Anyone done this. How long does it take-trawler speed.
a VERY long time if you do it right. You'll have sections on the canal with 6 knot
speed limits. Ideally you'll do this in the nicer weather
and enjoy along the way. I grew up on the canal thought I've never transited the whole thing by water
but have boated on much of it and been to all the towns.
VA beach to Cape may can be done in a week or less but then you'll miss all the possible nice things on the Chesapeake. Going up/down the middle is pretty boring. The nice parts
are in the waters inland from the bay and the less well traveled sections. The Delaware River is hell! Wicked currents and lots of large boat traffic and few places to tie up. You time the tide and try for the free ride.
Bottom line is it's not how long it takes it's how long can you
take. We are 9 years on the Chesapeake and no where near close to done. Your boat won't win a speed contest but you could have more fun than you ever had going slow. We have friends having done this trip you talk about at least 5 times for a whole summer each time and always found something new to do and see.
You really need to be on the one or the other side of Sandy Hook, NY / Cape May by mid September to make the outside leg in good weather
. The weather after that gets spotty and you could have to delay a long time to get the right window. You don't do long outside legs without good weather ahead. The rest of the trip you can hop a day at a time. Lower Chesapeake can be good into Novemeber. The Erie Canal gets iffy when the leaves finish turning and can be hostile in early June. August here sucks while New York
State is in it's prime. Spring and Fall are quite nice here and are both a month longer than where you live.
Don't try a speed trip because you'll never see much of anything.