Anybody complete the Great Loop?

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by Arizona Mike, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Arizona Mike

    Arizona Mike Member

    Oct 19, 2015
    Tucson Arizona
    1994 270 Sundancer
    Mercruiser 7.4
    We are planning on Cruising the Great Loop starting in 2018 when I retire. Have any CSR members completed the Loop?
    Would love to hear about your adventure and/or your challenges.


    T. Michael
  2. Buckeye Boater

    Buckeye Boater Member

    Jun 19, 2007
    Wooster, OH
    215 Weekender 2006
    Merc 5.0 MPI 260 HP
  3. magstang1

    magstang1 Active Member

    May 30, 2010
    Lake St.Clair
    1998 31 Sedan Bridge
    Twin 350 Marine Power
    Dreaming about the loop keeps me sane on those long work days...
  4. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    I know of 3 working on it but not of anyone from CSR who has completed it, although I'm sure there are some.
    As Casey said, Sum Escape is underway and currently in the Bahamas. They traded their DA for a Grand Banks Europa.
    Gimme Time is making their way up the East Coast of Florida right now in their 420 AC. We had the Pleasure of meeting them last summer in the Trent Severn and Georgian Bay.
    We have covered LI Sound, Hudson River, Erie and Canadian Canals over a period of several years. Last year we did The trent Severn again, Georgian Bay, North Channel and Huron's west shore before returning home through Lake Eire. We will be heading back out soon toward Chicago and down the rivers. We have really enjoyed it.
  5. Gimme Time

    Gimme Time Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 7, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA./ Deltaville, VA
    2006 52SB, Ray Marine E120, Garmin 7612 through BOE site sponsor,
    Gimme Time has crossed are wake in Miami Beach and are heading back North to our home port in Deltaville, Va. Left home May 28th last year and have travel 5400nm so far as GT is in Titusville, Fl till April 11th. Unlike most I chose to document on FB rather than a blog as I already had a lot on my plate. Was much easier to do and friends and family enjoyed the pictures and commentary which we always kept lite.

    We chased May weather for the last ten months already and spent the winter in Conch Harbor Marina in Key West which couldn't have been more fun. We left KW Friday before last and as always are taking our time with GT along the way.

    I'm open for questions from as it has been the trip of a life time. I told the wife three before I planned to leave that we were leaving in three weeks for the Great Loop for the next year. She looked me squarely in the eyes without so much as twinkle and said "I don't like you that well." I told her it would make or break us and to get ready. Over the next couple of weeks she boo hoo'd, whined and cry to all her girffriends about leaving. She asked me the week before we left if she could take one of her girlfriends along and I said yes.

    Six days after we left home and had been in NY for 3 days she looked over at me and quietly said, "can we pack her girlfriends ass up and put her on the train home the next day!" And what do you think I said, sure, not a problem and we put her ass on the train the next day.

    I can tell you the best thing a man can do is buy the book " Honey let's buy a boat" by Rob & Eva Stob whom by many Loopers consider them as the leaders of the pack. Not only did they write a greT book about the trip they formed an organization call AGLCA "America's Great Loop Crusing Assoication" of whic I'd say everyone is doing the Loop, Planning the Loop or done the Loop is a member of. Great Web site, forum and source of information, comments, educational seminars on about planning for the loop and everything else you could every know or what to know about the trip.

    Love the AGLCA info, communications, Harbor Host, members and source of friends we've made over the last ten months on this trip. There is not a single question that gets posted on the forum that isn't answered within 24 hours in detail much like here on CSR.

    Enough for now as it is past my Looper bedtime now ,

  6. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    Congratulations on crossing your wake AJ, a great accomplishment. Now CSR has at least one Gold Looper.
    Maybe more to chime in?
  7. Almightys

    Almightys Member

    Jun 15, 2015
    Warren, MI
    1992 Sundancer 330, 7.4l's w vdrives, and genny
    454 Mercs
    Man, I would love to do this trip someday but I think I'd probably have to upgrade the 330 lol
  8. Arizona Mike

    Arizona Mike Member

    Oct 19, 2015
    Tucson Arizona
    1994 270 Sundancer
    Mercruiser 7.4
    Congratulations on Crossing your Wake! I sen't you a PM with my contact info if you have a minute sometime would love to talk to you.
    Ordering "Honey lets buy a boat" today. Fortunately my Wife is totally into the trip.
    Thanks for the info!
    T. Michael
  9. jrurhh

    jrurhh Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Boston, MA
    340 Amberjack
    Twin 7.4 inboards
    The Great Loop is my Future, I retire in 5 years. I plan on looking for the right boat soon.
  10. RodnRhonda

    RodnRhonda New Member

    Sep 22, 2015
    Southest Georgia, United States
    2000 Sea Ray 240DA Sundancer, Garmin 741xs
    5.7L MercCruiser
    We had a couple come through here last fall that had started the Great Loop in Missouri and they loved the area I'm in (Saint Simons Island / Brunswick) they stayed for at least a month. I kept running into them on the island and at restaurants. Let us know when you are coming through and good luck!
  11. Boat Guy

    Boat Guy Well-Known Member

    I've done a fair portion of the ICW on the Atlantic side....I have no plans to do the whole loop.
  12. rwf

    rwf Member

    Oct 16, 2010
    Boston, MA
    2008 310 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 GPS/Radar
    350 Mag MPI DTS SeaCore w/Bravo IIIs
    Peg and I will do the loop when we retire. Now if only we knew when that would be...

