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Old 11-22-2016, 04:06 PM   #1
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Planning 2017 Cruising Destinations

It's getting close to start planning our next river cruise. I'am leaning toward going up the Ohio but that isn't definite yet. I would appreciate any information from Ohio river boaters on any must see or recommended stops to make and towns where re-provisioning would be easiest and the places to avoid. We anchor out unless we need fuel, water, pump out or a break to get off the boat. We tow a 17' center console to get to shore so we can go places we can't take the 38'. Input from any boaters experienced on the Ohio river is most welcome.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:33 PM   #2
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Paducah KY is building a new marina. It should be open early to midsummer. The local shops and restaurants are awesome.
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info on Paducah, I will probably leave mid July for wherever we choose. The Ohio is what I'am leaning towards at this time, trying to gain some knowledge on what's there to determine if it's really where we want to spend time.
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:06 PM   #4
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Good luck my friend, if you happen to come our way give us a ring. 270-366-1807
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:43 PM   #5
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We've just done a little looking as we plan on cruising the Ohio River in 2018. My first question would be how much time do you have?

The places we've initially earmarked as places of interest are Paducah, Henderson, Cave in Rock, Evansville, Leavenworth, Louisville, Cincinnati, Maysville, Pomeroy, Marietta, Pittsburgh. Here are some links we've found useful.

Capt John gives a bit of an overall impression. Look at the traffic.

Cruising the Ohio River, by Capt John

Boat US has an informative document.

The Ohio River: Long Water From Point to Point - Trailering - BoatUS Magazine

Here is the link to the Ohio DNR division of watercraft. It's filled with information including rules and regulations.

http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/ohioriver

Riverlorian:

http://www.riverlorian.com/ohioriver.htm


While cruise ships go much more quickly than any of us desire to, they also make sure to hit the highlights.

I would think the minimum time would be two months. Our intent would be probably closer to three. There are 20 locks on the Ohio River and you're talking at least 1900 miles round trip. Covering 60 miles a day cruising and cruising every other day, that's still 63 days. There are many places I'd want to spend several days though. I've never been to any of the area. I could see 4, 5, and 6 days at some cities.

As to anchoring, it's not the most favorable river in the world for anchoring from what I've learned. There are some anchorages though and even a free wall in Cincinnati and quite a few tributaries. However, it's all pretty much on the main part of the river with traffic passing by. Very few places to anchor and then dinghy to town. I'd plan on marinas in the towns I really wanted to explore. I think for some anchorages you're probably going to have to communicate with some people along the way, perhaps coming from the opposite direction to find them.

Now one thing additional in our plans. The water world does not end in Pittsburgh, hence Three Rivers. You can take the Allegheny River which has 8 locks but only 5 of them normally open. So, normally you're limited in travel to around Freeport, PA, about 30-40 miles I think. The others are in "Caretaker Status" but do occasionally get opened for special occasions. There are 9 locks on the Monongahela taking you about 120 miles to Fairmont, W Va. I would at least want to take it to Morgantown. A very different area from that you see on the Ohio.

So, I just added about 250 miles to the total round trip, making it about 2150 miles. At 60 miles per cruise day and, on the average cruising every other day, that requires just over 70 days. Our plans are to allocate as much as 84 days. Six weeks to Pittsburgh, then six weeks for the other two rivers and the return.

In a cruise like this one, we tend to stop in every other town we want to see each way. So, we'd get town 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 going and 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 returning. That way we balance cruising vs. sight seeing and relaxation and don't create several consecutive days of just cruising with nothing to see.

The least attractive part of the trip is that if we do it all including the side trips then we'll be locking 66 times. Just doing the Ohio, you'll lock 40 times. Some days of locking will go very well with lock openings just lining up with each other and many locks on a day. Other times you will get held up as the locks are single chamber locks. If you've done the Erie Canal then you have a feel for the amount of locking. The other negative is you must come back the same way you go so that's why you want to alternate your stops and sight seeing along the way.

