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Author Topic:   Mississippi River Trip
WhalerGoFar posted 07-30-2003 06:16 PM ET (US)   Profile for WhalerGoFar   Send Email to WhalerGoFar  
Well, I have been glued to the History Channel all day watching the " The Mighty Mississippi " and I have the urge to make a trip down the river from Cincinnati to the Big Easy.

Does anyone here have any first or good second hand knowledge of the river and information they would like to
convey on such an adventure.

I would be planning to take my 16/17 foot Currituck and make it home for a few weeks.

Any comments would be welcome.

Mike "Fink"

David Jenkins posted 08-01-2003 07:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
Please keep us informed. Sounds like an incredible trip! When would you depart?
flawton posted 08-01-2003 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for flawton  Send Email to flawton     
My father and I are in the early planning stages for his lifelong "dream trip" which is to begin in Chatanooga, TN and end up in Bluffton, SC. TN river from Chattanooga to Paducha KY, Ohio River from Paducha to the Mississippi River, Miss to The Big Easy, Around the Gulf to Ft. Myers FL, Across FL via Lake Okeechobee and up the intercoastal waterway to Bluffton, SC (where we have a river house).

We have scaled it off and it is approximately 2,750 miles. We are eyeing a 23' Conquest for the trip and planning to alternate overnights on the boat one on one off.

We figure it would take us 8 to 10 weeks.

Now all I have to do is win the lottery!!!

Keep us posted on your progress.

WhalerGoFar posted 08-01-2003 01:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for WhalerGoFar  Send Email to WhalerGoFar     
Flawton: I am just in the planning stages myself. Weather conditions and the Denver Mint production schedule will have a great gearing on the "When" .

Your trip has lot of my course in it...but the extra milage will cost a bunch more. I will keep you informed so we don't place to much of an impact on the GNP.


North Beach posted 08-01-2003 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for North Beach    

Sounds like you should grab that 23 Conquest diesel--prob. be great for such a trip.

flawton posted 08-01-2003 03:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for flawton  Send Email to flawton     
I saw that diesel powered conquest which i agree would be a great boat for this trip.

The only kicker is that If we can ever get it together to do it I would probably want to keep the boat after the trip for local fishing and I feel like an outbaord would be better for my local excursions.

whalerpoor posted 08-06-2003 02:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerpoor  Send Email to whalerpoor     
I will give you a word of caution when it comes to boating on the "Big Muddy" aka Mississippi River. That river is very unforgiving and has an extremely strong current. My own experience with the river is from around the Memphis area. The best advice for small boats - stay away from it- it will hurt you. If you are not aboard either a tugboat pushing barges or the Delta Queen paddle boat I would not go out there.

Some of the dangers:

the current is so strong there is debris including trees etc that you can't even see because of the muddy water.

if you lose power there is no way on God's green earth you will get an anchor to hold in that silt/mud.

it is hard to chart because sand bars are moving all of the time. The pilot licenses issued are for very short spans of the river.

I can go on and on.

You must have respect for that river!!!

WhalerGoFar posted 08-07-2003 12:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for WhalerGoFar  Send Email to WhalerGoFar     
Thanks whalerpoor , your information is what I was hoping to receive here. Your advice will be taken very seriour.

Anyone else have details to share?


jimh posted 08-07-2003 11:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Many trip narratives I have read always mention the difficulty of obtaining dockside gasoline fuel.

Federal laws regarding pollution and the fines they impose have drive many waterway operators to give up on selling and storing gasoline. The big two boats are apparently re-fueled by barges on appointment schedules.

Read "River Horse" by William Least Heat-Moon. Very interesting account of river boating.

Also see:

WhalerGoFar posted 08-11-2003 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for WhalerGoFar  Send Email to WhalerGoFar     
Thanks Jim for the info of fuel availabilty. Looks like I will need to take along some totable gas cans and cab fare or one of those small rubber hoses we use to use as teenagers for the times the old man didn't leave us with a full tank.

I still hate the taste of unleaded.


whalerpoor posted 08-14-2003 08:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerpoor  Send Email to whalerpoor     
I thought about this trip for the past week or so and then it finally hit me - a better/safer trip would be to go into the Tennessee River and then down the Tom Bigbee Waterway.
jhill posted 08-18-2003 03:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for jhill  Send Email to jhill     
Have done both the Tenn Tom and the Tenn in my 89 montauk.
great river, the Tenn, and the Tenn Tom is interesting. Lots of gas and places to stay. Most of the Tenn Tom is smooth water.
GAR8667 posted 08-01-2006 04:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for GAR8667  Send Email to GAR8667     
Looking to bring diesel cruiser up the tom bigbee waterway the up then ohio river to cincinnati, any info on diesel availability or any tips
David Pendleton posted 08-02-2006 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
What Conquest Diesel? Where?
Buckda posted 08-02-2006 11:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
David -

While an interesting thread, it is 3 years old. That Conquest is long gone.

