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Old 15-05-2016, 18:40   #1
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Montreal Approach Experience -current?

I'm planning of going down the St Lawrence this summer and would like to stop at Montreal.

We have a heavy 33' cutter with an older 13HP Volvo. Reading about the current leading up to the old city that is starting to sound a dubious proposition.

I would like some local knowledge on how strong this current is and stratifies for getting in with a low power boat.

I would also appreciate alternative anchorages or marinas that have tranlortation to Montreal.

FYI, we are not broke but modest in our means.

Thanks.
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Old 17-05-2016, 07:37   #2
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

No members here who sail these waters are able to answer these questions? Hmmmmmm.
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Old 17-05-2016, 07:41   #3
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

We sailed in about 15 years ago and moored at the old town dock. I seem to remember the current being in the middle, not close to the shore. But it's a long time ago and u need better advice than mine.

What I can tell you is that it's a truly lovely city! Ensure you stop in


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Old 18-05-2016, 06:42   #4
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

Thanks.
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Old 18-05-2016, 07:02   #5
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

There are participants from that area, just bump this post now and then. It's Spring, so people are busy cleaning the yard and preparing the boat for launch, so in that area internet usage has dropped off.
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Old 19-05-2016, 07:21   #6
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

Mntreals old city s great. Here's a website that has the info from about two years ago.
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Old 19-05-2016, 07:31   #7
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

Just caught this thread. We're planning the same route, aiming to leave by mid/late June. We've been warned about the dangers of Montreal and sailboats, especially us heavy full-keelers. We might bypass in favour of more time in Quebec City. Not sure..
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Old 19-05-2016, 08:20   #8
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

Do you speak french?
Sorry to say driving I fuel up on the Ontario side of the border and don't stop until I hit New Brunswick!
Well last time through I did have to stop and let my dog take a big steaming dump....
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Old 19-05-2016, 08:29   #9
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

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Originally Posted by Siberianhusky View Post
Do you speak french?
Sorry to say driving I fuel up on the Ontario side of the border and don't stop until I hit New Brunswick!
Well last time through I did have to stop and let my dog take a big steaming dump....
Oh come on ... French is not needed in Montreal, just an open attitude and a willingness to try and communicate. But the fact is, most Montrealers are bilingual, especially those in the tourism/travel businesses. As long as you don't go in with attitude about which language they aught to be speaking, then you'll have no problems in Montreal, nor most of Quebec.
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Old 19-05-2016, 08:34   #10
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

There are a couple of marinas across the river in Longueuil. You can easily take transit to the downtown (about 20min. if memory serves).

We are heading that way this summer as well.

Last went through in 2000.

You lock through to the port in Quebec City.

Cheers,
JM.
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Old 19-05-2016, 09:10   #11
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

Hi, Welcome to Montreal! The current is an average of 3 kts so you unless you can't get your boat to go up to 5 kts, you shouldn't have any problems. The language situation is a non issue. Half of the population of Montreal is anglophone and the other half is bilingual. If you wander out of the big city, people speak less english but you will be able to get what you need. It's the same if you visit any foreign speaking country, if you stay polite and friendly, people will be helpful but that is the same anywhere you go.

Depending on what date you visit, there are a lot of things to do. Tons of festivals are going on throughout the summer season (Comedy, Jazz, F1, Fireworks competition, Music Fests ect...) Summer is when the city explodes with things to do. After 5 months of winter, we try to get all the fun stuff done in three months :-) There are a couple of marinas to choose from. An interesting one is the one near La Ronde (six flags). It is on Ile St-Helene, which is nice in itself, and you have a Metro (train) station that is one stop away from downtown (Berri-UQAM). From there, you are 4 stops away from most of the interesting things to do. Old Montreal, Ste-Catherine Street, Cressent Street, ect...

The city is very safe and very clean. Weather in summer is nice ranging from 78f -90f. Food is great. The people are friendly.

