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Old 10-23-2015, 10:27 AM   #1
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Mini Loop Hudson River Erie Canal Lake Champlain

My wife and I are planning a mini loop next summer/fall. We are going to go up the Hudson river into the Erie/Oswego canal up to the St Lawrence down the Richelieu River/Canal into Lake Champlain and canal and back down the hudson. We have a 37 foot Nordic Tug with a flybridge. I believe our height is a little over 13 feet with the mast down. I know this is all a no discharge zone. What is expected of me as far as the pump out seacock if I should get boarded? . How long should we allow for the trip? Any comments or suggestions would be welcomed. Thank you
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:38 AM   #2
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Allow as much time as you can for exploration and side trips; with 13 feet, for instance, a detour into the beautiful Finger Lakes is possible. You could spend a whole summer even without the detour.

As for the pump out seacock, close it, take off the handle and remove the hose, lock the Y valve(s) with a little padlock or cable tie; they just want it to be impossible to pump overboard.
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 96kpmjmm View Post
My wife and I are planning a mini loop next summer/fall. We are going to go up the Hudson river into the Erie/Oswego canal up to the St Lawrence down the Richelieu River/Canal into Lake Champlain and canal and back down the hudson. We have a 37 foot Nordic Tug with a flybridge. I believe our height is a little over 13 feet with the mast down. I know this is all a no discharge zone. What is expected of me as far as the pump out seacock if I should get boarded? . How long should we allow for the trip? Any comments or suggestions would be welcomed. Thank you
Per USCG Regs - Marine Sanitation Devices (33 CFR 159)

When operating a vessel in a No Discharge Zone, the operator must secure the device in a manner that prevents any discharge. Some acceptable methods are: padlocking overboard discharge valves in the closed position, using a non-releasable wire tie to hold overboard discharge valves in the closed position, closing overboard discharge valves and removing the handle, and locking the door to the space enclosing the toilets.
Note: these methods for preventing the overboard discharge are only
required when operating in a No Discharge Zone. State and local laws
may place further restrictions on overboard discharges

I see somewhat conflicting NY reqm'ts so I'll include the links for you.
Lake Champlain is the area where I see the conflict - valve disabled or lines removed or plugged?

Per NYS Regs

When operating on No-Discharge Zones,
sewage may only be stored on board a vessel in an approved Type III device for later transfer to a marine pumpout facility.
When operating on Lake Champlain, boaters must have their MSD rendered inoperable and all overboard lines disconnected and plugged.

Per NY Regs - Marine Sanitary Devices (MSDs)

Sewage must be kept in the MSD as a holding tank for later transfer to a marine pump out facility.
If the MSD has overboard lines, the valve must be secured in such a manner
that discharge overboard is prevented. In addition, upon the waters of
Canandaigua, Skaneateles, Greenwood (Orange County) Lakes, and Lake
George, any vessel equipped with a toilet, sink, tub, etc., which results in
the drainage of any waste water must have all such waste water drain into
a holding tank in order that it may be pumped ashore at a marine pump
out facility. Any overboard lines from such systems must be either sealed
or removed.

Re Clearances - Here is the NY Canal Bridge Clearance link for details on where you need to knock down mast but you should have no problem with it down

Timing - The longer the better!!!
We did this the first time in 4 wks from Finger Lakes - Oswego - 1,000 Is - Chambly - Champlain to Troy & return via Erie Canal. Pace was leisurely but we didn't spend much time in one place.

2015 we did a 5 wk trip Finger Lakes to Troy via Erie Canal then N to Champlain and return the same route (w/ different stops)

If you had 6-8 wks I think you would find more places to explore along the way. Another favorite route is Rideau Canal from Kingston Ont to Ottawa and Ottawa River to Montreal. We have been to Ottawa via Rideau but have not done the Ottawa River section. I don't know what you draw but that would be the only thing to check if you are interested in this section - or another trip maybe?

I've put together some cruising notes for parts of these sections. easiest way to access is our boat website - Bacchus Website - see the cruising section.
I guarantee you will love the trip.

Feel free to responds with any specific questions s they come up.
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
As for the pump out seacock, close it, take off the handle and remove the hose, lock the Y valve(s) with a little padlock or cable tie; they just want it to be impossible to pump overboard.
Didn't we just have a discussion on the NY requirement for a gray water holding tank on Lake Champlain?
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Donsan View Post
Didn't we just have a discussion on the NY requirement for a gray water holding tank on Lake Champlain?
I have seen a lot of confusing info re: gray water on Champlain but as far as I can tell the NY Req's for gray only apply (as noted in above post) to the specific lakes listed...

"In addition, upon the waters of Canandaigua, Skaneateles, Greenwood (Orange County) Lakes, and Lake George, any vessel equipped with a toilet, sink, tub, etc., which results in the drainage of any waste water must have all such waste water drain into a holding tank in order that it may be pumped ashore at a marine pump out facility."

