Bay City, MI
Lat: 43° 39.085 Long: 083° 51.099
Bay City MI is an important, deep water commercial harbor. The city lies at the southern end of Saginaw Bay, about 3 mi/5km upriver from the mouth of the Saginaw River. The city has its roots in the looging booms of the early to mid 1800's. Its harbor was one of the most important on the Great Lakes. Every year, as many as 1,000 ships from all over the lakes and around the world would work their way up the river to take on or discharge every type of cargo. The city was also an important shipbuilding center with the US Navy as a principal customer. Today, Bay City MI remains an important Great Lakes harbor with substantial volumes of cargo passing through each year.
The approaches to Bay City MI are clear from all directions. Entering Saginaw Bay from the north, set your course to the Gravelly Shoal light (Fl RED). From the Gravelly Shoal light, set a course of 216oT for 15 nm to the entrance of the Saginaw River channel. From this pair of markers (Fl RED "2" and Fl GREEN "1"), set a course of 211oT for the approximately 11 nm to the harbor entrance.
From the east side of the bay, set a course to the Q GREEN light "1", leaving Charity Island on your port. Then alter course to 195oT for approximately 5 nm. This may seem like an unnecessarily roundabout passage but a careful look at the chart will show numerous submerged net stakes plus several charted hazards.
There are 4 highway drawbridges that link east and west Bay City MI. Schedules vary so a call to the Bridgemaster would be in order. Coming upstream, the bridges and their contact numbers in order are:
Independence Bridge, (989) 892-2351
Liberty Bridge, (989) 894-0807
Veterans Memorial Bridge, (989) 671-1535
Lafayetter Bridge, (989) 6711535
MARINAS, YACHT CLUBS, MOORINGS, ANCHORAGES
There are 7 marinas and yacht clubs in Bay City MI. They are listed in order as you come up the river.
Bay City Yacht Club (989) 686-1130
BCYC has several transient slips available on a reciprocal basis. Reservations are a must.
Bay Harbor Marina (989) 684-5010 VHF 16
Bay Harbor Marina is located approximately 1.2 nm upriver on your starboard side, immediately past the channel buoys R "8" and G "7". It is a large marina with 478 slips. Approximately 3 dozen are set aside for transient sailors. There is water and power at each slip. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. There are full repair and maintenance facilities. They can carry out a range of engine and mechanical repairs as well as fibreglass and rigging repairs. There is a haulout facility. There are restrooms, showers and laundry available. Other amenities include a heated swimming pool, childrens play area, chandlery and convenience store.
Saginaw Bay Yacht Club  : (989) 892-5905
SBYC is located a bit further upstream from Bay City Marina, on the port side. They have 125 slips with some transient docking available on a limited, first-come, first-served basis for reciprocal clubs. There is power available dockside. Restrooms and showers are available in the clubhouse. The club has a full dining and lounge service. There are lovely grounds and internet service is available.
Wheeler Landing (989) 667-0030
Wheeler Landing is located around the second bend in the river, on the starboard side, upstream from the Independence Bridge. It has approxiamtely a dozen transient slips. There is no fuel dock. There is water and power available dockside as well as a pumpout station. There are restrooms, showers and a laundry available. Amenities include picnic and BBQ areas.
Pier 7 Marina (989) 894-9061 VHF 9,16
Pier 7 is upstream from Wheeler Landing and past the Liberty Bridge on the starboard side. There are some transient slips available. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. This is a full service marina capable of a wide range of engine, mechanical, fibreglass and woodworking repairs. There is a haulout facility. They carry a good parts inventory. Restrooms and showers are available. There is also a picnic area.
Liberty Harbor Marina (989) 894-2800 VHF 9
Liberty Harbor Marina is located immediately south of Pier 7 on the starboard side. This is a state-owned marina and has 100 slips with transient slips available. There is no fuel dock. There is a pumpout station and water and power are available at each slip.There are restrooms and showers as well as picnic and playground areas and BBQ grills.
Skipper Bud's (989) 894-4181
Skipper Bud's is one of the largest marnia operators on the Great Lakes. This large marina is located further upstream beyond 2 more bridges on the port side. They have approximately 2 dozen transient slips available. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and pumpout station. There is water and power available dockside. This is a full service marina. They are able to carry out a wide range of engine, mechanical and fibreglass repairs. They have a haulout facility. There are restrooms and showers available.
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE, PROVISIONING, BANKS/ATM's
There are a number of marine repair facilities in Bay City MI.
Bay City Marina (See above)
Pier 7 Marina (See above)
Skipper Buds (See above)
Anderson Marine is a full service repair facility that can carry out a full range of engine, mechanical and electrical reapirs. They also do woodworking, fibreglass repairs and painting. They have haulout facilities.
There are many choices for provisioning in Bay City MI. All would require a taxi ride. Two options would be Save-A-Lot on the east side of the river and Krogers on the west side.
There are a number of banks and ATM's around town. Chemical Bank and Citizens Bank are close to the waterfront on the east side of the river. PNC is close on the west side. All are near the center of the city.
Bay Regional Medical Centre (989) 894-1900 is a large hospital in Bay City MI.
There are a number of pharmacies across town. Rite Aid (989) 892-5300 is near the waterfront on the east side of the river.
Anderson Pharmacy (989) 684-8905 and Drug Shop Pharmacy (989) 892-2561 are located near the waterfront on the west side of the river.
PLACES TO EAT
Bay City Michigan has great restaurant options to choose from. Here are a few places to consider. Marina staff will also have suggestions for you as well.
On the east side of the river, the Stock Pot diner offers classic diner food in a retro, 1950's-style environment.
For breakfast, try Maggie's Ommelette Shoppe or Rudy's Red Lion Diner. The Atrium has a European flavor and their meals can be enjoyed indoors or outside.
Next door is the Stein Haus, a German pub with one heck of a selction of beers - on tap as well as bottled.
On the west side of the river, is Barts Brew Pub Barts serves a variety of craft beers along with a selection of good cigars.
For steaks, check out Lumberjacks Steak House and Piano Bar.
Steamer's Pub is located close to Liberty Harbor
THINGS TO DO/SEE/VISIT
Lots happens in Bay City MI over the summer. June sees the River Roar speed boat races in the Saginaw River. The Fireworks Festival is a colorful annual festival each July. August is the month for the Pig Gig Ribfest. And in between, there are river tours, opportunities to visit the two tall ships that call Bay City MI home - Appledore IV and V or drop into the planetarium.
There is a lot going on all summer and this Bay City MI tourism site will give you many ideas on getting the most of your visit.
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