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Old 12-06-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
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NW Alabama north to Ohio River

We will be on the go again this coming spring. We will be heading north on the Tennessee River from NW Alabama to Northern Ky. and beyond. We would like to stop at various marinas for a month at a time, or at least we think so. Just going through some of the marinas on the internet, they all seem to say the same thing - Annual or Transient Rates. Are there any marinas up that way that offer monthly rates for a 36' trawler? We have not yet decided on whether to hit the Ohio or the Cumberland. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:22 PM   #2
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We will be on the go again this coming spring. We will be heading north on the Tennessee River from NW Alabama to Northern Ky. and beyond. We would like to stop at various marinas for a month at a time, or at least we think so. Just going through some of the marinas on the internet, they all seem to say the same thing - Annual or Transient Rates. Are there any marinas up that way that offer monthly rates for a 36' trawler? We have not yet decided on whether to hit the Ohio or the Cumberland. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance.
You'll find 95% will offer a monthly rate, just not publish it to retain flexibility. You will have to make calls when you know the dates or approximate dates. They would rather have annual or transient but they'll let you have a month for less than the transient rate but more than the annual rate.
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:49 PM   #3
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Thanks BB.
I kind of figured that. Right now we are just in the planning stage.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:48 AM   #4
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Our marina has a fair amount of empty slips plus transient slips . I would think they would work with you . I'm at Paris Lading State Park mm66.1
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:22 AM   #5
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Tony B, Plan on spending quit a bit of time on Kentucky Lake. We had our boat there for a couple of years and loved it. Lots of nice quiet bays to anchor in. When we get back up that way we plan to spend at least 3 or 4 months again. Lake Barkley next door is pretty as well but is shallow. Lots of nice marinas as well.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:37 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips. Hopefully I will get to meet some of you guys. We don't really have a plan yet, not even a tentative one. We might go as far as Nashville, not sure yet. We are thinking that we probably will not spend the winter up there so that will limit some of our touring due to time constraints. We pay our slip fees quarterly here at Joe Wheeler St. Park so that will get us up and going by or slightly before April 1st. Not sure if we will come back to Joe Wheeler next winter or head back down to the coast. And I thought that retirement meant no decision making. I'm retired every day, I need a day off.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:48 PM   #7
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Tony how is the weather during the winter months at Joe Wheeler, do they leave the pump out on and a convenient way to fill water tanks? I plan on heading south next fall far enough to get out of the typical midwest winter. Gunthersville, Al. 690 miles, Memphis, Tn, 501 miles, Lebanon, Tn. 585 miles and Demopolis, Al. 780 miles are some of the destinations I'am considering. I have checked with Mud Island marina at Memphis and their water and pump out is in service during the winter. It's the shortest trip but it all 501 miles is on the mississippi and there is one fuel stop and no marinas after Kidd City makes for 268 miles, my capacity is 304 + 75 in a bladder. In 4 years I've averaged 1.8 mpg including gen time but all those miles are half with and half against the current. I understand that south of St. Louis with no locks and dams the current is faster and that would impact my mpg. The farthest I've contemplated is Demopolis it has the best weather during the winter but would be the most expensive to get to and return to the upper Mississippi in the spring just to escape 3 months of winter. If global warming kicks in I may not have to worry about it.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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Average Temps.doc


Hi Ron
Attached is a copy of The Average Highs and Lows for various areas I am interested in and made comparisons. Joe Wheeler is in Rogersville, Al.

The Pump-out works all winter. I think there is a winter charge of around $10 because of all the antifreeze that had to go into the system. The office is officially closed for the winter as of last night. Just call the Lodge and someone will come right down and pump your waste and pump you fuel. The Lodge runs the marina and they are open all year long.
As for water at the fuel dock, I will check it out for you. There are 3 covered piers and they have water all year long. The open piers don't. Their water was shut off a few weeks back. If for some reason you cant get water at the fuel dock, you can always get it under the covered slips and there is always a vacancy or two so you should be able to slip in if for nothing else but water.
If you called way in advance and told the gal (Denita) that runs the marina that you want to stay for the winter, you might be able to get a covered slip with fresh water year round. I'm in one of the covered slips. The pier next to be (700 Dock) cost more but they have a pump-out at every slip.
Some boats stay permanently hooked up.
This is by far, one of the prettiest marinas ever - not so much the marina itself, but the surrounding 2200 acres of state park and Tennessee River access.
Look up Joe Wheeler State Park on the internet and their website tells quite a bit.
I am sending you a PM with my e-mail and cell number.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:53 PM   #9
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Tony thanks for the link and information, I'll get on the Garmin blue chart mobile app and see what the mileage is. If I didn't want to be back on the upper Mississippi during summer I would do what you're doing and just keep traveling around the rivers and seeing new things.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:57 PM   #10
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We are on mile 277 on the Tennessee River. That ought to speed up your calculations.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:00 PM   #11
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Tony how is the weather during the winter months at Joe Wheeler, do they leave the pump out on and a convenient way to fill water tanks? I plan on heading south next fall far enough to get out of the typical midwest winter. Gunthersville, Al. 690 miles, Memphis, Tn, 501 miles, Lebanon, Tn. 585 miles and Demopolis, Al. 780 miles are some of the destinations I'am considering. I have checked with Mud Island marina at Memphis and their water and pump out is in service during the winter. It's the shortest trip but it all 501 miles is on the mississippi and there is one fuel stop and no marinas after Kidd City makes for 268 miles, my capacity is 304 + 75 in a bladder. In 4 years I've averaged 1.8 mpg including gen time but all those miles are half with and half against the current. I understand that south of St. Louis with no locks and dams the current is faster and that would impact my mpg. The farthest I've contemplated is Demopolis it has the best weather during the winter but would be the most expensive to get to and return to the upper Mississippi in the spring just to escape 3 months of winter. If global warming kicks in I may not have to worry about it.
From all I know, Joe Wheeler is just a very pleasant place to be. We intend to keep our boat a year or two at Aqua Yacht Harbor on Pickwick. Last January there was insanely cold however just as it was in Rogersville. Still all the facilities and amenities are available. Wheeler has the advantages that come with the hotel. Aqua has the full boatyard. Bay Springs is only slightly further south so same basic weather. On down the Tombigbee, Columbus would be a pleasant place to winter. Most of these are fine for living aboard but occasionally get a bit too cold to just leave the boat unattended.

