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  #1  
Old 01-04-2004
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bidet is on a distinguished road
Lake Erie to east coast

In a couple of years my wife and I will be taking our shoal draft Catalina 42 from lake Erie to the east coast. Has anyone made this passage, can we make it out thru the Welland canal and beneath the bridges with the mast up? I have heard of some people dropping their mast and having it shipped ahead but would like to find out what our options are. what books or referrence material would you suggest for this trip.
Thanks for any information on this.

Bill
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Old 01-04-2004
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Lake Erie to east coast

The Welland Canal requires 3 people on board for any boat transiting, and that is no problem since their are numerous seafaring retirees at the canal entrance offering their services for a fee. You will definitely be better off shipping your spar from Oswego to a Hudson River location (one of Catskill Creek''s stepping marinas), depending on your mast overhangs on deck.

On the Erie canal there is no barge and tow traffic...only pleasure craft, and no current to speak of.

Whatever your decision, I am told the person who knows the charts and waterways has a Marine Navigation business in LaGrange, Ill. Her name is Laura Cannell, Marine Navigation, Inc., 613 S. LaGrange Road, 708-352-0606. She knows the conditions of the waterways, handles all the charts, etc., and can supply you with all your crusing navigation needs to Fla. and beyond.

You can also get a wealth of information from the Coast Pilots, electronic versions are online now for free, the Welland Canal is in Pilot #6.

Good luck..contact me if you need any more than that but you should probably wait till you get closer to departure as everything is changing since 9/11 and we just dont know what Homeland Security will be requiring next of us.

Captain Bruce

PS if you need one I can email you the section of the coast pilot containing the Welland Canal. And as I type it just occurred to me that you can go to boatnerd.com''s facts and figures and read the coast pilot''s Welland Canal section if you have a mind to.
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Old 01-08-2004
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maestro is on a distinguished road
Lake Erie to east coast

the new Boat US magazine has an article about the erie canal. Worth a look.
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Old 01-08-2004
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bidet is on a distinguished road
Lake Erie to east coast

read it a couple of day''s ago Mike, didn''t know they charterd canal boats on it.

Bill
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Old 01-09-2004
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Lake Erie to east coast

as a matter of fact....my good Friend was the author of the article (he is assist. editor of the Boat US magazine and Director of public relations for Boat US) he and his wife loved the trip. Most of the over nights they tied up to various town docks free of charge. He is a sailor and told me that there were many sailboats in the 30-40 ft. range transiting the canal. They all had their masts tied up on their boats. There are a couple of marinas at the end of the canal (near Albany NY) that restep masts for the sail south on the Hudson River

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Old 01-22-2004
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Lake Erie to east coast

My wife and I took our 32'' Pearson through the Erie canal last year. We entered at Tonowanda, NY just north of Buffalo and had our mast pulled at a marina there.

It''s a great trip. The bulkhead tie-ups in most towns are free. The canal towns are fun to explore.

You can buy a copy of the canal charts at the website http://www.canals.state.ny.us/. If you click on the 1-800-4canal4 link you can copy the phone numbers of the liftbridge and lock operators. These numbers can come in very handy to let the tenders know you are heading thier way before you get into VHS radio range. They will often hold the lock open for you.

Another source is ''Skipper Bob''s'' guide to the canal system. Many on-line marine bookstores have the book. It''s not much more than a self-published book of copied pages but he tries to update frequently (still much info goes out of date fast) and he gives the mile number of every lock, bridge and town on the canal as well as some historical, provisioning and dining information.

We saw many boats your size with the masts, sometimes two, stored overhead on sissor-like cradles like the ones I built for our mast. We had such a good time, we did a side trip the the Seneca Canal. We had the mast stepped in Catskill, NY at Hop-O-Nose marina. I did much of the work myself there but I understand that the first marina on starboard as you enter the river does all the work. You can also do it youself at a Yacht Club (I forget the name) nearby in the Hudson.

In NYC area, we tied up at the Liberty marina on the NJ side where the ferries leave to cross to NYC.

If you are heading further south, Manasquan Inlet (I would take a pass and sail all night rather than go here again), Absecon Inlet (Atlantic City), and Cape may are the only safe inlets for those without local knowledge. In Atlantic City, call the
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Old 01-29-2004
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bidet is on a distinguished road
Lake Erie to east coast

Thanks to all, sounds to me like the Erie canal is the way to go. no commercial traffic and lots of history. just bought cruising the Erie canal vhs.

Thanks again
Bill
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Old 02-19-2004
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Lake Erie to east coast

Bill, taking the Erie Canal will probably be your better choice. I''ve done the Welland Canal several times and each trip has been a little different. If comercial shipping is heavy you have to wait for them to go ahead of you sometimes. They are the ones that are the money makers for the canal.Three years ago it cost $80 one way Canadian or American, no exchange rate. Now it''s $160, going from lake Erie to Ontario you only need 2 people, going the other way for your boat have at least 4. The time in the canal can vary from 6 hrs. to 24hrs. with no place to permanently tieup for the nite. You''ll enjoy the Erie Canal, and if you hit it right most of the canal towns have old time days, music, food, beer. Just tie up and have a good time. I live in Tonawanda the start of the canal, drop me an E mail when your coming thru.
Al
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