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Old 11-01-2007, 19:38   #16
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Have to agree with Jon D , there 'aint nothin' like waterline length.

From someone building a forty foot cat................but on fifty foot hulls

Dave
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Old 11-01-2007, 19:48   #17
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A guy brought a O'Day 27 from California through the canal to Galveston. He made it fine sailing by himself but the boat was in rough shape when he arrived. I didn't board her but his asking price was 1/3 market for O' Days. Don't get me wrong O'Day makes a good boat, they are just not designed for open voyaging. I could not begin to see myself and my wife on my 27 foot boat for a week much less a month.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:12   #18
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We have friends that have done that trip on 29 foot light displacement boat. They had fun and are planning on going again this year. Great Lakes out the Welland to NY down the coast, over to the Bahamas, round Florida, and back up the Miss. to the Great Lakes. Nothing wrong with the boat for that.

If you are going further it's tough to beat weight and waterline.
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Old 02-02-2007, 13:07   #19
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My wife and I have talked about going from Lake Erie to Florida via the Erie canal etc. How long would it take to get there? I would want to leave early enough to avoid the cold weather north but not be in Florida before the hurricane season is over.
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Old 02-02-2007, 15:52   #20
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Originally Posted by beginner
My wife and I have talked about going from Lake Erie to Florida via the Erie canal etc. How long would it take to get there? I would want to leave early enough to avoid the cold weather north but not be in Florida before the hurricane season is over.
What size and kind of boat.. a 30 will take a lot longer than a 50 to do the trip...also it would help if you gave us a feel for your/wife's experience level, overnight passages off shore etc...what do you consider acceptable to do.

For example my wife and I can do a 350 mile trip in less than 48 hrs sailing non stop -- don't think anything twice about doing that.. would you?
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Old 02-02-2007, 19:12   #21
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Jon brings up the critical points. Distance wise it's not a short trip. Even maximizing the inland sections you still have to do at least one off shore route to Cape May, NJ. The intercoastal waterway after that while protected is a lot slower since you can not travel after dark once you hit the waterway in Portsmouth, VA. Your speed and experience figure into the the trip greatly. It's not that you can not complete the trip but it is always a bit of planning no matter how you approach the trip.
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Old 02-02-2007, 19:25   #22
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

Aye yam a Shellback, too. WestPac, USS Kitty Hawk, near Singapore 1977.

Mate, if I were you, I'd consider enjoying the next three years with your O'day on the lake... and then sell her there (bigger market) and buy your next boat when you get to Florida (bigger selection).

Carry on,

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Old 02-02-2007, 21:12   #23
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Thanks for the feedback on my question regarding the Lake Erie to Florida trip. To give you some idea of our experience or more precisely, lack of experience, we've been sailing a Precision 27 in an inland lake for 2 summers. We intend to replace it this spring with about a 35' to 37' and sail Lake Erie this summer,weekends and vacations as much as possible. Given that limited amount of experience, would it be feasible for us to make that trip, or is it over our heads?
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Old 02-02-2007, 22:11   #24
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Over your heads? No. I see a lot of people with boats over 30 feet. If you can handle a smaller boat, you may find it better.

Mainly, everything is not as big and heavy. From everything from anchor to sails to docking ect.... Of course the space is less as well.
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Old 03-02-2007, 04:58   #25
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Given that limited amount of experience, would it be feasible for us to make that trip, or is it over our heads?
If you can master the great lakes you are as well equipped to take on an ocean passage. The great lakes are no less difficult than anything you might choose to handle. The Erie canal requires you to step your mast (low bridges). The unrigging and re rigging is something you can get help with. Then's it's down the Hudson and down the offshore New Jersey coast. From there up the Deleware River, take a left down the Chesapeake and Deleware canal. Then 250 miles south down the Chesapeake Bay to Portsmouth, VA. From there begins the ICW all the way to the Florida Keys. You won't be sailing much if any down the ICW and never at night.

You have to do a lot of planning, you have to learn to pick your weather windows, you have to learn to sail the boat (it's new to you), and you have to deal with weather conditions not of your choosing. The later may be the hardest unless you have been forced to sail in less than ideal weather before.

