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February, 2013

As this goes to print, the weekend snow is melting, and we have forecast temps into the mid 50s by the end of the week. With the boat show and Super Bowl parties behind us, we can look forward to the spring boating season!

Kentucky River Lock Update

Ten years ago, were you fortunate enough to have traveled the Kentucky River? We've found that we really enjoy the four mile detour off the Ohio River in Carrolton to an overnight at Lock 1. But, for now that's as far as you can navigate from here. The first five locks were constructed between 1836-1842, back when Frankfort had a population of less than 2,000, and Lock 14 was the last put into operation in 1917. The city of Frankfort sits just upriver of Lock 4 at Mile Marker 65.

Fast forwarding to the 20th century, the KY River Authority was formed in 1986 to ensure a quality water supply for residents along and near the river. The US Army Corps of Engineers handed over authority for the river's locks, and their operation was de-emphasized due to the lack of commercial traffic.

Locks 6-14 were closed in the early 2000s for a lack of funding. After 2007, the last of the locks on the KY River were closed, restricting recreational and commercial traffic. Those hardest hit were the boaters in the Frankfurt area, who formerly had access to Madison, Louisville and Cincinnati via the 65-mile trip through Locks 1-4 and into the Ohio.

There are 254 miles of navigable waterways between Carrolton and Beattyville, where the river splits into the North, South and Middle Forks. The Kentucky River Authority has a renewed interest in keeping the locks open to promote recreational boating. According to documents from recent meetings, there is an appreciation for the economic tie to recreational boating, and also the usefulness associated with having the locks open to move heavy equipment between the locks during renovations and repairs.

The KY River Authority published the newest set of navigation charts as recently as 2011. Those charts are available via a link on the resources page on the Port KY website as well as through the link on the ky.gov site here: link

What about the future? Public records show millions in funds committed to the restoration of the 145'x38' chambers in Locks 1-4, since 2008 and through various funding sources. According to a phone call to their office, Locks 3 and 4 will be open to boaters from Memorial Day to Labor Day in 2013 on weekends only, between the hours of either 9-6 or 10-7, to be determined. Unfortunately, due to the renovation schedule, it will be 2014 until Locks 1 and 2 will be open.

We'll have more information on the locks as we head into the summer. In the meantime, mark your calendars for your 2014 weekend trip to Frankfort!


Above, morning scene from anchor at Lock 1 on the KY River

For more information on the KY River trip or other trips on the website, please visit our Featured Articles page: link

Port KY River Cards

4th Edition, Coming Soon!

Our supplier had a "Super Bowl Sunday" sale, so we pulled the trigger on another bunch of Port KY River Cards. These are newly updated for 2013, and include all the information that you've come to expect.

This handy reference includes Mile Markers from McAlpine to Bethlehem, and lists just about every major boating stop along the way, to include the ones that boaters are discouraged from entering (see site for more information).

Like before, the back contains a quick reference guide to required equipment, something we have the kids review every time we let them operate the boat. You'll also find a list of common VHF frequencies, as well as emergency phone numbers for various agencies.

These cards are made possible by the people who help sponsor the site, and I'd like to thank our "Gold Sponsors" once again for their support! Click here for more information about our contributors and how to become one yourself: link


From the USCG Auxiliary

Here is another option for a Boating Safety Class, this time from the USCG Auxiliary:

When: Wednesday, February 13 and 20, Course runs two nights, 6 p.m to 9 p.m.
Where: Harrods Creek Fire Company, US Hwy 42, Prospect, KY
Cost: $25 for a book which can be shared, otherwise free
Register: e-mail

OUPV and Master Class and Renewal Course in March

We've been talking about it for months now, and it's almost here! Capt. Ron needs a few more final commitments to make the 2013 TrueCourse Captain's School "a definite go."

If you've ever considered getting your OUPV, or need to renew your OUPV, the beauty of this class is that they are coming to us...right here...in Louisville!

Here is the link for more information: link

Louisville Sail and Power Squadron Courses

Kim Fisher from the Power Squadron recently told me about a new course offering for this spring, entitled "Weather." Their instructor is a long-time member of the National Weather Service, which should make the class very interesting:


"The safety and comfort of those who venture out-on-the water have always been weather dependent. In this course students will become keener observers of the weather. The course focuses on how weather systems form, behave, move, and interact with one another."

Where: Harrods Creek Fire Department 8905 US Hwy 42 in Prospect.
Price: $50 Members, $80 non-members
To enroll: Contact 502-228-7227; or visit our web site: link

When: Eight sessions, Wednesday nights 7-9 PM, beginning March 27


Above, Kim Fisher of the LSPS demonstrates how to safely operate a fire extinguisher from their booth at the Louisville RV, Boat and Sportshow

...Also, they're still having the other courses previously indicated:

America's Boating Course

"A fun, in-depth boating safety course. The United States Power Squadron's ABC course meets Kentucky and Indiana boating license requirements. Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts for boaters who complete this course."

Where: Harrods Creek Fire Department 8905 US Hwy 42 in Prospect.
Details: Price includes 244 page textbook, student CD, digital charting DVD including all US charts, and a 6 month USPS membership in the United States Power Squadron.
Price: $50. Families may share materials
To enroll: Contact 502-228-7227; or visit our site: link

When: (2 classes to choose from)

Winter, Mondays in February 4, 11, 18, 25. 7-9 PM (underway)
Spring, two Saturdays in March 9 & 16. 9 AM- 1 PM

Advanced Piloting

(Classes are already underway)

Engine Maintenance

"Course covers the operating principles and beginning care and maintenance of inboards, outboards and diesels. Course will help you to "Know Your Boat".

Where: Middletown Christian Church, 500 Watterson Trail, Louisville, 40243
Price: $40 Members $70 non-members
To enroll: Contact 502-228-7227; or visit our site: link

When: Spring, Eight sessions on Tuesday nights 7-9 PM March and April.


"Covers basic deck seamanship, marlinspike, anchoring, rafting, basic boat care and maintenance, and nautical and USPS etiquette."

Where: Harrods Creek Fire Department 8905 US Hwy 42 in Prospect.
Price: $50 Members $80 non-members
To enroll: Contact 502-228-7227; or visit our site: link

When: Spring, Eight sessions on Tuesday nights 7-9 PM April and May

River Forum

Looking for the next great boating spot? What's the latest on your favorite restaurant? Want to know what marina is the best fit for your new vessel?

If you're not already there, the Port KY River Forum is a great place to see what's new and keep up to date. If you have any login issues, we're here to help. Forum Home: link

Slips for Sale

Still our Most Popular Newsletter Link!

There are still some listing for slips for sale or lease. There were recently four slips that sold as a direct result of the Port KY site, and the "Slips" page has been one of the most popular destinations: link

That's it for now--Stay safe, and we'll see you on the water!

Eric Grubb
USCG Licensed Master
Webmaster, PortKY.com

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