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Old 23-08-2015, 14:18   #1
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Hello every one in the community. I was just wandering if the forums are strictly for sailing or power boaters are also welcome?
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Old 23-08-2015, 14:20   #2
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Planing a trip from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale in a power boat what's the best route and approximately how long it should take?
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Old 23-08-2015, 18:58   #3
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Illinois River to Mississippi at St Louis, then down Mississippi to Cairo, Il, then up Ohio to Paducah to Tennessee, then up Tennessee to just past Pickwick to Yellow Creek, mouth of Tenn-Tom waterway to Mobile. From Mobile along north GICW to Carabelle, then across to Clearwater or Tarpon Springs. Down GICW to Ft Myers, then across Caloosahatche River to Stuart, then ICW to Ft Lauderdale. This is basically the western side of the Great Loop until you get to Ft Myers.

In a sailboat from Kentucky Lake, it takes about 15 days plus weather to get to Punta Gorda at Charlotte Harbor. It took me 28 days down, 29 days back. Included days waiting on weather and just taking it easy. I would add a couple of weeks from Chicago to Kentucky Lake (I'm at mile 24). Also add 3 To 5 days from Charlotte Harbor to Ft. Lauderdale.

You can go twice as fast as a sailboat, so conceivably make it in much less time but with a high fuel cost, and you will risk your wake causing a problem for others and possibly get you fined if you damage someone's dock or boat along the waterways.


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Old 24-08-2015, 01:29   #4
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Thank you very much! Now I'm gonna start learning about provisioning and is it possible to make this trip alone?
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Old 24-08-2015, 02:51   #5
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, louphil.
Power boaters ARE welcome.
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Old 24-08-2015, 06:29   #6
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Some make it alone, but you need good boat handling skills to do it. There are a number of locks that you have to go through and that is where it is helpful to have someone to assist. I'm not sure how many locks from Chicago to Kentucky Lock, but counting Kentucky Lock, there are 14 on the Tennessee (2) and Tenn-Tom to Mobile (12). Kentucky and Pickwick lock up, the rest lock down. It is a little easier to lock down as the currents in the lock are less.

You will need to make sure you have enough fuel. There are marinas along the Tennessee and Tenn-Tom but the longest is from Bobby's Fish Camp at Mile 118 to Turner Marine 15 miles south of Mile 0 on the west side of Mobile Bay. I think your max fuel distance is on the Mississippi and Ohio, but I don't know specifics but someone on this forum will likely fill you in on that portion.

What kind of boat do you have?

I recommend you go to Activecaptain.com and start looking at your route. There is a lot of of information on ActiveCaptain and you will see anchorages, marinas, etc.
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