The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ.
The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
My wife and I are looking for travel destination suggestions suitable for towing our 250WK (or any 25/22' Catalina).
I'll start with the only two locations we have sailed Danu.
1) We sail on Flathead Lake in Montana and it has ramps suitable for deeper launch in several locations. Summers here are pretty spectacular. Members who would like to come an visit are welcome... just contact me and I would be happy to help with arrangements.
2) Lake Havasu AZ. We towed to Havasu in 2015 for the trailer-sailor convention and had a great time. Launch infrastructure was good. The lake and the area were very different from our usual stomping grounds in interesting and enjoyable ways.
Chris, thank you for your generous sharing of information about sailing destinations in the far west. I donít have a trailer boat anymore, but for those who do Ö I understand that Lake Havasu is in the far southwest, so sailing weather is probably between now and when it gets beastly hot in later April and early May. For Montana, what are the best months for weather, moderate crowds, and good winds? Iím thinking that the weather window is between Fatherís Day in early June until just after Labor Day? I assume that there may be some holiday crowds on 4th of July and Labor Day? This is very useful information, I wonder whether others in different places around North America can offer their experiences too Ö
I have successfully launched and or retrieved my C250wk at the following places:
Carlyle lake, IL:
Carlyle Sailing Association
Apache Boat Ramp
Kentucky Lake, KY:
Lighthouse Landing Marina (high water - at top of ramp. Do not use at normal pool.)
Kentucky Dam - successful at low water
Mississippi River - Near Alton, IL:
Harbor Point Yacht Club, West Alton, IL
Note: Alton Marina ramp appears to be deep enough, but I am told has a massive drop off at the end of the ramp. I advise staying away from this.
Tennessee River / Pickwick Lake:
TWRA Boat Ramp, Counce, TN
Pickwick Landing State Park Boat Ramp. I did not use this ramp, but I did pull all the way in by boat and checked depth. Very large ramp. I believe very usable.
Northport, MI: Nice ramp. We arrived with 4 boats and were lucky to get a parking spot. Should not be a problem if traveling alone or just a couple of boats.
Fish Creek, WI: This trip in the end was a rewarding trip, but it was fraught with a large number of logistical challenges. Not something I really want to repeat.
The public ramp was sounding to be good from my research and discussion with the marina manager. Unfortunately, when we arrived, there was absolutely no place to park and rig. The town had signs posted everywhere that parking with trailers was not allowed.
We drove to some other nearby towns and they all had the same problem. Nice ramps, but absolutely overflowing with no place to park and rig.
We ended up launching at Peninsula State Park, Nicolet Bay Boat Launch. We had no problems rigging or launching here but there were definitely even more logistical challenges within all of the parkís rules to be dealt with, fees to pay, etc.
Elk Rapids, MI: Edward C Grace Memorial Harbor - Huge ramp. Huge Parking area. Extremely nice marina. We will be back.
Midland, ON: Wye Heritage Marine Resort - Nice deep ramp. Large area to park and rig. No problem leaving our trucks and trailers here for two weeks while we were off exploring Georgian Bay.
Little Current, ON: Spider Bay Marina - Nice deep ramp. Large area to park and rig.
Bayfield, WI: Public Boat Ramp - parking area was very full. We arrived with three boats in tow. We found room for one to rig. So, rigged and launched one at a time. There was overflow parking available, but there was also an overhead power line and while it was probably more than high enough, we were not about to take a chance so only worked where it was safe. Water depth at the ramp was just enough for the C250wk. Note: I always check for if fees are required for ramp use and do pay. This ramp did require a fee but was very poorly marked. I learned of the fee by the warning that was posted on my truck windshield. I had to ask around to figure out where to pay. The pay drop box was also the only place that a sign was posted.
We will see what 2023 brings. Currently the plans are for Charlevoix, MI. I am being told that the Charlevoix Municipal Boat Ramp is long and deep.
Bruce, you are correct about the range of dates for summer Flathead sailing. The little towns that dot the shoreline can get busy around the 4th of July, but the water doesn't get crowded. Flathead is 28 miles long and averages 8 miles wide so there is plenty of space.
David, thanks for the list and notes. I am truly grateful for the shared knowledge.
Your response got me thinking... even though I started the thread, the wonderful information that you and others have/will provide will eventually languish in a forum thread, eventually lost to the mists of time and archiving, which doesn't seem like a good way to go.
So I looked for a boating destination site that can rank and review waterways and associated ramps.
After searching through forum.trailersailor.com and other sites, I could not find a widely accessible collection of knowledge pertaining to trailerable sailing and boating destinations.
Google maps does now have ratings for boat ramps which is helpful, but not focused upon information relevant to folks trailering sailboats.
Upon not being able to find anything more functional, I registered a web domain and will be messing around with a web site where we can put pins on a map and leave reviews and photos with the content steered towards accessibility, suitability, safety, costs, logistics, measurements (depth, width, slope angles...) etc. of launching and retrieving sailboats and other craft that might have special requirements.
There is nothing to see right now, but I if I am successful in setting it up, I will provide links to the Catalina Association so that we can all share information about our travels and home waters.
In the meantime folks, please continue to add your destinations and associated comments to this thread and I will try to move them to the site which would make them searchable and manageable.
This won't happen overnight, but I think it could be useful to folks looking for trailerable boating destinations. Thoughts?
David, what you provided is gold! Unless folks can tap into those with local knowledge and experience (been there, done that), much of the map data is only a guess (as you reported with crowds, poor payment instructions, overhead wires). Chris, I agree that you have a great idea here: collect folksí experience here in the forum, and make it available more broadly and permanently on a website that you can link to this and other sailing sites. Iím guessing that bass boaters may also provide some web resources for launch locations, however, their boats can use ramps with much less depth, and they donít have to worry about overhead obstructions. For those who want to launch into CT waters, I can add some comments. Milford city dock - 4 ramps, depths are good, tidal range is about 7 feet. Good sized parking lot for cars/trucks with trailers only. Fee, see attendant on weekends. Crowded on weekends. New Haven Lighthouse Point - single, wide ramp for two trailers at a time. Decent sized parking area, deep water at high tide. Pay park fee for access. Beach nearby with concession. Access to Long Island Sound. Several free boat ramps under I-95 bridges in Westport, Milford, Mystic. More info see CT Ramps. No CT lakes are larger than 2450 acres, so Iíll provide no recommendations on CT lake sailing. The CT river is navigable from its mouth up some 55+ miles to Hartford with some lovely parks, restaurants, and sights along the way. Stinkpotters share the waterway, however there are several no-wake zones along the way. Town of Essex is 8 miles up with public docks and several pubs. Very New England colonial feel there.
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.