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Old 05-16-2022, 05:40 AM   #1
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Chambly Canal -- Richelieu River Question

Question:

We're planning on going up the Hudson, across the Erie Canal to the Oswego Canal, across Lake Ontario, down the Saint Lawrence to Sorel, up the Richelieu River and Chambly Canal to Lake Champlain and down the Champlain Canal to the Hudson this summer in Morning Light.

Can we depend on being able to carry a 6' draft in the Richelieu River and Chambly Canal? The Canal web site says the limiting draft is 1.98m which is 6'6". And yes, 6' is her freshwater draft.


The canal's information site referred me to https://wla.iwls.azure.cloud.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stations for current depths. I don't understand the information there -- at Saint Jean sur Richelieu the current depth is 1.1m at a point in a marina where the chart shows 0.4m. does this mean that the water level is 0.7m above the chart datum?


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Old 05-16-2022, 05:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
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Question:

We're planning on going up the Hudson, across the Erie Canal to the Oswego Canal, across Lake Ontario, down the Saint Lawrence to Sorel, up the Richelieu River and Chambly Canal to Lake Champlain and down the Champlain Canal to the Hudson this summer in Morning Light.

Can we depend on being able to carry a 6' draft in the Richelieu River and Chambly Canal? The Canal web site says the limiting draft is 1.98m which is 6'6". And yes, 6' is her freshwater draft.


The canal's information site referred me to https://wla.iwls.azure.cloud.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stations for current depths. I don't understand the information there -- at Saint Jean sur Richelieu the current depth is 1.1m at a point in a marina where the chart shows 0.4m. does this mean that the water level is 0.7m above the chart datum?


Jim
Sorry to answer a question with a question, but I don't know that answer. I assume you've also checked air draft requirements?
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Old 05-16-2022, 05:54 AM   #3
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Jim
I know you saw the other thread on canals but have you considered adding the Rideau and Ottawa Riv to your plans?
The scenery on the Rideau is much more desirable than most of the St Lawrence. You can catch the best of it in 1,000 Is before starting the Rideau.
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Old 05-16-2022, 06:27 AM   #4
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Jim
I know you saw the other thread on canals but have you considered adding the Rideau and Ottawa Riv to your plans?
The scenery on the Rideau is much more desirable than most of the St Lawrence. You can catch the best of it in 1,000 Is before starting the Rideau.
I have done it all and it is a terrific cruise. However, with a six-foot draft, the OP is likely to have problems. I suggest to him that he go to the website for the Canadian canals for current info. For the Rideau Canal, as of 9/23/2021, the last update, the depth was 4'10". I rather doubt a boat with a 6-foot draft can do these canals.
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Old 05-16-2022, 06:44 AM   #5
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Best not to break this law.

Lindsey's Law has it that “when your draft exceeds the water's depth you are most assuredly aground.”
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Old 05-16-2022, 07:47 AM   #6
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Morning Light is too deep for the Rideau. My question was about the Richelieu River and Chambly Canal.


And yes, we can get the air draft well under 15 feet where necessary.



We've seen the Thousand Islands -- we did the Great Lakes on Fintry, up the Saint Lawrence, see https://issuu.com/cruisingclub/docs/voyages_2020 starting at page 94 for that trip.


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Old 05-16-2022, 12:25 PM   #7
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I can only suggest contacting the canal authority directly. We transited the Rideau circa 2012 and the controlling depth was 5'. However we were scolded at one point for not declaring in advance that we would be coming through with a 4' draft, so I figured they had spots that they knew were silted in. So if the published controlling depth is 6.5' and you are 6', I would definitely check ahead. Even if the main channel is deep enough, you may find you can't access walls and docks etc.
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Old 05-16-2022, 06:01 PM   #8
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Good advice to contact the canal. They're very friendly and helpful. I suspect you'll be fine.

I went through there last year - up and back - in my 4' draft boat. Apart from the canal the only places I remember worrying about depth were some well marked dog legs above the canal. There is lots of water below the canal.

It's a fun trip. The canal has small lock chambers, and the lock crew escorts you through. It's highly orchestrated.

I'd avoid weekend travel on the river above the canal. I've covered a lot of ground, and that stretch is the worst I've encountered for big boats going too fast and way too close.
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Old 05-16-2022, 07:05 PM   #9
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I don't understand the information there -- at Saint Jean sur Richelieu the current depth is 1.1m at a point in a marina where the chart shows 0.4m. does this mean that the water level is 0.7m above the chart datum?
Jim,

I don't understand the information either. The app data shows 1.09 to 1.1m, the information tab states 1.66m as high water level. The data depicts "For non-tidal stations, the mean high water level is shown."

Anyone's guess as to accuracy of the 2 different numbers or what datum is used. ARBI means Arbitrary. There is marina, Le Nautique, at Saint Jean sur Richelieu and I suspect a phone call will answer your questions. (Assuming you speak French)

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