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Old 16-08-2014, 17:52   #1
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The Loop Starting on Lake Erie

I have an IRWIN 34 Citation and plan to move her to the Chesapeake via the Loop route clockwise. Can I make it without stepping the mast? Any recommended books comparable to the Quimby's tht would provide info for me? thx. bob on the Shanachie.
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Old 16-08-2014, 18:46   #2
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Re: the loop starting on Lake Erie

Mast gotta come out for Canals . Lots of places for the job . There is a web site for the Loop that will explain it all .
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Old 16-08-2014, 19:38   #3
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You can't take the St Lawrence with he stick up.It is longer and more challenging but very doable. You need to have started by now.
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Old 16-08-2014, 20:22   #4
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Re: the loop starting on Lake Erie

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You can't take the St Lawrence with he stick up.It is longer and more challenging but very doable. You need to have started by now.
Not true -unless of course your Erwin 34 has a 117' mast (hey, you never know -they can do amazing things with carbon fiber these days!)
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Old 16-08-2014, 20:32   #5
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Re: the loop starting on Lake Erie

I thought I read the lowest bridges on the Erie Canal were on the western part.

Regardless, with a 34' sailboat I'm sure you'd have to step the mast for the Erie Canal.
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Old 16-08-2014, 22:38   #6
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Re: the loop starting on Lake Erie

From Lake Erie you have several choices.

Unstep the mast in Buffalo and take the Erie Canal to Albany, step the mast and sail to the Chesapeake.

Take the Welland Canal to Lake Ontario and out the St. Lawrence and then down the coast. You can do this with the mast up and you need to leave in Early-mid June at the latest.

Take the Welland Canal to Lake Ontario and sail to Oswego, NY. Unstep the mast and head down the Oswego and Erie Canals to Albany.

For the Erie Canal routes, late August to mid September are the latest you can go comfortably. The canals close early November.
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Old 16-08-2014, 22:56   #7
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Re: the loop starting on Lake Erie

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Originally Posted by Dave Lochner View Post
From Lake Erie you have several choices.

Unstep the mast in Buffalo and take the Erie Canal to Albany, step the mast and sail to the Chesapeake.

Take the Welland Canal to Lake Ontario and out the St. Lawrence and then down the coast. You can do this with the mast up and you need to leave in Early-mid June at the latest.

Take the Welland Canal to Lake Ontario and sail to Oswego, NY. Unstep the mast and head down the Oswego and Erie Canals to Albany.

For the Erie Canal routes, late August to mid September are the latest you can go comfortably. The canals close early November.
Ach, Dave, you are the voice of reason and not letting the OP do his own research and homework.

Sheesh, people wanna do The Great Loop but can't be bothered with finding out about bridge heights?

Dave, let 'em go and find out for themselves.

Bob, really, how can you???
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Old 17-08-2014, 05:54   #8
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Re: the loop starting on Lake Erie

You're 100% right Stu ... after all, they are on the internet.

"Shambala Sails", a 42'(?) Morgan center cockpit left Brands Marina(western Lake Erie), 2 years ago, come mid October, for the east coast and points south.

They cleared the last lock on the Erie Canal(in Albany), the day before Sandy hit.

Evidently, they were the last(or nearly so), boat of the season and the lockmaster invited them back into the lock and left the water lowered for storm protection. I think they remained in the lock a couple days.

They hit Florida with no other incidents and with beautiful weather.

Last year would've been a different story and this year sounds potentially worse.

The window for the trip is closing fast and the boaters in question still appear to be in Tennessee to boot.

If anything, they should be heading south on the Bigbee.
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Old 17-08-2014, 08:29   #9
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Smile Re: the loop starting on Lake Erie

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Ach, Dave, you are the voice of reason and not letting the OP do his own research and homework.

Sheesh, people wanna do The Great Loop but can't be bothered with finding out about bridge heights?

Dave, let 'em go and find out for themselves.

Bob, really, how can you???
Stu,

There's lots I didn't tell the OP.

And there's another way off the Great Lakes, not counting going down the Mississippi.

After re-reading the OPs post, it sounds like he wants to leave the mast down for the whole trip. In which case, the information that I provided doesn't help him much.

