Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-08-2010, 05:27   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: based in the UK, heading for the South Atlantic
Boat: Victoria 38 (known as Morris 38 in US)
Posts: 30
Great Lakes - Advice, Please

I'm a UK sailor looking to get to the Pacific. The usual route from here is south, then west to Panama. But I'm looking for something more interesting.

I've crossed the North Atlantic before and have cruised NS and Newfoundland, so I'm somewhat familiar with those places.

So my plan is to sail UK to NF, into the St Lawrence, and then work my way westwards through the Great Lakes till the water runs out, then truck across to the Pacific in the Vancouver area, which I know slightly. Then the Pacific is mine.

Questions (and apologies for my ignorance)

The good and bad points of such a plan?
Where would you aim for at the western end?
How long would you allow to sail from Quebec to that point if you wanted to make steady but not racing progress?
How long is the sailing season in these parts, and is progress possible in the winter?
And good books to recommend on this kind of passage?

That's a lot to ask! Thanks for reading so far,

SY Wild Song
__________________

__________________
oldvarnish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2010, 06:02   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,583
Images: 240
Having sailed over 1,600 nm (3,000 km) from Halifax to Thunder Bay, you’ll then have to truck the boat another 1,600 nm (±3,100 km) to Vancouver. This includes crossing the Rockie Mountains.
That’s a lot to accomplish.
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2010, 06:06   #3
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Endeavour 42CC
Posts: 1,182
Sounds like a good plan.

I think it would be easier to truck to Seattle to avoid crossing the border, just complicates things.

There are several large yards on the Wisconsin & Illinois coast of Lake Michigan. Maybe Duluth, Mn at the west end of Lake Superior too.

The season is, at best, April to October. But those 2 months can be very spotty. I would plan on May to September. Even less on Superior.

Very roughly, you could plan on a week to cross Lake Ontario, a week to cross Lake Erie, a week to move up Lake Huron and a week to move down Lake Michigan. These would be at a very easy pace, no overnight sails, avoiding all weather. Of course you can sail overnight and make much better time. This does not account for the time you will want to linger, especially in the 1000 Islands of east Lake Ontario and the North Channel of Lake Huron.
Going upbound on the Welland canal between Ontario & Erie requires 3 crew on the boat. Extra crew can be arranged locally.

There are some long stretches where anchorages are minimal. You will need to stop in marinas in those areas.

There are a lot of 'cowboys' in the boat moving business. Do your homework and schedule a very well recommended trucker.

Enjoy the trip, it will be a good one.
__________________
gettinthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2010, 06:18   #4
Registered User
 
Thorin's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Landlocked for now in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Boat: Home building project just starting.
Posts: 76
How long is your boat and how do you plan to haul it? It's just over 3200 km from Thunder Bay to Vancouver. The rocky mountains are awesome, but you risk losing your mind driving across the prairies. From Winnipeg to Leithbridge there is nothing. And you can losses your boat easily if your not accustomed to mountain driving once you hit B.C. Brakes over heat and fail. I would want a professional to tow anything over 18 feet just for liability. Plus we drive on the wrong side of the road! An Aussie friend of mine nearly kills himself twice a day because of that one.

Honestly it could be a great trip. But think of the longest drive you have done anywhere in Europe and divide 3200 by it. A girl from Scotland once told me you guys (canadians) think 100 years is a long time. We (Scots) think 100 km is a long way. At the time she couldn't believe I was driving 100 km just to get to work every morning.
__________________
Thorin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2010, 06:51   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,949
Heading up the St. Lawrence River isn't the best plan--you'll be fighting an awesome current. Better to go up the Hudson River and through the canals to the Great Lakes. You'll have to take your mast down to do it, but it is a fun canal trip with free tie ups in many towns. I'll second the thought that you don't want to be on the water in the Great Lakes past October at the latest. Winter comes in early up on Lake Superior.
__________________
Kettlewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2010, 17:37   #6
Registered User
 
