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Lake Profile
Cass Lake
(Oakland County)

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From the SailMichigan.org Archives

Lake Profile: Cass Lake, Oakland County

           Cass Lake is the largest and deepest lake in Oakland county and is bordered by Waterford Township, West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake Village and Keego Harbour. The lake is home to the Pontiac Yacht Club which has one of the largest fleets of Lightnings in the world and focuses on sailing education and competition.

          The main access launch for the lake is located in Dodge State Park No. 4, at the end of Parkway Rd, off of Cass Elizabeth Rd. (see following Google map). This launch consists of 4 cement ramps divided by two short piers. The ramps and set-up area appear to be devoid of overhead obstructions (but always double check) and the ramps are bordered by a stretch of open shoreline. Although the shoreline my serve as a beachable surface in a pinch, it is not configured to be routinely used that way. The Cass Lake Marina (commercial marina) is immediately adjacent to the ramps (see photo). This proximity diminishes some maneuverability at the ramps and also may enhance onshore wave action from boats leaving and returning ot the marina. There is a vault toilet present at the ramp and  a reasonable amount of parking.

          The ramps discharge into Gerundegut Bay, which is a narrow area at the north end of the lake. There may be some limited sailing maneuverability in this area, depending on wind direction, until you get to more open water. Although the DNR has these ramps listed as type 1 ramps, sailors looking to launch centerboard boats greater than 21' may want to visit the ramps first and evaluate them for themselves. 

The lake is popular and in close proximity to several population centers which means that boat traffic will be high during peak periods. The presence of the PYC provides a strong and organized sailing presence on the lake and it has been reported that it is possible to sail approximately 3/4 of a mile on most points of sail. Additional sailing comments and ratings for this lake are desired..

In the winter, this lake and launch location is a popular one for local DN Iceboat fleets.         

         Although national Iceboating (Ice Yachting) regattas have been held here in the past, the lake's size may be limiting to today's faster (or larger) ice boats. More specific advice for Iceyachting on this lake can be found on the IDNIYRA website



General Lake Features

  • Lake Type: River Fed/Lake Chain
  • Surface area: 1278 acres
  • Max depth: 123 feet
  • Orientation: Northeast-Southwest

Cass Lake DNR Depth Map

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1959 Interlake Sailboat in Michigan

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Local Sailing Clubs and Organizations

Alpena Youth Sailing Club  - Alpena (Lake Huron)

American Sailing Institute - Oakland and Macomb Counties (Kent Lake, Lake Saint Clair)

Bay City Yacht Club - Bay City (Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron)

Bay Sail (Sailing Education) - Bay City (Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron)

Tawas Bay Yacht Club  - East Tawas  (Tawas Bay, Lake Huron)

Albatross Yacht Club - Harrison Twp. (Anchor Bay, Lake Saint Clair)

Bark Shanty Sail Club -  Port Sanilac  (Lake Huron)

Barton Boat Club  - Ann Arbor (Barton Pond, Huron River) 

Bayview Yacht Club - Detroit (Detroit River, Lake Saint Clair)

Clark Lake Yacht Club - Clark Lake (Jackson County)

Creekfleet Sail Club - Shelby Twp. (Stony Creek Lake / Stony Creek Metropark)

Crescent Sail Yacht Club - Grosse Pointe Farms (Lake Saint Clair)

Detroit Boat Club - Detroit (Detroit River, Lake Saint Clair)

Detroit Model Yacht Club - Detroit 

Detroit Yacht Club - Detroit (Detroit River - Lake Saint Clair)

Devils Lake Yacht Club - Manitou Beach (Lenawee County)

Grayhaven Sail Club of Detroit - Detroit (Detroit River, Lake Saint Clair)

Ford Yacht Club - Grosse Ile (Detroit River, Lake Erie)

Great Lakes Yacht Club - Saint Clair Shores (Lake Saint Clair)

Grosse Ile Yacht Club - Grosse Ile (Detroit River, Lake Erie)

Grosse Pointe Sail Club - Grosse Pointe Farms (Lake Saint Clair)

Grosse Pointe Yacht Club - Grosse Pointe (Lake Saint Clair)

Huron Pointe Yacht Club - Harrison Twp. (Lake Saint Clair)

Jefferson Yacht Club - St. Clair Shores (Lake Saint Clair)

Lake Fenton Sailing Club - Fenton, MI (Lake Fenton)

Lake Shore Sail Club - St. Clair Shores (Lake Saint Clair)

Lansing Boat Club - Lansing, MI  (Grand River)

Lansing Sailing Club  - Haslett, MI (Lake Lansing)

