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HELLO FRIENDS.I was thinking on navigating on this river,can i get to it by way of the great lakes,and follow it to the Coast.Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.my boat is a bruce roberts full keel spray 37
 

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I guess you have never heard of "The Great Loop".
Boaters travel up the east coast, cut over to the
great Lakes, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and back to the East Coast.

of course, the trip can be started at any point on the loop.

Google Great Loop and you will find all kinds of info on this trip.
 

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I'm not a pro on the Loop, but I believe it can't be done with the mast up. Which parts exactly, one would have to research. I suspect it is the canals in particular, but you may want to check clearances along the Mississippi bridges. There should be plenty of deep water for the keel, on the other hand. Then there is the floating debris, particularly if you go after a flood.
 
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Milos,

Yes, it's very doable and done often. We completed the Loop a couple of years back, and it was a good trip.

There's plenty of info on the web, and it should give you a good initial data dump for planning.

We found the Skipper Bob pubs and ActiveCaptain very useful.

I'd strongly recommend taking the more common Tenn-Tom route instead of staying on the Mississippi all the way to New Orleans.

You'll have to drop your mast in/around Chicago; depending on your air draft you may or may not want to get it back up before you get to Mobile, AL. Check bridge clearances, and be sure to leave yourself a margin of error to allow for varying water levels from seasonal flooding.
 

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if you come down the Mississippi, below Baton Rouge you're sharing the river with very large ships as and some oil field traffic as well as the very large (and many small) tows.

Use channel 67 VHF to talk to them and life will be much easier. "Nobra + number" are the first ship pilots, then "Crescent" as you get to New Orleans and below. Or "federal" on the few US-flag ships. They're faster than you but can't turn or slow as quickly so make your meeting or being-overtaken arrangements early. Carry an AIS unit, at least a passive one. Sailboats are not frequent but not way unusual either.

US Coast Pilot, vol. 5 is very useful.
 
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