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Old 04-10-2018, 04:24 PM   #1
BoatingSam
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Default Major differences between Sebago in Maine and Lake Winnipesaukee

For those who have been to both of these lakes, how do these lakes differ? I usually go on Sebago and haven't been to Winni. in a long time. Hope to make a trip to Winni. at some point this year! Is one busier than the other? One more commercialized?
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:37 PM   #2
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One thing I noticed is the views are much nicer at Winni, more mountains. Sebago surrounding seems more flat.

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Old 04-10-2018, 05:38 PM   #3
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Default Winnipesaukee vs. Sebago

Generally I think Sebago is far less developed and still has quite a few original camps/cottages which can certainly be viewed as an advantage depending on your perspective. There is also far less congestion compared to Winnipesaukee - particularly on weekends at the southern side of the lake. Sebago is much more open than Winnipesaukee. While this offers largely uninterrupted site lines, it loses some of the character provided by the complex shoreline and numerous islands that Winnipesaukee offers. Given the fact that Sebago is so open, it can get very rough and there is little respite from the wind, while Winnipesaukee offers several coves/bays to take cover and explore. Being more developed, I think Winnipesaukee is much more destination based. Several ports of call/towns with numerous restaurants and shops create great day trips on Winnipesaukee. The options are far more limited on Sebago. There are certainly quiet spots on Winnipesaukee, particularly at the northern end of the lake - even on the weekends. Winnipesaukee can be much more of a challenge to navigate with lots of tricky channels and rocky shoals - keep your chart handy. I also noticed that a lot of people on Sebago keep their boats moored rather than at the dock. I suspect that is due to the combination of rougher water along with a very gradual drop in depth that limits docking.

I'm probably biased, but I'd pick Winnipesaukee over Sebago every time.
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:51 PM   #4
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Depending on where you live the traffic. If I had to drive up/down route 95 every weekend in the summer and endure the Hampton toll, Piscataqua bridge to Maine and then the York toll plaza, Id be selling if owned on Sebago.
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:27 PM   #5
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Winnipesaukee feels like a cluster of smaller connected lakes while Sebago feels much bigger. Winni has great ports to visit and tie up, Sebago is very lacking in those. You cannot anchor overnight or beach your boat (like you can at the mouth of the Songo River) on Winni. Sebago is better marked for hazards, Winnipesaukee has plenty of ATONs but they are sometimes hard to see and the system used to place and color them is confusing for the beginner, at best; and ambiguous for everyone, at worst.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:04 PM   #6
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Default .... compare the state parks

For state public access, Lake Sebago in Maine has Sebago Lake State Park http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/....pl?park_id=26 with 1342-acres, and Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire has Ellacoya State Beach and RV Park www.nhstateparks.com/ellacoya.html with 65.5-acres.

So, that's Maine with 1342-acres, and New Hampshire with 65.5-acres, for state public access.

If you take a closer look at each facility, Sebago and Ellacoya, you begin to see what's what, with what each state area has for public use on their big lake. Looking at the google earth view, more than half of Ellacoya's 65.5 acres seem to be on the south side of Rt 11, and is entirely wooded, totally undeveloped acreage which includes the Poor Farm brook.
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:40 PM   #7
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Which lake has better water quality?


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Old 04-10-2018, 09:43 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the insights! Great responses!
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:47 AM   #9
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Default Sebago vs Winni

Quote:
Originally Posted by paintitredinHC View Post
Generally I think Sebago is far less developed and still has quite a few original camps/cottages which can certainly be viewed as an advantage depending on your perspective. There is also far less congestion compared to Winnipesaukee - particularly on weekends at the southern side of the lake. Sebago is much more open than Winnipesaukee. While this offers largely uninterrupted site lines, it loses some of the character provided by the complex shoreline and numerous islands that Winnipesaukee offers. Given the fact that Sebago is so open, it can get very rough and there is little respite from the wind, while Winnipesaukee offers several coves/bays to take cover and explore. Being more developed, I think Winnipesaukee is much more destination based. Several ports of call/towns with numerous restaurants and shops create great day trips on Winnipesaukee. The options are far more limited on Sebago. There are certainly quiet spots on Winnipesaukee, particularly at the northern end of the lake - even on the weekends. Winnipesaukee can be much more of a challenge to navigate with lots of tricky channels and rocky shoals - keep your chart handy. I also noticed that a lot of people on Sebago keep their boats moored rather than at the dock. I suspect that is due to the combination of rougher water along with a very gradual drop in depth that limits docking.

I'm probably biased, but I'd pick Winnipesaukee over Sebago every time.
I would agree with paintitredinHC. I grew up in Maine, frequently camped at the ME State Park and Point Sebago. Also owned property on Thomas Pond which runs into Sebago. In the late 80's started trailering to Winni and now own property on Paugus Bay.
I loved the openness and water quality of Sebago, but have found I enjoy even more the ability to visit many places on Winni, ie; restauraunts and other places of interest etc. Plus I can get to Winni in a half hour where it would take me at least 2 hours to get to the Sebago area from home.
We also tried Moosehead and Champlain, but here we are now on Winni.

