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Old 20-12-2014, 06:58   #16
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Re: Cruising the Loop on a Sailboat

There are a myriad ways of supporting the mast while on the canal. Here's a couple of photos of Second Star as she made her way down the Erie Canal. Make sure the halyards are well secured to the mast while you can still reach them.
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Old 20-12-2014, 07:06   #17
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Re: Cruising the Loop on a Sailboat

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There are a myriad ways of supporting the mast while on the canal. Here's a couple of photos of Second Star as she made her way down the Erie Canal. Make sure the halyards are well secured to the mast while you can still reach them.
Sure ! But when I crossed Lake Oneida, a brisk Northely wind was raising a bad chop & I had to slow down to 5 knots because of the "Mickey Mouse" supports that Warell's carpenter did for Sundance, even though I had set lines port & starboard to get a "triangular" support... The best is an "A" shape support.
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Old 20-12-2014, 07:20   #18
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Re: Cruising the Loop on a Sailboat

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Sure ! But when I crossed Lake Oneida, a brisk Northely wind was raising a bad chop & I had to slow down to 5 knots because of the "Mickey Mouse" supports that Warell's carpenter did for Sundance, even though I had set lines port & starboard to get a "triangular" support... The best is an "A" shape support.
Oneida Lake is best crossed with winds 12 Kts and under. It is a very shallow lake (max depth is about 40 feet) and the waves kick up quickly and steeply. I lived on the south shore for 10 years.

It is usually best to cross the lake very early in the day before any thermals can start up. West and NW winds can be the worst especially at the east end. With a 22 mile fetch a large chop can develop. With a south wind it is possible to go closer to the South shore to reduce the fetch and therefore the chop, but watch your chart, depth sounder and gps.
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Old 20-12-2014, 08:14   #19
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Re: Cruising the Loop on a Sailboat

Becky, We're now on a trawler but did plan to do the Loop in our sailboat. We have done about half of it and I might mention, the wrong way on our trawler. We met a number of sailboats that were near completion. We are also members of AGLCA and have attended several of their functions. About half of the sailboats we encountered carried the mast on deck. None seemed to have any issues and all said they would do the same again. Several members each year get together and have the masts pulled and share the expense of shipping all their masts to Mobile where they will wait for the boats to arrive and step them again. So either way will work and it depends on your comfort level. Your draft will be no problem at all. Even some power boats easily do the Loop with deeper draft than yours. Remember that most of these waterways, especially the inland rivers, are used by deep draft commercial vessels. Our biggest problem on the inland rivers was finding depths less than 25 to 30 feet to anchor for the night. Many Loopers simply pull along the banks and tie off to the trees. The shallowest depths will be in some of the canals like Erie, etc. But even those will be fine for you unless there is unusual water levels for that year. Have a great trip if you decide to go. Chuck
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Old 20-12-2014, 10:12   #20
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Re: Cruising the Loop on a Sailboat

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Becky, We're now on a trawler but did plan to do the Loop in our sailboat. We have done about half of it and I might mention, the wrong way on our trawler. We met a number of sailboats that were near completion. We are also members of AGLCA and have attended several of their functions. About half of the sailboats we encountered carried the mast on deck. None seemed to have any issues and all said they would do the same again. Several members each year get together and have the masts pulled and share the expense of shipping all their masts to Mobile where they will wait for the boats to arrive and step them again. So either way will work and it depends on your comfort level. Your draft will be no problem at all. Even some power boats easily do the Loop with deeper draft than yours. Remember that most of these waterways, especially the inland rivers, are used by deep draft commercial vessels. Our biggest problem on the inland rivers was finding depths less than 25 to 30 feet to anchor for the night. Many Loopers simply pull along the banks and tie off to the trees. The shallowest depths will be in some of the canals like Erie, etc. But even those will be fine for you unless there is unusual water levels for that year. Have a great trip if you decide to go. Chuck
Great information. I really like the idea of sharing with others the expense of shipping the mast ahead and not carrying it on deck. We have not yet pulled and measured our keel-stepped mast but I understand from others that it measures just a few inches shy of 50'. Carrying that length mast on a 33' boat would make for some awfully long overhangs and I can't imagine how you could take advantage of opportunities to say in marina slips with that overhang. It seems it would also just make handling more difficult in some situations. I would prefer not to have to carry that for such a long distance if it can be avoided.
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Old 20-12-2014, 12:21   #21
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Re: Cruising the Loop on a Sailboat

I took Flying Lady, Hylas 54, draft 6'3" from Newport RI to Detroit through the Erie canal, then to Oswego. I shipped the mast from Newport to Oswego - it was about 3K and well worth it. Not having the mast on the deck made the trip a lot more comfortable. We stepped the mast in Oswego (had to rent a crane, it was a huge project) then sailed across Lk Ontario then through the Wellend, across Erie and up the river to Detroit. I have a few friends who have done the great loop and they took the mast with them. I would suggest shipping the mast if you can afford it.

We didn't run aground or even touch once but had to stay in the middle. My friend did it on a 7' draft and had more issues.

Make sure to leave plenty of time if doing the Erie canal. 1 day after we got off the canal, after being on it for 7 days, it was closed for 5 days due to debris. So you can get stranded if there are lots of rains during the Spring.

Great trip - it was slow but the ride up the Hudson and along that inner spine of America was fantastic.
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