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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
we would like to go down Mississippi river. via Chicago/ Lake Michigan. I have been searching for information about what is the lowest bridge height, and if a 8 foot draft vessel can make this trip to the Gulf of Mexico.
which route thru Chicago would allow 19' height?
which marinas can dis-mast sailboat before entering?
What is the time/date locks and bridges close? would like to travel down, at end of October
 

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Pretty cool video blog of a married couple that did that trip in Tartan 37 last fall. https://sailingsoulianis.com/
If you leave that late in the year, you will experience some seriously cold weather along the way. Eight foot draft will be a challenge when anchoring and will force you to use the main shipping channel all the way down.
 

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Pretty cool video blog of a married couple that did that trip in Tartan 37 last fall. https://sailingsoulianis.com/
Not exactly.

1. Soulianis didn't take the Mississippi all the way (which the OP implies), ending at New Orleans. They took the Mississippi to the Ohio River to Tennessee River to Tenn-Tom Waterway to Tombigbee / Black Warrior river to Mobile, AL.

2. They did not do it last year. (Fall of 2018.) The videos they are putting out imply they are 3-ish months behind. They are actually a year and 3 months behind. Go to their FaceBook page and go back to summer 2018. They were back from the Bahamas and had Soulianis on the hard in Fort Meyers, FL, for a new bottom.


Timbuctoo, if you come the route Soulianis did as I just described, contact me when you get near the Ohio River. We're familiar with the North ends of Kentucky Lake (Tennessee River) and Lake Barkley (Cumberland River) as that is where we keep our boat and we will be southbound to Tampa Bay from there ourselves come fall.

At the north end here, there are several marinas (4?). IMHO, the two nicest full service marinas, practically back to back, are Lighthouse Landing on the east side of Kentucky Lake and Green Turtle Bay on the west side of Lake Barkley. Between them is the tiny town of Grand Rivers.

There are several marinas on each lake further south, but going further south on Lake Barkley will take you out of your way. There are hundreds of coves to anchor in, but TVA just started to lower the water level from summer pool. Over the next 2 or 3 months the water will go down 4 feet to winter pool. By October your 8' draft will keep you in the channel a lot.
 

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Timbuctoo, if you come the route Soulianis did as I just described, contact me when you get near the Ohio River. We're familiar with the North ends of Kentucky Lake (Tennessee River) and Lake Barkley (Cumberland River) as that is where we keep our boat and we will be southbound to Tampa Bay from there ourselves come fall.

At the north end here, there are several marinas (4?). IMHO, the two nicest full service marinas, practically back to back, are Lighthouse Landing on the east side of Kentucky Lake and Green Turtle Bay on the west side of Lake Barkley. Between them is the tiny town of Grand Rivers.


Deep Dish,
I'm fairly new here or I would have DMd you. I'd love a chance to pick your brain about Kentucky Lake. We are currently on Memphremagog in N VT. My wife is getting sick of the winters here. Grand Rivers/Paducah area looks really good for us on paper. Let me know if you could spare some time to answer a couple questions.
 
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