Most people prefer the Tren-Severn to Oswego Canal
option. It is much shorter and boater friendly. The Lake Erie route
is significantly longer and contains alot of of commercial
As far as your mast being on deck
across Lake Ontario
, you should be mindful, but not overly worried. Make sure it is well secured and just pick the right day(s) to cross. You may have to wait a few days to cross the lake, but you'll still be time ahead vs. going the Lake Erie route.
See the guide link below for places to have your mast stepped on the Hudson
south of Albany. Castleton Boat
Club is the way to go if you want to do it yourself; if not the other two will do just fine.