Email Us:

24/7 (Mon-Sun) Free shipping in United States

cruising on a boat

Great Loop Boating – A Complete Guide

on September 18, 2021

The journey through the great loop! Planning a sailing trip around the great loop? Find all the details you need here!

cruising on a boat, great loop

Great Loop Boating – A Complete Guide

America's great loop guide


Traveling a distance of 6000 miles across America's great loop is one of the biggest adventures any boater can embark on.

The great loop is an enclosed system of waterways stretching for miles. From the docks of eastern United States until the marinas of Canada.

When you cruise the loop, you will encounter natural waterways, a swell as a man-made waterway. Including, the Atlantic waterways, the Great Lakes, and Canadian waterways.

Loopers who have traveled across this beautiful route claim that it is like no other and argue that it will be the best cruise trip you ever will take.

cruising America's  great loop in a lifetime

There is no right or wrong way to travel the great loop but it is advised to voyage the Great lakes and Canadian waterways in the summer. This will ensure that your group avoids the winter ice from Canada and summer hurricanes.

In the fall cruisers coast the river section of Mississippi or the Tennessee- Tombigbee, north channel.

Cruisers cross the Gulf of Mexico and Florida rivers in the winter and head up to the Atlantic Intracoastal waterway in Springtime.

Cruisers will be happy to know that this trip won't take a lifetime. Depending on the speed your vessel travels it can take as little as two months.

Cruising the great loop does come with a set of challenges and safety concerns.

With the help of seasoned great loopers, we've come up with this complete guide, that is critical for the safety and convenience of those embarking on this route.

Be courteous and aware while you cruise the great loop.

While you cruise this route, there are many situations where you approach a narrow waterway, and you have other boaters coming from both sides.

Since you may already be tired from sailing for prolonged periods, it is always a good idea to abide by the boat laws and give way to other boaters at a slow speed to prevent any accidents and keep not only yourself but everyone on board safe.

While the sailors have to steer, staying alert for a long trip is rarely possible and not advised. Hence it will be practical that not only the captain of the vessels but every single person aboard has a pair of binoculars adjusted to their size so they can all look around at the same time.

This ensures more eyes aboard the vessel have the equipment to keep an eye ahead on the canals for oncoming boats or a narrow waterway.

We recommend the Bushnell Spectator 12 x 50 Binocular [BS11250].

This fantastic piece of equipment is a great addition to the complete trip.

With all its focus options it is great to use not only for safety purposes but leisure aboard many vessels. It is made with top-notch materials it is guaranteed to serve you for years on any journey.

Buy now at Boat Parts and Accessories | Marine Supply Store | Marine Supplies Us 


Cruising the great loop in the dark, you will need more than binoculars. To guide canals at night, it is advised to equip your boats with navigation lights.

To ensure that you reach your destinations safely and have better visibility while making sure other boaters can see you on the waterway.

We recommend the  Sea-Dog White LED Navigation Lights - Port Starboard [400071-1]. These are high-power and low-cost option for those looking for navigation lights aboard their ship.

Boat loopers lifestyle guide

Buy now at Boat Parts and Accessories | Marine Supply Store | Marine Supplies Us

Always inspect your boats beforehand.

Sometimes all it takes is a loose nut or neglected meter or gauge that can cause disasters along the way; hence, it is essential that you always inspect your boat and determine if it needs any repair or tuning; it is also advisable that you check all your gauges before you embark on the loop to make sure you don't run into any engine troubles during your travels.

You should tighten your boat's nuts and make sure everything is appropriately functional and operational before you leave for the sake of safety and convenience, not only yourself but the others sailing with you as well.

Don't forget the kill switch.

It is always recommended that you have a kill switch in case your boat's engine malfunctions; as the name suggests, this simple yet lifesaving technology switches your engine off when engaged, this could prove to be lifesaving while sailing, especially on busy routes like the great loop.

Our expert friends recommend the FELL Marine MOB+ Wireless Kill Switch Basepack - Grey ], unlike traditional models, this is an entirely wireless kill switch that can be simply engaged from anywhere on the boat; it engages automatically if you fall over the board as you hit the water and the 300 hours long-lasting battery ensures that it is operational on the longest of routes, with the great loop being no exception.

Boat trip

Buy now at Boat Parts and Accessories | Marine Supply Store | Marine Supplies Us 

Be sure that you are educated enough.

Being knowledgeable about boats is very important before embarking on a long journey; hence, we recommend that you get a boating safety course from your nearest boating school.

Even though it may not seem like it is important, yet something you learned in boat class can potentially make all the difference in a life-threatening situation.

Make sure you have insurance.

On longer routes like the great loop, you are bound to come to a halt, and towing and repair costs can burn a hole in your pocket; hence it is recommended that you get insurance before you leave so you don't go broke in case you get into engine troubles. 

Make sure that your boat is equipped with a radio.

On longer routes, having a radio can be very handy since you don't always have a reception for cell phones. You can remain updated with any upcoming hazards through radio alerts and communicate with authorities in case of an emergency.

We recommend the Icom M803 Recreational SSB Radio [M803]which is a reliable and high-quality radio system to fulfill all your communication and update needs.

It has an exceptional range and superior build quality, making it the best option for radio communication devices.

great loop Icom ssb radio

Buy now at Boat Parts and Accessories | Marine Supply Store | Marine Supplies Us

For the sake of a smooth sailing experience, I hope that you make use of these tips while you embark on this one-of-a-kind adventure.

We hope that this article has made you more aware and ready for your incredible loopers adventure!

We wish you an amazing and safe journey across the breathtaking great loop!


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Read our guide to planning a weekend getaway on your boat to ensure it goes...

Learn how to choose the right boat for your needs to properly approach the purchase...

Learn about the essential tips for boating with pets to ensure that you both have...

Read about the 7 accessories you should always keep on your boat so that you...

In the following article, we will explore all the benefits of boating for your body...

Learn how to care for your boat in winter, to ensure that your vessel makes...

Go through the boater’s guide to handling seasickness so you can ensure that any vacations...

In this blog you will find 10 of the most amazing lakes to fish at...

Do you go fishing often? Here are 10 of the best fishing gadgets you must...