Would not consider the St. Lawrence route. To get to Lake Erie you have to go up around Nova Scotia
, Prince Edward Island Island, Gaspe Peninsula and up the St. Lawrence. Cruising from Nova Scotia to Montreal is a long, tough trek through some lonesome areas with few facilities, lots of fog
, rough weather
and seas. Figure at least a month from New York
area, more likely two months. You have to be a seasoned sailor with a tough, seaworthy boat
to tackle that route.
You should have no problem taking down the mast on your cat. There are boatyards
at each end of the Erie Canal that specialize in taking down and putting up masts and rigs and can do it quickly and inexpensively.I did the Hudson
River/Erie Canal/Lake Erie in a 35-foot powerboat and it was a wonderful trip. The Hudson is spectacular, there are delightful villages to stop in, and the Erie Canal is a great experience. I did the Hudson River and full length of the Erie Canal in about two weeks. The Hudson River/Erie Canal route is pretty easy, although the locks can get tiresome and occasionally you can get banged around a little if there is a lot of turbulence.
I found Lake Erie was the least fun part of the cruise
-- the shoreline is dull, the ports
are OK but not overly charming, and the lake can get pretty surly when the wind