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Old 06-07-2011, 04:21   #1
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How to Get a Sailing Yacht to the East coast

Hello everyone,
We are facing the job of getting a 48 ft sailing yacht from lake Michigan to the Atlantic . The first route that comes to my mind is going through the lakes Michigan, - Huron, - Erie and finally -Ontario ( using a parallel waterway in order to avoid the Niagara falls) , then further on across the St. Lawrence to Montreal, Quebec , and so on to Nova Scotia and Halifax.
Does anyone know of a shortcut waterway that would bring us further south on the Atlantic coast, for instance to New York ?And would it require taking down the mast ?
Would appreciate your comments.
best regards.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:30   #2
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Re: How to get a sailing yacht to the East coast

I don't think there is a short cut. There may be?

I did that trip in a 68 footer in 1998 and it was a truly wonderful sail from Muskeogan to Nova Scotia.

Mark
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:57   #3
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Re: How to get a sailing yacht to the East coast

Look up "Erie (Barge) Canal"

The New York State Canal System - Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga Seneca Canals

Mast down. Connects the Great Lakes to the Hudson river (to NYC).
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:07   #4
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Re: How to get a sailing yacht to the East coast

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I don't think there is a short cut. There may be?

I did that trip in a 68 footer in 1998 and it was a truly wonderful sail from Muskeogan to Nova Scotia.

Mark
Thanks for replying , we will think about it.
Ludo.
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:51   #5
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Re: How to get a sailing yacht to the East coast

LeaseonLife has probably given you the best suggestion for a short cut. By using the New York State Canal System you can cut more than 1500 NM from your trip. You can enter the canal system either from Lake Erie at Buffalo, NY or from Lake Ontario at Oswego, NY.

Unless your 48 footer is REALLY unusually rigged the mast will have to come down, but there are yards at either end of the canal set up for just that purpose.

Here is another site that can provide you with a lot of information:
http://http://www.offshoreblue.com/cruising/erie-canal.php

Have a great trip!
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:36   #6
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Re: How to Get a Sailing Yacht to the East coast

Oh, by the way, if you don't go the St Lawrence you won't see the pairs of Beluga whales! They dot the St Lawrence river where it widens out like little marshmellows floating on a hot chocolate (except nothinng is hot there) (and the water ain't choccie either )
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:52   #7
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Re: How to Get a Sailing Yacht to the East coast

You can take the mast down and motor along the erie canal all the way to NYC




I think it's restricted to certain times of the year (no winters) and you need a permit from the ArmyCorps, there's locks, and fixed bridges, and usually a city and dockspace every 30 miles or so (from what I've read). you'd have to check on the depths, but i'm pretty sure a lot of boats have made that trip in recent years.
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Old 27-07-2011, 20:14   #8
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Re: How to Get a Sailing Yacht to the East coast

You can check out my video online on cruising south from the Great Lakes, it's at First Timers Guide to the ICW - Sailing South, First Timer's Guide to the ICW.
You'll have to drop your mast before entering the canal at Tonowanda, then you can raise it again in the Hudson river, which ends at New York. As noted, there are marinas at both ends of the canal that can assist you with the mast.
Depths are 12 feet all the way, no tides until the Hudson, fresh water until then as well. Canal opens in early May, closes in early November - changes each year.
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Old 27-07-2011, 20:38   #9
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Re: How to Get a Sailing Yacht to the East coast

If your boat is shallow draft (<5') you can also consider the Trent Severn Waterway. It would require you to sail up to the end of Georgian Bay to Port Severn and then 240 miles through canals to put you out at the far end of Lake Ontario. You could then cross the lake and join the Oswego Canal as noted above.
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Old 27-07-2011, 21:07   #10
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Re: How to Get a Sailing Yacht to the East coast

There is also a 'long way'... You can move the boat via the Chicago Canal to the inland waterways, do the jig and jogs to the Tom Bigbee and thence the Gulf of Mexico, to Florida and around north via the ICW.

Now would be a good time to start on that trip, lazing along to be in Florida/Bahamas for the Winter, restart the venture northward when it starts to warm up. Assuming you have all the time in the world, of course.
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Old 27-07-2011, 21:19   #11
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Re: How to Get a Sailing Yacht to the East coast

Don't know if this helps. Here is a book by a friend Amazon.com: Sailing Her Home eBook: William Garlinghouse: Kindle Store Made the voyage you want to do in reverse. From the Atlantic to the Great Lakes. Just start reading on the last page and work your way forward
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