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swred 12-27-2002 08:52 AM

Erie Canal System
We''re transiting from Chicago to Long Island sound and points south this summer. Can anyone tell me where to unstep and restep the mast - specific yards? Shipping arrangements?

jparker11 12-27-2002 06:19 PM

Erie Canal System

A couple of things to consider:

Most sailboats opt to make the transit from L. Erie to Ontario via the Welland Canal. They enter the canal system via the Oswego Canal. The unstepped mast is transported shipboard. You can check with the Oswego Marina about the status and availability of supports and cradles.

I do not have recent information on facilities at the Hudson River.

For clearances and draft requirements check out the NY State website

I grew up next to the canal in central NY. In the past few years we had travelled back there for our daughters'' college commitments. My siblings have homes on Oneida Lake and Grand Island and have been amazed at the recreational traffic increases every year. Watching traffic in September, one wonders where all the slips in Florida are to accept all these boats!!

The L. Erie entrance is across the Niagara River from one of the homes. I know many vessels navigate this entrance, but they have a 4 knot current leading to the big falls in front of their home!!

Also, note on the NY website that the canal was not available until late June due to high water conditions in 2002. That was unusual, but you will be bucking considerable westbound traffic if you start too early.

Great trip!!

Nereus32 12-27-2002 11:38 PM

Erie Canal System
I, too, hope to transit the canal in the near future. I have done a little research and direct you to Sailnet''s Paul and Sheryl Shard''s website at This section provides just the information you request - where they unstep and restep their mast along the route, entering at Oswego.

I have a small collection of book marks for other sites that may be of interest, all pertaining to the route from Chicago/W. Michigan, all the way to S. Florida. If you are interested, drop me a line and I''ll send you what I have.

BoatBum001 12-29-2002 01:40 AM

Erie Canal System
Top of the morning to you and Happy New Year
I made it to the start of lake erie this past year from great lakes naval base in Aug.
I plan on making the trip over the canal to the hudson river and points south. those bookmarks would be helpful. Thank You

BoatBum001 12-29-2002 01:48 AM

Erie Canal System
Hi SwRed,
I am a solo sailor here that is going to Port Isabel, Texas this summer (2003). I am in Lake Erie now at Sanduskey. I have made up my mind when to start the trip yet. (Apr. May) Tranisiting the Erie Canal is the plan. Drop me a line, maybe we can discuss this and share some info.

sinewave2 12-29-2002 06:38 AM

Erie Canal System
the only trouble with going thru the Welland Canal, it costs $160. canadian or american they''re not fussy, no exchange rate. Depending on freighter traffic the trip thru can be any where from 7 hr. to 24hr.with no place to tie up. the trip to Buffalo about 4hrs thru the Black rock canal is free and takes 15 min. In Tonawanda the entrance to the erie canal you can get your mast unsteped at Wardells boat yard. there is a large food store with in walking distance.
good luck! any questions feel free to ask

waltzingmatilda 12-31-2002 05:33 AM

Erie Canal System
Sinewave, what do you mean "the trip to Buffalo about 4hrs thru the Black rock canal is free and takes 15 min."? Am I reading something wrong in your post? I''m not trying to be a smart butt, but am hoping to enter the NY State canal system at Buffalo and am very interested in your comments. I gather the Black Rock canal begins at Buffalo and goes to Tonawonda where the NY State canal system begins. Is it 4 hrs from Buffalo to Tonawonda? Is Wardell''s Boatyard in Buffalo? I could look them up on the internet for a phone number if I know the city. Thanks for your comments, and fair winds.
Peter K.

foxglove 12-31-2002 10:57 AM

Erie Canal System
Recently, my wife and I moved our 32'' Pearson through the canal from Tonawanda as far as Oneida Lake where it is up for the winter. We plan to resume the trip and wind up in the Chesapeake next spring.

The new charts produced by the NY Canal system are great and worth the cost. Also, a copy of the guide by Skipper Bob is worth having. He gives info that the charts don''t.

Dennis Wardell can unstep your mast but he didn''t have any cradles when we arrived. Lucky we had built our own.

I have started to write a document to send to Skipper Bob who invites anyone to add to his body of knowledge. Anyone interested can e-mail me and I''ll respond as soon as possible with an attachment of my document or answers to any questions.

sinewave2 01-02-2003 05:30 AM

Erie Canal System
Peter K.
Sorry for the confusion, you enter the Black Rock canal at Buffalo, make sure you have good charts for this area. The lock itself takes 15 minutes to raise you 5'' to the level of the Niagaras River, then you travel down river and make a right turn to the Erie canal. the canal devides Tonawanda & North Tonawanda, Wardells is on the left in North Tonawanda. Any more info. or questions please feel free to E mail Me at The 4hrs had to do with the time from the Welland Canal(Canada) to Buffalo

tho52mas 01-08-2003 12:58 AM

Erie Canal System
I did 35 miles into the canal in Oct 02. Get the mast down at Worrel''s. He is like the soup nazi so shut up and do what he says (he knows his stuff). CALL CALL CALL in advance to let him know you are coming. It won''t make a difference but the reality is it makes him feel good and he will give you better service! And I was told it takes forever for him to take the mast down (its a one man show for the fuel dock, etc.) so the call in advance will get you out quicker. The rest of the trip is fun.

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