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Door County WI to Frankfort MI

Old 08-29-2018, 02:32 PM
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Default Door County WI to Frankfort MI

In in the early phases of planing an across lake michigan run next summer. Thinking launching in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin and running over to Frankfort Mich. Spending a couple days there...running up and down the coast....then running back.

The boat is a 31' Awesome Thundercat....twin 598's...SSM V's...B&M 2 speed performance marine trans...just went through the engines and they have about 20 hrs of proving time to shake out infant mortality type failures.

I was thinking early August next year since it statistically has the calmest water.

I will have:

-an ample schedule to account for bad weather return
-assuming (big assumption there) relativity calm water I should be able to make it across in just over an hour running easy (3500 RPM, ~65 mph)
-I have enough range to make it over and back on one fill up (not counting running up and down the coast). So I will be nowhere near the end of my range capability.
-No problem being a "nancy" and staying somewhere when the waves are too big for my comfort level/experience/vessel
-VHF radio
-Chartplotter with paper charts, mechanical compass
-1 drop in spare HEI
-1 spare fuel pump
-1 set of carb gaskets
-1 spare set of props
-1 spare sea pump impeller
-No belts....alternator is inline with crankshaft via lovejoy coupling.....sea water pump is driven off the camshaft.
-decent onboard tool kit --> I try to use my tool kit whenever I work on the boat....if I need a tool it goes in the kit (save for specialty stuff...im not rebuilding the transmission on the water)
-transfer hose so 1 engine can pull fuel from either tank in case i lose an engine.
-mechanically competent and resourceful when excrement hits the fan.

Ive run on Green Bay quite a bit and around door county.....im far from an expert but do have some seat time.

I guess im just looking from some discussion/advice/experience from people who have done it or similar trips.

Last edited by SS496; 08-31-2018 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:44 PM
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Wow you sound like you have a lot covered and that sounds like an awesome trip. Sorry I do t have a lot of insight because I e never done anything exciting like that. I just run up and down from Kenosha to Chicago every now and again.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:31 PM
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I did that trip the first time I drove my 34 SCARAB. It was a little unnerving being out in the middle of the lake and seeing nothing but water. IT WAS DEAD CALM
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:04 AM
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Sounds like you have it planned out pretty well. Watch the wave forecasts and go for it. You might get there and back and say that was no big deal.
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:51 AM
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Id like to do it yet this year.......but I think I should put it off until next.

I am going to door county middle of next week.....Launching in Little Sturgeon Bay, then spending a couple nights in Sister Bay.....should be a great time if the weather holds out.

Anyone have a favorite wave forecast site? Ive been using this one:

https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/glcfs...v&type=F&hr=04
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:16 PM
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You do get a funny, funny feeling the first time you loose sight of shore knowing you will not see it again for an hour or more, the dunes are tall so you'll see them. Most important is the weather. If you loose your electronics trust your compass. Avoid the Manitou Islands unless you know where you are. Come visit Traverse City. ed
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:39 PM
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I've always wanted to go to manitou islands. Why do you say avoid? Shallow? Rocks?
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:53 PM
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Looks like boulders and shoaling to the south of the islands.

Ill try to attach a screen shot.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:54 PM
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:33 PM
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We have thought about doing the same trip many times, just never found the right time to do it. Seems like you have it planned out right. The way we look at it, at worst you are 30miles from either shore. We laugh about it because we take off from Wave Point to Chambers Island without a second thought not even an extra bottle of water ( ok we are not that bad we make sure we have extra ice). Wave Point to Chambers is 28-29 miles one way. Granted there are a few outs on either side of that track.
But you are right, just something about being out in the middle. The chances of both motors and drives going down is slim, if you loose one and can make 6-8mph or a little better from the middle that’s 3- 3 1/2 hours extra not the end of the world just not ideal.

Good Luck and post back about the trip.

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