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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:13 am
Posts: 149
Location: Shepherd, Michigan
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The north Torch Lake public launch is located on Eastport Landing (gravel side street), just off M88 in the town of Eastport. You can use a Google satellite image on Google maps to get the idea of the general layout. I shot these pics just the other day...they removed a bunch of trees and widened everything last fall to improve access. The dock was still pulled out for winter, but is normally placed in the middle of the launch, allowing use on either side. Obviously, launching a cat off the east side of the dock when it is in and then wading it a safe distance away to the beach to finish rigging and hoist sails is the way to go. This also works great since the prevailing wind is almost always out of the west, so the wind tends to push your cat AWAY from the dock. Water is waist deep very quickly, then remains that way for 20 - 30 yards or so before dropping off.


We were the only people there the other day, but still kind of cold...

The car in the below pic is parked at the end of the public beach and beachfront parking (one of 4 rows of available parking, the other three rows are long enough to park a vehicle with a trailer attached)
Image

The next pic is taken from the parking area toward the launch ramp...
Image

Looking south, all 18 miles...
Image

Water is clear and deep...fast!
Image


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:27 pm
Posts: 19
centralmichigansailor,

Is the beach at Higgins Lake right next to the launch? You mentioned dragging it over so I was wondering if it really is that accessible that you can stay on land or wade and drag it. Would I need to paddle to the beach or can I walk with it? I take it to come back in I could just land anywhere on the beach then walk it over to the ramp? Sorry for the barrage of questions, I'm just excited since I had so many problems with Houghton last time.

Torch sounds awesome and I'll DEFINITELY have to get up there some time.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:13 am
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Location: Shepherd, Michigan
Beach is right next to the east side of the launch at the North Higgens State Park, but you can only launch on the west side of the dock, then have to maneuver the boat around the dock and back to shallow water before wading it over, or paddle out around and back in to shore.

I believe the CRAM sailors use the S Higgens State park, but I am sure that they use beach wheels to move their boats directly off their trailers right to the beach and rig there - the south launch isn't very cat friendly.

Higgens Lake is much more busy than Torch.

When I factor in even a few minutes of wait time putting in and taking out at Higgens, I am sure that Torch is really only one hour more time before I kick down the rudders and lift a hull. Torch also has better, more consistant wind. Lots to do in TC and surrounding area if you get bored or the wind gets lost.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:13 am
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Location: Shepherd, Michigan
On the plus side (compared to Torch), the North Higgens State park has modern restrooms, picnic tables, outdoor BBQ grills for your charcoal grilling, vending machines, etc...easy to make a fun day out of it. Check out the Michigan DNR site, I am sure that they have some photos...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:26 pm
Posts: 29
Location: SW Michigan
I'm lucky enough to live on Gun Lake and know it well - it's an awesome sailing lake approx 2 1/2 miles by 3 miles wide - but butterfly (the insect, not the sailboat...LOL!) shaped. It doesn't sit in a "bowl" like a lot of lakes, so once you get out of the wind shadow from the shoreline trees - you're good to go! The State Park (Yankee Springs) has a wonderful campground/beach/picnic area that's right down the center of the lake. The main boat launch has 6 or 8 slots; plus there's a shallow water launch that's perfect for sailboats! Nice sandy bottom and the shallow water is warm. There's also a nice launch at the Allegan County Park at 124th Ave & Patterson. It's 1/2 hour from either Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo.

The main holidays like Memorial Day/4th of July, etc can get crowded with boat traffic - but on weekdays, there are very few boats.

When we first moved here - there were Hobie races on weekday nights....but haven't seen that group in a long time....

Deb


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