What boat to bring to Lake Michigan?

I am going to be spending time in Lake Station Indiana next week, this is on the southernmost bottom edge of Lake Michigan. I am told the winds come primarily front the North causing pretty big surf conditions.

I can only take 1 boat with me, and will have to live with it for use on rivers and the lake for a month.

Due to rocky and otherwise bad conditions in the area I am only considering taking WS 155 Zephyr, or Piranha Speeder.

I have never been on Lake Michigan in the spring, but I have some rock gardening skills. The meandering rivers in the area I am familiar with.

What boat would you take?

If you have to ask …
probably a lawn chair.

The speeder is more of a race boat. The Zephyr is more of an all around touring boat. If you are not comfortable in waves and such, then the Zephyr likely would be more forgiving.

Check out segment 3
of the Paddle Relay around lower Michigan.

Starts in Michigan City, IN June 7.

From your profile
"…interested in skills and the experience rather than just covering distance."

If that is still true, the Zephyr

zero rocker
I like the speeder for its turning ability, but it has zero rocker and I have never had a flat boat in big surf before, it has a tendency to punch through instead of riding over waves. How do low rocker boats do in bigger surf?

surf boards
I think most of the surf boards I’ve ever seen are flat and they seem to work fine in the surf. One of the best surf rides I ever had was in my 138 Loon, until right at the end when it did a roll without my permission.

Take the Zephry
Contrary to expert opinions expressed here most surfboards have a fair amount of rocker in the nose.

A flat hull in experienced hands will pearl like a submarine, likely striking the bottom, causing a pitch pole wipe out and damaging your boat.

See if you can paddle with some one with experience in waves if you take on anything more than 2 or 3 ft.




– Last Updated: May-25-15 5:25 PM EST –

You'll probably be happier with an open-water playboat than a downriver racer.

A good club not far from you: http://www.wmcka.org/

my wife made the final decision for me
She pointed out the water temperatures in the lake is still in the 50s. My roll in the zephyr is bulletproof, in the Speeder not so much, not wanting to force myself into wearing a dry suit.

you’re gonna get wet
and the lake is still very cold.

dry top
If I am in the speeder there is a bigger chance of a wet exit, and the speeder is tougher to re-enter (for me anyway)