So my impressions of Lake George… beautiful place, but if you want to boat on a busy holiday week plan on some shit.
First off, launching was $10 at Million Dollar Beach. No biggie, it’s a beautiful launch and nice setup. But the longer trailer parking spaces were filled so they told me I had to drive about 1 mile away to the American Legion to drop my trailer and drive back. American Legion charges $10 to keep a trailer there for the day. I asked if I could disconnect my trailer and park it and my truck in two normal parking spaces instead… they told me no. OK, that’s inconvenient but I get it.
Then I had to go through an inspection where they check over the skis and ask what body of water they were in last. That wasn’t too long because my skis are super small and easy, but they looked into the engine bays, impeller, etc. It was more of a deep-dive than I expected but I keep my shit clean so
Then you have to pay them for a lake-specific registration for the day. It was $12 per ski and I had to put a 2nd NY registration on the hull for Lake George. Chalk that up to typical NYS. At this point I’m at $44 and I’m not even in the water yet, lol.
Speaking of on the water, I have two skis for my wife and I but was told we couldn’t tie them up at the launch. They said if I launched 2 skis I would have to immediately ride both out into the lake away from the dock. This presents a problem because I also needed to drive my truck 1 mile away to drop off the trailer… a self evident problem, for which their response was “you should have come prepared with a 3rd person” LOLOLOLOL. Fortunately there was a level headed employee there who understood and said my wife could stand in a shallow area and hold both skis until I came back from dropping off the trailer.
This shallow area was next to a small, sandy stretch of beach. Not a big beach, maybe 5 feet wide and not an area where people were allowed to hang out. So I asked a DEC employee if my wife could beach the skis there and wait a few feet away in the shade while I dropped off the trailer… you guessed it, the answer was no. Again I understand why, but the irony of a DEC employee sitting in a government SUV with the engine idling so he could keep cool on a 100+ degree day wasn’t lost on me… just so he could keep people off a small section of beach.
It took me about 50min to drop the trailer, get back there and get on the water finally. Water was VERY choppy. The amount of boat traffic (at least on this week) was much higher than even the Niagara River. I’m talking 3’ standing waves in places, it was nuts. I like big waves but not when I’m riding distance on a tiny ski. Our destination was Log Bay.
So Log Bay… it’s Grass Island x4. Bigger area + state park = more people. Plus there are boat-up-only islands with docks that you can rent from the state for the night. About $30 gets you a picnic area, shared shitter and permission to spend the night ON YOUR BOAT ONLY in the bay. I opted to have a pick nick lunch on the back our skis instead.
Here are some of the fun pictures that come up when you search for Log Bay:
This is supposedly one of the top 10 lakes / areas to party on the water in the US… at least until last year when predictably some drunk asshole killed a kid:
Keeping this in mind, I didn’t ride like a ass and had all my paperwork in order. There was a lot of enforcement floating around. But as I was pulling out of the bay, as soon as I cleared the “no wake zone” I gave it some juice to clear it out. Those with 2 strokes know if you’re idling for a long time you can kill the plugs, so it’s important to jump on it from time to time. I’m talking only a few seconds of max throttle. That was all that was needed for the police to see me and pull me over.
Turns out regardless of signage the entire lake has a 500’ no wake zone off any shore. So when I thought I was clear I actually wasn’t. But I was respectful to the officers, had all the safety items & documents, so they let me go with a warning.
We rode half the distance of the lake, taking in the views but only managing a slow pace due to the heavy chop. When we got back to the launch there were a few shitty interactions with other boaters that could be typical of any lake really. One guy cut off my wife with his boat while my trailer was in the water and she was coming up to it… him and his wife justifying this by claiming they’ll “just be a minute we’re dropping people off” but in a typical half-drunk, entitled manor. The launch staff wasn’t having any of that because that meant I would have to hold everyone up waiting for this jerk to move his boat. Then sent him away.
