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Thread: Lake Champlain cruise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Lenox, MA/Vineyard Haven, MA
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    Default Lake Champlain cruise

    So, since it looks like a week or two of really great weather, thought I'd take my Dovekie out for its first (and last) trip of the year up to Lake Champlain for a two or three day overnighter. I was thinking of booking a site at Crown Point Campground, which has a boat launch, and using that as a home base in case I can't find an anchorage for the night out there. I have zero knowledge, so I figured it would be worth the $$ for a backup and a shower and a place to park the rig (or, gasp, to sleep).

    I was just wondering if anybody had any direct experience with that campground, or had a better recommendation, or knew anything about alternative ramps, what the legality of overnight parking at them is, what the bottom's like for anchoring, and etc etc. Any experience would interest me. I should probably order a detailed chart right now since the GPS I have is minimal...

    There's not much info. about launch ramps on the state sites, except how many cars they park and whether they're paved or not. The main detail missing is parking regulations. I'm a little gun-shy, since all along the Hudson, for example, there's virtually no overnight parking except at Hudson, which is off-site in the train station overflow area.

    I will try and reach somebody in the bureaucracy on the phone at some point....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Honeoye Falls, NY
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    126

    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    My experience on Champlain has been limited to big power boats, but since I own a Sea Pearl, I'm always looking at the possibility of gunk-holing by scanning shores, coves and such. Provided you pick a good weather window, my observations say that there are a lot of nooks and crannies to pull into. This time of year should be pretty much bug free and since I believe your boat draws a very small bit of water your campsite rental would be a waste. Just do it! It's the best time of the year. The lake will be yours.
    Take Care,
    Steve W

    Honeoye Falls, New York
    Building a B & B Core Sound 20 Mark III "Jazz Hands"
    Spindrift 11N Suzy J Build Pictures
    A little video of the Suzy J and my youngest son

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Hills of Vermont, USA
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    Here's a map of ramps: http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/vi...1.7724,44.3721

    I am unaware of any restrictions on overnight parking - though it might make sense to contact VT Fish & Wildlife. I'd also leave a note visible on the dash with a cell phone number. No idea on NY's regs - which would be in effect @ Crown Point. In VT, make sure you park your rig in the designated parking area - away from the ramp - but you knew that.

    If I may suggest - I think you'll find further north more interesting. While you can go down to Ticonderoga from Crown Point, going north takes a while before you hit much of interest. I'd look more for a spot in the Champlain Islands - as there is some beautiful cruising there - lots of islands (surprisingly enough in "the Champlain Islands" ). Lot more sheltered spots to anchor as well.

    ETA: You probably know this, but the broad lake can get some pretty good waves in a blow. I've seen 5-6' steep waves many times.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is worth a visit if you get down that way.
    -Dave

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is worth a visit if you get down that way.
    That's not too far north of Crown Point & definitely worth a visit. They probably have an anchorage as well - even docks.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    They probably have an anchorage as well - even docks.
    Docks with gunboats, so you can't misbehave.
    -Dave

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Docks with gunboats, so you can't misbehave.
    Yup - didn't know if an unarmed vessel could tie up to those...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    There is no charge to use Vermont State Ramps on the lake, and overnight parking is OK. I've been doing it for years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Philadelphia, pa, usa
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    I'm a fan of kingsland bay state park on the VTside myself.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2006
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    Lenox, MA/Vineyard Haven, MA
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    Thanks for all the replies. This is the exact stuff I was looking for. I was wondering myself about the "interesting" component--which part of the lake really would resonate with a gunkholer. Also good to know I can park.... that's the 21st century Achilles heel it seems.

    I ordered a waterproof "fishing chart" of the southern part of the lake from a place in Fla, we'll see if it goes far enough north. Love the idea of the maritime museum--how fun would that be to sail to the museum!

  11. #11
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    Apr 2005
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    My chart has 2 sides: north & south - covering the lake in general. IMO, the lake could use more detailed charts. The broad lake gets over 300' deep - but many of the bays get very shallow.

    Note that the museum closes Oct. 15th: http://www.lcmm.org/ For a little outfit, they do some great stuff: kid's programs, gunboat replicas, lake exploration (including finding the gunboat Benedict Arnold used against the British before Congress screwed him) & all sorts of educational stuff.

