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dpierce 06-27-2001 12:06 PM

transiting to Florida
Can anyone tell me if it is possible to take a 27 ft sailboat down the Illinois, into the Tennesee, down the Tenn-Tom waterway, and thence to Tampa Bay?



dpierce 06-27-2001 12:07 PM

transiting to Florida
Whoops! Forgot to mention I''m thinking about buying a Great Lakes boat and would like to spend the summer moving it to Florida rather than ship it.


jack_patricia 06-29-2001 06:15 AM

transiting to Florida

It''s certainly possible, and you won''t be the first to do it. But you''ll need lots of motor power on occasion and pay attention to the weather and the amount of rain the rivers will be offloading into the Gulf. It sounds to me like the destination is a lot more pleasing than the passage to get there, as it''s more a motorboat trip than one for sailboats.


dpierce 06-29-2001 12:11 PM

transiting to Florida

Thanks for your note. I figured it would be a power trip (read boring). To have a boat trucked is upwards of $3000, so I figure I could tolerate boredom for that kind of savings. My biggest concern is can I get the mast under all the obstacles along the way.


jack_patricia 06-30-2001 04:20 AM

transiting to Florida
Dave, one add''l thought...

If mast height clearance is a concern to you, consider picking up one of the guides that covers your route. I doubt you''ll have an issue with that small a boat, but you''ll need a guide or two, anyway.

One recommendation is Skipper Bob''s guide for this route (and back up along the East Coast). While he offers some overall guidance on the trip, his guide includes recs for every low-priced marina & fuel stop. Folks complain about his guides being out of date (good grief, how *could* each fuel price & slip charge be constantly maintained in a guide that''s only occasionally published...) but some info of this kind is far better than none. He especially favors anchorages, which might be especially helpful along your route.

The Skipper Bob guides can be purchased from Blue Water Books, West Marine, etc.


Tao 07-01-2001 05:22 PM

transiting to Florida
Hi Dave.

Not only is it possible,but it is a very enjoyable trip in itself.I just brought my privilege 39 up the TennTom to the middle Tennessee area.You will need to know your mast height off the water.I can tell you the lowest clearance from Kentucky Lake to Mobile Bay is 48Ft.Most are 52ft+.This will vary some with water level which is usually marked at each bridge.Excellent reference is Nitty Gritty by Fred Meyers.Three things to look out for are floating logs or trees (debris), tugboat activity and power cruiser wakes.Best way to learn how tug operates on river is to follow one for a while.They make 5 or 6 knots and after doing so,you will instinctively know where you can safely anchor and still be out of thier way.Have other good references not handy at moment.If interested in more ,drop me a line. Good sailing. -Gary-

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