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Alohaowners Forum Boards => Aloha Discussion => Topic started by: Bill Hutton on August 30, 2018, 10:20:40 PM

Title: North Channel Marina
Post by: Bill Hutton on August 30, 2018, 10:20:40 PM
We are thinking about taking our boat from Oakville to the North channel next summer. Costs with the Town of Oakville run around 4500-5000/year.  Can any of you recommend a home base and marinas with ballpark costs for a slip and winter storage?
Thanks Bill, SV Alohalani
Title: Re: North Channel Marina
Post by: Holdech on August 31, 2018, 08:48:22 AM
Hi Bill,

It depends on where you want to be.
My favorite is Little Current with Gore Bay second. Little current is a cool little town with lots to do, especially during their Haweaters Festival. But prices at either of the marinas are about the same or higher than what you pay now.

If I was looking for reasonable North Channel prices it would have to be Spanish. They have an incredible facility that was a government project from the 90's. As a typical government project, they put in a facility ten times what the area could support (and at a hundred times the cost lol). You won't find another facility that compares - but - the town of Spanish itself has virtually nothing other than an LCBO, post office, and hardware store (unless the restaurant has reopened).
As a result, current seasonal rates for 50 amp service and a boat our size is a little over $1K. The channel is always a concern to many but this year is around 7 feet minimum depth. I have no idea about winter storage though.

But if you are like us, the North Channel is all about exploring and anchoring out - not being tied up to a dock.

Now I'm jealous! You have no idea how much we miss the North Channel...

Title: Re: North Channel Marina
Post by: Bruce on August 31, 2018, 10:41:47 AM
Coming back from the NC this year, we found that there is definitely a trend toward seasonal dockage.  It used to be folks living in the Sudbury area who kept their boat in Spanish, Little Current or Gore Bay, but now we meet people from all over Ontario and the US who keep ther boat up there.  Many go up in June, launch and go,  with an early haul out at the end of Aug to return home. In fact, there are few transient slips left in Spanish for us cruisers.  Gore Bay used to host the odd Rendezvous like the GLCC event but they do not have sufficient transient slips anymore.  Even Killarney was full in July this year, as they had booked MANY boat rendezvous events into both the Lodge and Sportsmans. It was the first year in nearly 25 years that we could not get a night's dockage.  While in southern GB, in the MIdland Bay area, there are fewer boats, to the point that one large marina has closed. That is not the case in the north.   Bruce
Title: Re: North Channel Marina
Post by: Bill Hutton on September 08, 2018, 01:43:28 PM
Great stuff. Thanks for the info guys.  I'll look into Spanish unless you remember something even cheaper. :-)
Title: Re: North Channel Marina
Post by: Bill Hutton on September 23, 2019, 09:54:18 AM
We will be heading up to Midland and Penetang this week to look at Dutchman's Cove and other Marinas.  We've decided we need to have a seasonal dock so that we can make frequent trips back to Oakville.  We'll try to drive to Spanish but it's about 500km (or 5 hrs away from Oakville)!
Any comments about keeping a boat at the South end of the Bay, cruising in that area, and the trip from there to the North Channel would be appreciated.
Thanks Bill Hutton, SV Alohalani
Title: Re: North Channel Marina
Post by: Holdech on September 25, 2019, 08:21:35 AM
I was just comparing Dutchman's to Spanish.
Seasonal dockage: $77.85/ft vs $33/ft at Spanish
Mast crane: $175 vs $52 at Spanish
Pumpout: $15 vs one free per month

Last time we were at Spanish, the facilities were head and shoulders above any marina we have been at (except Trentport - nobody will ever top that place).

I'm not sure about haulout and storage around Spanish?
Winter storage at Dutchman's is $40/ft and $700 in and out. They do have an "all-inclusive" package but it's close to $4K all up for our boat.

Are there any yacht clubs with better pricing? I pay a fraction of these prices but contribute labour (which I enjoy).

Let us know what you find out.

Title: Re: North Channel Marina
Post by: Holdech on September 25, 2019, 08:30:41 AM
Harbour Vu Marina in Little current has decent winter storage pricing.
$19.10/ft and roughly $400 in and out.

We really liked the town of Litle Current.

Title: Re: North Channel Marina
Post by: Bill Hutton on September 26, 2019, 10:50:29 PM
In the end we signed up at Hindson's Marina.  Dutchman's Cove was a bit of a mess as were some of their docks. Hindson's facilities were modern and clean. Their price was around $3100 plus $300 for cradle storage before tax. The mast crane is free as is everything else. As well we have reciprocal privileges at a Killbear marina they own.
While Spanish could have been a great option the 5hr drive was too much for us.

We paid $2600 for our slip this year in Oakville  (a Med-mooring with no electricity). Had we wanted a dock it would have been $3k and another $3k for Town of Oakville winter storage.  It's rediculous. Count your blessings at Bluffers and hope the lease doesn't come up for review any time soon.
Title: Re: North Channel Marina
Post by: Holdech on September 27, 2019, 08:29:33 AM
That sounds like a decent price if you go for the full-service package.

Our plan is to live on the boat (this one or a second boat) in the summer so we only need winter storage.

It's interesting that adding up the fees to haul, unstep, block, step and launch it comes to $3,800!!!!!!

Cheaper to take the full-service package and never use the slip lol.

Question - what kind of work will they allow you to do yourself? I'm thinking of bottom coating, fiberglass repair, wood refinishing, hull/deck/mast painting etc. Some places have a very restrictive policy that only allows them to perform most of these things. Just curious.
Title: Re: North Channel Marina
Post by: Bruce on September 27, 2019, 03:33:58 PM
After 30 years at Bay Moorings marina, (beside Dutchman's) they closed it to make condos instead!  Last year we moved to Bayport Marina in Midland and have been very satisfied.  In my experience, all the local marinas allow owners to do their own work but charge a fee to bring independents to do your work, if you do not use them.  The other 3 marinas are owned by the same company, Maple Leaf marinas ( Beacon Bay, Bayport, Why Heritage).  The local cruising area is very interesting but crowded anchorages on the weekends.  You need to get north of Parry Sound before the cottages start to disappear, except for selected spots.  I suggest joining the Great Lakes Cruising Club for there harbor reports and comradery.   We have been cruising up to the North Channel for many years and the GLCC is a great companion to have.   Bruce
Title: Re: North Channel Marina
Post by: Bill Hutton on October 01, 2019, 10:46:42 PM
Bruce I look forward to seeing you up there next year.
Thanks Chris and Bruce for all your comments.
Bill, SV Alohalani