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Old 21-01-2017, 05:03   #1
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Deep draft Abacos

I'd like to sail from West Palm Beach to the Abacos this June. I have an Amel Maramu with 6.5' draft. I know it is deep for Bahamas. Is crossing the little Bahama Bank from Memory Rock to Great Sale Key a no-go for me? BTW, Boat is for "sail" by owner if anyone is interested.

Eric Colegrove
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Amel Maramu 46 hull # 108
Currently berthed Jacksonville, Fla

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Old 21-01-2017, 09:52   #2
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Re: Deep draft Abacos

I hope it isn't a "boho" as I draft 6.3' and plan to cross over to West End next week. After I'm going back up to memory rock to go over to the Abacos as the Indian Cay channel looks too narrow and shallow for me (no matter what Dodge says)
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Old 21-01-2017, 10:28   #3
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Re: Deep draft Abacos

I'm an old guy and not too good with abbreviations. What is "boho"? If depth shows 10 feet, what are the chances there will be waves that would cause a trough with a 6' depth? Any concerns hitting a large coral head, even if depth shows adequate? Understand once in the Abacos, need to use the eyeballs and not rely on charts.

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Old 21-01-2017, 12:48   #4
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Re: Deep draft Abacos

We did that trip last year and are going again this spring. Our draft is 5'11" and we had no problems at all. We departed Ft Pierce early and arrived at mangrove cay around 3am. Forecast was completely wrong so we were beating into 20plus knots across the stream and the Bahama Bank but all in all a pretty easy run. The depth all across the bank to Spanish Cay was between 12 to 15 ft and very uniform. A few times we thought our depth sounder was broken. Great Sale Cay has a nice protected anchorage with several cruisers in attendance. Charts (Navionics ) were more accurate than I thought and the Bahamas guide was a good backup. Only time we were nervous was going through the inside passage from the north end of Elbow Cay to Tillo cut. Most of the time we would go outside to get to Little Harbor and Lynard Cay ( great little spot ).

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Old 21-01-2017, 18:02   #5
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Re: Deep draft Abacos

A 6.5 draft boat can certainly transit the Abacos and enjoy some great stops along the way. Many destinations will be off limits and others limited to higher tide however.

A straight forward option I used on my last trip to transit from the bank to the Atlantic was the pass just north of Sandy Cay. Unlike Indian Cay it's a straight shot with no fringing reef and doesn't require you to go as far North as Memory Rock. Just another option to consider.
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