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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:56 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:54 am
Posts: 3
this summer i would like to make a trip from erie, PA across the lake to the canada shore on my hobie 16 and spend the night. from what i can tell from google earth it is about 35 miles trip across the lake at the point that i would like to make the cross at. Do i have to notify the cost gaurd? Has anyone that has done this before that can give me any info or tips that i should be aware of while i make plan? thanks

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:52 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Posts: 313
Location: Lake Champlain, Vermont
The only person you HAVE to call is Canadian customs before you go and on the other side. May even have to stop at their entry point. Same on the way back.

H18, H17 & Various motor boats

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:50 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:37 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The only person you must call before you go is the canadian customs.

'72 Hobie 16
#56 Gonzo Nationals


PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:05 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:10 pm
Posts: 2
I too live in Erie, PA. I have lived on Lake Erie all my life. I noticed your post from last year and wondered if you made the trip?

I also think it would be fun to sail to Canada on my H16. However, Lake Erie is one of the most dangerous freshwater bodies of water in the world. An excerpt from titled: "Diving for shipwrecks":

"Lake Erie is a favorite for divers since there are many shipwrecks, perhaps 1,400 to 8,000 according to one estimate...One report suggests there are more "wrecks per square mile" than any other freshwater location...One estimate is that Lake Erie has a quarter of all 8,000 estimated shipwrecks in the Great Lakes."

The reason for this is that squalls develop and overtake boaters in as little as 20 minutes. I have experienced this first hand. The lake is very shallow which makes for big white caps with most storms (not just squalls). Since our boat is sailed without radar (like large boats), we are left to use our senses to analyse impending weather which means that on a trip that could potentially take hours, you could be caught in a squall on the middle of the lake with nowhere to hide.

Let me paint a picture for you. Phil Berman's Catamaran Sailing From Start to Finish explains what to do in an electrical storm: "If you see one approaching...the safest thing to do is capsize your cat and sit on a hull until the danger passes." Let me apply that to your question: you are half way to Canada and you notice on the horizon a lightning storm/squall heading towards you. The best chance you have is to ride out the storm by pitch-poling your boat on purpose out in the middle of the lake in 3-4 foot white caps where no one can see you from shore? Dangerous enough but, what if you turtle 18 miles from shore? How would you alert the Coast Guard? The cell phone coverage is sketchy at best on the Lake.

All in all, I would love to sail to Canada however, you won't see me doing so unless I am accompanied by a power boat. Even then, the odds of damaging/loosing my boat on Lake Erie in a squall are higher than I'm willing to risk.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but I'd rather have one more enthusiastic Hobie sailor in Erie, rather than one more casualty of Lake Erie. If you are interested in sailing together, I would welcome it! Send me a message through the forum (I think this forum supports doing so). I have recently been introduced to a group of H16 sailors who frequent beach 10 on weekends.

Best Regards!

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