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Old 22-03-2018, 15:37   #1
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Question Escaping Lake Erie

Greetings from a new member,

I am looking for a new boat and found one that I'm interested in that is on Lake Erie. The problem is that I live in the Boston area and am curious about the best way to get my prospective new boat home. Hire a transport company and take it over the road, up and out the st. Lawrence or is the Erie canal to the Hudson also a possibility?
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Old 22-03-2018, 15:47   #2
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Re: Escaping Lake Erie

Hi there,
We've bought an old boat a couple of times, fixed it up to sail and then brought it back to where we live (St. Lawrence Seaway). Fixing the boat the first time took 4 weeks full time, the second 3 months of weekends. Moving the boat the first time took 15 days, Annapolis, ML to Iroquois, ON. The second time, 10 days from, Crown Point, NY to Iroquois.

In retrospect, we were nuts. Shipping the boat would have been far, far cheaper and more convenient. Given the trade-off of time for money, and the cost of dockage, canal charges, gas/diesel, food and parts from expensive local chandleries. Not to mention the risk of drowning...

However, only you can decide. A lot of it depends if you have a job that pays you well.

It is downhill most of the way from Lake Erie.
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Old 22-03-2018, 15:47   #3
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Re: Escaping Lake Erie

All three are possible. Just depends on your budget and time available.
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Old 22-03-2018, 16:05   #4
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Re: Escaping Lake Erie

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All three are possible. Just depends on your budget and time available.
It also depends on the boat. What are you looking at?

For anything that's not trailerable, I'd be looking at bringing it home on its own bottom. I don't think it would work out to be a whole lot more money, and unless you need to stay in a "resort" marina every night, it might even be cheaper. Plus there's the angle of learning about your new boat.

Why exactly are you buying a boat? There's nothing logical about it. You're buying a boat because you want to USE it. Putting it on a truck makes no sense in that context.

Admittedly, that's just the opinion of this old sometimes delivery captain and lifelong boater. In the end it's up to you to form your own opinion.

Anyway, for a delivery to Boston I'd go the Erie Canal to the Hudson and back up. Unless the owner WANTed to take the St. Lawrence. I've done that route, and I'd do it again, but it's certainly not for everyone.
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Old 22-03-2018, 16:12   #5
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Re: Escaping Lake Erie

The canal route can be done. The Distant Shores couple have documented it. I think if you're up for an adventure it could be fun. But you'll have to contend with low bridge clearances.



Personally I'd look into taking the St Lawrence. I hope to do that someday in my own boat.
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Old 22-03-2018, 19:57   #6
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Thanks for the input. The video of the canal looks interesting sort of like the ICW which I've done a few times. How many miles is it if I were take it all the way from Buffalo to NYC. I also would like to get an idea what the cost would be to ship my mast ahead to somewhere on the Hudson where I could get it set up properly. Any suggestions where that might be? Time is not important as I am retired but $$ does have some limitations.
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Old 23-03-2018, 02:35   #7
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Re: Escaping Lake Erie

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bradmax.

I'd go Erie Canal to Hudson (mast on deck).
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Old 23-03-2018, 02:58   #8
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Re: Escaping Lake Erie

If I were you, I'd have it trucked, especially not knowing the boat well, or what's gonna break (better to find that out near home base).
Second option is Erie Canal to Hudson to NY, across the Sound, and Cape Cod Canal. This is mostly sheltered waters with good stopovers.
The St. Lawrence seaway is long, with swift tides in places, and tons of commercial shipping. Then after that you have to battle SW along the exposed coast of Nova Scotia, then get across the Gulf of Maine. A pleasant cruise in a properly kitted-out boat that you are comfortable with, but a potential nightmare in a boat unknown to you.
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Old 23-03-2018, 05:51   #9
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Re: Escaping Lake Erie

If I were in your position, I would keep the boat near, or at the purchase location, and use it for a time to get to "know the ropes". Then without a doubt, take it on the Erie Canal route and really get to know it and enjoy a trip that is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. you can find good location for unstepping the mast just prior to entering the canal on the West end, have it on deck through the canal trip and then have it re-stepped on the East end, You could then go down the Hudson and enjoy that trip. Long Island Sound is also great fro cruising, the Cape Cod canal is a great trip, and then to what ever area in Boston.
Since you are retired, I am guessing that time is not an issue. Taking the boat on it's own bottom is by far the best way to do it! You can control most of the costs by choosing to anchor out much of the time. Then,you will be the new owner of a boat that you purchased for the purpose of using it and enjoying it!
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Old 23-03-2018, 08:05   #10
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Re: Escaping Lake Erie

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Originally Posted by Bradmax View Post
Thanks for the input. The video of the canal looks interesting sort of like the ICW which I've done a few times. How many miles is it if I were take it all the way from Buffalo to NYC. I also would like to get an idea what the cost would be to ship my mast ahead to somewhere on the Hudson where I could get it set up properly. Any suggestions where that might be? Time is not important as I am retired but $$ does have some limitations.
Excellent! I tried to dissuade you but you're up for the adventure!

Distances are not as important as the number of locks (lock information), if you use the canal from Lake Erie all the way to the Hudson. It is a lovely, lovely trip. FWIW, and I say this as an ex-Brit, if this waterway was anywhere in Europe it would be overrun with tourists. As it is, it is much, much quieter than the ICW. You will see upstate NY at a rate of 6 mph or so...and be able to visit some classic older towns (Little Falls, for example).

The lock keepers are generally good guys, most people on the water are courteous and we met some really good boating pals. It took about 4 days to go from Oswego to the Hudson on one trip...probably another 3 days to get to Lake Erie. But don't be in a hurry.

New York State Barge Canal boating site.

Nice picture...
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