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Old 09-02-2016, 10:31   #1
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Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

Heading south on the thornless path in May from Charleston. Is there a list published anywhere that would streamline the options we have for anchorages, harbors and banks transits in the Bahamas? Never been there and understand that much of it is not suited for deeper drafts. We're (very roughly) planning our route and options and I haven't seen any easy way to select or eliminate routes and destinations without pouring over the charts. It would be helpful for some advice here please!
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:44   #2
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

Get a copy of The Gentlemans guide to Passages South by Bruce Van Sant,that will give you some ideas. Isn't May a little late to head south into the hurricane zone?
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:49   #3
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

yes and yes. Have it. Children have school until hurricane season and we intend to scurry straight to the ABC's after Puerto Rico. Just hoping someone will have a magic "these are the deep water spots" list for me
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:42   #4
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

"Bahamas" is a big location, not sure where you're going and I don't know all of it, but for sure you are OK in West End or Port Lucaya (Grand Bahama) as well as some parts of Alice Town in Bimini (especially Big Game Club, but other marinas also have some slips that would take 7'; local knowledge required). pete
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:03   #5
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

Thanks Pete.

essentially looking for a short stay from West end to Turks and Caicos en route to DR & PR. We plan on visiting the Bahamas much more extensively on our way home the following year (also during the beginning of hurricane season). Unfortunately the academic school year in the US was set up around the ancient agrarian calendar not hurricane season - seems short sighted to me
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:18   #6
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

Sailing during hurricane season isn't a problem. Not having a hurricane plan is a problem... Those of us who live and sail here somehow manage to survive (mostly), as I've pointed out before! pete
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Old 09-02-2016, 14:52   #7
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

Quote:
I haven't seen any easy way to select or eliminate routes and destinations without pouring over the charts.
With all respect, Pete, "pouring over the charts" is a basic responsibility of the skipper. IMO this task should not be relegated to others... folks whose family will not be on board your boat to suffer the consequences of an overlooked hazard.

Not to say that use of cruising guides, etc, isn't useful... I think most of us use them as helpful adjuncts, but personal study of relevant charts is mandatory, again IMO.

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Old 09-02-2016, 15:30   #8
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
With all respect, Pete, "pouring over the charts" is a basic responsibility of the skipper. IMO this task should not be relegated to others... folks whose family will not be on board your boat to suffer the consequences of an overlooked hazard.

Not to say that use of cruising guides, etc, isn't useful... I think most of us use them as helpful adjuncts, but personal study of relevant charts is mandatory, again IMO.

Jim
are you quoting me? because I don't see that anywhere in my posts or even anywhere in this thread. Pete
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Old 09-02-2016, 16:08   #9
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

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are you quoting me? because I don't see that anywhere in my posts or even anywhere in this thread. Pete
My apologies, Pete. I was quoting the OP (MG skipper), and inadvertently got your name in it. Sorry if it was offensive.

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Old 10-02-2016, 03:34   #10
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

No offense taken! I was pretty sure there was a misunderstanding somewhere. Happy sailing! pete
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Old 10-02-2016, 05:23   #11
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

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Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
Sailing during hurricane season isn't a problem. Not having a hurricane plan is a problem... Those of us who live and sail here somehow manage to survive (mostly), as I've pointed out before! pete
100% agree. I see so many cautions to never sail in the hurricane zone during the season, even to the point of suggesting it's downright insane to do so. And yet! Thousands of boaters live year round in Florida and seem to manage.

Not to minimize the risk of a hurricane if you happen to get hit but preparation is the secret and 99% of the time will see you through.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:17   #12
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

Pick up a copy of the Dodge Cruising Guide for Abaco. That will get you down towards Eleuthra, by then you should have you confidence up enough to follow the Explorer Charts. Main problem with 7' is getting in and out of harbours and watch the short cuts. Just pretend you are one of the mailboats, you will be fine
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:18   #13
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

I am not a native but perhaps semi-native having been here since 86. During those 30 years, I have logged thousands of hours on and around the "banks". During that time I have always had a 4' draft and have spent considerable time bouncing along the bottom and a fair amount stuck where there was supposed to be enough water! Seven foot draft? I could never reccomend that, at least not in the Northern Bahama's or the Abaco's. I think it,s important to know that unlike the U.S. Coast, the Bahama's have not been surveyed in detail. Most of the depths you see on the charts are "reported" and as such are open to discussion!
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Old 10-02-2016, 13:55   #14
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

Getting back to the question. We sailed the Bahamas during the summer of 2013 with a 7' draft. We used the Explorer Charts. Our trip started in South Florida. We traveled north of Bimini and checked in at Morgan's Bluff, in the northern part of Andros. Subsequently went the west end of Providence Island (Nassau is in the center of the island). From there to Allens Cay and south along the Exuma chain to Georegetown. Anchored in many places along the route. The only thing we encountered is that we had to stay a little further from shore and be studying the charts a little better than the 4' draft boats. We never ran aground anywhere. I wish you pleasant travels through the Bahamas and talk to other sailors about hurricane holes. Being aware of them will help you safely navigate the island chain. Enjoy.
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Old 10-02-2016, 16:57   #15
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Re: Bahamas destinations for 7' draft??

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Originally Posted by lesterbutch View Post
I am not a native but perhaps semi-native having been here since 86. During those 30 years, I have logged thousands of hours on and around the "banks". During that time I have always had a 4' draft and have spent considerable time bouncing along the bottom and a fair amount stuck where there was supposed to be enough water! Seven foot draft? I could never reccomend that, at least not in the Northern Bahama's or the Abaco's. I think it,s important to know that unlike the U.S. Coast, the Bahama's have not been surveyed in detail. Most of the depths you see on the charts are "reported" and as such are open to discussion!
We are 7' and have never grounded other than intentionally, to scrub, in the Abacos. We're heading back in a week or so, on the first weather window.

You can trust the Explorer charts explicitly and implicitly. Any route will handle your draft; just plug in the waypoints and off you go.

For your hurried transit, you can hit the major harbours on the way down, and be just fine.

We have never had any issue in any place other than the Abacos, either...
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