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Old 30-08-2022, 18:47   #1
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Max Draft for Erie Canal?

So Iím trying to get from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic next summer and I originally was planning on the St Lawrence so I didnít have to drop my mast, but the more people I talk to the more they say that the canal system is just easier. I wasnít really looking forward to popping out that far up into Canada anyways so Iím thinking they might be right.

I am doing the trip in a moody 425 which has about a 6í 4Ē draft. From what I gather the eastern part of the canal is fine for that, so my question is how safe is it to do the western part of the canal? Or am I better off just going up to the Oswego canal and then hooking up with the Erie?

I am just starting my research so any other resources you guys have for route planning would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 30-08-2022, 18:54   #2
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Re: Max Draft for Erie Canal?

In theory you can do the whole thing, as even the west end is supposed to be maintained to 12 feet. In reality, the west end is more likely to have depth issues. If you call the canal corp before you go they may have better info than what's online as far as any areas of concern.
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Old 03-09-2022, 05:44   #3
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Re: Max Draft for Erie Canal?

It is a bit hit and miss. I don't think the canal authorities have nearly the budget to keep up with all of the dredging. You get shoaling where a creek comes into the canal (I remember one place just east of Lake Oneida. Sometimes you will see several extra buoys marking the best way around a shoal. I think you could do it but may drag occasionally, but it is soft, gooey stuff. What time of year are you thinking?
Have taken on the restoration of the first Nonsuch, which was launched in 1978. Needs some deck work, hull compounding, and a bit of new gear.
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Old 03-09-2022, 06:09   #4
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Re: Max Draft for Erie Canal?

Years ago we made it through the canal w/6.5' with no problem, but this year a CF member went through to Oswego from the Hudson and went hard aground in several sections due to shoaling w/a 6.25' draft.

Here's the canal site for notices
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Old 03-09-2022, 06:31   #5
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Re: Max Draft for Erie Canal?

Not to discourage the canal routes, but we did the St. Lawrence as part of our Down East Loop trip, and are very glad we did.

Yes, there are some open water stretches, but nothing your boat can't handle. Good harbors and anchorages are never far apart. You'll even be able to get in a fair amount of sailing, something you won't get on the canals.
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canal, draft

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