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Anyone taking a yacht up to the Great Lakes this season; plans? route?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Capt J, May 4, 2020.

  1. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I'm taking a yacht to Michigan from South Florida and leaving at the end of this week. Owner wanted to do the Erie Canal route, but has decided to do the river system (Tenn-Tomm route) due to the uncertainty of the Erie Canal opening. That leads to other issues as the Illinois canal/waterway closes for maintenance July 1st-Nov 1st for maintenance (which is pretty late to leave the Great Lakes) and it's uncertain if the Erie canal will even open completely this year.

    SO, what are everyone else's plans? Anyone doing the trip now or in the near future?
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Illinois Waterway 2020 Closure
    Anyone who has boated the inland rivers knows many of the locks are in desperate need of maintenance. A plan by the Army Corp of Engineers (COE) has been put in motion to close seven locks on the Illinois River, essentially closing the waterway from July 1, 2020 through October 29, 2020.

    While we support the effort to maintain the waterway for commercial and recreational use, and we support the idea of one closure to maintain this series of locks, the time frame selected is just about the worst-case scenario for those doing the Great Loop in the “traditional” one-year time-frame where you complete the Great Lakes and head down the Illinois River in late summer or early fall. The COE has sandwiched the work between what is typically the spring flood season and the peak of grain harvest season. The work cannot be completed in the winter due to freezing temperatures unless they build structures over the locks and heat them, which they do not have the budget to do. Simply put, there is no other time of the year that this can happen.

    AGLCA is continuing to work on options for our members for 2020. There are several possibilities, and we are determining whether and how we can support our members as they:
    • Linger in the Great Lakes and start the inland rivers later than "usual"
    • Leave the Great Lakes earlier than "usual"
    • Extend the season for cruising the Great Lakes and then store the boat winter of 2020, and continuing the Loop in 2021
    • Haul the boat near Chicago and ship it to the Upper Mississippi
    • Loop clockwise

    We realize all of the options have their pros and cons. Not every option is possible for every boat so AGLCA is providing various information platforms for you to access details on all of these options as well as information to help you decide which may be the best for your circumstances.


    Webinar: Looping in 2020 with the Illinois Waterway Closed for Lock Maintenance

    With the Illinois River closed for lock maintenance from July 1st – October 29th, those Looping in 2020 will have some extra challenges! This session will give you details on a few ideas for how to do the Loop in 2020 and help you determine which options are possibilities for you. We'll also explain how AGLCA can offer support for the Fleet of 2020 in dealing with the closure.
    Free. AGLCA Members Only.


    Register Now
    An AGLCA staff member will check your registration against the member database and then approve your registration.



    Podcasts: In addition to the webinar above, AGLCA is periodically informing members on the latest updates through the weekly podcast. If you missed an update, you can catch up by using the links below to listen to past episodes of the podcast pertinent to the Illinois Waterway closure.
  3. Wl3175

    Wl3175 Member

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    I was planning on leaving Newport with a Huckins in May to go through the Erie to chicago but of course that is not an option right now . I would hope the Erie will open before August if not we will winter here and go next spring .

    Sept is is still a good time to travel but other commitments won’t allow it
  4. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    There's a Hatt working it's way up the East coast heading for WI. Not sure if he's on here. Pascal your favorite nautical engineer on here?
  5. Spellbound

    Spellbound New Member

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    Helped a friend this morning (Boca Grande area) fuel a 60’ Hatteras on his way to Racine Wisconsin. Check the Hatteras Site Sam’s Marine for details and to follow their progress.
  6. BRyachts

    BRyachts New Member

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    We went up for the summer about 6-8 yrs ago, did Atlantic route, Maine, Halifax, St Lawrence, Montreal, Welland, Mackinaw.
  7. captaintilt

    captaintilt Senior Member

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    I've got a 62' to bring from Ft. Lauderdale to Detroit, and am looking at the Tenn-Tom route and up to Chicago and then up and around to get to Detroit. Trip has been pushed back a few times already, and with the Erie not knowing when it will open, it looks like the River system is more viable now. I doubt the Erie will be open by mid-June, but have heard rumblings that it could, but also open as late as July. I've never done the River Route and starting to look at marinas and distances now to present to the owner.
  8. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    One and the same.
  9. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    "A plan by the Army Corp of Engineers (COE) has been put in motion to close seven locks on the Illinois River, essentially closing the waterway from July 1, 2020 through October 29, 2020."

    I wonder how good the COE is at keeping a scheduled end date with so many variables.
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Did you go around Sydney or through the Straits of Canso? My first transport was from Ft. Lauderdale - Buzzards Bay - Pt. Tupper. Unfortunately the boss was anxious to leave Florida so left early (end of March). After 8 gales we ended up Iced in at the straits and left the boat from another crew to finish the transport 3 weeks later. The lobster traps off Cape Sable were insane trying to miss in the fog.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've only done the West route once, (east route 4 times) but in a 75' Hatteras MY, which was very challenging due to it's length (marina's etc.). Marina's are 80-100 statute miles apart in many places. One spot it's 250 sm between fuel docks. Height has to be under 19'2. Also Illinois canal is closing July 1st- Nov 1st, so better leave fairly soon. Detroit is about halfway between both routes, just guessing as far as mileage.
  12. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    Where was that section? I'm not disputing, but I don't remember that from my trip up in 2003. I was on a 56' Huckins that couldn't have made that many miles without fuel.
  13. BRyachts

    BRyachts New Member

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    Canso

    We also left Ft Laud very early. We were virtually the first boat of the season everywhere we stopped, almost no services. We finally laid up in Montreal for a bit, then a couple weeks of work/repairs in Cleveland, and the good weather finally caught up to us.
    Our return was more problematic, early fall got laid up at PEI for weather, Portland Me for weather, got butt kicked in Buzzards, more weather in Newport. Finally got a window and trucked non-stop rest of way.
  14. Wl3175

    Wl3175 Member

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    What huckin did you deliver down
  15. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    a 56' Corinthian, which was called Corisande. We did the Loop clockwise in one (long) season
  16. Wl3175

    Wl3175 Member

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    now Fremont .you did the loop with Maldwin ?
  17. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    From Alton to Green Turtle Bay. Hoppie's use to be a stop but no longer exists.

    Or to Paducah or Kentucky Dam. Most who are pressed for range add barrels at GTB
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  18. Rodger

    Rodger Senior Member

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    At this time there the St Lawrence Seaway has not given a date when they will start taking pleasure craft and the border was to open April 21/20 but was extended another
    thirty days.
    I have four boats coming around the long way through Montreal, three of them have to because of there size and the other one is a 85'
    Two of them left Fort Lauderdale last week and heading north at a slow pace and will hang out around Portland until Seaway opens
  19. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    Yes, I was with Maldwin.
  20. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Capt J!

    I would have the fuel brought to me by truck at a good city dock or a marina with a good bulkhead dock with the truck and pull up to you within 100 feet or so that way you get the wholesale price even for just a couple hundred gallons.
    i’m sure during these times many local fuel companies would be glad to do that for you this way you don’t have to worry about getting fuel at the small marinas .
    My dad used to get fuel this way in Philadelphia and that was for only 500 gallons.
    Just search fuel supply companies at the various cities you’ll be going by to and give them a call to see who will bite.
    I’m sure you’ll get many quotes right over the phone.
    Last edited: May 6, 2020