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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, considering the purchase of a boat on the east coast, and wanting to see if anyone has recommendations for transport from there to Lake Erie. Its a pretty large boat (48' LOA, 13.75' beam, 6.5' draft). Also considering just floating her up the Erie Canal, but that would be a pretty big time commitment I'm not sure I can make (7-10 days..if everything went perfectly..).

Thanks for any suggestions!

Brandon
 

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big wide boat, that will need over size permits all around. Will not be inexpensive. Were it me, I would float her on her own bottom....doing it myself in stages if you need to, or hire a captain to do it.

The rigging to load and unload and coordination of the move will be an adventure unlike any you have ever had. And mostly not in a good way....while floating her will still be the adventure of a lifetime, it will be an adventure you remember for life, in a VERY good way, no matter what happens on the way.

Were it me, not really a choice...the fuel charges to truck it, alone would pay your expenses for the two week or three weekend float home.

All the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's kind of what I'm wondering. The one quote I received (and I was clear that it was an inquiry for a boat I was considering, not one that I yet owned) was for about $6k...there's a lot that could be done for $6k.

That said, is the Erie Canal conducive to doing the move in steps? Are there places where I could, say, rent a mooring for a couple weeks where she can sit until I can take another long weekend to get her down the next leg?


Anyone had recent experience on the Canal that would suggest that the boat could be taken from Long Island Sound all the way to Lake Erie at Buffalo in a week (Saturday to the next Sunday)?
 

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First thing to check is whether the canal in its current state can accommodate your draft - it had a lot of damage back in Irene.

When I lived on Lake Ontario and this was on my local bucket list, I looked into it. A week end-to-end didn't seem unreasonable.
 

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My 46 foot 12.5 wide with shallow 5 foot draft (less than 13.5 on the trailer) was $4500 18 months ago from Maryland to Monroe Michigan
The height will raise the price a lot if over the 13.5
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Arch- I will keep you in mind.

I don't know if we'll end up with it or not, it appears to be the right price, and it has a lot of features we like, but it is about 8 feet longer than what I was really looking for. Gonna go look at it this weekend, so we shall see. Might be able to swing a week to do it, would just have to figure out how to get to the boat where it is currently, then back home from Buffalo. We'll see what happens!
 

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We had ours delivered from Lake Erie to RI, via the canal. Took 13 days, daylight only, and that was pretty good. 2 days were west of Buffalo. Depending one where you start in LIS, that could be a day or two west of RI. So, 9 to 10 days is probably realistic from LIS to Buffalo.

The only hassle is having your mast dropped at the Hudson and restepped at Lake Erie. That can be time consuming and you have to figure out if you'll rig something to carry it on the deck or have it trucked across NY.

The canal can close temporarily, if a huge flooding storm comes through. It happens, so you can find yourself delayed. Half way down the canal is Lake Onieda. I can't say for sure, but would think there are marinas you could leave her in and return. Google the canal, there are a ton of cruising resources.

Finally, a boat that size may require its keel dropped to ship,over the ground. If so, it's just not worth it. On her own bottom is always better, whenever possible. Your $6k quote sounds pretty light, even just for the trucking. You must use someone highly experienced in hauling sailboats, not just someone quoting a generic per mile rate. Height, weight, length, etc typically drive premium permit costs and even escort vehicles, depending on the state being crossed. Add to that the cost to remove everything from the deck, including lifelines and stanchions, and reinstall.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Minne-

The more I learn and think about shipping, the more I think that it is unlikely that trucking will be a good solution for us. I've got a feeling that the boat is too tall to ship anyway. The biggest issue really will be just getting the time and crew together to get the boat up the Canal before the end of the season. (obviously assuming that when we go to see it this weekend we are still interested in it and we can come together on a price both parties are comfortable with, etc.)
 

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Check Hurricane Transport, they are in Ohio. They moved our Gulfstar 50 ketch. When you look at the boat get a height measurement that may be a deal killer for trucking. Especially if its a center cockpit.
 

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Rhys, Surely there must be hundreds of boats on the Great Lakes that could be a good choice. No?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Denise-

There are, but this particular one checks off a lot of boxes for me that may make it worth the hassle of getting it to the Great Lakes.
 

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While you still need someone experienced, an inland delivery should be much less expensive than offshore. Some skippers don't agree, but some absolutely do. Plus, transiting the Erie Canal is a real badge of honor for a some and a desirable trip. I bet you can get it done for less than the cost of ground transport. Or have a professional crew do as much as you can't.
 

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If the boat is ready you can easily do the canal in a week from Waterford to Buffalo. Lots of daylight this time of the year. There are a few spots where you can leave the boat if needed. There are a couple of marinas and many free walls where you can tie up but I would not leave the boat unattended overnight on some of the walls as locals like to party along the canal and an unattended boat is a big temptation although I have seen unattended boats on walls during high water periods when some locks were closed.

Moving the boat on her own bottom is preferable to trucking. The bumpy ride can really shake things up in a boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Alright, everyone has convinced me: If we do end up purchasing this boat, it looks like we will be doing the Erie Canal. Probably save something like $5k+...which will go a long ways towards the inevitable refit. Thanks for all of the advice!

On to the next question: Anyone have suggestions for a good boatyard/marina between Sandusky and Toledo on Erie? One that will allow us to do work ourselves and isn't super expensive?
 
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