Note that there are locks you will need to pass depending on from where you are coming from. The process is farily easy but read up on what you need to do. Also, the seaway has cargo ships so keep an eye out for those. Traffic is fairly light on the water compared to some waterways. The marina in the old port is more expensive (2.75 foot) but it puts you right in the middle of tourist attractions. Montreal is pretty affordable. Food prices are the same as in the USA but you get 30% more money because of the exchange rate.

Have fun!

Captain Ryan
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Old 19-05-2016, 09:31   #12
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Oh come on ... French is not needed in Montreal, just an open attitude and a willingness to try and communicate. But the fact is, most Montrealers are bilingual, especially those in the tourism/travel businesses. As long as you don't go in with attitude about which language they aught to be speaking, then you'll have no problems in Montreal, nor most of Quebec.
I do speak french, just not very practiced and the Acadian version. Was my moms first language, her maiden name doesn't get more french Canadian! Grew up in a tri-lingual home. English, French and Polish. I fully admit the Polish is long gone, can pick out the odd word here and there, not enough to understand.
I have absolutely no problem in northern New Brunswick with my mix of bad french and english. That is where my family is from.
Funny thing is I still understand it better than I speak it so I know what is being said about me! Should see the look on some people faces when I let loose with a beautiful string of Acadian French profanity to describe exactly what I think of them!
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Old 19-05-2016, 10:22   #13
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_U View Post
Hi, Welcome to Montreal! The current is an average of 3 kts so you unless you can't get your boat to go up to 5 kts, you shouldn't have any problems. The language situation is a non issue. Half of the population of Montreal is anglophone and the other half is bilingual. If you wander out of the big city, people speak less english but you will be able to get what you need. It's the same if you visit any foreign speaking country, if you stay polite and friendly, people will be helpful but that is the same anywhere you go.

Depending on what date you visit, there are a lot of things to do. Tons of festivals are going on throughout the summer season (Comedy, Jazz, F1, Fireworks competition, Music Fests ect...) Summer is when the city explodes with things to do. After 5 months of winter, we try to get all the fun stuff done in three months :-) There are a couple of marinas to choose from. An interesting one is the one near La Ronde (six flags). It is on Ile St-Helene, which is nice in itself, and you have a Metro (train) station that is one stop away from downtown (Berri-UQAM). From there, you are 4 stops away from most of the interesting things to do. Old Montreal, Ste-Catherine Street, Cressent Street, ect...

The city is very safe and very clean. Weather in summer is nice ranging from 78f -90f. Food is great. The people are friendly.

Note that there are locks you will need to pass depending on from where you are coming from. The process is farily easy but read up on what you need to do. Also, the seaway has cargo ships so keep an eye out for those. Traffic is fairly light on the water compared to some waterways. The marina in the old port is more expensive (2.75 foot) but it puts you right in the middle of tourist attractions. Montreal is pretty affordable. Food prices are the same as in the USA but you get 30% more money because of the exchange rate.

Have fun!

Captain Ryan

Well maybe the average is three knots, but I've definitely seen five knots of current while going under the Jacques Cartier Bridge on approach to the Old Port.

The St. Lawrence is a fabulous cruising ground, but make sure you get a copy of "Canadian Tidal Current Atlas P240" from CHS. Very detailed, graphical location/ direction/ speed of current shown with little arrows on each section of the river. The book has different charts for each hour before/ after slack water, and is invaluable when you get east of Trois Riviere. Important data to have when, for example you know that the flood runs at 6knts. on one side of the bank and only 2knts on the other side!
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Old 20-05-2016, 06:44   #14
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

Question:

When we went down the St.Lawrence in 2000 we had a very good local (in French) guide that had tables and "recipes" (formulas) for determining departure times for passages between certain ports based on tide times and vessel speed.

We got it from another sailor in Kingston who had just come up the river, then gave it away to someone in Charlottetown who was planning to go up .

Anyone know the name of that guide, or similar, and where I could get one.
It was invaluable.

Cheers,
JM.
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Old 20-05-2016, 06:48   #15
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Re: Montreal Approach Experience -current?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Ryan.
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