We're excited about the trip as we feel many loopers just miss out on the inland rivers. We're doing the Tennessee and Cumberland next summer, the Ohio in 2018. Perhaps the Missouri and Arkansas in 2019. Much can change between now and then including skipping a year of river boating.
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:37 PM   #6
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B and B: Good info and good, thoughtful approach to trip planning. I share your interest in exploring those inland river systems, particularly including the Ohio and the "Mon."

What sort of vessel do you favor for that sort of traveling? By "that sort" I mean sixty-plus locks. Traveling the Erie Canal helped convince me that (among other things) side-door access from the lower helm directly onto the side deck is a big plus for short-handed line handling in the locks.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:49 PM   #7
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B and B: Good info and good, thoughtful approach to trip planning. I share your interest in exploring those inland river systems, particularly including the Ohio and the "Mon."

What sort of vessel do you favor for that sort of traveling? By "that sort" I mean sixty-plus locks. Traveling the Erie Canal helped convince me that (among other things) side-door access from the lower helm directly onto the side deck is a big plus for short-handed line handling in the locks.
Same vessel that would be good for the loop would be for the rivers. Easy handling of lines and fenders for locking is very important. I think side door access is important for short handed line handling in the locks or at docks.
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:30 PM   #8
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Band B being retired I can take all the time I want, I figured about 2 months but as much needed as long as I'am having fun. Thank you for the links, I've been looking at AC overlay on garmin bluechart mobile, but still haven't made a decision yet for a final destination.
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by River Cruiser View Post
Band B being retired I can take all the time I want, I figured about 2 months but as much needed as long as I'am having fun. Thank you for the links, I've been looking at AC overlay on garmin bluechart mobile, but still haven't made a decision yet for a final destination.
For the Ohio and to get in the other two rivers from Pittsburgh, I'd recommend allowing as much as 3 months. If it goes faster, that's fine, you just get back to the TN River and play. We'll allow around 12 weeks for it and we travel faster than most here, cruising around 26 knots, although not a lot of opportunity for speed there. We do plan schedules which are always easy to change. Some places merit more time and some we just do what there is to do quicker than planned. With locks we plan on things going slow, but often get the surprise of very quick locking.

Here is a great site some aren't aware of with information on the lock queue's and the current wait and average time transiting.

Lock Queue Report

It also gives you a good glance into what kind of vessels.

One technique we've used in doing the loop or the rivers is that we'll start with a list of every possible stop, every town we might like to see. Then we'll look at what each offers that interests us and from that we'll narrow it down to fit our time plan. We even score the towns on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of our interest and ultimately end up doing all the 4's and 5's and some of the 3's. We dismiss the lower scored stops unless we have more time. Now what we score lower won't agree with what someone else would as we all have different interests. Sometimes we're surprised. An example is Paducah, KY. We found 14 attractions there we'd be interested in. That's at least a two day stop and covering 8-10 of them or three days for all. On the other hand there are a couple of towns that we only really find one attraction that interests us, so half a day is plenty of time.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:52 PM   #10
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I've been using the lock queue report for a few years and have found it very handy when traveling. 26 knts is very fast, 20 mph is wot for me, fast cruise is 14 mph, we tow a 17' center console when traveling so going slower is partially due to that. I have no schedule and because we typically anchor out I will have 2 or 3 possible places to drop anchor for the night because of possible delays at locks. I will use AC reviews to pick possible stops either anchorage or marinas, I usually want to stop around 5:00 pm while we have plenty of daylight left to make sure I have a good set. I will find a place to anchor without any AC information by checking the charts on my iPad for a suitable spot. Sitting here at home in Kansas watching it snow today makes me think I should of paddled south in October, maybe next fall.
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Old 12-07-2016, 04:30 PM   #11
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Sitting here at home in Kansas watching it snow today makes me think I should of paddled south in October, maybe next fall.
Wifey B: Duh
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