Our Dream: The Great Loop

Published On September 24, 2015 | By Mark Baese | Recreational Boating

The first time I heard about The Great Loop a few years ago, it nearly blew my mind. I had no idea you could loop around eastern North America in a boat. Whenever I thought about long distance cruising, I always pictured circling the globe, or at the very least, around the caribbean.

As it turns out, The Great Loop is a massive journey you can take on a boat in sheltered waters. I’m nowhere near ready to cross an ocean, and I may never be, so this immediately peaked my interest.

The Great Loop - Courtesy greatloop.org

The Great Loop – Courtesy http://www.greatloop.org/

Depending on the route you choose, the journey can take between 5,000 and 7,500 miles. The real appeal, is the relatively safe boating that can be had. Your hull never needs travel into the open ocean.

As you can see from the above map, the north part of the loop is around the Great Lakes / Trent Severn Waterway. You travel south down rivers like the mighty Mississippi, hold tight to the coast in the Gulf, and head up the intracoastal waterway on the eastern seaboard. From there, you have your choice of heading up to the St. Lawrence seaway or through the Erie Canal back to the great lakes. Lots of protection and lots of ports to call on. This map doesn’t show it, but there are a ton of side trips you can take from the loop to see even more.

This, is our dream. There’s no timeline on this dream, but it is a goal of ours.

Could we do this trip in our current boat? Absolutely. People have travelled the loop on much smaller boats. Although, I think we’d both prefer something that’s made for longer cruising – and something with slightly better fuel milage. We’ll explore these options at boat shows and of course share them with you.

Black Cove and Ranger Tugs

Some great boats at the Boat Show for tackling the loop including Black Cove and Ranger Tugs.

This dream really requires two things: money and time. Both of which we’re a little short on right now. We’re working on them though. I’d love to leave on this trip as soon as possible – which means next year, but we have absolutely no way of doing that at this time. Our boat isn’t ready, we both work a lot, and the cruising kitty is a little short.

We’re going to reference the Great Loop quite a bit in the future, as we’re constantly working towards it in everything we do. We just wanted to get it out there that this is something we’d like to do. We hope you’ll follow along.

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