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North Point Marina Illinois - Too big for it's own good...

Here is the first pics of our first big boat.  Now we're hooked!  God I love it!We finally really got the itch in the winter of 2004/2005 when our friends from the Detroit suburbs bought a 3055 Bayliner Express Cruiser from Harrisons Marine in the Fall of 2004.  They had gotten the itch from us because of our 18 foot starcraft which we bought in 2003.  

Well, Our story started in the Spring of 2005 when we found an appropriately priced Bayliner 2855 at Skipper Buds Yacht Sales in Winthrop Harbor Illinois which actually is part of the marina.  Notice the 3 very large buildings at the middle right of the picture.  Since that was where we had bought it, and that North Point Marina actually kind of over sold themselves, we decided to keep the boat there that first season. 

The Marina itself is very large and very secluded on all sides.  There is a Metra Rail station which will take you to Chicago or Kenosha about 1/3 mile west of the entrance.  Not a bad walk and it's also a selling point which the marina talks about.  I only used the train once or twice to get to and from the boat.  Past the railroad tracks, it's another 3/4 mile walk to the main drag of town.  There are a few fast food restaurants, gas stations, and one small non-chain related grocery store among a couple other businesses not worth mentioning. 

The marina is separated in two main sections.  To the north and the most easily accessible to the lake is the charter boat and Skipper Buds Boat Sales section.  This is where the gas docks are.  NPM (North Point Marina) is is not known for it's best gas prices.  If you make a few calls there is usually about 10 cents difference between them and other stations on the lake.  The FREE launch ramps for trailer boats is also in this north half of the marina. 

Now onto the south portion of the marina.  Well protected and most always calm is the private sector.  It's a near 1700 slip marina which has from 30 foot slips all the way on up to 60 foot slips.  If you need larger than that, you can get an end tie for up to 120 feet I believe. 

The slips are situated from largest closest to the lake to the smallest being the most distance from the lake.  We had a 30 foot boat and therefore were on a dock which used the second to last fairway on the south half.  This meant that for us to take our boat on the lake that we had a 35 minute ride just to get to the mouth of the harbor.  Not that I'm in a rush or anything but when you want to go somewhere like say to Kenosha for lunch, you'll need a minimum of 60 minutes to get to the boat, de-rig your boat, start up your boat, untie it, get out into the fairway and start motoring to the marina mouth before being able to kick your pig and get up on plane.  So therefore every boating trip needs at least 2 hours to go and return in addition to whereever you go for your trip.  

Our standard trip after a the summer of 2005 consisted of going to the Kenosha Yacht Club for lunch and back.  This seemed to always turn into a 4-5 hour ordeal.  Now, I enjoyed almost all of this but I'd have preferred to spend most of that time gunning the motor out on the lake.

  
 

This is I think my best video I shot of the Texas Freedom Flyers group over Lake Conroe at the BOASTY Event! Boy was this a surprise. I had no idea that they were going to be doing this. I just wish they would have swooped in lower so that we could have read their tail numbers. That would have been cool! The other thing about this video is that I have believe it or not become a country music fan. The song on the stereo was Montgomery Gentry "This is My Town". It was such a fitting song to be playing on the radio that day. In a single weekend I decided that I wanted to become a Texan! Not so much because in Texas these people use their boats 365 days a year! It was everything!

 

Now crossing the lake wasn't an everyday thing, but you get to see what the lake can be like if you get an early enough start.

In 2005, we didn't get nearly as much use from our boat as we would have liked due to a warranty issue with SB.  But we did realize that we wanted more from the lake.  Not the marina.  We decided to move to Southport Marina Kenosha in 2006(which is when that video is from) and have been there ever since. 

Our time at NPM was quite lonely.  When we had moved in there on "I" dock, we decided to position ourselves due to open slips in the middle of the dock hoping that we'd make some good new friends, get some good advice, and start our big boating lifestyle in a welcoming environment.  In the whole summer we only really got to know one family, and one couple.  There were a few other groups on the dock but were so far from our slip we didn't really mesh well.  One of my biggest complaints after being at Southport Marina for the last 3 years was that on multiple occasions when we'd pull in, the people (other boaters on the dock) would just watch waiting for me to screw up parking the boat.  I've found that at many other marinas people come running to help.  I have also experienced this on other docks at NPM since then as well. 

So to sum things up, my advice to anyone wanting to move into a slip at NPM is to get one on the north half of the public marina, try to get one in the 45 foot slips as they are closer to the mouth of the marina, and you can easily walk to the bar or yacht club without breaking much of a sweat.  You will hopefully find more helpfull boaters over there as well.  If you are searching for a quite slip where most boaters keep to themselves, the south half of the marina can be for you. When you are looking for excitement, it's only a couple hours to Chicago or Milwaukee, or that quick trip to Kenosha.


Created: 10/31/2009
Tags: North Point Marina Illinois, North Point, Illinois Marina, Boat Slips, Illinois Boat Slips, branden debuhr
Description: North Point Marina is where we had our boat stored for the summer of 2005 with our first big boat, a Bayliner 2855

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