You should have NO problem with clearance nor draft
in the Cape Cod Canal.
The Erie Canal - Hudson
River would be easier & faster - even after lowering & re-raising the mast
Cape Cod Canal (CCC):
(from East End/Sandwich, Cape Cod Bay - to Buzzard’s Bay exit)
Use of Cape Cod Canal saves mariners an average of 135 miles
of (somewhat dangerous) coastwise travel while circumnavigating Cape Cod. The Canal is roughly 17.4 miles long, and connects Cape Cod Bay in the north to Buzzards Bay in the south.
The Cape Cod Canal is the world's widest sea-level canal at 480 feet wide and has authorized depth of 32 feet at mean low water
. The swift running Canal current
changes direction every six hours, and can reach a maximum velocity of 5.2 miles per hour
, during the ebb (westerly) tide*. The three bridges that span the Canal were designed to allow for 135 feet of vertical clearance above mean high tide.
* CCC Tide/Current Tables: http://www.maineharbors.com/currents/curcanal.htm
When transiting the CCC in a low-powered sailboat
, you may need to do the passage
WITH the current
(4.5 knots max.). When traveling from east to west, the current being with you it is flowing to the west. Buzzards Bay on a typical summer afternoon is blowing 15 - 25 knots from the southwest. Because this wind
is nearly directly opposing the current, it will set up 3-5 ft standing swells in the canal exit (approximately 1 mile + of abuse). Combine this with multiple fishing
boats playing the rips and a busy commercial
channel, you will have quite an “interesting” passage
. At times your knot
meter may be registering ‘0' knots, and the only reason you are making way is the following current. This will give ‘0' steerage - so have fun! For the not so brave at heart, you can bail out at Onset (to starboard,when heading west) at the daymarker just past the Mass Maritime Academy, and do the final passage in the AM when the winds are typically less.
See the USCG ‘CCC’ webpages: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/recreati/ccc/ccchome.htm