Q&A With Ben and Dana Liss

September 2021 Feature

Ben and Dana Liss enjoy taking their two boys out onto the Great Lakes on their boat, Seapickle III, and have deep ties to Lake Michigan.

GLB: What Great Lakes have you boated on?

B&D: Our home lake is Lake Michigan; we circumnavigated Lake Michigan in 16 days in 2010 on our honeymoon in our new (to us) Four Winns 268. We've also visited Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and Lake Erie on our boat and also trailered it all over IndianaMichigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and to Ontario in Canada.

GLB: What kind of boat do you have now? 

B&D: Our current boat is a 2002 Cruisers 3275 that we purchased spring of 2020 right before the addition of baby boy number two! We primarily boat on Michigan's west coast these days with an annual trip to the North Channel of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada. (We hope to be able to make it this summer anyway!)

GLB: What does your average day look like on your boat?

B&D: With two kids in tow now (ages 5 and 1), an average day involves lots of kid entertainment! We typically head out on the lake after breakfast and will either anchor for the day to swim, play on the beach, paddleboard, and dinghy explore or we'll head to one of the nearby ports along Michigan's coast to be tourists for the day.

GLB: What kind of impact has boating had on your life?

B&D: Boating has had a HUGE impact on our family, most notably adding so many amazing connections and friends to our lives through the marina, boating groups (we are members of the Great Lakes Cruising Club), boat owner’s forums, and our travels. The boat is our happy place and we love raising our two little boys on the water. We hope their passion for boating and adventure will continue throughout their lives.

GLB: What made you decide to start boating?

B&D: My wife Dana grew up a Lake Michigan beach bum with her family outside of Chicago, and I spent a good portion of my childhood fishing on the river in my hometown and on family vacations in Door County, Wis. Transitioning to a cruising lifestyle was a natural fit for us and continues to provide travel in our “floating hotel room” and adventure.  

GLB: What is one of your favorite boating memories?

B&D: Our favorite boating memories are summer days spent at Boaters Beach with good friends around a bonfire and taking our oldest son, RJ, to the North Channel for the first time.

GLB: What do you think is something important our readers should know that you've learned through your own experiences?  

B&D: Don't be afraid to push beyond your comfort zone to explore the amazing places all around the Great Lakes, especially with kids! We are so lucky to have some of the most beautiful cruising waters in the world right here in our backyard. Also, learn to be comfortable anchoring out for days (or weeks) at a time and your cruising options will open up immensely!

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