The Big Loop

I wonder what ever became of my Uncle Lewis’ cabin cruiser.

Uncle Lewis on his boat - circa 1950

Rich Grimshaw recently commented on my 2010 Wish List post and asked if I’d ever considered “The Big Loop.” In truth, I’d never heard of it. So I went to the Internet and found a web site called “Love to Know Cruises”. There I found the following:

“The Great Loop – also called the American Loop or the Great Circle – is a long distance circumnavigation voyage that encompasses the entire eastern portion of the United States and parts of Canada, from the Atlantic Coast to the heartland rivers to the Gulf of Mexico depending on the route taken, the Great Loop may be from 5,000 to 7,500 miles long and is primarily in sheltered waters, making it one of the safest long distance cruises in the world. This voyage is undertaken by many avid sailors and cruisers, and as more people take up hobbies such as boating and sailing, the various routes for the Great Loop are becoming ever more popular.”

Rich Grimshaw estimated such a trip might take a year or more. His wife, Jan, quickly added that the boat used for such a voyage must have a nice shower. When I suggested she jump into the water to bathe, she responded with a glare. I took that as a “Not on your life!”

As I recall, my Uncle Lewis’ boat had a toilet (that dumped its contents into the water when flushed), a small sink, an old fashioned ice box, and a small gas stove; but no shower. Thus, such a boat would not be acceptable to Jan.

I doubt if it would be acceptable to my bride either. To be honest, I’d want something a bit larger myself.

Back to the Internet! This is what I learned about the ideal boat at a web site called Trawlers and trawling.

The quick and safe answer is, that there ISN’T an ideal or perfect boat for doing the America’s Great Loop Cruise.  The Great Loop has been completed by almost every imaginable type of vessel from a personal water craft (PWC or Jet Ski®) to large luxury yachts both power and sail, gas and diesel.  Keep in mind the limiting factors for air height, draft and beam, each listed separately in the specifications below.  Along some of the Loop’s waterways, a “big” boat is between 26 and 32 feet, has a beam of 8-1/2 to 11 feet and draft under 4 feet.  So, mega yachts are not recommended nor are they needed.

Needless to say, Rich got my attention. I’m going to have to learn more about this and start saving my money so I can go off gallivanting for a year or so.


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