Sailing in Cook County
Lake Superior Sailing Adventures
Lake Superior offers incredible sailing adventures – not to mention the most spectacular views of the shoreline. Whether you have your own sailboat or are planning a chartered trip, sailing on Lake Superior is an adventure of a lifetime. You never know what the lake will do, so expect the unexpected and prepare to be amazed.
Climb aboard the 50’ schooner Hjordis with the North House Folk School to tour the Grand Marais harbor. Her traditional rigging will take you back in time on a sailing adventure you’ll never forget.
Or, if you’re the do-it-yourself type, try one of the many sailing courses offered. Learn to navigate at sea by day or night, spend the afternoon learning to sail, or make a multi-day trip of it in an extended course. View available course listings.
Because Lake Superior is so vast, it has inland sea qualities. That means you should never underestimate its power; it can turn dangerous very quickly. These tips will ensure your day on the lake is fantastic.
- Research wind and weather conditions. Even if you plan to stay close to the shoreline, check the forecast to be prepared for whatever the weather may bring.
- Pack adequate provisions. Fog or an east wind on Lake Superior quickly drops temperatures and experienced navigators always have a down jacket on board, even in July and August.
- Wear your jacket. A Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is State Law for all children under 10, and adults should wear one at all times, too. Have one on the boat for each passenger. Drowning is rare when wearing a lifejacket and over 90% of drowning victims were not wearing a lifejacket. No matter your level of expertise, always bring more than adequate floatation devices and wear them at all times.
- Come prepared. Best two items to have on board: A VHF-FM two-way marine radio and a compass. The radio keeps you informed and in touch with the land and in hard rain or fog, the compass will keep your direction true. A cell phone can help in a pinch, but cellular reception can be spotty or non-existent along portions of the North Shore.
- Do not drink and boat. After numerous senseless accidents and drowning, both state and the US Coast Guard are cracking down on BUI’s (Boating Under the Influence) in Minnesota with Operation Drywater. Licenses and registrations are necessary.
- Stop invasive species. We are working hard to keep invasive species out of our area. Make sure to check your boat before you launch and after your time on the water.
Lake Superior is a big, powerful body of water. Sailing it safely requires proper preparations. Before setting off on your sailing adventure, consult the DNR’s Lake Superior Boating Guide for safety, regulations and other information.
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