A SWEET WATER TO SALTY WATER ADVENTURE :  Great Lakes sailors have long been a fun-loving and capable contingent in the Salty Dawg Fall Rally. Some come from the US side of the Great Lakes; others are Canadian. They refer to themselves as Sweetwater sailors (as opposed to those of us who spend our time cruising in salty waters). This year, we are pleased to introduce a rally specifically designed to help those from the Great Lakes cruise-in-company from Toronto, through the New York Barge Canal, down the Hudson River, and down the East Coast to the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay. All in time for the Salty Dawg Fall Rally activities that begin in Hampton VA on October 26. Whether you start with the rally in Toronto… or join the fleet along the way….you will enjoy the company of your fellow Salty Dawgs.

Due the constraints of the Canal transit, this rally will be limited to 15 participants. First come, First serve.


Oct. 7           Meet in Toronto

Oct. 9           Leave Toronto

Oct. 10         Arrive Oswego NY

Oct. 11-15    Transit New York Barge Canal

Oct. 16-19    Transit the Hudson River

Oct. 25-26   Arrive Hampton VA


  • Pre-departure events in Toronto, Oct 7-8, including Captain’s Meeting, weather briefing by Chris Parker, and a fun social gathering.
  • The rally will proceed through all 36 locks of the New York Barge Canal (aka the Erie Canal) – 338 miles.
  • Other New England sailors head for Hampton and the Salt Dawg Fall Rally are welcome to  join the Great Lakes Contingent as the travel down the Hudson River and through New York Harbor – 160 miles.
  • The Fleet will gather at the base of the Hudson River to await a weather window for a passage directly to the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay and in to Hampton VA.
  • The Rally fee of $100 per vessel for SDSA Members ($200 for non-Members) covers entry administrative fees, all weather briefings and updates by Chris Parker, and offshore nets and communication.  SDSA Membership costs $75 per year…so it pays to join the Association, get the discounted rally fee, and all the other benefits associated with being a Member of the SDSA family.
  • Evening dinners and mooring fees will be paid directly by participants.
  • All participants will be required to complete Float Plans and Waivers. See the links at the right.
  • Participants will need adequate communications to stay in contact with Rally coordinators. On the offshore passages, vessels without redundant means of offshore communication (SSB, Sat Phone, satellite tracker, satellite e-mail) will stay within visual contact of rally coordination vessels, and in regular VHF contact.
  • Contact Our Rally Manager with any questions.


The New York State Canal System is a successor to the Erie Canal and other canals within New York. Currently, the 525-mile system is composed of the Erie Canal, the Oswego Canal, the Cayuga–Seneca Canal, and the Champlain Canal.

The Hudson River is a 315-mile (507 km) river that flows from north to south primarily thro

ugh eastern New York in the United States. The river originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, flows through the Hudson Valley, and eventually drains into the Atlantic Ocean, between New York City and Jersey City.