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Old 16-01-2015, 19:02   #1
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Bahamas and draught

I am planning a season or two in the Caribbean. Sometime in the future I will likely bring the boat back home and would love to travel through the Bahamas before sailing north to Canada (on the way down it will be direct to Bermuda and then BVIs). I draw almost 7 feet. All of the couch sailors I know say that anything more than 5 is too much for the Bahamas

I would love to hear from anybody that has actually spent time there to know what the real story is.

Cheers,

Grant
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Old 16-01-2015, 19:23   #2
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Re: Bahamas and draught

I lived in Bahamas for a year.
Some places you can get into. Some you cannot.
For example, Man O' War harbour in Abacos.. you will not make it. But you can anchor outside the harbour and most of the time will be okay.
Almost always, if you cannot get in somewhere, you can find a place nearby that you can anchor at, maybe you will have to dinghy in, maybe not be as protected.. Or you might have to take a deviation. I advise you to get charts such as the Explorer charts and see for yourself.
If you will notice, I am spelling "harbour" in the British style. Just as you are calling it "draught" instead of "draft." See how polite I am.
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Old 16-01-2015, 19:24   #3
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Re: Bahamas and draught

Grant, this issue has been discussed endlessly (and recently at that) here on CF. Please try a search... you will be rewarded with whatever opinion you want to believe! That is to say, there are very divided opinions on this subject!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 16-01-2015, 19:34   #4
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Re: Bahamas and draught

Thanks Dohenyboy. My use of draught was a deliberate move. Not sure if I would use it if I felt a draft through the door or was ordering a pint in a pub, but as a Canadian I feel free to use either spelling. As for harbour, there is only on proper way to spell that and it ends in the same way that colour does.

And Jim, I have only just signed up and and still trying to sort my way through the forum formats. I will do some further surfing before I ask any more questions.

Cheers

Grant
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Old 16-01-2015, 20:09   #5
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Re: Bahamas and draught

Grant, as you know there's 7 feet and then there's 7 feet.

A 7' thin fin keel with an equally long dagger style rudder with no skeg is a lot more vulnerable in a grounding than the same in a full keel with a rudder hung off the end of the keel.

We've been going there for years with a 5' draft, but it's a solid long keel with a rudder hung on a heavy skeg.
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Old 16-01-2015, 21:00   #6
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Re: Bahamas and draught

Depths in the Bahamas is shown in meters.....

We've done the Exumas, Eleuthera, and Abaco.

You'll be ok in much of the Exumas, and probably all of Eleuthera. Depth will be more of a concern in Abaco. Not sure I'd try to get into Marsh Harbor to anchor. Hope Town would be a challenge, as would Treasure Cay.

I could be more specific, but you'll need to do some homework with the Explorer Charts anyway. In Exuma, there are some vpr routes that would be out with your draft, but stay on the main "road", and you'll be fine. The prettiest, clearest water, is in Exuma.

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Old 16-01-2015, 23:36   #7
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Re: Bahamas and draught

when looking at the charts be sure to consider sea state. 7' draft in 8' of water with a 1' swell or boat wakes could have you banging. This tends to be even more problematic with unprotected spade rudders.

Now consider a nice day with 3' waves and you get the picture. Boats tend to pitch in the waves and when the bow goes up the stern goes down.

Deep draft boats are fantastic in deep waters. They sail really well. But in shallow waters they really limit where you can go.

Good luck!
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Old 17-01-2015, 08:28   #8
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Re: Bahamas and draught

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
Depths in the Bahamas is shown in meters
Depends on which charts you're using!
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Old 17-01-2015, 09:20   #9
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Re: Bahamas and draught

Explorer Charts. What else do you use for planning?

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Old 17-01-2015, 09:23   #10
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Re: Bahamas and draught

Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Depends on which charts you're using!
Ralph beat me to it...

At the present time, there exists only ONE set of charts for the Bahamas...

:-))


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Old 17-01-2015, 09:52   #11
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Re: Bahamas and draught

Seven foot draft is not a problem. Whatever draft you have you always should take care and read the waters and watch your depth sounder.
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