Lat: 41° 28.393 Long: 082° 42.258
Sandusky derives its name from the Wyandot/Huron word saundustee meaning "water" or andusti "cold water". The area was known to the early French explorers since the early 1700's. It was a center of trading and fortifications since the 18th century: the English, French, and Americans all had trading posts and forts built on both the north and south sides of Sandusky Bay
Settlement really began to develop following the War of 1812. With the arrival of the railroads in the 1830’s, industrialization began in earnest. The City of Sandusky was also a well-known terminus of the Underground Railroad, the network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century African-American slaves in the United States to escape to free states and to Canada. The first slave to reach Sandusky arrived in 1820. And a sailor, one Capt. Shepherd, carried him across Lake Erie in a small sailboat to Fort Malden (Amherstburg ON today) and to freedom.
Through the 19th century, the city grew as a centre for paper-making. Today the tourism/recreation and healthcare industries are mainstays of the local economy.
Cedar Point is a major, century-old water and amusement park. Its associated marina is one of the largest on the Great Lakes. For more information, click here to visit the Cedar Point port page.
The approaches to the city of Sandusky OH are clear from all directions. Enter Sandusky Bay by way of the charted Moseley Channel. The Channel begins about .65 nm NW of the end of the Sandusky Breakwater. The Channel entrance is marked with a Fl RED light ("R2") and a Fl GREEN light and Bell ("G1"). The end of the Sandusky Breakwater is marked with a Fl WHITE light visible 6.4 nm offshore. This light is paired with a Fl RED light and Horn ("R4"). Moseley Channel lies on a range of 237oT.
Stay within the channel markers and follow the Channel around the Point until you reach the RED/GREEN bifurcation buoy marked "E" on charts. This will be the next buoy past the "R14" channel marker. At the RED/GREEN bifurcation buoy, if you bear to port, you will enter Sandusky's Dock Channel which will take you southwest on a heading of approximately 193oT for about .6 NM which will bring you to Sandusky's waterfront where there are 8 marinas stretching to your right and left. The main municipal marina, Battery Park Marina will be to your port approximately .25 NM while the Sandusky Yacht Club will directly on your bow. Dock Of The Bay Marina will be to your starboard about .25 NM and Paper District Marina another .3 NM further.
At the bifurcation buoy, if you bear to the starboard, you will enter the Bay Channel. This will take you across Sandusky's waterfront, but further out. You would take this channel if you wanted to reach Sandusky Harbor Marina which lays on the west side of Sandusky's coal dock which protrudes out into the bay.
MARINAS, YACHT CLUBS, MOORINGS, ANCHORAGES
There are 9 marinas across the waterfront of the city of Sandusky. Together, they offer over 2,500 slips to an active boating community. Transient slips number in the hundreds. The marinas are listed in order from the east to the west.
Castaway Bay Marina (419) 627-2334 VHF 16
Castaway Bay Marina lies at the far eastern end of the Sandusky waterfront. The marina is reached by passing under the Cedar Point Causeway Bridge and following the well-marked channel into the harbor. It is important to stay well within the channel markers as the surrounding waters are very skinny! The bridge restricts passage to powerboats because of its clearance (21 ft/6.4 m)) and has a unique traffic light regulation sign to control the flow of traffic east and west. The controlling depth in the harbor is 6 ft/ 1.8 m. There are 180 slips with 35 available for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (gasoline only) and pumpout station. Water, power and internet connections are available dockside. There are restrooms, showers and laundry facilities available. Amenties include picnic areas, a heated swimming pool and sundeck.
Venetian Marina (419) 626-2515 VHF 16
Venetian Marina lies at the eastern end of the Sandusky waterfront but on the west or outside of the Cedar Point Causeway. The marina is reached by following the Moseley Channel until you pass a Fl GREEN light ("G13"). Once past G13, alter course to approximately 137oT and hold for about 1.6 NM. NOTE:: there are places where the water gets very skinny and a boat with a deeper keel will need to exercise great caution. There are 356 slips with several available for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (gasoline only) and pumpout station. Water, power and internet connections are available dockside. Venetian Marina is a full-service marina able to provide maintenance and repair services for engines, electrical, electronic and mechanical systems as well as fiberglass repairs. There are restrooms, showers and laundry facilities available. Amenties include picnic areas, a heated swimming pool and lounge.
Lyman Harbor Marina (419) 625-9626
Lyman Harbor Marina lies directly west of Venetian Marina. The harbor entrance is at the northeast corner, facing east. It is marked with a beacon with a Fixed WHITE light. Once inside the entrance, turn 90o to your port and enter. Once the home of the famed Lyman Boat Works, this marina and entertainment complex has 50 slips available for transient sailors. There is no fuel dock or pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. There are restrooms and showers available. Amenties include picnic areas, a pub and waterfront dining.
Son Rise Marina (419) 624-8557
Son Rise Marina lies immediately west of Lyman Harbor Marine. The harbor basin entrance is at the northeast corner, facing east. It is marked with a beacon with a Fixed WHITE light. Once inside the entrance, continue straight ahead, passing the channel to Lyman Harbor Marina on your port. Once well inside the marina, look for the marina office in the southwest corner of the basin. It is probably best to call or radio the marina office for directions / slip assignment. The marina has 220 slips with a number set aside for transient sailors. There is no fuel dock. There is a pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. There are restrooms, showers and laundry facilities available. Other amenties include air conditioned community lounge. kitchenette, heated in-ground swimming pool and picnic areas. There is free wifi available as well.
