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Old 16-07-2011, 10:57   #1
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Question Thunder Bay Canal ?

I'm curious, as an alternative to using the "Panama Canal", how common a practice is it for people to transport their boats by land from/to the Great Lakes - say Vancouver/Seattle to Thunder Bay/Duluth…a little over a day drive?

Another alternative might be San Diego to Corpus Christi…less than 1 day drive

Anyone do this as a common practice? Seems to me an alternative way to skip stones across seas and begin cruise quickly.
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Old 16-07-2011, 11:48   #2
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

I had my boat trucked from Long Beach, Ca. to Rockport, Tx in September of 2008, cost was $6500. Then had recommissioning and launch cost in Texas. Just figures for comparison.
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Old 16-07-2011, 11:55   #3
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Sad Diego to Corpus is over 1400 miles. But I have entertained towing my trailer sailor from Colorado to somewhere. San Diego, San Carlos, Corpus, Tampa........everywhere is somewhat of a long drive but completely doable. If your beam is over 8' it becomes more complicated ( and more expensive ) due to wide load permits and in some states pace cars. For a 40' boat with a 12' beam I would not be surprised if the freight bill was over $5.00 mile or more. I'm guessing but it's not cheap. And the USA is a big place.
That said, I had heard Mexico was planing a road from the coast to somewhere in the north end of the sea of Cortez wide enough to haul big boats overland. Just a few miles overland but quite a long way around.
Another tradeoff : small enough to tow, big enough for cramped camping ;-)
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Old 16-07-2011, 12:21   #4
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

Yes this is good. The whole reason I am asking is I think it opens up a bit on boats I might look at to buy out west. Why truck a boat all the way east when I can start an east coast cruise with a west coast boat a bit sooner and still within USA/CA territory. Save a bit of money too maybe
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Old 16-07-2011, 13:12   #5
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Do I understand you to say that you would consider buying a west coast boat and trucking it to Texas to avoid the Panama canal. then begin cruising it home to the East coast ?
If so that will save you many miles and days outside the USA but will cost you not only for the freight charges but also the expense in shopping for the boat away from home.
You may well get more boat for the same money close to home if you count all the costs involved with travel, hotels, meals, rental cars, then the trucking bills.
However, I could make several great vacations looking for the right sailboat. But then I would likely pay too much for the boat and still have to get it home.
But I would have a good time.
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Old 16-07-2011, 13:37   #6
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

The premise here for me was that I was originally looking all over the US for a boat. But, for many of the reasons you state, it became a logistic or cost issue. Presently, I'm looking primarily in the mid-atlantic, since I am originally from there and have resources where I could easily leverage etc. I also didn't want to cruise south or deal with the PC. Or keep a boat on the west coast even though I am living there now.

Since there are some nice looking boats in SD and PNW, and I would also like to sail PNW a bit, seemed to me there might be a compromise if I were to purchase in one of those areas and truck it a shorter distance than the whole USA. Cruise coastal until I am back east, then do a more complete refit.

Cruising to and through panama has associated high costs as well.
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Old 16-07-2011, 14:01   #7
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

You can do a lot of cruising for what it will cost to ship a nice size boat from let;s say SD to Houston, if you have the time.
Great way for a shakedown cruise from SD to the Canal and then wherever you want to go in the USA.
Even with the little expense of the Canal, you should have about $6K to use for the cruise.
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Old 17-07-2011, 09:36   #8
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

Unicorn, thank you for your comment..however I could easily argue the breakdown of costs here (for example by my estimate its approx $3,500 for a 30 ft boat, canal transit costs, and so on), but I'd like to keep the question more open and focused than for my own needs. While I was contemplating, I thought "Geez, I wonder if anyone else has done this, considered this, seen a lot of activity there, or does it semi-regularly?". We're also talking of the PNW.

Shortest distance between two points, ya know?
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Old 17-07-2011, 09:47   #9
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

Where is the Thunder Bay Canal?
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Old 17-07-2011, 09:56   #10
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Where is the Thunder Bay Canal?
Somewhere between Narnia and Oz.
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Old 17-07-2011, 10:19   #11
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

Get digging Gord!

And if you can drive from Vancouver to Thunderbay in "a little over a day" you are a better man than I, Gunga Din...
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Old 17-07-2011, 10:20   #12
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

Rt 17 to Hway 1 (trans-canada)

Sorry this is better:

3,207 km, 1 day 8 hours
I-90 E and I-94 E

26. Continue onto ON-61 N
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Old 17-07-2011, 12:31   #13
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

Thought you were talking about a cruising boat, not a daysailer/trailer sailor. My apologies.

2,000 miles with a bigger boat is app. 4 days travel time..
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Old 17-07-2011, 12:42   #14
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

Unicorn Dreams - no apology necessary. FK cruiser under 30 feet. splash me in easterly waters as fast as you can and cheap. seems to me from vancouver or seattle to great lakes is quite doable and an option.
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Old 17-07-2011, 12:54   #15
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Re: Thunder Bay Canal ?

Sounds pretty nice that way
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