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Old 12-10-2006, 07:15   #1
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Question Am I insane?

I am soon to be buying a boat (woohoo), she shall serve as my home, and transportation in the carribean while I dive, and teach diving for a few years (or more). Why am I talking about this in the great lakes forum... I found a boat I like in Chicago... looks like a great boat, great sail inventory, equipment, electronics... price... and I need to get it to the coast some how.

So far I have come up with 4 ways, trucking it somewhere, powering it down the tenn-tom waterway, powering it through the Erie Canal, or sailing it out the Saint Lawrence Seaway. I don't want to truck it, seems a waste of money and adventure. The Tenn-Tom waterway sounds kind of boring. The Erie Canal closes soon (from what their website says). And I don't know much about the St. Lawrence....

The biggest catch is the timing, I would like to start around January/Feb. Is it even possible? I do not know much about when the lake freezes, and if they ice-break some passages. Also, how stupid is it to think of using the St. Lawrence to get out.

I am not afraid of the cold for me... I can handle it, and know friends who will come, and can handle it. I am sure there are issues with the boat in cold water. I actually welcome the adventure of it... but not if only 1 out of every 5 boats even makes it out of that area alive.

I need your advice.

Thanks.
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:34   #2
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I suspect it will largely depend on your luck - ie if the weather Gods like you. I don't have any specific advice for you, only a related story to tell. I know someone that brought a large (45') trawler down from MD to Fla in Feb last year. He came into NY harbor and was stopped by the coasties - as they noticed his boat was strangely heeled way over to starboard. Closer inspection revealed that he had a huge ice build up on his starboard side, causing the boat to list. Coasties couldn't beleive it - they took a bunch of pictures of it.
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:36   #3
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Mystic

You can't go anywhere from Chicago in Jan/Feb. Pay for winter storage and sail it down through the NY State Canal System later in the year . The earliest for that would be towards the end of April and it'll still be colder than the proverbial witch's whatchamacallit. Either that or truck it.
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:41   #4
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The St. Laurence in Jan. or Feb.? And you say you are not afraid of the cold.

Be afraid, be very afraid...

There is such a thing as healthy fear, it keeps us alive.

Actually, the only saving grace is that you wont be able to get to the St. Laurence from Chicago in Jan. or Feb.
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Old 12-10-2006, 11:12   #5
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So... the answer is yes... I am crazy.

Damn... my mom new it all this time.

I had a gut feeling it was going to be like that. Unfortunately my timing with my job makes it likely I will end up trucking it. I just hate the idea of paying to move a vehicle on another vehicle.

Thanks for your help, and proof that I am nuts.
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Old 12-10-2006, 11:34   #6
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Depending on the size of the boat, I would supect that you can probably get trucked to the lower Hudson for close to the price of winter storage.

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Old 12-10-2006, 11:42   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLeLu
I know someone that brought a large (45') trawler down from MD to Fla in Feb last year. He came into NY harbor...
Nobody but me noticed? that doesn't make sense! MD is south of NY...duh! Maybe it was CT he was coming from - I dunno. Once again, a classic example of me not paying attention to the details!
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:34   #8
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"Nobody but me noticed? that doesn't make sense! MD is south of NY...duh!" Well, OBVIOUSLY <G> if the ice buildup was on the starboard side of the boat, he made a wrong left turn and wound up going north from Maryland!

Happened to Wrong-Way Corrigan, didn't it?<G>

I'd take a look at the options for either trucking it to clear water down the Mississippi (no idea how far down that is) or ask a trucking company if they can get you to any port on the East Coast for a reasonable fee, i.e. instead of sending an empty truck to make a pickup there. Tell them you need to get anyplace south of NYC, and ask what they can do. Annapolis maybe? Remember, their rates can drop steeply if you let them know you are FLEXIBLE and they can haul your boat instead of running empty.

