you should look into if your interested in the canal is up the Hudson
River, into the Erie Canal, and then west to about Syracuse, NY, and then turn north and head
out the Oswego River to Lake Ontario
The canal system has a depth
of "14" feet on this route
and 21' of bridge clearance. If you take the Erie Canal out to Buffalo, the draft
is down to "12" feet and bridge clearance is only 15.5 feet. Its confusing, but the Oswego Canal route is the main route across the state, and thus the most generous in size.
They are constantly dredging, but unfortunately it is not 14' deep anymore. Give the canal corporation a call to get their thoughts. Barges and tugs regularly use this route, so they do try and attack the difficult spots first while dredging. If you do call, can you let us know what they say.