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Pontoon from Harrison Bay to Watts Bar

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  • Pontoon from Harrison Bay to Watts Bar

    Just curious if there are any services between Harrison Bay and Watts Bar. I know it's only about 50 miles but I just want to make sure it's navigable and maybe some places to get off the boat and stretch the legs and get a snack. Maybe even some marinas along the way. Just don't want to venture into the wilderness in the middle of nowhere and have to squeal like a pig......

  • #2
    tow insurance........good thing to have.
    Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

    1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

    Past Boats
    1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
    2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
    1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

    What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

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    • #3
      Have not made the trip, but if you zoom in on the river you don't find much services past Cotton port marina until Watts bar. Even at Watts bar there doesn't seem to be facilities for refueling. Hope someone comes along to advise

      So by the time you get to Cotton, your about a 1/3 of the way, then decide if you need to refuel. Like most of the places, there is normally others boating which can assist
      94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
      95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
      07 Seadoo GTX
      Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
      G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

      Comment


      • #4
        I haven't done that trip either, but I've been looking some of that area over. One thing about Tennessee, if you're not familiar with it there aren't always places to randomly land on shore. You may have a stretch where it's just too rocky along the shore line to really land and get off the boat.

        Tow Boat US operates on Chickamauga Lake from the Harrison Bay area. Not sure how far downriver they run, so a quick call to them might be worth it.

        The river is navigable the entire route, and even accommodates commercial traffic. There are a couple of shoals and flooded timber areas you'll want to be aware of, so make sure you look at a chart (Navionics online or something like that) at a minimum. Not too much along the lines of services on the way, but should be plenty of boat ramps. Cotton Port is supposed to have fuel and food! (Not that I typically like marina food 'round here ). 16 miles (ish) from Cotton to the dam. And coming in to Watts Bar Lake, your first marina is a little ways in (another 6 miles or so from the dam). There was one closer to the dam, but I think it's closed now.

        Making lockage through the dam may take a while. You should read the TVA lockage website if you're not familiar with that process. I've not actually gone through one yet, but it can take upwards of an hour to get through. Commercial traffic generally has priority in TVA locks, though I doubt that one is too busy.

        Unless you land on the wrong farmer's field coming through there, you shouldn't have to squeal like a piggy.

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        • #5
          SK, your post got me thinking about things to note
          The lock operator will monitor channel 14. If you don't have a VHF there will be something (like a rope) near the lock to sound a tone or bell. If others are already there, they can advise.

          If you come up by your self and use VHF, just call with about anything like "lock master, pleasure boat on lower side requesting lock thru". Nothing formal, can be about anything. I've locked thru many, so when you are coming up, have everyone put on there PFD's and have lines and finders ready.

          Once in, tie off on one of the floating bollards. Once gates are totally open, then untie and exit. Some lock master want you to wait until the gates are fully open, others don't care. Best to wait

          Since the river has commercial traffic it should be marked with day boards and buoys. Remember the phrase "Red Right Returning". This means red markers on your right when returning from the sea. So keep the red buoys on your right going to the dam, and green or black on left. Day boards will be the same red and green land markings. Day boards mark the center of the channel and note a crossing from one side of the shore to the other. If there are no shallow spots in crossings the boards may not be present
          94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
          95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
          07 Seadoo GTX
          Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
          G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by southkogs View Post
            Unless you land on the wrong farmer's field coming through there, you shouldn't have to squeal like a piggy.
            I hear banjo music
            Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

            1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

            Past Boats
            1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
            2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
            1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

            What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Scott Danforth View Post
              I hear banjo music
              If you look like Ned Beatty at all, I'd keep my radar turning then. Especially as you get closer to Roane County

              Comment


              • #8
                Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                Past Boats
                1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks to everyone for responding! Love all the info and humor too! We have been wanting to do it for a while. I do agree with the Towboat also. We've have done the Raccoon Mtn.. to Nickajak with no problem other than the occasional huge wakes. Pontoons don't like wakes........Again a BIG thanks!!!!!

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                  • #10
                    So, did you make this trip? Did you find this...that would help? [see link attached]

                    My 1993 Ski Centurion Falcon resto-mod thread:
                    https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...on-restoration

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I hope I don't get the "posting-police" after me for bumping this thread. It hasn't been 90 days yet, so I hope we're good.

                      One more link you might find interesting...watch some (or all) of this full length movie shot going down the river if/when you have time.

                       
                      My 1993 Ski Centurion Falcon resto-mod thread:
                      https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...on-restoration

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                      • #12
                        Nice movie. I'm from Clinton
                        1977 MFG 70hp Evinrude Clinton, Tennessee

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                        • #13
                          Sign up today
                          In the beginning of the movie, when they're picking up the pontoon boat, that's the ramp at Kingston City park. That's just around the corner from my aunt and uncle's dock. On the very top end of Watt's Barr lake. Near where the Clinch River flows in, and just above the Tenn River junction.
                          My 1993 Ski Centurion Falcon resto-mod thread:
                          https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...on-restoration

                          Comment

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