Can I go safely with a old small 1985 15 foot boat 75HP Mercury on St. Clair Lake. I live in London, Ontario and I looking for a place to boat. Please give me your honest opinions. Is it safe or too dangerous with such a small boat?
All depends, which way the wind is blowing and how strong. How ever even on a nice day I wouldnt venture to far out. Not kidding always stay close to shore. A lot of big boats dont show any concern for the little guy. I went two years with a 15 ft with a 15 hoarse. IT SUCKED!!!
Go out early.
Canadian side is much calmer then the american side.
YES -- Absolutely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On rough days you can stay in the bays and on calm days you have as much of a playground as the rest of us. Mostly you will want to stay in the channels and bays though. I boated all over the lake with a 11 foot boat for three years.
On the Canadian side the lake is definetly calmer. On the US side on a weekend or holiday there are so many boats out there that it gets pretty rough. I had a hard time enjoying my 18' Sea Ray with the 22' I have now its a lot better but still get bouncded around sometimes.
QUOTE(HazyMemory @ May 21 2003, 09:08 PM)YES -- Absolutely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On rough days you can stay in the bays and on calm days you have as much of a playground as the rest of us. Mostly you will want to stay in the channels and bays though. I boated all over the lake with a 11 foot boat for three years. Oh yeah Im going to run you down.
Its a trick hes just saying that to get you out there so he can run you down......
The lake can go from calm to ugly pretty quick like real ugly Anna Nicole Smith UGLY. So I suggest always staying close to shore.
Are you talking like a row boat or like a older small bass boat?
QUOTE(Claude75 @ May 21 2003, 11:05 PM)Who is 5 peeps?
Peeps is slang for PEOPLE. Congratulations on your entry into the boating world! 15' is small for an average weekend day on the lake. The bays & rivers should be fine, or early mornings & weekdays. Just watch the weather!! Good luck!
Like people have said, pick your days and watch the weather. There are many smaller boats on the lake and they do fine, as long as they take care. My boat is 21' and I will also pick and choose, unless it is tournament day. I would make sure that you have a working bilge pump in the boat. Water gets in, and you must have reliable means to get it back out.
Enjoy, be safe and wear life jackets. If you don't like the tradtional PFD's, the SOSsuspenders are great. Small, and you can get an auto inflate model. Only problem is, in a down poor they tend to inflate on you.
Earlier I thought you meant a big row boat... If you got a solid 15 footer and have confidence in your engine well thats diffrent. How ever I still suggest staying close to home and always have a ship to shore.
Not kidding that lake gets ugly pretty quick. Seriously there should be a small craft advisery every Saturday and (Sunday 11-5) on the american side. The man made waves are much rougher then you imagine. I have a 75 hrs Merc on a unusually calm day Ill can move along at 42 or 43 MPH. Thats like 2 or 3 times a summer. Normally 95% of the time you get on plain and go as slow as possible while staying on plain, if your coming from Canada and headed towards american shore, (on a weekend)shortly after crossing the Channel you often cant even plain. I go out on Sundays b4 the Sun is up and head straight for canadain waters in search of Muskie. On my way back in after 11. Its a nightmare 5-8 mph up and down up and down. I can get to canada at 6:00 in the moring in like 25 minutes. But if I stay to long it takes an hr in a half to get back. If the wind picks up sometimes you literally have to go with the flow, where ever it takes you???
My dad kept a 16' wood boat at Mitchell's Bay that we'd fish from every weekend, and always stuck to the Canadian side. I can only remember 2 or 3 really bad days back then since we'd watch the weather and stay in if it was going to be too rough. I agree with what's been said already... you will probably be fine most of the time, just realize that if the wind is really blowing, you should think twice about heading out. Since this is your first boat, I'd recommend taking a boating safety class. Also, on a boat like that, do not tie an anchor off the back of the boat. A medium sized wave or two breaking over the transom cutout for the outboard can get you into trouble in a hurry.
QUOTE(Claude75 @ May 22 2003, 03:05 AM)......So you don't think I can just stay close to shore and have some fun?
Claude, as was mentioned earlier watch the weather and on Saturday and Sunday and major American holidays the afternoon can be quite ruff as the boats with basements get out and about. I have gone all over the lake with my 15' 50hp center console and the thing to remember is____think___If you start to feel uncomfortable retreat to the bays and continue the fun. You can be tossed about quite a bit in the afternoons if I want to go out on those days the 22' Boston Whaler comes out and I can play on the big waves all day and not care.
I don't know what kind of freeboard your boat has but..yes you can go out just think first and have a fun outing
As far as the 5 people in the 15 ft rental..well the rental place said only 3 people in it and they didn't think before they went out. A little clorine in the gene pool
Thanks everyone, I think I will just stick to my dinky lakes around London. This sucks I bought boat and all I can pretty much do is watch the big boys have fun. What a bummer. For curiosities sake. How big should my next boat be and how much power should it have so that I can boat on Huron/St. Clair?
If you really want to have fun, most the time. even in some rough water?
Go up to atleast a 25' boat. There are a lot of boats that are between 20' and 25' out there, and I think they do allright, but you can get beat up out there on a busy Saturday.
QUOTE(Claude75 @ May 22 2003, 12:07 PM)Thanks everyone, I think I will just stick to my dinky lakes around London. This sucks I bought boat and all I can pretty much do is watch the big boys have fun. What a bummer. For curiosities sake. How big should my next boat be and how much power should it have so that I can boat on Huron/St. Clair?
I would say get at least a 21' and up. I got beat up with my 19', so I moved up to a 23'. A HUGE difference and it rides much nicer. I would say the smallest would be a 21'.
QUOTE(Claude75 @ May 22 2003, 12:07 PM)...How big should my next boat be and how much power should it have so that I can boat on Huron/St. Clair?
Couple things to think about..do you wish to trailer your boat or leave it in a marina?
Fishing,cruising,cuddy cabin,bow rider? what are your needs/wants? that can have a bearing on the size. Some people i've met on another site have taken their boats (as a group) ranging from 17ft to 25ft from Tobermory to Little Current up in your north channel area. They slept and camped on their boats only one had a true cuddy cabin the others had the canvas dodgers for their boats. I would take a 17' boston Whaler out on days that I would never take a 21' "bass type" boat out (not that they are unseaworthy just low freboard and sitting while in big water isn't my idea of fun). Just because its a small boat doesn't mean its isn't seaworthy and same goes for many larger boats bigger doesn't always mean better. There are many large boats that are built for "nice" days and don't run/handle well when it gets sloppy. You are going about this right, ask questions!! The only bad questions are the ones you don't ask.