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Old 06-04-2016, 13:11   #16
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Re: Mast shipping Erie Canal: Albany to Oswego

First, re: Castleton. Good information. My transit was 15 years ago, so my info may be out of date. My mast was also 60 ft. Not sure I'd want to tackle that alone, but if you do it - "good on yer mate" as my Aussie buddies say. The dimensions quoted seem adequate for the Castleton crane, especially with a deck-stepped mast. I'm sure you can advise him better than I.

With respect to worries about hitting the ends of the mast - I do have some experience with that.

Under normal circumstances, you should have no problem with that, if you conn the boat correctly. Brushing up on your docking alongside maneuvers would be a good idea (prop walk in forward and reverse, and all that). Due to circumstances too long to go into here, we broke off the wall in one lock and mildly damaged both ends of the mast. Nothing that couldn't be fixed - but a nuisance. So, I would advise you as follows:

1) Dismount everything from the top and bottom of the mast that you don't want to replace. This would include lights, anemometer, windex, antennae, and ALL THEIR BRACKETS AND PLUGS. The most expensive and time-consuming repair I had to do was to re-thread the anemometer cable when the plug end was sheared off. That was done from the top of the mast and was no fun. (Also, the plug was integral to the cable, so I had to by the whole thing for $250, even though it was just the plug that got whacked). Check yours.

2) If I were going again, I'd find some nice pieces of carpeting, and secure them around each end of the mast overhanging. If you do bump someone or something, at least it will protect the paint or the metal (depending on your velocity), and possibly not damage another boat.

3) When I did the Erie, there were two kinds of securing aids in the locks. The lion's share were lines that hung down along each side of the lock wall. The techniques for using these is to motor into the lock, listen for any specific instructions from the lock tender, and then position your boat between the lines, one at the bow, the other at the stern. Fend off amidships as the boat lowers down the wall. The lines are slimy from hanging in the water, so your line handlers will want to wear gloves they don't mind getting dirty. Your fender covers will also get dirty, and your fenders galled-up if you don't use fender covers. I made up some "disposable" fender covers for the trip which worked fine. Some people advocate taking tires or hay bales, I think that is overkill for the Erie, especially on a boat your size.

4) The other kind, and we only saw these at Lockport, although they may be more prevalent now, are fixed aircraft cables running vertically up the lock wall sides. To use these, motor to a cable and position the boat with the cable amidships. Take a line around the cable and secure it to your amidships deck cleat, then ride the cable down, fending off the boat at the bow and stern. Be careful to evaluate the type of system when you enter the lock. The cables are spaced out at a greater distance than the lines to allow for the positioning the boats at the cables. You may be locking through with multiple boats.

If you do these things and take your time, you should have no issues - especially heading downbound. It's substantially easier on the boat and crew going down in a lock - much less turbulence.

Good luck.
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Old 06-04-2016, 14:31   #17
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Talking Re: Mast shipping Erie Canal: Albany to Oswego

This may not matter much but I single handed my 34Catalina from Florida including through the Erie canal to Oswego with a 72 year old salt following me single handing a 38 ft ferro cement boat. We helped each other build a cradle and unstep our masts at Castleton. I had done it before but this was his first time. He was an inspiration!
Take along a saw, screw gun and plenty of 4 inch screws. Build your own cradle and save thousands. You will see lots of other boats doing the same. I lashed a 2 x 4 to the leading edge of the mast allowing 3 feet forward so in case the boat swings in the lock (it will) the wood took the punishment rather than the mast. Enter slowly. The lock masters are all really helpful and in no hurry. You will really enjoy the trip.
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Old 06-04-2016, 14:39   #18
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Re: Mast shipping Erie Canal: Albany to Oswego

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Call me silly, but I believe the Canal runs East and West.
But ye can't get to Canada running East!
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Old 06-04-2016, 14:42   #19
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Re: Mast shipping Erie Canal: Albany to Oswego

Thanks for hints on protecting mast ends.
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Old 06-04-2016, 14:45   #20
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Re: Mast shipping Erie Canal: Albany to Oswego

Castleton on Hudson is $50 per mast,diy. Its a nice crane with the up/down control on a long lead so you can work it from on deck.
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Old 06-04-2016, 17:35   #21
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Re: Mast shipping Erie Canal: Albany to Oswego

Highly recommend Hop-O_Nose marina in Catskill, NY. Their mast services are exceptional! also great place to stop over on the way up or down the Hudson. Great facilities & fantastic restaurant everything moderately priced-friendly staff always helpful.
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Old 06-04-2016, 20:47   #22
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Re: Mast shipping Erie Canal: Albany to Oswego

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But ye can't get to Canada running East!
Well I can't argue that point. And who wouldn't want to go to Canada.
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Old 07-04-2016, 06:16   #23
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Re: Mast shipping Erie Canal: Albany to Oswego

We transited from Tonawanda NY to the Hudson 3 years ago.
At both ends there is lots of scrap lumber but we wanted to be ready to go at each end so we made our stands in advance.
We prefabricated 3 mast stands to support the mast on deck using 2x6 lumber.
Each stand used 3 upright pieces configured into an H, with the center piece about 6" shorter than the outer pieces to cradle the mast. We then attached a piece of scrap 2x6 on the base.
We then had some scrap carpet to protect the deck under the stands.

These stands are easy to stow and go, either on deck or below.

Suggest using eye bolts at the top of each stand to stablize and hold in place when in use. Also suggest having a supply of deck (patio) screws on board with cordless drill.

Castleton had a mast crane but the club was holding an event and we couldn't access it so we went down river to Catskill. They were very accomodating and had decent facilities.
Also agree that I wouldn't want to cross Lake Oneida in a blow.
One more point... wait until the spring run off is done so you don't encounter debris in the system

Great trip enjoy and good luck.
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Old 14-04-2016, 22:34   #24
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Re: Mast shipping Erie Canal: Albany to Oswego

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We intend to transit the Erie Canal this summer.

I'm considering having the mast shipped Northbound.

Any recommendations, war stories, warnings?

In particular any good recommendations for a particular shipper? And advice on receiving the mast in Oswego.
Built my own trestle from bits & bobs lying in Oswego Yard.
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Old 14-04-2016, 22:39   #25
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Re: Mast shipping Erie Canal: Albany to Oswego

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Built my own trestle from bits & bobs lying in Oswego Yard.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/izzard33/891689750/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/izzard...n/photostream/
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