Re: Stepping mast in Chicago
I'm not sure if they are making the paper chartbooks anymore. You might be able to get the Tenn-Tom books at one of the marinas on Kentucky lake. You will also need the book for the Illinois river, and the Mississippi from St. Louis to the Ohio.
The books you will need for the Tenn-Tom are- Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, Tennessee River to junction of Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers. Mile 450 to mile 217. and Mobile Alabama to Junction of Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers at Demopolis, Alabama. I printed out the pages for the Tennessee river from the Ohio to mile 450 at Yellow creek.
The books are really handy to have. You will probably need to find some of them as used books on amazon or ebay, but check with the marinas along the way. I like the Light House Landing Marina near the Kentucky Lake Dam, mile 24 and the Paris Landing Marina,about mile 54 .
I suggest you look up all the lock and dams and call them on the phone before you get too close. Many have changed their names recently, and they don't respond to the old name. They also sometimes monitor different radio channels. It really speeds up the lock time if they can be ready for you. Be sure you have about 3 large bumpers, and 2 long lines on each side of the boat. A couple good, solid boat hooks will come in handy also. It's not that hard normally. I handled my 31' ketch by myself without too much strain. There are also 3 bridges on the Tenn-tom you will need to call for them to raise.
Privateer 26 Schooner