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Old 19-03-2011, 22:54   #1
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Crossing Canada

Hi all,

I've been reading threads here for a long time but this is my first post.

How hard would it be to get from montreal to british colombia? I'd be sailing a 23 footer with a retractable centerboard, so I don't have much draft. I'm guessing I'd have to trail my boat for a certain distance. How much trailering am I looking at? And how much would it cost me about, unless I can sail all the way there, but my googling hasn't brought up a lot of results on the subject. Also, if you guys are able to estimate the time of the trip, I would be in no hurry, I've got all the time in the world, well, until it starts snowing I guess haha.

Thanks for all your help, and pardon my english, it isn't my first language.
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Old 19-03-2011, 23:13   #2
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Re: Crossing Canada

Hello:

Welcome the the Cruisers Forum.

Technically, you can sail the approximate 2000+KM from Montreal to Duluth Minnesota (or Thunder Bay Ontario) in 20 days but after that you are on a long "portage" to get to B.C. (3200KM). However, the great lakes offer hundreds of miles great sailing.
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Old 20-03-2011, 00:16   #3
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Re: Crossing Canada

If you wanted to avoid the trailering altogether there are 3 ways to go.

Start by sailing down river to the atlantic.

From there you can:
A) go north thru the NW passage north of mainland Canada dodging a few icebergs, around Alaska and down to BC. Trip would be about 5-8000 nm or so.
B) go south to the US, down the ICW to Florida, then jump off across the Caribean to Panama, thru the canal then north past Central America, the US west coast then BC.

The 3rd option is
C) is to go up river to Lk Ontario, then thru Erie and Michigan to Chicago. At Chicago enter the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, transit to the Mississippi river then down to New Orleans. From there south to Panama and complete as per B).

However, your boat does not sound appropriate for any of these options, especially the Northwest passage. DO NOT FOLLOW ANY OF THESE ROUTES. This was a vague attempt at humor.

In the real world you have 2 options:
X) Sail to the west end of Lk Superior, have someone meet you there with trailer and tow vehicle then trailer west.
Y)Trailer all the way.

Lets assume:
Your vehicle gets 15MPG towing.
2900mi
US$3.50/gal gas
8hr/day driving (food and fuel extra, call it 10hr/d start to finish)
55 mph average
Sleep in the vehicle or on the boat in rest areas.
Montreal to Vancouver traveling only thru Canada

Estimates:
7d (55hr) driving
us$675 fuel, food extra

Mapquest says traveling thru the US is 50m shorter and 7 or so hours faster. Route crosses into the US at Sault Ste Marie.
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Old 20-03-2011, 01:22   #4
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Re: Crossing Canada

Ask a silly question perhaps, but if you've all the time in the world and a seaworthy yacht, why not sail down the East Coast, through the Panama Canal and up the West Coast.. I'm sure there's an elephant here I'm missing...
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Old 20-03-2011, 05:29   #5
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Re: Crossing Canada

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, toucan_sam.
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Old 20-03-2011, 10:19   #6
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Re: Crossing Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by toucan_sam View Post
I'd be sailing a 23 footer with a retractable centerboard, so I don't have much draft.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucy Sailoress View Post
I'm sure there's an elephant here I'm missing...
His limited description of his boat doesn't strike me as very offshore appropriate. The only exception I can think of would be the Montgomery 23.
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Old 20-03-2011, 10:44   #7
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Re: Crossing Canada

Hello,

23ft boat. Great lakes are large shallow inland seas. Take great care! BC coast lots written, further North you get the harsher the environment few settlements. Dangerous and Wild.
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Old 20-03-2011, 10:47   #8
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Re: Crossing Canada

One could sail down the various canals and rivers from Chicago to Mobile Alabama or to New Orleans, Louisiana on the great loop. From there you could skirt along the coasts to Panama and then up the Pacific coast (although you will be fighting prevailing winds on the way north unless you stand out well to the west to find favorable winds). I do not know enough details of your boat, but even with a 23-footer it should be possible to cruise off shore for a while if you have the proper skills; William Bligh, in 1789 sailed an overloaded, open, 28 foot launch nearly 4000 miles from where his crew on the Bounty mutinied to the Dutch settlement on Timor whilst avoiding as much as possible islands that he felt to be inhabited by hostile natives.
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Old 20-03-2011, 10:49   #9
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Re: Crossing Canada

You will need a good tow vehicle when you hit the rockies. They are a vehicle killer.
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Old 20-03-2011, 11:13   #10
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Re: Crossing Canada

How do you plan to get you tow vehicle from one spot to the other after sailing part of the way? Oh and welcome..
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Old 20-03-2011, 11:35   #11
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Re: Crossing Canada

Sail to Thunder bay, add wheels and mules to make the boat into a "prairie schooner".
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Old 20-03-2011, 11:54   #12
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Re: Crossing Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by perchance View Post
Sail to Thunder bay, add wheels and mules to make the boat into a "prairie schooner".
Best plan yet. Gord could find you a plan to do this.
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Old 20-03-2011, 12:32   #13
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Best plan yet. Gord could find you a plan to do this.
Find a plan hell..... Gord will sell him the mules and wheels....
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Old 20-03-2011, 14:42   #14
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Re: Crossing Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by perchance View Post
Sail to Thunder bay, add wheels and mules to make the boat into a "prairie schooner".
About 3,100 km from T. Bay to Vancouver, plus ± 1 km vertical over the Rockies.
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Old 20-03-2011, 16:41   #15
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Re: Crossing Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by toucan_sam View Post
How hard would it be to get from montreal to british colombia?
If it's just about getting the boat to BC, then trailering all the way would likely be fastest, cheapest and easiest. If, otoh, you're intent on releasing your inner Coureur de Bois, and you will have a trailer vehicle following along to do the portages, then it should be possible. After all Mrs Simpson got a piano to Winnipeg by canoe:

Aucune idée for cost/time required, but here's a start to the research: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadia..._routes_(early)
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