2005-05-20 / News

EUP Marinas Opening for Summer Season in May

By Ryan Schlehuber

Boating season has begun in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. The following is an update on marinas and harbors in the area opening this month.

Boaters can reserve a slip at most marinas in the area on-line through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at www.midnrreservations.com/harbors , or by calling (800) 447-2757. Otherwise, they can call directly to the harbor or marina office.

St. Ignace Marina

The St. Ignace Marina will officially open Monday, May 23, although Harbor Master Jeff Davenport has had the marina unofficially open to the public for the past two weeks.

Starting May 23, daily times for the marina will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. It has 40 seasonal slips, and 100 transient slips.

This year the marina will be equipped with wireless Internet and a Web camera, provided by Lighthouse Computers. Mr. Davenport said one of the three buildings on the marina will be renovated into a lounge area for visiting boaters that will include a computer and Internet access.

There are plans to install a pay phone booth at the marina.

Mr. Davenport said lake levels are good and are rising, making all slips accessible.

The St. Ignace Marina will be the site for the 2005 Great Lakes Cruising Club that will bring in at least 150 boats and 350 people from July 8 to July 14.

The marina can dock boats up to 100 feet in length. Boaters, when calling the marina on the radio, should use channel nine.

Mackinaw City Marina

Mackinaw City Marina has been open since May 1. Hours of operation are each day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. By Monday, May 23, hours of operation will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Harbor Master Dave Paquet said by mid-June, hours of operation may expand to 8 a.m. to midnight, or it may stay open around the clock.

The marina, owned by the Village of Mackinaw City, has 102 slips, with 28 of them reserved for seasonal boaters. Two floating finger piers (four slips in all) will be installed soon by Cedarville Flotation Company, said Mr. Paquet. The estimated $20,000 project may be started as soon as this week.

A new state-owned marina is expected to be constructed in Mackinaw City. The Mackinaw State Harbor is planning to offer up to 125 slips. The project, to be funded through the Michigan State Waterways Fund, is expected to cost about $9.5 million.

The project has about three phases, said Bill Boike, chief of the state Waterways Commission Boating Division. The first phase of construction is to install two breakwaters and navigation lights, which is already underway.

Phase II will be to install a harbor building and floating piers, while Phase III is the finalization stage, which includes installing a boat launch and dredging, for example.

Funding is secured for at least the first two stages, said Mr. Boike. From there, plans and design could change. Waterways Commission may also be a target for state budget cutting as Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm continues to find ways to reduce a $770 million budget shortfall, thus leaving the finishing stage of the Mackinaw State Harbor project in question for now.

No completion date has been set, although the breakwater construction is expected to be finished by January. “With a project this size,” said Mr. Boike, “you don’t know what you’ll run into so it’s tough to say when it will be completed.”

Mackinac Island Marina

The Mackinac Island Marina will open Thursday, May 26. The office will be open each day, however, the hours fluctuate with the ferry boat schedules. For most of the summer, office hours will be from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Wireless Internet has been installed at the marina, however, said Harbor Master Charlie Maltby, it has yet to be tested.

The 76-slip marina has five seasonal slips and 71 transient slips. It can support boats as long as 150 feet.

The marina is the finish line dock for two annual yacht races and the starting point for a new third yacht race. The 97th annual Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac will be held July 16 to July 19, the 81st Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race will be July 23 to July 26, and the second annual Mackinac-Manitoulin Yacht Race will be July 27 to July 29.

Boaters can radio in to the marina as they approach the harbor on channel nine.

Clark Township Municipal Marina (Hessel)

The 36-slip Hessel marina is expected to open in late May, however, no specific date is set yet. Staff has yet to be hired.

Hours of operation last year were from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., however, this summer daily office hours may be reduced by two hours, in which the office may close by 7 p.m.

Of the 36 slips, 24 have power and water service. The marina docks boats as long as 45 feet. There is no wireless or dial-up Internet access at the marina.

The Hessel marina is the site for many events this summer, including Music and Art Dockside, Community Days, and a powwow in July, the annual Les Cheneaux Antique Wooden Boat Show and Festival of Arts on August 13, and two salmon derbies in August.

To reserve a slip or for more information call (906) 484-3917 or (906) 484-2672.

DETOUR HARBOR

Dredging at DeTour Harbor should be finished this week. The project started last fall and will remove all natural obstacles and increase depth in both the shore side and improve entrance to the river side of the harbor, said Harbor Master Bruce Glupker.

Dredging is the first part of a project to improve the entire infrastructure of the harbor, said Mr. Glupker, which has yet to be scheduled. He said the harbor’s electrical and plumbing systems need upgrading.

The DeTour Harbor’s 80 slips are now open. Daily hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Saturday, May 21, then hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After June 21, hours will be expanded again, with office hours held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. After Labor Day, daily hours will go back to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Reservations can be called in at (906) 297-5947, however, the harbor is most frequented by “float-ins,” or boaters who show up unexpectedly.

In case of an emergency, call the DeTour Shell gas station at (906) 297-2731 and a marina attendant will respond, said Mr. Glupker. The marina monitors channel 16 for radio call-ins but will request boaters who call to switch to channel nine.

BOIS BLANC ISLAND MARINA

The Bois Blanc Island Marina is open, although its official opening date is Memorial Day weekend, May 28.

There are eight to 10 slips available, and there is no reservation system in place. It is first come, first served, said Harbor Master Graham Whipple.

There is no full-time harbor master on duty at the dock or radio system, however, those in need of assistance can call (231) 634-7354 and someone will respond.

The marina also has commercial ferry transportation available. Both the Plaunt Transportation Company and Inland Boatworks Company operate out of the marina.

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