Mac Ray Yacht Club - Mt. Clemans, MI (Lake Saint Clair)

Michigan Sailing Club - Dexter, MI (Base Line Lake)

Monroe Boat Club Monroe (734) 243-8935

North Cape Yacht Club La Salle (734) 242-5081

North Star Sail Club Harrison Twp.(586) 463-2192

Pontiac Yacht Club Pontiac (248) 682-8020

Portage Yacht Club Pinckney (734) 426-4155 

Port Huron Yacht Club Port Huron(810) 985-9424SE

Saginaw Bay Yacht Club Essexville (989) 892-5905

Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Bay City (989) 922-7245

Swan Boat Club Newport (734) 586-2002

West Shore Sail Club Trenton

Wolf Lake Yacht Club Jackson (517) 522-4211

Wyandotte Yacht Club Ecorse 

Boyne City Yacht Club Boyne City

Burt Lake Yacht Club Brutus

Charlevoix Yacht Club Charlevoix (231) 547-9170

Crystal Lake Yacht Club Frankfort (231) 352-4691

Glen Lake Yacht Club Glen Arbor (231) 334-4013

Grand Traverse Yacht Club Traverse City (231) 946-9779

Leland Yacht Club Leland (231) 256-2681

Little Traverse Yacht Club Harbor Springs (231) 526-7919

Ludington Yacht Club Ludington (231) 843-9904

Pentwater Yacht Club Pentwater (231) 869-8921

Torch Lake Yacht Club Bellaire (231) 377-7829

Traverse Area Community Sailing Traverse City (231) 922-5922

Walloon Lake Yacht Club Walloon Lake

Bayshore Yacht Club Holland (616) 399-9844

Crystal Sailing Club Crystal (989) 235-4065

Diamond Lake Yacht Club Cassopolis (269) 445-3201

Eagle Lake Sailing Club Edwardsburg (269) 699-5820

Grand Rapids Yacht Club Grand Rapids (616) 949-8466

Grand River Sailing Club Grand Haven

Gull Lake Yacht Club Richland (616) 629-9714

Harbour Towne Yacht Club Muskegon (231) 755-4892

Indian Lake Yacht Club Dowagiac

Lake Michigan Yacht Club New Buffalo (269) 469-8100

Macatawa Bay Yacht Club Macatawa (616) 335-5815

Muskegon Yacht Club Muskegon (231) 755-1414

New Buffalo Yacht Club New Buffalo (616) 469-0808

Paw Paw Lake Yacht Club Coloma (616) 468-6300S

River's Edge Yacht Club Grand Haven (616) 846-0408

Saint Joseph River Yacht Club Saint Joseph (269) 983-6393

Saugatuck Yacht Club Saugatuck (269) 857-8665

Singapore Yacht Club Saugatuck (616) 857-2442

South Haven Yacht Club South Haven (616) 637-2305

Spring Lake Yacht Club Spring Lake (616) 847-8322

Tower Harbour Yacht Club Saugatuck-Douglas

White Lake Yacht Club Whitehall (231) 894-4516

Escanaba Yacht Club - Escanaba (Lake Michigan)

Marquette Yacht Club - Marquette (Lake Superior)

M & M Yacht Club - Menominee (Lake Michigan)

Mackinac Island Yacht Club - Mackinac Island (Mackinac straits)

Onigaming Yacht Club - Houghton (Lake Superior)

Learn More

There are over 80 yacht and sailing clubs in Michigan. One or more are bound to be near you. Many of these offer sailing classes and look for volunteers to crew on boats for weekly races. Click on the links to the left to go to their respective sites.


We recommend checking out:

  • American Sailing Institute
  • Creekfleet Sail Club
  • Saginaw Bay Community Sailing
  • Traverse Area Community Sailing
  • Michigan State Univ. Sailing Center


Finding a Tall Ship / Charter

Manitou

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Tours on the Manitou are conducted by the Tranverse Tall Ship Company in Traverse City, MI

Appledore IV

Appledore IV photo by Mlive.com

Appledore IV and V are owned and operated in Bay City, MI by BaySail.

Champion

Cutter Champion - image from Maritime Heritage Alliance

The Cutter Champion is owned and operated by the Maritime Heritage Alliance in Traverse City, MI

Inland Seas

Inland Seas, Tall Ship, Sailing, Sailboat

Inland Seas is maintained and sailed by the Inland Seas Education Association in Sutton's Bay (Lake Michigan).

Tall Ship Celebration

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2019 is the year the Tall Ship Celebration will again be in Bay City, MI Multiple ships from several countries will be here.

Future Charter Info

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