Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Northern New Jersey
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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.
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.