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Ott andAnn's Erie Canal trip

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ann and I took an eleven-day cruise on the Erie Canal, 190 miles from Buffalo to Syracuse with our boat. About the boat, after owning a double planked Chris Craft in the 1960 we changed to a sailboat for 27 years but in our old age decided to buy the largest trailerable boat we could find, a 1986 26ft Cruisers, Inc express cruiser, actually 31ft long with the bow pulpit and the swim platform. The 260 HP Mercruiser pushes it along on plane at 27 mph for cruising and gets 1.8 miles per gallon. The same mpg at 7.5 mph. It has an aft cabin with a queen bed, the sofa in the main cabin converts to a double bed and has a head with shower, ref./freezer, electric and alcohol stove, GPSmap, fish/depth finder, etc. I used the GPS for over-the-ground speed.

We launched the boat in Buffalo and entered the canal at Tonawanda and docked for the night at Gateway Park, newly renovated with NY State funds, as were most villages along the canal, NY sank millions into changing the barge canal into a recreational waterway, there is no commercial traffic left. We are the lone boat tied up there.

The next day on to Lockport where we encountered the first two locks of eleven we had to go through and the first of 16 lift bridges.

In Middleport we just had to stop for lunch at Mr. Ed’s for their famous wings with beer. The canal is very tranquil here and we stopped overnight at Albion. Nobody tells you this beforehand, but the tie up wall is between two bridges that have grating for the driving surface and cars and trucks going over them make so much noise it is hard converse especially as one of the bridges has a loose grating making a sound as if a thousand pots and pans have been dropped.

Fathers Day Sunday we pulled over in Brockport and the Farmer’s Market was nice.

And food at the Smoke House.

We overnighted in Spencerport where we had an evening with a great duo playing and lots of good food and drink. We made friends with a family who had the boat coming under the bridge. BTW, most tie ups are free with free electric and water.

Continued in next post.
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
In Lake Erie, where we are normally at home it is tacky to run with your fenders down but on the canal where the time between locks and docking is so short, hauling fenders in and out would be a chore, so everybody just leaves them out. When in Rome..etc..

Unreal how many bridges there are across the canal.

In Pittsford we docked along a restaurant called Schoen Place, ann is having some ice cream and kids feeding the ducks.

Then on to Fairport for the night. Fairport is a great place but has one of the noisy bridges near by and we moved as far down the wall away from it and it was tolerable.

There are many small towns along the canal, every 5-6 miles and side trips to the Finger Lakes that Pierre will take but we didn’t because time constraints but we will do them in the future.

The Syracuse Inner Harbor is not nearly finished so we went up along Lake Onondaga to the Liverpool Marina, a great place and park, for our last night. Ann did a lot of reading.

There was a bass tournament taking place and the weigh-in was interesting.

A fitting sunset for a great trip.

There were several days when we didn’t meet a single boat all day, and the most was three sailboats on Sunday.

I took the bus back to Buffalo and drove my truck and trailer to Liverpool, loaded the boat and drove back to Ohio.
post #3 of 13
Great pictures Ott.
post #4 of 13
Thanks for sharing this, Ott. Almost like being there...

I skied with a three ladies from Long Island who boat around there over the summer (and ski with the Gang at Copper during the winter). You may run into them one of these days...
post #5 of 13

too relaxing! ...

What a life ....
post #6 of 13
I leave in two weeks for the Erie Canal and will be gone three weeks to a month.

I tried to anchor and fish off Kelly's Island this weekend. That was a disaster. Seems as though every go fast boater wanted a look at my boat and so did a close zip by. The converging wakes from boats on each side every minute or so constantly rolled the boat. I gave up in less than two hours. My boat attracts to much attention to fish from.

Ott I stayed at Battery Park on Monday night because my daughter and her friends wanted to go play around Cedar Point and then watch the fireworks from the marina. My daughter and her friends thought that my boat was the ugliest boat in the whole marina and could not understand why other boaters drooled over it.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Pierre, I know about fishing around the islands, the only way to get away from those huge wakes somewhat is to anchor in the middle of the crowds of 40-50 fishing boats, there seems to be a slight respect by boaters going closer than a quarter mile.

