Being that this thread has sorta morphed into tales of boating on the great lakes I will interject some comments. Most of my experience started on small N. WI lakes and then Lakes Superior and Michigan. Toured the Apostles in a wooden 18' Thompson all the way out to Outer Island. Never want to do that again! Later, my outings were in a 21' deep v by Cruisers. I guess I have been to just about all those Islands including a few trip to Isle Royale - spectacular! I have been caught in bad weather on many occasions. On the great lakes, those storms can develop in less than 15 minutes. Once rescued a sinking boat off of The Door penninsula in Lake Michigan. 3 priests without life jackets who appeared to be on the verge of accepting their fate in a fishing boat up to the gunnels with water, I tossed them some preservers and towed them a few miles to small rocky inlet of a private safe harbor. Cut them loose and luckily they drifted into the inlet. Made our way back to the marina, had dinner and as the sun was setting drove back to the location where I thought I must have cut thems loose. A caretaker gave us our lines and life preservers but I never heard another word.
Now my boating takes place in the San Juans, out of Anacortes, WA where I keep my boat on a mooring. It is a 21' C-Dory and has the advantage of being relatively fast and economical, and I can slide in on the numerous beachs in just a few inches of water. The weather here seems to be very predictable with very few storms picking up spontaneously. The water, however is just as cold. And the turbulance from the tide changes can be something to behold, especially for a midwesterner.