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Old 06-07-2013, 05:55   #16
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Re: Erie Canal Eastbound

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Denny Wardell is an interesting character with some old machinery to (un-) step a mast. If you have un-stepped your mast before, yourself, you should have no issue.

If you want hands-off service, find and go somewhere else.
Interesting...I would say he was an $@%@%. And from reading some of the Active Captain reviews, others will agree.

It wasn't our first time and the guy was as hands-off as could be. He made us move the boat rather than moving his homemade crane. Even then it was too far inland and we had to push and pull on the mast, fighting it to get in place (never had that issue before but at other places, they move the crane to get it lined up with the mast step).

Active Captain lists a few places nearby that do masts. I won't speak to thier ability as we haven't used them.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:43   #17
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Re: Erie Canal Eastbound

Talked to the Missus last night, reading, and looking at maps this morning. Given the situation at the Erie Canal I think we will exit Lake Erie through the Welland Canal and head to Oswego. If the Erie Canal is still closed trucking might be cheaper from Oswego because it is closer and the St Lawrence Seaway will remain an option.
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Old 13-07-2013, 14:41   #18
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OK, the Erie canal is scheduled to reopen July 18th. We are in Erie, PA waiting for our mail so we will head to Tonawanda as initially planned. But my question is not answered yet. If not Wardell's then where should we unstep pur mast?
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Old 14-07-2013, 06:35   #19
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Re: Erie Canal Eastbound

From Erie Canal Boating - Erie Canal, Oswego Canal and Champlain Canal Guide

Western End (Buffalo)
  • Wardell Boat Yard, North Tonawanda, NY; 716-692-9428
  • Smith Boys Inc., North Tonawanda, NY; 716-695-3472
  • Rich Marine Sales, Inc., Buffalo, NY; 716-873-4060
  • RCR Yachts, Buffalo, NY; 716-856-6314
I have no experience with them, besides Wardell. I would give them a call, or even better, rent a car for a day, drive by and check the operations.
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Old 14-07-2013, 09:12   #20
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Re: Erie Canal Eastbound

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From Erie Canal Boating - Erie Canal, Oswego Canal and Champlain Canal Guide


Western End (Buffalo)
  • Wardell Boat Yard, North Tonawanda, NY; 716-692-9428
  • Smith Boys Inc., North Tonawanda, NY; 716-695-3472
  • Rich Marine Sales, Inc., Buffalo, NY; 716-873-4060
  • RCR Yachts, Buffalo, NY; 716-856-6314
I have no experience with them, besides Wardell. I would give them a call, or even better, rent a car for a day, drive by and check the operations.
After our mis-adventure at Wardell, we stayed a few days at Rich Marine. Not sure how they are with masts but we were pleased with the service we recieved.
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Old 14-07-2013, 11:08   #21
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Thanks CFers!

Have been talking to people around here, consensus is Wardell's used to be great until old man died and his son took over. Now it is the place to avoid.

The boat anchored next to me here in Erie stays at Smith Brothers. The owner says they are good, but an appointment is probably necessary as "Robbie" needs to be there.

Heard Rich Marina is good from several sources, although my neighbor says the water there is dirty and he got a garbage bag stuck around his prop there and it ruined his cutlass bearing.

I think we will head to Rich Marina as we have heard the most positive reports about them.
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Old 18-07-2013, 17:00   #22
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OK. We just got our mast unstepped at Rich Marine. Great service at a decent price. We paid $421.44 for the unstep and two nights at the marina inc tax. heading down to the Erie Canal tomorrow.

The marina is marginal, basic bathhouse, weedy (our raw water intake got plugged) and very basic facilities, but the service was great.
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Old 18-07-2013, 21:37   #23
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Re: Erie Canal Eastbound

It's worth your while to order up Chart (book) 14786. Lockmasters monitor VHF Ch 13 and if you call ahead they're very accomidating.


(And RCR of Buffalo are good folks as well)
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:30   #24
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Just a followup. We stepped our mast again at Riverview Marina in Catskill. Great people. Cost $175.
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