    Join, great resource.
  13. HUMPH

    HUMPH Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2009
    2003 410DA,
    2004 C14 Caribe
    CAT 3126TA's 350HP/
    50HP Honda
    I just met someone at my marina yesterday that did the loop in a 25' Dory!
  14. electricaldoctor

    electricaldoctor Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 14, 2008
    Thousand Islands, Rockport, Ontario.
    1988 390 EC
    454 Mercruiser Gassers
    We have friends from our marina who took a year off to do the loop a few years ago. Their experiences and stories are never ending from their once in a lifetime trip. I am currently trying to get a few dock mates interested in starting the trip before our traditional winter layup in the fall and returning in the Spring after winter breakup in the north. Not much luck so far, but I have all summer to work on them.
  15. Sal A

    Sal A New Member

    Aug 29, 2012
    Long island
    1995 searay 290
    4.3 Alpha 1 gen 2
    My boat did to bad it was before I owned it !
  16. DB360

    DB360 Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    360 SUNDANCER 2004
    Hello Mike,
    We did the loop in 2013 had an incredible journey.
  17. Gimme Time

    Gimme Time Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 7, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA./ Deltaville, VA
    2006 52SB, Ray Marine E120, Garmin 7612 through BOE site sponsor,
    Some additional info from our Great Loop adventure.

    We spent 315 days aboard GT and traveled 5420nm or 6233 Statue miles. We burned 7,514 gallons of good ole diesel fuel for an average of .83 MPG or .72NMPG. Total fuel cost was $19,766.61 or $2.63 per gallon. We put 337.5 hours on the engines and 524 on the gen set.

    Slip fees totaled $18,599.52 which included 3 months in Key West (Conch Harbor Marina) downtown Key West which totaled $7,988.45 which could have been cheaper stayin somewhere else but why the hell do that. This is a trip of the lifetime so that's what I wanted to do. Looking back what would I change, not a dam thing.

    Heres something to think about when you look at the total of $38,356.03 which sounds like a lot of money. How much would you budget to take a 10 month vacation by car around the US covering 6,000+ miles and spending 325 nights in a two bedroom, two bathroom water front condo?

    I'm going to let you do the math and then see if you think the trip was expensive or a pretty good bargain for your money. We all know boating is not based on money but Quaility of life of which is way to short.

    Now for your wife's view/thoughts/concerns as this is straight from the Admiral's mouth when she was told were leaving in three (3) weeks to go do the loop over the next year theta outs. She looked me straight in the eye and said, " I don't like you that much". I said honey look at the bright side. " It will either make us or break us and then she started the crying, boo hoo wooing and calling her girlfriends. A week later after all the whining, crying & boo hoo wooing she asked me if she could take a girl friend and I said sure.

    We left May 28th and on the seventh day which was our third day in NYC she looked over at me and said, "can we pack her GF's ass up and put her on the train home tomorrow and I said sure."

    By the time we got home April 26th she had already stated she wasn't ready to go home yet and was more than ready to live on the boat. I'm the one currently not ready to give up the home for quite a few reasons.

    What is the best thing I can tell you, two things. Go online and buy the book " Honey let's buy a boat" by Rob & Eva Stob if I have it correct but that will get you to the book that will plant the real seed in both your minds. #2, Take time off from whatever you have to and just go do it.

    The number of friends we've made, the experiences we've had, the memories, pictures and stories that we can tell will last a lifetime. More importantly the number of friends we have that were so young that have past away over the last 12 months is shocking to us and we are 61 & 62 respectfully.

    Any my questions I can answer or help we can provide is here just for the asking. I did not do a blog as it was easier and faster to use FB as our medium to keep our friends and family with us along the entire journey.

    John & Amy
  18. sb in gp

    sb in gp Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    Grosse Pointe, MI
    44 Sedan Bridge 2006
    Cummins QSC-500
    John, I didn't think a boat of your height could get under the bridges in the Chicago area??
  19. Gimme Time

    Gimme Time Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 7, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA./ Deltaville, VA
    2006 52SB, Ray Marine E120, Garmin 7612 through BOE site sponsor,
    Based on the info I have, The controlling height is 19'1" + normally an additional 1' in the Chicago area around Lockport Lock at pool elevation of 577 feet.

    This being said there are some other routes that have lower heights that control the way you go I use 17' for GT which allows me a few safety inches but had no problem on the route we ran. We plan to go back next summer and the route we plan to take has a normal 17' clearance. As always you have to pay attention to weather, water levels and what's happening up stream.

    Anyone looking to do the NE loop next year we plan to leave Deltaville heading up the Chesapeake Bay around the 2nd or 3rd week of June, experience the forth of July in NYC then take 5-7 more weeks up and back down the NE part of the loop. We are headed up to Montreal, Ottawa then traverses the historic Ridegu Canal.

    if if you don't start planning you'll never leave.
  20. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    I'm going to bump up this old thread. I've spent the last month or so reading and learning everything I can about this trip. It probably won't happen for at least 5 years, which would put me at 51 years old. Wife is a bit dubious since she does have a very well-paying job. I own a high-end European car repair shop, which I'd continue to own (unless someone makes an offer I couldn't refuse) and have someone manage the day to day.

    Not sure if I'd do it in our 380DA. I think I'd rather go with something that has a living area and galley on the main deck, and likely something with diesels. Home port is near the Western end of Lake Ontario, and we'd probably head up to the Trent, and into the Georgian Bay to start the trip. Beyond that, maybe do a side trip or two off of the main route, including running East into Knoxville to see some old friends.

    Anyway, it's something that's captured my imagination hard, and I'll spend the next few years working very hard to make it happen.

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