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As the weather cools down, ice sailing/yachting heats up. Although highly weather dependent, most organized ice boating occurs on the Western side of the state on Gull Lake, Elk Lake, Muskegon Lake and Grand Traverse Bay. Other regional action can be found on Cass Lake (Oakland Co.), Wampler's Lake (Jackson Co.) or Lake Saint Clair (Macomb Co.).
Because Michigan winters are sufficiently cold to allow for a thorough freezing of inland lakes, ice boating is popular in the state during the winter months. In fact, one of the more popular iceboat classes is the DN class, designed and named in response to a contest sponsored by the Detroit News in 1937. This boat is essentially a small ice rocket (12 feet long, only 21 inches wide) with a maximum speed of 60 m.p.h. Michigan is home to the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association, which boasts about 2000 members.
There are some peculiarities to ice boating (ice yachting) which are not seen with “soft water” sailing. First, most iceboats carry a single individual (so the need for crew is removed), however two or more person boats do exist. Second, because of the speeds involved (iceboats in general can travel 5-10x wind speed), ice sailors wear protective gear, including helmets. Third, iceboats do not require standard ramps for launching. And lastly, an intimate knowledge of ice conditions and lake topography is essential for a safer experience (although iceboating cannot be made 100% "safe"). The iceboating season can’t start until snow-free hard ice is established on the lakes, usually after Christmas. Ice-sailing events in general are very condition dependent and may arise or be canceled with short notice for safety reasons. Those interested in iceboating should contact the organizations below for expert advice on sailing conditions, tactics and safety.
Our passion for small boats occassional gets us into the position of rescuing a boat, refurbishing and reselling it. Watch here for opportunities.
Craigslist can provide the lowest barrier and cost to obtaining your first boat. There can be great deals, as well as scary offers, here.
Some bargans may be found here, however this is a national market. At any given time only a few boats will be relatively local to you.
Are you a sailing non-profit? Do you routinely have boats for sale to support your organization? Let us know so we can help.
Are you a for-profit sailboat dealer and wish to support this site? Talk to us and you can be featured here!
Are you an individual looking to sell your boat to another good home? Contact us about featuring your boat here!
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)
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:
Since 2009, SailMichigan.org has endeavored to make entry and enjoyment of sailing easier. If you have visited us before, you will note the change. As much as we hated to do it, we could not financially support the changes necessary in the old site and had to retire it. We are now recontemplating our naval to see what is possible.
This is unknown. Will the full functionality of SailMichigan return? Perhaps, but not in the immediate future.
This has not changed. Our mission has always been to lower the barriers to sailing, especially small boat sailing.