Browsing: Great Loop

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Veteran “Commuter Cruisers” Jan and David Irons Complete the Great Loop

By Peter A. Janssen Back in 2004, Jan and David Irons left Annapolis and headed south on their Passport 37 sloop. Over the next dozen years or so, they made it as far as Cartagena, Colombia, and back. Along the way, the Irons discovered that cruising year-round wouldn’t work for them. So they developed a schedule of “commuter cruising,” leaving the boat somewhere safe, coming back home for six months of normal family life and then returning for six more months of blue-water cruising. They even started a website, www.commutercruising.com. Somewhere along the way they also dreamed of doing the…

Cruising Life
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Good News for Loopers, New York Cruisers: Erie Canal Will Not Charge for Tolls in Next Three Years

Here’s some good news if you’re thinking about cruising in the Northeast or taking on the Great Loop in the near future. The Erie Canal will not charge any tolls for the next three years. The New York State Canal Corp. just announced it will not charge recreational boats to use the Canal or its locks and  lift bridges through 2021. The tolls were lifted in 2017 to mark the 200thanniversary of the start of construction on the canal; the no-charge policy was continued this year. As a result, the Canal Corp. said, boat traffic increased. Indeed, it said 71,529…

Cruising Life
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Bad News on the Great Loop: Army Corps of Engineers Will Close Six Locks on Illinois River in 2020

Here’s some bad news for anyone thinking of tackling the Great Loop in 2020: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is closing six locks and dams on the Illinois River, that part of the Loop connecting Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, from July 1 to October 31, for major infrastructure repairs. The options for Loopers are to stay in the Great Lakes and leave Chicago on November 1, although as someone who has lived in Chicago, I can safely say you might get a bit cold then. You also need to determine how many marinas and other facilities would…

Cruising Life
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Tennessee Couple Complete Great Loop on Carver 43, Feeling More Alive Than Ever

More and more people are cruising the Great Loop after they retire. They’re looking for an adventure, the chance to do something new, to see new places, to meet new friends. The 6,000 mile circumnavigation of the eastern half of the United States, plus side trips to the Bahamas or up the east coast to Maine, add to the allure. The Loop is a dream, but it’s not an out-of-reach dream. It’s achievable. Here’s a fun story from The Tennessean about Ron and Karen Atkisson, from Brentwood, Tennessee, south of Nashville. They ran a chain of automobile repair shops for 30…

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Ranger Tug 25 Update: Nellie May Passes 4,000 Miles on Great Loop, Now in Erie Canal By Peter A. Janssen The beat goes on. Tim and Mary Kenyon have put more than 4,000 miles under the hull of their Ranger Tug 25 Nellie May since they left Illinois last Sept. 11, and now they’re cruising on the Erie Canal (see the picture, top). If all goes according to plan, they expect to cross their wake in Ottawa, Illinois, about half way between Chicago and Peoria, in early September. We last covered the Kenyons in February when they left Nellie May in Melbourne,…

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After the Great Loop, the McVeys Keep on Cruising: “There is so much more to see.” By Peter A. Janssen Charlie and Robin McVey from Louisville, Mississippi, just don’t know how to quit. Indeed, they’ve been cruising on their 42-foot 1986 Jefferson Sundeck trawler The Lower Place most of the time since they retired more than two years ago. After a few break-in cruises, they started the Great Loop at 5 am on Oct. 23, 2016, and completed it 343 days later, passing through 17 states, the District of Columbia and parts of the Bahamas and Canada. Back at their…

Boat Reviews
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New, Prize-Winning, Dutch-Built Linssen 40 Sedan: All Ready for the ICW or the Great Loop

The new prize-winning Linssen 40 Sedan, named the European Power Boat of the Year in the Displacement category at the Düsseldorf boat show in January, is a Dutch-built, salty-looking, steel-hull cruiser. It was designed for cruising Europe’s coast and vast inland waterway system, but it would be equally at home in the U.S., cruising on the Intracoastal Waterway or along the Great Loop. It will be introduced to the U.S. at the Annapolis Powerboat Show in October. The Linssen 40 comes in an aft cabin and a flybridge version, but the basic sedan version has a large forward stateroom, with…

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The Best of Both Worlds: A Kadey-Krogen 39 in the Pacific Northwest, and a Ranger Tugs 27 Anywhere East of the Mississippi By Peter A. Janssen John and Laurie Gray could easily serve as role models for the rest of us. They keep their big boat, Tribute, a 2004 Kadey-Krogen 39 pilothouse trawler, at their home port of Everett, Washington, just above Seattle. And they keep Trilogy, which they call “our other boat,” a 2012 Ranger Tugs 27, on a trailer almost anywhere east of the Mississippi River, ready to go cruising when and where the mood strikes. The Grays…

Cruising Life
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Meet the Kenyons from South Dakota: About Half Way Around the Loop on Their Ranger 25

Tim and Mary Kenyon, from Wentworth, South Dakota, describe themselves as “water people.” She is now a website designer, and he’s a retired geologist, but when they were married they said the first thing they bought together was a canoe; then a Hobie Cat, a Balboa 16, and finally a Ranger Tug 21, all for use on Lake Madison nearby. Then they wanted a bigger Ranger, maybe a used 25. They went to the Seattle boat show in January, 2015, “with every intention of just looking,” Mary wrote on her blog. They ended up buying the new Ranger 25 on…

Cruising Life
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Trent-Severn Waterway: A Unique and Unforgettable Cruising Experience Connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Huron

The Trent-Severn Waterway, the 240-mile-long picturesque passage that connects Lake Ontario to Lake Huron through largely pastoral farmland and little towns in southern Ontario, provides one of the most unique cruising experiences in the world. Indeed, many cruisers who complete the Great Loop say it is the highlight of their entire 5,000-plus-mile trip. The basic route for the Waterway was traveled by Samuel de Champlain in 1615; he saw it as a way to provide a trade and military advantage connecting the two big lakes. After much debate, work on the Waterway, which starts in the town of Trenton, on…

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