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Old 02-11-2014, 23:18   #1
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AGLCA V's Activecaptain

I'm looking for the best source of the info i need . And the info i need is this , i'm in Toledo,Oh & can have my 24ft sailboat towed by a trusted & experienced tower to Cincinnati,Oh. Where i'd like to set sail & or motor down the Ohio river & either make it through Kentucky & Tennessee , & make it to Mobile Alabama & the gulf . Or if need be the Ohio river to the Mississippi river & to the gulf . And heres the catchy part , i wont be ready to go till late December early January . I don't care about the cold only the ICE if any. The sailboat, 2ft draft , 8ft Air draft with the mast hinged down . A very dependable 9.9 Johnson. Something i heard there is a 250mi gap between gas stops ? Is this true ? If so i also heard, a 9.9 Johnson use's 1gal an Hr at full throttle, at 10mph I would need 25gal minimum ? . So can this be done ? Witch route is best ? & Where to buy , i can only afford one AGLCA ( Looper ) or Activecaptain ? Please i need encouragement not someone telling me i can't live aboard my boat on less then $900.00 a month retirement . I don't smoke,drink & care to eat expensive meals . I don't plan on docking or staying anywhere more then 2-3 days ,thats why they made anchors . Speaking of anchors i've already decided to leave all my life long stuff ( anchors ) for who ever wants them & goodwill .Its been 2 years of making this boat a live aboard & a life long dream to live on it . I've owned this boat since 1995 and sailed off & on many summers on lake Eire .I belong to a sailing club so i do have some experience, all i need is a plan and some guts .Two things are for sure ,1 life sucks when its cold in the winter & 2, i know i'll say what took me so long ! Thanks in advance for you great wisdom & experience sincerely Steve .
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Old 02-11-2014, 23:36   #2
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

There is no cost for Active Captain other than the computer/phone/tablet to view it on. Just go to www.activecaptain.com and it is all there. Can't offer anything regarding the trip down. Good luck with that.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:17   #3
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

If all you need is a review of an anchorage or a marina, activecaptain will be fine. If you need detailed information on the waters you will travel, the lock information and tips and any help you might need from many experienced boaters that are boating along the waterways you need to navigate right now, you won't find a better source than AGLCA. Their discussion board alone will answer every question you have and allow you to get clarification on anything you don't understand. They also have set up fuel and dockage discounts for members at locations along the way, We're heading down the Tombigbee this morning. Have a great trip and stay safe. Chuck
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:07   #4
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

In general, not a big problem with your route or boat. The season I would be much more concerned with.

Cold:
- Make sure you have working heat or you will care about the cold. We did the missippi this time of year (not 2 months from now) south of St. Louis to the Ohio River and without heat, it would be borerline dangerous (think hypothermia).
- You may want to consider using jacklines or other protocols to avoid falling in. At that time of year, you don't have long if you fall in the water.
- Also if you fall behind schedule and the winter is paticulalry cold (like last year), ice could form and they may close the locks down leaving you stranded.

Remember, you won't be traveling at night and most of the marina facilities will be closed for the season. In many places anchoring out is not practical.

Active Captain is free and I would consider it the primary source.

The other big thing you must account for is locking by yourself. While I'm generally against single handing, 24' is pretty small so if you set up the boat for it, locking should be fairly doable.

Given 10miles at 1 gal/hr, range shouldn't be a big issue. If you come down the Ohio, I believe the longest run without fuel stops (assumign you can find open marinas) would be closer to 150 miles south of Demopolis and you are going with the current. A few 5 gal jugs should give you sufficent range.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:06   #5
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

Are you sure 10mph is possible with your engine and boat? I find it hard to believe, but you know your boat.

I would also be concerned with ice. As others have alluded to, you could get going and be ice free, only to get iced in and stuck in some very inconvenient place where it might cost a load of cash to get your boat hauled.

Otherwise I would say go. And, as others have pointed out, it is all about the information you need. I think you could use ActiveCaptain and get all the other pertinent information from the web ahead of time and/or call ahead for other necessary info.

Keep us updated on your travels. And safe travels.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:16   #6
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

The AGLCA is the most authoritative place for information on the Great Loop. Active Captain is good, but AGLCA is where you'll be able to discuss details with folks who have done it (many of them several times). Membership is only $69 for a year. For a trip like this, MORE than well worth it!
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:09   #7
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AGLCA V's Activecaptain

I don't know anything about ice on the Ohio from Cincinnati to Paducah. There isn't any ice once you get to the Tennessee River and south. I would think your biggest problem that time of year would be staying warm and not getting hypothermic. It snowed last year on the Northern Gulf coast, so you aren't out of the woods temperature wise until you are in southern Florida.