That's what you get for relying on some guy on the internet for reliable information.

Dave
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Old 28-08-2014, 22:30   #10
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Re: The Loop Starting on Lake Erie

that's why people are nervous about asking questions when they get wise @#$ answers like that. I am in Tennessee and am well aware of the ten tom/ biggee canal- I have done that. I have done the Mississippi from Minneapolis. I am in Tennessee but the boat I purchased is in Toledo and I would like to continue on a part of the loop I haven't done. Yes the answers to my question are on the internet- I happen to be on it thank you. I plan to sail erie, take the canal to Ontario and winter the boat on the hard. Next year explore lake Ontario and head south- just a simple question- do I have to step the mast. thx for the answer. I will. bob
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Old 29-08-2014, 05:06   #11
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Re: The Loop Starting on Lake Erie

Yes, you’ll have to unstep the mast for the Erie/Oswego Canals.

Bridge Clearances & Channel Depths

Erie Canal
Waterford to Three Rivers - Bridge Clearance = 21 feet / Channel Depth = 14 feet
Three Rivers to Cayuga-Seneca Junction - Bridge Clearance = 19 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
Cayuga-Seneca Junction to Tonawanda - Bridge Clearance = 15.5 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
Oswego Canal - Bridge Clearance = 21 feet / Channel Depth = 14 feet
Champlain Canal - Bridge Clearance = 17 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
Cayuga-Seneca Canal - Bridge Clearance = 16.5 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
to Cayuga Lake - Bridge Clearance = 16.5 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
to Seneca Lake - Bridge Clearance = 16 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet

*Bridge clearances may be lower at higher pool levels.
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Old 29-08-2014, 06:10   #12
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The Loop Starting on Lake Erie

Appreciating latest Bob Mundle reply here as a reasonable re statement if his OP. He nailed it down succinctly.
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Old 29-08-2014, 06:37   #13
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Re: the loop starting on Lake Erie

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Originally Posted by Dave Lochner View Post
........... That's what you get for relying on some guy on the internet for reliable information.
Web forums have made some people very lazy. Instead of looking something up for themselves they ask on a forum expecting someone else to look it up for them. Of course this results in confusion when the person doesn't specify all the details in his or her first post and it often results in conflicting answers and opinions.

A serious boater would have looked this up himself and read several of the many Internet accounts and paper books on the subject of the Great Loop.
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Old 29-08-2014, 07:07   #14
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Re: The Loop Starting on Lake Erie

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Originally Posted by bob mundle View Post
that's why people are nervous about asking questions when they get wise @#$ answers like that. I am in Tennessee and am well aware of the ten tom/ biggee canal- I have done that. I have done the Mississippi from Minneapolis. I am in Tennessee but the boat I purchased is in Toledo and I would like to continue on a part of the loop I haven't done. Yes the answers to my question are on the internet- I happen to be on it thank you. I plan to sail erie, take the canal to Ontario and winter the boat on the hard. Next year explore lake Ontario and head south- just a simple question- do I have to step the mast. thx for the answer. I will. bob
I'm not sure to which answer you are referring, however, sometimes snotty answers come from poorly worded questions or questions without sufficient information. You originally posted:

"Can I make it without stepping the mast?"

Even though I answered the question I thought you were asking, I wasn't sure what you meant. Did you mean "Can do the whole trip with the mast up?" Or did you really mean "for what part of the trip do I need to have the mast down?" Or did you mean, "what options are there for leaving the mast up and going from Erie to the Chesapeake?"

For your latest questions. The NY Canal Corporation puts out a guide book for about $20. Has complete charts of the canal and distances between locks and lift bridges. Worth the $20. Some of the comments on services and facilities are out of date tho'.

Which canal were you planning to take to Lake Ontario, there are 2, the Welland and the Erie/Oswego Canal? Knowing that makes a big difference on what you plan to do and where to leave your boat for the winter. You'll also need to consider how much work you plan to do on the boat in the spring and how much you want a yard to do.

Most of the yards on Ontario are filling up and taking winter storage contracts now. You'll want to make some decisions soon.

You might also want to inquire about sailing on Ontario in the fall and what the weather patterns are.

There's lots to think about.
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