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Old 11-21-2021, 04:42 PM   #1
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Great Lakes to Chesapeake Bay

Iíve searched all over and canít find anything even similar to this trip. Trying to get a feel for the nautical miles and reasonable number of days one could expect. Trip will be late spring.

Will most likely use the C&D canal versus running the outside as the preference is to not run at night. Made a trip 6 years ago from the Tomís River and that was 5 pretty long days. Just have no feel for the run from the Great Lakes to Cape May.
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Old 11-21-2021, 04:55 PM   #2
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Hudson River etc. or around to the mouth of the St. Lawrence?
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Old 11-21-2021, 05:01 PM   #3
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Where on the Great Lakes? Erie canal? Oswego canal?

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Old 11-21-2021, 05:48 PM   #4
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Back in 2016 we brought our last boat home to Michigan from the Potomac River. It was about 1400 statute miles. We took 45 days since we were not in much of a hurry, if the weather was questionable we stayed in port. We used the C&D Canal, Erie Canal, Oswego Canal and TSW to Georgian Bay and then directly across Lake Huron. It was very early in the spring and we had a couple of small delays on the Erie due to high water and lots of debris in the Hudson River. Also lots of weeds in the TSW in Canal Lake. The day before we were there a boat got stuck in the weeds and had to be towed out, tow boat lost an engine doing the tow.
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Old 11-21-2021, 05:58 PM   #5
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Hudson River etc. or around to the mouth of the St. Lawrence?
Hudson River. Starting point will be Lake Michigan Apostle Islands. I was guessing about month in a 7-8 knot boat. Obviously there will be down days due to unfavorable weather.
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Old 11-21-2021, 06:05 PM   #6
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The Apostle Islands are in Lake Superior about as far away from the east coast as you can get on the Great Lakes. A month seems like a low estimate at trawler speeds. It's probably 900 miles on the lakes to get to Buffalo.
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Old 11-21-2021, 06:26 PM   #7
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Circumnavigator here wrote an article for Voyages magazine on his trip from Boston to Isle Royale and the Portage Canal and back. Since he went through the St Lawrence only part of it will be applicable to you but it might give you an idea of Superior through to the Buffalo area. If I find it before you do Iíll link it. They did do some GL passages overnight though.
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Old 11-21-2021, 07:50 PM   #8
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Hudson River. Starting point will be Lake Michigan Apostle Islands. I was guessing about month in a 7-8 knot boat. Obviously there will be down days due to unfavorable weather.
I don't have my book with me, but went from the Chesapeake to Copper Harbor in a fairly direct route.

While you can do a delivery run for a week or two, not for that distance. Not counting weather days, depending on route, I can't see less than 6 weeks. While you can skip part of the Erie canal, weather can shut you down for days on lake Ontario in the spring. Weather won't stop you on the Erie canal, but locks can take time or be shutdown for days when broken (as they were this year).

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Old 11-21-2021, 07:59 PM   #9
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We were running at 10MPH and generally ran about 5 hours a day. Some days longer but not usually any more than 8 hours. We werenít in a hurry but weather probably cost us 8 days. We were lucky that on the Erie the longest delay was a couple of hours due to high water. On the Oswego there was a roadway bridge that wouldnít lift so we sat in the lock for 4 hours. But I would count on delays and plan accordingly.
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Old 11-22-2021, 04:19 PM   #10
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I made the trip from Oneida lake, Brewerton NY to Norfolk, VA this past October. Did the Erie Canal to Shady Harbor, south of Albany on the Hudson in 3 days. Shady Harbor marina to Poughkeepsie 1 day, Poughkeepsie to Norfolk, 37 Straight hours traveling 10 knots. The weather was perfect, traveled outside from NYC to the mouth of the Chesapeake.
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Old 11-23-2021, 07:41 AM   #11
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Iíve searched all over and canít find anything even similar to this trip. Trying to get a feel for the nautical miles and reasonable number of days one could expect. Trip will be late spring.

Have you check the AGLCA website? Just sounds like part of The Loop, backwards.

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Old 11-23-2021, 08:18 AM   #12
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Did the Erie Canal to Shady Harbor, south of Albany on the Hudson in 3 days.
Am I reading that right? Seems like a lot of miles in 3 days or is there some cut thru I'm not seeing? Looks like you have to run quite a ways up the SLR and double back south to get to Albany.
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Old 11-23-2021, 08:57 AM   #13
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Am I reading that right? Seems like a lot of miles in 3 days or is there some cut thru I'm not seeing? Looks like you have to run quite a ways up the SLR and double back south to get to Albany.
If I'm interpreting SLR correctly as St Lawrence River that's not part of that route.
From Lk Ontario the Oswego canal S takes you to the Erie one lock away from Oneida Lk.
Brewerton is on/near Oneida Lk near Syracuse so it just Erie canal and 22? Locks to the Hudson at Troy. Albany just a short ways S on Hudson.
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Old 11-23-2021, 05:48 PM   #14
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Brewerton, Ny to Shady Harbor marina on the Hudson was 153 nautical miles, and 22 Locks in total. Shady Harbor, Albany NY to Norfolk Va was a total of 385 nautical miles.
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Old 11-23-2021, 05:52 PM   #15
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IF you were able to do that distance in 3 days, why would you want to. Too much to see and do to travel that fast. I understand that it may be a delivery trip but you want to see a bit of it???
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Old 11-23-2021, 06:00 PM   #16
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It was at the end of the season, the canal was closing and needed to make it to the Hudson. We also had to time it for a wedding we needed to be at in Saratoga, A lot was going on. We’ve been traveling the canal for years, and have already seen much of it. For us its getting through all of the locks, and making the weather window on the outside. It was definitely a Delivery trip this time.
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Old 11-23-2021, 07:12 PM   #17
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If you are thinking of using the Erie canal, it typically does not open until mid to late May. If there is a wet spring it could be later (to clear debris and repair winter damage). One year recently, the canal did not open completely until August.
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:14 AM   #18
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If you are thinking of using the Erie canal, it typically does not open until mid to late May. If there is a wet spring it could be later (to clear debris and repair winter damage). One year recently, the canal did not open completely until August.
Appreciate all the feedback on this thread. We're looking at a boat in Lake Superior and the seller is a licensed Capt and offered a reasonable price for delivery....that's the good news. Not being a NE boater, I had no idea the Erie Canal even existed. Much shorter route than the St Lawrence River but also sounds like it can be a little dicey with debris not to mention best case is 50% loss and worse case almost a complete loss of the 2022 boating season.
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:46 AM   #19
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If you can become familiar with the boat before you start the trip and have plenty of time to spend enjoying the trip, it could very well be the trip of a lifetime. Conversely, if you are limited to a tight timeline with a large number of constraints outside of your control and you haven't had a chance to become familiar with the boat, it could be the worse experience ever. It really depends on the preparedness of the boat and how you go about it. I would try and allocate as much time as possible and split the trip into smaller segments if need be to avoid rushing through it. I would definitely include the Trent Severn Waterway in to the route assuming the boat does not have an excessive draft or height.

My parents bought their 390 Mainship in Northport Michigan and spend ~5 weeks bringing it home to the Chesapeake Bay in late summer/early fall 2019. The previous owner joined them for the first day and then they were on their own. It was a bit nerve racking traveling, learning the new systems along the way but it went well and remains their biggest boating adventure to date. Give yourself spare days for weather delays or mechanical breakage and you will lower your stress level significantly.
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