Chicago Marine Canvas Wins 2017 Award of Excellence

 Chicago Marine Canvas wins 2017 Award of Excellence

(Jacksonville, Fla. – Jan. 21, 2017) –  Chicago Marine Canvas was recognized with the 2017 Fabrication Excellence Awards for design excellence in marine fabric applications, that took place Jan. 21 at the 2017 Marine Fabricators Conference, at the Jacksonville Marriott Suites in Jacksonville, Fla.

Chicago Marine Canvas received an Award of Excellence for its Blarney Island – Keeping the Customers Warm project. The project was recognized in the competition’s Powerboat – Rigid Enclosures category.

MFA received a total of 82 entries submitted in 9 categories in this year’s competition. Winners were selected based on complexity, design, workmanship, uniqueness and function. Judges were certified Master Fabric Craftsman professionals who were chosen for their knowledge in a particular product area.

All entries receive prominent recognition at the Marine Fabricators Conference. Entrants receive additional publicity through coverage in the Marine Fabricator and winners not only receive additional coverage in the Marine Fabricator but also on the MFA website and in future MFA marketing material.

The goal of the awards is to promote awareness of the marine fabrics used in marine products and applications ranging in size and type.

The Fabrication Excellence Awards is a competition sponsored by MFA, a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, a not-for-profit trade association whose over 1,500 member companies represent the international specialty fabrics and technical textiles marketplace.


Cruisers Yachts 3672 Express

Cruisers Yachts 3672 New Canvas

Cruisers Yachts 3672 Express

This Cuisers Yachts 3672 Express was a great project to work on!   The owner recently purchased this yacht in Wisconsin last November.   We were able to measure 3D via our Proliner with the wind blowing 25 mph+.   The owner went with top notch materials and it shows.

  • Canvas

    Sunbrella Supreme Marine (Black on Black) – Sunbrella Supreme is a luxurious, waterproof exterior marine fabric featuring Sunbrella canvas on the exterior face and a special Sunbrella flocking on the reverse side. The unique bonding process creates a waterproof Sunbrella canvas with a beautifully soft headliner underneath.

  • Makrolon

    Makrolon AR2

    Forward Windows

    Markrolon – Makrolon AR2 abrasion resistant polycarbonate sheet offers superior abrasion resistance and glasslike surface hardness, along with the impact strength of polycarbonate. It features a unique clear hard coat finish that resists all types of abuse, from physical attack to chemicals and spray paint. Additionally, Makrolon AR2 offers resistance from yellowing and hazing for longer service life in high profile applications.

  • Cruisers Yachts 3672

    Crusiers Yachts 3672 Express Aft Enclosure

    Aft Windows

    Strataglass – A remarkably clear and scratch-resistant vinyl sheet, Strataglass performs well in boat curtain, automotive window and awning applications, where perfection of clarity and lack of distortion are demanded. This premium, flexible vinyl sheet resists scratching from handling, etching from industrial fallout and damaging effects from the sun’s rays. Made in the USA.

Cockpit Covers

Cockpit Cover in Sunbrella Tresco Linen

Cockpit Cover in Sunbrella Tresco Linen

Cockpit covers are one of the most common types of boat covers used in the marine industry.   These types of covers can be used on all types of powerboats and have different variations available.

Most extend from the top of the windshield toward the aft of the boat.   Another option is to extend the cover over the windshield protecting the windshield and the dashboard area from constant direct sunlight.   Have you ever seen a dashboard that faded out, an over the windshield cockpit cover would have helped postponed this fading.

Cockpit Cover in Sunbrella Charcoal Grey

Cockpit Cover in Sunbrella Charcoal Grey

Frequently the boat covers are connected with button snaps but there are also other variations of fasteners that can be used.   Twist the Dot and Lift the Dot fasteners can be beneficial in specific situations where there is extreme tension on the canvas.

Multiple types of fabric can be used for the cover.  Sunbrella is a popular option and has over 70 fabric options in marine grade canvas available.   A complete list of available can be found here – Sunbrella Samples .   WeatherMax has super high strength and durability combine with long-term color retention and is cost-effective fabric available for marine covers and tops.  Both fabrics have outstanding durability, high water repellent and excellent breathability.