BTW, did you get the stuff I sent you about the canal?

post #8 of 13
Originally Posted by Ott Gangl
BTW, did you get the stuff I sent you about the canal?
I just got it today Ott. This stuff is fantastic. You spend a considerable amount of time to put that booklet together. You are a real gentlemen for sharing it with me.

I called the Small Boat Marina but they are reluctant to let me leave the van and trailer along with another vehicle for up to a month. A week is stretching it with one vehicle and trailer.

I called Smith Boy's Inc in North Tonawanda and they will allow the parking with a nominal fee, whatever that is. I am checking further around N. Tonawanda. I am a little skiddish about chugging up the Niagara to the Black Rock Canal as I am just above the current. It would take me hours to go from the Erie up to the Black Rock.

This past weekend I put 12 hours on the boat without a single incident so the bugs are worked out. I burned 8 gallons of fuel oil so my fuel burn at cruise is around 2/3 gal per hour. I went just about 80 miles so my mpg is 10. That is at hull speed which is a pretty high setting but I am not going to chug around at less than that.

Just for your info. I went into east harbor and up by the state park where there is heavy weeds. The prop loaded up but when I cycled the pitch on the propeller from full blades in forward to full blades in reverse the prop cleared every time. I could never do that with a reversing prop but it appears to work fine with the controllable pitch propeller system.

As far as the go fast boats passing within a quarter mile I can tell you that no matter where I moved to they passed withing 100 yards. Some taking pictures and most waving.
post #9 of 13
Just saw this and now I know what I want to do when I grow up.
post #10 of 13
Thanks for bumping! From 1994-98 we lived along the canal in Pittsford... where Ann and the ducks are having snacks (post #2). Fun to see again! And yes, the Erie Canal is a VERY laid back cruise.
post #11 of 13
I'm living about 5 minutes from the canal in Pittsford right now, drive by it every day. That paved bike path is looking mighty tempting...

Pittsord seems like it could be a really nice place to live.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
We did it again in 2006,. this time it was the Trent-Severn Waterway from Trenton on Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. See below:


Well, we are back from our Trent-Severn trip, an absolute adventure. I went faster than I thought, two weeks. Thanks to all of you for your advice. Towing the boat across the border was no hassle, I pulled up to the border inspection area and a young lady in uniform came up and asked if this was my truck, my trailer and my boat and if I had any firearms and alcohol, I answered truthfully and she gave me the go-ahead. I then asked where I should check the boat in like I do when crossing the lake by boat and was told that I just did that.

We launched the boat at the Bay Marina just a few miles from Trenton and left the truck and trailer there. I had to unhitch the trailer because it was too long when left hitched.

The trip was romantic and extremely beautiful weather and landscape wise. On Wednesday in Campbellford there was a concert in the park where we were tied up and I was invited up on the stage to do a couple of songs with them, what fun, especially since I don’t sing too well.

The lift locks and the Big Chute were exciting, Orillia was a great place also. We stayed in Severn Boat Basin while I took the bus back to Trenton, an all-day affair only to find out my trailer missing. It turned out that they lent it to someone to take a boat home that didn’t have a trailer of their own. I found this out after I had paid them ten bucks a day, I had to stay overnight in a motel at a cost of $106 and got my trailer back the next day and no compensation from them at all. They said, sorry, it was a mistake.

It took three hours to get back to my boat, loaded it up the next day and headed home only to have one of my 20-year-old tires lose a thread. Luckily it was on the right side and I had a spare (the trailer has all new tires on it now).

Crossing the border back to the US was a no brainer except I went into the truck lane thinking it would be faster and had to pay five bucks because that was inspection lane, it would have been free in the car lanes.

Here are a few pictures:

post #13 of 13
Thanks for the report Ott. This looks like a great time.

Name that tune!

(I moved this to trip reports. somehow it was in off-season sports and went unseen).
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