Distance From Chicago To Michigan City By Boat | LakeWizard

Traveling from Chicago to Michigan City can be convenient through sailing. So, what is the distance from Chicago to Michigan City by boat? We have the answers.

How far is Michigan City from Chicago when using a boat? Does the distance differ with different types of boats? How long will it take you to reach Michigan city from Chicago using a boat? Does a boat offer a more convenient way to travel to Michigan City than other modes of transport?

The distance from Chicago to Michigan City is 64.37 km or 40 mph. Depending on your starting point on Lake Michigan, it will take about 10 to 20 hours to sail across Lake Michigan at a speed of 5.75mph. Using a speedboat for travel will take roughly 2 to 5 hours, depending on the driving experience.

This article will take an in-depth study of the distance it will take you to travel from Chicago to Michigan City through the use of a boat and how long it will take you. It will also look at the distance different types of boats will take to cover and whether using a boat is convenient for other modes of transport. Therefore, if you plan to travel by boat from Chicago to Michigan but are unsure of the distance, this article will guide you on these.

Our objective is to ensure that you get relevant, authentic, and up-to-date information. We boast of a competent team of researchers, experts, and writers from different fields and niches. The team has a high level of experience in the topics that we cover, and this experience helps us to feed our readers with high quality content. Therefore, when you read our articles and other guides, we guarantee you that the information you get is credible.

Table of contents



Sailing through lake Michigan provides a convenient way to travel from Chicago to Lake Michigan. The distance may vary with the different routes and the size and speed of the boat you are using. The boat size is one of the ideal factors to consider since Lake Michigan is known for its big waves that may slow down your sailing process to effectively cover the distance between the two locations.

Although 16-foot boats are technically legal to use on calm days in lake Michigan, it is advisable to use a vessel that is at least 23 feet high, particularly if you are planning to transverse through the lake. Although the lake provides a suitable route to sail to Michigan city from Chicago, it is not risk-free. The rapidly changing wind and water conditions can catch you off guard. Therefore, while sailing, ensure you have the proper gear and the right personnel who have the experience and are familiar with the routes.

Distance from Chicago to Michigan City using a Boat

The distance between Chicago and Michigan City through the lake will differ depending on the route used from Chicago. Typically, the distance is roughly 40mph. How long it will take to reach Michigan city relies on the speed of the boat, the weather, and the time of the year. If you use a speedboat, you are expected to reach faster than when using a ferry.

For instance, depending on your starting route on the lake, it will take you at least 10 to 20 hours to sail across the lake to Michigan City at a speed of 5 knots. Additionally, when you are using a speed boat for travel, it may take you at least 2 to 5 hours. Additionally, the trip will take around 2.5 hours at a speed of about 45mph when you are using a high-speed ferry.

Factors Affecting the Sailing Distance

Lake Michigan provides the medium of transport from Chicago to Michigan City. The lake creates certain factors that affect the distance and the time you will reach the city as well as routes you will need to use. The following are the factors that affect the distance:

Size of the Boat

The size of the boat affects the distance between Michigan City and Chicago since lake Michigan is known to have deep waters and frequently gets waves and tides. Therefore, you will need to find other shallow routes to escape the waves, thereby increasing or decreasing the distance. Thus, the recommended length for a typical sailboat on lake Michigan should be 23 to 27 feet to sail comfortably in both shallow and deep areas.

Sailing Conditions

The sailing conditions affect the distance because the ports and other routes shut down at a particular season of the year due to harsh weather conditions. from mid-May to mid-October, lake Michigan is open for sailing until late June or early July since the water typically remains low. Additionally, due to the weather patterns in the Midwest, the winds become less predictable through August and the first few days of September. Therefore, when the ports are closed, people will be forced to use other means of transport from Chicago to Michigan city until the weather and other conditions make boat sailing secure and convenient as a mode of transportation.

Boat Speed

The boat's speed will also affect the distance because different boats have different speeds. For instance, a speed boat moves at about 69 mph, while a duck boat can only move at a maximum speed of 57mph. Therefore, the speed boat will cover more distance and use less time to reach Michigan city than a duck boat, affecting the distance. Additionally, large transport vessels such as ferries may affect their speeds by variables such as wind speed and force. If the wind is too strong and moving in the opposite direction of the boat, it may lag its speed, especially if the boat is using a propeller or wind for motion.

Season of the Year

There is a particular season when many people travel a lot, and the shipment of goods to and from the ports is high. This affects the distance from one place to another due to the traffic of boats and ships at lake Michigan. As a result, individuals will have to decrease their sailing velocity to avoid accidents, making it harder to cover the distance on time. Additionally, if their ports are very busy, other boats and ferries will be forced to change their routes too.

Sailing Experience

Sailing experience influences the distance because it will determine how fast or you will reach your destination. Going with an apprentice officer who lacks enough experience in boat riding may affect the distance, especially if they do not know the correct routes to use while sailing. Suppose you are experienced in sailing or have an experienced apprentice who knows the proper routes to use while sailing. In that case, you will save more time, thus covering the distance from Chicago to Michigan in a short period.

Wrapping it Up

Lake Michigan provides a convenient way to sail from Chicago to Michigan City. If you have the right boat and observe the weather and sailing conditions, you will sail smoothly. The distance may be affected by different factors such as the size and speed of the boat and other sailing conditions, which will make you either change the sailing route or use other forms of transport. Depending on your boat, the factors may either increase the distance or decrease it.