Along the canal you will need to take down your mast. You can make it all the way to Whitehall and have it done there, or if you are going soon and have it down for winter don't bother putting it up.
Lock 12 Marina in Whitehall is the only place in Whitehall with a crane. You can also have it done at nearly any marina further up the lake that has a few sailboats. Call around to get the best price. Make sure you get the cost of the mast, and extra fees such as cradle, radar dome, etc. Pricing is usually by the foot, mast not boat length.
The Champlain Canal is quite nice, and your going the easy way. You'll start out in an artificial section with little flow. Two up locks and then its all down hill (the easier way).
For single-handling I suggest tying a line to the center cleat and using one of the vertical poles that run down the lock. If there is no such pole (not all locks have been updated yet), then a ladder works well too, but you have to constantly undo and re-tie it.
Watch for currents along the Hudson River, especially if you stop at the Mechanicville or Fort Edward walls, approach upstream and parallel to the direction of flow.
When you get down past Albany you can put the mast back up. The options are:
* Castleton Boat Club, Castleton on the Hudson, NY; 518-732-7077 --- Note: Do it yourself gin pole.
* Hop-O-Nose Marine, Catskill, NY; 518-943-4640
* Riverview Marine Service Inc., Catskill, NY; 518-943-5311 --- Note: Cannot service catamarans, must fit in slip to reach crane.
The first is the cheapest, at about $50, but you must do everything yourself. The people in the club see hundreds, if not thousands, of boats a year, so don't expect them to help. You should be able to work a deal with someone also putting their mast up--you help me, I help you.
Hope this helps,
Boat: O'Day 25 / Sea Ray 270 Flybridge
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