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Old 13-05-2014, 09:48   #1
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St. Clair River Transit Time

How long will it take to motor up the St. Clair River from south to north? 40 foot Jeanneau sailboat, 54 H.P. Yanmar.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 15-05-2014, 20:00   #2
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Re: St. Clair River transit time

Scottyo, I've done this trip many times. In our previous boat, a Tartan 3800 with about 40 hp, it took about 7 1/2 hours to reach Sarnia or Port Huron from the time I left Lake St. Clair and entered the channel leading to the St. Clair River. With our current Tartan 4400 with 75 hp, it takes about 6 hours. In about 20 trips, I've never been willing to sail a significant distance upriver because of fluky river winds. Maybe next time the wind will be perfect. Motor sailing is ideal if the wind is right because it reduces the rolling caused by the frequent large power boat wakes. Mike
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Old 16-05-2014, 03:39   #3
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Re: St. Clair River transit time

Thanks Mike
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Old 16-05-2014, 06:10   #4
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Re: St. Clair River transit time

Scottyo...Mike has it right for the transit time. Be sure to keep an active eye out for floating hazards (logs and debris), swimmers, lake freighters, folks on inner tubes, ferries and those pesky power boaters. There is one spot in the middle of the river where it is barely 2 feet deep. You may see boaters anchored there and swimmers paddling around.
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Old 16-05-2014, 20:56   #5
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Re: St. Clair River transit time

A lot depends on how fast you motor.

Figure on going 1 to 1.5kts slower on average but under the blue water bridge, expect to open her up full throttle and crawl ahead. We found hugging the Canadian side was best to avoid the current but for about a 1/2 mile, we were doing 1.5kts over ground at full throttle.

If you are concerned about making it in a single day, the city of St. Clair has a nice marina you can pull into to split the trip in half.
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Old 19-05-2014, 09:49   #6
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Re: St. Clair River transit time

Which reminds me that there are Offshore Powerboat Races on July 25, 26 and 27 in the St. Clair River off the city of St. Clair and the Coast Guard periodically closes the river to pleasure boats during practice and race heats. Check Local Notices to Mariners.
Mike
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Old 20-05-2014, 07:29   #7
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Re: St. Clair River transit time

Thanks much for the info. Putting together our float plan to head up to the North Channel starting August 10th and the Admiral doesn't like departing at the crack of dawn, nor arriving at strange harbors after dark. And if the Admiral's not happy, nobody's happy
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:06   #8
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Re: St. Clair River transit time

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgallinger View Post
Scottyo...Mike has it right for the transit time. Be sure to keep an active eye out for floating hazards (logs and debris), swimmers, lake freighters, folks on inner tubes, ferries and those pesky power boaters. There is one spot in the middle of the river where it is barely 2 feet deep. You may see boaters anchored there and swimmers paddling around.
I would deduct 1.25 knots from your normal cruising speed; under the Bluewater Bridge the current can be as high as 4 to 6 knots; keep to the Canadian shore for less current. At Stag Island keep west and use the main channel and keep to the West side if possible; it is extremely shallow far out from the southern tip of the island where there is a large marker. Fuel is available on the US side along the river if you need it and transient moorings are available at Sarnia Marina and full services are available at Bridgeview marina. On the US side there may be transient docks on the Black River in Port Huron, best to radio ahead. Fuel up on the US side before heading North if you are going the Canadian side as diesel is much cheaper in the US. In Canada it runs about 5.80 to 5.90/US gallon (about 1.50-1.55/litre)
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