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Old 07-20-2019, 10:39 AM   #1
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Northbound Upper Mississippi August 2019

Any first hand (or second hand) info on the Upper Mississippi River situation? Interested in knowing the speed of the current, especially between Cairo, IL and Alton, IL. The run from Green Turtle Bay Marina, where my Meridian 469 (only one ever made) sits to Alton must basically be done on whatever fuel I have onboard from GTB. Amazing that you cannot get fuel in St. Louis, but that's the way it is. Fighting the current the whole way will make the run challenging for me from a fuel standpoint.


Also, I fully appreciate that the barges must get preferential treatment with regards to locking through, but I wonder if pleasure boats are getting ANY reasonable opportunities to use the locks. I understand waiting for an hour or two, or even five hours for a big barge to get through, but I'm wondering if each lock is taking half a day or even longer to get an opportunity to lock through. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:47 PM   #2
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https://corpslocks.usace.army.mil/lp...6335292::NO:::

This will show you the queue's at the various locks and average transit times.

Don't overlook Hoppie's Marina in Imperial, MO.

If you have any doubt about having enough range, then either get some bladders or barrels or some extra means of carrying additional fuel. Do not gamble.

We had no issues locking through on the Mississippi as a pleasure boat and heading the wrong way, against the traffic, you should have even less. While commercial traffic is prioritized, recreational isn't ignored. Looking right at this moment the longest delay in that area is 160 minutes at Lock 27. The last recreational boat up in that lock (two days ago) arrived at 15:30 and locked from 18:18 to 18:35. The last down arrived at 13:00 and locked from 13:20-13:36. Luck of the draw.

Hoppie's makes your distance about 208 miles or 181 nm.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:55 PM   #3
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Has Hoppie's re-opened?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
https://corpslocks.usace.army.mil/lp...6335292::NO:::

This will show you the queue's at the various locks and average transit times.

Don't overlook Hoppie's Marina in Imperial, MO.

If you have any doubt about having enough range, then either get some bladders or barrels or some extra means of carrying additional fuel. Do not gamble.

We had no issues locking through on the Mississippi as a pleasure boat and heading the wrong way, against the traffic, you should have even less. While commercial traffic is prioritized, recreational isn't ignored. Looking right at this moment the longest delay in that area is 160 minutes at Lock 27. The last recreational boat up in that lock (two days ago) arrived at 15:30 and locked from 18:18 to 18:35. The last down arrived at 13:00 and locked from 13:20-13:36. Luck of the draw.

Hoppie's makes your distance about 208 miles or 181 nm.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:03 PM   #4
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Not that Iíve heard as of 7-16-19, I asked a friend who would know and the answer was not yet.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:18 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, the latest rumors are that they have no plans to rebuild and reopen. They'd talked about closing for a long time but seems like the floods may have decided for them. Even when open was always best to check to be sure they had fuel. It's a loss so all the more need to carry bladders or drums.

I have a friend who delivers and retrieves a lot of boats from Panama and similar areas that lack range and he greatly prefers drums to bladders.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:24 PM   #6
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We actually ran 240 nm between fueling as we fueled in Grafton and then at Green Turtle Bay. But that was also down river until we hit the Ohio. I would plan on 252 miles or 220 nm as the absolute minimum and that's a real stretch
for many cruisers when you're going upstream.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:52 AM   #7
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Northbound Upper Mississippi August 2019

Thank you to those who replied. BandB, thank you very much for the link to the thread regarding times waiting for, and then getting through, the locks. I checked it out and it was very helpful. I will definitely have it on my laptop when I start my journey.


I have been keeping track of Hoppies and I'm afraid they don't seem to be an option.


I will be carrying some extra diesel, likely in 5 gallon containers. I hesitate to take any in barrels primarily because I have never done so. How do you get it from a barrel to the fuel ports?


I was told, maybe incorrectly, that it was no longer possible to get fuel at Paduccah. None-the-less, it is only 20ish miles beyond GTB so not much help there. From Green Turtle Bay to Alton Marina is ~275 miles. And this is why the current in mph is so important to me. If there was no current, which of course would mean the river was standing still, I could make it no problem. Actually, I could go slow and do about 500 miles. However, if the current is 5 mph I will only be able to make about 6 mph SOG if I want to have a range of about 325 miles. Less current, longer legs. More current, shorter legs. OK, fine, I go at 6 mph. This is assuming I use NO generator, which I am totally willing to do, of course, although those 3 or even 4 nights on the hook might be quite uncomfortable, but c'est la vie. This is also assuming I shut off my engines the moment I go into waiting mode at the locks and don't turn them back on until I am called to enter the locks.


