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katytoo 11-11-2006 12:53 PM

Thousand Islands sailing
It's approaching winter and therefore I can do whatever I like in terms of planning sailing trips for next summer!! I do this every year, but somehow my trips never quite materialize. Anyhow, I am again thinking seriously about sailing from western Lake Erie, canaling along the NY State Barge Canal to Oswego and then north to Thousand Islands. I've dreamed of this trip for years, and am realizing that if I don't get off my butt and do it it will forever be a dream and never a reality.
OK, with that preface, here's my question, aimed at those who do sail regularly in that area. Is it possible to anchor off some of the islands, as it is, for example, in the North Channel. Or, is traffic and so forth such that I would have to use marinas for overnight. Marinas, of course, are expensive and I prefer to use them only now and then when I need to. I get the feeling that Thousand Islands is an area where people with money hang out, and, unfortunately I am not one of those. But, it also looks like a beautiful area that I'd like to see.
My intention is to stay in the Thousand Islands for maybe several days, and I don't think I would be there for anymore than four or five days.
Is there a good guide to the islands for sailors that would give me the sort of information I'll need while there?
Any sort of help or advice that members of this board can give me will be greatly appreciated. I'm also hoping to make the winter meeting in Oswego, and perhaps seeing some of you there.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
Fair winds,
Peter Kozup, S/V Katy Too
Cape Dory 26, Hull #42

Vasco 11-11-2006 01:15 PM


Lots of spots to anchor. Some buoys available too from the parks people. If you take the NY State canal you'll have to take your mast down in Buffalo and put it back up in Oswego and repeat this process going home. If you don't want to do this you can take the Welland canal. Many Lake Ontario sailors spend the summer in the islands. The rich people OWN the islands. The rest of us just sail around them.

brianbourgeois 11-11-2006 10:17 PM

there are several well protected areas around the ivy lea bridge, be prepaired to deal with very strong curents, high trafic and very large ships!!!!
but it's worth it for the diving and the view.

Waymar83 11-12-2006 07:16 PM

Not sure which part of the Thousand Islands you want to sail but you can spend weeks sailing around, anchoring every night in a new (and sheltered) spot.

We sail out of Kingston, Ontario (Canada). Rarily have we overnighted in marinas (we go to take on water, fuel, etc.). Have not been to the US side yet so cannot comment (although many of my neighbours ahve and they quite enjoy it)

Johnrb 11-13-2006 02:45 PM


In addition to the above comments, here is some additional information from Parks Canada regarding St. Lawrence Islands National Park which is where you will likely spend much of your time.

katytoo 11-14-2006 08:34 PM

Thanks for the info
Johnrb and the rest of you,
Thank you for the information, especially from Johnrb with the St. Lawrence Islands National Park website, that looks to be particularly useful.
I guess the next step will be to get charts and start to actually put the plans onto paper.
If anyone knows of suitable winter reading on the area, travel guides, or whatever, a few titles would be greatly appreciated. Even the Canada travel guides I've found in my local library have little information on the Thousand Islands area, which surprised me.
OK, again, thanks for the info.
Peter K., S/V Katy Too
Cape Dory 26, Hull #42

Waymar83 11-18-2006 09:40 AM

A good source of info are the local marinas. They can refer you to websites, books, magazines, even cruising guides.

Try the Collins Bay Marina website:

TheStorm 11-20-2006 01:37 PM

There are plenty of good anchorages in the Thousand Islands, but the better ones can get crowded in the summer months. Dock space on the Islands is hard to come by but if you want one, get going to the next Island after breakfast and be prepared to circle around for an hour or so. Powerboats have the advantage! Generally, if you don't get dock space by 2pm, you'll be anchoring. You'll most likely need reservations at marinas from Kingston onwards.

The "Ports" magazine is pretty much the bible for cruising in this area and is worth it just for the coupons alone:

And this is a really excellent website with plenty of information to get you going:

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