Towboat US Oneida Lake Under New Ownership

For boaters along a significant portion of the Erie Canal in Central NY, Towboat US continues to maintain a significant presence on the water.   Towboat US Oneida Lake has a new owner. Capt. Jake Van Reenen who also owns Towboat US services in Rochester and Clayton NY is now servicing Oneida Lake as well as covering a significant portion of the Erie Canal. Oneida Lake which at 22 miles long and 5 miles wide is the largest lake wholly within New York State. Boaters transiting on the Erie Canal pass directly across Oneida Lake and Towboat US is the only major towing organization with any presence on the Erie Canal.

All Towboat US boats are easily recognizable with its red hull and white logo. They operate a 23’ Pacific aluminum workboat powered by a 225-hp Yamaha outboard. The can respond to a significant portion of the Erie Canal by trailering their boat to the nearest put in and can tow boats through the locks. With unlimited towing packages starting as low as $72.00 per year, knowing that there is a service out there that can bring you fuel, jump start their engine or tow them off a sand bar or at the very least get them back to port safely without a large towing bill is a very comforting feeling. Towboat US Oneida Lake can be reached by hailing VHF Chanel 16, by tapping the new Boat US app or by calling the company directly at (315) 775-4114 or by phoning the Boat US dispatch center at (800) 391-4869 Towboat US Oneida Lake Captains are on duty 7 days a week and 24 hours a day to assist boaters, they are based at the Brewerton Boat Yard.

Palmyra NY Harbor Hosts

Welcome to Palmyra!  That is the message of the Palmyra Harbor Hosts to visitors who tie up at the Port of Palmyra on the Erie Canal. Now in their fifth year , the Harbor Hosts (HH), volunteers from Palmyra and Macedon, have worked with hundreds of visitors from all over the state, the country and the world, answering questions and, frequently, going above and beyond providing needed transportation.

HH have given visitors rides to Walmart for a variety of needs; gone in search of a specific kind of worm to catch a specific kind of fish; to Rite Aid for an Rx refill or to an animal hospital. They have provided directions to the library, a children’s playground, grocery store,  Chill ‘n’ Grill ice cream shop and the laundromat. HH know which restaurants deliver to the marina; the hours of the museums – Palmyra has six. They know what time the adjacent rest rooms open and close and much more. Palmyra HH know just about all there is to know about our small but beautiful and historic village   (200+ properties on the National Register) and they love to share that information with our visitors. The New York State Canal Corporation named the Palmyra Harbor Hosts New York State Canal Ambassadors in recognition of their service to the Village of Palmyra and New York State. We are proud of that.

Lyons NY Peppermint Days

Peppermint Days, Lyons NY 2017

If you like parades, fireworks, concerts, food, car shows and small-town charm then you want to be in Lyons NY from July 13th – 16th 2017. Lyons celebrates its heritage as the Peppermint Capital of the world. In 1841 E.G. Hotchiss located his essential oils business to Lyons where he processed the locally grown peppermint plants into oils and other related products.

Lyons is the county seat of Wayne County, the village is full of historical buildings and architecture, six village properties are listed on the NYS and National Register of Historic Places. It is also a “Main Street USA” designated village.

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No Fees For Recreational Boating On The Erie Canal For The 2017 Navigational Season

No Fees For Recreational Boating On The Erie Canal For The 2017 Navigational Season

The Canal is open and in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the beginning of construction of the Erie Canal, The New York State Canal Corporation has announced that there will be no fees for recreational boaters this season. Now we want to emphasize that the normal fees are quite nominal, ranging from $50 to $100 depending on length of boat for a season’s worth the ability to travel the canal and utilize the systems more than 50 locks dozens of lift bridges and more than 524 miles of navigable waterways.

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Speed Limits For Boaters On The Erie Canal

Mariners are advised of the speed limits on the NYS Canal System described at and mapped out at

There are three speed zones on the canal system:

  • 5 MPH
  • 10 MPH
  • 30 MPH and above

Because vessel configurations vary, the speed thresholds at which different wake characteristics occur vary from vessel to vessel.  The speeds listed are more of a general guidance.  The wake characteristics for each zone must not exceed the following:

  • 5 MPH (red zone) – flat water, not even a ripple trails the vessel.
  • 10 MPH (yellow zone) – ripple, but no wake (a ripple is defined here as a small non-whitecap wave that is not large enough to rock a floating dock – less than about 12” in amplitude).
  • 30 MPH and above (green zone) – for vessels capable of getting up on plane, in riverine and lake sections this is allowed.  Wakes are produced when up on plane, and this is acceptable in New York State if not near a dock or other vessels.

On any New York State waterway when within 100 feet of shore no vessel may exceed 5 MPH.

Waking a floating dock can cause property damage, environmental damage, and personal injury.

