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Mississippi river recommendations in Iowa

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  • Mississippi river recommendations in Iowa

    My wife and I just picked up a super clean one owner 1996 225BR with a Mercury 7.4 and Bravo 3 that has barely turned over 200 hours. We live in the Cedar rapids area and have had it out on Coralville a couple of times getting used to how it handles and we love it. I have had boats before and used to boat on the Missouri river when I lived on that side of Iowa. We are new to the east side of the state and I would like to get some recommendations on good places to launch as well as what are some of the better areas to boat on the Mississippi.

  • #2
    Pool 14. LeClaire Iowa has a public ramp. Gas dock down at Captains Quarter Drystack Marina. Go north to Princeton Beach for a sandy island. Further north past the nuclear power plant on the IL side is the Sand Pits. Back in Pool 14 is the Canal Area (raft up) right above the pleasure lock at L&D 14 (open on weekends). But----go on line, print out the Corps of Engineers Maps which are free which will show you where the wing dams are. Those you want to avoid. They can make for an expensive afternoon. The wing dams are all marked on the charts. Safest way is to run fast in the marked channel going up and down. Know where the wing dams are when you want to deviate off of the channel. Stop by Captain's Quarter Marina (next to Holiday Inn Express) right after you get off of the interstate and ask them about the local conditions and where to go. Owners are nice people and so is the office staff. Good luck.
    Carlsbad, California
    Current Boat: 2015 Formula 350 CBR
    Previous Boat: 2009 Crownline 252 EX
    Vehicle: 2018 Chevy Bolt

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    • #3
      Congrats and welcome, from Nebraska!!! Any boat pics?
      Boat Covers and Bimini Tops here: www.BaldMikes.com

      Pre-Enjoyed Boats: www.BaldMikesBoats.com

      Two-thirds of the earth’s surface would be wasted, if it wasn’t for boating.

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      • #4
        I will get some posted once I get the old registration numbers chipped off and my new ones put on. I grew up in CB just across the river from you Mike.

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        • #5
          Welcome, from Cedar Rapids as well!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by hawkeyestoob View Post
            I will get some posted once I get the old registration numbers chipped off and my new ones put on. I grew up in CB just across the river from you Mike.
            We boat the Missouri...when it's not flooded!!!!!!!!!!
            Boat Covers and Bimini Tops here: www.BaldMikes.com

            Pre-Enjoyed Boats: www.BaldMikesBoats.com

            Two-thirds of the earth’s surface would be wasted, if it wasn’t for boating.

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            • #7
              The upper Mississippi is very nice. Especially for fall colors. Guttenburg to Prairie Du Chien is a great run. Clinton to Dubuque one day, stay at the casino and back on day 2 is a fun run.
              Corp maps are a must as Alec said. My best advice: Stay away from the barges.The thing about the river as opposed to the lake is there is always a current to deal with.
              A marine radio is highly suggested.
              2000 266BR Ruby & Opal


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              • #8
                Thanks for the suggestions.

                We are really looking forward to getting out and exploring the Mississippi this fall and next year. The fall was always one of my favorite times of the year for boating on the Missouri River. Fewer boats and beautiful colors everywhere.

                The boat is actually from Prairie Du Chien and it has a marine radio already installed. It also has a complete set of canvas camping covers that will make fall boating very comfortable. I have never been though one of the lock but I have watch a couple of YouTube videos so I should be fully qualified now!

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                • #9
                  With respect to locking through the locks on the MS river. Take some of those disposable food service gloves or something you don't mind throwing away. . The lines hanging from the walls in the locks can be pretty scuzzy. The first time I knew to do this and asked some friends who were on the boat with us as we were going down river, "Hey, want some gloves for the lines?" The answer was, "Nah, we're okay." As the water starts down in the lock and they are paying out more of the line that was under the water in the lock, I hear this, "Hey quick, can we have some of those gloves!?!" The lesson is---Always listen to the boat captain.....
                  Carlsbad, California
                  Current Boat: 2015 Formula 350 CBR
                  Previous Boat: 2009 Crownline 252 EX
                  Vehicle: 2018 Chevy Bolt

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                  • #10
                    Alec has given some solid advice on Pool 14. It's our "home" pool and we really like it compared to the others. I grew up in Pool 16 and it would be my second choice. Pool 15 is very short and there aren't a lot of options for food or throwing an anchor out.

                    LeClaire would be a good stop as it's right off 80. The docks in Port Byron are crap this year since the flood destroyed them and they haven't replaced them yet even though they have the new docks.

                    If you need fuel, go to Commanche vs Captain's Quarters - it's about $.40 cheaper a gallon. Since you trailer, this isn't as big of a concern.

                    We're out almost every weekend if you want me to show you around. We generally don't lock through as the pool is 25 miles long. We have made the run down to Muscatine for lunch and back when we first got the boat, but now we mostly float up near the sand pits. There has been talk of making a run up north this fall, I can push the guy who was organizing it to make it happen.

                    Alec A - BTW the down river sand pit is closed again. I don't know the full story, but the owner of the land has had it blocked offed for a month or so now.
                    Crownline 235 SS LPX 502

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dave_G View Post
                      There has been talk of making a run up north this fall, I can push the guy who was organizing it to make it happen.
                      We would love to get out on a longer "organised" trip if / when it happens. That would be a great way for us to get much more familiar with the river along with picking up some valuable do's and don'ts along the way.

                      Would you recommend LeClaire to put in or are there better options?

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                      • #12
                        Le Claire or Green Gables (also in Le Claire) would be your best options. Captains Quarters will launch it for you, but they only have a lift, so the process seems a bit cumbersome getting it off the trailer.
                        Crownline 235 SS LPX 502

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                        • #13
                          We have watched people launch from the public ramp at Le Claire several times while enjoying a beer at the brewery or cocktail at the distillery overlooking the area. We also like to stop at Go Fish up in Princeton when we are out on the motorcycle.

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                          • #14
                            We survived our first trip out on the Mississippi today! We ended up putting in at the Clinton Marina and had an excellent experience there. Nice wide lanes to put in and plenty of dock space. We headed north to the dam and then took a leisurely ride down to the I80 bridge in Le Claire. We saw what looked like probably 6 different areas where where there were a significant number of people anchored and having a good time. We were surprised at how you can really see the leaves starting to change on the trees already.

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                            • #15
                              You definitely chose the right boat ramp

                              BTW ...If someone organizes a group cruise up.. or down the river.. I'm all for it.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by Veddersbetter; 09-08-2019, 04:26 PM. Reason: Originally didnt see post about Clinton ramp
                              2003 LPX202
                              2016 Roushcharged F150

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