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Old 09-02-2013, 10:03   #1
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Thousand Islands for sailors?

Anyone here done much sailing up around the Thousand Islands area near Clayton and Alexandria Bay, NY? I'm curious what it's like for those in cruising sailboats. Are there good anchorages? On the charts it looks like there are lots of unmarked shoal waters.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:03   #2
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Re: Thousand Islands for sailors?

Another question is what are the winds like in the summer?
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:23   #3
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Re: Thousand Islands for sailors?

I've sailed up there a few times. It is a beautiful area. I've sailed mostly on the other side between Ganaoque and Kingston but, have also sailed up the US side.

There are many anchorages and protected coves. On the US side the channel is wide and clearly marked. There are shoals, most of which are marked on the charts and many are marked by private buoys. With the water levels being down a bit, I would expect more rocks and shoals (and thin water around marinas) to be a problem.

The winds in summer are like the rest of the Great Lakes. Good early in the summer and less good late. Iíve sailed in 25+kn in July and calm the next day. Also, seems like thermals give you some wind every day.

I think itís a great place to sail. You need good charts and you need to keep track of where you are, lots of good clear sailing but, also lots of rocks and shoals. Local knowledge is also good so, ask around marinas for the best advice.

Cheers
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:05   #4
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Re: Thousand Islands for sailors?

Kettlewell, I'm not sure I would call it good sailing so much as pretty scenery with some good anchorages. Once cruising through the islands themselves (where most of the good anchorages are), you will find navigation difficult under sail (most islands are quite small and it is easy to mistake one channel for another if you are unable to pause to confirm). In addition, there are a number of tour boats who will have no qualms in pushing you to the outside of a channel and whose wakes can turn an otherwise protected and calm anchorage into a rolly one during daylight hours. Furthermore, the best anchorages tend to be incredibly crowded in July and early August and, as has already been pointed out, the winds tend to be rather light in late July/August and almost invariably out of the west.

It is, however, quite beautiful and there a number of islands on the Canadian side that have been set up as national parks. To avoid the crowds, I spent the second week of September there this past year and had good winds and was able to have some anchorages virtually to myself.

Brad
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:45   #5
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Re: Thousand Islands for sailors?

Greetings,

This is an excellent cruising ground, as long as you are not completely set on sail. However, Motor sailing works very well.

As previously pointed out, there are lots of islands and shoals which are clearly marked on charts. Cruising guide mark the tour boat routes, so they are not a big problem; move safely right to give them room and use your sound signals properly.

I've sail in the 1000 Islands for over 15 years. Going as far A-Bay is not what I call fun due to boat traffic. I prefer Cape Vincent, Kingston, Gananoque, and Clayton. Both side of the river are great. The Canadian parks maintain docks (first come, first serve). Cape Vincent has 48hour free town docking with public rest rooms and showers. South Bay on Carleton Island is a perfect anchorage; quiet, protected (except from the south), not much boat traffic... the shoals slow most boats down.
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Old 14-02-2013, 07:26   #6
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Re: Thousand Islands for sailors?

Do you have to pay a fee to anchor in the Canadian Parks overnight?
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Old 14-02-2013, 21:23   #7
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Re: Thousand Islands for sailors?

Yes, you do have to pay a small a small fee. there are forms and envelopes at each island. the islands also have and eco outhouse, trash dumpsters, and hiking trails. The fee is very reasonable.
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Old 14-02-2013, 21:43   #8
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Re: Thousand Islands for sailors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Do you have to pay a fee to anchor in the Canadian Parks overnight?
Yes, a reasonable fee as mentioned. There is a number of good places to anchor around ... bottom is mostly weed over silt. Many places are marked on activecaptain.com site ... check it out.



I see a lot of sailboats, big sailboats, going by my dock. Heck, one of the neighbors on the island has a 50' sailboat. Come by ... it's pretty out there ...



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Old 14-02-2013, 22:54   #9
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Re: Thousand Islands for sailors?

I've been cruising a lot of places and this is one of the nicest.

Yes, there are plenty of good anchorages. They may be a bit crowded on weekend afternoons, but 80% of the boats clear out by sunset. The town docks can be a real deal.

No, the Canadians don't charge for anchoring. They do charge for using their national parks docks, even with the dinghy.

You will probably motor 75% of the time, due to the narrow channels.

The same ice cream cone which costs $5 on Martha's Vineyard will only be $2.50 in Clayton.

Note the weed--you will get pretty good at clearing it off. This last summer may have been hotter and drier than usual, but the swimming was great.
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Old 14-02-2013, 23:26   #10
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Re: Thousand Islands for sailors?

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Note the weed--you will get pretty good at clearing it off.
Good, long bread knife works very well ... ask me how I know ...

BTW, Parks Canada fees: http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/on/lawren/...s_e.asp?park=8
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