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Old 11-04-2009, 11:02   #1
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Sailing Distance / Time - Florida / Alabama to Chicago ?

hi there sailors,

would be most grateful for info on approximate sailing time/distance from florida, naples, up to chicago. recommended river/waterways also. first, though, need rough timeline and distance up (spring). and then rough timeline, distance back (fall).

thanks so much! mahalo, aloha
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Old 11-04-2009, 14:23   #2
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Mountholly,

It is my understanding that the Mississippi River is loaded with tugs and barges with few marinas. My s/v only tops out at 5 knots. I would be hesitant to make the trip in my vessel. There are other who have made the trip. Hopefully, they will respnd.
John
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Old 11-04-2009, 17:10   #3
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I so want to do that trip!! Maybe in reverse.
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Old 11-04-2009, 17:20   #4
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Greetings and welcome aboard mountholly.
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Old 11-04-2009, 17:27   #5
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We are accustomed to taking a liesurely cruise from Florida to Maine in the spring over about a two month span. We make frequent stops and average fifty miles a day on those days that we elect to travel. This is probably less distance than the trip to Chicago, but without the fight against the river's flow. It's probably quit a bit further, but likely a more pleasant trip to NYC and up the Hudson. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 23-09-2010, 10:11   #6
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2nd hand info

A friend did the trip in reverse on the Tennessee River years ago. Lost contact for at least 12 years. He had a SeaRay with 1-2 feet draft. He avoided the Miss (St. Louis to NO) and exited in Mobile. I can tell you that the Mississippi is not that bad North of St. Louis. In 16-17 years of power boating up and down the river I had only one close call, life threatening but many mishaps (at least one propeller a year). I would not recommend the trip as a leisure adventure. If you decide to embark on such a quest: travel only during the day, stick to the navigable channel (there are all kinds of underwater dams on branches), always consult with local boaters, be prepared to wait for locks and bridges hours on end. Take the mast down!
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Old 23-09-2010, 10:18   #7
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According to most reports, the lower Mississippi is a rather hostile environment.
That's why most cruisers take the Tennessee/Tombigbee waterway. It runs from Mobile, Al. up to the Ohio River. You then go downstream to the Mississippi and up the Miss. a short way to the Illinois River and to Chicago. There are issues right now with Asian carp and closing the Chicago canal. That situation is in flux.

Early spring can be troublesome with spring rains and runoff, creating strong currents and debris in the water. Locks are sometimes closed because of this.

Your mast will have to come down. Many sailors truck the mast from Mobile to Chicago. You might be able to team up with some other sailors and share the expense of trucking the mast.
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