Sailing Northern Michigan

Harbors, Anchorages, Islands & More!

The first thing people notice when arriving in Northern Michigan is the clear, teal and blue Caribbean-esque water.  Navigation is very easy due to lack of tides and water depths exceed 700 feet in some areas.

Michigan boasts more coastline than any of the lower 48 states and our cruising area offers the best of what this freshwater paradise offers.

Within our sailing grounds are 45 anchorages, harbor towns and marinas available to cruisers.

The locals are friendly and welcoming.  Harbor Masters have been known to loan the marina car out to cruisers lookig for supplies.  Sailor feel welcome and are treated like family.


Area Highlights

Media Coverage

  • World class vineyards and wine tasking within walking distance from most every port
  • Deep, crystal clear bays
  • National Park coastlines and islands allowing for stretches of beaches that go on for miles
  • Large sand dunes towering out of Lake Michigan
  • Great marinas in most every waterfront town
  • Quaint, relaxing harbor towns
  • Top-rated golf courses
  • Award-winning micro-breweries
  • Shipwreck diving

Please note: Great Lakes Sailing Co. was formally Bay Breeze Yacht Charters, as mentioned in the above articles.

Easy Anchorages


Some of our favorites include:

  • Power Island
  • Old Mission Harbor
  • Downtown Traverse City
  • Ingalls Bay
  • Bowers Harbor
  • Sutton Bay
  • Omena Bay
  • Northport
  • Charlevoix
  • Manitou Islands National Park
  • Harbor Springs

Popular marinas include:

  • Suttons Bay
  • Northport
  • Elk Rapids
  • Bay Harbor
  • Charlevoix
  • Mackinac Island
  • Leland

Click For Additional Marina Info


From our friends at Cruising Grand Traverse Bay -- 21 videos that cover everything a cruising boater will appreciate; Marinas, anchorages, navigation advice, dining, shopping, supplies, and more.  Plus special features on Bike Trails and Launch Sites.

Did you know?

You can fit the US & British Virgin Island (minus St. Croix) into our sailing area?!

Charter Base


Traverse City

Our sailing school and charter fleet is located at the CenterPointe Marina - with access to sail Grand Traverse Bay, Little Traverse Bay, the Manitou Islands, Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore, Beaver Island and as far north as Mackinac Island if time allows. Sailors can experience towering sand dunes, deserted islands, quaint harbor towns, long stretches of beaches, quiet coves and local festivals.

The CenterPointe Marina is a private marina offering a quite atmosphere and first rate facilities including a boater lounge, private shower rooms and washer/dryer.  Major grocery is just down the road, several good restaurants are within walking distance and downtown Traverse City is about a mile away.

Sample Itineraries

3-Day Cruising Itineraries


7-Day Cruising Itinerary


Area Video

Great Lakes Sailing Co. Destinations & Lifestyle Blog Posts


Balancing Escapsim & Reality

Sailing often conjures up thoughts of Jimmy Buffett, Margaritas, warm breezes, sunshine, no worries mon, stress-free and laid-back.  And in the charter business, we are on […]

Make it a Getaway Special

The 2017 northern Michigan sailing season is just around the corner, as is the busy tourism and travel season. It’s no secret that July and August […]

Real Stories. Real People.

At Great Lakes Sailing Co. we aren’t concerned with Black Friday. Life is bigger than that. The boats are put away and we’ve had a chance […]

Memories Made on Grand Traverse Bay

Our friends, Mike & Marianne Lee, sailed the Gemini Legacy Catamaran last summer and have an great article over on – “4 Days on Grand Traverse […]

A Bucket List Item

Running a charter business and sailing school takes a lot of work.  And it gets extremely busy.  We have to make sure we remind ourselves what […]

In their own words…

Awesome charter on the Hunter 38 Perception! My wife and I took 2 other couples for their first time barefoot charter for 3 days in mid […]

Port of Call: Suttons Bay

This small and quaint Leelanau County town is nestled against the tall hills that surround the Grand Traverse Bay region. It features several great restaurants and […]

Sail to one of the Top Ten Islands in the U.S.

Trip Advisor recently named Mackinac Island among their Top Ten Islands in the United States. It’s a favorite destination for many of our charter guests. And […]