In the last post we presented a map identifying the free boat launches in Parry Sound. These launches will be familiar to those who have been coming to Parry Sound for years. For those of you new to the area and wanting to get onto the Big Water, this information may be helpful. In this post we are looking at the Champaigne Street boat launch area. (Yes that’s the correct spelling, Champaigne, I went back to a 19th Century map to confirm the spelling. It could have been error at that time but it has stuck.)
The Champaigne Street launch is probably the most practical and useful for those who wish to come up to Parry Sound, launch their boat, and head out for a few days. It offers a reasonably good boat launch for anything up to 30-feet, perhaps more. There is also a barge ramp beside the launch for those with specialized needs. There are a total of three docks, about 40-feet long. Two are accessible from the shore, the third is a bit under water as it touches the shore. (Early 2013 image when the water was quite low, it’s closer to average at this point, 2014/05.)
The docks are intended to be used for the loading and launching of boats rather than dockage. This boat launch can get busy and there is no room for boats to be tied up. Free dockage for a couple of hours has historically been available at Big Sound Marina, with charges for overnight dockage. Big Sound Marina has recently been put under new management and it’s possible that they might not extend courtesy dockage for people who want to get out and explore the Town, have a meal or resupply. Give them a call if you have any questions, here’s a link to their website..
The real appeal of the Champaigne Street boat launch is the availability of free parking for vehicle and trailer. The Town is relaxed with regard to parking at this site. I have had informal discussions with Town Staff and they indicated that there is no issue with parking there for a few days, let’s say four or less. Beyond that it is advisable to contact the Town to discuss a longer stay. They probably want to be sure that there is ‘fair’ use of the facility and people aren’t using the area as a ‘storage’ location.
Here’s a photo of the boat launch taken later in the day. The larger dock you see a little further away is the former Imperial Oil dock that is now sitting unused. It cannot be accessed from the shore. The barge ramp is to the left and not shown.
For those of you with more specialized needs Sound Boat Works offers a hydraulic trailer and crane with the ability to launch and haul power and sail boats up to about 55-feet (possibly even larger).