Cockpit Cover with "Mesh" CAD rendering

Cockpit Cover with “Mesh” CAD rendering

We measure all of our cockpit covers via 3D and build out the design in CAD software.   This provides for a great fitting cover that will be enjoyed for years to come.   Some of the pictures show the rendered design in a “Mesh”  along with the finish product.   Please contact us with any of your cockpit cover needs.

Baliner Cockpit Cover in Sunbrella Marine Blue Tweed

Baliner Cockpit Cover in Sunbrella Marine Blue Tweed


39′ Carver Aft Cabin Flybridge Enclosure – Let’s Dance

3D Rendering of Flybridge

We measure in 3D and construct the enclosures in CAD software providing an efficient way to fabricate enclosures.

We were contacted by the owner to fabricate a new Flybridge Enclosure during the off-season while the boat was being stored indoor at Marine Services in Dolton, IL, a class A facility.   The owner requested the enclosure to be similar to the existing enclosure with roll up windows on the center panel along with the port and starboard side windows.   The yacht has a larger size bimini with 4 bows and arch attachment aft along with a total of 7 panels.   This was a very fun project and we have a complete list of materials used below too.

  • Exterior View Forward Port

    Exterior View Forward Port

    SeaMark Canvas – SeaMark is a great option for bimini tops.   It’s essentially Sunbrella fabric with a rubberized coating which provides 100% waterproof protection.

  • Sunbrella Canvas – In addition to the SeaMark, we used Sunbrella fabric which is lighter than the SeaMark and is great for constructing the panels.
  • Strataglass (40 gauge clear) – This type of isenglass is perfect for the midwest climate.   It’s scratch and UV resistant providing 10+ years of enjoyment.  It won’t yellow like traditional double polished isenglass and has a minimal shrinkage of 1-2%.
  • Interior View Forward Port

    Interior View Forward Port

    GORE® TENARA® Sewing Threa – Manufactured from 100 percent expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the chemical name for Teflon® from DuPont. Expanded PTFE is two to three times stronger than conventional PTFE.   Is your thread breaking down?   Then you don’t have Tenara which is guaranteed for life!

  • Lenzip Zippers – Located in Rolling Meadows, Lenzip offers a lifetime guarantee on all of their zippers and is an excellent choice for marine grade zippers.
  • DOT Fasteners – we used DOT black enamel snaps to give the panels a nice clean finished look.
Forward Panels

Forward Panels

Forward Panels

Forward Panels

Interior Bimini Top

Interior Bimini Top – Wrinkle Free Boating!

Where's the Zipper?

Where’s the Zipper? We use a technique to hide the zippers between panels resulting in a clean finish inside and out!



Chicago Harbors 2016 Weekend Schedule

Date Event Location
May 1st Harbors are Officially Open
May 27th – 30th Memorial Day Weekend
May 28th – September 3rd Navy Pier Fireworks every Wednesday 9:3o pm and Saturday 10:15 pm Navy Pier
June 10th-12th America’s Cup World Series Navy Pier
June 11th ACWS Boater’s Bash Monroe Harbor
June 17th – 19th NOOD Regatta
June 25th – 26th Harbor Fest 2016 31st Street Harbor
July 1st – 4th 4th of July Weekend
July 6ht – 10th Taste of Chicago Grant Park
July 22nd – 23rd Race to Mackinac CYC Monroe
July 28 – 31st Lollapalooza Grant Park
August 6th Chicago Scene Boat Party Playpen
August 6th 31st Street Music Festival (formerly Aquapalooza) 31st Street Habor
August 12th – 14th Verve Cup Offshore Regatta
August 19th – 21st Air and Water Show North Ave Beach
September 5th Labor Day Weekend
September 10th Venetian Night Navy Pier
September 10th Chicago Regatta 31st Street Harbor
October 31st Harbors are Officially Closed

Chicago Harbors 2016 Weekend Schedule, your #1 guide for all the top events and activities for boating in Chicago this summer.


