Michigans Inland Waterway

RGrew176

Commander
Joined
Mar 20, 2002
Messages
2,030
I previously traversed this waterway back in 1997. At the time my boat was a 1996 Bayliner 2855 Ciera Sunbridge one of the best boats I have ever owned. I've been wanting to go back again but if I were to go in the Carver it would cost me $4300+ just for fuel so I am going back the first week of August during my vacation.

I've decided to tow my jetski up north and will, weather permitting do the waterway on my Yamaha. Really looking forward to this trip. It will be great to cruise that waterway once more. Not getting any younger 71 at the moment so it's now or possibly never.

Here is a link about that waterway: http://www.fishweb.com/maps/inlandwater/index.html

Driving up to Mackinaw City Tuesday August 3rd plan to do the waterway on the 5th if all goes well. If Lake Huron is calm enough I may launch and take the ski out onto Lake Huron and possibly cross under the Mackinaw Bridge into Lake Michigan. Have already had the jetski out on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. Would like to add lakes Huron and Michigan to the tally.
 

gr8knurlin

Seaman Apprentice
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
35
What would be the total distance of your cruise to rack up $4300 in fuel?
I've been looking into the great lakes area and all the inland waterways around there including the interior of the great loop from Chicago to the gulf. We're currently discussing selling everything off (house/vehicles etc.) and possibly moving onto a boat to try it for a year just to make sure our retirement plan is solid. We are currently young enough that if we decided living on a boat was not for us we could slip back into our current careers and carry on. A 38-44 foot Carver is one of the options we've been considering as our entry level "live aboard" I've been told that they are pretty "efficient" as far as boats go cruising around at 7 knots. I know that different motor options make a difference and may look to go diesel but I suspect diesel is harder to come by at marina fuel docks.
 

hugh g

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
212
Wouldn't a trawler with a diplacement hull be a better option especially on the Great Lakes?
 

RGrew176

Commander
Joined
Mar 20, 2002
Messages
2,030
What would be the total distance of your cruise to rack up $4300 in fuel?
I've been looking into the great lakes area and all the inland waterways around there including the interior of the great loop from Chicago to the gulf. We're currently discussing selling everything off (house/vehicles etc.) and possibly moving onto a boat to try it for a year just to make sure our retirement plan is solid. We are currently young enough that if we decided living on a boat was not for us we could slip back into our current careers and carry on. A 38-44 foot Carver is one of the options we've been considering as our entry level "live aboard" I've been told that they are pretty "efficient" as far as boats go cruising around at 7 knots. I know that different motor options make a difference and may look to go diesel but I suspect diesel is harder to come by at marina fuel docks.
By water from where I keep my boat in Gibraltar it is 330 miles statute to Cheboygan. The waterway from Cheboygan to Conway is roughly 38 miles one way so adding that all up it's about a 740 mile statute round trip.

My Carver at 3100 RPM cruising about 17 MPH averages .86 MPG. Gas here on the water is in the $4.79 per gallon price. So, $4300 would be my approximate fuel cost. + dockage, food, dinners out I calculate $4600 to $4800 for the trip. That's hoping nothing goes wrong.

When I did the trip in my Bayliner in 1997 my total cost was just over $2300. Of course gas on the water back then was right around $1.25 a gallon and the Bayliner was much more fuel efficient than the Carver. It had a 7.4 (454) mated to a Bravo III drive. Sometimes I wish I had kept that boat.
 

RGrew176

Commander
Joined
Mar 20, 2002
Messages
2,030
Looks like there could be a bit of a change of plans for the trip. My son called me this morning and would like to do the waterway himself. He has a 20' Sun Tracker pontoon boat and would like me to accompany him on his boat. If he can get his schedule set of so he can be off this is what may happen.

I will have to possibly give another time to do it on the jetski. We'll see what happens.
 

gr8knurlin

Seaman Apprentice
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
35
OK that makes sense.... I typically cruise at around 1600 RPM which in my twin 4.3 Formula translates to about 6.3 knm
 
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