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Old 02-08-2019, 05:33 PM   #61
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I met a man that did the loop alone on a 24’ sailboat. Most of the trip he powered his boat with a 9.8 Nissan outboard motor. Old Henry was his name.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:08 PM   #62
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I have been told that some areas of the loop have locks that require 2 or more people on the boat. (As in they won't let you lock through single handed) Is that not true? I'm planning on doing the loop in the next couple of years, mostly single handing so I've been thinking about that.
As for raising anchor and washing chain single hand, I do that all the time here in Texas with black stinky mud bottoms. 43ft boat, all chain, 88lb Rocna. An hour or so before departing I go pull in a few feet of chain (depending on water depth and amount of rode out) Say, in 20 feet water with 120 feet out, I pull in 25ft about every 15 minutes. The chain mostly "self washes" and about all that's left is washing the last few feet. Two important features here, at least to me, is a bad-ass washdown pump with lots of pressure, and a windlass control both at the bow and helm. Obviously if the wind or current is howling all bets are off. Works for me.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:19 PM   #63
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Get on the great loop forum and talk to Herb Seaton, he has single handed the great loop twice in a boat about that size. He is awesome!
+1 on joining AGLCA. Dirt cheap and chuck full of folks who have done it. They even have a forum just for single handers. Herb's a great resource, and so are others. Two others and us did the western rivers (Ten Tom) together and they rocked it.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:21 PM   #64
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I know the Welland Canal between Lk Ontario and Erie requires 3 unbound and 2 down bound. Haven't been thru them but know others that have. There are locals that will assist those needing crew for a $fee... not sure what the going rate is.
So it depends on your route. NY Erie canal bypasses Welland but the highlight of the trip IMO is the Trent Severn and I'd say should not be missed. The locks are small and lock hands will assist.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:24 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Brent Hodges View Post
I have been told that some areas of the loop have locks that require 2 or more people on the boat. (As in they won't let you lock through single handed) Is that not true? I'm planning on doing the loop in the next couple of years, mostly single handing so I've been thinking about that.
Only the Welland Canal requires 2 or more people. It's a largely commercial canal and most larger boats use a pilot as required above a certain size and type. It's on the loop only for those who take the Oswego to Lake Ontario and then take the Welland to Lake Erie. If one takes the western Erie or the Trent Severn, then it doesn't come into play.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:48 PM   #66
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Talk to Tanya Binford...and buy her book?

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Originally Posted by oldcranky View Post
Most loopers seem to be couples. Do many of you single hand?

I'm looking at a 1980 Mainship 34, single engine, bow thruster.
Is this a suitable boat to single hand? The lack of a side door in the lower helm station concerns me for docking.

Get in touch with Tanya Binford. I met her in Southport NC after she'd finished her solo Great Loop in a pocket trawler and published her book "Crossing the Wake". She had little or no boating experience, but did a lot of homework and training before starting.



https://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Wake.../dp/1635052378


Most of the time when you are docking a Mainship 34, you are going to want to be at the flybridge helm, so I don't think the lack of a side door at the lower helm is a show-stopper as long as you can get down from the flybridge quickly enough when you need to. Going through the locks, we've often just stayed up on the flybridge and grab a line from up there.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:25 PM   #67
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Trent Severn Locks

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Welcome as board TF.
A good place for info
David and others are correct locks would be your biggest challenge. Calm days not do much but wind makes more challenging.
Also upbound locks a lot more challenging than downbound... and you will have plenty of upbound in the NY & Great Lakes portions of the trip.
I have a later year MS 34HT snd have no problem single handing but when I think about that many locks I think I would hesitate.
I do think a helm door would be a must for me.
I have a slightly different view on engines though.
I think I would prefer bow & stern thrusters above the need for twin engines.
We are looking at doing 112 lock next season - NY canals + Trent-Severn waterway to Georgian Bay and return. I added a remote control for my B&S thrusters so I can maneuver either / both ends while tending lines and assist my admiral on those windy days that can be challenging in locks.
If going via Canadian locks they require engines off in the locks so twins not as helpful as thrusters.
I have met an old salt that single handed major portions of the loop with a 24 or 28? CDory. He enjoyed it so much he returned several yrs later.
Not as comfortable as a MS 34 but livable for one.
I have a 40' Silverton Aft Cabin cruiser and have done the Trent Severn. The engines must be off once in the lock and fastened to the lock cables. Once the water level change is finished you may restart the engines. For my boat, it is impossible to do alone, but for yours, it is possible, especially with remote bow and stern thrusters.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:23 AM   #68
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Agree... Canada is fussy about engines off.
I've never had to do it but don't see why one couldn't run a stern line around a cable as we as a bow or mid line around another cable and tend them from one place between them.
Having a lower helm and helm door makes locking soooooo much easier IMO
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:37 AM   #69
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Good to hear about the suitability of 25' - 30' boats. If I am able to do the loop, it'll be in our present vessel (Avatar).
Moby - we should practice solo locking together and go in tandem!
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:13 AM   #70
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"I've never had to do it but don't see why one couldn't run a stern line around a cable as we as a bow or mid line around another cable and tend them from one place between them."


