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downeast450 08-10-2011 03:28 PM

Maine to Duluth and back!
My wife and I have family near Duluth. We enjoy the Great lakes as terrestrial tourists who paddle. We are considering a three season trip to Duluth and back from Seal Harbor, Maine. We would take our time and leave the boat over the winter twice at locations yet to be determined. The trip west would go up the Hudson River and the Erie Canal. The return would come down the St Lawrence River and home. We have no firm plans yet but do have some experiencing transiting canals and locks. Our Islander 28 draws 5 feet. One return route that looks attractive on the charts, with just 6 feet of depth reported as a minimum, is the Trent Severn Waterway.

Has anyone done this circle route or significant parts of it? Can you suggest resources, we will find helpful as we work on this? The time could be extended if necessary. We will rent our house for the summers and come home to ski. Our mooring in Seal Harbor will be vacant!

We have the time. We have the boat. We need a plan.


tomandchris 08-10-2011 04:35 PM

Hey, I think that you already have a plan, and it sounds like a good one. Everythng I have heard about the Trent Serern is that it is better to do in a houseboat than a sailboat. Interesting physics though so whatever you decide could be great.

I met a couple a few years ago whose plan was to visit every marina and anchorage on Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, and then to go from there. They were a Florida couple who did as you plan and rented their home for the summer (Florida, but still) and lived on a 36'Chris Craft all summer. They used it like a trawler to keep fuel costs down and at the end of each summer their costs were not to bad considering what they wanted. They also hop scotched a car as they found local transit a fine way to go back and get the car and then they could explore local areas at their whim with less cost.
I met them on their first summer and they had done the
West shore of Huron and were working their way South in Michigan. Having done the Bays at the tip of Michigan the boat wintered at a good yard in Northport and away they went in the Spring. They thought that they would make Chicago or Wisconsin the following year. Thought it was a great idea. Hope you get to your relatives!

sailortjk1 08-10-2011 05:07 PM

You have to do more research on the Trent.
I believe there is a railway lift on one end that the boat has to fit on.
Not sure it is set up to handle a sailboat. Looks like it should be doable, but you will have to make some phone calls. Thats a lot of boat time!

sailortjk1 08-10-2011 05:27 PM

This will be another obstacle you will have to overcome...
A hydrulic lift lock?? What the heck??
Looks like a height restriction to me. Maybe the stick has to come down.

downeast450 08-11-2011 05:16 AM

Taking down the mast is one of the problems I think I will solve this coming winter. I am planning to rig Tundra Down so we can raise and lower the mast ourselves, A-La the Nor'sea 27. That modification is in the works anyway for personal convenience. The lifts on the Trent do look interesting! Ha!


sailortjk1 08-11-2011 08:57 AM

Forgot, you are going to need that for the Erie Canal as well. If you come up with an easy solution to step and unstep the mast yourself you have saved yourself a ton of headaches.

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