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Old 07-08-2015, 03:52 PM   #1
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Traveling from Montreal to Albany, NY

We are planning a trip on the Erie Canal to Buffalo and then out Oswego to 1000 islands, NE to Montreal and then to Albany via Champlain Canal. Our 37 Nordic Tug has a bridge clearance of 15'. A hole in my plans is Montreal and places south to Albany. Any help for this section of,our travels would be appreciated. Departing Baldwinsville, NY August first. Planing on being at Norfolk by October first.
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:42 PM   #2
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Your bridge clearance is perfect. My best advice is to not have a plan, and stick to it.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:26 PM   #3
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I haven't done the Erie Canal yet. It may be my next trip, actually. I have done the 1000 islands several times, though. Have you been up there before, or will this be your first time?
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:31 PM   #4
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Champlain canal has one lock with a 16' height limit.
The limit on the Erie from Waterford to Oswego is 19'.
I understand it's closer to 16' on the Erie after the Oswego turnoff but I've never been.
The Richelieu/Chambly and the Rideau have around 22' clearance. My 21' mast made it under everything but it can be exciting.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:35 PM   #5
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I haven't done the Erie Canal yet. It may be my next trip, actually. I have done the 1000 islands several times, though. Have you been up there before, or will this be your first time?

First time. I am trying to figure out if after the thousand islands is it better to enter the Erie at Oswego and head east or do the champaign canal? It will be our first time for both
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:59 AM   #6
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Personally I think Lake Champlain is a funner and more beautiful cruising ground than the Oswego/eastern Erie. A little champagne doesn't hurt either, in moderation of course. If you want you can hang a right after leaving the Champlain canal system and explore the Erie for a ways.
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Old 07-09-2015, 01:00 AM   #7
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If it was me, I'd head up for Montreal and down through Champlain, only because I'd never done it before. By all accounts, Champlain and the québécois canals are a nice trip. The trip eastward from Oneida Lake to Albany is reportedly the less interesting part of the canal. There aren't nearly as many interesting places to stop as there are in the B'ville to Buffalo section. It is pretty, though.

Mister Boatpoker has a good write up on the canal here: http://www.pcmarinesurveys.com/Cruis...ie%20Canal.htm

Forum member CharlieNoble has a great blog as well. From pages 17-15 (backwards because blog) are his cruise up the Hudson and Champlain to Montreal and back down again. Definitely worth a read there.
http://mikepanderson.blog.com/page/17/

I wish I could be more helpful, but those areas are still on my bucket list as well!
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:52 AM   #8
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Have you considered the Rideau? I highly recommend it. You can cross Lake Ontario, go explore the thousand islands for a few days. But rather than continuing out through the gigantic locks of the St Lawrence to Montreal, back-track (it's not far) to Kingston and check into Canada. Then go up the Rideau to Ottawa. It's an awesome trip and your boat is perfect for it. The culmination is the stair step lock that descends down through the middle of Ottawa depositing you in the Ottawa River.

Now follow the Ottawa River down to Montreal where it rejoins the St Lawrence. You have at least one big lock on the Ottawa, and maybe more but I can't remember. The big one it the Carrilon(sp?) that is something like a 70' drop. Once you rejoin the St Lawrence you will have to go through two of the big St Lawrence locks to get around Montreal, but you bypass I think three others. The big locks are a pain in the butt. Each morning they publish a pleasure craft locking schedule, but that typically turns to rubbish in about 5 minutes. In practice, you pull up to a waiting dock, and wait. Eventually they will lock you through, potentially with dozens of other boats. The wait can be 30 minutes or 6 hours. So the fewer of those locks the better in my opinion.

Montreal, by the way, was one of our all time favorite stops. If you haven't been to one, go see the Cirque de Soleil show. It's right next to the big city marina.

From Montreal you continue down the St Lawrence which is now tidal since you are past the last lock. Travel needs to be timed to take advantage of the current or it becomes difficult to cover the distance between ports. Sorrell is where the Richlieu joins the St Lawrence, and you can head back south to Champlain. We did not go back through Champlain, but rather continued out the St Lawrence, around the Canadian Maritimes, down the coast of Nova Scotia and Maine, back to Gloucester which is our home port.

We blogged about the trip at MVTanglewood.com. Check the index. I think the trip was in 2012.

Have fun!
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:40 PM   #9
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Some sound advice there. Even if you don't take the Rideau (I would,) you should at least spend a night or two in Kingston. It's a really pleasant city. Lots of stuff to see and do, tons of good food and drink. Confederation basin is a good place to stay. It's right downtown, and I've never had any trouble getting a dock. I've always make a reservation anyway.

Clayton, NY is another one you should make time for. It's a great little town. The Wooden Boat Museum is worth an afternoon on its own.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:50 PM   #10
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First time. I am trying to figure out if after the thousand islands is it better to enter the Erie at Oswego and head east or do the champaign canal? It will be our first time for both
Champlain is prettier. The lake and the locks.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:40 AM   #11
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Not trying to hijack the thread but have a related question.

Was doing a little homework / preplanning on a trip on the Champlain, probably south to north, thru the lake, from the Hudson up to the St Lawrence.

The guides I was reading stated that Lake Champlain, along with being a "No Discharge" zone, is also a "Zero Discharge" zone, meaning no gray water discharge either, and the guides stated that just locking the valves no NOT sufficient, that the plumbing had to be disconnected and capped.

