Tennesee To Florida

In March of 2017, with Cygnus out of the water for the Winter, I had an opportunity to help with the delivery of a newly-purchased 40′ Albin trawler from Chattanooga, TN to Stuart, FL.

Chattanooga?  Yes, there is a way to get to the ocean from there.

Delivery Route

The Tennessee River goes West to the Tennessee/Tombigbee waterway, a man-made channel that runs South to meet up with the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers, ultimately joining with the Alabama and Mobile Rivers and continuing down to Mobile Bay.  From Mobile Bay, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway can be followed as far as Dog Island, off Carrabelle, Florida.

From this point, vessels must follow one of the only two open-ocean segments the Great Loop; crossing Florida’s “Big Bend,” before reaching the protection of the the Gulf Intracoastal again just North of Tarpon Springs.

The Intracoastal can then be followed South to Ft. Myers, at which point it crosses peninsular Florida via the Okeechobee Waterway along the Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River out to the Atlantic at Stuart, from where I flew home while the boat I had been helping deliver continued North along the Atlantic Intracoastal in the company of other “snowbird” vessels.

Daily Log:

12 thoughts on “Tennesee To Florida”

  1. Wanted to go on a trip immediately after reading this article! Such an inspiration. I wish that this pandemic was over and I could take my family on a trip. Well maybe this summer we would do that.

    1. Much of the trip is in a deep canal, below the wind. So not under wind power…you will still need a motor, especially to navigate the many locks.

  2. I live in Chattanooga and was curious if it was possible to go to the Gulf from Harrison Bay where we live. Thanks so much for the input! This is a goal for sure.

  3. Sure! That’s almost exactly what we did. We left from Lakeshore Marina, just a little ways down river from you.

  4. Would love to be a mate on a voyage like this one. I have boated all my life and made many weekend trips on my 27’ bay liner cruiser from Knoxville TN.

    1. You could probably do most of this single-handing on a 27′ Bayliner. We did a bunch of locks on the Erie in my 28.5′ Bayliner years ago. On the Florida part of this delivery we had a 36′ buddy boat which was single-handing through the Okeechobee waterway, so it’s very doable.

  5. looking to go to the Abaco from chattanooga tenn in a 58 hatteras
    how many miles did you do every day

  6. Thanks,
    I live in Maryville, TN and was looking to bring a boat from Stuart, FL to Tellico, Lake. was glad to see how it was done. Hope to start in the spring.

  7. Planning on leaving Knoxville August 1st
    We just bought a trawler that is located there. We live on the Chesapeake bay near the Potomac. Bought the boat and the marina is requiring us to have it out of there by August 1. Looking for any info to help. Thank you

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