Photo by Capt. John Rigney, owner of the 1983 Grand Banks 36 Classic Meander “Meander is a 1983 Grand Banks 36 Classic that we bought in the fall of 2012 with cruising in mind,” reader Capt. John Rigney wrote. “She has twin Lehman 120s, and a 7.5-kilowatt generator, and she carries 425 gallons of diesel, 140 gallons fresh water, and 100 gallons in the holding tank. The three-stateroom layout provides plenty of room for living and stowage. We had looked all over the eastern U.S. for a boat we liked and ended up buying Meander 40 miles from home in Algonac, Michigan. We purchased Meander after selling our sightseeing boat business here in Port Huron. Along with my wife, Camille, and our children, we’d operated Huron Lady cruises since 1995. Before starting the business I was captain of a rail-ferry that carried rail freight across the St. Clair River between Port Huron and Sarnia, Ontario. I hold a First Class Pilot’s license for the Great Lakes, graduating from the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in 1980. So, while I’ve been boating for most of my adult life, the trip this fall was our first real pleasure cruise, and it was all new territory for us. We left Port Huron in late August cruising up Lake Huron to Georgian Bay, through Ontario and Quebec on the Trent Severn Waterway. We then took a side trip to the 1,000 Islands, the Rideau Canal, the Ottawa River, and the St. Lawrence River. We went through Lake Champlain to Chimney Point, Vermont. We then dry-docked Meander for the winter at Champlain Bridge Marina and will complete the loop in the spring through the Champlain Canal, Erie Canal, Lake Erie, and the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. We chose fall and spring for the trip to avoid the crowds on the waterways. Besides, we like our home-port of Port Huron during the summer and wouldn’t want to miss cruising activities with our friends here. Cruising in the off seasons extends our boating season beyond what we would normally do.”
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This Memorial Day, remember those who were lost serving our country on the high seas in the U.S. Navy aboard PT Boats. Recently we were invited out for a ride on the only operational combat-veteran PT Boat, PT 305 in New Orleans.
See what it was like here. ▶