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Old 19-04-2009, 17:59   #1
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6'8" Draft Too Much for Australian East Coast

Hi All,
I have found a boat that I'm considering making an offer on. The only real concern I have is the relatively deep draft, 6'8". We are located in Brisbane Australia and most of our sailing initially would be in Moreton Bay and the east coast of Australia. How much of a problem would we have with the deep draft? Any input from members with cruising experience in this area would be most appreciated.
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Owe
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Old 19-04-2009, 18:19   #2
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Don't worry, be happy and deep draft too!

G'Day Owe,

Ann and I have cruised seasonally on the east coast for the last 18 years or so, after crossing from Mexico in 1990. We've done heaps of sailing in Moreton Bay and the Broadwater (well, mostly motoring there!). We've been from Lizard Island to Southwest Cape as well as annual trips to the Islands (VAnuatu, N. CAl, Sollies. etc). And, despite the "common knowledge" that shoal draft is required for many of these cruising grounds, both of our boats have drawn 2.2 metres (7'2"). Have we run aground??? Sure we have... just slightly farther from shore than our shoal draft friends have been stuck!!!

There have been a very few places we simply couldn't get into, but I reckon that that is a small price to pay for the added stability and windward ability that we have gained. The only sort of thing that has bothered us is the inability to get into certain mangrove creeks with bars across their mouths, thes places often being good cyclone holes. But, for many of them one would have to be really shalllow, like a metre or so. One point for the multi hull contingent!

So, my answer to your original query is 6'8" will not be a realistic problem in your proposed cruising grounds, or most other places in the world.

Cheers,
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Old 19-04-2009, 19:59   #3
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Thanks Jim,
I really appreciate the feedback. As you could imagine I would hate to purchase a boat that we really like but that turns out to be no good for our intended cruising grounds.
Cheers,
Owe
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Old 19-04-2009, 20:24   #4
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Have a look at a chart of Moreton bay. There is a fair bit of shallow water, but you'd still be able to get around. Some marina's would be of limited use, ie Scarborough - you'd need close to high tide to get in or out.

It's not too deep for the east coast, but it will restrict you at times.
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Old 19-04-2009, 20:29   #5
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Hi Owe
If you ever venture down this way (Tasmania) you'll have no problems in most of the sheltered anchorages around the East and South East of Tasmania!
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Old 19-04-2009, 20:40   #6
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Insatiable draws almost 8'
It hasn't been a problem so far.
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Old 23-04-2009, 14:48   #7
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Thanks guys.
I'm going back this weekend for a second look. If all goes well I will make an offer.

Cheers
Owe
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Old 03-08-2010, 00:04   #8
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Owe
All it means is anchoring a bit further out and maybe have to row a bit further.
Rob
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Old 03-08-2010, 00:45   #9
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G'day, Owe, No worries if you cross the Tasman to N.Z. We have a 7 foot draft and haven't had any issues. Cheers.
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:26   #10
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we draw 1.8m and that works OK for us around the bay.
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Old 03-08-2010, 15:24   #11
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Thanks guys,
My original post is acually from April last year. We did end up buying the boat. She draws close to 2 meters which hasnt been a problem so far. OK we did get stuck in the mud on the "hump" in to Newport, Scarborough once but no big deal
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Old 03-08-2010, 23:06   #12
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Deep Draft

Yep, we'll second all those replies, we did it with 7 foot draft and never touched bottom.

Another big advantage of the deeper draft is that having to anchor out a little further than all the other boats in some of the tropical anchorages, by the time all the mozzies, sandflies, etc have dispersed themselves on various boats closer to inshore, there isn't a lot (if any) left over to get to you.

If the weather turns and it becomes a lee shore, you don't have to thread your way out of the anchorage.

Cheers

Ken
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:05   #13
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We draw 1.8 metres only problem we have is to row a little further.
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Old 01-09-2010, 20:48   #14
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I draw 1.8 as well and it's been fine. Though a word of warning if you are using navionics charts (i use an ipad as a chartplotter, not sure about versions of maps etc) you'll want too be careful if you go through the great sandy strait.

There is a section an hour or two after gary's anchorage where i ran aground following the charts, guess the sand banks have shifted a bit, was about 1.5metres at about half tide there. I got off just by waiting for tide too rise a bit but still better not too run aground if ya can^^.

If you're planning on doing the great sandy strait in your boat at some point i'd wait to leave gary's anchorage (or moonboom where i was) till just an hour or two before high tide.

note: There were nav buoys there but i didn't notice them in time due too generally looking at chart too much as well as autopilot difficulties, so if you just follow the nav buoys you should be alright but by time i noticed them i was kinda on wrong side of bank and i ran aground trying to cross over to them.
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