Lake Norman and boat sizes

BuLion

Member
Jul 14, 2019
54
Harrison Twp, MI
Boat Info
2005 390 Sundancer
Engines
Twin 8.1HO Mercruiser V-Drives
Am being courted by a company who would like me to relocate from Mi/Lake St Clair to W-S. They know I am very partial with our 390DA and have said they’d freight it. I know nothing of Lake Norman (their suggestion), seems like the 390 might be over kill there. In boating season, we live on her almost always, love the marina life style. We are in a Safe Harbor in Mi the web seems to have me thinking ~35’ is kinda max on LNM. Is this still a practical boat there?
 
Great lake and BIG..... There are some big boats on there. Even saw a 50 footer.

On the weekends, it is crazy on that lake with tons of traffic and some serious speed demons. Almost too many boats.
 
Look a little north. Smith Mountain lake in Virginia is huge, 600 mile shoreline, not as crowded.
 
I have had a boat there since 2000. It's a big inland lake - 500+miles of shoreline, covers 3 counties in NC. Everything from large mansions dotting the southern/eastern area to lake cabins and a large undeveloped state park to the north. Like most inland lakes, there are tons of pontoons and ski boats, but large cruisers are not alone. You don't see as many Sundancer type cruisers as you did 10yrs ago, but they are still there. Your 390 would be on the larger size these days, but not alone and definitely not the largest. We used to have a 290da that we kept at the Peninsula Yacht club - back then my 290 felt a little small - today I have the little 185 that I keep in dry storage on the northern part of the lake, not as crowded. Weekends are busy and sometimes crazy - but it's a big lake you can always find a quiet spot. Weekdays are dead quiet. After labor day you have the lake to yourself and plenty of nice winter days for boating.
If you are used to Lake St Clair and access to Lake Erie it might feel small at first - but there are a number of lakeside restaurants, some nice marinas and endless coves to anchor out or overnight in.

On another note, Winston Salem is a great place - my daughter went to Wake Forest and my in-laws lived there until they passed away a year ago - we spent a lot of time there. It's not a big bustling city, so if you are looking for a hopping night life it's not for you. But a nice quieter place - plenty of good restaurants and some really nice areas especially around Wake Forest, Reynolda Village and a bit of a college town feel. There was a time we seriously thought about moving there.
 
What are you thoughts on keeping the boat at the coast?
 
Am being courted by a company who would like me to relocate from Mi/Lake St Clair to W-S. They know I am very partial with our 390DA and have said they’d freight it. I know nothing of Lake Norman (their suggestion), seems like the 390 might be over kill there. In boating season, we live on her almost always, love the marina life style. We are in a Safe Harbor in Mi the web seems to have me thinking ~35’ is kinda max on LNM. Is this still a practical boat there?
I lived on LKN for several years (relocated to Chicago in 2020). We had smaller 24 foot Weekender (which I restored as hobby), which was the right size for us. 39’ is too big in my opinion, as there simply isn’t anywhere to go. You could cruise north/south a good ways (about 30 miles or so) and there are some on water dining options which are fun (but they aren’t all made to accommodate that size boat). There are also good places to anchor for the day, but I always hesitated to do overnights because you do get night traffic with either fishing or people cruising to/from bars (which unfortunately has led to a few accidents over the years). I think on the bridge clearances you are likely okay on the Hwy. 150 bridge but there is also a lower train bridge on the western side in Lincoln county which you might not make it under (although it doesn’t cut off too much of the lake).

Anyway, I think you would enjoy the area. As others have stated, you wouldn’t be the only boat of that size out there, just isn’t really practical and that boat is made for cruising and not to be boxed in!
 
Given the chance, I'd move south in a heartbeat. I've gone by Lake Norman many times and noticed decent sized boats. Figuring it wouldn't be all that different from running on the US side of Lake St Clair. Worse case you sell and get something different.
 
Looks like some nice sized boats that are well over 40' there

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I trailered a 260 sundancer and launched it on the reservoir behind the house a number of times. One day I am up at the local gas station just up the road from the ramp putting gas in it and this lady came up to me …. Just pissed off yelling and carrying on….. saying she has seen my boat on the reservoir and it’s too big….. you shouldn’t have such a big boat….. I am telling you she lost her shit at a gas station….. shit like that just makes me laugh which didn’t help the situation…. But this lady was pissed
 
Boating means something different to anyone. We have a 44DB and would never consider land locking her. She is docked on the Ohio River, which is not a boating mecca. However we can go up or down the the river. Lake Cumberland is 3/4 hours away but 60 miles of travel is not enough for us. Last year we put over 250 hours on the engines.
If your like the dock and rafting up a couple miles away LKN should be fine. Never been there on a larger boat, but have been mostly all over it in a bass boat.
 
Am being courted by a company who would like me to relocate from Mi/Lake St Clair to W-S. They know I am very partial with our 390DA and have said they’d freight it. I know nothing of Lake Norman (their suggestion), seems like the 390 might be over kill there. In boating season, we live on her almost always, love the marina life style. We are in a Safe Harbor in Mi the web seems to have me thinking ~35’ is kinda max on LNM. Is this still a practical boat there?
Hey BuLion, my .02 we are at Safe Harbor Kings Point with our 290, asked my girls (Safe Harbor staff, read my posts and profile…I have lots of girls) if I could bump to a 370, they said yes as long as I agreed to bump to the bigger slip when one was available, (google SHMKP, I’m on H1, I, dock is next one over and has the bit bigger slips) I read through everyone’s responses and agree fully. It gets busy but there are many restaurants that cater to us and even though it gets very busy with the sport boat crowd I find if I maintain course and speed they avoid me like the plague. Not sure where you are looking to buy the house. We are 10 minutes away, it’s a no brainer. I know the Point can accommodate you as well as Stutts, I’m on the list for Stutts, covered slips, everyone gets a dock box, fully renovated. It’s a nice place, Kings Point is also very nice, I enjoy my dock mates. View from my slip.

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I trailered a 260 sundancer and launched it on the reservoir behind the house a number of times. One day I am up at the local gas station just up the road from the ramp putting gas in it and this lady came up to me …. Just pissed off yelling and carrying on….. saying she has seen my boat on the reservoir and it’s too big….. you shouldn’t have such a big boat….. I am telling you she lost her shit at a gas station….. shit like that just makes me laugh which didn’t help the situation…. But this lady was pissed
Hmmm, knowing you as little as I do I’m guessing you went for the 5GL gas tank and fed the fire. Just my guess. :cool:
 
I lived there in the early 2000's with a 24' Sundancer. I skied, partied and once a week, found a nice cove to spend the nite in. 39 is not too big and you will adapt to the new smaller lake. One thing I loved (and miss now that I'm in ATL), is that you can be at the beach in 3.5 hours. Wilmington is still one of the best places on earth to me.

My recommendation is live on the lake. Unfortunately, it was a lot more affordable 20 years ago....sigh.

But if your not sure, rent and try it out. Uptown is also a great location, and the lake it just a short drive.
 

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