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Old 18-11-2015, 15:26   #1
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Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

Hi I have what might be a stupid question I am thinking about going down Illinois river to Miss river to Tom Bigbee to Florida Am wondering if my 9.9 motor will bring me back upstream on miss and Illinois river. If you you have a 7 knot current and a 7 knot hull will you you make any headway?? Thanks in advance Mike
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Old 18-11-2015, 15:47   #2
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

Grew up on the Mississippi...

Currents are very strong and it is a very hazardous river. Dicey place for an underpowered boat. A small power boat with a big engine would be a better option (highly unlikely you will do much sailing anyway).

Effect of current on your nose is 100%, so 7 knot oppossing current + 7 knot speed thru water = 0 knots SOG. Been there, done that.

Then there are the house sized whirlpools, shoals, water logged trees just under the surface, massive barge stack ups kicking big wakes...
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Old 19-11-2015, 13:30   #3
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

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Then there are the house sized whirlpools, shoals, water logged trees just under the surface, massive barge stack ups kicking big wakes...

Jumpin jimminy, I just scratched that off my sailing list! 😖

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Old 19-11-2015, 13:40   #4
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

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Jumpin jimminy, I just scratched that off my sailing list! 😖

Rich


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Aw, the big whirlpools can be fun! Some spin so fast they have an open (air) vortex at the center which can be a 1-2' feet in diameter and 6-8' deep. As kids, we used to hit them at full speed in power boats right across the vortex...looking down into the vortex as you jump across it is a bit like looking into the gates of hell. Fortunatley, we never lost power right at that crucial moment!

Oh, and I left out the Cotton Mouth Moccasins (aggressive and toxic), B-I-G Gators, Alligator Gars (big and scary, but generally harmless), Alligator Snapping Turtles (massive & mean)...and Bubba (cue Dueling Banjos).

Of course, these are all things common in the Southern reaches of the Mississippi...maybe more civilized further N.




Alligator Snapper:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/321514860872435122/
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Old 19-11-2015, 14:06   #5
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

Now that sounds like a real adventure. That turtle would make a lot of turtle soup if you could make the soup without all your fingers.

How muddy is the water? I never liked boating in coffee colored water where visibility is zero.

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Old 19-11-2015, 14:10   #6
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

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Now that sounds like a real adventure. That turtle would make a lot of turtle soup if you could make the soup without all your fingers.

How muddy is the water? I never liked boating in coffee colored water where visibility is zero.

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Coffee is clear by comparison...its muddy like a thick chocolate shake! The Big Muddy is one of its nicknames.

And it can be a grand adventure. Last year I re-read Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississippi" and quite enjoyed it.
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Old 19-11-2015, 14:19   #7
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

Thats NOLA in the background. Notice the main halyard clipped to starboard quarter stancion...not much point in hoisting sails on the Mississippi. And if you zoom in, you can just barely make out the replica of the paddle wheeler Natchez at the wharf.
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Old 19-11-2015, 14:30   #8
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

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... water logged trees just under the surface....
Oh yeah, NEVER lock down an outboard (not even a 9.9) on the Mississippi...or you may leave it and your transom behind.
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Old 19-11-2015, 14:48   #9
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

I spent 10 years in Pittsburgh. The Allegehney River was semi clean while the Monogehila (The Mon) was as muddy as I have ever seen. As the two rivers combined to form the Ohio River you could see the color difference.



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Old 20-11-2015, 07:39   #10
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

I would assume then I would be better launching boat It's swing keel on trailer on the north end of the Kentucky lakes to go to FL and back The tenn tom does not have near the current I think ? I have heard Would have rather put in at Havana IL and returned back up close to home
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Old 20-11-2015, 09:55   #11
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

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Originally Posted by mkhoss View Post
Hi I have what might be a stupid question I am thinking about going down Illinois river to Miss river to Tom Bigbee to Florida Am wondering if my 9.9 motor will bring me back upstream on miss and Illinois river. If you you have a 7 knot current and a 7 knot hull will you you make any headway?? Thanks in advance Mike
You are talking about a typical Great Loop Cruising route that has been done many times on boats like yours. You have to pick your season with river flow and weather regardless of the boat, but going down early fall on a normal (not extreme El Nino as this year or La Nina) year you will have an enjoyable trip on that boat and even though you wont be sailing, your mast height should not be an issue. Those doing the loop have to bring it down for the Erie Canal and to get off the Lake through Chicago. Normal current flow in the fall is usually <2 knots helping you down river towards Alabama. Many times wishing there was more flow to get you there faster.

