Our combined “future dream” is to cruise the “The Great Loop.” Before purchasing our “new to us” vessel, we knew of the restrictions to be imposed, considering bridge clearances and draft requirements.

A personal decision that we made, which means we will never earn a gold burgee marking the cross our wake in a closed loop and bragging rights. And we’re ok with that! Followed by our mindfulness for high tide maneuvering in some areas. And we’re ok with that, too! Amongst our Boating Community, we’re always surprised when in discussions, that they’ve never heard of the “Great Loop”, so I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce it to you.

The “Great Loop” is a continuous waterway passage of the eastern USA and part of Canada. The waterway route encompasses the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), Canadian Canals, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, New York State Canals, Canadian Canals, and inland rivers. We have been Members of America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association (AGLCA) for many years! It’s always great to be amongst like-minded individuals. We both have enjoyed the journey embarked on by others and reading of these books:

  • Great Loop Side Trip by Ron & Eva Stob
  • Honey Let’s Get a Boat by Ron & Eva Stob
  • Reflection on America’s Great Loop by George & Patricia Hospodar

Our next book on order is The Looper’s Companion Guide by Capt John Wright.

Great LoopFun Facts:

  • Chicago River through Downtown Requires 17′ Bridge Clearance
  • Completed in a Jet Ski, Kayak to 70′ Yacht
  • Longest Distance without Fuel is between Hoppies in Kimmswick (MO) on the Upper Mississippi River & Paducah (KY)
  • Lowest Unavoidable Fixed Bridge is 19.6’ (mile 300.6) on the Illinois River.
  • Minimum of 5,250 Nautical Miles
  • Pass Through 15 USA States
  • Port Severn Lock on the Trent Severn Waterway Beam Limitation is 23’
  • Vessel Water Draft 5’/- is Recommended

Contingent on Bridge Clearances, Your Options…

  • 15′ Bridge: Take the Erie Canal to its western terminus into Lake Erie.
  • 17′ Bridge: Take Lake Champlain and through the St Lawrence Seaway into Lake Ontario.
  • 21′ Bridge: Take the Erie Canal to the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario.

Know the cost will vary drastically by individuals/couples based on the vessel’s fuel consumption, maintenance, and size. In addition, there is a preference for anchorage or transient slips.

Great LoopBurgee Meaning:

  • Blue Burgee: Lieutenant & Lieutenant Plus Sponsorship
  • Gold Burgee (Gold Standard): Symbolize the “Great Loop” Cruise Member Completion
  • Green Burgee: Commanders the Second Highest Level of AGLCA Sponsorship
  • Platinum Burgee: “Great Loop” Cruise Completed Several Times
  • Red Burgee: Admiral the Highest Level of AGLCA Sponsorship
  • White Burgee: AGLCA Membership

Often, you will notice a “Veteran Looper” flying their gold and white burgee. The “Great Loop” Journey is whatever you wish to make of it!

  • Buddy boats often form and travel together.
  • Completion has been reported anywhere from 6 weeks – 12 years.
  • Since August 2001, with 6,000 members.
  • Some “Loopers” complete it in segments, whether it is weeks or months. Then, return to land obligations.
  • Some “Loopers” make a side trip to the Bahamas.
  • Usually, it starts counterclockwise to run with the current on the inland rivers.
  • The journey begins wherever you and your vessel are located.

We have several more years before this grand adventure journey. For now, our primary focus is bringing our “new to us” vessel back to par (she’s our lil diamond in the rough) with all the personalization and upgrades we desire. We continue to dream and plan while observing others embarking on this adventure.

So whether you’re a dreamer, in the planning stage, or vicariously living by others, all are welcome!

Hi, I’m Janet

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