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Old 02-26-2013, 07:59 PM   #1
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Erie Canal Transit

During 2nd stage of delivery cruise of our "new to us" trawler we will be cruising the Erie Canal some time in early May. We're still working on the dates and wonder who has any experience with cruising the canal so early in the season. Am aware of budget cuts affecting lock operators but have read that canal should be open and ready for full season from a "reputable source". Preliminary plans are for leaving the Poughkeepsie area on or around May3-4 to the canal. Will be taking the Oswego Canal then to Lake Ontario for final leg to her new home in Wilson, NY. I'm figuring 7-9 days. Does this sound reasonable? Any suggestions, advice and/or editorial comments welcome. Thanks for anticipated answers!
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. V. I did the Erie from Albany (Federal lock) to Oswego (Lake Ontario) about 15 years ago in mid May. About the ONLY thing that may be applicable at this point is water levels. That particular May was very wet and there was a LOT of flotsam washed out from the feeder creeks. There was enough wood floating around some of the lock stations to build a house. Lock walls were quite rusty. Should be quite doable in 7 days or less.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:43 PM   #3
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We went through early last year, though a few weeks later than you plan.

Here's our voyage Adventures of Tanglewood: Memorial Day, West Point, High Noon, 21 Cannon Salute.

Check out the New York State Canal Corp web site. It contains excellent info on any current navigational issues, plus details on bridge clearances, etc. They also post when the canal is planned to open.

Yes, there have been NYS staff cuts, just like everywhere else on the planet. But I think the demise of the canal is greatly overstated. Go for it an have a good time. 7 days will do it, but going slower only enhances the experience.

As stated earlier, debris will be greater early in the year, but just keep an eye out. It's not a big deal.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:45 PM   #4
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Oh, and have lots of fenders. You can't have too many, and they can't be too big.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:42 AM   #5
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+1 on the fenders, and fender boards would help too. Old lines that you don't mind getting dirty. And gloves to handle them.

We only did the canal once, and then only half-way. We look forward to returning to do the whole thing one day.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:12 AM   #6
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This is a great no stress trip.

Plan on taking lunch at one town and dinner at another.

Tieups are free , small electric free and wi fi can usually be found.

Most tieups are alongside a low shore wall , so fenders from town to town need not even be adjusted.

Near the end , is Waterford ,a great tiny town that will hold mail for you, amazing the local Pizza is almost up to NYC standards.

Good walkable provision / laundry stop , bring your cart .

On the Hudson there are enough anchorages , but with trains on both shores , seldom quiet .

Marinas have the same noise hassles , so why bother paying?
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:39 AM   #7
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Are you all set on your air draft? 21' will do it for the route you have planned, but that's at normal pool level. If the pool is higher, you lose height.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:39 AM   #8
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I'm figuring 7-9 days. Does this sound reasonable? Any suggestions, advice and/or editorial comments welcome.
Easily doable in that time frame as already stated.
Waterford, Canajoharie, Herkimer, Rome, Sylvan Beach, Brewerton, Phoenix, Oswego are all good stops with free tie ups You probably alrady know that.
Enjoy the trip!!

Editorial comment: if you can sleep during the train and expressway noise at Canajoharie you have truely accomplished a great deed LOL But I like to stop there.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:44 AM   #9
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I am a huge fan of the NY State Canal System (spent all of August in there last year). At that time of year the most important feature on the boat will be heat.

I am also a museum fan and love all the small town museums on the system but the one you must not pass up is the art gallery and museum in Canajoharie, it is truly amazing if you are into that kind of thing.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:31 AM   #10
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What a cool adventure! Please post your trip with lots of pics...
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:58 AM   #11
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In the spring water levels due to snow melt and rain dictate. Early May should be OK. My parents keep a Mainship 34 on Seneca Lake, and typically launch at the end of April or early May on the Seneca Canal. There has been the occasion when they couldn't get under the bridge to get to their slip without stripping the canvas or just waiting a week.

Water Levels - New York State Canals
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:44 PM   #12
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What a cool adventure! Please post your trip with lots of pics...
I got the whole thing with lots of photos on my website here.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the great advice, info and links to your own personal adventures! Have the clearance to make the trip without any trouble. Mother Nature will dictate how warm we'll be (we do have portable heaters). My crew will be coming from Nashville and Houston and one local WNY'er but all native to this region so somewhat used to the chill factor. Will certainly be cataloguing our trip to share. Again, thanks! Love this trawler forum!
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:51 PM   #14
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Have a great trip!!!
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:55 AM   #15
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I got the whole thing with lots of photos on my website here.
I like it. I think it's great when boaters share their trips for others to see and enjoy.

Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:04 AM   #16
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I like it. I think it's great when boaters share their trips for others to see and enjoy.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:50 AM   #17
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Here is my website. It's pretty old but some of the pictures of the Erie are nice. Use Windows Explorer to view ( it was the only browser back then).


www.alormaria.com/trip2000/welcome.htm
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