Hello Jay. We live in Slidell and have sailed Pontchartrain for the last 40 years.
There are marinas in and around Slidell and Mandeville also. Pontchartrain can be really nasty as it is so shallow, 14' or so as a rule. Going from Slidell to Madisonville is maybe four hours or so (25 miles) for us and requires passing under the North Draw of the Pontchartrain Causeway. The draw is 8 miles or so south of the mouth of the river into Madisonville. They monitor channel 16 and require a three hour notice for an opening. Your 27 Catilina should clear without that opening, as I believe the clearance is 48', so no notice should be necessary.
Be very cautious when entering the Tchefuncte River channel into Madisonville. The channel is narrow and shallow and has a 90 degree turn to starboard near the lighthouse. Do not hang too close to the red at the turn, and stay in the channel along the land until it turns North. The river is deep, but the bar south of the entrance is only one to two feet. When you see the draw bridge ahead, about two miles up the river, at hwy. 22, you can tie up along the wall just south of the bridge at the small park to port in front of Martins Rest., a good stop for lunch or dinner. The wall is free, calm, and electricity is available for a very small fee.
Make sure you have as PONTCHARTRAIN chart. When are you planning your trip?
Last edited by ROSA; 06-06-2010 at 02:28 PM.