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Old 10-31-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
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Hello from Ohio River

Hello from the Ohio River. I have been involved in the nautical life since childhood. I was raised in SW La, and ran the marshes, lakes, rivers & ICW of SW La & SE Tx. Fast forward a few (or more) decades of inland lakes and corporate career and here I am. I recently purchased a 1979 Prairie 29 Coastal Cruiser. She will remain on the hard in Hingham, MA until May 2015. Once splashed, We (Admiral & I) plan to bring her home on her own hull via East Coast to Gulf, then up the Tenn-Tom ending up in Portsmouth, OH on the Ohio River. Gonna be a great shake-down cruise...

No pics of Willow-B yet. I will post them as soon as possible.

-Evan
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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It sounds like a wonderful trip to make. How is your new Praire 29 equipped?
Best of luck!
Bill
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:22 PM   #3
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Why not go up the Hudson and into the Great Lakes, then down the rivers. Probably a bit quicker and a once in a life time trip!
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Willow-B View Post
We (Admiral & I) plan to bring her home on her own hull via East Coast to Gulf, then up the Tenn-Tom ending up in Portsmouth, OH on the Ohio River.
-Evan
We have thought about going up the Tenn-Tom. We would rather go around the long way and then downriver, but it's a long trip from Texas.

Does anyone know what the current is like and what is best time of year to catch slowest current?
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:35 PM   #5
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It sounds like a wonderful trip to make. How is your new Praire 29 equipped?
Bill
Willow-B is equipped with Perkins 50 hp engine, Radar GPS, Chartplotter, VHF Radios, AP, Genset, Reverse Cycle
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:45 PM   #6
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We thought about running up the Hudson and thru the Great Lakes, but we decided to take the (longer) southern route. It is way less open water to cross with an unproven boat. Will be way easier on the Admiral's nerves.

Thanks,
Evan
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:02 PM   #7
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As you're never getting on the Mississippi, current really isn't an issue.

We definitely have the Ohio on our agenda. When the time comes that we do loop, we intend to be in NY to start as soon as things open up for the season. Then spend the summer on the Erie and the Great Lakes. Leave Chicago when cold weather hits. But where we will depart is after we go down the Mississippi and take the Ohio to the Tennessee. We intend to dock on Lake Pickwick for the winter. Then we'll take a couple of years to explore rivers, starting with the Tennessee and Cumberland and then the Ohio and the Missouri. We see Aqua Yacht Harbor as a good central location from which to do that. Still warm enough over the winter to get out occasionally and close to the rivers.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:18 PM   #8
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As you're never getting on the Mississippi, current really isn't an issue.
This is my conclusion. Normally the only time I would worry about on the Tenn-Tom is in the spring, otherwise hole up and let flood waters run by. Willow-B is a low powered 6-knot vessel. I am in NO hurry.

Our agenda is to remain on the river system for the next year or two, with occasional jaunts to Louisiana and/or Texas. After that, who knows...

Am looking forward to May (splash day).

-Evan
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:52 PM   #9
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We just bought a boat in Massachusetts too, and next spring we'll be shipping it to South Dakota. Over the winter we'll figure out how to get that done. First, we have to take possession, take delivery outside MA so we don't get socked with thousands in MA sales taxes. So far the plan is to launch it in the spring, hire someone to sail out of MA and deliver it to us Newport - then we sail Long Island Sound, swing around the Statue of Liberty, up the Hudson, Erie Canal, and then ship it overland the rest of the way from Buffalo (Toledo?). Three weeks I'm thinking. Who knows when we might have a big boat on the East Coast again. Expensive way to do it, but might be a great experience.
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Old 11-01-2014, 01:10 AM   #10
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Welcome. Enjoy the TF and bringing your boat home.
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:30 AM   #11
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Welcome Willow-B from a fellow Buckeye! The Erie Canal is a fantastic trip. The down side is getting back across Lake Erie. It can be quite nasty. You have to be patient and wait out the weather, but harbors are about an hour or so apart. I understand your reluctance completely. Continuing north through Canada would get you to Georgian Bay, then you'd only have to deal with Lake Michigan to get to Chicago. Best of luck and looking forward to pics of your boat.
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:47 AM   #12
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Drake: October is usually a low water month on most Western Rivers. There is usually a significant rise in January then of course they all flow pretty good during the spring as noted above. The Ohio, Tenn. and Tenn-Tom can all have significant current issues not so much just above the locks in the "pool". Getting into the locks south bound can be challenging during those periods with a distinct draw to the dam just above the lock guide walls. Flotsom is more of a problem during a quick rise not so much after an extended flood stage. The USCG posts and broadcasts river stages daily so you can anticipate what may be coming down.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:03 AM   #13
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BandB: Your stated plans on the river portion of your trip only put you on the Ohio River for a few miles. The Ohio from Pitts. down is a very historic river and you will be missing most of it. You can still see and experience the results of the westward expansion of the U.S. along the Ohio. It appeared to me that many early immigrants would settle in one spot develop a town laid out in their traditional method and often with a particular style (Italian, German, French, etc..) then another style further down river. Pretty hills, a lot of history all along the way.
Due to Daniel Boone, Kentucky's boundary lies not in the middle of the river but along the Ohio, Indiana shore.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:14 AM   #14
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BandB: Your stated plans on the river portion of your trip only put you on the Ohio River for a few miles. The Ohio from Pitts. down is a very historic river and you will be missing most of it. You can still see and experience the results of the westward expansion of the U.S. along the Ohio. It appeared to me that many early immigrants would settle in one spot develop a town laid out in their traditional method and often with a particular style (Italian, German, French, etc..) then another style further down river. Pretty hills, a lot of history all along the way.
Due to Daniel Boone, Kentucky's boundary lies not in the middle of the river but along the Ohio, Indiana shore.
No, my plans put me all the way to Pittsburgh. Perhaps I wasn't clear. But our plans are to fully explore the rivers. The Tennessee, the Cumberland, the Ohio and the Missouri, using Lake Pickwick as a home base to do so. These are waters I think many overlook. The Ohio will be a great experience except for the huge traffic jams at some of the locks. But I think we'll handle that by sitting on weekends and moving during the week when fewer boats are out. And weeks like the 4th of July, we'll have the boat docked and we'll be either sitting on it, or at home.