I have made the trip from Tenn River Mile 24 from Kentucky Dam down twice and back once to Mobile. Active Captain has all the information you will need as far as anchorages, marinas, lock data, etc. The river system is based on mile markers and Active Captain lists the anchorages, marinas, etc. You will have issues with fog on the river system, depending on the temperature and dew point. A long fuel leg on the TennTom is from Demopolis @ mile 216 to Bobby's Fish Camp at 118 - 102 miles. From Bobby's at 118 there are no fuel stops until you get south of Mobile Ship Channel and on the west side of Mobile Bay at Dog River. From Mile 0 it is still about 15 miles south to Turner Marine - fuel dock next door - so 133 miles from Bobby's to Turner. With your draft, you could cut off some after leaving the main Ship channel in Mobile. You will likely see some current south of Coffeeville lock on the leg to Mobile. If it has been rainy, you could see a lot. I saw about a knot or 1.5 going south last fall, but had 3 knots against me much of the way north until I got past Demopolis in the spring. I still had current, although much less, until I got above Columbus in the spring.

It will be a tough trip and if you can wait until it gets warm, you will enjoy it much more.

I have a Hunter 356 with full cockpit enclosure and a generator and full time water to air heat pump. I run the generator full time when not plugged in at the dock. There were days last spring in March when I left a marina with ice on the dodger. With no enclosure and no heat, I could not have made the trip, so be very careful and respect the temperature.

Plan on losing some time each day to tows at the locks. Depending on traffic, you could have to wait at several locks for tows have priority. Going down last fall, I had delays of 4 hours one day and 2 another day. Coming back up last spring, I had zero delays and most locks I was in just about the time I arrived at the lock. Call ahead about 15 minutes out and a lot of times they will,have the chamber set for you to go right on in. Plan on 20 to 30 minutes per lock if there is no traffic.






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Old 03-11-2014, 08:51   #8
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

If you are already hauling down to Cincinati, maybe consider checking how much more it would be to drop you off further south. If you can get dropped off say in Knoxville, then you can ride the Tennessee River downbound and hopefully stay a little warmer since the river is further south. (still likely won't be warm but better)
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:52   #9
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

The likelihood of your boat being stopped by ice is slim to none.
Although there may be some ice close to the shoreline at places.

Prevailing S, SW(COLD) winds, staying warm enough, barges, and locks will be very challenging at times.
A good wool balaclava will be a god send for the in your face cold wind you will have.

You should plan on motoring at least %75 of the time if not more.
But as your aware the current is in your favor.

Plenty of places within walking distance to get fuel/food/supplies.
Delorme Atlas Gazetteer's can be very useful for this. As well for keeping track of your exact location.

I hope you have time to explore some of the many small creeks, rivers,
etc. that feed into the Ohio, Mississippi, etc..

I have canoed many of the small streams, creeks, and rivers that dump
into the Ohio from Tell City down to the Mississippi. And sections of the
Ohio too. Although I don't consider the Ohio that great for canoeing.

Enjoy your journey ...
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:26   #10
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

I hope you guys are right about ice; I was basing my comments on the Illinois. I don't know much about the Ohio, but the Illinois, which I live on, was iced over in late January and February last year. Commercial traffic stopped for a couple days, and recreational traffic - what little there was of it - was not out on the river for several weeks longer than the commercial guys both because of the dangers and because they were frozen in to the marinas. Granted, last year was exceptional. I guess southern Ohio is really that much warmer than central IL.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:50   #11
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

I think once in the 70's the Ohio froze completely over at Cincy. But it doesn't happen often obviously.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:09   #12
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helbent View Post
I hope you guys are right about ice; I was basing my comments on the Illinois. I don't know much about the Ohio, but the Illinois, which I live on, was iced over in late January and February last year. Commercial traffic stopped for a couple days, and recreational traffic - what little there was of it - was not out on the river for several weeks longer than the commercial guys both because of the dangers and because they were frozen in to the marinas. Granted, last year was exceptional. I guess southern Ohio is really that much warmer than central IL.
While it isn't common, last year they shut down a ferry a little ways up river from Paduca due to ice flows.

The river wasn't completely frozen over but if the ice flows were big enough that a steel hulled ferry was at risk, I'm not going out there in a fiberglass boat.

Again, seriously consider moving your schedule up or trailering further south. If you were talking about a big trawler with a heated pilot house and 2-3 crew, I might think otherwise but a small open cockpit 22' sailboat doesn't sound like a good idea at that time of year.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:17   #13
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

Knoxville, or Chattanooga, is definitely worth a look though.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:16   #14
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

I don't know squat about the river or ice, but plan on no more than 50 miles a day (nautical ones) even with current you have a short hull length, I wouldn't run the motor more than half throttle, above that it's stressed pretty hard, fuel consumption goes way up and speed increase is usually small.
Cold is a killer, literally, hot drinks are a luxury and a Gods send in cold,
Apparently cost is an issue so look into military (Extreme Cold Weather System) it a layered approach to clothing, and even the sleeping bags is actually three bags that go one into the other depending on temperature and moisture. This link is not a place to buy, it's just to explain what I'm talking about, place to buy is of course local military surplus or Ebay etc. You can get the surplus stuff for pennies on the dollar and it's good stuff.
ECWCS (Extended Cold Weather Clothing System), Generation III NSN's - ArmyProperty.com
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:36   #15
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Re: AGLCA V's Activecaptain

Having sailed out of WI in early December, with snow and ice on the deck .... I'm in total agreement with valhala's suggestion. Have it trucked a bit further south. Won't cost that much more and the concerns with cold weather will be further reduced.

Enjoy your trip and adventure!
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