Strataglass Vs. Eisenglass

When deciding on a new boat cover there are many options to choose from. Some are easier than others but one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is the type of Eisenglass (also commonly spelled as isinglass or isenglass) for your  boats windows.


Strataglass (left) and Clear Vinyl (right) aged 10 year on the same boat

Cost is a factor for everything but visibility and lifespan also have a role in this type of marine product.

Eisenglass Marine Products come in four primary categories:

  • Clear Vinyl on a roll – the least expensive option that offers limited visibility.
  • Polished Vinyl Sheets – great economical option that have good visibily within their 5-7 year lifespan.
  • Strataglass and O’Sea- premium vinyl sheets that offer 10+ year of usage.
  • Lexan and Makrolon – semi-rigid products seen on larger yachts with hard enclosures.

Most boaters narrow their decision down to a brand such as Strataglass vs Eisenglass (aka Clear Vinyl Sheets).   Clear Vinyl Sheets are by far the most popular and can be found on the majority of boats in any harbor.   Strataglass is a big step up in price but you get an excellent product with a much longer life.

This decision though can’t be made on it’s own.   You wouldn’t put a turbocharger in Buick would you?   The same goes with choosing the right isinglass.   As discussed before, these two product has a different lifespan and so do other product that go into the construction of your boat cover.   Thread is one of these factors.   Standard polyester thread has a 5 year lifespan which is similar to clear vinyl sheets.   Gore Tenara thread is more expensive but is guaranteed for life and more suited to be used with Strataglass.   Other finishing factors such as using Facing to cover transition area and Xtreme Seal instead of Webbing also go hand in hand in deciding what type of isinglass to choose.    It’s essentially standard vs. premium.

Both Strataglass and Clear Vinyl Sheets are great products serving different needs.   If you have the means for a premium custom boat cover and plan on enjoying your boat beyond the 5-7 year lifespan Clear Vinyl Sheets provides then Strataglass sounds like a great solution.  Keep in mind that Clear Vinyl Sheets can be replaced too especially if your canvas is in good condition.

And a parting tip for those who have read the whole article……. Suntan lotion may protect you from UV rays but it kills clear vinyl and Strataglass!   It will result in a hazy look if not removed immediately.   So be sure not to let your guests bring any spray suntan lotion or bananas too!

Happy Boating!


Sailrite Window Material Buying Guide

Strataglass Care and Maintenance

IMAR Clear Vinyl Cleaning Products


Best Boat Coffee Makers

Ever look for a boat coffee maker?   Unfortunately there is no such thing as a coffee maker specifically manufactured for a boat but we found two that we consider the best boat coffee makers available!   In choosing a coffee maker for your boat there are a few things to consider.

  • Durability:  Everything “boating” needs to be a little tougher and built better that most items due to the rigorous demands of being on the water.   A glass coffee pot is the last thing you need on your boat!  Durability was a key factor when deciding on the best boat coffee makers.
  • Usability:  Ease of use is also very important which is why we immediately started to look at single cup coffee machines over traditional brewers.  This makes for much easier brewing while underway.
  • Size:  Most boat cabins have limited counter space and storage so your big coffee makers will not make this cut.   The smaller and more compact the better.

Best Boat Coffee Makers

Nespresso Pixie

Best Boat Coffee Maker - Nespresso PixieThe Nespresso Pixie is one of our favorite coffee makers available.  It has a super compact size and good weight to it, when the boat starts a rocking, this coffee maker will not.   It’s offered in a variety of colors but the Aluminum options looks great!

The water container for the Nespresso Pixie is removable from the back and can hold  24 oz. of water.   It has a used capsule container in the front that has a capacity of 11.  The drip tray can also be folded up for for larger glasses too.

One downside to the Pixie is that it’s limited to it’s Lungo pods which are 3.7 oz. of coffee.  It’s best to double up brews to get a full cup.

