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mel hartsough 12-11-2009 09:45 AM

Upper Ohio info
Ok guys I need a little help. A friend approached me the other day about doing a trip on one of his Batteaus from Pittsburg down to Pt. Pleasant, then up the Kanawha to Gauley. We are talking about sometime next summer probably. He owns the James River Float company here in Lynchburg Va. and has been a river rat/nut all his life. He seems to be serious about this and has the resources and equipment to do it. He wants me to go too as well as a few others. What I need to find out is when low water is up there and current speeds, especially on the Kanawha. Opinions, ideas, and general knowledge are much appreciated. Its been 25 years since I've been above Cincy on the Ohio and then only made a few trips to Pittsburg.

Shipyard Sam 12-12-2009 11:11 AM

The Great Kanawha River is controlled by a series of locks and dams like the Ohio, and should behave about the same. However, I have seen her misbehaving, and she can be torrid when angered.

One season I had the P. A. DENNY at the head of navigation and within sight of the junction of the Kanawha where the New and Gauley join and had no problems, but got only as close as I felt comfortable. Little ole batteaus should have no worries.

But other than that, what would I know?

mel hartsough 12-12-2009 02:55 PM

Hey thanks Sam, I do know a little about the Kanawha and yeah there are 3 locks. I was looking more for the Ohio, High and Low water times as well as current. The Kanawha should be interesting and I have a friend that lives right there in Fayetteville so that helps. I'm figuring probably next August when the water is usually low. I know between Pittsburg and the Kanawha there are 9 locks. What mile pt. is Point Pleasant.

Tom Schiffer 12-12-2009 03:26 PM

The Corps of Engineers in 1934 thought Point Pleasant was at river mile 445.1 below Pittsburgh. Doubt if it has moved very far! Cap'n Walnut.

Frank X. Prudent 12-12-2009 04:23 PM

You might need a pretty good rise to get above the falls, unless there are a couple of pickup trucks to haul you and the Batteaus (sic.) the last couple of miles up to the Gauley.

Bill Judd 12-12-2009 07:42 PM

Capt. Walnut, surprise, surprise Pt. Pleasant evidentily moved 180 miles up river. I hope the Corps realizes this. That antifreeze barrel at the shipyard does strange things to people. Actually they are talking about Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia, other wise known as "snake harbor"

Tom Schiffer 12-13-2009 08:12 AM

Oh! Bill! There you go confusing the natives with facts! The anti-freeze barrel, indeed!
Cap'n Walnut. PS if you know a good source of Anti-freeze, our barrel (not the gun barrel) is about MT. We ran out last year and wuz forced to buy somma that gover-ment red stuff...12 year old they sed it wuz...howda they keep it long enuff to get 12 year old? Bottle it in Ft. Knox??

mel hartsough 12-13-2009 09:25 AM

Thanks guys, I was hoping you'd chime in here Capt Walnut. But yeah I was talking about Pt. Pleasant WV. where the Kanawha comes into the Ohio. I figure we are looking at a 2 week trip in low water. Oh and we are sneaking aboard an outboard for the Kanawha. We do a batteau festival and race from Lynchburg to Richmond every year in June and it takes about 5 days. My buddy Mason who is 26 has always been a river rat though and is wanting to broaden his Horizons and see what the big time is like. so I'm trying to gather as much info as I can. If it were the UMR I'd have no problem but I just never got much experience on the Upper Ohio. I've driven a good part of the length of the Kanawha and have a friend that lives close to where we are ending our journey so that helps. You can look at Masons website at [url=]James River Float Company[/url].

mel hartsough 12-13-2009 09:55 AM

I'll have to check on that Frank. Mason has taken his White water rafts on the Gauley so he may know more about that end and I have a friend in Fayetteville WV and she spends a little time on the river so hopefully we'll figure something out.

Shipyard Sam 12-13-2009 02:43 PM

Kanawha River Records
The Fish and I broke Lawson Hamilton's 1941 speed records for a 16' Weaver Skiff rowed on the Kanawha between the Capital Street Bridge and Port Amherst (Chuck Yeager Bridge), on a dead current, both up and back- exactly five miles each way. She steered and I rowed. I have the times recorded somewhere, but our average speed downbound was over 7 mph. Those records still stands.

Care to challenge?

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