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Old 16-06-2016, 14:31   #31
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

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The only real advantage of the deeper draft is going to weather a bit better.... not primarily safety.
Who told you that? Think you need to reread your Skene's Elements again. Assuming the ballast is placed at the maximum depth, deeper keels leads to better righting moments and a stiffer ride; lower capsize potential, higher ability to self right from a larger range of heel, and a comfortable ride. Would argue the weather issue but that will only bring out a bunch of flamers.
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Old 16-06-2016, 15:14   #32
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Thumbs up Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

As the original poster of this question, THANK YOU all for the informative answers.

The boats I am considering are the Jeanneau 54 with shallow draft of 6' and the Hanse 575 (shallow draft 7'6"). My time in FL and Carib would be limited to 1-2 seasons before shipping the boat back to Lake Michigan where it will live long term. On Lake Michigan, 6ft is never a problem and 7ft+ rarely a problem.

Based on your answers, it seems like 50% or more of the marinas and 75% of the interesting anchoring spots are out of bounds with 7ft draft. The 6ft draft is more reasonable.
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Old 16-06-2016, 15:39   #33
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

I have travelled extensively throughout the keys and the Bahama's for over fourty Years and can assure you anything over 5 ft. Is ludicrous! I personnally would not
go more than four feet. I suppose it depends how much irritation you can stand!
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Old 16-06-2016, 18:38   #34
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

The IntraCoastal Waterway is 5' throughout most of the Keys and many other areas on the East Coast. For that reason, 4.5' would be my max draft. My boat is 3'-9".
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Old 16-06-2016, 19:59   #35
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

6' is doable for most of the area 7'6" may be a bit too much for many of the shallow places. All depends on what you have in mind. get some charts and see what works for your situation.
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Old 17-06-2016, 04:51   #36
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How much draft is too much for South Florida

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Who told you that? Think you need to reread your Skene's Elements again. Assuming the ballast is placed at the maximum depth, deeper keels leads to better righting moments and a stiffer ride; lower capsize potential, higher ability to self right from a larger range of heel, and a comfortable ride. Would argue the weather issue but that will only bring out a bunch of flamers.

Reed

Some hack of a designer named Perry wrote "there is no substitute for draft". Having read his book I realize that while keels like the Scheel are a workable substitute. They are a comprise.

Deep draft provides provides a larger surface and better LR when going to windward.
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Old 17-06-2016, 05:16   #37
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

Here in the Keys over 5' significantly limits where you can go. Of course, you can navigate these waters with any size keel and careful navigation but shoal draft (4.5 or less) seems most practical to me.
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Old 17-06-2016, 05:52   #38
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

Cruising Florida & the Bahamas in an extreme shoal draft boat is a blast!

A Pacific Northwest Sharpie For The Bahamas | WoodenBoat Magazine

Parker Marine
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Old 17-06-2016, 06:09   #39
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

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I am considering buying a larger sailboat for personal use and also to charter occasionally for South Florida Miami area. I'll sail to the Bahamas at least once and to the Keys also. The question is: How much draft will make my life too hard to enjoy the cruising grounds? The boats under consideration average 7.5ft of draft.
Hi ! My "dream boat" is a centerboard or keel-centerboard sailboat anyway. I consider the possibility of changing the draft according to the conditions a real plus: For example, in really heavy weather, if you don't need to go upwind, or when you do a 3 week ocean passage downwind in the trade belt, you would raise the centerboard thus reducing the risk of "tripping" on a deep keel or even better, a tandem centerboard layout: You raise the main one & lower the rear one when you go broadreaching or downwind... Steady as an arrow ! Cheers !
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Old 24-06-2016, 17:31   #40
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

Been cruising east coast US and Bahamas for 7 years with a 6' draft, rarely have any issues. Have to play the tides sometimes but other than that no problem. Have friends with 7' and they do well in Bahamas as well, but in their case anchoring a bit further out.
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Old 24-06-2016, 18:23   #41
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

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so what kind of 36-40' cruiser under 5' draft would you recommend?
Catalina made/makes boats in that size range with wing keels that draw 5 ft or less. Catalina 34, 36, 380, 387, 385, 355, 375, 385, 400, the list is almost endless.

I am sure other builders do as well.

There are TONS of boats in FL, and given the information about the pleasures folks have sailing there, and their recommendations for draft, the question you are asking is what boat? There are gazillions out there.

Really.

Happy hunting, and good luck.
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Old 12-07-2016, 08:07   #42
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

With luck 5 and a half is possible 7 is a no go
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Old 12-07-2016, 08:31   #43
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

Just out of curiosity, is there a website or list that has most of the production boats (Hunter, Catalina, Jeanneau, Beneteau, etc) in a list with length, draft, height, etc.?
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Old 12-07-2016, 08:31   #44
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

I live on the East coast of FL and I have 35' Pearson sailboat it is a keel centerboard with a draft, board up, of 3'9" and board down of 7'3". I find this to be a nice compromise. I rarely have a depth issue and when things are toutchy I go board down and when it bottoms I adjust my course. I don't rely on the sounder because it often reads error at that shallow of a depth.
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:25   #45
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Re: How much draft is too much for South Florida

JUST CRUISED THE BAHAMAS (abacos and Exumas) with 7'2" was no problem, although get a big set of ground tackle as you cannot tuck into as many anchorages when a blow comes.
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