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Old 18-09-2006, 15:54   #1
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Deep Draft Route through Bahamas

Hello all. We draw 6'. Our first year onboard doing shakedowns and cruising full time has taught us to run only outside most of the US E Coast to save our nerves.
We're looking for suggestions on good deep draft routes through the Bahamas. Right now we're leaning on making an outside northerly run around the Bahamas down to San Salvador, etc.

OR

Down to the Berrys, Exumas, etc. Tongue of the Ocean sort of route.

Just looking for input.

B_H_Rayburn11@yahoo.com

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Old 18-09-2006, 16:12   #2
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Brian & Heather,

Six feet is not deep. I draw 5 1/2 ' and go nearly everywhere in the Bahamas. I sail with boats that draws a bit over six feet and they have no problems. If you wish you can take the route many do from S. Florida across the Great Bahamas Bank to Chubb and then to Nassau then down the Exuma chain to Farmer's Cay where you'd have to go out into Exuma Sound to go further south. Most sailboats doing the Exumas take this route. All the commonly used cuts from the sound to the Bank will take 6 ft. easily. Six feet in the ICW is a lot more nerve wracking than six feet in the Bahamas. If you want to do the Bahamas, your draft should not be a problem.
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Old 18-09-2006, 16:18   #3
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Brian,

There are lots of possible routes. Here's one I took a few years ago (I draw 6.5'). No problems whatsoever.

http://gallery.wdsg.com/view_album.p...amas-Trip-2002

(click twice on each for full resolution)

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Old 18-09-2006, 18:32   #4
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We have traveled the entire Bahama chain and never had a problem with Sea Treks 6 foot draft. There are some places you cant go. There are places you can't go with a 4 foot draft. You will need to get a good set of explorer charts and a good guide book.
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Old 18-09-2006, 18:44   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier
We have traveled the entire Bahama chain and never had a problem with Sea Treks 6 foot draft. There are some places you cant go. There are places you can't go with a 4 foot draft. You will need to get a good set of explorer charts and a good guide book.
and alot of Rum for the nerves
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:25   #6
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Bill your rout is more of an outside voyage along the lee shore. Did you ever travel a less exposed route?
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:36   #7
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Petar,

Nope. And, at the time of year this route was taken (early June), there was very little wind much of the time.

Only windward work we had to do was leaving Mayaguana and rounding Acklin's Island one evening. Lots of wind from the north, a few tacks to get around Acklins, then a wonderful romp all night along the north coast of Acklin's.

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Old 08-11-2006, 14:15   #8
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco
Brian & Heather,

Six feet in the ICW is a lot more nerve wracking than six feet in the Bahamas
well that depends .. 6 feet in the bahamas can mean rocks all around and raging currents .. with nobody to tow you off if you get stuck in something soft. if you hit the rocks then all bets are off. i guess you mean that when you can see the bottom it is easier to navigate?
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Old 08-11-2006, 14:37   #9
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gonesail,

Have you ever come out of Jeckyll Island southbound, blowing 25 knots ENE and try to find water in St. Andrew's Sound? It is not fun. The beauty of the Bahamas is that, in most cases, you can see where the water is. Also, for a prudent sailor, there are a lot more shallow spots in the ICW than in the Bahamas. In the Bahamas you can avoid most of the shallow spots, in the ICW you takes your chances. As for rocks try the "rockpile" just north of Barefoot Landing in SC on the ICW.
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Old 08-11-2006, 17:20   #10
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vasco: point taken. there are some shallow spots in georgia but on the whole the ICW is not exposed to the ocean. if you are taking the deepwater routes in the bahamas then maybe you should do the same in US waters. but poking around the islands i would think that 4.5 would be a lot easier than 6. however that's just me and me has not been to the islands yet
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Old 08-11-2006, 18:12   #11
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There are well charted chanels with 8' or more. Then there are areas where you can run aground with 3'. I did it. If you're will ing to dink in a good bit in some places then you'll be fine.
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