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Is it possible to?

3600 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Kayanarka
I have searched the forums for a straight answer last night and again this morning and can only find information suggesting it might not be worth it even if possible.

That is not an answer to the question though it is just a personal opinion.

I am hoping someone or several of you will focus solely on my question and the logistics involved.

Is it possible to sail or motor from Lake Erie to the Atlantic Ocean without removing or stepping the mast? If so what is the maximum mast height with out having to use techniques like water bags to heel the boat? What is the route and is there a suggested cruising book.

If it is impossible a simple no is fine. If it is possible but stupid please just say it is possible and what route to take. I don't want to hear about all the easy places to get the mast down or how it only takes a day and saves so much time ect, there are already plenty of posts in the forums covering the trip using the mast removal method.

I simply want to know is it possible. I have not found a simple yes or no.
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Is it possible to sail or motor from Lake Erie to the Atlantic Ocean without removing or stepping the mast? If so what is the maximum mast height with out having to use techniques like water bags to heel the boat? What is the route and is there a suggested cruising book
That may depend on the answers i get
Mast Heights The maximum permitted air draft is 35.5 meters (116.5 ft.) in the Montreal to Lake Erie section. Vessels in excess of the maximum are not accepted for transit. We can, however, advise masters on trim alternatives as a resolution.

So reading this it says i can sail around lake erie and Montréal in any sailboat with a mast short enough to clear all the ICW bridges. I am not familiar enough with the area to know if this gets me out to the atlantic. If it does what is the exact route then.
Im sorry for being stupid about the geography of the area mike. I am looking at the maps but i can not see where the st lawrence river picks up again to get me to lake erie after entering into lake ontario
Ok. So just to recap. I can take a sail boat with a 100' tall mast from lake erie up the welland canal into lake ontario and out the st lawrence river to reach the Atlantic ocean with out having to remove the mast at all?

Can i also make it to grand island with out removing the mast?
I guess i should have just asked how can i get google maps to show me bridge heights. Or where do i find bridge heights. Or how do i start to plan a trip like this. Or what should i ask if i want to plan something like this. I really just wanted to know yes it can be done and you go this way or no it can not be done. I figured someone may have quick fast answer but like i stated in the original post everyone sort of like to beat around the bushes instead of getting straight to the point of yes you can go from lake erie to the ocean with your mast up the entire way.
Well you were right mike. A little better research on my part would hae answered my question. Wiki shows the welland canal has the bridge either 100 + feet tall or able to open. Thanks everyone for the help and bottom line is you can sail mast up from lake erie to the atlantic ocean.
I'm sorry, did I miss something? I've taken an 80' sailboat from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Erie without dropping the masts.
I know captains who've taken much larger and taller rigs to and from the Great Lakes, as well. Just how tall is your mast? Over 110 feet? I'm pretty sure even with that, you can get under any bridges on the St Lawrence Seaway.
The only thing you missed was the chance to give me the answer I was seeking at the very first post. This is all I wanted to know, thank you.

My current mast height is about 30' maybe? I am currently sailing a chrystler 20' in circles on various lakes in Colorado, gaining my sailing experience for when my wife and I retire on our larger cruising yacht in (hopefully) ten more years.

We were both curious about if we could sail to grand island to visit her mom without taking the mast down and up each year, and that led me to make this post since people would dance around the fact, and most said it is silly to go so far just de-mast and be done. But I could not find a single post with the statement you just made which is basically yes, you can do it, I have done it.

I understand it will be a long trip if we skip the erie canal, but we will not be in any rush that I know of, especially since we have family all the way up to boston. The only other question I would have is how feasible is it to do the trip both ways and still spend quality time with her family in buffalo NY and avoid the hurricane season traveling up and down the ICW. We even thought of just staying in Lake Ontario and avoiding the locks in welland canal since it would only be a short drive for her family to meet up to us ( any suggested ports or slips or anchorages in ontario lake near niagra?)

I am hoping that our mast height will eventually be just below the required height to do all of the ICW (think it is 56?)

Anyway, thanks for the very simple answer Capta, and thanks to the rest of you for the links, more studying for me to do before the trip.

I might buy one of those cruising guids for the loop, but I have read that you should always buy the most recent cruising guide, and ten years from now is a long time in this ever changing world, so I might wait a bit to by one.
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To Capta, do you find the 80' mast height keeps you out of anywhere you had every wanted to go?
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