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Racine, WI boating advice?

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Old 05-13-2003, 10:53 AM
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Default Racine, WI boating advice?

It's not 100% certain, but we plan to trailer our boat there the end of May while visiting non-boating family. Never boated around Racine, or on Lake Michigan.

Any advice on the area? Marinas? Ramps? Must-Do's or Don't-do's? Best Sea-Tow coverage in the Great Lakes (NOT that that is going to be an ISSUE!) etc.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-13-2003, 11:07 AM
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Racine has some nice facilityies. The harbor is clean and secure....the water isnt clear due to the river outflow but its ok. The public launch is good too. Just go to the ramp closest to the buildings as its the deepest and i dont know if they have done anything to extend the ramps with the lower water levels. When leaving Racine harbor keep clear of the mini-light house that straight out infront of the harbor entrance....the water is about 1-6' deep in places and it only gets shallower the closer you get to it! Best bet is to go over to the west marine right there in town and see if they have any charts of the area so you know where the shallow spots are. Or just ask one of the boaters you find there...they all seem to be very nice. If you're staying at the harbor go and see if theres a 38' Powerquest in slip W3-13, thats my buddy Karl and he'll be more then happy to talk with ya and let ya know what you need to know....
Milwaukee is a nice cruise up (about 25-30 min depending on your speed) and some nice places to dock and get a bite to eat on the river.
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Old 05-13-2003, 01:34 PM
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Racine is a nice harbor. There is a questionable part of town that you need to drive through to get to it though. Never had a problem, but I wouldn't be parking there overnight. When you launch look at the docks on either side of the ramp. There will be a white mark. DO NOT GO PAST THE MARK! That mark is the end of the ramp. Because of people powering their boats on, the bottom has been scoured out and there is a massive hole. If you put an axel over the end of the ramp you will not be able to recover your trailer!

I've also heard of a "Racine reef". It's a submurged rock which projects out into the path that some people take when entering and exiting the harbor. I've never hit it and really don't know where it is. I do believe that it's well marked, but those that are not familiar with the harbor seem to find it with ease. I'd recommend at least checking a chart to locate the rock.

The west side of Michigan isn't as nice as the east side. The west side is being eroded and the material is deposited on the other side. This results in tall bluffs that makes lake access difficult if not impossible; in the mean time the east side has nice sand dunes. Because of the bluffs there is not much between the cities to see or do. The run up to Milwaukee is a nice one. There are numerous bars on the river once you get there. Usually a trip will be justified by going out to lunch or dinner. ie-the destination justifies the trip.

Be aware of the forcasted water conditions. The lake can change within minutes. Literally. If you are not prepared, you could have a very slow, wet, miserable trip back.
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Old 05-13-2003, 01:39 PM
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If you are up on a Thursday (and assuming they are still in business) you should make a trip to Blarney's Island. It down on the chain of lakes in Illinois. Look just to the west of Chicago. Blarneys is a bar on piles that is in the lake, totally surrounded by water. On Thursday's they run drag races. Mostly outboards, but a few jets and v-drives. The boats will be tied up so that you can walk past and admire them. Be forewarned: the river is extreamly shallow. Luckly it's a muck bottom so you won't be replacing props. There is a shuttle that will take you over to the bar. For the cost of a day permit, launch fees, and a slip @ Blarneys (if it's available) the shuttle is very economical. This part of the lake is Wally's and G-forces home turf, so they can offer more pointers.
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Old 05-13-2003, 02:33 PM
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this is good info. Thanks. Keep it comming!
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Old 05-13-2003, 03:19 PM
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Great harbor. Chicago is about 50 - 60 miles away. Milwaukee is closer. There is a big shallow reef area directly off of the harbor. All of the charts show it and I believe it is marked by bouys and lights on the east and west sides. The lake is usually pretty cold. 70-75 degrees on a hot July day. The water temperature can shift dramatically in a few days. The lake is generally deep and safe. Not much to run into. There are a number of us that boat from Winthrop harbor about 15 miles South. Let us know when you are going and we can all meet up.

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Old 05-28-2003, 10:48 AM
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Thanks again for all the good advice. But due to unexpected events, we won't be able to bring our boat this weekend. We do look forward to trying again later in the season, and hope to meet some local OSOers then.
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