Lat: 42° 21.124 Long: 082° 59.066
The city of Detroit Michigan is the 3rd largest port on the Great Lakes, after Chicago and Toronto. It remains a center of U.S. automobile manufacturing and its name has been synonomous with American manufacturing muscle. It is one of the top boating centers in the U.S. and Michigan has more boats registered than any other state in the country. The waterfront along the Detroit River is steadily being improved and upgraded as Detroit seeks to become a premier destination on the Great Lakes.
Detroit takes its name from its founding days as 'le place du detroit' or 'place of the strait'. And, the Detroit River and St. Clair rivers are really straits, not rivers. Throughout the 1700's and early 1800's, the growing community changed hands between the French, British and American forces before the border was finally defined in 1822.
Detroit's name will also be forever linked with the unique Motown music and many music legends began their careers here.
As the auto industry drew people from all over the country and indeed the world, the city of Detroit Michigan benefited from the many different cultures and no-where is this more evident than the restaurants across the city.
Although the municipal marina is a good place to begin, we will look at marinas and clubs up and down the waterfront.
FROM THE NORTH
Come south from Lake St. Clair, following the main channel down the north side of Belle Isle. As you come down the channel between Belle Isle and the mainland, you will have 5-6 options for docking on your starboard and 1 on the island, to your port.
FROM THE SOUTH
Follow the main channel north. As you approach the west end of Belle Isle, you will see a bifurcation buoy. The preferred (and main) channel is to the port, shown by a Fl (2+1) GREEN light. You will pass under a fixed bridge with a charted clearance of 32 feet. Once past the bridge, you will begin to see the marinas listed below. (Note: the marinas and yacht clubs listed below are in order from north to south. So, reverse the order if you are coming from the south.)
MARINAS, YACHT CLUBS, MOORINGS, ANCHORAGES
Gregory Boat Company (313) 823-1900
Gregory Boat Company has two facilities - this one, called the North Marina and a second marina approximately 1.2 nm down river. The entrance co-ordinates for the North Marina entrance are 40o 21.293 W 082o 27.078. There is a Fl RED "2" light in the channel in front of the entrance. There are 15 transient slips available. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout facility. Water and power are available at the docks. There is a full range of repair and maintenance services available including engine, electrical, fiberglass, mechanical canvas and woodworking repairs. They carry an extensive parts inventory. Amenities include restrooms and showers. Internet sevice is available as well.
Harbor Hill Marina (313) 331-6880 VHF 78
Harbor Hill Marina is located approximately 2/3 nm downstream from Gregory Boat Company. Coordinates are 43o 21.19 W 082o 57.58 N. This is a full-service marina with 373 slips. Transient docking is available. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) as well as a pumpout station. Water, power and telephone are available at each slip. An on-site repair facility can provide engine, mechanical and electrical repair service. There is a haulout facility. Restrooms, showers and laundry are available in the clubhouse. Also available is a heated pool, jacuzzi, variety store and cafe. There are picnic areas on the grounds.
Keen's Detroit Yacht Harbor (313) 822-4500
Keen's is located immediately west of harbor Hill marina. This full-service marina has 340 slips with a minimum of 10 set aside for transients. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. There is water and power at each slip. Repair and maintenance services include engines, mechanical, electrical, hull and fiberglass repairs. Restrooms, showers and laundry facilities are available. Other amenities include a swimming pool, picnic areas and BBQ grills.
Gregory Boat Company (313) 823-1900
This is the other Gregory marina facility. it is located directly across the channel from the Detroit Yacht Club. Coordinates at the entrance are 42o 21.13W 082o 58.46. The south marina offers exactly the same services as the North marina, detailed above.
Erma Henderson Municipal Marina (313) 267-7143
This marina is located directly across from the Detroit Yacht Club. Directly in front of the marina is channel marker "N8", a RED light. The marina has about 5 transient slips. There is no fuel dock. There is a pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. Washrooms and showers are available.
