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we just bought a boat for diving the inland lakes, etc. wondering if we can take it out on lake michigan on a calm day, or if thats just askin for trouble. we live near milwaukee, and would like to dive some of the nearby wrecks. we also just had a really miserable / dangerous experience trying to surface swim to the one off of atwater beach, if anyone knows that one.
it is a 16' sylvan aluminum Vhull, 1983.
thanks, and i'm in the process of finding out all the rules/ protocal for lake michigan, so any help there is also apreciated.
I have very limited experience on the Great Lakes and what little I have I discovered that they are not lakes, they are small inland oceans and they will beat the crap out of you. Like I told somebody in a similar thread but concerning Destin Fla., this is my take, small boat, big water, fair weather, go no further than you can see your safe harbor/refuge. If that will not get you to where you want to be then you should consider a somewhat larger boat and more than that, one designed for coastal cruising or offshore conditions. That would probably something more like a 18-24 footer, deep vee or modified vee, large volume forward entry and intended for open water and salt water use, self bailing etc. N
From the Monroe News article:
"The walleye they caught Thursday were placed in an ice chest, with a total weight of about 150 pounds, and it was toward the front of the boat. At one point, her husband got up from his seat to move around and the boat started tipping.
"There was too much weight a little too far forward," she said.
As the boat capsized, the marine radio and most of the safety equipment went into the water. Her husband managed to hang onto his cell phone for a time, but realized he couldn’t hold it and still keep his hands on the boat."
Two sets of tanks, weight belts, etc... would likely exceed 150 pounds. Plus, two 150+ pound people trying to get in and out of the boat, would be very dicey. If your going to dive, I'd get a larger boat. For taking a cruise on Lake MI., heed N's advice and stay close to shore/port on calm days.
I see many people fishing LK Michigan in 16' boats. They stay very close to shore and do not go far from the mouth of the harbor.
Sometimes my 24' Trojan feels small when the lake kicks up.
I would say a 16' Alum fishing boat would not be a good choice for diving on Lk Mich. Off the shores of Milwaukee it gets rather rough from boat traffic and waves. Lots of nice dives there though some of my favorites.
I grew up racing boats lake Michigan but on the other side in Holland. I had a 19 ft Boston Whaler that I used to run around in as a teenager. The minimum size boat that I would consider safe for the lake would be an 18' like the Boston. Even then I would keep an eye out for the weather.
Sobfrogg is correct about the congestion on the lake and the large wakes that would toss the 16' aluminum boat around like a cork. A glass boat has greater displacement therefore is "usually" more stable. Getting back into the boat is also something to keep in mind.
The weather can get very nasty within a blink of an eye and I would not like to be in a 16' Aluminum boat on that lake. If you do venture out in the lake, as previous posts tell you, stay close to the shore and have a exit strategy.
thanks guys, all the diving we want to do is near shore for now. my new plan is to take a 3rd person to stay in the boat, to steer into the waves while we are under water. i figured we could get through it all with a good exit strat. but didn't see how we could protect the boat while under. we are thinking about a "dry" run (npi) without the hassle of gear to feel it out.