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Old 28-12-2011, 16:03   #1
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Key Largo to Lake Ontario - time estimate

I live in the Toronto, Ontario area and have recently purchased a sailboat that will winter over on a mooring in Key Largo. I plan to bring the boat home to Toronto in the spring (2012). I have considerable inland sailing experience, but have little offshore experience. I have read many articiles toting the pros and cons of taking the ICW and / or the outside route. My current thinking is to focus on a outside passage route, taking cover in the ICW as weather demands.
I am new to this forum......I would appreciate an experienced perspective to how may days I should plan to get the boat from Key Largo to NYC, then again for a time estimate for the second leg of the journey....NYC to Lake Ontario.

I can cruise at 7 knots.............

Thanks
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Old 29-12-2011, 09:30   #2
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Re: Key Largo to Lake Ontario - time estimate

Outside is faster, esp. going north from what I know of it, but can be very rolly, and would customarily require a crew of three or (better) four to sail effectively 24/7.

Cruising at 7 knots doesn't enter into it so much as your ability to sail effectively and constantly when wind, weather and current vary. Spring can give you NW gales hitting the Gulf Stream at a sharp angle: confused, lumpy seas can result. Go in closer and you have traffic and shoals to deal with.

I would suggest you take the ICW up (parts of which are wide open and other parts which sound as dull as the Murray Canal), and consider going "outside" for a portion of the trip, given a favourable weather window and sufficient hands to work the boat for a dedicated 24-48 hour leg.

As for NYC-Oswego, the current condition of the Erie Canal is unknown to me, but may not be completely restored by the time you get there. Spring rains could further damage the parts not destroyed by Hurricane Irene, but I'm sure there is plenty of information online for you to figure this out.

I would suggest three weeks to a month is realistic for the whole trip, considering you might have to lay up for a day or two some places if the weather's snotty. Make sure your engine, pumps, rig and sails are in excellent shape and that you have an EPIRB and tethers and jacklines, etc.
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Old 29-12-2011, 12:14   #3
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Re: Key Largo to Lake Ontario - time estimate

Alchemy brings up the first key to answering your question and that is how many folks will you have along for the trip? If you plan to move 24/7 when you can run offshore you might be able to get there in 3 weeks. If you only plan to run daylight hours up the ICW, Key Largo to the north end of FL alone is 7 days. You have a day to drop the mast at the north end of the Hudson before entering the Erie Canal and another day to put the mast back up once you get through to Lake Ontario.
Plan for 3 months if you want to make the trip more like a vacation and less like work. Take a month to go thru the Bahamas along the way.
Enjoy!
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Old 30-12-2011, 03:20   #4
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Re: Key Largo to Lake Ontario - time estimate

I sailed the other way from Toronto to as far as Rio Dulce Guatemala in 2009-2010. It took us 1.5 months to get to Rodriguez Key in Florida not far from Key Largo. We went inside on the ICW most of the way with the odd hop outside. See the Attached KMZ file of the trip which you can open on Google Earth. We didn't linger anywhere very long along the way.
Attached Files
File Type: kmz Toronto to Rio Dulce 2009-2010.kmz (348.4 KB, 106 views)
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Old 30-12-2011, 05:59   #5
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Re: Key Largo to Lake Ontario - time estimate

A while back a boat from Toronto did TO - Fl in under three weeks, I think. Full crew, sailing outside all the way. Not a lot of fun. Either take a few months or hire a delivery crew.
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Old 31-12-2011, 01:38   #6
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Re: Key Largo to Lake Ontario - time estimate

Vasco, did you jump off from NYC and how did you dance with the Gulf Stream? I can see a couple of ways to do this trip "outside" that might add days, but reduce bashing into current.
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Old 31-12-2011, 23:44   #7
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Re: Key Largo to Lake Ontario - time estimate

Did Ft.Lauderdale to Boston in 9 days all on the outside. It's dependent on the time of year and the weather encountered.Plan on a 9-10 day trip to NYC in May and then a week up the Hudson to Oswego and two to three days to Toronto. Let me know if you need experienced Canadian delivery crew for any part of it. I'm out of Toronto and have been up and down the coast 3 times this year,reasonable rate if your interested.
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