Originally Posted by yamaha350
Thank you very much for the information. I told the captain to make sure the Garmin740s chartplotter
has the inland waterways loaded. I love GPS navigation
but am a FIRM believer in using paper charts
also. I am looking forward to making the trip. How is the run through the Sanitary Canal in Chicago? Do the Locks get very crowded? As far as the fuel situation, it's a Searay 35 with twin 7.4L Mercruisers and 250 gallon fuel tank
with an 8kw generator
. Don't know the GPH but you can bet I will before we make the trip.
I'm afraid you're going to find that is really pressing it. One problem is you don't know how much of the 250 gallons it really holds and you can really access. Much of the time it's less. Typically those engines in that size Sea Ray
get just barely 1 nmpg at most speeds. If a Sundancer, maybe even less. To have a safety
margin at all you're probably going to have to reduce to no more than 1500 rpm
for the trip from Hoppie's to Kentucky Lake. That will put you around 7 knots. Might even have to run some slower around 1000 rpm
. But current
will help you some. I would test both consumption
and capacity and, if in doubt, pick up some bladders and fill them at Hoppie's as well. Kentucky Lock can often be crowded and a wait for barge traffic. Is the boat a Sundancer? or SLX type? Unless you find strong evidence otherwise on your fuel, I would think bladders are in order.
The locks you encounter on the Mississippi are generally not too bad, but waits on occasion can be longer. The biggest issue is the Electric
Barrier and it can be quite slow clearing that area depending on traffic. Also, be sure to know all the safety
rules for that area.
It can be an enjoyable cruise
but keep in mind this is first and foremost a commercial
waterway you'll be traveling until you hit Kentucky Lake. As such there will be plenty of barges and they'll take lots of space. Good communication with the tow captains is important. My big concern for you is just fuel.