If your question is coming back up the same way you came down, you will not enjoy that much at all. Enjoy the trip down and trailer it back.

Search "Great Loop" and you will get a lot of information on the routes you are talking about and the Corp sites or aggregate sites that indicate river height, and flow and when the best time to do it is. There are also a number of blogs and E-books by many who have done it before in boats just like yours, which is pretty close to a perfect economical boat to do that trip. How to cruise America's Great Loop America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association

Cruising America's Great Loop in a Sailboat


Timing of that trip is everything.
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Old 20-11-2015, 13:28   #12
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

Thank you plan on doing the Loop when time allows Was looking to do a shorter trip Fl and less than 2 knots coming back up Tenn Tom would not be bad have read the the books not said about current though The 2 knot helps Thanks
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Old 20-11-2015, 14:10   #13
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

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Thank you plan on doing the Loop when time allows Was looking to do a shorter trip Fl and less than 2 knots coming back up Tenn Tom would not be bad have read the the books not said about current though The 2 knot helps Thanks
The problem with that statement is that is average perfect conditions during a short period of time each year.

One issue you will have is timing. If you time the perfect conditions going down, you may have to wait a year for the seasons to get the perfect conditions to bring the boat back up river.

You also have to take on additional fuel as there are some long stretches or times you will have to pick it up in Jerry cans from a gas station. If you cruise at 5 knots, you will be doing 3 knots up river in perfect conditions, that is painfully slow. Throw in a local storm with a lot of run-off and you may be running full power and doing 1 knot and your crew, if smart would elect to get out and walk as it would be faster.

Make the trip down, it is a great trip, but I sure wouldn't want to turn around and go back up on that boat. Put it on a trailer or leave it down in Florida and continue the loop at a later date from there.

If all the responses don't convince you, then put your boat in and run up river from where you put it in and see how long you think you can tolerate that. Turn around and see how the stress level immediately goes down. It is just not enjoyable at all.
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Old 20-11-2015, 15:42   #14
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

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...
Make the trip down, it is a great trip, but I sure wouldn't want to turn around and go back up on that boat. Put it on a trailer or leave it down in Florida and continue the loop at a later date from there.
...
One advantage of the McGregor is you could just haul it back up stream.

Although, even getting a boat on a trailer directly on the Mississippi can be a challenge. We used to launch boats from a ramp at Natchez. It had a wicked cross current, Ive been as much has half throttle on a 60hp just to get the boat straight onto the trailer...no way with a 9.9. So, plan on finding a sheltered ramp somewhere off the main river. Over the years there have been a few drownings at that ramp because of the powerful current.

I would seriously consider strapping a stronger motor on for the trip. I used to have a McGregor with a 25hp on it. I would feel a lot better about the trip with at least that. Long shaft mounted as low as possible to avoid cavitation. The extra HP may save your life at some point. You could mount the 9.9 on a second articulated bracket as backup...you do not want to be caught on the Miss with no power.
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Old 20-11-2015, 15:51   #15
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Re: Current and 25ft monohull macgregor

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Thank you plan on doing the Loop when time allows Was looking to do a shorter trip Fl and less than 2 knots coming back up Tenn Tom would not be bad have read the the books not said about current though The 2 knot helps Thanks
Dont get too casual, you really have to pay attention on the Miss. Loads of BIG commercial traffic in some areas and plenty of floating hazards and shoals in unexpected places.

One trick, watch for small branches sticking out of the water that seem disproportionately stable for their size....they are usually attached to a whole tree floating just below the surface!

A good VHF at the helm is a MUST. AIS would be a fine idea too. If visibility goes bad on you just pull over and park it in the mud. If you have to spend the night like that then stay well lit, because the barges often lay up on the banks too and would squash you like a bug.
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