Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-08-2007, 21:44   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 51
Singlehanding The Erie Canal?

Hey all, I was wondering if anyone could comment to the advisability of transiting the Erie Canal singlehanded. I'm reasonably comfortable handling my boat myself (a Catalina 350) and manage all docking and cruising operations solo. What I'm concerned about is managing the boat through the various locks that I'm going to transit, plus any other challenges I haven't thought of.

Thoughts? Thanks!
__________________

__________________
Hubec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 23:54   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Boat: MacGregor 26M Lynx
Posts: 352
I do not think that the cannal will allow you to. They require 3 as I reacall. you can hire at either end when you do the paper work.
__________________

__________________
Lynx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 06:53   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 51
No, they don't require 3. I'm not sure what canal you're thinking of but it isn't the Erie canal (Oswego NY to Albany NY). Anyone else with any insight?
__________________
Hubec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 07:46   #4
Registered User
 
henryv's Avatar

Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ontario
Boat: PDQ32 & FP Helia 44 on order
Posts: 242
canal handling

I think you may have your hands full in some locks as the water turbulance tries to push the boat around. You normally need one person at each end of the boat holding a line around a vertical guide line. With a little planning you may be able to rig a system to hold the stern while you run up to control the bow. Alternatively you might be able to borrow a crew member from another boat when you are passing thru the locks.
__________________
henryv
henryv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 08:24   #5
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
I've done the Erie Canal, from Lake Erie to NYC (Hudson too)

The canal authority does not require 3 crew. In fact, they have no requirement at all as to number of crew, except I think they prefer a crew number > 0.

Transiting the canal *could* be done singlehanded on a boat your size, but would require you to be an expert in handling your boat. It might be good to transit the canal in the off season (September rather than August) to avoid crowded locks. Less boats means an easier time if you do flop around a bit in the lock.

I think a good way to lock through single handed would be to align your boat up amidships with the line that runs vertically up/down the lock wall.

Grab this line (bring gloves!) and steady your boat, or possibly pass a line that is cleated to your boat amidships (and loose on the other end) around this line at your midship point and steady the boat as you go up/down the face of the wall.

Put out generous fenders on the bow and stern in case you end up twisting due to currents and having either side bounce off the wall (touch the wall, really - it won't hit hard).

We used fenders with a 2 person crew (one crew only 100lbs) for the first lock only. We found that fenders weren't required if you handled the boat well. You can push the boat off the wall pretty easily - even our 26,000lbs boat and even with a fair amount of wind.

To make a long post short, I think as long as you can find a single point from which to control your boat's alignment with a dock (any dock - practice first at home), you can use the same technique when locking through. The principle is the same.
__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 08:49   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,138
Having done the Erie and Oswego from Oswego to the Hudson and back maybe 25 times I can tell you that it can easily be done singlehanded unless you are doing it early in the year or after exceptional rainfall. Early in the year (May) it's usually quite fast flowing and turbulent as it is after a lot of rain.. Nearly all the locks now have lines on them which are normally taken fore and aft but if singlehanding your best bet is to have your own lines at the bow and stern and stand midships and put both lines through the posts or wire rope that goes from the top to the bottom. Then you can ease or take in the lines as you go up or down. The only tricky lock will be the side fill lock 17 at Little Falls, going south you'll get sucked away from the wall so you'll have to watch it. This is also the lock with the biggest drop - about 40 feet or so if I remember right. In the other locks I would choose a spot near the center of the lock as the turbulence is less there. These locks fill and dump at the gates. Lots of fenders helps. I put large fenders horizontal along the toe rail.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 09:48   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,580
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hubec
No, they don't require 3. I'm not sure what canal you're thinking of but it isn't the Erie canal (Oswego NY to Albany NY). Anyone else with any insight?
The Welland Canal (Lakes Erie & Ontario) "officially" requires 3 to transit the locks, but never bothered us with just Maggie & I (2).
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 11:30   #8
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco
Having done the Erie and Oswego from Oswego to the Hudson and back maybe 25 times

Good LORD that's a lot of locks. I'm happy with just one transit of that system. I found it to be a bit monotonous. Sailboats aren't so happy in little ditches...
__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 11:43   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,138
Been going up and down since 1988. It's a very pleasant journey and I miss it now that I keep a boat down south. The lockkeepers are the best bunch in the world. You were probably in a hurry. That's no way to travel. Take your time, enjoy the little towns on the way. When I started there was no charge at all. It's still a bargain compared with any other canal system. Tie up free all along the way. Beautiful facilities in Waterford. Once you get used to carrying the mast on deck and manoeuvering the boat with ten feet overhanging each end, it's a breeze!!
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 20:46   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Boat: MacGregor 26M Lynx
Posts: 352
Can you tow a dink?
__________________
Lynx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 21:12   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Steve Rust's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Minneapolis MN
Boat: Searunner 40 Trimaran, Siruis 22 mono, 16 foot MFG daysailor
Posts: 515
Images: 82
If my friend Hal took his Roberts 53 down the Mississippi and Tenn/Tom singlehanded the Erie should not be much of a problem for you if you are used to handling the boat yourself. I found the turbulance in the locks to be overrated at least on the Erie Canal. I felt the Erie to have many points of interest and it was not a total bore at all. We went thru in late July 1997 and found the traffic to be suprising lght. I am sure it has gotten busier since then. It was $100 for a season pass or you could buy 3 day passes for $20 if my memory is right.
__________________

__________________
Don't trust your dog to guard your lunch.

Patrick, age 9
Steve Rust is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
singlehanding

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cost of Panama Canal Transit exon111 Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 31 08-03-2010 10:59
Living / Retireing in Panama, Anyone ? Ram Atlantic & the Caribbean 47 18-12-2007 14:22
Panama Canal Toll ? Limpet General Sailing Forum 14 18-10-2007 10:36
Canal Cruising in France boatcruisers Europe & Mediterranean 0 11-05-2007 09:24
Lost at sea CaptainK Powered Boats 12 22-04-2006 16:03



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:22.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.