The Great Loop is a circumnavigation of eastern North America that includes the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Hudson River, the Great Lakes, the Canadian Heritage Canals and the inland rivers of America’s heartland. Depending on the route taken, it can run anywhere from about 5,000 to 7,000 miles and some “Loopers” take years to complete it.
Beneteau’s powerboats division is showcasing its Swift Trawler 34 in a 41-leg Great Loop cruise that started in May in Annapolis, Md. The boat is named The Greatest Loop and the tour will encompass the Hudson River, most of the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, the Tombigbee River, the Gulf ICW and the Atlantic ICW, returning in September to Annapolis. Beneteau describes the Swift Trawler 34 as a performance-based cruising boat that offers fuel efficiency, stability and maneuverability.
Ten captains and a variety of crewmembers will join the boat for different legs as The Greatest Loop encounters offshore, inland and Great Lakes conditions. Boating writers from marine publications throughout North America and Europe will be on board for segments of the voyage to document and share experiences with readers.
The expedition is supported by a host of businesses that have donated goods and services. The Greatest Loop was outfitted with equipment supplied by Cummins, Raymarine, Cummins Onan and Dometic Marine, among others. Those lending support include America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association, Marinalife, SGB Finance and Annapolis Yacht Sales, in addition to other Beneteau dealers around the country.
Links of interest
• America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association (www.greatloop.org) is an organization that disseminates information for those learning about, planning for or actively exploring the Great Loop.
• Beneteau’s website for the voyage (www.thegreatestloop.com) provides a route map, an online logbook, crew reports and links to sponsors, as well as a way to communicate with the crew. The website for its Swift Trawler line is www.swifttrawler.net.
• Beneteau’s Facebook page for The Greatest Loop (www.facebook.com/thegreatestloopbybeneteau) provides real-time reports, photos and logs posted by the crew.
• Ron and Eva Stob slipped the lines and cruised the Great Loop in 1994 and now operate a website that offers books, maps and other resources (www.greatloop.com).
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This article originally appeared in the August 2012 issue.