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andreavanduyn 21-05-2010 11:08

Best Way from East Coast to Great Lakes in July
We are in Baltimore with our newly purchased 6.5 deep sv.

As from Europe we do not know the area but like to go to the lakes for a season starting July.

What is a comfortable way to get there?

Mastheight is ok for ICW .

Orion 50'

dennisjay 21-05-2010 13:13

Eric -

If you are planning to sail to the Great Lakes, I don't think there is a comfortable route.

ICW north, Hudson River, Erie Canal, Barge Canal, perhaps? You'd have to remove your mast to transit the canals, I believe.

It also gets cold in the Great Lakes starting in the fall, but you may be used to that.

AnchorageGuy 21-05-2010 13:19

Eric, I assume you mean the Great Lakes. A 6.5 foot draft while doable will present some challenges getting there and I do believe you will have to unstep your mast unless you plan to go north and then into the St. Lawrence. You might visit the AGLCA website, America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association and read some of the accounts of folks doing the Great Loop and get some info on getting to the Lakes.

Quads 23-05-2010 16:55

You can easily do it through the St. Lawrence waterway.
Heading south and down the Hudson is a pain in the a$$ *especially* if you're in a sailor. Motoring isn't bad. I wouldn't do it in a sail boat.

EpicAdventure 23-05-2010 18:16

What's your plan once in the Great Lakes? Remember the sailing season is especially short up here in the Great Lakes. Boats just went in a few weeks ago and will be out in mid October or so.

Do you plan on putting the boat on the hard somewhere in the Lakes for the winter? I just mention this because getting there (espeically thought the St. Lawrence) will take quite some time and if you start in July, you make not have a whole lot of time...

gettinthere 23-05-2010 19:03

You can run up the east coast to NYC. Then up the Hudson River to Albany NY and into the Erie canal. At Albany you remove the mast and carry it on a cradle on the boat thru the Erie to Buffalo NY. There you restep the mast and sail up Lake Erie and points north. Hundreds of sailboats head north in the spring & back south in the fall this way. I'd leave earlier if you can, in fact now is the time to depart if you want to maximize your cruising time on the lakes. Most people do the return trip in early September.

andreavanduyn 24-05-2010 02:27

thanks all
your comments /advise most appreciated as from experience point of view.

Seems this year we have to stay in the area of Baltimore as we have another month / if not two:banghead: of work on our newly purchased oldie....

Thanks again

Eric & family
Orion 50'

J Ventura 04-06-2010 11:29

I'm looking at the same trip right now , nice coincidence. So can it be done without stepping the mast? It's a boat with a 75ft mast , 6 ft draft and I can keep 8kts so I would not mind a longer route and spare me stepping the mast .
I have already been to , America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association but extra tips or suggestions would be much appreciated!

EpicAdventure 04-06-2010 12:01

Have you looked into the St. Lawrence Seaway option? I remember looking at it once and thinking it seemed expensive and a long ways.

Check out this website:

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