I have seen brochures at marinas on Champlain that imply the same gray water retention reqm't for Champlain but I can't find it in any NY boating regulations.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:07 PM   #6
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We did this trip 16 years ago, was a great trip, the only difficult part is the St Lawrence Seaway locks, we were held up a few time, one time even over night waiting for commercial traffic that has priority. With that said the rest of the trip more then made up for it, I'd give 5 weeks min for trip. I would even go past Sorel and make a trip to Quebec City.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:48 PM   #7
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We did the "triangle loop" - Erie Canal, Oswego, 1000s Islands, Richelieu, Ottawa, Montreal, Sorel, Chambly, Lake Champlain this summer. It was a fun trip. The Richelieu and Ottawa was the highlight. Our air draft is 16'6" so you should be fine. The Canadian locks are so much nicer and easier.


A lot will depend on how many miles you want to do each day and if you want marinas or anchorages. When in the canal systems, there are many lock walls, town walls, etc to moor at. If you go into Canada, internet and cell service is limited on US devices. You will get very experienced with locks.






Lake Champlain was not an issue with "no discharge" - I disconnected our overboard discharge prior to arriving.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:13 PM   #8
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Thank you all for taking the time to respond. We looking forward to our trip next summer. Henry how many weeks did you do it in? Again thank you all
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:24 AM   #9
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We did what we called our Little Loop over two seasons. He are our accounts.

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...er/2/tpod.html

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...er/3/tpod.html

Enjoy yours.

PS. IMHO, it would be a shame to do your loop without the Rideau. That was out favorite leg of the entire trip.
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:11 PM   #10
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We are planning pretty much the same trip this spring. We're doing the Hudson river to the Erie canal,Oswego canal to Lake Ontario, cruise around the Thousand Islands then the Rideau canal to Ottawa, South on the Ottawa river to Montreal then to Sorel down the Richellea river to Lake Champlain, the Champlain canal back to the Hudson then home.
I'm planning at lease 2 months maybe up to 3 months. A couple of years ago we did the Champlain canal and Lake Champlain and we took over 3 weeks just to do that. Take your time, stop and see as much as you can and do NOT make a schedule. Take each day as it comes. Trying to keep a schedule is bad, you never know if for some unexpected reason you get held up.
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Old 11-02-2015, 12:20 PM   #11
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I'd say two months is the minimum. I wish it could have gone on forever.

welcome2
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:08 AM   #12
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You folks make it sound really inviting. I got a small taste of it in 2001 in the process of ferrying a decrepit Marine Trader 40 from Lake Cayuga to Maine via the Erie Canal, and have wanted to do the whole loop ever since.

...and I learned WAY too much about Lehman-Ford engines.

If I weren't a business owner, and could ask for a three month leave of absence...

Until then, I'll survive on hearing how much fun others had doing the same thing.

Cheers!

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Old 11-09-2015, 10:49 AM   #13
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We did that trip summer of 2013 but we went N thru lake Champlain.
Mid June thru Labor day. (family commitment make Labor Day the end). We had plenty of time, but we didn't really do much in the 1000 Islands area.
We didn't do anything with our head system going thru Champlain. I just left the valve handle locked.
The St Lawrence locks although intimidating, were a piece of cake. We waited a few minutes for one lock, and the one outside of Montreal actually waited about 10 minutes with a lock full of recreationals for me to get there. I thought that was really nice of them.
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:12 AM   #14
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The St Lawrence locks although intimidating, were a piece of cake. We waited a few minutes for one lock, and the one outside of Montreal actually waited about 10 minutes with a lock full of recreationals for me to get there. I thought that was really nice of them.
The locks are not bad at all it's only the wait times
You were extremely lucky - we had to wait 4-1/2 - 5 hrs at Montreal and they would not communicate w/ us on the radio - and told us NOT to call them again.
They rather rudely told us they would tell us when they were ready and we should just stand by until they notified us.
They (Seaway Control) obviously know where commercial vessels are and nearly to the minute when they are due at the locks as they are given an arrival time and they meet it - I've never seen a commercial vessel waiting for a lock.

Also they run 24/7 and you may be called to go through at 0200 hrs (2:00 AM) and you better be ready.

It is an interesting and enjoyable trip just the same. We decided to stay on the Erie & Champlain Canals for our trip to Lk Champlain this yr. and wil return to the 1,000 Is again but it will be via Oswego & Lk Ont.
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Old 11-15-2015, 10:27 PM   #15
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We found the Rideau Canal and Ottawa to be the outstanding part of our trip this year. Nothing can compare to docking on the canal wall in downtown Ottawa just two blocks from Parliament. An unbelievable experience. You can experience the thousand islands, backtrack to Kingston (another great downtown marina), then enter the Rideau.

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