If the average current is about 3.5 mph I could probably squeeze out about 360 or more miles, so a pretty safe margin, still without a generator, of course.


BandB, if you were just on the river I suppose the current was about 5 mph. I pray not more. Hopefully it will be slower by August 1st.


DOES ANYONE KNOW: Although there is no marina in St. Louis, is there somewhere to dock where I could rent a pickup truck, or pay someone to provide a pickup truck, and get to a gas station that had diesel? And, is there a problem with using "over the road" diesel instead of "marine diesel", or is it only a matter of taxes? Then, I could empty 50 gallons of fuel from my 5 gallon containers and get them refilled in St. Louis. I would also have a better feel for my remaining fuel at this point.


I spoke to the guy at Kidde's Fuel in Cape Girardeau. He provides marine diesel to tugs, barges, and the like. He said he doesn't "like" fueling recreational boats, but if absolutely necessary he would do so on a "whenever he had a chance, if any", but would require a days advance notice, which would be hard to provide.


Thanks...Grant (Medic)
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:41 AM   #8
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Thank you to those who replied. BandB, thank you very much for the link to the thread regarding times waiting for, and then getting through, the locks. I checked it out and it was very helpful. I will definitely have it on my laptop when I start my journey.


I have been keeping track of Hoppies and I'm afraid they don't seem to be an option.


I will be carrying some extra diesel, likely in 5 gallon containers. I hesitate to take any in barrels primarily because I have never done so. How do you get it from a barrel to the fuel ports?


I was told, maybe incorrectly, that it was no longer possible to get fuel at Paduccah. None-the-less, it is only 20ish miles beyond GTB so not much help there. From Green Turtle Bay to Alton Marina is ~275 miles. And this is why the current in mph is so important to me. If there was no current, which of course would mean the river was standing still, I could make it no problem. Actually, I could go slow and do about 500 miles. However, if the current is 5 mph I will only be able to make about 6 mph SOG if I want to have a range of about 325 miles. Less current, longer legs. More current, shorter legs. OK, fine, I go at 6 mph. This is assuming I use NO generator, which I am totally willing to do, of course, although those 3 or even 4 nights on the hook might be quite uncomfortable, but c'est la vie. This is also assuming I shut off my engines the moment I go into waiting mode at the locks and don't turn them back on until I am called to enter the locks.


If the average current is about 3.5 mph I could probably squeeze out about 360 or more miles, so a pretty safe margin, still without a generator, of course.


BandB, if you were just on the river I suppose the current was about 5 mph. I pray not more. Hopefully it will be slower by August 1st.


DOES ANYONE KNOW: Although there is no marina in St. Louis, is there somewhere to dock where I could rent a pickup truck, or pay someone to provide a pickup truck, and get to a gas station that had diesel? And, is there a problem with using "over the road" diesel instead of "marine diesel", or is it only a matter of taxes? Then, I could empty 50 gallons of fuel from my 5 gallon containers and get them refilled in St. Louis. I would also have a better feel for my remaining fuel at this point.


I spoke to the guy at Kidde's Fuel in Cape Girardeau. He provides marine diesel to tugs, barges, and the like. He said he doesn't "like" fueling recreational boats, but if absolutely necessary he would do so on a "whenever he had a chance, if any", but would require a days advance notice, which would be hard to provide.


Thanks...Grant (Medic)
Marine diesel is just over-the-road diesel with red dye added. The IRS used to do cooperative safety checks with the states wherein truckers' fuel tanks were checked for untaxed dyed diesel fuel. The penalty you ask? $25,000! And, the dye leaves detectable traces for a very long time.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:55 AM   #9
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Those I know typically use manual transfer pumps which are not very expensive. You can use electric but manual is typically fine for this purpose. There are also caddy's available for 25-30 gallons that come with transfer pumps. Many diesel suppliers as well as farm suppliers and places like Northern Tool and even Amazon and Walmart have the equipment you need. It sounds like one or, at most, two drums will alleviate your issues. Drums are used regularly for industrial applications and farm applications.

