New York Canal System Mast Stepping? - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 04-28-2010 Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 46
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
New York Canal System Mast Stepping?

Mornin' All,

I am sailing my Bermuda 30 from Shelburne, VT (Lake Champlain) to Florida. I have chosen to use the New York Canal system that should deliver me from Lake Champlain to the Hudson River and New York Harbor (by way of many groundings while down below, brushing my teeth, not paying attention and a few nights heeled over at 30 degrees, in one spot.....) The folks at the Shelburne Shipyard (Really nice folks, by the way...) are telling me I will need to step my mast at some point along the canal. I guesstimate the mast height to be about 40' and a she draws 4'. Anybody have experience transiting this canal system going South? Will I have to step the mast somewhere? Any other good warnings for a single-hander and a ship's cat that can't hold his own grog?

Thanks! Paul G.
chopsy is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 Old 04-28-2010
Learning the HARD way...
eherlihy's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Boston / Ft Myers Area
Posts: 6,683
Thanks: 389
Thanked 281 Times in 276 Posts
Rep Power: 13

Welcome to SailNet!

There are a couple of write ups here about making the trip.

Another Sailnetter, Labatt, has made the trip in both directions with his Passport 40. Here is a link to his excellent post. His last post here was in December, so he may not be active here anymore. However he has a blog, two kids, and a business, all of which may be keeping him busy elsewhere.

If you would like some help, send me a PM. I may be available - if I don't buy a boat, and I would LOVE to make this trip.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105/106/114/118 Instructor - Also certified in Marine Electrical Systems

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
eherlihy is online now  
post #3 of 7 Old 04-28-2010
Telstar 28
sailingdog's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,289
Thanks: 0
Thanked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Rep Power: 18
Yes, AFAIK, you will definitely have to unstep and restep your mast.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

sailingdog is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 04-28-2010
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,645
Thanks: 11
Thanked 253 Times in 248 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Paul, the unstepping will be required to get you from the lake into the Hudson. Once you are in the Hudson, you can get all the way to Florida without worrying about height or depth. (Although, there are always ways to run out of water in the intracoastal if you try.)

Watch out for barges and tows, stay clear of the commercial traffic, and make sure you are lit up when you anchor. And of course, don't anchor in the spots marked "HERE BE DRAGONS" they tend to get cranky when hit by anchors.
hellosailor is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 04-29-2010
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 24
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Champlain Canal

Hello Paul,

Along the canal you will need to take down your mast. You can make it all the way to Whitehall and have it done there, or if you are going soon and have it down for winter don't bother putting it up.

Lock 12 Marina in Whitehall is the only place in Whitehall with a crane. You can also have it done at nearly any marina further up the lake that has a few sailboats. Call around to get the best price. Make sure you get the cost of the mast, and extra fees such as cradle, radar dome, etc. Pricing is usually by the foot, mast not boat length.

The Champlain Canal is quite nice, and your going the easy way. You'll start out in an artificial section with little flow. Two up locks and then its all down hill (the easier way).

For single-handling I suggest tying a line to the center cleat and using one of the vertical poles that run down the lock. If there is no such pole (not all locks have been updated yet), then a ladder works well too, but you have to constantly undo and re-tie it.

Watch for currents along the Hudson River, especially if you stop at the Mechanicville or Fort Edward walls, approach upstream and parallel to the direction of flow.

When you get down past Albany you can put the mast back up. The options are:
* Castleton Boat Club, Castleton on the Hudson, NY; 518-732-7077 --- Note: Do it yourself gin pole.
* Hop-O-Nose Marine, Catskill, NY; 518-943-4640
* Riverview Marine Service Inc., Catskill, NY; 518-943-5311 --- Note: Cannot service catamarans, must fit in slip to reach crane.

The first is the cheapest, at about $50, but you must do everything yourself. The people in the club see hundreds, if not thousands, of boats a year, so don't expect them to help. You should be able to work a deal with someone also putting their mast up--you help me, I help you.

Hope this helps,

Boat: O'Day 25 / Sea Ray 270 Flybridge

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
mooregm5 is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 04-29-2010
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hamburg, NY
Posts: 163
Thanks: 8
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 10
Coming down the Hudson

Paul ... if you're in the vicinity of the New Hamburg Yacht Club at the end of a day ... we usually have a free transient space open on our docks ... let me know if your interested when it gets near time and I'll get you my phone number ... Certain nights, the club has dinners available (usually Thursday and Friday during the summer) and we also have showers and a bar ...

I'm not a very experienced sailor yet, but would love to just chew the fat ...
RonRelyea is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 05-07-2010
cruising all I can
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 917
Thanks: 3
Thanked 24 Times in 19 Posts
Rep Power: 13
I've stepped and unstepped at Castleton, inexpensive and easy to do.
Also a great little town w/ a laundry and place to get a meal, even a small store to provision lightly. the people are nice at the club and often have stuff going on there. I hope to be gettig there in the next couple weeks , as were in Ocracoke Island NC right now and if the weather is right tommorrow we'll be sailing up to Roanoake island ,VA
joethecobbler is offline  

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Un-Stepping and Stepping mast on a C30 Loaf1967 Chesapeake Bay 5 03-25-2010 10:11 AM
stepping mast/wind system bristol32owner Bristol 0 08-29-2009 11:01 AM
Question about stepping the mast for the Erie Canal wright1d General Discussion (sailing related) 14 06-16-2009 09:56 AM
stepping up, stepping back in. If you had the options... Motis Learning to Sail 7 10-27-2008 01:57 PM
stepping mast on Erie canal xort Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 7 10-09-2006 05:55 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome