Has anyone here had any experience using the Welland Canal between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario?
Specifically, controlling depths / heights; Transit time; Costs; etc.
For family reasons, I would rather keep it on Lake Erie, I think; but maybe sailing would be better in western Ontario than Eastern Erie?
I went through the other way two months ago.
The controlling depth way exceeds any yacht and there is no controlling height. However, boats must be at least 6 meters LOA.
The transit time can be anything between 5 and 18 hours, 10 is typical. It is slow because you will always be obliged to give way to ships, this can result in several hours delay at locks.
The cost at present is $200 (whether US or CND). If the automatic machines at the ends are working, you pay by credit card. If not, you pay cash (only) at lock 3. So take both.
You should download a copy of the St Lawrence Seaway Pleasure Craft Guide which explains the regulations. Irritatingly this forum wont permit me to post the url, but just google on the above title.
Most important, be sure to announce yourself at the pleasure craft dock at either end, when you will be given instructions for proceding.
The lock walls are reasonably smooth, but use a fender board as well as fenders.
The lines are so high that it is hard work holding them. Although it is permitted to descend with just two people aboard able to handle lines, take a third if possible. Going up, there must be three people.
I agree that west Lake Ontario is a little better cruising ground than east Lake Erie. But east Lake Ontario, Bay of Quinte and Thousand Islands, is one of the best cruising grounds in the world.