The only part of the Ohio I've seen was one time I flew into Cincinnati and drove down to a marina.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:36 AM   #15
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BandB: Sorry, I must have misread that. You should have many wonderful trips. I have never worked on the Mo. and only as far as St. Louis on the Miss. I enjoyed the Ohio and Tenn./Cumb. the most. There are times (spring) when you can run over or around the dams and not worry with the locks (follow a tow to do it safely though). Review the Western River Rules the lights are different for one thing and you will get used to where the tow boats prefer to run, don't always expect to meet on the one whistle. Safe travels

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Old 11-01-2014, 01:41 PM   #16
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BandB: Sorry, I must have misread that. You should have many wonderful trips. I have never worked on the Mo. and only as far as St. Louis on the Miss. I enjoyed the Ohio and Tenn./Cumb. the most. There are times (spring) when you can run over or around the dams and not worry with the locks (follow a tow to do it safely though). Review the Western River Rules the lights are different for one thing and you will get used to where the tow boats prefer to run, don't always expect to meet on the one whistle. Safe travels

dan
To us, so many loop and don't see much of what is there. They spend minimal time on the Great Lakes and then don't see the rivers. I know we do have several members on the Tennessee, some who live there, some who have cruised up to it.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:18 PM   #17
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It is pretty country. I will be heading up that way in the spring after my planned D.R. and Leeward Island winter. Should have already left based upon this a.m. temps.
When on the Ohio don't stop near Cave in Rock.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:58 PM   #18
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.... then we sail Long Island Sound, swing around the Statue of Liberty, up the Hudson, Erie Canal, and then ship it overland the rest of the way from Buffalo (Toledo?).
I, too, made similar delivery arrangements (outside of MA).

I have been studying charts and working out the time available to make this cruise. I don't believe the First Mate (High School Junior) will be able to make the complete trip South.

I am therefore looking again at the shorter, northern route. Hudson, Erie Canal, Lake Erie. IF I could arrange delivery overland from Erie, PA to Pitt... This would make the trip quite direct. Just thinking...

Does anyone have knowledge of the Allegheny River above Pitt??? How far up the Allegheny could I relaunch with a 3' draft? Just thinking aloud.....

Any and all input is appreciated.
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:00 PM   #19
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kthoennes: What type of boat did you purchase? When do you plan to make the trip?
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Old 11-02-2014, 12:22 PM   #20
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We bought a Mainship 37 -- not the trawler version, the 1996 aft cabin version, the kind of boat I'd always make fun of as a tennis shoe or Clorox bottle on the water. On the other hand it's got acres of room, very, very comfortable, easy to move around topside, very well equipped in lots of ways (radar, chart plotter, the works), felt very good to me underway, excellent maintenance, and a great price. As for the timing, that's one of the 97 puzzle pieces we have to put together over the winter. After the launch in the spring I do have someone already hired to sail the boat out of the marina in Somerset, MA to the Bristol Marina in RI, where he'll hand me the keys and the mooring lines and we'll formally "take delivery" or take possession for the long trip & ship to South Dakota. On timing, I'm hoping to do this the last week in April and the first two weeks of May, but that could slide a little. I know catching a shipper making a deadhead or otherwise-empty run can help on price negotiations a lot, so we'll see. With just three weeks I might be overly optimistic to think we can run all the way from Newport to Buffalo. I don't want to run so hard that we have no fun. There's a lot we want to do on the way, and who knows when we might have a big boat of our own on the East Coast again. I do know we have to spend one day and night on the lower CT River around Essex, Deep River, Chester, and up to Haddam for sentimental reasons -- that's where I sailed when I was a teenager. Lots and lots of logistics, but I'll have plenty of time in December and January when the snow is howling outside the windows. One of the hardest parts may be finding a boatyard on the NY end that will take off the flybridge and load it for shipping for less than ten million dollars.

At this point I'm thinking 3-4 days goofing off around Newport, Nantucket, and that area, getting a feel for the new boat, outfitting, making sure we have current chart cards for the plotter, current flares, all that stuff. 4 days for Long Island Sound. 5 days up the Hudson, then 8-10 days for the Erie Canal. 300 gallon fuel tank, around $1200 to top it off -- YIKES! But mile for mile it may roughly be a wash with trucking I think. This partial run on the water, if we get to Buffalo, would cut about 450-500 miles off the road trip. When we shipped the last boat from Dallas it worked out to about $4.50 a mile over the road (not including any dismantling). I may be way off though, lots of careful research to do. A ton of planning and logistics to do between now and April/May, but great fun.
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