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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking about a trip from Ft Myers up the Western coast of Fl , then up the Mississippi river.
Has anyone had experience on this route?
As the Mississippi cant be sailed much I wil have to rely on the outboard aux.
Im wondering of the currents going up the river
As our aux motor is smaller {8hp} and our boat is 25 ft Im wondering on speed on asent
up the river
Any help would be thankful for.
 

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I have not made this trip but I would definately not try this with an outboard! In the best of conditions against the current you probably couldn''t average more than 4 knots. What is your destination? How much time do you have? What is the draft of your vessel? I''d suggest a more efficient method, a trailer and a stout towing vehicle. IMHO think of a different trip .
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Te Boat is a Sloop Rig 25 ft, with Aux Outboard..
Now as I see it, there is no real reason why it would not make it, its 25 ft
Im just wanting to know its anyones done it
Or what is currents ect at mouth of River?
As for time for trip, Im retired so it can take as long as I need
IronWind
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have been on the Mississippi many times in a bass boat with a 70 hp engine. The currents pushed us around fairly easily. I would not want to be on the river with a small motor and a big boat. The barge traffic can be quite heavy as well. The tugs pushing the barges throw huge haystack waves behind them as well. This is not a river I would want to cruise up or down in a sailboat. A large trawler/power cruiser type craft would probably be ok. I own a 30'' sloop with a 15hp diesel and I would not even consider going up this river. Think twice before undertaking this course.
 

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silly to go up the mississippi- up to 5 knots of current, barge trains of 1000 feet and you have NO right of way- better to go up the tenn-tom waterway in Alabama, which will then spit you out on the mississippi far up it- where the traffic and current are not so bad- or you could continue up the miss and go to the illinois, which will spit you out on lake michigan in downtown Chicago.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A few years ago I read a book (can''t remember the name) by a guy who took and open rowboat with a 15 hp outboard DOWN the Miss from Minn to mouth. He often mentioned the strong currents and the barge traffic. He made it OK, but he was going DOWN and tied up in towns every nite along the way. Consider the Tennessee River. I hear it''s pretty good.
 

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Ahoy ,Iron Wind , Big Red is back and sailing in Charlotte harbor. I have a book for you that describes a good deal of the trip you are thinking of and would be glad to loan it to you. I am in the Cape and can be reached at [email protected] name of the book is Cruises with Kathleen by Donald Hamilton. He took the trip down from the Galveston Texas area and even stopped in Marco Island. I sail out of Jug Creek Marina on Pine Island and would love to hear from my southern buddies. RED
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey there Iron Wind
I am in Northern Michigan about 50 miles from the top end of Lake Michigan, I live in Boyne City. Boyne City is on the inland end of Lake Charlevoix which opens into Lake Michigan.
In October of "77" I went down the Ole Miss on a Morgan Out Island 41. It is the kind of thing that we all look forward to doing. I am glad I did it, but once is enough, unless I was to get paid pretty well for the second trip. That river is no joke and is no play ground. There are tons of flotsam going down the river all the time all around you. Combine that with all the barge traffic and it can be a ***** at times. I remember counting the barges tied togather on one push & it was bigger than a football field. Those big tugs pushing the barges do not put out a wake---they tear the hell out of the river. Like the other fella said they are like hay stacks 8-10-12 stacks in a row. The tug Captains will do all they can for you but they can only do so much.
Other than the fact that when we did get to a town and could tie up and spend 2 or 3 days, I am sure that we spent more nights on the hook in the "river wilderness" than we did off the river at a dock. AND----that can be kind of spooky too. You have to get out of the sailing lane, that the Army Corpes of Enginneers is dredeging all the time to keep it deep enough, to drop the the anchor. Usually we would try to get off in a curve in the river, as the water flowing into & out of a curve will tend to keep it a bit deeper. Unless it happens to drop more sand in there---you never know, so you have to be careful going in. AND, you will spend more nights on the river going up than you will going down.
I don''t remember the speed of the river at various places but I still have the river charts in the attic and will dig them out if you like & will be able to give you more info. One thing for sure---I would not plan to start up in the spring, after or during the snow melt up in this end of the country. I would plan to leave New Orleans mid to late July, after the river has calmed down.
In short----I would love to sail with you after you pop out at Chicago but I don''t think I want to make the North Bound River Trip with you. For sure , you want to explore the "Thomas Bixby" ,or Bigsby {not sure how they spell it} it did not exist when I went down.
You will see my e-maill address above,and I would be happy to hear from you.

Walt Ward
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My e-mail has change a bit---we added a W. I can''t seem to get this message board systom to understand. Two net servers merged & were over loaded with Walts. The new one is -----

[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How different would a trip on the Miss be from on the ICW? The Albemarle, for instance, can be pretty fierce at times, although not with major heavy traffic... I did the ICW in a 22'' MacGregor with a 6hp kicker, and am considering a Miss trip soon, but going downriver and in a 32''
Ive read articles about people who have made the trip, but all of them were going downriver; I agree with Texas Bob - take advantage of the current.
Then again, if you have unlimited time, sailing upriver is certainly something few people have ever done...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I went down this course, Lake Mi to the Miss this sumer in a 29'' sailboat. Current is scary going down about 4-5 knots average. It pushed us around and we were going with the current. Ran into 2-40'' sail boats comming up from USVI with newer inboards. They were going very slow.
You are likely to run out of gas, chugging upstream. There are numerous huge deadheads, whole trees going downstream at 5 knots.
I suggest driving up.
 

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I would not even consider it

I wouldn't even consider this, for a number of reasons. First is of course the current, which runs 4 or 5 knots regularly. Second is the barge traffic, which is heavy. 1000 ft barge strings, sometimes three wide, and they have the right of way and can not manuever well at all. Next is the facilities. If you are on a small boat, at least on the lower river, there are no facilities that you can use. Fuel will be a major problem, as well as anywhere to stop. And last but not least, is the floating crap. Entire trees coming down are not uncommon. May not be a detriment to a big barge, but would surely be a hazard in a smallish sail boat. I live in New Orleans, and have been in the river there one time coming up from Texas. Never again. When you are motoring along, trying to stay out of the way, and a big tanker comes up behind you on a curve, there just isn't much leeway or room for error. Too much current to pull out of the way and stop. It just isn't safe. The Tenn Tom would be much better, and much safer. The rest of your trip up the W coast of Fl. is nice. Lots of places to anchor out, and plenty of marinas if you preffer that. Plenty of wildlife, pretty scenery, nice beaches and friendly people.
 

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Guys, I doubt the OP much cares, since he posted this thread NINE YEARS AGO.
 

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I just crossed the river near Venice in a 32 ft with 30 hp diesel.There were no barges but would think the 4 ocean going ships would count as hazards.The current was around 5-6 kts.The ships were only doing around 12 kts,Came in through a small canal doing 1.4kts 3/4 throttle.Your ob would not even keep you from going backwards.marc
 
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