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Old 29-02-2016, 12:55   #1
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TenTom River

I am looking for info on cruising my 23' 10hp Diesel Sailboat north from Mobile to the Tennessee River, then east to Gunterville, Ala. Anybody with knowledge of such a trip? (Time/currents/barges/etc)


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Old 29-02-2016, 16:51   #2
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Re: TenTom River

No current unless you go after a spring storm. Few barges, and those are only four barges at most.

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Old 29-02-2016, 17:02   #3
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Re: TenTom River

You will always have some current , more or less , depending on the day . There will be some barge traffic , most will be from Mobile to Barry Steam plant , 8 to 12 barges , one 8 barge tow a day coming and going from TK , top end of Mobile Co. Nanna Hubba bluff . Not much trash in the Mobile river right now , but is about 2' over the banks . Sail boats have no problems going up or down , just watch for tugs .
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Old 01-03-2016, 00:49   #4
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Re: TenTom River

Always some current but as long as you wait for floods to clear it should be doable. Near Mobile, you can play the tides for a boost but eventually, that goes away. As you near a lock, the current will tend to be faster but will be negligible just above the lock.

You will need a range in excess of 150miles as there is one stretch that long without fuel. There are places you can anchor though. Your actual range will need to account for your cruise speed minus the current. (ie: if your cruise speed is 5kts and the current is running 1kt, your range will be 20% less than normal)

There is regualar barge traffic (more than 1 per day). Make sure you have a working VHF. They are generally good guys and will look out for you but they get to decide where you go upon meeting. A 3x5 tow (pretty common size) is around 1150' long by 100' wide running on a river that may only be 400-500' wide. You don't want to come upon them unexpectedly as you round a hairpin curve and you are right where they NEED to go. You don't need to be afraid of barge traffic but you must respect it.

Two major considerations before I would take off:
- Is the engine reliable?
- What is your range?
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Old 03-03-2016, 14:16   #5
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Re: TenTom River

Get yourself a Quimby's cruising guide, it has all the information you will need for boating on the inland rivers. It has information on marinas and lock and dams including contact information, if you don't want to spring for the cost of a new edition find a used issue 3 or 4 years old, most of the information doesn't change much from year to year.

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