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Old 30-06-2008, 06:41   #1
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lower Detroit River

Suggestions on what channel to take in the lower river. The Livingston channel looks a bit tight if you were to get passed by a freighter. Am I being overly cautious?
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Old 30-06-2008, 09:32   #2
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hello, I could not begin to tell you witch way to go but hopefully this would help others with your question.
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Old 30-06-2008, 10:43   #3
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Gettinthere :

Are you asking about coming up river (to Lake St Clair) or down river (from Lake St Clair to Lake Erie) ?

I've been making that trip for too many years !!
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:15   #4
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Like Paul said, up or down? The LC is a downbound channel. It's a little tight but not bad when next to a freighter.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:03   #5
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Both ways. I'll be heading down to Lake Erie and then returning to Lake St Clair.

I'm familiar with the direction of each channel & have run them in a small power boat. But that ran at 35k and could easily outrun any freighter coming from behind. At 5 or 6k, I'll easily be overtaken by freighters.

Maybe I should put up my sails so I have right of way!!!
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:35   #6
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Gettinthere :

OK..here's what to do...

First of all, keep in mind you have a current running that's between 2-3 knots right along side Amhurstburg...yes, the current in the rest of the river is not quite that fast, but right there it narrows a bit & so the water moves a bit faster...

Anyway, when you're heading down-bound just follow the Livingston channel (we call it "the tube") out to Lake Erie like the freighters do. I've been passed by freighters in there many times & you'll have no problem.

Having said that, be sure to look ahead of your boat & behind your boat to see what sort of traffic there is (or isn't) coming into the channel as you're about to enter.

Hopefully seeing that you will have a clear shot through "the tube" will put your mind at ease...or if not, you'll have time to get out of the way in the unlikely event you may have an up-bound & down-bound freighter at the same time...that's never happenned to us & we've been running the river for many years.

The fact that you'll be assisted by the current, will have most sailboats moving close to 8-9 knots over ground...so even if you have a freighter off in the distance, you should be just fine to go though without them overtaking you.

Up-bound is a different situation (also due to the current) & so the thing to do is to keep close to Amhurstburg & NOT go through "the tube" so that you can stay out of the way of the faster boat traffic & freighters.

Once you're past Amhurstburg, I reccommend you stay to the American side to proceed up-river as it's a much wider channel & quite well marked.

In both up-bound & down-bound situations, I'd also strongly advise that you be sure to travel in daylight...as there's often "stuff" in the river (logs, tires, bodies, etc...) that are also making the trip out to Lake Erie, & so it's always a good idea to be able to see "things" to avoid hitting them & having a costly repair...or damaging the evidence.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:09   #7
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Using the Livingston & Amherstberg channels was uneventful.
Passed by one freighter in the Livingston, plenty of room. On the way back north we never saw one freighter on the move on the river; July 8.

Thanks all.
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