I'm very interested in a couple of boats on the Great Lakes
, and potentially looking to go down through the navigation
from the Chicago area down to Alabama
As there will be a lot of motoring involved, I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to make sure everything is right with the boat, and especially the engine
, before servicing everything up just prior to reaching salt water
Be nice to have the mast
dropped to do some maintenance
and thoroughly check the rigging
, etc., while en route too.
The biggest issue might be having an imposed deadline to clear the USA and get into international waters? This side of the Pond there's an 18 month deadline for exiting EU waters for foreign visitors, and if there is similar USA side, it will be way more than I need.
In fact I am wondering whether if I restrict my potential purchase
to a Canadian registered boat (which unfortunately cuts down choice dramatically), and then transfer registration
to the Red Ensign before heading South, it would actually make things a lot easier for travelling the inland waterways? I say that because buying
a boat in USA with USA State registration
looks to have no choice but to get offshore
within 30 days (some places) or 90 days (other places)?
It would also of course be a wonderful opportunity to see some of the inland beauty of America while headed South, as well of course, to sample some of the wonderful non-fast food
cuisine I have heard so much about. A not insignificant additional advantage as well of course, would be the availability of free charts
to download (paper copies you pay for, and I might buy some anyway as great memento's of the trip, that I can frame and give to family
members) for the waterways, produced by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The more I think about it, the more appealing it becomes. So the important info would include the best early in the year month to cast off from the Great Lakes, and the likely duration of a trip if 'not hanging about' due to a deadline to get offshore
(I really would like some useful time leeway for sensible servicing and any essential repairs
before heading into the Gulf).
Many thanks in advance for anything useful to consider (and also thanks for info already posted in this thread).
PS. Something potentially useful I am considering, is getting a pre-pay 'Credit' Card, to maybe make purchasing
(boat, supplies, paying any fees
, etc) a lot easier. I am obviously not sure how popular or useful these might be in the USA, Canada
, and elsewhere? I chopped up the last of my Credit Cards some 20+ years ago, and pretty much use cash since. Anybody here use them with success? I suppose this might be a good question to ask in a sub forum.