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Old 19-09-2012, 03:50   #1
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Great loop, bridge and lock costs

Hi everyone, we are Hugh and Brenda Fraser, from Scotland, we are cruising sailors. We have sailed to most places in the world and have completed a world circumnavigation.

This coming year we plan to cruise the great loop. I understand we will have to convert to a motor boat for part of the trip; ie take our mast down.

We are in the Canaries just now, at the end of the Hurricane season we will cross to the Caribbean from the Cape Verdies to Barbados to collect the required VISA, then head for New York by way of the ICW.

Before finally committing ourselves we would like a little more info.

Lock and bridge prices, an overall ball-park figure for these costs for the circuit would be most helpful.

We hope to anchor as much as possible; is this doable?

One more important thing; what is the lowest air draft on the circuit?

About our yacht.
SCOTIA is steel yacht, built by me, and is 12m long by 3.3 beam and 1.8 draft.
Air draft, Mast up 17m
Air draft Mast down 3.5m

All the best Hugh and Brenda.
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Old 19-09-2012, 05:16   #2
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Hugh and Brenda.

The Great Loop / Great Circle Route:
America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association
Cruising the Great Loop – Books and narrated photo tours for boaters

New York State Canal System:
A ten day pass (+39 Ft) costs $50.00
You’ll have to take down & store your mast on deck.
Tolls, Passes and Permits - New York State Canals
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - New York State Canals

Welland Canal:
$25-$30 per lock x 8 locks = $200 - $240 total.
The Welland Canal - Navigation, Locks, Distances, and Passage Information
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Old 19-09-2012, 05:52   #3
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

When you get in the great lakes plenty of places to anchor no charge. Do you have a holding tank? The lakes are no discharge but pump outs are cheap 5 bucks at my port.
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Old 19-09-2012, 07:07   #4
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

We did the rivers from Chicago to Mobile last October.

We draw 5'6" and had issues finding deep draft anchorages. We did find them but they weren't always easy. The main channel is usually 9' deep. The river levels can vary widely depending on rainfall. I can't imagine doing it this summer with the current drought. But hopefully this winter will replenish the rivers.
Having said that, we really loved the trip. There are no charges for locks or bridges anywhere on that stretch. I think the only fee is on the Erie canal as posted above.

If you go west on Lake Erie to Lake Huron, there aren't many good places to anchor near Detroit & Lake St Clair on the US side of the border, and crossing back and forth over the US/Canadian border is a hassle. You might have to stay one night in a marina thru there. You can go from Put-In-Bay on Lake Erie all the way to Lake St Clair and take a slip for one night in St Clair Shores. Also, the lower half of Lake Huron on the Canadian side does not have any good anchorages. You can find anchorages on the US side and then sail across to Canada mid way up the lake. Then into Georgian Bay & the North Channel for some of the best cruising in the world. Do not pass up the North Channel.
You will probably also take a marina for a night in Mackinaw City before entering Lake Michigan. The Michigan side of the lake has anchoring opportunities every 20 to 40 miles.
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Old 19-09-2012, 07:48   #5
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

I'd spend a bit more and take the Trent-Severn canal--its about $5/ft for a 6 day pass.

The maximum air draft is about 19 ft if you chose the right route.
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Old 19-09-2012, 08:07   #6
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

Thank you all for the helpful replies.

I did ask the Great Loop Association for the same info no reply yet. Hence this post.

Yes we have a holding tank.

I will have to study the map to find some of locations mentioned.

Bit concerned about the lack of anchoring places, in some places. Are the marinas expensive?
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Old 19-09-2012, 09:40   #7
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

Hugh, The AGLCA site is a treasure trove of information including a good discussion group from folks that are doing the loop right now. But to access all of this information you need to become a member. I would strongly suggest it since the benefits will far outweigh the costs. There are thousands of places to anchor along the Loop, including a few on the Mississippi River. The water levels are low this year due to the drought and some anchorages have dried up. That information is accessible to AGLCA members. But all of that may change by next year when you make your trip. It could get worse or it could go to flood stages. No one can predict. The marinas along the way will vary in expense. New York has some of the most expensive marinas. On the inland waterways they are fairly inexpensive. But expensive and inexpensive means different things to different people. There are exceptions to the rules everywhere. There are also many, many blogs done by past and current Loopers that are chocked full of information. Our plan is to do the Loop beginning in the Spring of 2013, after the winter in the Bahamas. Have a great trip and stay safe. Chuck
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Old 19-09-2012, 12:08   #8
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Here is a link to a blog from a couple in a power boat that left St. Louis, Mo. about 4 months ago they have anchored out most of the time & are now in Florida.
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Old 19-09-2012, 12:09   #9
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Forgot the link
http://swingsetonthehook.blogspot.com/?m=1
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Old 19-09-2012, 17:35   #10
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

Most of the marinas in Michigan are just over $1.00 per foot, per day for short term dockage. The cheapest you'll find is about $.65 per foot in the southern river system and the high rates run over $3.00 per foot in South Florida & the northeast
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Old 25-09-2012, 08:10   #11
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

Lake Michigan marinas vary in price and are often influenced by being in/at a "tourist destination". The WI side of the lake has virtually nowhere to drop the hook south of Door County. The MI side is the place to travel.

On the Wisconsin side, Door County often runs $2.00 per foot with other ports heading south in the $1.30-$1.40 range. Winthrop Harbor, at the WI/IL border, is an IL State run facility and costs $1 per foot with free pump-out.

Chicago is very expensive. Plan well in advance as transcients slips and fuel is often hard to find.

I suggest you use Active Captain, a web site updated by boaters, for current information on marinas and achorages along your route. https://activecaptain.com/index.php

Good luck & Enjoy!!
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Old 25-09-2012, 09:14   #12
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

Stay in the warmer climates for awhile you don't want to get to great lakes in the winter. Don't forget to take your time and enjoy the Chesapeake bay.
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Old 25-09-2012, 10:25   #13
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctl411 View Post
When you get in the great lakes plenty of places to anchor no charge. Do you have a holding tank? The lakes are no discharge but pump outs are cheap 5 bucks at my port.
That's a deal. Never seen one yet less than 15 bucks, usually they are closer to 20 bucks per tank.
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Old 25-09-2012, 16:43   #14
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Re: Great loop, bridge and lock costs

Really no problem anchoring (or tieing to lock walls) anywhere on the Great Loop. The only time we went in was when we needed a washing machine.
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