So would I go back? Yeah, probably. But in the middle of a non-holiday week. It’s a beautiful place to ride. Lots of very cool boats. Even a formula looking pontoon boat that was louder than anything I’d heard in a while. We were buzzed by a coast guard Hercules and what looked like a WWII plane which was also neat. The mountains around the lake make it feel special. And it would have been nice to explore some of the islands.
I have some drone video of a hike I did as well as some GoPro from on the water that’ll I’ll post up when I have time. Here’s a shot from one of the peaks looking at the lake:
Grew up 30 min from LG and spent a lot of time up there as a kid boating, camping, and wakeboarding. When I was in high school a good friend of mine had a camp up there with an old Malibu. Drop the wedge and tie the rope up top and we felt like pro-wakeboarders. We would spend a week+ eating nothing but eggs/bacon and drinking cheap beer while camping up there. So many great memories.
Also, we avoided holiday weekends like the plague. If it ever got busy up there we’d just go up into the Old Forge area where my grandma had a camp on first lake. Man I miss those days.
Anyone with an older ski that’s looking for a custom cover, talk to Zirb-Tech: https://www.facebook.com/Zirb-Tech-182358802559088/
He was easy to deal with and very responsive. I bought two covers, picked out the colors I wanted, and got an OEM copy with custom improvements. Also comes with a 5 year warranty on material (Surlast) and cover storage bags
I won’t say how much I paid because he recently upgraded some of the materials and I managed to get them cheaper than is typical. But what I paid was less than what used factory Yamaha Waveblaster covers were going for on eBay… and those are over 20 years old!
I have an old factory Honda Aquatrax cover to compare them too and build quality on these looks much better:
Anyone who’s around Saturday morning, there is a CanAm ride around Grand Island and the Buffalo Waterfront. They’re expecting a lot of PWCs. Here are the details:
I’ll be there but I don’t have a big enough gas tank to make it from Buffalo, around Grand Island and back, lol.
Two weeks ago there were some small waves outside Sturgeon Point and I got some video of it. I actually was too aggressive with the drone keeping it too close to me. Most of the shots had me jumping out of frame, but there were a few that were OK. We haven’t had any waves action for weeks now!
The CanAm ride was pretty good, lots of people… I’m exhausted though, lol.
There was someone who came over and said hi to me and mentioned they were from NYSpeed but I forget who it was! You out there?
Finally got the gatorstep kit finished in my boat. Been racking up the hours pretty steadily this year.
Glamour shot in front of a power plant
Is this kinda like Hydro-Turf?
It’s a soft closed-cell foam flooring material. SeaDek is the most common brand. Gatorstep is sort-of new to the game, but pumping out a really nice product.
I wish they had some video of it shot from shore.
This is with a much smaller engine:
In addition to lots of trips to the Upper Niagara and Lake Erie this summer we’ve spent some time road tripping with the boat now that I trust the tow rig and new trailer.
First went 6 hours north to Quebec to my grandparents cottage on the Saint Lawrence. 20 cottages on a point at the end of a dead end dirt road. Basically unplugged from the world for 9 days.
Quick access to the boat:
Checking out the ships on the St. Lawrence Seaway:
Taught my daughter how to water ski:
As well as drive what was basically the first boat I ever drove (12’ boat with a 6hp outboard)
Then over the weekend we trailered over to Keuka Lake State Park and spent the day exploring another of the Finger Lakes. Cruised down to Hammondsport and docked at Depot Park (free town docks :tup:). Walked around the town and had lunch, then spent the rest of the day just cruising and checking out the lake. I’ve now crossed Keuka, Seneca, Canandaigua and Conesus off my list. Cayuga is on the list for next summer.
Phased out the pink. New 13’ logo on the side. Still more work to do but progress on the looks department
Went out the other day in “2 foot waves” and turned out to be a bit better than expected. Seems like the forecasting has been underrating things, not that I mind at all:
Jetskiing regularly seems like a killer workout. I went out recently in the Pacific, and dang man after 30 minutes (1 hr rental) I was GOOSED.
Now try riding a stand-up or smaller ski like mine. After a long session I’m definitely hurting!