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Old 21-10-2018, 00:01   #1
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Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

Newby to the forum here. We are hoping to move next year to Kingston, Ontario from the UK (very excited!). I am hoping to bring with me my boat, which is a small cruising cat.

Having neither the skill or time (and possible not the courage either) to sail across the Atlantic, I'm looking at 7-Star Yacht Transport, which would take our boat as far as Montreal (Salaberry-de-Valleyfield).

I would be extremely grateful for opinions as to whether we have the grunt to cover the last stretch under the boat's power as I've read about some fierce currents. Montreal looks lovely, but I don't want my boat to be stuck there.

Our 28' catamaran has 2 x 20hp inboard diesels. I think she'll go 7 knots at about 3000rpm (both engines), but more comfortably at 5.5-6 knots at 2300-2500rpm.

Would anyone be so kind as to give me their opinion (taken only as opinion, of course) as to whether I will be able to make sufficient headway?

Many thanks in anticipation.
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Old 21-10-2018, 04:05   #2
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

Shouldn’t be a problem - lots of small boats do it. I have a 35’ monohull with a 30 hp diesel and wouldn’t worry about it.

People with actual experience will probably chime in with more detail.
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Old 21-10-2018, 04:11   #3
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

I believe there is a canal around the worst of it but there are other alternatives.

Salaberry-de-Valleyfield is actually up river past Montreal. From there you could take the Rideau canal.

Alternatively, you could ship to New York and then go up the Hudson and across the Erie
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Old 21-10-2018, 04:22   #4
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

Yes, there’s this thing called the St. Lawrence Seaway - their website would be a good starting place.

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Old 21-10-2018, 05:23   #5
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

Thanks Valhalla360. Hadn't thought of going via Ottawa, but that looks like a really interesting option too.

Thanks AnglaisInHull, that website looks comprehensive and, in particular, have had a whizz through through the Pleasure Craft Guide. Our boat is long enough (>20') and heavy enough (>900kg), so that's a good start. The Guide doesn't seem to come with lots of red flags about having a huge engine, just in the Intro being 'adequately motor-powered'.

Plenty for me to read up on.
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Old 21-10-2018, 06:38   #6
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

Also depends on time of year meaning water flow rate.

Last year we had record high flow. An arguably underpowered racing boat did the trip and reported 2.5 knots over ground for hours. But he did make it.

You can do it, no problem. Fall is easier. And it is a gorgeous trip.
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Old 21-10-2018, 07:08   #7
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stibbles View Post
Newby to the forum here. We are hoping to move next year to Kingston, Ontario from the UK (very excited!). I am hoping to bring with me my boat, which is a small cruising cat.

Having neither the skill or time (and possible not the courage either) to sail across the Atlantic, I'm looking at 7-Star Yacht Transport, which would take our boat as far as Montreal (Salaberry-de-Valleyfield).

I would be extremely grateful for opinions as to whether we have the grunt to cover the last stretch under the boat's power as I've read about some fierce currents. Montreal looks lovely, but I don't want my boat to be stuck there.

Our 28' catamaran has 2 x 20hp inboard diesels. I think she'll go 7 knots at about 3000rpm (both engines), but more comfortably at 5.5-6 knots at 2300-2500rpm.

Would anyone be so kind as to give me their opinion (taken only as opinion, of course) as to whether I will be able to make sufficient headway?

Many thanks in anticipation.

===


You should have no problem in my opinion. The strongest currents on the St Lawrence are east of Montreal and you will be going west. It's a beautiful trip down through the Thousand Islands region, and Kingston/Lake Ontario is a great sailing venue.
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Old 21-10-2018, 07:08   #8
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

