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Jet Skiing - Chattanooga to Knoxville

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  • Jet Skiing - Chattanooga to Knoxville

    Hey y’all! New to thus board, but hoping you can help. My husband and I are kid-free for a couple weeks and looking to go on a fun adventure up the TN river. We are coming from Georgia, so would like to start in Chattanooga and jet ski up to Knoxville.

    Looking for advice. Can’t seem to find how many miles it is and whether or not we can do it in a day or not (there and back).

    Any advice? We can take a couple days if need be....

    Thanks!!!

  • #2
    You got my curiosity up as I had no idea of where the Tennessee River actually goes. To drive from Chattanooga to Knoxville is about 100 miles. From a TVA navigation chart the water route is about 200 miles. https://www.tva.gov/Environment/Mana...ennessee-River

    Three dams to lock through on that trip, about 400 miles round trip. If you can average 20 mph that would be 20 hours of traveling not counting waiting at the locks 6 times. There are navigation charts available on line so you don't spend extra time getting lost. The biggest challenge I see is finding enough fuel stops. I would do my homework and a lot of planning before attempting such a trip. Since you probably don't want to run at night it sounds like you might want to plan or 4 or 5 days for the trip.
    The last suit you wear won't need any pockets. You might as well spend it on a boat.

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    • #3
      i've no comments on your particular river run. but i have done Omaha to souix city on the missouri river on a pwc. dwc has good comments.
      planning is key. especially fuel stops. i got a chart from the army corp of engineers. it's a paper chart and took some time to acquire it. i used it some, but it was a pretty straight fwd. run for me.
      hopefully you go up river from the start of the run (if things go badly, ya can always float back to your start location if you have to). up river will consume much more fuel. up river will be more time consuming. understand river somewhat. like the deep side of a river is the outside of a bend in the river. shallow on the inside of a bend. if there are daymarks or nuns and cans, use them to stay in navigable waters.
      one thing for sure. if yer jet skiing, for sure. is bring sunscreen. i didn''t. i've boated most of my life, but never had done a long river run. when on the river there's no hiding from the sun. for me, it must have been somewhat cloudy going up. but come down it was plain ol sunny out. after 105 miles one way. we were beet red and in pain for a week or so after the run. sun screen is now a base item onboard.
      plan your food. stuff that dont spoil. we did peanut butter.
      be sure yer ski is in top working condition. i found the missouri quite isolated. there was nothing. no help from anyone. no where to get services. your really on your own. so take stuff for life preservation. first aid kit, water, flares, gps to know your location, cell phone, or vhf or both.
      have fun. my run was one of my most exciting runs i've ever done. so do it. just have much planning. i think i planed for 6 mo. prior to my run as i'd never done anything like that. i also didn't have locks to deal with. nor shipping barges. but there were some very large motor yachts that threw of very large wakes. there's no where to run from them on the river either. ya gotta deal with them. the Missouri also has much debrit in it. ie. dead head logs, refrigerators, all kinds of stuff that can ruin your day. keep a a good lookout.
      hope ya can do your run. you'll have a lot of fun if all goes well. it's an adventure that many don't experience.
      'Lime Time'
      1975 AristoCraft Nineteen
      Mercruiser 165hp (chevy 250 L6), MC-1 drive

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      • #4
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        DWCO has you about right on travel time. I plotted it out (sloppily) and you're in that 200 mile zone going from Erwin Marine in Chattanooga all the way to Ft Loudon in Knoxville. Wait times at the locks will vary, and you'll want to map out fuel docks. I don't know what the endurance is on a jet ski, but as I recall there are a couple of stretches along that route where you have a significant distance between fuel docks.

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