matauwhi's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Boat: Mason 53
Posts: 652
G'day, Mate. Gettinthere and Kettlewell have given you good input. Based on my experience cruising & delivering boats on the Great Lakes and respect for its seas, I would look to getting your good ship out of the water by the end of October. Its really mox/nix on what port you choose to haul & truck from. Lake Superior will generally have colder sailing conditions than Lake Michigan. A Catalina dealer mate of my would routinely truck boats in from southern California to Waukegan, IL (about 30 miles north of Chicago). I don't think you would have to much trouble getting a backhaul from Waukegan to Seattle. All the best. Cheers
__________________
matauwhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2010, 19:23   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Boat: Privilege 482
Posts: 363
I know you mentioned Vancouver, but if you're heart isn't set on it, and the goal is primarily to splash in the Pacific here's an option. You could get to Lake Michigan, head south from Chicago either down the Mississippi or the Ten-Tom waterway and then have the boat trucked from Mobile AL or New Orleans over to the north end of the Sea of Cortez.

Of course, once you're in the gulf you could also just continue sailing to Panama.....
__________________
teneicm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2010, 20:45   #8
Registered User
 
Thorin's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Landlocked for now in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Boat: Home building project just starting.
Posts: 76
I know lake Winnipeg connects to what becomes the Mississippi through the red river and that's only a "short drive" from thunderbay. Is it possible to sail it? I like the sea of Cortez idea and you could see so much more while sailing your boat! Now old varnish your boat has a 5'6" draft and will sit deeper in fresh water. Can it be done?
__________________
Thorin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-08-2010, 06:49   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,583
Images: 240
No, you cannot sail from the Western extremity of Lake Superior (Duluth or Thunder Bay) neither West nor South (Mississippi/Red Rivers, Lake Winnipeg, Saskatchewan River etc.).
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 06:03   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 9
Two things quickly:
(1) You/we can sail through October in some of the Great Lakes. We do here on Lake Michigan
(2) Some people (I met a Brit this summer who was doing this) sail to Chicago, then arrange to get their boat on a barge that takes it south, some of the route on the Mississippi. If your draft is OK, you can do this also, but grab the Tennessee Tombigbee (canal/river) and take that south to The Gulf.

Dixon in Michigan
__________________
dharvard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 07:45   #11
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,583
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorin View Post
I know lake Winnipeg connects to what becomes the Mississippi through the red river ...
You're thinking of the wrong Red River.

The Red River originates at the confluence of the Bois de Sioux and Otter Tail rivers in the United States, then flows northward through the Red River Valley continuing into Manitoba, Canada. It empties into Lake Winnipeg, whose waters join the Nelson River and ultimately flows into the Hudson Bay, which is part of the Arctic Ocean.

In the US, the Red River is sometimes called the Red River of the North, to distinguish it from the Red River that is a tributary of the Mississippi River, which forms part of the border between Texas and Oklahoma.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2010, 07:15   #12
Registered User
 
Kalinka1's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Toronto
Boat: Heritage 35
Posts: 301
Sounds like a nice trip. Having done the St Lawrence both ways It really is not a problem coming upstream. A very good book is The St Lawrence river Atas. It has all the tides and currents listed and diagramed From East of the Saguney River West to Trois Riviere drwn to scale so you can tell where you are on the chart and how fast your moving. We travelled against the ebb at 10 knots from Taddousac to Ile Coudrou. Atlas about $50.00 Cdn. Oct here like NF in Aug. some nice days and some not so nice but tha's sailing.
__________________
Kalinka1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2011, 13:57   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 65
Re: Great Lakes - Advice, Please

Hello,

Have you considered the Erie Canal to take you into the Great Lakes.
This would mean sailing NF, NS in Canada and then New England in the US.
It is all very nice sailing, pretty and currents arent a factor as they are on the St Lawrence River...it is also a lot warmer. However, it would be a longer trip.

You will have to take the mast(s) down on the Hudson River but you can do it yourself at a few marinas for only 50 odd dollars (same again at the other end of the Erie Canal).

Don
__________________

__________________
marlinespike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
great lakes

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello from the Great Lakes Badkyd Meets & Greets 7 27-04-2010 22:48
Great Lakes to FL Crystalbleu Great Lakes 11 03-03-2010 12:30
Best of Great Lakes? freetime Great Lakes 59 27-07-2008 14:42
Hello from the Great Lakes slow shoes Meets & Greets 4 23-10-2006 14:57
Great lakes irwinsailor Great Lakes 2 08-03-2003 23:56



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.