Perhaps in the past you just didn't go out when it didn't look right. You still might stay put fromtime to time too. Staying is often the better plan. You already may be out and suddenly it's not looking so great and you can't just pull over. Just a little bit more wind and a little increase in waves is what I'm taking about. Suddenly this is more than you ever had to deal with before. Building experience with the new boat is what it takes.

A full season on Lake Erie should give you a good idea. The Great Lakes are not just another inland lake. They represent serious waters! Planning and practice are the difference in being able to take on such a trip. Lots of homework and lots of things to practice over and over again. So long as you don't attempt to make it a race you could do this. It is supposed to be fun! I would go out of my way to have lots of fun along the way and not worry about "getting there" because you'll already be there. There is a lot to see along the trip.
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:41   #26
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It really couldn't be said any better than how Paul puts it above. Just wanted to add that making a coastal trip like that (down to FL) is not going to be any different than making a trip up to say... the tip of Michigan. You could construct your trip as a series of normal "day trips" that end in different ports. You know... sleep at night, sail during the day, etc...

I would also agree that knowing how to handle your boat in the Great Lakes will have you prepared for everything except the motoring... ha ha ha I prefer sailing to motoring. I was bored to tears in the Erie Canal. The first 2 locks are fun but then...

Anyway, if you get a chance while in the Great Lakes still, learn to tune your own rig. That way, you can re-step it yourself at Casleton Boat Club on the Hudson River, rather than paying a yard to do it. They have a manual crane you can use to put the mast back in place for a very nominal fee. Also, when entering the canal, just before the first bridge you can't clear, there is a marina to port with decent prices. A bit of a working marina, but they won't rake you too hard un-stepping the mast for the trip. The owner restores old outboards... very nice guy.
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:12   #27
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Finally found my Shellback card!!! 16 February 1980, USS Long Beach, Longitude 105 30 East. Pretty close to Singapore?
Better keep it handy just in case someone mistakingly calls me a "Slimey Wog."
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Old 03-02-2007, 13:14   #28
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I was bored to tears in the Erie Canal. The first 2 locks are fun but then...

Anyway, if you get a chance while in the Great Lakes still, learn to tune your own rig. That way, you can re-step it yourself at Casleton Boat Club on the Hudson River, rather than paying a yard to do it. They have a manual crane you can use to put the mast back in place for a very nominal fee.
Sean,

I agree that the canals are a bit boring, but I found the Hudson, with all its history, to be pretty fascinating. It was helpful for me to have books along to assist with interpreting the landscapes and cultural history along the way.

Last time I was through, two years ago, the cost of using the crane at the Castleton Boat Club was $2/ft (mast height). It was a real bargain compared with having a marina step the mast. The cruisers you find at Castleton are experienced do-it-yourselfers who aren't looking for all the amenities. Because of that, it can be a great place for the not-so-experienced because there's plenty of experience to draw from. (People, in general, love to help out when they can.) The Castleton Boat Club also has a graveyard of old mast supports lying around out back. If it's not bundled with a name on it, it's free for the taking.
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Old 03-02-2007, 13:38   #29
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That's right, Kevin. I forgot about that. There are usually enough mast supports (to cradle your mast on deck while motoring) on each side of the canal. You can find lots of scraps of them around to use. Cheapskates we are, we just rounded up scrap and I slapped a couple supports together.

I also enjoyed the Hudson. It was interesting to see so many places as you went down. My wife has a lot of history in places along the Hudson, and pointed out the sights, including NYMA, a millitary school she was sent to. ha ha ha Donald Trump went there as well.

The thing with the Hudson is, you should stop at all the interesting sights. We were on a delivery, so we transited it in a day and a half, stopping near some millitary base area... can't recall what it was (some kind of school I think?), but some of the staff has boats on moorings.

Going under the Tappan Zee and George Washington bridges are a blast after you've been motoring through the canal. You have your mast back and there is lots of room for sailing, plus you start to see Manhattan, which is a pretty cool thing to see after being in the woods of the Erie Canal for a bit. Although... the farmland along the canal is beautiful!
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Old 03-02-2007, 16:53   #30
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Just a note to say thanx for all the advise and tips about the Erie to Atlantic trip. Sure let's a novice know there's friends out there.
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