Burlington - Lake Champlain information
The Burlington Parks and Recreation Department manage Burlington harbor activities with a waterfront office in the red-roofed Community Boats House. The harbormaster monitors Channels 74 and 79. Phone: (802) 865-3377.
The city operates 39 moorings for boats up to 45 feet (or larger, depending upon weather conditions) protected by a granite breakwater. They are free during the day before 5 p.m. and 50 cents per foot overnight. The city also manages the docks south of the boathouse for boats up to 60 feet. The rate is $1.75 per foot. The docks directly in front of the boathouse are free for the first hour and $5 per hour thereafter. These are reserved for short-term transients and normally not available for overnights. If space is not available at the boathouse, try the transient dock at the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, (802) 864-2499. It is in front of the huge brick former electric generating station north of the boathouse, Coast Guard station and fishing pier.
The boathouse offers pump-outs ($11), an ATM, and wireless Internet access, but no cable television or phone service. Coin-operated showers are available.
Cruising sailboats — Hunters from 28 to 40-plus feet — can be rented at the boathouse through Winds of Ireland, (802) 863-5090, www.windsofireland.net. Canoes, kayaks and motorboats can be rented a half-mile south of the boathouse at Perkins Pier, (802) 864-4858. Small sailboat sailing instruction and rentals are available at the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, (802) 864-2499
Burlington is a bicycling city, with an eight-mile bike path running the length of the city along the waterfront. Two bike rental businesses operate on the waterfront: Local Motion, (802) 652-2453, www.localmotion.org ; and Apple Mountain, (802) 863-1520, www.applemountain.net .
Other valuable sources of information:
• “Cruising Guide to the Hudson River, Lake Champlain & the St. Lawrence River,” an excellent 280-page illustrated cruising guide from New York City to Montreal and Quebec City, including the canal and Lake Champlain, is available from Lake Champlain Publishing Company, (800) 845-0028, www.lakechamplainpub.com . Regional bookstores and marinas also have it. The guide and Hudson River and lake charts and information are also available at www.shipstore.com.
• History buffs will enjoy “Guns over the Champlain Valley,” a guide to historic sites and battlefields by Howard Coffin, Will Curtis and Jane Curtis (Countryman Press 2005), www.countrymanpress.com , or the now-out-of-print “Lake Champlain, Key to Liberty,” by Ralph Nading Hill, also published by Countryman Press (1976).
• A beautifully illustrated, and meticulously documented history of the canal schooners has been published by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. “Lake Champlain Sailing Canal Boats,” by Arthur B. Cohn, is available in hard- and soft-cover editions. Art Cohn, a diver and founder of the museum, is Lake Champlain’s Jacques Cousteau, bringing an awareness of the lake’s history to the public. In Vermont bookstores, or www.lcmm.org .
Burlington activities and calendar: www.enjoyburlington.com
Boating information from the Winooski Valley Sail and Power Squadron: www.wvsps.com . This site has a detailed directory of the Burlington Harbor and surrounding area compiled by this writer.
Whitehall, N.Y., area: www.whitehallchamber.com
Westport, N.Y.: www.westportny.com
Essex, N.Y.: www.essexny.net
Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce (Vermont): www.vermont.org
Plattsburgh, N.Y., region: www.northcountrychamber.com
Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing: www.vermontvacation.com
Coast Guard Station Burlington: (802) 864-6791
NOAA/NWS Burlington Web site: www.weather.gov/burlington . For lake winds, look for the data from Colchester Reef.
Charts: Following are NOAA chart numbers. Some of these charts have been combined on back-to-back waterproof charts available through suppliers like www.nauticalcharts.com . New York Harbor, NOAA chart 12327 or waterproof chart No. 62. Hudson River from New York to Troy, NOAA charts 12348, 12347 and 12343 or waterproof chart No. 57. Troy to Champlain Canal and Lake Champlain to north of Burlington, NOAA charts 14782, 14783, 14784 and 14786, or waterproof chart No. 11.
North Lake Champlain, NOAA charts 14782 and 14781 or waterproof chart No. 12.