St-Lawrence seaway will be fine. you have plenty of power for that. Bigger issue might be finding a local marina in Kingston that can/will accommodate your beam, there are very few cruising cats on the great lakes.
Choices are:
Loyalist Cove Marina (town of Bath, 25 minutes west of Kingston)
Kingston Yacht club (Right downtown but very tight crowded slips)
Treasure island marina (15 minutes east of downtown)
Portsmouth Olympic harbor (large marina close to downtown, good parking)
Confederation Basin Marina (large marina, right in the center of downtown. NO parking)
Trident Yacht club (25 minutes east of downtown, lots of large cruisers)
Kingston Marina (downtown, have to wait for lift bridge to get out)
Sailing in Kingston area is fantastic! Most destinations on lake Ontario are within a day or two sail from Kingston. Usually reliable SW wind.
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Old 21-10-2018, 07:09   #9
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

We found lots of helpful charts on playing the currents in Chryl Barr's book, A Complete Cruising Guide to the Down East Circle Route. We were able to pick a port, our speed, and a destination, and look up the best time to leave to maximize your time in fair currents and minimize your time in foul ones.

Obviously, you can do the same thing with the CHS's current tables, and a lot of math.
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Old 21-10-2018, 08:34   #10
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

Easy peasy and a nice trip. Strong currents of 6kts briefly below one of the locks upstream from Montreal but of short duration. We did this trip up and down in a 35 ft sloop with a 8hp Lister more than thirty years ago and loved it. Also did the Rideau 18 yrs running starting 50 years ago. Fantastic trips. Still remember them fondly. We kept the boat in Picton, near Kingston in the summer and stored her near Ottawa in the winter so did the canal trip 36 times. If you have the time it is the way to go.

The thousand island area is near Kingston and easily available to you in later years but you can do either route.

You do need to look after storage sooner rather than later and should consider the whole of the area including Picton and Belleville both in the Prince Edward county area and close to Kingston. There are other places as well.

If you have no contacts I might be able to help but I would need to do it long distance as well as we are on our boat GAIA in Florida. (Not the sloop I mentioned earlier ��)
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Old 21-10-2018, 08:39   #11
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

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Originally Posted by Rowglide View Post
St-Lawrence seaway will be fine. you have plenty of power for that. Bigger issue might be finding a local marina in Kingston that can/will accommodate your beam, there are very few cruising cats on the great lakes.
Not really different than most cruising grounds. and cats.

More importantly, the OP's Summer Twins 28 specs at 16'4"...He might have to move up to a 35-40' slip but lots of 16-17' wide slips.
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Old 21-10-2018, 08:56   #12
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

Btw meant to add to even more reassure you we did the trip up the St Lawrence with our 35' wooden sloop and her 8 hp engine from Kingston to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and back. We later sailed from Picton to New York via Nova Scotia and back up the Hudson via the New York state barge canal into lake Ontario and back to Picton.

Later we sailed again from Picton to the Caribbean down the St Lawrence to Nova Scotia and then a 23 yr long circumnavigation but in a Colvin Gazelle.

What you are proposing is not of any concern with oodles of options and more once based in that superb cruising area. The world there is your oyster with few if any limitations. Just do not expect to sail anywhere after November or before April at the outset ��

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Old 21-10-2018, 09:08   #13
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

I have cruised the St Lawrence for many years. Your two 20 hp propulsion is more than adequate.

It should be an enjoyable 1st voyage in your new world!
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Old 21-10-2018, 09:09   #14
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

We did the upper portion of the St. Lawrence from Kingston to Alexandria Bay in our Alberg 35 with a 30 HP diesel in August. The current is very manageable and not overpowering in that portion of the river. As others have said, it's a beautiful area. Watch your chart and your depth as you can go from 200 ft to 2 ft of water in the blink of an eye - and the bottom is generally hard rock. There's also lots of boat traffic - recreational and commercial - especially in the summer months.
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Old 21-10-2018, 09:20   #15
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Re: Boating up the St Lawrence - currents/horsepower required?

I did the downriver trip twice.

You should have no problem since the only difficult parts are down river of Montreal where the tidal current needs to be taken into account going either direction.

You might even think about cruising downriver before heading up to Kingston, Quebec city and the Saguney River are some great memories from our cruise.

Kingston is a nice city for a sailor. Your beam is a bit wider than most monos but not excessive.
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