America’s Great Loop: Paul and Valerie's Adventure of a Lifetime

Embark on a boating expedition through picturesque landscapes and bustling cities.

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Paul smiling on a Sealine C335v motor yacht docked at a wooden pier with a scenic lake view in the background.

| Sealine News

Imagine embarking on an epic boating adventure, one that takes you through picturesque waterways, past iconic cities, and into the heart of rural America and Canada. This is precisely what Paul and his wife Valerie have set out to do on September 15th 2023, cruising the 6,000-mile Great Loop route aboard their new SEALINE C335v named "Boomerang". The Great Loop is not just a journey; it's a way of life, offering a unique perspective on the beauty and diversity of the eastern U.S. and part of Canada.

“Loopers” cruise the route aboard their own boats completing a circumnavigation of the eastern U.S. and part of Canada via mostly protected inland waterways. The Great Loop route follows the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, the Chesapeake Bay, and the New York Canals northwards, goes across the Great Lakes, south on the Inland Rivers, and then east Gulf Coast to complete the Loop.

Luxury yachts being transported on a 'BIGLIFT' cargo ship, securely fastened with ropes and straps, under a clear sky.
Left: A navigational map highlighting a route across parts of Michigan's waterways, with numbered waypoints leading towards the east.  Right: Boats navigating through a massive lock chamber, with towering concrete walls on either side and an overhead bridge in the distance.

A Dream Years in the Making

For Paul and Valerie, the Great Loop has been a dream for years. They envisioned themselves boating into New York Harbor, gazing at the iconic skyline, and meandering along the waterways of Chicago, all while enjoying the comfort of their own motorboat. Moreover, they wanted to explore the small towns, witness rural America and Canada, and anchor in remote bays for tranquil nights. They had initially purchased a 2005 Cruisers 395 to begin their adventure in 2021. However, they quickly realized that the boat was too large and cumbersome for just the two of them, plagued with mechanical issues. It became apparent that they needed a boat that was better suited to their needs for the Great Loop and could serve as a pleasant day boat after their journey.

Finally, after a 1.5-year wait, they received their dream boat, the SEALINE C335v. This motor yacht was precisely what they needed to embark on this adventure of a lifetime.

Left: Valerie with white hair is seen swimming in the water, next to a boat with a Mercury engine. The back of the boat is visible, and she seems to be enjoying her time in the water.  Right: Valerie is seated inside the cockpit of a boat, steering it. She's wearing sunglasses and has a tattoo on her left arm. The interior of the boat is modern, with a panoramic view of a city's waterfront, including buildings and a bridge, in the background.
This image showcases a suspension bridge stretching over calm waters during what appears to be dusk or dawn. The bridge's intricate steel framework is visible, with two tall pillars rising majestically and supporting the structure. The sky above is mostly clear, with just a hint of a cloud, and the horizon reveals a silhouette of land. The waters below reflect the ambient light, adding a serene touch to the overall scene.

The Perfect Yacht for the Great Loop

Choosing the right boat for the Great Loop is essential, given the diversity of waterways and conditions you'll encounter. Paul and Valerie's SEALINE C335v was the perfect choice for several reasons. She offers manageability, with a small height that allows them to navigate under bridges and a shallow draft to avoid shoals and obstacles. Additionally, the boat's size is ideal because marinas and locks charge by the foot, making a smaller vessel a more economical choice.

In terms of comfort and functionality, the couple loves the forward-facing co-pilot seat, a separate shower, spacious windows that provide breathtaking views, and a propane stove for delicious meals. As the skipper, Paul appreciates the Mercury Outboards for their ease of maintenance and the ability to trim them up in shallow waters.

Paul and Valerie smiling by a lakeside, with a bowl of salad on a table in the foreground.
Modern yacht docked by the city shoreline, with tall skyscrapers in the background and a clear view of the city skyline from the boat's window.

A Post-Retirement Adventure

Joining Paul on this incredible journey is his wife, Valerie. This trip is their post-retirement adventure, a testament to the adage that life begins at retirement. As they explore the waterways, cities, and countryside, they are creating lasting memories and embracing new experiences together.

Valerie sitting on a boat, enjoying the serene view of a rocky shoreline with trees, under a clear blue sky.
Interior view from a boat cabin, showcasing a breathtaking sunset over the water, casting a golden pathway on the surface, with silhouetted rocky shores and trees in the distance.

A Glimpse of Paradise: Anchoring in the Benjamins

One of the standout moments on their Great Loop adventure was anchoring in the Benjamins, a small group of islands in the North Channel. The beauty and tranquillity of this location made it feel as though they were alone in the world, even if just for a brief moment. Experiencing the serenity of such a place is one of the many rewards of the Great Loop, where each day brings new adventures and unexpected beauty.


Home Port: Ottawa, Canada

The couple's home port is Ottawa, Canada. They keep their beloved “Boomerang” in the Thousand Islands, near Kingston, Ontario. It's from this point that they begin and end their incredible journey through the Great Loop.

Now Paul and Valerie have arrived in Chicago, another stop on their wish list. Soon they’ll continue their inspiring journey to all the places they've always wanted to explore on the water. We wish them a safe journey and many more unforgettable moments with their SEALINE C335v!

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