How can this be done? I don't know of any smaller boats that have any measurable gray water storage capacity, maybe a 5-15 gal tank under floor.

What have anyone passing thru this area done? On most boats you wouldn't be able to much more than just wash your hands, let alone take a shower or wash dishes.
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerettaRacer View Post
Not trying to hijack the thread but have a related question.

Was doing a little homework / preplanning on a trip on the Champlain, probably south to north, thru the lake, from the Hudson up to the St Lawrence.

The guides I was reading stated that Lake Champlain, along with being a "No Discharge" zone, is also a "Zero Discharge" zone, meaning no gray water discharge either, and the guides stated that just locking the valves no NOT sufficient, that the plumbing had to be disconnected and capped.

How can this be done? I don't know of any smaller boats that have any measurable gray water storage capacity, maybe a 5-15 gal tank under floor.

What have anyone passing thru this area done? On most boats you wouldn't be able to much more than just wash your hands, let alone take a shower or wash dishes.
Lake Champlain does have a special rule that requires you to totally remove the discharge hose from your Y valve to your through hull. The normal rules of locking it do not apply.

Not sure about grey water, but it does appear to be the case.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:15 PM   #13
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That's enough for me. I am going to travel the Erie up to Montreal and back to the Erie.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:59 PM   #14
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I'm not aware of any gray water restriction, but Vermont and NY have a requirement that the blackwater discharge be "visibly disconnected". I'll use this thread to continue complaining to VT about this. It regularly drives boaters away. I actually think it's illegal since it's still federal waters, but until someone challenges it, there will be no change.
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Old 07-21-2015, 12:07 AM   #15
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Twistedtree- what is the penalty if found to not have the discharge disconnected?
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Old 07-21-2015, 12:20 AM   #16
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I don't know. I found it all in the on line regs for the two states, but don't recall fines. It became moot for us because we didn't have the air draft and we were only going one way and preferred the erie and rideau.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:38 AM   #17
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This isn't the original reg I found, but it pretty much states the same thing except the original mentioned Lake Champlain specifically as Zero Disch also.


SL 7. Marine Sanitation Devices (MSDs)
The MSD requirements on New York
State waters are dictated by
both federal and state law,
depending on where the vessel is operated. On
the state's land-locked lakes, all marine
sewage must be kept aboard the vessel in a
Type III MSD (holding tank) and pumped ashore
at a marine pumpout facility. No sewage di
scharges are allowed on any land-locked lake
located completely within New York’s borders.

On Canandaigua, Skaneateles,
Greenwood (Orange County) Lakes, and Lake George, any
vessel equipped with a toilet, sink, tub, etc., whic
h results in the drainage of wastewater must
have all such material drain into a holding tank
so that it may be pumped ashore at a marine
pumpout facility. Overboard lines
from these systems must eith
er be sealed or removed.


Vessels operating on the Great Lakes, State Canals, Hudson River, Long Island Sound, or on
tidal waters may discharge sewage overboard
only after it has been treated in a USCG-
certified Type I or II MSD. Type I MSDs may
not be used on vessels greater than 65 feet.
Recent legislation now permits localities situated
in tidal areas to adop
t No-Discharge Zones.
In the State of New York the following are No
-Discharge zones: Mamaroneck Harbor, Lake
George, East Hampton, Greater Huntington/Nor
th Port, Port Jefferson Harbor Complex,
Peconic Estuary, and part of the Hudson Rive
r. When operating on No-Discharge Zones,
sewage may only be stored on board a vessel in
an approved Type III devi
ce for later transfer
to a marine pumpout facility. When operating
on Lake Champlain, bo
aters must have their
MSD rendered inoperable and all over
board lines disconnect
ed and plugged.


I don't have any problem with the MSD portion of the laws, all modern vessels are setup for it anyway.
But gray water also?? I'm not familiar with any vessel equipped to contain all gray water.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:29 AM   #18
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The same thing applies to Canadian inland waters, the hose from Y valve to thru hull must be removed, locking it out is not acceptable. Portable toilets are outright illegal. Grey water is not an issue. There are also strict rules for salt water. Fines can be up to a maximum of 1 million and/or vessel seizure if unable to pay. Fines are supposedly commonplace but I have never heard first hand of any one being fined ....then again it is not something one would brag about either.

I highly doubt they do random checks specifically on system compliance, rather they check when they have cause/desire to board you for other reasons.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:06 AM   #19
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Found a publication that states it, no discharge of gray water into lake Champlain.

Start on page 7 thru page 9

IT IS ILLEGAL TO DISCHARGE TOILET WASTE, RAW
SEWAGE, AND GREYWATER INTO LAKE CHAMPLAIN.

http://www.lakechamplaincommittee.or...ve_Address.pdf



So we're back to the original question, what do cruisers on the lake do? Do transients have to spend thousands on modifications just to pass thru?
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:44 AM   #20
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I'll tell you what they do. They keep grey water discharge to a minimum and use a minimal amount of highly eco friendly soap when they do, so the water going overboard looks and is very very clean. I have never heard (which to be sure is probably not a scientific sample) of any cruiser being investigated for grey water discharge capability on the lake, even when being inspected for black water which indeed they are very strict about. Skipping the lake over this issue is silly, unless you are just incapable of controlling the amount you discharge and the products you use to clean yourself and your dishes, preferring to produce big flows of sudsy scum on the water.
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