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Old 07-14-2017, 08:07 PM   #1
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Cruising the Kennebec River in Maine?

My husband and I have cruised the coast of Maine for twenty years with sailboats. There were some things we could not do with a seven-foot draft. Now that our draft is 3.5 ft, we are looking at doing some fresh new stuff.

Has anyone done a run up the Kennebec? We draw 3.5, are about 40 ft LOA, and need air clearance of about 22 ft.

Go!
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:24 PM   #2
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I haven't done it but I'd like to go up to Bath at least. From the looks of the charts you should be able to go all the way up to Augusta. Would be a fun and I'm sure scenic trip.

We'll be in that area in 2 weeks.

Ken
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:57 PM   #3
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We did the loop up to Bath by the ship yard, then back down. I don't recall the details, but it is a loop of sorts. Up one river, then down the other. Perhaps a local can fill in the blanks.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:12 PM   #4
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My husband BruceB spent several years as a child living on the river in Hallowell, just south of Augusta. That's one reason he'd like to do the run on our boat now. Good to know that folks are doing it, and that we might also.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:16 PM   #5
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We did the loop up to Bath by the ship yard, then back down. I don't recall the details, but it is a loop of sorts. Up one river, then down the other. Perhaps a local can fill in the blanks.
I see "the loop" you refer to. Looks like fun. Of course, if battleships can do it, I guess we can.

Also wondering about running farther north, towards or to Augusta.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:17 PM   #6
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I haven't done it but I'd like to go up to Bath at least. From the looks of the charts you should be able to go all the way up to Augusta. Would be a fun and I'm sure scenic trip.

We'll be in that area in 2 weeks.

Ken
Keep us posted! We'll be not far behind you.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:22 AM   #7
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Keep us posted! We'll be not far behind you.
Will do!
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:08 AM   #8
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It's a great trip. Timing your travel with the currents helps a lot. There's a lift bridge at Bath with a very confusing schedule. Call ahead if you have any questions. I've been up as far as Richmond (a great stop) and one of these days plan to hit Augusta.

A 7' draft would be no problem up to Bath, probably OK to Richmond. The problem with a sailboat is the current, but again, that's just a timing issue. It's all well charted and marked.

There are a number of connections between the main rivers in this area, so a loop or "inside passage" is very possible. There are some spots where you need to consider strong currents and narrow passages (upper and lower "Hell Gate") and some swing and lift bridges. It's all charted and all covered in Active Captain.

There are tons of good anchorages along the way, a couple of free town docks and some great marinas.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:40 PM   #9
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We took our Nordic Tug 42 up the Kennebec to Hallowell in August of 2015 and 2016. Our draft is 4í 9Ē and we made the trip at half tide or higher and carefully followed the well marked channel, with no problems. Very few folks go all the way to Hallowell, but itís well worth the trip. The Kennebec is beautiful and Hallowell has much to offer with a bike path along the river and many bars, shops and restaurants. It is a non-touristy, non-coastal Maine town, close to Augusta the state capital. There is a weekly farmers market in Hallowell and a wonderful organic market named Sheepscot General in Whitefield, ME.

We tied up at the town dock for 4-5 days in Hallowell on each trip. A permit for staying at the town dock can be obtained from the police station located in the cellar of the City Hall. The funny thing is we were only the second permit that they had ever issued. The town dock has no power or water and is roughly 75 feet long. There is a row of colorful Adirondack chairs above the dock that is a popular hang-out place for the locals. Friday and Saturday evenings can be noisy until late.

We did have an issue late one night with an attempted break-in through the ceiling hatch over our bed. Our son and his friend, both big boys, chased him off, but it was an unsettling experience none the less.

We didnít have any problems hailing the draw bridge in Bath which opened in a timely manner. We also spent a couple nights at the free dock in Richmond which was located on a very nice park and across from scenic Swan Island. We filled up with diesel fuel from Main Street Fuel, Richmond from their truck at that dock.
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