Battery Park Marina (419) 625-6142
Battery Park Marina lies immediately to the east of channel marker "15", a GREEN can buoy near the southern end of the Dock Channel to Sandusky. The entrance is marked with a F RED light on the pierhead. The marina has over 600 slips with about 4 dozen set aside for transient boats. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline)and a pumpout station. There is water and power at all slips. There are restrooms and showers, a heated swimming pool, tennis courts and a picnic area with BBQ grills. There is internet access. The marina center also includes a restaurant, ship's store and gift shop.
Sandusky Yacht Club (419) 625-6567
The Sandusky Yacht Club is immediately adjacent to Battery Park Marina on the west side. Its entrance lies about 550 ft/168 m southeast of channel marker "15", a GREEN can buoy at the southern end of the main Dock Channel to Sandusky. The entrance is marked with a RED beacon having a Q RED light with a RED topmark (cone, point up) and a GREEN beacon having a Q GREEN light with a GREEN topmark (can). Once inside the entrance, continue ahead, leaving a RED information light to your starboard. The marina has 210+ slips with a number of slips available for transient sailors. The marina is staffed 24 hours/day. There is no fuel dock. There is a pumpout station. There is water and power at all slips. There are restrooms and showers as well as laundry facilities. Other amenities include a dining room, a bar/lounge, library, swimming pool, cable TV and picnic areas. There is internet service available.
Dock-of-the-Bay Marina (419) 627-1177
Dock-of-the-Bay Marina is located west of Sandusky Yacht Club. The entrance is 700 ft/215 m directly south of channel marker "18", a RED Fl light on the main Dock Channel. The marina has 174 slips with a dozen set aside for transient sailors. There is no fuel dock. There is a pumpout station. Restrooms and showers are available and there are laundry facilities. There is a lounge with cable TV, coffee, etc. The marina also has a boater-run yacht club - Dock-of-the-Bay Yacht Club (DOBYC).
Paper District Marina (419) 626-2365
Paper District Marina is the furthest west marina along Sandusky's Dock Channel. The entrance lies directly across from channel marker "20", a RED Fl light. The entrance is on the northeast corner of the marina and is marked with a private GREEN light on the north pierhead and a private RED light on the south pierhead. There are 62 slips with a number set aside for transient sailors. There is no fuel dock. There is a pumpout station. Water and power are available at dockside. Other amenities include a dockside cafe/restaurant and close proximity to downtown Sandusky
Sandusky Harbor Marina (419) 627-1201
Sandusky Harbor Marina is the furthest west marina across Sandusky's waterfront. To access it, you must stay in the Sandusky Bay Channel. Once past channel buoy "8" (RED) leave the channel on a course of about 270oT and hold this course for about .75 NM, passing the coal docks on your port. Once past the coal docks, alter course to about 180oT which will take you to the entrance to the harbor. The entrance faces eastward on the northeast corner of the marina. This modern marina has 500 slips with a number available for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (gasoline only) and a pumpout station. This is a full-service marina capable of carrying out engine, mechanical, electrical and fibreglass repairs. Water and power are available at each slip. There are restrooms and showers as well as laundry facilities. Other amenities include a heated swimming pool, children's playground, picnic areas and BBQ grills and a club house/lounge. Internet service is available.
Sandusky Boat Basin is also the home port of the Harbor Bay Yacht Club. They can be reached using the same phone number as the marina office above. HBYC has a clubhouse and lounge.
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE, PROVISIONING, BANKS/ATM's
Venetian Marina (See above)
Sandusky Boat Basin (See above)
Craft Marine is located at the west end of the Dock Channel, in a large basin on the south side of the channel. They are capable of carrying out a wide range of engine, mechanical, electrical and fibreglass repairs.
There are a number of large supermarkets across Sandusky. You will need transportation.
There are a number of banks in downtown Sandusky. All offer counter service and ATM's. ATM's are widely available. Again, you will need transportation.
Firelands Regional Medical Center (419) 557-7400 is a major hospital providing comprehensive medical care for the city of Sandusky and area. It is located about 1.6 mi/2.5 km from most points along the waterfront.
There are several pharmacies located within 1 mi/1.6 km of the waterfront. Buderer Drug Co (419) 627-2800 is closest to Battery Park Marina.
PLACES TO EAT
The city of Sandusky has a wide variety of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Close to the harbor are several options to consider, especially as you get closer to the downtown, west of Battery Park Marina. Several of the marinas have restaurants and pubs on site. ZINC Brasserie is a warm, refined eatery with sidewalk seating serving French classics, wood-fired pizza & martinis. Under the sign of the golden perch is the Bait House Brewery and Tap House located further east of Battery Park. For something a bit more upscale try Crush Wine Bar with its great selection of wines and tapas - not far from Dock-of-the-Bay marina.
THINGS TO DO/SEE/VISIT
There are a number of fine attractions around the city of Sandusky. To start with, there is the Sandusky Maritime Museum. This fine museum documents the rich maritime history of the Sandusky Bay area. In addition, the Museaum has a new Underground Railroad Exhibit, exploring Sandusky's role in the Underground Railroad and learn the struggles of slaves who escaped to freedom in the early to mid-19th century.
Out in Sandusky Bay, lies Johnson's Island. Located on the west side of the main entrance channel, it was the site of a prisoner-of-war camp for Confederate officers captured during the American Civil War. Initially, Johnson's Island was the only Union prison exclusively for Confederate officers but eventually held privates, political prisoners, persons sentenced to court martial and spies. Civilians who were arrested as guerrillas, or bushwhackers, were also imprisoned on the island. During its three years of operation, more than 15,000 men were incarcerated there. I am not sure if you can land on the island, but if it were allowed, you could only used a dinghy due to depth. There is a causeway on the west side of the island linking it to the mainland.
At the Merry-Go-Round Museum, visitors can ride a working carousel surrounded by carousel history displays and a carving shop.
This Sanduaky OH information site will give you ideas of more things to do and see while visiting the area.
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