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Old 07-07-2009, 11:39   #1
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Good River Boat

The little lady and I are still loosely entertaining the idea of sailing down the Mississippi. I'm sure everyone thinks we should buy a power boat and motor down but that just seems like a bummer. We are looking at various pocket cruisers but could use some advice on what to buy. So far we have looked at Montgomery, WWP, Cape Dory Typhoon, CAL 25, Macgregror (yuck) stuff that is generally under 25 feet. I think that for the most part the clearance over the river is about 50 ft so I don't think we would need to bother with a tabernacle but I could be wrong. Any suggestions would help.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:52   #2
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I took a 28' Morgan from Minneapolis to the gulf. Many dry states so stock up, I had a 9.9 outboard and did fine. Mooring was cheap almost everywhere and many places you can pull into without charge and very interesting people. You really do not get to throw sails up much but the comfort was nice and much much cheaper than a powerboat. You might look to a place called Hogan's Marina and see what boats are for sale in Minneapolis, I would sugest by as cheap as possible with the comforts you need because the boat will be worth less as you get closer to the Ocean. A 28' was a huge boat for MN but not so big for the southern places. I would sugest something without a Steel keel and look towards a motor sailer, trailerable if Possible I think you would get more for it at sale time. Good luck, enjoy yourself!!
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Old 07-07-2009, 18:36   #3
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Yup the fact that we are going to be on a river really means we need a whole lot less boat than if we were cruising in the ocean. A 28 ft Morgan strikes me as being a whole lot of boat for river sailing? Did you guys run into any problems with your mast height?
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:18   #4
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No, none, but I the draft was a bit of an issue, think I was at about 5' kept me out of one or 2 marinas. Also made it very heavy for the 9.9. I cut off the Mississippi at the Tom Bigby, <---Not sure of the spelling it was a long time ago. But the current gets pretty good in the south along with much more shipping so I cut over. I would do that route again it really brought me through some back areas with fun Marinas. The only thing is when you make the cut you are now going against the current so I wish I had a lighter boat or more power. As far as boat size, for living I thought it was perfect size for the river, TINY for the Ocean.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:14   #5
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We sailed on the Ohio river from Evansville, IN down to the Cumberlin, then up the Cumberlin to Lake Barkley, then over to Lighthouse landing on Kentucky Lake, which is where we now keep our boat. We have a Coronado 25 with a 3'8" draft, and a 28' bridge hiegth. She seemed to be the perfect size. River sailing is quite fun, and you get to meet alot of people. I am hoping this late winter/early spring to sail back down the Cumberlin and Ohio to the Missisippi to the Gulf. My brother keeps telling me to take the Ten-Tom, but there is just something about the Missisippi.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:27   #6
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A bit of a tangent, but check out this story: This boat don't float

Dreaming of a Huck Finn-style adventure on the Mississippi, a young couple are instead afoul of the law.

Claire Boucher and William Gratz had their sights set on the southern reaches of the Mississippi River when they packed their chickens, a sewing machine and 20 pounds of potatoes into a houseboat they crafted from scratch.

Calling themselves Veruschka and Zelda Xox, river names worthy of the grand adventure they envisioned, the young couple pushed off from the riverbank in north Minneapolis the first week of June...

Check link above for the rest of the story.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:49   #7
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That is what it was the Ten-Tom, sorry now my age is kicking in, I highly recommend it!!
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:59   #8
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I read the story and have to say that that is not the way to do it. There are rules not to mention the safety factor of it all. With the traffic on the river I would have to say you need to be a bit more advanced than Huck Finn. Sounded to me they gave them ample oportunity.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:32   #9
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That is exactly what my girlfriend and I are planning. Only more dangerous and less organized.
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Old 08-07-2009, 13:39   #10
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great story

seem like the only mistake they made was not moving on
de law has no interest in messing with you if you're floating off into the next jurisdiction, let the next guy deal with it
if they write you up, thank them, and use the paper for something useful
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Old 08-07-2009, 16:16   #11
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So...not to be a bummer, but could someone give suggestions about what the smallest/largest boat they would attempt this trip in and how they would outfit it? Are there places to tie up on the banks of the Mississippi or would we be bound to Marina living? This guy (http://www.bluewaterweb.com/newslett...des-2.asp)says there are no real marinas South of St Louis for 200 miles. I am partly inclined to look at very small boats because of the economy of it and the ease of handling, you can also go and tie up in places that you might not be able to with a larger boat.
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Old 08-07-2009, 17:38   #12
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Get you a good anchor. I have anchored in the Ohio many many nights. Just have a good guide book, so you know exactly where the channel is so you don't have any barge trouble.
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Old 08-07-2009, 18:19   #13
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The perfect river boat: 1988 Coaster 33 Ketch Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 08-07-2009, 19:09   #14
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My first boss had a 62 ft twin paddle wheeler. Clearly the best choice. You could beach on a sand bar then in the morning the paddles in reverse would lift the bow gently and set you free. Shoal draft just 2.5 ft. Twin 62 HP engines powering torque hubs. Great boat. He also could draw a crowd at any dock he touched. Two decks and could party 30 comfortable. Slept 12.

As a rule from above the Ohio River the Mississippi is great scenery to Minneapolis below it's a long boring road.
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:06   #15
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My first boss had a 62 ft twin paddle wheeler. Clearly the best choice. You could beach on a sand bar then in the morning the paddles in reverse would lift the bow gently and set you free. Shoal draft just 2.5 ft. Twin 62 HP engines powering torque hubs. Great boat. He also could draw a crowd at any dock he touched. Two decks and could party 30 comfortable. Slept 12.

As a rule from above the Ohio River the Mississippi is great scenery to Minneapolis below it's a long boring road.
That sounds awesome, Yachtworld should add a new category "paddle wheeler". I would be the coolest guy in the marina if I had one of those. The more I hear the more It sounds like the attraction is the tributaries and lakes and not the Mississippi itself, particularly South of St Louis. Does anyone else have experience with this?
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