Key Features

  • Compact and Light (Weight: 6.6lb & Dimensions (WxDxH): 4.4 in x 12.8 in x 9.3 in)
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Fast Heat Up 25 Seconds
  • Coffee Size Expresso & Lungo
  • Off Mode After 9 Minutes

Overall this is a great compact coffee maker that could find a home on the water in any boat.

Keurig® K10 MINI Plus Brewing System

Best Boat Coffee Makers - Keurig® K10 MINI Plus Brewing SystemThe Keurig K10 Mini Plus Brewing System is larger than the Nespresso Pixie but it offers some great additional key features.

Although larger than the Pixie, it’s still a very compact machine relative to other available models.   It is also able to brew larger cups than the Pixie which is limited at 3.7 oz.  These single use K-Cups are available in over 400 varieties from 60 brands and available at almost every major retailer.

The MINI Plus Brewing System brews a perfect cup of coffee, tea, hot cocoa or iced beverage in under two minutes at the touch of a button. With the choice of three cup sizes, the MINI Plus brewer offers a removable drip tray to accommodate short travel mugs. To operate, you simply add fresh water into the single-use reservoir, choose your favorite K-Cup pack, brew and enjoy.

Key Features

  • Energy-Saving Mode
  • My Kcup Compatible
  • Automatic On/Off Function
  • Brews in Under 2 Minutes


Chicago Boat Storage Guide

Our Chicago Boat Storage Guide is the authority when it comes to great marinas and boatyards for winter storage for your yacht or boat.   It is arranged by geographical area around Chicago with pros and cons.   If you’ve had a great experience or difficult one at a storage facility listed or would like one added please submit a comment and we’ll get it on the list.

Chicago River Boat Storage

Storing your boat in the Chicago River system is a convenient option when keeping your at the various Chicago Harbors during the summer months. This can be a huge benefit when facing inclement weather in October since you don’t have to travel far in potentially rough seas. You do pay a premium for this convenience but it does allow you to get the most out of your boating season making these a favorite of the Chicago Boat Storage Guide.

  • Goose Island Boatyard :  The only storage facility on the north branch of the Chicago River, Goose Island Boatyard is a full service medium sided facility.   Access to the yard is reasonable and for the “do it yourselfers” they allow boaters to do their own work as long as it’s within reason.   They do offer indoor storage which is very limited so the majority of boats are shrink wrapped outside.
  • Chicago Boat Storage Guide

    Chicago Yacht Yard

    Chicago Yacht Yard :  A large full service boatyard located on the south branch of the Chicago River, this yacht yard has it all.   They have multiple storage options of indoor (heated or cold) and outdoor.   Access is good but do have rules when it comes to doing your own work.

  • Forest View Marina :  This is a nice marina located farther down the south branch from the Chicago Yacht Yard.   They have a nice indoor storage facility but also offer outdoor storage too.   Offering a full range of maintenance, Forest View Marina is a good lower cost option farther down the river.

Calumet River Boat Storage

Depending on your harbor, the Calumet River is located about 20 miles south of Chicago by water.   As long as the weather is co-operating it’s a nice cruise at the beginning of the season as you take in the Chicago skyline.  NE winds in the fall will help push you down but you don’t want to have too much help as winds over 15 knots can make it an uncomfortable ride.   Traveling on the river is enjoyable but be conscious of the barge traffic which services some of the industry located on the river.  Rates are less than what you’ll find on the Chicago River but it seems to equal out when you consider the gas burned to/from along with travel distances to the area.

  • Crowley’s Yacht Yard Lakeside :   Crowley’s is the first marina of many that you’ll find in the Calumet river.   They’re a favorite in the sailboat community but there are also plenty of powerboats at this mega marina.   They have plenty of indoor or outdoor storage space and are full service for all maintenance.
  • Skyway Yacht Works :  Just beyond Crowley’s you’ll find Skyway Yacht Works.   Skyway is a newer full service marina that focuses on storage and service.   You’ll be able to choose form indoor heated or outdoor storage at this facility.
  • Sunset Bay Marina :  Once you make it down the river through the loch, Sunset Bay Marina will be on your portside.   They also are a full service marina with indoor and outdoor storage.   They also have fuel which is generally at a good price.
  • Chicago Boat Storage Guide

    Marine Services Corp

    Marine Services Corporation :  Marine Services Corp keep growing and recently added a 25,000 sq ft building for indoor storage.  They have multiple storage buildings on site but also offer outdoor storage too.   Once unique feature is that they operate their own harbor with 128 slips along with full service maintenance.

