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Old 06-06-2011, 11:28   #1
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South Florida Drafts?

So we are looking at moving up from our Columbia 8.3 to a larger sailboat. Ideally we'll keep the next boat about 3-5 years and most of our sailing will be South East Florida and the Bahamas.

We are considering a Pearson 39 among some other boats and my concern is that this particular boat draws 6'10" and it may be a bit deep.

Any input?

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Old 06-06-2011, 12:16   #2
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Re: South Florida Drafts?

6' 10" is really pushing it. It can be done but you will spend a lot of time worrying about the bottom, especially in the Bahamas. You will limit yourself to moving at high tide and also limit where you can go. It is done all the time with 7 foot drafts but they are not close to ideal. If you plan to stay in SE Florida and the Bahamas, look for something closer to 5 feet. We cruised that area for over 10 years with a 6 foot draft and that is about as deep as I would care to have. Chuck

Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

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Old 07-06-2011, 13:58   #3
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Re: South Florida Drafts?

And all but the major inlets in the Keys will be out of reach for you. I have 5', and still can't go in to a lot of them (Angelfish Ck, Port Largo, etc) at a neutral or negative low. You can do 6+ feet, but you'll be VERY limited as to where you can come in, and when. pete
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Old 07-06-2011, 14:27   #4
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Re: South Florida Drafts?

5' is the comfortable limit. Any more and the stress goes up, the ICW on the bay side was drug to 6' years ago and you can still touch bottom going that way with 5' draft. That's about all you do is touch and go thru there.
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Old 13-06-2011, 00:08   #5
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Re: South Florida Drafts?

5 ft is good. Anything over 6 is would be very complicated.
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