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Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

Ashton, WV
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14 posts
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Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

We have 7 adults and 2 kids, would we be better of renting our own pontoon boat or taking the tour? I know with the tour we will get a narrated guide but it may be cheaper to rent a boat.

39 replies to this topic
Royal Oak, Michigan
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11. Re: Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

You said it! These people need to stop acting like scared little kittens. Geesh - you are just hugging the coast - not sailing across an ocean!

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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12. Re: Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

Do you have a lot of experience with pontoon boats in open water?

In any case, their trip was last year:-)

new jersey
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for Charlevoix, Michigan
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4,677 posts
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13. Re: Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

This is just strange...why are so many really relevant posts closed after 6 months yet some remain open forever? I've been a TA junkie for 8 years and still don't understand the policies....

Michigan
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for South Haven, Saugatuck
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6,121 posts
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14. Re: Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

Hunter bumped it at exactly six months. Now its less than six months. Wouldn't want to be on the Lake today.

Lansing, Michigan
2 posts
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15. Re: Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

I know the original post was from a year ago but I just wanted to chime in about my experience. My husband and I rented a pontoon with some friends when we visited Pictured Rocks a couple summers ago and it was so much fun! We're not experienced boaters by any means but it was a beautiful day and we wish we had rented it for the whole day instead of half a day. With a pontoon, we were able to relax, take our time and stop at a few sandy beaches, which we would not have been able to do on the cruise.

Zanesville, Ohio
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16. Re: Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

We've been debating on using our own boat (18 ft Tracker) to see pictured rocks this coming July of '14 , are we even allowed? I know this is an older topic, but one I have been researching. My husband takes our boat out on Lake Erie with 4 ft waves (we are from Ohio) with the family. (kids 14 and 11) We would never go any further out on the lake, our focus is fishing in the lower peninsula but will have boat on this trip so thought it would be better self touring vs crowded in with 150 other people. Can someone please advise? Thanks!

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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17. Re: Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

Private boats are permitted.

Ann Arbor, MI
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for Michigan, Ann Arbor
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18. Re: Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

Here is the link from the National Park Service on boating along Lk Superior at Pictured Rocks:

www.nps.gov/piro/planyourvisit/boating.htm

They rightly emphasize extreme caution boating along the cliffs because there are very few protected areas along the coast. Once you're out there you have few shoreline options if the weather turns bad or if you have mechanical trouble.

Four foot waves are not uncommon on Lake Superior (I've experienced 17 foot waves on the lake on the NPS ferry to Isle Royale--yowza--but there was no discussion of waves being too big to run the boat).

It is a very different lake than Erie. I know Erie can be rough because it is shallower, but Superior has the power of an inland ocean and the weather swings to go with it.

My best advice is to have your husband talk to people at the Munising dock to get well informed opinions about the wisdom of the trip in your particular boat under that day's particular weather/lake conditions.

Chicago's North...
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for Illinois, Chicago
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19. Re: Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

i guess i'll chime in again.... 4 ft waves might not seem too terrible, but along the pictured rocks coast, most of it is shear cliffs going straight into the water.... being close to shore, those 4 ft waves are now 8ft choppers due to the bounce-back of the waves off the cliffs.... earlier in this thread, the one-post wonder who said there's nothing to worry about along the peaceful munising coast is either an idiot, or yanking some chains.....

either way, check the wether forecast religiously to see if it's worthwhile to go out in a small boat... if not, just take the tour....

Zanesville, Ohio
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20. Re: Pictured Rocks Tour or rent our own boat?

Thank you so much for replying everybody. I will talk to my husband and yes, get more information. I always hold my breath when we boat out to Kelly's Island and Put in Bay here at Lake Erie, since it is so vast looking like the ocean, I can only imagine Lake Superior. My husband goes fishing way more without me on Erie, so he is fine with it, but we will just have to see... It's smart to be cautious. Maybe the boat tour is looking better and better... Thanks again

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