  • Pier 11 Marina :  Pier 11 Marina has been a family business since 1983.  They are a full service marina with summer and winter slips. One of their specialties is REPO boats.  Pier 11 Marina works directly as an agent for the banks so you get the best deal possible. True REPOs with no middle man.

Indiana and Michigan Boat Storage

There are plenty of great storage areas across Indiana and Michigan but here are a few that we’ve had experience along with other boaters in our network.   There maybe some cost savings when storing in these areas but the travel expense and time negates the savings.   If you purchases your boat from a marina or boat dealer in Indiana or Michigan, that’s a great reason to return to them.   These businesses like to cater to and keep their customers offering great deals on winter storage but also service.

  • B & E Marina :  Only 38 miles from Chicago by water, B & E Marina is a premiere dealership and marina.  They are authorized dealers for Sea Ray, Meridian and Boston Whaler along with a large brokerage selection.  Winter storage options are for indoor or outdoor with a full range of maintenance services.
  • Shoreland Marine :  This Michigan City, IN caters primarily to northwest Indiana and southeast Michigan but does have some boats come in from Chicago.   They offer full service on maintenance and also fiberglass repair.   You have the choice of indoor or outdoor storage along with all winterizing services.
  • Pier 33 :  Located in St. Joseph, MI this full service marina is ENE from Chicago.   It’s a very professional marina with new and used boat sales and service.   Storage options are indoor and outdoor at a very reasonable price.

Chicago Harbors Boat Storage

Winter Storage in Chicago doesn’t get any easier than just staying at the harbor!  There is some downside with storing at the harbor such as they’re not a full service marina but Skipper Bud’s does service each harbor.   Both locations offer some discounts in conjunction with summer slip fees too.

  • Montrose Harbor : Only outdoor storage is available but they can fit up to 300 power and sail boats at the harbor for winter storage.
  • 31st Street Harbor :  The newest of the Chicago Harbors, 31st St Harbor offers indoor heated and outdoor storage for up to 200 boats.

Inland Boat Storage

If you have a trailer for your boat and can haul out yourself the options are really limitless.   From your neighbor’s driveway, barns to your local public storage units you can pretty much store anywhere.  You’ll just want to confirm that area is secure and a safe environment for your boat.

  • Munroe Storage :  This is a great storage facility in Plainfield, IL that has winter storage for cars and boats.  It’s indoor/unheated storage at a great price making it #1 for the Chicago Boat Storage Guide!  Boat length is really not an issue but the overhead doors are 16′ tall which shouldn’t be a problem for most boaters.   If you trailer you boat this is a great option that’s about 10 minutes off I-55.

Chicago Boat Storage Guide

We hope your gained some valuable information from the Chicago Boat Storage Guide and this helps you in deciding on where to store your boat over the winter. We will continue to update the Chicago Boat Storage Guide and appreciate your input.

Chicago Boat Show Free Seminars

Chicago-Boat-Show-Free-SeminarsThe Chicago Boat Show Free Seminars is a great place to find very valuable information and also a great time to talk to the experts.   Below is a complete schedule of the 2015 Chicago Boat Show Free Seminars schedule.

