THE ERIE CANAL
■ Remnants of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee damaged a number of eastern Erie
Canal locks last September, but the New York Canal System made quick repairs to reopen the
system for two weeks to allow commercial and recreational boats to reach their destinations.
■ 363 miles long from Buffalo, New York, to Albany with 34 locks.
■ The original canal had 83 locks to accommodate the 564-foot difference between Buffalo and
Albany. In 1836, work began to increase the depth from four feet to seven feet.
■ Laborers were paid $8-$12/month. Those working on the removal of rock were paid more.
■ The canal is open from May 15 to November 15. www.nyscanals.gov
■ A seasonal pass for a boat 16-25 feet is $50, 26-39 feet is $75. Over 39 feet, it’s $100.
HOW TO NEGOTIATE A LOCK
■ Contact lockkeeper on Channel 13, identify your distance, direction, vessel name. Wait for
green light before entering. Choose your side, or follow lockkeeper instructions.
■ With fenders in place, approach, have crewmembers grab a forward line and stern line.
If needed, a third person can hold a middle line. Keep a boat hook ready. Use gloves.
■ Gates will close. Water will enter or drain the lock. Continue to hold lines.
■ Lockkeeper will check your boat for the necessary pass. Once gates open, wait for green
light, release line, and keep an eye on it so as not to foul your propeller.
BOATU.S. COOPERATING MARINAS
■ Chadwick Bay Marina, Dunkirk, NY, 716-366-1774. Overnight docking discount $0.50/ft.
■ River Edge Mansion B&B, Pennellville, NY, 315-695-3021. Overnight docking discount 25%
■ More details at www.BoatUS.com/servicelocator