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Old 10-06-2017, 10:13 AM   #1
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Planning trip from Detroit Mi to Florida..advice needed

Hi Guys,

Someone I met here wants to move his Mainship from around Detroit Mi to Florida. Just the two of us at this point. We are trying to leave next week.

The Erie canal will close before we could go that way so the owner is looking for a new route.

I have no experience with the great lakes and inland waterways except for the ICW on the gulf coast and lower east coast.

I have many years experience running around in the ocean all over the world.

Any heads up of what to expect on such a trip or ideas on a fall route info to the New York area?
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:03 PM   #2
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What is the air height of the boat? If you can get under the bridges, I would go down the Tombigbee to Mobile, then to Florida.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:30 PM   #3
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What's your potential date for reaching Buffalo? You have some 370 miles to cross in the canal to reach safety, but 3 dozen some locks too. 3 weeks at 8 kts?? No user fee this year.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:41 PM   #4
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I am not sure about the height of the boat. Around 15 foot I think. The reason for not going to Chicago is the 600 miles of big lake bad weather. I am just now digging into charts myself.

I don't actually expect this to be a leisurely cruse. At least until we get out of the north east.

Reports from other boaters in lake Michigan in the last two weeks have not been good.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:55 PM   #5
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Chicago is the only route out at this point. Hope for a weather window and be prepared to boot it when you get one...
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by diver dave View Post
What's your potential date for reaching Buffalo? You have some 370 miles to cross in the canal to reach safety, but 3 dozen some locks too. 3 weeks at 8 kts?? No user fee this year.
I have not charted all this out yet. The owner will call me tonight with a decision. I found a way around the Erie canal through Canada that I think operates till thing freeze over. Erie is closed on the 11th.

Most advice I read says to go south this time of year. I have no experience with lake Michigan so I have no clear idea what the possible weather related issues would be. I would assume due to the fetch with a north wind it could get pretty nasty.
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:51 PM   #7
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If you come around to Chicago be aware that the Illinois River has been closed in places due to low water. (Not sure current status but we are getting some rain now.)

For what it's worth...the trees are starting to change and by next weekend will be nice coming down through Illinois.

Sidney
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Planobilly View Post
I have not charted all this out yet. The owner will call me tonight with a decision. I found a way around the Erie canal through Canada that I think operates till thing freeze over. Erie is closed on the 11th.

Most advice I read says to go south this time of year. I have no experience with lake Michigan so I have no clear idea what the possible weather related issues would be. I would assume due to the fetch with a north wind it could get pretty nasty.
MIght be a pretty sporty trip in Late Oct going the length of Huron North and the length of Michigan South. OR, traversing both Erie and Ontario to make it to Montreal to pick up the Champlain system. You mentioned the 11th. that's Nov, correct?
btw, I work about 100 yards from Erie canal. Can offer some help if necessary.
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:47 PM   #9
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The Erie canal closes on Oct 11. That is the reason for thinking about the Saint Lawrence route. I wish the Erie was open. I would like a cup of coffee when we pass by...lol Thanks for the offer to help Dave!
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:26 PM   #10
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Lake Huron and Michigan

I moved a boat from Toronto to Green Turtle Bay late in the boating season. We started trip September 25 and arrived Green Turtle Bay October 26. The 1 month trip was waiting for weather windows ... storms, fog, and Canadian cold fronts. We had trouble finding marinas open as we traveled north. Closed for the season!! I spent much of my time calling for services. If you can find a marina open ... no trouble with slips ... boats are out of the water, but water systems and pump out were winterized in many cases. I remember the run across north Lake Michigan to get into lee of the west shore. Not fun .. had to run about 15 mph to get bow high to keep waves from braking over the bow. I did not plan for that sea state but major weather changes can happen fast. I hope you have good electronics ... chart and radar as you can be in clear sky and then hit a fog bank that is unbelievably dense. We ran from Racine, WI to Chicago following shore line 5 miles out because of fog. The old timers on the lakes called us crazy!!!

Just my experience.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:38 PM   #11
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Sir,

My advice would be wait until spring. Take the Welland Canal from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Enter the NYS canal system at Oswego. This is a wonderful trip.

It sounds like there is some element of "hurry" to get this done now. Couple that with generally lousy fall weather, unreliable services and fuel, and we are not starting off in a desirable state. Is this a pleasure trip or a delivery? If you have unlimited time, patience, and funds...you may be able to have some fun with it.

I have many seasons of Great Lakes experience and have done the canal.

Best Wishes

Jeff
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:54 PM   #12
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I know this is blasphemy, but it only takes a couple days on a truck, and may well be cheaper.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:13 PM   #13
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At this point, truck may be your only choice. You don't want to go Lake Michigan, you missed the Canal. The St. Lawrence north and coming down the outside of the coast is definitely not a better choice. Heading north and out in rough seas.

The Chicago route has more issues than just the Great Lakes. Chicago marinas close on October 15.

It's truck it or winterize it and wait.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:44 PM   #14
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Well, the decision is to wait. I would like to have made that trip but at another time of the year. Perhaps sometime in the future. Oh well, it is getting close to wahoo fishing time anyway.

Thanks for all the feedback guys.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:48 AM   #15
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Heading South is 100 times as interesting on the East coast route compared to the Chicago Sewage canal .

BTDT
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:54 AM   #16
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There's a four part utube video called " Boat trip Michigan to Florida " by Jim Hock. He made the trip in a Mainship 34 in 2001.
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