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Old 31-10-2012, 07:27   #1
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New Guy with a question about Alabama!!

Ok, I'm a new guy here, but not necessarily new to sailing.

I'm looking for a larger boat to cruise with (35.5 Hunter), and have found a few I will inspect with the idea of making an offer.

But I have a question, that I haven't found a definite answer to.

I'm located around the Birmingham, Al area, and have access to the Gulf of Mexico. But I can't find any definite answer to the maximum bridge clearance down the Black Warrior, Ten-Tom, to Mobile.

I've contacted the Army Corps of Engineers, just about every serious marina along the path, and no one has the answer.

At the moment, I'm looking at approximately a 55 ft. bridge clearance for most of the vessels I have on my list. I want to insure I can make it all the way to my mooring without stepping the mast.

I do know the bridge just past (about 0.5 miles) my slip is not tall enough to accommodate the height, but I will not be going that direction (no need too).

Is there anyone here who has done this trip, or may know. I know the trip up the Tom Bigbee requires a stepped mast. But I will not be taking that route.

I don't want do the "go and hope" method. I'm not sure what to do at this point.

Ideas?

James L
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:44   #2
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Re: New Guy with a question about Alabama!!

try to pick up a chart or two for the areas.. they should have bridge clearance and any other sorce of "overhead" as power lines and such..
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:45   #3
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Re: New Guy with a question about Alabama!!

May be listed here.

Bridge Tables

River charts here, in electronic format.

http://www.tec.army.mil/echarts/
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Old 31-10-2012, 08:00   #4
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Re: New Guy with a question about Alabama!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by four winds View Post
May be listed here.

Bridge Tables
Well, they are and aren't.

If you look closely at the list, all the vertical lift bridges are listed "closed". Like that is of any use.

I know, because I discussed that with the Corps when on the phone with them. The person to whom I was speaking (I'm awful with names), agreed the closed position was unhelpful.

I actually have spent some time on this, so that is why I asked here.

But thanks for the link anyway, I did have it though.

James L
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Old 31-10-2012, 08:07   #5
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Re: New Guy with a question about Alabama!!

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try to pick up a chart or two for the areas.. they should have bridge clearance and any other sorce of "overhead" as power lines and such..
I have read, in a few different spots, this isn't the case with this route. Because it is a single dead end road (one way in, one way out), the charts do not contain the information needed.

Honestly, when the Army Corps of Engineers can't tell you (who should know), I'm not sure the information is widely known. They do control these waterways in the state of Alabama.

The main issue, is the lists (online resource) have the vertical lift bridges in their "closed" state. I'm not sure who comprised this information, but they should consider having both states for the bridges. (ACoE website list for the bridges).

Also, I'm not sure what "Charts" to pick up for these areas. They are mainly commercial routes, and not very common.

James L
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Old 31-10-2012, 08:14   #6
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Re: New Guy with a question about Alabama!!

Welcome aboard! There are several 52' fixed bridges from mile 164.7 to mile 90.
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Old 31-10-2012, 08:26   #7
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Re: New Guy with a question about Alabama!!

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Welcome aboard! There are several 52' fixed bridges from mile 164.7 to mile 90.
Interesting,

I have no information about those bridges. Everything I have read puts the bridge clearance over 55 ft.

Can't you point me to the reference to that information?

The ACoE only lists, four bridges from 89.9 to 164.7 and their heights show over 55 ft. (except for the vertical lifts).

Thanks for the heads up though.

James L
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Old 31-10-2012, 09:22   #8
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Re: New Guy with a question about Alabama!!

Waterway Guide Great Lakes 2012, Skipper Bob's "Cruising from Chicago to Mobile," and it is also referenced as such in the FAQ section in the AGLCA website (America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association) and in this pdf file http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/TennTo...av/bridges.pdf from the USACE (which uses different navigation mile markers than we use.) Keep in mind that all of these references are at "Normal Pool" level...the actual water level can be significantly higher or lower at your time of transit!
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Old 31-10-2012, 09:46   #9
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Re: New Guy with a question about Alabama!!

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Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post
Waterway Guide Great Lakes 2012, Skipper Bob's "Cruising from Chicago to Mobile," and it is also referenced as such in the FAQ section in the AGLCA website (America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association) and in this pdf file http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/TennTo...av/bridges.pdf from the USACE (which uses different navigation mile markers than we use.) Keep in mind that all of these references are at "Normal Pool" level...the actual water level can be significantly higher or lower at your time of transit!
Very interesting.

Thanks for the information.

I did know about the clearances fluctuating due to tides as well as water control on the waterways (flood/drought).

Quite interesting the information varies so much (from one source to another).

James L
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