I boat during the week when it is pretty empty due to my job gets slow in the summer. The Formula 272 really works out nice for this as it is plenty big to handle any water a lake like that offers. Gives a small cabin to change in, use a potty (kids), planes at 16 mph and works great for tubing and water sports. I really do like it and look forward to getting it up on Lake Michigan, Erie and St. Clair in the future.

Dream
Of course, this is not my dream boat. My absolute dream boat is a 377 Scarab, side by side with the huge cockpit. Was my first exposure to offshore and I love the layout. Next would be a Scarab III. Either of these would be too big for Wawasee, so they would only get used a few times a year when traveling.

Dilema:
Am I insane for considering a second larger boat for Lake Michigan given a few runs a year? Just how often does it get rough enough to keep a 272 off the lake? I know people run these size boats out there in 3' water with family aboard. Most times I see the lake, it is 3' or less waves. I remember running in that 377 in 3' + waves and it felt like a Cadillac. You could just stand there cruising around 3500 rpm. Of course, now it almost seemed too smooth, like you needed bigger waves to make it fun. And it is a HEAVY boat!

Question:
So, what is it like running a boat the size of the Formula 272 LS (old school, true 27' boat) in the great lakes? Do people find it generally acceptable? Would like to make the St. Clair old school reunion once a year, run out of south haven area couple of times and maybe see lake erie once a year. But that is about it. Heck, last year we took a pontoon boat out on superior to tour pictured rocks and I often see pontoon boats out on Lake Michigan it is so calm.

typing this has probably answered my question, but appreciate any feedback on running the Formula on the great lakes.

Thanks all, Brian
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:52 PM
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Hi Brian, we too have experienced your same dilemma. First we know lake Wawasee -- we live about 30-40 minutes north and have an opportunity to go there - thank goodness it was during the week. I wouldn't want to go there on a weekend and from what locals have said -- the place is a zoo.

We have a summer place in southern Michigan where we had a Browning Trihull 18' 165 hp with 660 hours. It is pristine. A number of years ago we took this boat to lake Michigan- Saugatuck -- we got bit big time. For the first time in my life we were able to drive for an hour and then make a turn. Fortunately the lake had 1-3ft waves - it was a little interesting but we kept our eye on the weather and had a wonderful time. Well as time went on we took the boat back to lake Michigan and sometimes had to just stay in the Harbor because there was too much of a potential for bigger water than the boat or for that matter I could handle.
We always wanted to get a boat that was small enough for our cottage but large enough to comfortably take it to lake Michigan. This past summer we were blessed and was able to acquire a Cobalt 226 – it has a 7.4 MPI Bravo III with Thru Hull Exhaust – IT SCREAMS—63mph with no sweat. We didn’t have time to take it out on lake Michigan this year but Lord willing next year we should be able to get er out and run it.

I think you shouldn’t have ANY issue with a 27’ boat on the big lake– but that is within reason. We have been at St. Joe a number of times and have seen the 14’ aluminum fishing boats going out (I personally think they have a death wish) and have spoken with owners of some larger performance boats--- all of them agree that on some days the QEII would be too small on lake Michigan. I think it all boils down to some common sense.
All the best – safe boating

Ps I also like the of 1 Samuel 3:4
I’ve thought of having a small poster made for our cottage that would say
Boating is biblical – Jesus got into a boat
Matthew 13:2
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:13 PM
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I have iceboated at wawasee....on the weekend and it wasn't a zoo. just have to pick the right time of year to go boating...
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:30 PM
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Generally lake mi is a little more tame the first half of the summer. You can try and plan your trips during this time of the year, also if you go a little further north, holland, gr haven, and muskegon all have inland lakes you can check out if the big lake is too snotty. With having a larger family, young kids maybe, they might not enjoy getting pounded all day long in 2-3 ft waves even though your boat is more than capable for that water. In my opinion a 27 formula should do just fine on most days it just depends on your passengers.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:51 AM
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We always wanted to get a boat that was small enough for our cottage but large enough to comfortably take it to lake Michigan. This past summer we were blessed and was able to acquire a Cobalt 226 – it has a 7.4 MPI Bravo III with Thru Hull Exhaust – IT SCREAMS—63mph with no sweat. We didn’t have time to take it out on lake Michigan this year but Lord willing next year we should be able to get er out and run it.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:00 PM
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I run my 272 on Lake Erie solely. I have the family out in solid 3's all the time. The occasional 4 or 5 will rock you but at no time does it ever feel unsafe, just not a pleasant ride. 1-3's all day long is pretty comfortable. But like someone else said we watch the weather and use common sense. You won't have any trouble on the big lakes with your 272, IMO.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:26 PM
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I ran my old 27 on erie for years in just about every thing u can think of from 1ft or less to 5 to 7's and never felt unsafe. some times we got a little wet and had to slow down and ride up and down them but never thought the boat couldn't handle it. for running in your small lake and the big ones u might want to think about a 32 or 33 ft boat. I think that will be an all around fit for u. and trust me the jump from a 27 to a 33 is a big one when it comes to boats.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:04 AM
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You havent run your boat in Lake Michigan yet whats the hold up?? Experance it for yourself with what you have. Then after a few triips to the lake one can figure out whats missing, needed, wanted. Maybe you will decide on a smaller boat for the 3000 acre lake.
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