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Old 21-08-2016, 10:10   #1
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Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

I'm planning a trip to the Great Lakes from Cape Cod and hope to do the Erie Canal westbound. Issue is the mast. I've read posts about DIY instep/step and carrying the mast on deck. Problem is it's 70 ft stick and it weighs in excess of 1000 pounds. The boat is 47ft LOA so the overhangs are big. Unfortunately, I think shipping it is the best option.

Questions for those who've done it: are there yards on the Hudson and at the West end who can handle a mast of that size? Anyone have a recommendation on a trucker?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 21-08-2016, 10:44   #2
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

Castleton on Hudson,just south of Albany,has a DIY crane, $50 per mast,give them a call and ask,its a nice crane.
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Old 21-08-2016, 11:37   #3
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

No problem, I've seen bigger boats in the Canal. Rather than the DIY at Castleton, try Catskill, there's two yards there that do masts. I prefer Riverview to the other yard, Hop-o-Nose.
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Old 21-08-2016, 12:32   #4
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

Shipping a 70' stick by truck could be a nightmare. You'd be WAY into the land of "oversize" and normal carriers can't touch it. Spar companies deal with this (sit down, please) by cutting the stick in two and then splicing it at the destination. Even the oversize cargo containers are only 53' long. Conventional ones only 40'. Some 2x4's and a cradle on deck are sounding better now, aren't they?(G)
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Old 21-08-2016, 15:40   #5
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

There's always the St Lawrence��
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Old 22-08-2016, 09:20   #6
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

I took a 72 foot mast through on an Alden 54, pulled it at tanawanda and restepped it at Castleton with their diy crane. No problems at all.

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Old 22-08-2016, 09:43   #7
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billyruffn View Post
I'm planning a trip to the Great Lakes from Cape Cod and hope to do the Erie Canal westbound. Issue is the mast. I've read posts about DIY instep/step and carrying the mast on deck. Problem is it's 70 ft stick and it weighs in excess of 1000 pounds. The boat is 47ft LOA so the overhangs are big. Unfortunately, I think shipping it is the best option. Questions for those who've done it: are there yards on the Hudson and at the West end who can handle a mast of that size? Anyone have a recommendation on a trucker? Thanks for the help.
Hi ! I've done it with a 50+ foot mast coming from Michigan on my way to NY/NY. There are 2 places where to lower your mast at the end of Lake Erie. One is just next to the first low bridge. The old fart knows what he's doing & I dont regret my money but I didn't have the 3 wooden cradles necessary to carry the mast above my deck. He suggested a friend of his who's no good... I didn't know better: Crossing the Oneida lake I had to slow down for the 3 supports his friend had put together were moving port to starboard although the waves were minimal & I had secure the 3 cradles with over sized & stretched lines
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Old 22-08-2016, 09:55   #8
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

[QUOTE= One is just next to the first low bridge. The old fart knows what he's doing & I dont regret my money [/QUOTE]

That is the guy who pulled my mast at Tanawanda


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Old 22-08-2016, 09:58   #9
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

We have 70 foot on deck (46 foot boat) and gone each way in Erie about a dozen times, not a big issue when you get used to the overhang when maneuvering. We prefer Hop -o- Nose in Catskill but have also done the mast ourselves at Castleton Boat Club both up and down. We always use Oswego portion of the canal to Lake Ontario and if going to Lake Erie or further use the Welland Canal. Re-stepping when you get to Lake Ontario would require a trip to Sodus Bay, the marina in Oswego declines to step masts as long as ours. The Erie west bound beyond the Oswego branch is pretty much a ditch, but has some lower fixed bridges, check your clearances.
We enjoyed the first couple of Erie Canal trips. Not so much now, depths are more sketchy and the operators admit the system is more for flood control and transportation. The St. Lawrence Seaway locks are pretty easy, but the Welland is a handful locking up, need at least 3 on board, but your mast would be back up.

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Old 22-08-2016, 10:16   #10
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

I did the entire Erie Canal as crew on a 12-meter America's Cup boat with a 90 foot mast on deck; also in a 3-masted Barkentine with the entire rig (masts, yards, booms, and gaffs) on deck. We had to hire a commercial crane to unstep and re-step, but there were no particular problems. Shipping the rig by land is not a realistic option. ONce the rig is on deck, you can duct tape old carpeting or lifejackets around the ends of the mast in case they touch the lock walls. But I bet they won't. Put the mast on centerline, because you may have to tie to either wall in the locks. Then rig an old sail or tarp over the cockpit for shade and for rainy days. I'd be more worried about your draft than your rig, especially in the W end.
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Old 22-08-2016, 10:29   #11
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

Don't bother shipping it. You can manage with it on deck. Either place in Catskills, NY just off the Hudson. We recommend RCR Yachts in downtown Buffalo for stepping & unstepping (for those going east). Downtown Buffalo and "Canalside" have a lot to offer. Food. Music. History. Fun.
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Old 22-08-2016, 11:39   #12
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

A 70 ft mast is not an issue on the canal. A couple of years ago we did it with a 55' mast on a 36' boat.

Ratcheting tie downs are a big asset for securing the mast. It is easier to get them tight than using lines.

lf you go the Lake Ontario route instead of all the way to Buffalo, Fair Point Marina on Little Sodus Bay may be able to step the mast. They just unstepped a mast on a 50' Beneteau. Fair Haven is only 12 miles from Oswego. Sodus Bay is about 25.
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Old 22-08-2016, 12:38   #13
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

Distant Shores did an episode on traveling the Erie Canal with I believe was Distant Shores II which is a 49 foot Southerly which if it was keel stepped it was close to 70'.
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Old 22-08-2016, 22:53   #14
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

I believe that the air draft of bridges on the western part of the Erie Canal is 15ft. The crane at Wardell's in Tonawanda should be able to handle your mast. Catskill or Castleton on the Hudson, depending on whether you want to do the work or not.
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Old 23-08-2016, 03:40   #15
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Re: Erie Canal with a 70 ft stick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billyruffn View Post
I'm planning a trip to the Great Lakes from Cape Cod and hope to do the Erie Canal westbound. Issue is the mast. I've read posts about DIY instep/step and carrying the mast on deck. Problem is it's 70 ft stick and it weighs in excess of 1000 pounds. The boat is 47ft LOA so the overhangs are big. Unfortunately, I think shipping it is the best option.

Questions for those who've done it: are there yards on the Hudson and at the West end who can handle a mast of that size? Anyone have a recommendation on a trucker?

Thanks for the help.
Did the Erie Canal in my vessel 48ft O/A and 60ft mast on deck. No problems.
Hudson has a few yards and there is a good yard in Oswego on Lake Ontario for re-stepping.
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