In June of 2014, we purchased our looper boat- “On Business”,
which would take us on a 6800+ mile ride across Canada and the U.S.A. on the Great Loop.
This blog is a record of our our Great Loop adventure, and will allow family and friends to follow us over the year. The Great Loop is a circumnavigation of one-third of the United States and the great lakes in Canada. It is a journey of between 5000 and 6000 miles, roughly covering an area from the Atlantic Coast, to the North Channel of Canada, to the Mississippi River, to the southern tip of Florida. It commonly takes one year to complete the trip.
Andy and I met in 2005, at a fraternal organization called Eastern Star. I was a prairie girl having grown up in a small farming community, which I had left to go to University. Andy was older and more boat-wise, having grown up on the shores of Lake Superior. As we discussed our future together, Andy mentioned that on his bucket- list was the dream of owning a tug, similar to the pulp tugs he had been on as a youth. A tug didn’t really appeal to me—as it reminded me of the show “Beachcombers” from the 1980’s. To help him in the pursuit of his dream we attended several boat shows, and finally purchased a 1995 Carver Voyager 370 in 2009. We used this boat on the Red River which flows through Winnipeg for our first year, in order for me to get accustomed to life on the water. The following 5 years we moored our boat at Winnipeg Beach on Lake Winnipeg. Here’s where we first started getting serious about planning for the loop. We both took several courses offered by the Canadian Power Squadron. We also began scoping out the great loop route and checking out marinas, locks and scenery. We drove this in segments, as our holidays allowed- Minneapolis to St Louis, Wilmington to Norfolk, St Louis to Mobile Alabama, across the Florida canal system and Lake Okeechobee, Stuart to Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach to New Jersey. In Canada we had also checked out portions of the Trent Severn waterway.
We came to realize that our gas guzzling Carver, was likely not the best choice of a boat for this trip- So the hunt began for the “perfect” Loop boat. In June of 2014, we found her in Parry Sound. A 35 foot 1985 PT Sun deck with Perkin diesel engines.
The boat was stored in Britt Ontario for the winter of 2014-15 and that is where our cruising on business will begin…..
Here’s some information and pictures of the boat:
Specifications: PT-35 Performance Trawler
Flag of Registry: Canada
Year Built: 1985
Beam: 12 ft 6 in
LWL: 35 ft 0 in
Maximum Draft: 4 ft 0 in
Engines: Twin Perkins 6.3544M diesels turbo
Total Power: 400 HP
Cruising Speed: 8 knots Maximum Speed: 13 knots
Compass, Navigation center, GPS
Plotter, Autopilot, Radar, Radio, CD player
Depth sounder, Repeater(s), Log-speedometer, VHF
Extensive custom teak cabinetry throughout
Sleeps 6 very comfortably
Queen-size walk-around bed in aft stateroom
V-berth in forward stateroom
Large (9ft X 8ft) center cabin with custom teak collapsible table makes into a double
Teak & Holly flooring throughout
• 3-burner propane stove (Seaward Princess) with oven
• Isotherm twin compressor stainless fridge and freezer (1195 BB7)
• Twin stainless sinks
• Corian countertops
1350 AH (amp hours) of battery storage capacity
- Twin Victron BMV 602 battery monitors
- 120 amp Powerline alternators
- Xantrex Truecharger Multistage battery charger
- Twin Xantrex XAR Digital alternator voltage regulators
- Xantrex Prosine 1800 Invertor
- Twin Xantrex Digital Echo-chargers for engine starter batteries )
- Onan 8KW diesel generator (638 hours)
- Wired with separate outlets for 12V invertor power and shore power.
- Fresh Water Tanks: 60 Gallons
- Fuel Tanks 2 x 150 Gallons
- Hot Water 13 Gallons
- Holding tanks Forward 30, Aft 60 gallons
Number of cabins: 2 forward twin V- berth, aft queen
Number of heads: 2
Leaving Manitoba to get the boat ready for the journey……
In order to get to Britt Ontario, about 2000 Km away, Andy and our neighbour Dave left from Winnipeg Manitoba by car on August 2nd, 2015. They wanted to be present when the boat splashed into the water on Tuesday.
The notification to my email came through fine.