View Full Version : Chicago area Boat landings

07 lsv
03-06-2009, 12:40 AM
I just purchased a 2007 Mobius LSV and am trying to research locations to use it in the Chicago area. Does anyone have a good source to use to located exactly where ramps are and how to find if they change any fees. I could go circle the lakes to find them but thought that there must be a better way...


03-06-2009, 11:34 AM
07 lsv - Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the Moomba family!

I put lakes in two categories: 1) Lake Michigan and 2) all the rest. With respect to Lake Michigan, on a day when the wind is out of the southwest you can run flat out for mile after mile on glass smooth water. It is clean, clear, and there is nothing else like it. But it will cost you to launch -- no matter whether it's from a City of Chicago or North Shore suburban ramp. The daily launch fee for a North Shore suburban ramp is pretty expensive. Weekend prices are through the roof. Cheapest ramp along the lake front is Waukegan Harbor. However, if you drive all the way north to the state-owned Winthrop Harbor Marina, the ramp is free. Generally speaking, ramp fee prices are posted on their respective municipal or park district web sites.

For all the rest, I recommend you also use the Internet to obtain launch ramp information. Some public ramps are for the exclusive use of the residents who live in that community. In order to get a key for ramp access, you have to go to city hall, show proof of residency, pay a fee, and secure the key. For other public ramps, they truly are for use by the general public. The daily fee may be nominal. The lake where we boat in southern Wisconsin charges $7 a day to launch and park your trailer rig. Some are on the honor system. Be warned. The lots are patrolled by the local police and they will ticket if proof of paymennt is not displayed. There may be some local lakes that do not charge at all for use of a launch ramp, but I have not come across such. Maybe there are others on the bulleting board who can help with that informaiton.

Let me know what you decide and where you will be boating this summer. Maybe we can get together for a day. My wife and I have three boys (22, 20, and 15). Watch this web site for information on the Moomba/Supra jamboree. It's a family event in July that brings area owners together for on water activity, games, food, and great gifts. Check out my photo albums. One of them is pictures from last year's jamboree. The event is hosted by Ultimate Wake Watersports and Skiers Choice. - Deerfield

03-06-2009, 02:01 PM
You have to pay to use a public landing? I have never come accross a pay landing in Minnesota even on lake Minnetonka one of the most popular lakes in the state. Is it common to have to pay? If you use a resort's landing they charege a crazy amount but you can usually find a public access.

03-06-2009, 02:11 PM
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Those guys are in Daley/Obama Country my friend.

03-06-2009, 03:38 PM
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Those guys are in Daley/Obama Country my friend.

Yup. And thinking about moving to Oklahoma.

03-06-2009, 03:46 PM
The greatest thing about Chicagoland is going back to visit . . . and then going HOME.

Chad M
03-06-2009, 04:57 PM
I live in Aurora and keep my LSV on the Fox River Chain of Lakes about an hour away. Horrible on the weekends after 11 AM, but fine during the week and on the weekend mornings. I keep it in dry stack storage which is expensive but incredibly convenient.


07 lsv
03-06-2009, 07:28 PM
Yeah, the joys of living in heavily populated areas, you have to pay extra for everything...

Deerfield, thanks for the insight. I was thinking of trying to get out on "all the rest." I figured that Michigan would be choppy and expensive. I also live in a western burb, so getting to Michigan would be a chore. I did some searches but was not finding where the landings were located...checking with the city is a good idea. Oh, I am 29. I got sick of not having enough opportunities to get out on a boat and decided it was time to purchase. Meeting up at some point would be cool as does the jamboree. I will have to do some checking about Lake Michigan...now you have me wondering.

Chad, I have spent some time on the chain and have actually found that it is better than going to some other spots on the river. I was out on the river one weekend morning and we kept having to wait for the water to settle from the large amount of people and the idiots with the boats what are way too big to be taking up and down the river. It was not fun.

I just don't know where the launches are cuz we would usually meet somewhere else when we went out... I tried checking like the DNR site and stuff, but no luck. I will try checking with the cities to get the locations. I was hoping that there was a website that showed where they were...

Thanks again.

03-06-2009, 07:37 PM
So about how much does it cost to launch on lake M? Just Curious...

03-06-2009, 09:33 PM
Hey welcome. And lauch fees are launch fees. We have them in Wisconsin as well. That's why everyone is always trying to lauch on our private lauch to aviod the fees. My suggestion is to try the chamber of commerce for a community you try to visit. At first it will take a little effort, but after a while you will have your fav's all figured out!

03-06-2009, 11:59 PM
jclay5 - Sample prices to launch from a public ramp on Lake Michigan. - Deerfield

City of Chicago - $22 - Monday - Friday
Village of Winnetka - $50 - Saturday or Sunday
City of Lake Forest - $2,312 - Season Only
City of Waukegan - $17 - Daily
Village of Winthrop Harbor - Free

03-08-2009, 10:15 AM
What part of Chicago are you in? We are 30 miles south of Chicago.
We have been going to Lake Michigan for 17 years with my 20' Sunsport.
You have to pic your day [southwest wind] listen to the marine weather
report before you go. Deerfield is correct on the right day miles of straight flat water. We launch at portage marine exit 19 off I80/94 cost last year $10.
As long as the waves are under 1-2 foot you can find a smooth area.
The best part is almost NO boat traffic here on the south tip of the lake.
Even on holidays [4th July] its so big there is always no traffic areas.