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Old 18-05-2022, 15:09   #1
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Transit time Erie Barge Canal

I'm planning to transit the Erie Barge Canal from North Tonawanda, NY to Catskill, NY. I understand that the transit time is about 9 days at the posted speed limits.
How long would it take at a more leisurely pace (sailboat) at 5 knots?
Thanks!
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Old 19-05-2022, 01:55   #2
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

I’d budget a minimum of twelve (12) longer traveling days, to cruise [±525 mi.] between Buffalo and Albany, on the Erie Canal, depending upon the length/duration of your preferred traveling day [7:00AM - 5:00PM].
Plan about 20 - 30 minutes to pass through each lock. There are a total 34 locks, on the Erie Canal. Overnight upstream of a lock, and depart at first desired opportunity.
Don’t forget to add lay days, for touring, relaxing, & shopping*.
Many of the canal towns [±60 communities] have parks, that provide free dockage, some with washroom/showers, electrical and water connections.

Erie Canal Distances, Speed Limits, and Transit Times ➥ https://www.offshoreblue.com/cruise/...-distances.php

NY Canal Corporation ➥ https://www.canals.ny.gov/
Navigating the Canals ➥ https://www.canals.ny.gov/navinfo/index.html
Map & Guide ➥ https://eriecanalway.org/application...al-spreads.pdf

* ‘BoatPoker’ has a good travelogue, about the Canal ➥ Cruising New York State Canal System, Erie, Cayuga, Seneca
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Old 19-05-2022, 04:49   #3
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

12 days sounds reasonable to me. There are some areas where locks are open later, but for the most part, you have a 10 hour window to travel every day (7 AM to 5 PM).

For time planning, use the distance tables at the links Gord provided. Running at 5 kts in a sailboat, you can assume you'll average 5 kts as you shouldn't need to slow down to reduce wake around docks, etc. I generally plan 20 minutes per lock in my calculations and it usually comes out pretty close. Especially early in the season when things are busier, you may want to plan 30 minutes per lock.
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Old 19-05-2022, 04:54   #4
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

Cross Lake Oneida at first light in the morning -ask me how I know.
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Old 19-05-2022, 05:06   #5
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
Cross Lake Oneida at first light in the morning -ask me how I know.
I towed a power boat across Lake Oneida. [BTW: no speed limit, on the lake]
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Old 19-05-2022, 05:23   #6
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

Oneida does often get choppy, but as long as it's a calm enough day the crossing isn't a big deal. Early morning will often be calmer though.



And don't forget to top off the fuel tanks in Brewerton before crossing (when heading Eastbound) as it's often the cheapest marine fuel in NY state. Winter Harbor is usually the cheapest of the fuel docks there, but check the other big ones as well (they're all close together). Winter Harbor's fuel dock is pay at the pump like a land-side gas station (and 24 hour), so just tie up and go for it, they'll only send an attendant down if you ask for one at the call box or they happen to be there anyway.
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Old 19-05-2022, 06:06   #7
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

Keep an eye out for DIRT FREE. We are sitting at Oswego waiting for the lock to open tomorrow and will spend the Entire summer in the canal system.
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Old 19-05-2022, 16:18   #8
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

We did all of Lake Champlain, the Champlain canal, and the full length of the Erie Canal in 15 days last year. That included five days where we couldn't move because the lock at Little Falls broke down.

Absolutely slow down and go a lot slower than we did if you have the luxury of time. There was a lot that we missed due to the time crunch and being stuck in Amsterdam, NY for so long.

The biggest thing that I realized is that you are very much at the mercy of the canal. It seemed to break down in parts quite a bit, or other parts would have depth issues (we scraped bottom at 5' in one area where they were having problems with a dam) Factor in some time to just have to wait for maintenance. It might be an hour, it might be a week.

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Old 19-05-2022, 17:10   #9
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

We are also planning on doing the canal this June west to east. We did it many years ago (1990) on a C&C 35 with only 2 adults aboard. It took 5 days to go from east to west. We motored at 7 knots. It is 294 NM from end to end. I suppose we did well back then, we were younger, but it shouldn't take much longer now unless issues arise.

I would plan on 6 or 7 days to be safe, but that would be moving every day - all day long. If you take your time to enjoy some stops alog the way, maybe a bit longer.
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Old 19-05-2022, 17:28   #10
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Keep an eye out for DIRT FREE. We are sitting at Oswego waiting for the lock to open tomorrow and will spend the Entire summer in the canal system.
Are you nuts? You’ve got the Trent and Reideu!
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Old 19-05-2022, 17:34   #11
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

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Are you nuts? You’ve got the Trent and Reideu!
We've done them all, nothing compares to the NY State canal system.
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Old 22-05-2022, 00:58   #12
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by MGRodems View Post
... It took 5 days to go from east to west. We motored at 7 knots. It is 294 NM from end to end. I suppose we did well back then, we were younger, but it shouldn't take much longer now unless issues arise...
7 kts ≈ 8mph, which is considerably over the 5 mph speed limit, over much of the canal.
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Old 22-05-2022, 06:00   #13
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

We were the first boat into the Oswego lock on the 20th and were gifted a huge NY STate Canal flag by the lockmaster. We are now at Phoenix helping the Bridge House Brats crew by sanding picnic tables to get the docks ready for Memorial Day festivities.
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Old 22-05-2022, 08:14   #14
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
7 kts ≈ 8mph, which is considerably over the 5 mph speed limit, over much of the canal.
If by much of the canal, you mean very little of it, then yes 5 mph is the speed limit over much of it.
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Old 22-05-2022, 11:02   #15
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Re: Transit time Erie Barge Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
7 kts ≈ 8mph, which is considerably over the 5 mph speed limit, over much of the canal.
Very little of the canal has a 5 mph speed limit. Most is 10 mph with some faster sections and a few short 5 mph stretches.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
We were the first boat into the Oswego lock on the 20th and were gifted a huge NY STate Canal flag by the lockmaster. We are now at Phoenix helping the Bridge House Brats crew by sanding picnic tables to get the docks ready for Memorial Day festivities.
Awesome!
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