We sailed from Tortola to Bermuda
and then Long Island Sound
on a 38’ sloop
with a crew of six. Each leg took 3-4 days, so it might be reasonable to figure at least a week to ten days on a new-to-you, short-handed catamaran. Allow for good weather
windows, so add a few days for that too. You do NOT want the Gulf Stream
to be in a bad mood. Another time we set out from Bermuda
and hove-to for a day to let a front pass while other “tough guys” pushed on. Some of their crews ended up injured and had to be helicoptered off. Make sure to arrange for pulling the mast
ahead of time so you don’t get stuck waiting to head
up the canal
to Lake Champlain. Say Hi to Champ for us when you get there!
The minimum clearances of overhead structures (bridges, guard gates, and utilities) range from 15.5' to 21' for different sections along the canal; so sailboats need to de-mast prior to entering the system. Sailors looking to cruise
within the canal system, as opposed to transiting through, may not want their masts and rigging
with them (in order to conserve deck
space), and so may leave them at select facilities. Below is a list of marinas
that perform mast
stepping, and additionally which ones store masts.
River – East end of Erie Canal / South end of Champlain Canal
Services, Inc., Leaving NYS Canal's Website Catskill, NY (518) 943-5311, Mast storage
Hop-O-Nose Marina, Leaving NYS Canal's Website Catskill, NY (518) 943-4640, Mast storage
Castleton Boat Club, Leaving NYS Canal's Website Castleton-on-Hudson, NY (518) 732-7077, Self-serve gin pole.
Lake Champlain – North end of Champlain Canal
Chipman Point Marina, Orwell, VT (802) 558-4574, Mast storage.