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Great Loop on a Key West 230 BR

Old 02-02-2020, 11:05 AM
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Default Great Loop on a Key West 230 BR

Hi yíall, I am seriously contemplating taking my Key West 230 BR on the Great Loop. Iím thinking of starting in Chicago area, and want to leave my truck ant trailer somewhere above the Illinois River locks, they are supposed to close the River in July and if I start above it I will be through before the close and then have plenty time to get back.

Yes, itís gonna be a faster trip for me. Mostly about doing the journey and less about seeing anything not on the waterway. I will be camping some and finding motels too. And I will be single handing it for the most part, if not the whole thing.

Any of my northern friends have an idea where my truck would be safe? It could also be on the East bank of Lake Michigan, I really donít mind.

I'm guessing two to three months needed for parking.


Last edited by captjohn62; 02-02-2020 at 11:34 AM.
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02-06-2020, 10:17 AM
captjohn62
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Hey yíall, I appreciate your thoughts on weather my boat is capable. I am a licensed 100 ton Captain. I have 40 years experience in both inland and offshore waters. I would never undertake such an endeavor if I wasnít confident in my abilities.

the furthered kid ever be, offshore is 20-30 miles. The vast majority my trip will be in the ICW.

Two 20 year old girls did this trip in a 16í Duroboat. The loop has been done in kayaks, canoes, and jet skiís. My boat is not a flats skiff. Lol

I have insurance that covers my boat out 50 miles or more. I take it offshore of Texas, in the Gulf. (of course I pick my days.)

I plan on b&bís, hotels, and marinas for overnight stays. Iíll have a Kamp-rite, cot tent for when I absolutely must stay at anchor.

Bugs donít worry me, lol. I live in Texas. Believe me when I say Iím used to bugs. Flying Asian carp may be an issue.

I honestly believe it can and will be done. Hell, I want to do the trip now, more than ever.



Old 02-02-2020, 12:00 PM
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Uber it. Then park your vehicle at home where it's safe. Good luck. I did it twice.
Old 02-02-2020, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by kennyboy View Post
Uber it. Then park your vehicle at home where it's safe. Good luck. I did it twice.
Kennyboy, I canít do the Uber and leave my truck at home. I live east of Dallas. Lol. No tellin what the Uber coat would be. Lol
Old 02-03-2020, 03:26 AM
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Could you rent outside storage in a locked gated lot? Kinda like a boat storage area. Be sure to disconnect ground wire from battery on truck so whe will start again when u get back.
Old 02-03-2020, 03:39 AM
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Go to Chicago with your truck/trailer/boat. Launch boat. Stop at a local bank and get a loan. Leave truck/trailer as collateral. Let them park and store it for the time it takes you to do the loop. When you return, pay off loan and get your truck. Interest should be less than storage.
Old 02-03-2020, 04:03 AM
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try Northpoiint marina (on the IL/WI boarder). You can unhook the trailer and they will charge yo $200 to store it safely. Your truck should be fine in their lot.
https://npmarina.com/
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Old 02-03-2020, 05:01 AM
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Are you going to have the fuel capacity for the 208mi stretch in the ten-tom?
Old 02-03-2020, 05:29 AM
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Any reason you wouldn't you start somewhere closer to home?

What's your plan if you get into nasty weather on a stretch of water with no where to stop and no where to hide on the boat? That would be my biggest concern.
Old 02-03-2020, 05:52 AM
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I was going to suggest a book "Only in America". It's about some friends that did the trip in a 17' Whaler. When I googled it, I saw they are getting $76 for a used paperback! I have to book, and it was a good read, but $76?
Old 02-03-2020, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by acme54321 View Post
Any reason you wouldn't you start somewhere closer to home?
This^^^ Why not start in Texas? As long as you go south on the Mississippi you're doing the same trip.
Old 02-03-2020, 07:48 AM
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Bucket list item for me also. I know there's a lot of info/video/stories out there but there's a decent You Tube series by 3D sailor where he left from the NE to Key West in his 17' Whaler.
Old 02-03-2020, 08:15 AM
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Not what that type of boat was designed for
Old 02-03-2020, 09:49 AM
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Cool idea, people have done it in some interesting craft. Met two guys that had logged 600 miles already on Waverunners 10 years ago. There was a 16' RIB that went from Michigan to Key West and it's still in use in MI every summer. At least you'll be fast, lot's of sailboats go with rig on deck motoring at 5.
Have fun.
Old 02-03-2020, 10:25 AM
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Heck, if you are driving that far and didn't mind a couple hours more you could start in lake huron on Saginaw bay and leave it in my pole barn for the summer. It sits mostly empty from April/ may on as my 5th wheel and 2 main boats are out by then. Sounds like an interesting trip.
Old 02-03-2020, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by KPHuss View Post
Are you going to have the fuel capacity for the 208mi stretch in the ten-tom?
my boat carries 84 gallons and should get at least 2.5 mpg at 4200rpms. Going by my readout on the gps, which I have also wired into F250, Iím showing better than that at 7.5-8 gallons/hr. Iíll also have an extra 20 gallons from Hoppies to Paducah. So in my calculations, I should be fine.
Old 02-03-2020, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by acme54321 View Post
Any reason you wouldn't you start somewhere closer to home?

What's your plan if you get into nasty weather on a stretch of water with no where to stop and no where to hide on the boat? That would be my biggest concern.
I have read numerous times that they are gonna close the Illinois River, starting about July 3rd. My thoughts are to get through that part and if I need to take my time I can.

As for bad weather, Iíll do what I can to avoid most of it. Iíll have XM weather on my chart plotter and on my phone will be weather reports also.

I've got years of running offshore, out of Texas and the Gulf and Iím very used to the quick ways weather can change. I have a T-top and Iíll have a windshield on it. Stay mostly in motels along the way and Iíll have a tent-cot when I must stay out on the waterway.
Old 02-03-2020, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Reelescape1 View Post
Bucket list item for me also. I know there's a lot of info/video/stories out there but there's a decent You Tube series by 3D sailor where he left from the NE to Key West in his 17' Whaler.
I caught that series and loved it. My boat isnít a deep boat but itís much bigger and at leas as capable.
Old 02-03-2020, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MiRodzilla View Post
Heck, if you are driving that far and didn't mind a couple hours more you could start in lake huron on Saginaw bay and leave it in my pole barn for the summer. It sits mostly empty from April/ may on as my 5th wheel and 2 main boats are out by then. Sounds like an interesting trip.
Thats mighty kind of you sir and you are correct, if Iím gonna drive that far Huron isnít all that much further.
Old 02-03-2020, 05:15 PM
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This is my rig. Truck is just a single cab Chevy, long bed.
Old 02-03-2020, 05:24 PM
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I feel you will regret this endeavor. Hope you don’t but that’s definitely not the boat to make that trip but if you do let me know when you get Wilmington NC I’ll buy the beer.



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