David1877 posted 08-08-2006 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
Just a thought about the mississippi river.

The corp of engineers maintains the main channel at about 12 feet deep or deeper. Stay within the green and red bouys marking the commercial channel and you should be ok.

Wings dams, stumps, sand bars etc all pose hazards for boaters.

I have a 205 Eastport (Conquest 205) and easily anchored it in the main channel.

OIA posted 08-10-2006 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for OIA  Send Email to OIA     
It's been awhile but, 20 years ago two friends and I took my 17-foot Montauk from Ft. Lauderdale to New York to Chicago to New Orleans by water. We had more fun then three guys should be allowed.

Anyway, when I took the trip down the Mighty Miss there was a 400 mile stretch along the lower Mississippi with no fuel docks. Such being the case, we went east on the Ohio River south on the Tennessee River to the Tenn Tom Waterway to the Tombigbee River then Mobile Bay the Gulf then west to New Orleans. We also took a side trip up the Black Warrior River to Tuscaloosa, AL and the University of Alabama (highly recommended, especially for the college football game at Alabama Stadium).

The people are beyond friendly and the scenery beautiful. However there are quite a few locks and commercial traffic takes precedent. One lock we had to wait over five hours to enter and finally locked through about 1:00am. Worked out great though as we were able to trade a commercial tug a 6-pack of cold beer for over a pound of ground round, which we cooked on the shore on our portable stove.

Also, the waterskiing is unbelievable just be careful as there are some pretty poisonious snakes out there.

First thing you need to do is purchase the Waterway Guide and/or Quimby's Cruising Guide. Both can be found on the web at there respective websites.

Good luck and have fun.

John Mirassou
Redondo Beach, CA

6992WHALER posted 08-14-2006 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
If it were me, I would start in Minneapolis and go to St. Louis.
The river is smaller pretty easy to navigate. I will be on it from Thursday-Monday this week, with a 23 Walkaround, 16’ 7 Sakonnet and a 28 Bertram. Mostly hanging around the Lake City Wabasha area.

Beautiful scenery and at least into Iowa fuel is not an issue.
The river is clean enough to swim in south of Redwing and most of the way to ST Louis. You have to figure out what big cities dump into it and stay out of the water around them.

I have been told that most of the trip south of St. Louis is just looking at levies.

Miss Darlin posted 09-05-2006 01:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Miss Darlin  Send Email to Miss Darlin     
Traveling down the Mississippi was a lifelong dream for my husband as well. We took off in June 2001, after planning for 8 months and hauled our 22" twenty-year old Bayliner across the country and put it in the Mississippi at the Watergate Marina, in St. Paul. Our plan was to travel to New Orleans. I won't go into every experience but the adventure was incredible. We did end up going over to the Tennessee River for a week while we rush ordered more fuel tanks for the boat. We got back home just two days before 9/11. Since that time we have traveled many times in other boats up and down the Mississppi. It is definately my husband's favorite river. BUT, it is a SERIOUS river not a relaxing cruise. If you like adventure the lower Mississippi is more that kind of a trip. Here are some things that we learned from our cruises.

1. The 22' boat was small and we were lucky.It was a single engine and really you should have twin engines for this trip. We were very lucky on the first trip, since then we hve moved up to bigger boats with twin engines.
2. If you can't repair your boat and do your own maintenance; you should probably not consider this trip.
3. Carry your own spare everything, you probably can not find the part you need. Stock your provisions well, food selection is limited or unavailable in most areas.
4. Be prepared to pack fuel or have a 355 mile or more range. Fuel is scarce on the Lower Miss and often fuel is unavailable at night and on Sundays.
5. Be prepared to travel the entire way from about the Old River Lock to New Orleans in one day. There isn't many choices when it comes to overnight stays/anchorages. It is very industrial and busy night and day. A safer choice is through the old River Lock, take the Atchafalaya to Morgan City and then to New Orleans.
6. Make sure your radio works and you know what the tows working channel is and use it. We have a good radio mounted and a good garde hand-held radio for a back-up. Also both New Orleans and Morgan City have a traffic control that you need to contact prior to entering their controlled space.
7. Watch the weather; we choose our cruising times carefully to avoid severe weather. When we have encountered severe weather, we bring everyone up to the bridge and everyone wears an offshore life jacket instead of the usual sospenders.

We have learn much of this the hard way. We have spent alot of time cruising the lower Mississippi and only once did we see another cruiser. Good luck.

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