I'm replying to my own post with the experience under my belt.
We ended up buying
the boat in Port Clinton,OH. It's a 1987 Morgan
41 classic that had been on the hard
for 3 years. We worked on it for 3 weeks after putting it in the water
and stepping the mast
. We then sailed it up Lake Erie to Buffalo and are now 208 miles into the Erie Canal. There is no way in hell we could have made the journey up Lake Erie with the mast
in a cradle
on the deck
, during this time of year anyway. The wind
blew out of the south or west everyday and the waves were so steep with such a short period that it felt like we were in a washing
machine. The boat doesn't have time to recover from each wave so it rolls and pitches horribly.
We crossed Lake Oneida today in relatively calm conditions (winds w 10 kts, 1-2' waves) and a Canadian boat crossing in front of us almost lost
there mast when it shifted and part of the cradle
collapsed. They had to scramble to lash it down to keep it from going over.
People we met in Port Clinton said Lake Erie would be the toughest part of our journey and I think they were right.
Anyway, we made it and are on our way to the Bahamas
If anyone wants to follow our trip our blog is Shambala Sails