Cruising Erie Canal

Postby Russ Ranger » Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:47 pm

Greetings from snowy & cold Puget Sound,<P>Given the lousy weather my wife and I were talking about cruising this summer. I had just received my latest copy of Boat U.S. magazine and on the cover they showed a great picture of a canal boat in the Erie Canal. <P>This got us to thinking. We have wanted to do the European canals at some point in the future, but why not start with an adventure in the USA. The big question is, "How much fun is the Erie Canal and would you recommend a starting city." <P>I have gone out on the web and seen the sites of a few Canal boats that are bare boat operations and they look really European in their styling. Would they operate anything like my GB?<P>I also looked to see if there were any bare boat GB operations in the area but did not find any.<P>Is there anyone interested in doing a trade of a 32 GB this summer? Ah, how the minds of boaters wander during the cold season.<P>Any information or input would help.<P>Thanks,<BR>Russ Ranger<BR>Granquility<BR>32-219
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Postby kendallbos » Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:51 am

The Erie is well worth doing. As a matter of fact, Rose and I are headed back there this summer. (On our way to the Trent /Severn). Those rental canal boats you saw are nothing like a GB. The are really just barges and kind of dated. I'm not sure if you have a choice of starting point when you rent those things. If you do Waterford is the place to start. The visitors center is there and it easy to provision. A nice one week trip would be a one way from Waterford to Oswego. <P>Another (I think better) alternative would be to cruise the Canadian side. I am sure that you can find a bare boat in Kingston. A excellent two week cruise would start in Kingston take the St. Lawerence to Montreal, then back track to the Ottawa River that leads to the Rideau Waterway and back to Kingston. Two variations on this would be to be to take the Lachine Canal from Montreal toward the Ottawa River skipping a couple of seaway locks, or skip Montreal altogether. But it is a great city and you don't want to miss it. If you want to take the Lachine pick your bareboat carefully. The Lachine has a very low overhead clearance, eight feet I think. <P>I keep a cruising log online.There is more info on the area there that you might want to check out. If you want to pick my brains on the area, send me an email or we can even chat on the phone.<P>------------------<BR>Ken<BR>Vagare"<BR>46-004<BR>www.vagare.com<BR>
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Postby AndyMac » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:26 am

Russ,
Did you ever make the erie canal trip?
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Postby Bruce Decker » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:20 pm

Since the Erie Canal is my home I can actually say with confidence if you want a totally relaxing, no issues, (well almost no issues) stress, wave and crab-pot free cruise definitely consider the canal. The scenery is very nice, the history great, the locks easy to transit, and there are tons of places to tie up for the night essentially free w/ power and water. NYS sunk a ton of $$$ into the canal in the 90s and 2000s so every little canal town has some kind of tie up.

When I speak of the Erie Canal I'm referring to that section from Albany to Buffalo which actually goes under several different names. Some of it follows the original Erie canal but mostly it is a series of "canalized" rivers. The locks are mostly original from the early 1900's from when the New York State Barge Canal was established. Of course one can meander up to Lake Champlain from Albany and then continue up to the St Lawrence, or cut up the Oswego Canal from Three Rivers to Lake Ontario and the 1000 Islands (we're gonna do that this year) or cut down the Cayuga-Seneca Canal to the Finger Lakes (at least two of them) or continue west to Rochester, Buffalo and all the little "port" towns along the original canal route (Spencerport, Brockport, Fairport etc).

Check out www.canals.ny.gov. Personally we think that the NYS canal system is one of the best kept secrets in the cruising world. If you do decide to check it out purchase the NYS canal cruise guide, it's well worth the $30 and gives you all kinds of advice on bridges, locks, towns, etc. The website has a very good "notice to mariners" section that keeps you up to date on any issues that may impact your travels.

If you head out there give me a shout and we'll meet you on Horseshoe Island for a drink!
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Postby Bruce Decker » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:23 pm

LOL I just noticed the original post was from 2004! Oh well, it's still a great place to check out...
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