There are other options but not too dependable. One is Kidd's in Cape Girardeau, MO. They use to require 24 hour notice but I haven't heard about them in years and don't know if they still exist. I'd suggest a call, but I'd want to be sufficient without them. I strongly recommend drums.

You've got enough of a challenge going upstream without worrying about fuel. I'd want a substantial surplus of fuel on board. Typical practice is to use down to where you can fit a drum in your regular tank and then make a transfer so you empty the drum or drums as soon as possible.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:57 AM   #10
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You used to be able to arrange fuel at the Port of Evansville marina up the Kaskaskia River. Not sure if this is still an option but worth checking out. Last time through there was 2016.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:20 AM   #11
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Thanks people...I'm on my way to Fleet Farm the minute I finish this quick thank you reply. By the way, the Port of Evansville is apparently not a thing anymore. Bummer.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:08 PM   #12
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Thanks people...I'm on my way to Fleet Farm the minute I finish this quick thank you reply. By the way, the Port of Evansville is apparently not a thing anymore. Bummer.
Not a thing? Does that mean no longer an operating port or no longer available for fueling?
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:38 PM   #13
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Cannot Google Port of Evansville, nor see it on any maps. Nothing else in the area it was apparently in is a marina or fuel dock. Checked from Mississippi/Kaskaskia junction to way up the river.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:51 PM   #14
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What about Mikeís Inc. shipyard? Looks like they do about everything. May be worth a call and see if they can help you. http://www.mikesinc.com/
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:56 PM   #15
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Maybe Iím confused on the area. All Iím doing is staking Google maps. There is also a place called ďAlton MarinaĒ close to St. Louis as well.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:37 AM   #16
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Alton Marina is indeed my destination. Unfortunately it is about 275 miles from my departure point. St. Louis is a long haul also, but better than Alton. Again unfortunately, St Louis does not have ANY marinas, which is weird, and no place to dock. I could, if it became absolutely necessary, tie up against the seawall in St. Louis and find someway to get me and my fuel containers to some regular gas station that had diesel. That would then get me the last few miles to Alton. Oh, well...an adventure. I've been through the Panama Canal, down the St. Lawrence Seaway, offshore by more than 450 miles, so this should be fairly easy.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:17 PM   #17
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There are Marina's for St. Louis but they are up the Missouri in St. Charles, etc. Alton is closer for transients. Check with Alton and see if they are open and have fuel. It's going to be a long uphill slog from GTB with those fuel limitations. I'd be thinking more like 55 gallon barrels in that situation.
Hope everything goes well for you!
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:25 PM   #18
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https://www.gatewayfs.com/Our-Locations

Looks like there is a boat ramp at Chester, IL. with a lot/pull off area big enough for a fuel truck to get into and close enough for the hose to reach a trawler. I'd contact this local Farm Supply co-op and see if they've ever fueled a boat on the Mississippi and can suggest a location if this spot doesn't work out.

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Old 07-22-2019, 01:07 PM   #19
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Alton Marina is indeed my destination. Unfortunately it is about 275 miles from my departure point. St. Louis is a long haul also, but better than Alton. Again unfortunately, St Louis does not have ANY marinas, which is weird, and no place to dock. I could, if it became absolutely necessary, tie up against the seawall in St. Louis and find someway to get me and my fuel containers to some regular gas station that had diesel. That would then get me the last few miles to Alton. Oh, well...an adventure. I've been through the Panama Canal, down the St. Lawrence Seaway, offshore by more than 450 miles, so this should be fairly easy.
You thought through this well, but now you're overthinking. The solution is simple and that's barrels or drums. They fit well, they pump well. No reason to gamble on a seawall or ramp or anything for the last miles. Go fully equipped to go even further than needed.
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:04 PM   #20
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You thought through this well, but now you're overthinking. The solution is simple and that's barrels or drums. They fit well, they pump well. No reason to gamble on a seawall or ramp or anything for the last miles. Go fully equipped to go even further than needed.
You are right. I am going to get two 55 gallon containers and a transfer pump. Thank you. I WAS over thinking the situation. If we get halfway and I realize we are going to make it easily I will simply start using the A/C.
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