Planning for the Great Loop?
It All Begins Here.
The AGLCA website has a lot of resources and it can be daunting to know where to start so we have categorized the resources here that will most benefit you as you plan your Great Loop adventure.
First and foremost, you can check out our Introduction to the Great Loop seminar available on YouTube. It will answer many of your questions and fill you in on what to expect on your Great Loop adventure. You can also sign up for the "Great Loop Planning Guide" email series with tips, suggestions, and a timeline for planning your own Great Loop adventure. While you are enjoying those emails, you can explore the many resources available here on the GreatLoop.org website. If you still have questions after you've explored all these resources, you can even schedule a 15-minute call with Kim Russo, AGLCA's director, to get your specific questions answered one-on-one.
Buying a Boat
If you haven't bought a boat yet, you may be wondering what you need in a Great Loop boat and how to go about finding it. We've got you covered with an entire page devoted to boat-buying resources. It includes information on boat requirements, the boat-buying process, buyer's brokers, insurance and more.
How Much Will It Cost
Obviously, financing plays a big part in planning the Great Loop adventure but how do you figure out what those costs might be? AGLCA's Cost of Looping Calculator is just the tool to help you estimate them. Those that have completed the Loop have input their data in the calculator so you can search for boats and cruising styles that would be similar to yours to see what other Loopers actually spent on their trips.
Learn About the Route
Another aspect of planning is getting familiar with the route and determining potential itineraries. The AGLCA website has an entire section devoted to the route. It's divided into segments and each segment includes a general overview with a sample itinerary. The sample itineraries give general navigation information and includes cruising videos and downloadable GPX files for each leg within each segment. There is also a selection of lifestyle videos that highlight things to see and do in some locations along the route. Once you get an idea of the route, you can use the Great Loop map to visually explore what your itinerary might be. The map highlights things like sponsors, harbor hosts, and Best of the Loop submissions submitted by other Loopers.
Dive Even Deeper
When you are ready to explore more about the Great Loop and the Loop lifestyle, we'd suggest you dive into other Great Loop content like podcasts, webinars and newsletter articles. All of these platforms offer information about the Great Loop route as well as general boating information to get you up-to-speed on all things Great Loop. Podcasts are categorized so you can easily find topics of interest to you. You can research every issue ever published of the Great Loop Link newsletter or you can watch a webinar or two in AGLCA's webinar library, many of which are free to members like the Safe Boating webinar series. There's a lot of information so go at your own pace but you'll no doubt find answers to your questions with one or more of these resources. But, if by chance you don't, you are always welcome to post your specific questions in the members-only discussion forum where other Loopers will be more than happy to offer you wisdom and advice based on their own experiences.
Find a Looper
Do you plan to Loop as a family or solo? Do you have a reluctant partner or spouse? Are you a Canadian planning to do the Loop? If so, you don't have to figure out how you are going to do your Loop alone. You can tap into AGLCA's Ambassadors' Program where those who have completed the Loop the way you plan to do it can answer your questions and encourage you in your journey. If you don't fit in one of these categories, though, you can still find a Looper or two that may have done or may be doing the Loop the way you plan to do it. You can use the Member Directory (under the Interact menu) to search for other Loopers by various fields like Loop Status, Fleet Year, and members' boat makes, lengths and types.
If you like to learn face-to-face with other Loopers then consider attending a live event. For those just beginning the planning journey, you might want to consider a Looper Lifestyle event. These events are held 2 or 3 times a year at various locations in the U.S. and Canada. These day and a half events provide an introduction to the Great Loop. The first day focuses on finding and buying your perfect Great Loop boat and the second day provides practical advice for planning and preparing for your own Great Loop adventure. If you are a little further along in your planning, you might want to consider attending a Rendezvous where you'll find presentations focused on the route, covering navigation and things to see and do, along with sessions on general boating topics. In addition to the sessions and the famous Looper camaraderie, attendees can tour boats of fellow Loopers during the Looper Crawls. It's a great opportunity to see many different Loop-capable boats in one place and get some great ideas for features you'd like to see in your own boat, if you're in the market. These are 4-day events held annually, usually in the spring (May) and fall (October) in strategic places along the route. Registration usually opens 90 days before each event. You can use the Events Calendar to determine what events are coming soon.