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America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association
Information & Inspiration for Your Great Loop Cruise
HomeChicago to Mobile Overview
Chicago to Mobile
Great Loop Segment: Chicago to Mobile
The segment of the Great Loop from Chicago, IL to Mobile, AL is 1300 miles via the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.  This route is composed of inland rivers and lakes all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.  The weather on the rivers is controlled by land and the current mostly flows in the direction of travel if you are cruising the Great Loop counterclockwise with the exceptions of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers which flow in a northerly direction.  The natural fall of rivers are controlled by locks and dams.  Flooding, determined by any heavy rain situations in the Midwest, can cause some navigational issues.  It is recommended that boaters stay in mid-channel as much as possible, especially on straight river sections, but stay in channels marked by buoys and the sailing line on charts due to rock jetties and other obstacles.  In river bends, the channel follows the outside bend where water is deepest due to the current flow.  Electronic charts are helpful to show your position relative to obstacles. Towboats and tows are a distraction on this route and that traffic gets heavier as you progress south so familiarize yourself with passing etiquette.
Members-Only Content for this Segment
Accordion Widget
Forum Posts
Forum Posts

Need Recommendation for Mechanic
Leaving Lake Michigan Summer 2018
Chicago to St. Louis Summary
Myth busting – Out of Chicago by Labor Day – 2017

Block Asian Carp with a concrete wall
Cumberland and Tennessee River guides?

Fishing on the Great Loop
I felt cheated

Last of the Loopers?
Anchorages Between Bobby’s and Mobile Bay

Golf Along the Loop
Side trip to New Orleans
St. Louis Bound
Boat Yard Recommendations West of Mobile Bay?
Key Lime Pie
River System Backward
Taking the Lower Mississippi Route
Aqua Marina
Bobby Fish Camp

Verizon Internet Service from Green Turtle South
Diesel fuel Chicago/Mobile
Loopers that left Lake Michigan after 30 Sept
Mobile, Alabama Marinas
Mast Un-stepping Lake Michigan
Planning a couple years ahead for mobile to ?? In
Lake MI
Ohio River Closed – Possibly for weeks!
Anchoring on the Tenn Tom
Leaving Chicago late

For Those Planning to Continue on the Mississippi
LaGrange Lock
Aberdeen Marina
Going Thru Chicago Safely on the Great Loop
Chicago Air and Water Show
Chicago - Drop Off After Going Through Town
Cleveland Marina Suggestion
Suggestions for Marina/Storage/Painting Bottom
Marinas in Knoxville
Dry Storage & Bottom Painting Near Entry to Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
Great Story About the Mississippi River Model
Marinas South of St. Louis
Yanmar Mechanic, Paducah Area
Paducah Dock Update
New Transient Dock - Paducah KY
La Grange Lock at 80.2 on Illinois River
Mast Stepping after Grafton

Illinois River Lock Closure at Mile 80.2
Time Estimates from Leaving Lake Michigan to Joe Wheeler
Dates and Deadlines for Various Loop Locations
2017 Unstepping Mast in Chicago
Un-stepping the Mast
Route Planning - The Rivers Southwards
Closed Locks in Chicago Area
A Vast Wasteland

Chicago to Mobile Time Allocation
Chicago to Mobile in the Spring--Any Advice?
Entering Chicago
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Captains' Notes
Captains' Notes
Click Here for notes from Loopers on this segment.

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Sample Itinerary
Sample Itinerary
All Loopers have their own cruising style and preferences on miles to travel per day, cruising speed, number of nights per week in a marina, etc. This Chicago to Mobile Itinerary, based on a preferred distance of 50 miles per day, was developed to give you an idea of the types of places and things you will see during your Great Loop adventure.

Additional Useful Information about this Segment
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Skipper Bob
Back Cove Yachts
Orange Beach