Depending on which lock you are in , some have cables fastened at the lower end , some just dangle heavy lines down the lock wall.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:49 AM   #71
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"I've never had to do it but don't see why one couldn't run a stern line around a cable as we as a bow or mid line around another cable and tend them from one place between them."


Depending on which lock you are in , some have cables fastened at the lower end , some just dangle heavy lines down the lock wall.
True in NY but all locks have a fixed ladder that can be used as mentioned. I know some that single hand a lot have made up a metal hook with a ring attached. Hook goes over a ladder rung and Bow & Stern or Mid lines thru the ring. Applying tension helps pull in that end of the boat. Operator just needs to release and reposition the hook as you go up or down.

Canada all cables fastened at bottom and spaced closely so more options and lock tenders will assist. Going unbound you will have get set up alone as they can't help until you get up.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:05 PM   #72
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We traveled the Erie and Oswego locks last summer. We met up with a 40+ Monk, which was single handed. As mentioned, the Erie locks are high and with a boat over 40 feet holding it will be difficult.

The guy on the Monk used bow and stern thrusters, with a wireless hand held control, which also controlled his engines (you are supposed to shut down the engines while in the lock and he did). He was able to step out of the pilot house, grab a line, move the boat, grab another line and then stay in place all with the handheld device. With this set-up we followed him all the way to Oswego and he never seemed to have a problem, always staying in place.

Otherwise I wouldn't recommend it.


Enjoy! Dave
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:10 PM   #73
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I single handed the Loop in '06-'07 on a Mainship 34-1(no thrusters). It wasn't too difficult, just get used to the boat and how it reacts. I think it is important to be agile enough to get up & down the ladder to the flybridge quickly! I had a couple of large Aere inflatable fenders that helped a lot in the locks. A reasonable amount of physical strength definitely helps in the locks where you have to tend two lines simultaneously.
As far as anchoring, I effectively didn't have a windlass, but also didn't have much chain, mostly line and was able to manage the boat from the bow by climbing up on the eyebrow in front of the flybridge and reached into the flybridge to operate the throttle/shifter to maneuver the boat if there was much breeze when retrieving the anchor.
All in all it worked quite well and it was a fabulous trip!
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:27 PM   #74
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This guy is doing the loop single hand in a Mainship 34 exactly as you all describe. It's all do-able too - Boating Adventures.

blog link

I single hand my MS 34, also ran my 41' sailboat alone. the secret is to plan ahead, pre-set a few lines or fender (as described above), do things in exact order, don't be rushed.

I read about another gent who had a 50' boat on the Loop. he set up wireless controller for bow and stern thrusters to move the boat while he also handled the lines in a lock.

you will learn the skills you need as you go. locks are slow-motion, no one will be killed, the worst might be a little rash or scratch on your gelcoat the first time or two. call it Adventure and keep going.
Blog is interesting, but like most, no info as to who this person is, or much about the boat.... and the ads are a killer.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:50 PM   #75
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Blog is interesting, but like most, no info as to who this person is, or much about the boat....
I'm right here! What do you want to know?
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:33 PM   #76
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Jeff F's blog is very nice since he always links to a chart with his anchor location, plus a few videos here and there. I enjoyed a video Jeff linked showing the activity in the wheelhouse of a tug with 40+ barges. it was very interesting.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:39 AM   #77
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I'm right here! What do you want to know?
Oh, it's you... nice to know.

It's nice to know a bit about the person, crew, details about the boat, planning, etc. instead of just pix. Don't get me wrong, your pix are great. A few blogs have dedicated pages for this which makes it easy.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:09 AM   #78
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Here's a similar vessel in layout with twins and stbd helm door. Easy boat to single hand.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/198...owse%20listing
I have a 78 single engine Mainship no bowthruster no biggy single handed have to know experince level my boat is for sale Ha
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:37 AM   #79
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Why so much boat? Single-handing, I'd go for a 24-28' express cruiser or "pocket cruiser" like a Roseborough, C-Dory, etc. Plenty of room for one, easy to handle, and able to get up on a plane if conditions permit.

Good answer! The C-Dory 22 or 25 or the Rosborough 246 would have plenty of room, are easy to handle, are much faster when you need it & are very fuel efficient. I prefer the Rosborough (outboard version) but the best deals are on the C-Dory 22 & it can be pulled with a smaller vehicle.

It's pretty easy to find a deal on the Mainship but the next year you spend fixing it up could be the year you spent doing the loop on a smaller boat that's ready to go.
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