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Welland Canal Transit?

Discussion in 'Cruising Sailors' started by DArcy - Islay Mist, Apr 10, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. DArcy - Islay Mist

    DArcy - Islay Mist

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    358 posts, 308 likes
    C&C 27 MkII
    Ca Ottawa
    Has anyone transited the Welland Canal in a sailboat? I may be bringing a 34 foot boat from Lake Huron to Lake Ontario. There is some great information on the BlueSeas site but I'm just wondering if anyone has first hand experience or any tips and tricks. Any information about the St. Claire and Detroit rivers would be great as well; I've done this part before but it was many years ago.
     


  2. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,742 posts, 1,728 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    Haven't travelled the Welland, yet, but have heard stories. Down is easier than up and there are some minimum crew requirements. Be prepared to wait and leave on short notice at some ungodly hour.

    When going down in a lock, the water tends to pull the boat off the lock wall and it is less turbulent. Going up, the water in a lock usually wells up from the middle of the lock and drives boats up against the walls. On the Erie Canal the lock masters can control the water flow so it is less turbulent. I doubt they do that on Welland because of the tight commercial shipping schedule.

    As with any cruise through a canal/lock system bring at least 2 boat hooks and cheap work gloves. The lock walls get pretty slimy and boat hooks sometimes disappear.
     


  3. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    2,092 posts, 1,814 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    the whole trip is super easy. st clair river/detroit river all with the current, very well marked. lake erie you'll be going with the pervalling winds. welland, the cut is well marked, the locks are easy peezee. dirty too. lots of fenders and boat hooks. the lock guys are professional. they will take care of you. it's all fun. ask the dock crew for tips if your unsure. helping vessels is all they do. last time i went through the welland i had green light at every lock.
    your going to have fun :)
     


  4. DArcy - Islay Mist

    DArcy - Islay Mist

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    358 posts, 308 likes
    C&C 27 MkII
    Ca Ottawa
    That sounds promising Jon. And thanks both for the tips on boat hooks, fenders and gloves.
     


  5. Tod

    Tod

    Joined Dec 30, 2010
    78 posts, 71 likes
    Montgomery 17
    US trailered
    This You Tube channel I follow does:

     


    jon hansen likes this.
  6. DArcy - Islay Mist

    DArcy - Islay Mist

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    358 posts, 308 likes
    C&C 27 MkII
    Ca Ottawa
    Tod, that is a fantastic narrative! Thanks.
     


    Tod likes this.
  7. joker460

    joker460

    Joined Apr 27, 2010
    844 posts, 27 likes
    Beneteau 352 Hull #276
    CA Ontario
    It's not that difficult. I've done it with my brother. Since you're going eastbound you only need 2 people on board in total.
    Keep in mind it will take 6 to 8 hours to traverse and the big ships have right of way at the locks so you may have to wait.
    If you google welland canel info there's tons of information.
    Good luck.
     


  8. djplatt

    djplatt

    Joined Mar 16, 2011
    47 posts, 2 likes
    Sirius 21
    Ca Bronte
    They sent us through at 11:00 pm and we had to raft up three boats wide at every lock. Couldn't have done it with only two people on board.

    Detroit and St Clair rivers were easy. At one point we were doing 10 knots over the ground with current.

    If you do lake Erie at night stay in the separation lane between the eastbound and westbound freighter traffic. This keeps you away from fishing nets which you won't be able to see at night.
     


  9. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,742 posts, 1,728 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY


    DArcy - Islay Mist likes this.


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