Hope this helps,
Bill
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:21 AM   #10
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Default Maine vs NH

I find Maine laws a lot more boater friendly. The comraderies between boaters appears to be a lot friendlier. Back in the early 80's I help build a lakeside log home on Sebago using the logs from the property. It was a rewarding experience. Fishing is also unbelievable!
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:47 AM   #11
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I visit with friends on Sebago quite frequently. We’ve had boats pass within 20 - 30 ft at WOT. Basically it appears that there are few, if any, boater safety rules. So if you mean scary as hell by “boater friendly”, I agree.


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Old 04-11-2018, 11:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real BigGuy View Post
I visit with friends on Sebago quite frequently. We’ve had boats pass within 20 - 30 ft at WOT. Basically it appears that there are few, if any, boater safety rules. So if you mean scary as hell by “boater friendly”, I agree.


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And this has never happened to you on Winni? If it hasn't it will just a matter of time.

I can't tell you what if any difference there is far as the boating laws go between ME and NH but there is no shortage of ignorant "captains" out there no matter where you go. More rules/laws don't make it any safer out there if there is a segment of the population that just doesn't give a damn and the MP can't be everywhere all the time to catch them.
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAXUM View Post
And this has never happened to you on Winni? If it hasn't it will just a matter of time.

I can't tell you what if any difference there is far as the boating laws go between ME and NH but there is no shortage of ignorant "captains" out there no matter where you go. More rules/laws don't make it any safer out there if there is a segment of the population that just doesn't give a damn and the MP can't be everywhere all the time to catch them.
It can't be any more dangerous than Winni on a holiday summer weekend.
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Old 04-11-2018, 01:01 PM   #14
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It can't be any more dangerous than Winni on a holiday summer weekend.
or FLL on thin ice with a noodle belt on
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Old 04-11-2018, 01:23 PM   #15
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Sorry to ask again, but nobody has answered. Is there a big difference in water quality, milfoil ect?
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:43 PM   #16
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Sebago is deeper than Winni & is the drinking water for Portland. My buddy says it is way cleaner but he is prejudice.

Re: close passes on Winni vs Sebago - it happens sometimes but not as frequently as some people would have you believe because most people will at least try to give you room (not 150 but more than 20 or 30 ft). There are no safe passage rules in ME. 20 ft is the norm. (On an aside, I have seen marine patrol once coming out of the Songo by the sand bar. 3 guys in greens in a center console, one with what looked to be an AR15 strapped across his chest. Whatever refs they do have, they are serious about them.)


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Old 04-11-2018, 08:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joey2665 View Post
Sorry to ask again, but nobody has answered. Is there a big difference in water quality, milfoil ect?
I don't think milfoil has entered Sebago yet. Water quality is roughly equal, in my totally unscientific opinion.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave R View Post
I don't think milfoil has entered Sebago yet. Water quality is roughly equal, in my totally unscientific opinion.


Thank you Dave.


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Old 04-12-2018, 07:09 AM   #19
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Default Turbidity

Sebago Lake quality

https://www.pwd.org/lake-water-quality

Winnipesaukee Quality

https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/...wwa_data10.pdf

I think everyone will have different opinions.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
Sebago Lake quality

https://www.pwd.org/lake-water-quality

Winnipesaukee Quality

https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/...wwa_data10.pdf

I think everyone will have different opinions.
Excellent links. Thanks
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Old 04-12-2018, 02:36 PM   #21
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Default Secchi Disk Transparency

Love the links provided thus far, I'll just add that the Secchi transparency readings are quite similar between Winni and Sebago, so on paper they are quite similar if you take the Secchi tests to be a good indicator of water quality:

At present the water quality of Sebago Lake is good. However, the threats to the lake’s water quality
are increasing. While average total phosphorus is currently less than 6 ppb and Secchi transparency
varies between 8 and 12 meters, water quality data indicate that transparency has been declining
since 1990, and total phosphorus levels have been increasing since 2006.

LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE 2015 SAMPLING HIGHLIGHTS by UNH
Town Docks 7.9 meters
Church Point 9.4 meters
Grouse Point 9.6 meters


https://www.pwd.org/sites/default/fi...ion-report.pdf
https://extension.unh.edu/resources/...70_Rep9587.pdf
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:15 PM   #22
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Thanks for the great replies!
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:13 PM   #23
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Default Friar’s Leap

Sebago does have Friar’s leap and the locks, but Winni is my fav
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:45 PM   #24
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Winni has much nicer views, much more to do on and off the lake and much more expensive than Sebago. Sebago is general round and open, while winni is a more challenging to navigate. For each your own...just enjoy your days that your lucky enough to be on either lake.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:11 PM   #25
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One of the more interesting threads. I love hearing stories and opinions on this topic


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Old 04-24-2018, 08:21 PM   #26
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Quote:
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One of the more interesting threads. I love hearing stories and opinions on this topic


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Yeah and I was actually curious! Glad you liked it lol!
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