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Old 04-09-2014, 06:48   #1
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ICW Travel Time

Hello folks

My gf and I are entering the canal at Oswego in mid to late August in 2015. We are heading all the way to miami and then to the Bahama's/BVI's. We're in NO rush at all. My question has three parts. First, roughly how long does it take to get from Oswego to New York? Second roughly how long does it take to get from New York to Miami? And finally, for the return trip we were planing on heading from Key West up to New Orleans onward to Chicago to enter Lake Michigan in order to make it back home to Southern Ontario (Detroit/Windsor area) does this all sound about right or is my route WAY off?

Cheers!
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:19   #2
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Re: ICW Travel Time

I think a lot depends on the boat, but what little of the ICW I did, 50 miles a day was a good day. We got up, ate breakfast before heading out and were at anchor in time to prepare for dinner. You can do more, but then it's sort of like work
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:31   #3
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Re: ICW Travel Time

You are going upstream for 1000 miles all the way from New Orleans to Chicago? Exxon is gonna love you. Most (or all) loopers do it the other way.
http://www.greatloop.org/
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:40   #4
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Re: ICW Travel Time

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think a lot depends on the boat, but what little of the ICW I did, 50 miles a day was a good day. We got up, ate breakfast before heading out and were at anchor in time to prepare for dinner. You can do more, but then it's sort of like work
Were you heading in the same southern direction that I'm planning on going? If so, how long did it take you to get from NY to Miami? As for pulling anchor at breakfast and dropping it just before dinner...that was my plan. The point of this trip is for it NOT to feel like work . Did you head north after? Which route did you take if that was the case?
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:44   #5
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Re: ICW Travel Time

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You are going upstream for 1000 miles all the way from New Orleans to Chicago? Exxon is gonna love you. Most (or all) loopers do it the other way.
America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association
So you're saying most loopers head south from chicago to new orleans and then north up the east coast?

As for exxon loving me, I believe it! But it won't seem as bad for me as diesel up in Canada is always over $5/gallon so US prices are quite laughable to me! Not saying I want to spend a ton on fuel but that may be the way it is.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:59   #6
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Re: ICW Travel Time

That's what most do. The Miss has an average speed of 3.5 MPH at St. Louis. You do not want to fight that. You will also be going with any floating logs or obstacles so it is much safer.
And if you decide to go offshore on the east coast then the gulf stream heading north is on your side too. It is a win win.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:02   #7
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Re: ICW Travel Time

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Originally Posted by Saltwaterpuppy View Post
Hello folks

My gf and I are entering the canal at Oswego in mid to late August in 2015. We are heading all the way to miami and then to the Bahama's/BVI's. We're in NO rush at all. My question has three parts. First, roughly how long does it take to get from Oswego to New York? Second roughly how long does it take to get from New York to Miami? And finally, for the return trip we were planing on heading from Key West up to New Orleans onward to Chicago to enter Lake Michigan in order to make it back home to Southern Ontario (Detroit/Windsor area) does this all sound about right or is my route WAY off?

Cheers!
It depends! You can do Oswego to NY City in 8 days or so. I have done Toronto to Chesapeake in two weeks. You can get to Norfolk from C&D Canal in two days sailing right through. Norfolk to Miami is about 1100 statute miles. Doing 60 miles every day, about twenty days. But this is no way to travel. When I used to do Toronto to Miami I'd start at Labour Day and be in Miami for Christmas. So that's three and a half months, that's the way to do it.

As for going the wrong way to Chicago, good luck!
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:19   #8
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Re: ICW Travel Time

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Originally Posted by Saltwaterpuppy View Post
Were you heading in the same southern direction that I'm planning on going? If so, how long did it take you to get from NY to Miami? As for pulling anchor at breakfast and dropping it just before dinner...that was my plan. The point of this trip is for it NOT to feel like work . Did you head north after? Which route did you take if that was the case?
I only did part of the ICW, the Fl part. I was only trying to suggest that your daily mileage isn't that much, to plan on extra time, the ICW is slow.
I don't know anything about the loop, can't help you there.
I think by not trying to meet a schedule your doing the right thing.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:20   #9
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Re: ICW Travel Time

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We're in NO rush at all.
Well, then it could take years.

Certainly some places I would like to have explored better. A great advantage would have been to have a car, or rent a car often. One guy I met would move his boat then jump a bus and go pick up his car.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:26   #10
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Re: ICW Travel Time

Saltwaterpuppy... Lotta good advise here.....don't run against the river flow up the Mississippi......if you run against it during a rainy season you'll have flooding conditions just as others have mentioned. I would rather come South with the flow and "bump" a drifting almost submerged log/piling than a Northbound collision with one.

What ever you decide, don't set a "gotta be there by..." schedule or you won't enjoy your journey.

Just my opinion.

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Old 04-09-2014, 08:28   #11
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Re: ICW Travel Time

I would assume that everyone answering is assuming that this is a sailboat. It would help if the OP told us what he was doing the trip on. Big difference between MY or sail.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:31   #12
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Re: ICW Travel Time

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I would assume that everyone answering is assuming that this is a sailboat. It would help if the OP told us what he was doing the trip on. Big difference between MY or sail.
What is the boat? But I think the "right" direction doesn't matter with either.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:39   #13
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Re: ICW Travel Time

Sandcrab, The OP asked about going down the ICW and canals and up the Miss. Going down the ICW is a whole different animal dependent on the boat you choose. Also, a big MY could more easily come up the Miss (don't recommend) especially since he thinks that diesel is cheap in the US.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:41   #14
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Re: ICW Travel Time

Wow! So many opinions, I value them all!

I'll be a little more specific so you can all give a more informed answer

We are selling everything we own, buying a 35'-40' sailboat with a diesel engine and leaving our old lives behind. We are taking basic, intermediate AND advanced sailing courses in may/june 2015 and taking july/august to get used to the boat before we head to the east coast at the end of august. We will be heading down the east coast and then off to the islands. We were then going to head back to Canada for hurricane seane season to a little spot in ontario called grand bend where we'll work all summer and then south again at the end of august. From what everyone has said, heading north from new orleans to chicago is a no go. No problem! We'll just head back up the east coast. Does this sound like a doable plan or am I way off base??
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:56   #15
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Re: ICW Travel Time

Shallower draft is better for looping. The guides say 6' max or even 5' draft. You will have to take the mast down if doing the Erie canal for a 15' bridge and again in Chicago for a 19' bridge. You lay it on your boat and take it with you or some yards will deliver on the other side. The looper sites recommend yards who do this all the time. Most leave the mast down all the way down to New Orleans. If all you really want to do is the loop then a trawler would be best because you will be mostly motoring. But for a sailboat I think a Gemini would be a good fit for you.

But if not looping and just doing the ICW there and back then you still want a shallower draft boat. Many channels in the ICW are confined so sailing is not practical so you will be motoring a lot.

Good Luck
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