We've done the loop and in a sailboat (Gemini sail catamaran).
You need to pull the mast
for the stretch from Chicago to Kentucky Lakes (mobile if you have a tall mast) and from Troy NY till you get into the Great Lakes
. It's not that hard and there are marinas
that do it regularly.
I would put more emphasis on shallow draft
height. While you could do the trip with a 10' draft
, you will be limited from going into a lot of side locations and many marinas
. I would shoot for 3'-4' draft
but 5' isn't too bad. More I would discourage unless you had another reason for getting such a deep draft boat.
Being capable of anchoring
out is neccessary and there are some great places to do so but for the most part the trip for us is about visiting the destinations and that means getting to shore and it's much easier to do from a dock
. In large portions of the route
, marinas are very reasonably priced.
$100k is plenty if you are reasonable to buy a used boat
and travel for a year mostly staying in marinas. You have to make a few trade
offs but very doable.