Detroit Yacht Club (313) 824-1200 VHF 9
The venerable DYC was established in 1868 and is based on Belle Isle, out of a grand mediterranean-style clubhouse. Transient slips are available on a reciprocal basis (reservations required). There is no fuel dock. There is a pumpout station. Water and power are available at the slips. Restrooms, showers and laundry are available at the clubhouse. Their magnificent clubhouse offers every amenity a cruising sailor could desire including dining, a lounge, swimming pools, fitness areas and a store that stocks snacks, drinks and general supplies. Internet access is available.
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE, PROVISIONING, BANKS/ATM's
As you would expect for a major city, Detroit has every service a cruising sailor could require.
Gregory Boat Company (See above)
Keen's Detroit Yacht Harbor (See above)
Len's Marine Services offers complete engine and transmission maintenance services
Ship Shape Yacht Care is located within Keen's Detroit Yacht harbor. The can carry out a wide range of fiberglass repairs and custom woodworking work.
Lakeshore Boat Top Company manufactures custom cushions, interiors, boat covers and dodgers. They will come to your boat to provide quotes and do work.
Personalized Marine Maintenance offers an extensive range of engine repair and machine shop services. They work on a wide range of makes and models and carry an extensive parts inventory. They are located about 12 miles from the waterfront.
Keens Detroit Yacht Harbor has a store that carries basic grocery items,
North of the waterfront, along E. Jefferson Ave. are 2 larger grocery stores - Food Express across from Waterworks Park and Indian Village Market located across from Owen Park. You would need a taxi to make the return trip.
There are ATM's along E. Jefferson Ave in the area of Owen Park.
St. John's Riverview Hospital (313-499-4000) is located at 7733 E. Jefferson Ave. It is the closest hospital to the waterfront.
Knight Drugs (313-822-2260) is located at 9149 E. Jefferson Ave., close to the harbor.
PLACES TO EAT
As in any major city, there are endless choices when it comes to restaurants and pubs. In Detroit, there is the added benefit of many ethnic backgrounds which have all contributed to the terrific retaurant scene across the city. The following is just a sampling of whats available.
Sinbad's is a 60 year old tradition on Detroit's waterfront. Popular with locals and visiting sailors alike, Sinbad's offers good dining - "good, basic food in generous quantities" to use their words. All of this can be enjoyed from a dining room with terrific views of the river - you can look out at the United State's southern neighbour!
The Rattlesnake Club is a highly-regarded fine dining restaurant located along the waterfront - perfect for a special night out.
Pizza Papele's is a well-regarded pizza restaurant with great deep-dish pizzas.
Moving further into Detroit, away from the waterfront, your options increase dramatically. Ask at the yacht club or marina for suggestions and directions. Ask about safety as you don't want to inadvertently wander into a bad situation. Generally-speaking, use taxis to get around.
THINGS TO DO/SEE/VISIT
As one of America's largest cities, the summer calendar for the city of Detroit Michigan is crammed with events to enjoy and places to visit. The following is just a sample and the yacht club or marina staff can give you many ideas.
The Renaissance Center has a year-round calendar that features music and performing arts. This is a major arts venue and the productions are high quality.
June sees the Detroit/Windsor International Freedom Festival celebrating Canada Day (July 1st) and Independence Day (July 4th). This multi-day celebration includes events on both sides of the borderand culminates in an outstanding fireworks display at the Ambassador Bridge - an amazing celebration of freedom and friendship.
Motor Muster is a celebration of automobile history at the historic Greenfield Village. It is a magnet for great cars and car lovers. Greenfield Village is well-worth a visit regardless of what events are happening.
Detroit Thunderfest is a major powerboat racing event held in mid-July. It also showcases a variety of antique and classic powerboats.
The Afro-American Music Festival in mid-July features a number of outdoor jazz concerts.
The Woodward Dream Cruise in August is a 16 mi/26 km route showcasing up to 40,000 antique, custom and collector automobiles. Attracting over 1 million visitors, it is the largest 1-day car show in the world!
The African World Festival is the largest ethnic festival in Detroit Michigan. It attracts over a million visitors to its arts, music and culinary displays.
Take a look at the Detroit Michigan tourism site to get some good ideas of the many terrific things you can see and do when you visit.
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