Chicago Boat Show Free Seminars- Dates & Location

Wednesday-Sunday, January 14-18, 2015  

McCormick Place—South Building – NEW LOCATION!!!
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive 
Chicago, Illinois 60616

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
2:00 pm One-on-one With a Service Tech
3:00 pm Scratches, dings & oxidation
4:00 pm Gas outboard troubleshooting, repair & maintenance
5:00 pm Oh NO, there’s ethanol in my fuel!
6:00 pm Cabin cruiser systems analysis
7:00 pm Boats that Sit
8:00 pm One-on-one With a Service Tech
Thursday, January 15, 2015
11:00 am One-on-one With a Service Tech
12:00 pm Diagnosing electrical problems & maintaining a marine battery system
1:10 pm A fast & efficient boat: How your prop affects your boat’s performance
2:00 pm Oh NO, there’s ethanol in my fuel!
3:00 pm Scratches, dings & oxidation
4:00 pm Gas outboard troubleshooting, repair & maintenance
5:00 pm Eradicating mold, mildew, dirt & crud
6:00 pm Gas sterndrives & inboards troubleshooting, repair & maintenance
7:00 pm Boats that Sit
Friday, January 16, 2015
11:00 am One-on-one With a Service Tech
12:00 pm Lower unit repairs & maintenance
1:00 pm A fast & efficient boat: How your prop affects your boat’s performance
2:00 pm Gas outboard troubleshooting, repair & maintenance
3:00 pm Scratches, dings & oxidation
4:00 pm Boats that Sit
5:00 pm Cabin cruiser systems analysis
6:00 pm Oh NO, there’s ethanol in my fuel!
7:00 pm Diesel troubleshooting, repair & maintenance
8:00 pm One-on-one With a Service Tech
Saturday, January 17, 2015
10:00 am One-on-one With a Service Tech
11:00 am Diagnosing electrical problems & maintaining a marine battery system
12:00 pm Oh NO, there’s ethanol in my fuel!
1:00 pm A fast & efficient boat: How your prop affects your boat’s performance
2:00 pm Boats that Sit
3:00 pm Scratches, dings & oxidation
4:00 pm Gas outboard troubleshooting, repair & maintenance
5:00 pm Eradicating mold, mildew, dirt & crud
6:00 pm Lower unit repairs & maintenance
7:00 pm Cabin cruiser systems analysis
8:00 pm One-on-one With a Service Tech
Sunday, January 18, 2015
10:00 am One-on-one With a Service Tech
11:00 am Cabin cruiser systems analysis
12:00 pm Oh NO, there’s ethanol in my fuel!
1:00 pm A fast & efficient boat: How your prop affects your boat’s performance
2:00 pm Boats that Sit
3:00 pm Gas sterndrives & inboards troubleshooting, repair & maintenance
4:00 pm One-on-one With a Service Tech

Chicago Boat Show Free Seminars are a great place to learn about your boat and become a better boater. Don’t miss out on the Chicago Boat Show Free Seminars this year!

Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors

There are many great Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors that boaters visit every summer!  Here’s a list along with some great information on each starting from the northwest.

Northpoint Marina, Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors

Northpoint Marina

Northpoint Marina : The largest marina on Lake Michigan is home to over 1500 slips with some of the nicest facilities available.  With transient slips available, this is a great place to stop off when cruising between Milwaukee and Chicago.

Waukegan Harbor : Just south of Northpoint Marina, Waukegan Harbor has some of the nicest amenities you’ll find.   It also has excellent salmon and lake trout fishing right outside the harbor.

Wilmette Harbor : Wilmette Harbor is a very small harbor that caters primary to small sailboats.   The main attraction though is the architecturally stunning Baha’i Temple which is a hidden gem for boaters just south of the harbor.   Sporting one of the few areas with sand bars on the western shores of Lake Michigan, this area is anchor down at when light SW winds are blowing.

Montrose Harbor : Montrose Harbor is the most northern harbor in the 10 Chicago public harbors.   Fishing from shore around the harbor is excellent and it also has a great bait shop too!

Belmont Harbor : Belmont Harbor is one of the largest harbors in Chicago providing slips to both sail and power boats.   The fuel dock facilities can accommodate vessels up to 120′.

Diversey Harbor, Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors

Diversey Harbor

Diversey Harbor : This harbor is home to power boats only due to the bridge clearance of ~ 14′ at the mouth of the harbor.  It’s one of the most vibrant harbors in Chicago and also has 2 launch ramps for daily boaters.   Being steps away from Lincoln Park and Lincoln Park Zoo, this is a great place to lay up for the night.   This could be the wildest Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors.

