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Irwin32 11-18-2005 02:43 PM

Big circle
Anyone done the big circle route from the great Lakes through the Tom Bigsbee (that''s close) down to the gulf? I want to know if a sailboat needs to keep its mast down for the entire trip? Also, any other info would be appreciated.

wmiii 11-19-2005 03:28 AM

Big circle
I have never done the "Loop",as it is called, but have talked to people that are and have done it. Basically the mast would need to be down from the Hudson River junction with whichever canal you choose to the Great Lakes the down again from the Chicago area down the Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Tombigbee Waterway to Mobile.

wmiii 11-19-2005 03:31 AM

Big circle
Here is a site you might find interesting about the "Great Loop".

wmiii 11-21-2005 02:31 AM

Big circle
Here is another Q&A site on the Great Loop.

Irwin32 11-21-2005 07:17 AM

Big circle
I appreciate your replies. Thanks much.

PBzeer 12-26-2005 11:58 AM

Big circle
It''s my understanding that there is 51 foot clearance from the Mississippi to the Gulf. You would have to unstep the mast from Chicago to the Miss and for the Erie canal. Once you exit the Erie, you can either restep it, or leave it down and take one of the canals across Ontario.

Cruising Guide for the Tennessee, Ten-Tom Waterway and Lower Tombigbee River is a detailed and exhaustive tome for that part of the trip. Well worth the price if you go.

Fair winds,

SailorGrandma 02-03-2006 05:53 AM

Big circle
We made that trip coming up the rivers. Was a great experience! There are really 2 good cruising guides that you should get before you make the trip. I will find the names of them and let you know. Parts of the trip is boring but the barges keep it exciting. Just make sure that you contact the barges to see what they want you to do. They are very helpful and polite. When do you plan on making this trip? I almost forgot, you will need to unstep your for the trip thru Chicago, to get under the bridges. We have a ketch and we left it up until Portage De Souix, MI where we took it down. But the main mast was down for the whole trip starting at Mobile, AL. I think our Mizzen mast is roughly 35 feet and a few times it seemed iffy but we made it.

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