NYS Canal Regulations §151.15 establish that the New York State Canal Corporation can fine mariners $100 and refuse lockage and bridge lifts for a period of six (6) hours

Watch this Video to learn more about no wake zones


Blount Small Ship Adventures, Erie Canal Cruise

Blount Small Ship Adventures can take you to places that no other cruise line can go. This year in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the construction of the Erie Canal they will be sailing 8 times through the Canal. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience something very special.   

With ports of call including Oswego, Buffalo, Sylvan Beach, Amsterdam and Troy, the opportunity to travel with less than 100 guest on board could best be described as “Cruising on your friends Yacht”  Taking a cruise with Blount Small Ship Adventures will amaze all your senses, from the fine dining, to the casual atmosphere, that one will experience any one of the itineraries’ available on Blount will not disappoint!

The Great American Waterways Cruise and the Lock’s Legends & Canals of the Northeast are the two cruises that Blount is offering in 2017 that include ports within the Erie Canal Corridor. 

For all the information on experiencing a Blount Small Ship Adventure Cruise visit their web site

Blount Small Ship Adventures is a supporter of the NYS Canal System and an ongoing member of Canal NY. The only private sector organization dedicated to the promotion of the Canal System and the businesses within the Canal Corridor.

2017 Navigation Schedule on the Erie Canal

The NYS Canal Corporation has just released the schedule for the 2017 Navigation Season.


Mariners are advised that, conditions permitting, all portions of the New York State Canal System are scheduled to open Friday, May 19, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. for the 2017 navigation season.

Additionally, in commemoration of the bicentennial of the start of Erie Canal construction in 1817, there will be no tolls or fees for recreational use of the Canal System in 2017.

The hours of operation for the 2017 season are as follows:

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Wineries Accessible By Water on the Erie Canal

Erie Canal Wineries Accessible By Water


The Erie Canal system isn’t just a narrow winding waterway that connects Albany to Buffalo. It also connects several finger-lakes to the world as well. The Finger Lakes region is home to some of the world’s best wine and a number of those wineries are accessible by water.   The map below shows those venues that you can boat to.wineries

These wineries are accessible by water on the Cayuga / Seneca Canal

Lake St. Station                                                                        Bellhurst Castle

41 Lake St. Geneva NY                                                            4069 West Lake Rd. Geneva NY

(315) 325-4089                                                                         (315) 781-0201


Miles Wine Cellars                                                                  Seneca Harbor Wine Center

168 Randall Crossing Rd. Himrod NY                                2 N. Franklin St. Watkins Glen NY

(315) 243-7742                                                                         (607) 535-4867


Varick Winery                                                                          Lake Shore Winery

5102 State Route 89 Romulus NY                                       5132 State Route 89 Romulus NY

(315) 549-8797                                                                        (315) 549-7095


Knapp Winery                                                                         Goose Watch

2770 County Rd. 128 Romulus NY                                     5480 State Route 89 Romulus NY

(800) 869-9271                                                                      (315) 549-2599


Buttonwood Grove Winery                                                 Cayuga Ridge Winery

5986 State Route 89 Romulus                                           6800 State Route 89 Ovid NY

(607) 869-9760                                                                     (800) 598-wine


Thirsty Owl                                                                            Sheldrake Point

6861 State Route 89 Ovid NY                                            7448 County Road 153 Ovid NY

(866) 869-5805                                                                    (607) 532-9401


Bet The Farm Winery & Market                                         Long Point Winery

381 Main St. Aurora NY                                                       1485 Lake Rd. Aurora

(315) 294-5643                                                                       (315) 364-6990




Don’t own a boat? Not a problem hire Water To Wine Tours, operating on Cayuga Lake they offer a number of opportunities to get out on the water and be able to visit wineries located on the shores of Cayuga Lake.

Bareboat Charter on the Erie Canal

Where are you planning on vacationing this summer? How about a Bareboat Charter on the Erie Canal?

Wikipedia describes a bareboat charter as an arrangement for the chartering or hiring of a ship or boat, whereby no crew or provisions are included as part of the agreement, instead, the people who rent the vessel from the owner are responsible for taking care of such things.

Want to both stay close to home but also experience memories that will last a lifetime? At over 500 miles in length the Erie Canal System, or what is sometimes referred to as the New York State Barge Canal offers the New York Boater un-matched opportunities.

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Boating on the Erie Canal

Whether you’re in a kayak, 50’ cruiser or anything in-between you will find a unique boating experience on the Erie Canal. With 55 locks, 16 lift bridges, more than 60 communities all on the 524 miles of navigable waterway that make up the Erie Canal System. A boat trip on the Erie is something you won’t soon forget. Whether you plan your trip to last a day, week or month the Erie will not disappoint.

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