Originally Posted by boatpoker
The "new" policy says nothing about preferential treatment of pleasure craft nor does it say there will be no commercial traffic on days allotted to pleasure craft.
I've done somewhere around 80 transits of the canal, my quickest was less than 5 hrs. and my longest was 36hrs. (dense fog and heavy commercial traffic). Commercial traffic will always take precedence.
All true but it does have a day and time for recreational boaters and on the first day they were sent back to the pleasure craft dock. That was after they told the boat to enter lock 1. On day 3, it seemed better.
All the policy really states is the days to be used for pleasure craft and they must be in position, paid, and registered by 9:00 AM. Persons I know working there are suggesting 7:00 AM as sometimes that will get you ahead of the first commercial locking.
Our one time through was about 10 hours.
Commercial traffic paying $23,000 versus pleasure craft paying $200 will always take preference and there is no illusion of that. The effort is to not do so to the exclusion of pleasure craft and to put pleasure craft on fewer days. As I understand it, last year, there were pleasure craft held for more than a day. This year, the implied promise is that if you're there before 9:00, you will start through on that day. If not, you'll wait until the next scheduled day for pleasure craft.
The reason I posted was to advice the OP which days he could go through and what the requirements were to do so. If he hits on another day, he will not be taken through.