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Old 08-25-2019, 03:43 PM   #1
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Minimum draft for Great Loop

Hello, All

I know this topic is addressed in multiple sites, yet wanted to just see if I could get some verification from those that have done the Loop with boats with a draft of a bit over 5 feet.

I am looking at a boat that has a draft of 5.5 feet, and am concerned about sections of the Loop that it will just be too much. Especially of concern is the TSW, which I read in many places has maybe 5 feet, depending on water levels at the time. And it is a rock bottom, also.

Thanks for any information with your particular experiences with boat of similar drafts.

Mark
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Old 08-25-2019, 03:55 PM   #2
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The TST has a maximum draft of 6í. If you are over 5í draft you will have to sign a waiver for any damages but you are allowed to go. Over 6í you are not allowed.
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Old 08-25-2019, 03:57 PM   #3
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Usually the more critical draft is the air draft. There are places you cannot go if your air draft is too tall.
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Old 08-25-2019, 03:59 PM   #4
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Hi Mark,

I have no idea ( yes I know that's a deer born without eyes) but perhaps you should be asking what is the MAXIMUM draft a boat can have to do the loop.................

PS if you want to hear the full deer joke, let me know - its a real grandad joke
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Old 08-25-2019, 04:00 PM   #5
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You can do all of the American side of the Loop with that draft. There will be places that you will only be able to go with the upper third of the tide. The TSW will fluctuate some based on rainfall and Great Lakes levels. 2017 would have been a good year to do it with that draft. I would be concerned about below normal water levels. If you're prepared to pass on it in a low water level year, then maybe the boat works. Might be worth exploring a rental boat for the TSW if it's that important.

Ted
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Old 08-25-2019, 04:11 PM   #6
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Thanks, everyone.

The air draft issue is very clear, so that wasn't as much of a question. The Canadian waterway issue was one of my concerns, but I was seeking more information if one were to go alternate routes.

Ted, thanks for the information regarding the American route being okay.

Mark
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:10 PM   #7
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Life is so complicated. Water deep enough but then, the bridges may be too low.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:29 PM   #8
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Wifey B: We did it with 5' draft and no issues but we didn't try the Trent Severn or even West Erie. I've known others to do it with slightly more and the same.

One thing people overlook is there isn't just one route but are many variations. On the coast we run outside a lot so no concern of shallow ICW sections.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:36 AM   #9
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Ok, Iím stumped. What is the TSW?
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:54 AM   #10
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Ok, Iím stumped. What is the TSW?
Trent Severn Waterway. A Canadian waterway that allows one to jump from Lake Ontario and come out in Lake Huron, but has restrictions as to the boat that the rest of the loop didn't.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:28 AM   #11
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Last season we travelled the Trent-Severn with a 48-foot Krogen Whaleback that drafted 5.5 feet. That Krogen made it through with no incident. Our DeFever drafted 5 feet feet. No problems for us either.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:25 AM   #12
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We did the Trent-Severn in 2017, we're 5' draft plus, depending on fuel & water capacity, plus the freshwater sets us deeper. During our transit, water levels were unusually high, lots of turbulence at lock approaches, and our 5+ ft bumped a few times west of the Kirkfield lift lock. There's a keyhole overpass that's notorious for trapping debris, our keel slid over a log or something that caused us to hobby horse a bit. As others point out, when you bump bottom, it's granite. But the trip was worth it. If you're a big boat, there are sections where passing is nearly impossible, but it's workable. Georgian Bay and North Channel are spectacular. The Benjamin's are a must-see. Spend some time there.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:18 AM   #13
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This book answers all your questions on air and water draft.

https://www.amazon.com/Loopers-Compa...84264289&psc=1
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatlaker221 View Post
This book answers all your questions on air and water draft.

https://www.amazon.com/Loopers-Compa...84264289&psc=1
It would seem, all the possible question will be answered by this volume except, "What are you cooking for dinner?"

Side note: When I brought the N46 down from Long Island, I had paper charts and one of the very first models of a hand held GPS with installed basic charts. No planning, stopping only when necessary, time both inside and outside the ICW. It was the marine version of ROAD TRIP. LOL
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:14 AM   #15
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When we cruised the TSW in 2012 it was a low water year. We had no issue at 4 feet draft, but there was a sailboat that we met with a few times. He had a 6 1/2 foot draft. He got stuck on the sill trying to exit the Kirkfield lock, but the Canadians got him off ok unscathed. Then he had to wait for several days so they could fill the canals enough to get his thru to Simcoe.
But he made it.
If he had told them in advance they would have let the levels raise enough to get him thru.
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:24 AM   #16
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Good info from someone that cruises the loop frequently. Great Loop Boat Requirements - What you need to know before you go.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:32 PM   #17
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Thanks to all. Sounds like 5.5 feet is doable, especially if water levels are high.

Greatlaker, I will check out the book.
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