And from there down, you can sail. Just bear in mind, with a "new used boat" you are going to want to do some shake-down cruising with the option to duck back into port for repairs & spares for a week or two if needed.

St. Lawrence & the North Atlantic in winter in a new used boat? UH-UH. I'm not that brave.

You've got *some* time left for the Erie Canal:
"please call 1-800-4CANAL4 and press option 3.
Hours of Operation for the New York State Canal System for 2006:
September 16 to October 15 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
October 16 to November 15 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

They say a five-day transit time (optimistically) but I'd say getting into the Canal by November 5th would be cutting it close with an untried unfamiliar boat.

Parlez vous "zoom zoom" ? <G>
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Old 12-10-2006, 13:37   #9
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Ya... I am sure not to get out before winter, I only discovered this boat a few weeks ago so the chances of me buying it... getting her ready to sail... organizing my life... selling my everything... quiting my job... assembling a small crew... and making it before the ice... very slim.

I think I will go with the idea of talking to a trucking company, and telling them they can drop me anywhere in (or near enough) the ocean... and that the dates are flexible. Maybe they will cut a good deal.
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Old 12-10-2006, 13:48   #10
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Boating is one of those activities where there will be a fair few times when if you are not afraid, then it proves you dont know what is going on!

Understanding why you should be afraid, is the most important step in being able to manage the risks.
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Old 12-10-2006, 15:02   #11
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Is it in good enough shape to float down the Mississippi? Straight shot to the islands from the end of that, and you'd be able to work on it as you drifted?
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Old 12-10-2006, 19:06   #12
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Make sure that
(a) You take a real long hard look at the boat before you make an offer. If you are not particularly experienced, bring a freind to offer advice (preferably an experienced one)
(b) You pay a reputable ceritified marine surveyor to conduct a thorough survey the boat before you close the deal, preferably a broker that has plenty of experience surveying the type of boayacht you are buying (i.e. wood/ferro/fibreglass, etc.)
(c) You get the rig surveyed by a certified rig surveyor (many marine surveyors are not certified or qualified to offer an opinion on masts & rigging)
(d) Allow as much time as you possibly can to prepare the boat before you set off into the wild blue yonder. You will find things that need to be fixed, its inevitable. The more time you have before you set sail, the more chance of finding the problems while you are still in a position to remedy them
(e) Get the best, most up to date weather information that you can, and believe it and act accordingly. There is no point punching into 30 knots for days - better to sit it out in a sheltered mooring and head out when the conditions are favourable - You cannot rush a delivery.
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Old 13-10-2006, 01:16   #13
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Bitter experience division...

If you do not have the time/opportunity/inclination/invitaion to start the engine, run up the sails, and generally put the boat through its paces before purchase then allow from three months to two years to get the boat sorted.
While you are doing this it should be easy to time your voyage properly.
As a rule of thumb you should hang with your head in the bilge for at least ten hours before purchase. Reduce the purchase price by 10% for each hour under the ten that you cannot.
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Old 13-10-2006, 06:50   #14
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Thanks for all the advice. Having grown up on the ocean, I do have a healthy respect for its power, and have been scared my share of times by it. This is how I know my limits.

The boat looks to be in great shape, I have a copy of a survey from last year, and will be contacting another surveyor to give me another look at it. I do plan on spending a large amount of time going over any boat I look at pretty closely. I came close a few years ago to buying one, after spending a year looking at everything I could (life changes stopped me from buying it). This latest boat search has been about 6 months in the making... and I still have 10 or so boats I want to sea trial over the next month or 2.

My issue is... I need to do this. I came close last time, and got stopped by something. I was thinking I would wait till I could afford the boat that would do everything I need it too. Now I realize how long I will wait for that (unless myself, or a good friend win the lottery). Rushing in to buy a boat is never a good idea.

Some times, you just need to do it, ready or not. Its like having children (I don't have any... but I have seen them on TV), I don't know of too many people that are really ready for children, but alot of people have them.
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