St. Joseph, MI
Lat: 42° 6.884 Long: 086° 29.408
St Joseph MI and Benton Harbor Michigan are twin cities on either side of the St. Joseph River. With the construction of a canal to provide a safe harbor for shipping, the 2 communities grew as a transshipment center. St Joseph is the larger of the two communities with a more diversified economy. Marinas and services lie mostly upriver and several ring Marina Island in the middle of the river channel. The lake is an ever present reality and Silver Beach is considered on of the finest beaches on Lake Michigan. Its not for nothing that this area has been given the nickname of The Riviera of the Midwest".
The approaches to St Joseph MI - Benton Harbor MI are clear from all directions. The harbor entrance is lies between 2 long piers. There is an ISO WHITE light on the north pierhead, visible 6.5 nm offshore. It also has a horn which is activated by keying your mic rapidly 5 times on VHF channel 79. The south pierhead is marked with an ISO RED light, visible 5.8 nm offshore.
MARINAS, YACHT CLUBS, MOORINGS, ANCHORAGES
West Basin Marina (269) 983-5432 VHF 9
West Basin Marina is the first marina you will see as you enter the river channel. It is on your port side. There are 100 slips with 10 set aside for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. There are restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. Located a block from the beaches along Lake Michigan, the marina has a ship's store, free shuttle to the downtown and courtesy bicycles.
St. Joseph River Yacht Club (269) 983-6393
SJRYC is located adjacent to West Basin Marina. There is a long seawall where transient boats can tie up. There is no fuel dock nor a pumpout station. There are restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. The club has a bar/lounge and a swimming pool.
Upstream and Bridges
The remaining marinas lie upstream and there are bridges to contend with. Immediately east of West Marin Basin is a railway bridge. It will open on demand - the signal is 1 long blast and 1 short blast of the horm. Within a few hundred feet is the highway bridge. It opens 3 minutes before until 3 minutes after the hour and half hour.
Once past the highway bridge, the river forks. The main channel lies to port. There is a bascule bridge which opens 3 minutes before until 3 minutes after the quarter and three quater hour.
The starboard channel is Morrison Channel. It has a fixed bridge with a 36 ft/11 m vertical clearance.
St Joseph River - Main Channel
Harbor Isle Marina (269) 982-0812
Harbor Isle Marina is located on Marina Island, just past the bascule bridge. There are 112 slips with a number set aside for transients. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. There is water, power and cable TV available at the slips. There are restrooms and shower facilities available. Other amenities include a swimming pool, BBQ grills and picnic areas.
Brian's Marina (269) 983-0760
Brian's Marina has 201 slips with a number set aside for transients. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. There is water and power available at docks. There are restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. The marina has service technicianswho can carry out engine, mechanical and electrical repairs and maintenance. There is a well-stocked parts department and a ship's store.
Pier 1000 Marina (269) 927-4471
Pier 1000 is located on the east side of the St Joseph River, across from the southern end of Marina Island. There are 221 slips with several set aside for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. There is water, power and cable TV at dockside. This is a full-service marina capable of carrying out engine, electrical, mechanical and fibreglass repairs. There is also a canvas aqnd unholstery shop. There are restrooms, showers and laundry facilities in the clubhouse. Other amenities include a swimming pool, ship's store, BBQ grills and picnic grounds. There is also internet access.
The northern entrance to Morrison Channel requires you to pass under a fixed bridge with a 36'/11m vertical clearance. The southern entrance is clear. About half way along the west side of the island is Pier 33 Marina.
Pier 33 Marina (269) 983-3333
Pier 33 has 220 slips with about 2 dozen available for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. There are restrooms and shower facilities. Their service department can handle engine, mechanical, electrical and fibreglass repairs. They also have a travel lift.
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE, PROVISIONING, BANKS/ATM's
Brian's Marina (see above)
Pier 33 Marina (see above)
Pier 1000 Marina (see above)
Wolf's Marine is a very large parts dealer in Benton Harbor.
D & M Supermarket is located in Benton Harbor MI, about 2 mi/3.5 km from the river. Hardings Market is located in St Joseph MI, about 3 mi/5 km from the river. You will need transportation to get to either.
Chase Bank is the closest bank in Benton Harbor MI. Horizon Bank is the closest bank in St Joseph MI. They both have counter service and ATMs.
Lakeland Regional Medical Center (269) 983-8300 is located in St Joseph MI, about 2 mi/3.5 km from the river.
The nearest pharmacy (269) 983-8300 is located at the Medical Center.
PLACES TO EAT
Restaurants and pubs are mostly located in downtown St Joseph MI. Schu's Grill & Bar overlooks Lake Michigan. Its a great place to relax and features casul Americal foods. The Chocolate Cafe and Museum's name simply says it all! Everything chocolate!!
Clemenitens Too is a casual restaurant/pub close to the marinas For something more formal, consider the Boulevard Inn and Bistro.
THINGS TO DO/SEE/VISIT
Thousands visit St Joseph MI each summer to enjoy the great beaches and festivals. In July, there is the Krasi Art Fair on the Bluff. and the Childrens Art Festival in Benton Harbor. There are concerts throughout the summer and of course Silver Beach, considered one of the best beaches on Lake Michigan.
The St Joseph MI visitors site will give you lots of ideas on how you can enjoy your time here. The Benton Harbor MI visitors site can give you even more ideas.
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