I'm going to toss another option into the equation, just to totally confuse you. Wheeler is great if you like just communing with nature and the beauty of the area. If you prefer to have more city around, then continue to Chattanooga. Beautiful city, not a lot different temperature wise and a great area to visit. You mentioned Guntersville. Fine place with good marinas.

Now, where would I not recommend. Memphis. The trip down might be easy, but the trip back up to see what you passed by wouldn't be. Memphis is on the river but in many ways not a boating community. Demopolis. It's spending the winter at a shipyard. If I was going that far, I'd just continue on down to Mobile. There you'd have mild weather and much to do. Lebanon. Colder.

Personally, if I was going to live aboard for the winter, I'd pick either Joe Wheeler or Chattanooga. If I was going to leave the boat for the winter, I'd pick Aqua Yacht Harbor in Iuka.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:00 PM   #12
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Thanks Tony I'll give you a call tomorrow after lunch.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:09 PM   #13
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Hey Tony,

When we bought our boat last year it was on Watts Bar lake near Knoxville. We made the run down the Tennessee and up the Ohio to bring the boat home to Cincinnati. This fall we made half the return trip and now have a slip for the next year at Green Turtle Bay. In doing the research I found that most of the marinas in that area do offer a monthly rate, just takes a phone call. Most seem to be the annual rate divided by 8 or 10. If we can get our house sold in the spring and retirement kicks in we plan to spend next summer exploring the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers using Green Turtle as a home base. We'll most likely eat the last month or so of the lease to head south late fall.

If you decide to head up the Ohio keep in mind that marinas are pretty scarce between the Cumberland and Louisville. There are plenty between Louisville and Cincinnati, I don't have much experience above Cincy. The trip is easily doable just not many good places below Louisville to hang out for a week or so.

Since both trips were pretty much just moving every day to get the boat home I'm really looking forward to slowing down and seeing the sites on both rivers. Maybe we can hook up for a trip to Nashville next year! Feel free to get in touch if you want more info on the Ohio. You can check out our blog too for a trip report from last year. http://chasing80.blogspot.com/
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:17 PM   #14
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Band B

I pretty much agree with everything you say especially about communing with nature. You know your in the sticks when the nearest Wally World is 20 miles in either direction. We joke about being like the Beverly Hillbillies - once a week we dress up and go to town shopping. Rogersville is about 5 miles away and has a supermarket and such but not like Florence or Athens for full shopping.
Going from memory, the coast is about 7 or 8 days south of Pickwick Lake.
Don't sound like much, but on limited time, an additional 14 to 16 more days of travel is a lot. Both in cost and time.
We have been here since June 1. We have done quite a bit of sight-seeing but end up more content staying in the park.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:20 PM   #15
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BandB I really appreciate the information you've added, the more I have the happier I'll be with my final choice. Memphis is on the list because it was one of the 1st places I thought I might like to cruise to after deciding to keep the boat on the river.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:23 PM   #16
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Hey Tony,.....
Maybe we can hook up for a trip to Nashville next year! Feel free to get in touch if you want more info on the Ohio. You can check out our blog too for a trip report from last year. Chasing 80
We are seriously thinking about Nashville for mid summer next year. I met a really nice guy on houseboatmagazine.com and spent several days at his marina in Aliceville, Al. He has offered my a good monthly rate on 2 marinas he is negotiating on in Nashville.
I will stay in touch with you.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:45 PM   #17
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Tony it's 606 miles, I looked at the marina website and found these requirements -

A signed lease agreement, a copy of Alabama boat registration and proof of insurance are required from all slip holders. All slips are billed quarterly.

My boat is registered in Illinois do you know how long I can stay before I would have to register in Al?
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:06 PM   #18
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Tony it's 606 miles, I looked at the marina website and found these requirements -

A signed lease agreement, a copy of Alabama boat registration and proof of insurance are required from all slip holders. All slips are billed quarterly.

My boat is registered in Illinois do you know how long I can stay before I would have to register in Al?
I don't remember signing a lease agreement, but I probably did.
The Alabama boat Registration should have read any current boat registration from any state. I have been here since June 1st and they never asked me to register in Alabama. I still have my Texas Registration and will be here till at least March and they know it. I also don't remember providing proof of insurance but I'm sure I did. Most marinas require liability insurance.
When you call the marina or Lodge, ask for Denita. Even though the marina office is closed, she will be here quite often on weekends. If you like, I can leave a message with her to call you. Main thing is don't worry about the out of state registration.
I'll have to check on Alabama Registration. I think your boat has to be in Alabama for more than 90 CONSECUTIVE days before Al. registration is required. Surely, within the 90 day period, you will be in Tennessee or Ms. for at least one day. I'll have to double check on the 90 day thing. It might be different.
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