DuSable Harbor : DuSable Harbor sits on the northern point of Monroe Harbor which is where you would enter by sea.   It’s the closest harbor to Navy Pier which always provides a great day of entertainment.

Monroe Harbor : The harbor of cans….. Not those cans but the cans you will have to moor your boat too!  There are no slips at this harbor but the cans are a very affordable way to start boating in Chicago with some of the lowest rates for slips.   Monroe also has a great “touch and go” for picking up and dropping off guests.

Burnham Harbor, Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors

Burnham Harbor

Burnham Harbor : Home of some of the largest yachts in Chicago and also the Chicago Bears, this harbor has something for everyone.   Burnham Harbor is located with in walking distance of Chicago’s museum campus and Northerly Island which hosts outdoor summer concerts just about every week.    Getting a transient slip on the east side of the harbor is the way to go to enjoy your favorite bank on the night of the concert.

31st Street Harbor : The newest harbor in Chicago, 31st offers some of the best amenities available to boaters.  It also has a  very wide and accessible set of launch ramps and hosts some great events over the summer.   The Chicago In-Water Boat Show is one of a kind where you can pull up and dock your boat while browsing the newest boats available.   There are also plenty of summertime concerts at 31st too.

59th St Harbor : This harbor is one of the smaller harbor in Chicago but one of the most beautiful.  It’s a short walk to the Museum of Science and Industry and also the 63rd St Beach.   There’s also a public golf course nearby too.

Jackson Park Outer & Jackson Park Inner : The Jackson Park Harbors are divided into two with Jackson Park Inner only able to accommodate power boats due to bridge restrictions similar to Diversey Harbor.   The harbor has a fuel dock offering both gas and diesel.

Hammond Marina : Not only is Hammond Marina great to tie up at for a trip to the Horseshoe Casino but also hosts one of the best festivals of the year, Festival of the Lakes.

Michigan City Port : This harbor has gone through some great renovations over the past 10 years.  There’s a great beach right next to harbor and home to some of the most majestic sand dunes in Indiana.

New Buffalo, Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors

New Buffalo

New Buffalo Harbor : New Buffalo is one of the closest and best destination when traveling from Chicago by sea.   The Stray Dog Bar & Grill is a must see when your in town but there are plenty of good restaurants and bars within walking distance to the harbor.   Transient slips are available at a great rate and it’s the perfect place for a quick overnight stay.

St Joseph & Benton Harbor : These two cities have developed into one of the most popular stopovers in the lake which lie at the mouth of a major river.  West Basin Marina is a good place to stay since it’s the only marina with connection to the beachfront.   This is definetly a port where you’ll want to spend a few night traveling around the river and also to see what both towns have to offer.

South Haven : South Haven is by far the premier cruising destination with multiple marinas available to dock at up and down the winding river which makes it so popular.   It’s very easy to walk through this historic and beautiful town with it being another port that you’ll want to stay more than a day at.  Another great resource for South Haven is the South Haven Visitors Bureau.

Saugatuck, Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors


Saugatuck : Sometimes called the Cape Cod of the midwest, Saugatuck is a beehive of social activity.   When you enter the channel into the Kalamazoo river there’s a great anchorage right inside to starboard which gets very crowded on the weekends.  As you get into Kalamazoo Lake they’ll be plenty of slips on northside servicing the downtown area.  This is one of the best Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors.

Holland : A pleasant town of tulips and Dutch charm on inviting Lake Macatawa, Holland’s beauty is unmatched.   You won’t find the hustle bustle of Saugatuck in Holland but it’s a great place to explore and unwind.   When entering this port you won’t miss the now silent foghorn of Big Red on the south pier.

Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors

There is nothing more beautiful than some of the Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors. To visit all the Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors takes years and should not be rushed. Please send your comments on your favorite Chicago and South Lake Michigan Harbors today.