    Right near the museum is the Basin Harbor Club with the cutest little anchorage I've seen - not sure it's open to non-club guests - but at least took a look. Roger's Rangers overnighted there during the French & Indian wars. The club also has an airstrip in case you want to fly in for 18 holes...

    Lake Champlain has quite a bit of history (Fort Ticonderoga, Crown Point on land & many old wrecks underwater). If you are a scuba diver, there are some great sites to dive: a late 1700's horse powered ferry, various canal schooners from the 1800's & so on. http://www.waterfrontdiving.com/ is a fantastic dive shop that arranges many dive trips.

    ETA: If you are diving in the lake, appropriate gear is a 7 mil suit with hood. Kevlar gloves are commended because of zebra mussels. The surface will be warm (usually over 70F at this time of year, but we've had a lot of rain so it's down to 66: https://www.weather.gov/btv/60daytemp) - but there's a thermocline at about 40' that drops the temp into the 40's (can you say ice cream headache? )
    Last edited by Garret; 09-14-2017 at 08:30 AM.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  12. #12
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    Jan 2008
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    Lake Champlain, Vermont
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    Great restaurant at Basin Harbor, the Red Mill, I think it is called, they advertise, fly in, come by boat or car. Good food. The owner even eats there.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Vermont
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    Default

    There is a great ramp with ample parking at the southern end of Grand Isle. If you want to get to the open lake between VT and NY you will need to pass under a low bridge in the causeway, then cross Mallett's Bay......the water is shallow that far up and in at Mallett's by this time of year......once in the open lake, Valcour island is another 5-ish miles, and is worth a visit:









    Mid week in the summer, many large boats may anchor in the cove on the Northwest side of the island, but at this time of year, I think you will not find it crowded....
    Autumn conditions can get boisterous for small boats....the western sides of Grand and North Hero are rocky bluffs, and can be very unfriendly lee shores with few rabbit holes for shelter if you get caught out.....


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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    Great, I'll try and get some Youtube vids for posterity. WEather looks really good--mid to upper 70s, pretty light winds (a little under 10) but that's Ok for a first time'

  15. #15
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    Sep 2017
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    Philadelphia, pa, usa
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    Default Re: Lake Champlain cruise

    Lake Champlain is truly beautiful. Years ago, when my daughter was little, I bought a Hurley 22. it weighed 4500 lbs. I hauled it from Newburyport, MA to Burlington, VT on a homemade, double axle trailer, on the scariest drive I've ever made. The brake lights didn't work, nor did the electric brakes, but I was young and foolhardy. I kept it on the lake, but didn't use it much. A big boat was more trouble than it's worth. Eventually I gave the Hurley to a guy who planned to restore her and liveaboard. I respect the plan. He told me that while towing across the state, the trailer gave him some problems; I felt for him. I wised up and bought my dory. Way better lake boat by far.

    The photos and video from a canoe trip we took on the lake this past July (except the one with my dog, now deceased sadly). We started in Vergennes, below the dam, and paddled down the Otter Creek into the lake. From there we, went north into Grosse Point, and Camped on a shale beach. The next day we tried paddling up Little Otter Creek but the current was too strong. The wind started building early in the day, so we sought shelter in the Shallows of Hawkins Bay, ate lunch and fished. At one point we followed what appeared to be a small tributary, and found ourselves paddling in a flooded forest (see photo)-- June and July were particularly rainy this year. The wind continued to build from the west so we decided to make a run for Charlotte Marina. The ride was wild, and we surfed the swells most of the way there-- a little scary but in an exhilarating kind of way. I've never surfed a canoe before! I cannot seem to post video to youtube, but if you go to my blog, you can see the video of us in the wind here: http://smallwoodenboatsails.blogspot...s-big-and.html

    Michael
    smallwoodenboatsails.blogspot.com
    stories, curated designs, and classifieds


    balto in boat.jpgin the trees 1.jpglake champlain canoe trip.jpglake champlain.jpgme camping lake champlain 2017.jpg

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    Last edited by smallwoodenboatsails; 09-24-2017 at 05:00 PM.

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