Sailing and boating enthusiasts can find everything they need at the municipal Port Franks Marina, Grand Bend Harbour and Bayfield Marina, which are open from Victoria Day Weekend to Thanksgiving Weekend. Boaters can take the “Safe Boater Get Certified Test” at either the Grand Bend or Port Franks marina office. There are also a number of private marinas in the area.
Since 2009, Grand Bend, Port Franks and Bayfield marinas have boasted Blue Flag status. Blue Flag marinas adhere to a code of conduct concerning environmental responsibility, clean water and established and well-practiced marina management.
The Wexford wreck is a 250-foot steam freighter, located 11-kilometres northwest of Grand Bend (GPS: 43° 24′ 3.6″ N, 81° 53′ 17.9988″ W). Bound for the Port of Goderich in November 1913, The Wexford was one of eight ships lost with all hands in the worst storm in the Great Lakes recorded history and dubbed the “White Hurricane”. In 2013, a copper wreath created by Goderich blacksmith James Wallace was affixed permanently to the shipwreck’s bow to commemorate 100 years since the tragedy.
PINERY PROVINCIAL PARK
Rent canoes, hydro bikes, paddleboats and single or double kayaks for use within in the park until Thanksgiving (second Monday in October). Rental building is near the Park Store, 519-243-2220.
GRAND BEND HARBOUR/MARINA (Blue Flag)
91 River Road, May to October: 519-238-2000, October to May: 519-243-1400 press 3, [email protected], Operates mid-April to mid-October, 8am-8pm, 7 days a week
- Coordinates: 42 18 83 N / -81 46 09 W
- Channel Depth: 6 feet
- Dock Depth: 6 feet
- Monitor – VHF Channel: 68
- 30 seasonal slips, 35 transient slips, mid-grade gas and diesel, public washrooms, pump out, electrical – 30 & 50 amp, internet, shuttle service, public boat launch, laundry facilities, showers, ice. Fees: One-day launch pass $15.80, seasonal launch pass $238.75, serviced transient dock $2.30 per foot/day, unserviced transient dock north pier $1.90 per foot/day, personal service pumpout $13.55 (all prices +tax). Oil, marine toilet paper and AquaKem available for purchase. Visa, Mastercard, Debit & Cash. The marina is walking distance to Grand Bend’s stores and restaurants. Two-hour paid parking is available on River Road. Free daytime and paid overnight boat trailer parking is available in the Ontario Street and Municipal Drive parking lots.
PORT FRANKS HARBOUR/MARINA (Blue flag)
7574 Biddulph Street, May to October: 519-243-2354, October to May: 519-243-1400 press 3, [email protected], Operates mid-April to mid-October, 8am-8pm, 7 days a week
- Coordinates: 43 14 75 N / 81 55 59 W
- Channel Depth: 4 -10 feet
- Dock Depth: 3 – 4 feet
- Monitor – VHF Channel: 68
- Amenities: 70 seasonal slips, gas dock (diesel), public washrooms, pump out, electrical, internet, public boat launch, showers, ice, pavilion & picnic area, park, volleyball court. Fees: One-day launch pass $15.80, seasonal launch pass $238.75, transient dock (serviced) $2.30 per foot/day, transient dock (unserviced) $1.90 per foot/day, kayak/canoe launch pass $5 per vehicle, Visa, Mastercard, Debit & Cash.
BAYFIELD HARBOUR/MARINA (Blue Flag)
33 Long Hill Road / 519-565-2233 / [email protected]
- Coordinates: 43 34 5.3 N / 81 42 16 W
- Channel Depth: 8-10 feet
- Dock Depth: 9 feet
- Monitor – VHF Channel 68 & 16″
- Amenities: 20 transient slips, 60 seasonal slips, gas & diesel, washrooms & showers, pump out, electrical – 20, 30 & 50 amp, internet, public phone, shuttle service, public boat launch, picnic area & tables, ice. Canoe & kayak rentals.
- Bayfield River Cottage Colony & Marina, 19 Fisherman’s Rd. Wharf, 519-565-2632
- Harbour Lights Marina, 27 Chart House Hill, Bayfield, 519-565-5150
- R&R Marina, 9346 Lake Rd., Kettle Point, 519-786-5604
- Seven Winds Marina, 10009 Superior St., Port Franks, 519-243-2900
- South Shore Marina, 1 Lakeshore Lane, 519-565-2110
- Bayfield Yacht Club: bayfieldyachtclub.shuttlepod.org, 519-565-5480
- Grand Bend Yacht Club: gbyc.ca, 519-238-6676
- Port Franks Yacht Club: portfranksyachtclub.ca
LIFE JACKET FACTS
- Over 90% of people who drowned in recreational boating incidents were not wearing a life-jacket
- Most people who drown never intended to be in the water
- Many boaters who drown considered themselves good swimmers
- Most drowning happens unexpectedly when small boats capsize or someone falls overboard – leaving your life-jacket behind in the boat or even worse tucked under the bow